Call Me Ishmael

Call Me Ishmael
Illustration by Rudyard Kipling

Beads of sweat pop like stitches from the seams of his forehead, trickle down beneath his sunglasses, along the bridge and off the tip of his very long nose, falling plop, plop, plop, full, pregnant with the intent of staining the parcel he cradles in his lap. He brushes them off in haste. Not a particularly small man, he nevertheless appears dwarfed by the excess size of his suit, which seems to expand in the summer sun until finally he looks like a child, dressed for Sunday Mass, or a wake. He squints indignantly through his tinted lenses as the late afternoon sun explodes back out of the windows of the west-facing buildings like a pyre. A black overnight case sits protected under the park bench, and the glossy, multi-colored wrapping paper of the parcel bounces the sun’s reflection beneath his sunglasses, further blinding him with light.

Originally published November 2007 in Wordstock Ten: Finalists from the 2007 Wordstock Short Fiction Competition.

Available to purchase here.

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