Memories | People: Short Story Excerpt: Mercy


Years passed and I could still feel you touching me. Pacing or still, I sensed the press of your fingers against my skin; woke up to a pillow, damp, and with your familiar trace of Cabotine. I have other memories of you, but I suspect they are only my imaginings – your trim figure in white half slip waltzing ‘round the kitchen with Dunhill cigarillo in hand; the whirring and clicking of a Singer sewing machine spigoting in the ruddy glow of the afternoon; tap tapping fingernails on the granite counter…Robeson’s Summertime.


By and by, strangers resemble people I’m sure we’ve known, or would like to meet again. Faces at the bus stop have Grampa’s paddle of a nose, Nana’s combination of skittishness and exuberance, and your way of cradling me with your eyes….


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