Cumbersome Faults: The Short Story

Cumbersome Faults: The Story


They loved each other from that moment.  His buzzed head from a fraternity pledge did nothing to dissuade her from this handsome, but cumbersome man.  With dark eyes and a sideway smile, he fell over his feet to court her, this pretty girl, through college, until the day she brought him home to Bellhaven.


Bellhaven was a small town of just a few families.  Set in a remote section of the world, it sat between mountain and plain, between piedmont and the ocean.  Anywhere you can think of, this town is there.  It’s here, there, everywhere like a town should be. Small but not quaint, back road but not picturesque.  Just a town to raise a family in, where no one leaves and no one stays.


They ran the grocery there.  They would carry the food stuff to cars and walk bags across the street to the aged home.  They would take turns on the bicycle running orders to the houses on the far end of the town for no more than it would cost their customers to come in themselves.  They weren’t there for the money.  They were there for each other.


“I feel some days that I could dive into him and come to rest on the misty beaches in his eyes,” the pretty girl remarked and shivered in her thoughts of him.

“I bought market light and strung them up on the roof of the grocer’s.  We would dance under the stars and the market lights.  Sometimes making love, sometimes just drinking wine, holding hands up on that roof.”


Each day was a joy as the next was a joy.  She would sweep the storeroom of  tattered webs and count the ledgers in even numbers.  Children soon joined the couple and the bicycle deliveries turned to car trips, and the aged home aged out as the town families moved closer to the freeway.


They still danced under the market lights and held hands under the stars.  The children grew and borrowed the bicycle for rendezvous of their own.  One by one they brought home a boy or the other a girl until they moved one by one by one to their own homes by the highway.


Then it happened.  It snowed on the market lights.  They sputtered and flamed and fell in a sparking arc.  They laughed at the sight and how it eclipsed the stars. But, as she was looking heavenward away from her love, he fell in the drifts collected on the roof.  Hand to heart, heart to hand, he died in the very spot they made love.


She grieves in her own way.  The bicycle’s wheeless frame leans tiredly against the grocers.  The tattered webs are scattered on the dusty floor.  The mop head idle. She sits on the roof remembering how he would squirrel his toes around her ankles when they would lie together. How she would always have that sense of falling into him and landing in the misty beaches of his eyes.  She would dive deep until she was buried in his faulty heart, lost forever, she was gone. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

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