Aphelion Issue 253, Volume 24
August 2020
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Standing still at 67 mph

by Charlotte Ozment

I spend a fair amount of time
riding the concrete ribbons hereabouts,
with monotonous moments broken up
by seasonal flora,
squashed and prayed at critters,
wrecks, and the ever present rape
of the landscape by construction crews.

But today, something odd.
Yes, there, I said it,

In most cases when you are
flying down the road at ungodly speeds,
the real estate rushes TOWARDS you.

In other words, you are traveling THROUGH it.
A matter of perspective I know,
but one which we humans cherish,
if only for the semblance of normality.

But today, the landscape
traveled along WITH me.
I thought perhaps I was sleep-driving.

The ground, grasses, the ever-present
advertising billboards
and rottage on the side of the road
were all traveling
in the same direction as I was

Was it only a matter of perspective? .
Or had I slipped beneath, around, behind
the view held by the general populace?

I decided to look closely
at this screen door held open for my perusal
instead of flinching aside in denial.
I would be brave and SEE that which
I would normally turn from in fear.
That fear of the unknown
we as a species have grown old with.

So I attended
and I saw

- The terrain, hard and focused.

- Every blade of grass, its warpage and weft.

- The rise and fall of each stone.

- The contour of a setting that was unorthodoxly stationary. .

The feeling was of being escorted,
a path smoothed, the ride but a sit for a while.
So I went with the flow
and let myself twist with the distortion.

A lapse then occurred, one of miles
across arenas often viewed,
through vistas wearily traversed,
a lapse of a seeming wink.

With the truck on auto-pilot
I tripped the light of the moth's eye,
arriving home in one whole,
albeit stuttered piece.

I think this little trip bears repeating.

2019 Charlotte Ozment

Charlotte’s work has appeared in many unique publications such as “Bindweed“, “Eternal Haunted Summer”, “Full of Crow”, “Gyroscope Review”, “Leaves of Ink”, “Quail Bell”, “Star*Line”, and “Shoreline of Infinity”.

Find more by Charlotte Ozment in the Author Index.

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