The Existence of Things Inside Wall Spaces – flash fiction by Leilanie Stewart

The Existence of Things Inside Wall Spaces

 

……..What exists in the gap between bricks? The gap where the mortar has crumbled away as aggregates of time. I have to know. I have to know, like the Canadian geese have to know the way back from Ireland in the
spring. I have to look.
……..I’m looking. Not into the interior of a house, but into a small hole. Inside the hole is a miniature spinning wheel, not more than an inch big, and beside it, a pair of silk mittens, like mocha-colored oven gloves. They seem to have a ferrous tinge from the orange brick. As my eyes scour the space, I see mocha-colored silk threads zigzagging their way from upper to lower facets of brick.
……..Where I’m looking, a chunk of plaster is missing from the wall, as if someone spent a good deal of time carefully peeling it away from the brick. I’m guessing it was a bored child. A stuffy child, probably a spoiled kid with a pudgy face, and an ill demeanor.
……..Now, I too am peeling the plaster. The white flakes coming away in my hand are not more than half a centimeter thick and are leaving a powdery white residue on my palm and under my nails. Beneath, the brick is tangerine orange.
……..And what is this I see? A psychedelic greenish-blue blob about two inches long. I extend my finger to investigate.
……..It moves! A caterpillar: plump and feisty, living under the plaster. How on earth did such a juicy fellow fit under that packed space?
……..The caterpillar makes its way along the crease of the brick towards the gap. Oh no. No you don’t! No quick escape for you when I’m in such an inquisitive mood!
……..The thing wriggles and, afraid it might drop, I encourage it onto my hand. My, oh my, what sticky legs it has; I needn’t have worried in the first place.
……..Did this little beastie spin the silk threads? This squishy critter knitting tiny oven gloves at the minute spinning wheel, and who knows what other things that fill the space between bricks? Oh, the things Canadian geese would only know if they looked below on their journey!
……..I’m glad I wasn’t inclined to transcend that gap. How easy it could have been to not look inside. When you’re en-route from A to B, a straight line is the quickest way. Not to mention the least complicated. I’d like to say it was coincidence, but I’m not so sure. If you bother to look inside a world, there’s another smaller world
tucked inside it.
……..Blue-green caterpillars only happen on a crescent moon. When the sky is a backwash of clouds swept away by a tide of silken thread. Sometimes, if you focus too much on the path to the moon, you might miss all the heavenly glory.

 

Leilanie Stewart is a writer and poet. Her short stories have appeared in Weirdyear, Pure Slush, Linguistic Erosion, Pound of Flash, Mad Swirl, The Neglected Ratio, Ariadne’s Thread, Absinthe Literary Review, Sarasvati, The Crazy Oik, Stanley the Whale, The Pygmy Giant, Wufniks, Carillon and Monomyth and her flash story, ‘Twenty Questions’, was selected for the ‘Best of the Web’ Storm Cycle Anthology 2015 from Kind of a Hurricane Press. Recently, her novella, Til Death do us Boneapart, was published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine. Leilanie is also the Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert. Her blog is at: https://leilaniestewart.wordpress.com

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