Microjourneys | Multiple Authors

He ate his breakfast from an old tin can that could be seen through the pilothouse window of his boat, “Rolo” – a rig that had logged more hours pushing and towing freight and hauling fuel than most people spend breathing. His s-shaped frame – slight bend at the knees, hunched shoulders – hid a nimble man of seventy-two who scaled his boat’s confined spaces with a familiarity found nowhere else but when his wife of fifty years folds herself inside his arms each night. “In the Spring,” he said through wrinkled lips that gracefully obscured broad teeth browned with age and tobacco, “when the sap is running,” his voice trailing off, giving way to dexterous hands holding a seasoned Old Timer pocket knife and a small section of green willow, notching the bark and heart then, while turning the branch between gnarled fingers, running the blade just down to verdant core and still turning, taking the knife by the scarred blade and tap-tap-tapping the bark with the handle, “you can make a whistle,” as he pulled the now loose from the core bark free and put it to his lips to serenade the swallows chasing bugs over the steadily churning river.

-Nathan Cornelius

They were different this time; more green and less white from the last time I looked out of the hotel window. Hard snow caps still lay on the mountains further up, untouched by the harsh sun, reminding me of how majestic the Himalayas are.

So close yet so far, sending perceptions of distance to a new low. I want to touch them, reach for the criss-crossed, pointy deciduous trees, feel the sharp sting of the hardened slippery ice.

I long to reach them, to climb them and feel the crisp air, embrace it.

-Anam Naqvi

The snow flurries of Saturday morning have turned into thick ice. These days when you step outside – out of the government-controlled heating – the cold smacks you hard in the face. Dry lips, stinging fingers and swirling clouds of white breath are with you wherever you go. And the bright blue sky sparkles like a wintry dream.

-Susanna Wickes

Once in a great while, I wish that I did not live alone. I expected one of those great whiles, the night that Sandy roared in. I lit the candles and scooted over on the futon to make room for Fear. Instead, old friends settled in: Louise Erdrich, Annie Dillard, Robertson Davies, and Leo Tolstoy. When Hayden and Handel arrived, I knew there would be no fear, only wind and rain.

-Melanie Lynn Griffin

As the damp daylight faded into dusk, as the warm lights glowed outward through the windows, the lush green of the grass, the trees, the perennials intensified to a deep emerald. She watched the branches whipping in the wind like a troupe of dancers madly twirling to some New Age song, and she saw the clouds moving across the sky like a herd of mustangs frantically fleeing from the threat of captivity. She was worried about the integrity of the house, the house that had stood for decades teetering on the brink of collapse. Would the basement be flooded with water, the slate shingles be ripped from the roof? This storm, the tumultuous cauldron that threatened to spill its churning chaos, could be the end, the final squall that promised to cease her calm existence.

-Lisa Lance

Me and my scooter,
on a journey to the school.
Riding through the paths
that are really really cool!
-Harivansh. (Age: 5)
The arches of my feet began to burn as I crouched in front of a deeply-lined New Mexican potter, who bubble-wrapped the little pair of male and female deer I’d picked from his thick, woven blanket laid in front of the governor’s palace. The sun touched my back as he kept back my deer and touched each line on another piece of pottery. “This,” he said, “stands for rain – fertility,” he winked at me. “And this is the female, this the male,” he pointed out, as he lightly tapped the pair of chimneys on the top of the jar. “Always keep the woman on the left.” He glanced to his left, at his equally-lined wife, and leaned in to whisper to me. “The left is the heart,” his hand to his, “and she is always there.”
-Brandi Dawn Henderson
I saw her through the dusty window as our bus bounced along a rutted Ugandan road, headed back to Kampala. She was crouched over a muddy waterhole, rinsing clothes in the brown water. Her hair was covered with an orange head wrap, and she wore a long print skirt which was hoisted up to her knees, revealing bare feet.

I had witnessed so much, after three weeks in Africa, that I barely registered the image at the time. I’d like to say that our eyes met, but I don’t think they actually did. She just slipped inside my head and made me cry when I got back to the States and started a load of laundry.

-Melanie Lynn Griffin
To submit your own microjourney of five sentences or less, email outsideinmagazine@gmail.com.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Mentally Masturbate Wit’ Issue Eight (Hey, it rhymes.) | Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine

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