Cult Illustration #11, ball point pen on paper, 11" x 8.5"

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The classroom on the second floor had a wall of windows. Half the day was over as Ms. X sat in silence in the stale room eating her cheese sandwich. A whirring honking noise engulfed the atmosphere and Ms. X walked to the glass to see the sudden flock of geese she envisioned darkening the pale blue air but the sky was clear and she looked down now to see brightly clad teenagers running amok in the courtyard.

This plaza existed by accident, an after thought, cobbling together the piecemeal school. It was the kind of complex where buildings and extensions are added from year to year to accommodate a growing herd. How she wished they were geese but this was impossible in the south and not worth feeling sad about. Florida had other wonders to behold.

Back in the Midwest, in the early days of Spring, or the cool days of Fall, one would see objects moving from the corner of the eye but they were only dry brown leaves scooting over the pavement, rarely a real thing like a sparrow or a squirrel. But in Florida things moved everywhere all the time and they were live toads and frogs and lizards and snakes and newts, and birds, of course.

Insects were frightening in their size and diversity. Striped caterpillars suddenly swelled and produced a flickering red tongue taking on the guise of a snake, and dull brown land snails the size of potatoes tooled along over the sandy dirt. One had to quickly address each tingle or twitch of the skin to appraise its origin. Squirming things fell from her hair to her arm and she would vigorously massage her scalp and shake herself to free up any other intruders. The first few months after she moved to Florida, such disturbances were an outrage, but now she viewed them off-handedly.
Ms. X fancied herself a poet, walking in the woods, reciting what she thought comparable to the ecstatic verses of Rumi.
    Dry leaf scuttles on breezes
    No, it’s a bird
    Then a bird flies by,
    But it’s really some giant insect.
    A lizard startles frolicking over
    Scratchy palmettos,
    it’s really a squirrel
    Think a squirrel's leaping?
    Second glance,
    a red doe prances between trunks
    The leaves of grass glow, drinking in the sunlight
    I know this sounds stupid
    But it happened.


  Cult Illustration #31, ball point pen on paper, 11" x 8.5"


© 2017 Lea Atiq, all rights reserved