He has forgotten the sky. He walks across the dusty parking lot of what was once the arena he skated in as a child. An empty gravel lot now sprawls beside the chain link fence. He keeps red eyes on the dull brown dirt as he kicks pebbles with his worn boots. Last year’s leaves rattle and hum but he covers his ears. He is a ghost in this April town he has returned to, a place where no one walks. He takes the back paths and short cuts through parking lots for cars drive by on the main roads and he knows they say, “That looks like Lysander’s son. He never turned out to be much.” Among the singing leaves there is a flash of blue. He stops and plucks at it in the litter and dry grass. As he stands back up, he looks through the fence and sees where the house was, now just another parking lot on the other side, the spinster aunt’s house where he sat as a boy in the tangled garden in wooden lawn chairs with his mother, chairs painted the pastels of Easter eggs. They would teach him the name of the early flowers: sweet purple violet, ragged red robin, white lily of the valley, periwinkle, and the pale blue forget-me-nots. He clutches the money like some sort of holy paper, and as he looks up, sees the sky broken into pieces, but blue none the less.
Christy Ann Conlin is the author of three novels, Heave, Dead Time, and The Memento, (Doubleday, April, 2016). She hosted the national summer radio series, Fear Itself, in 2012 and is an online instructor at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program. She also works with California painter, Marie Cameron, in photographic and oil painting collaborations. Christy Ann lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, with her three children and her husband, Andy Brown, a publisher of graphic novels.