The Fox, because of the cameras hiding in the bushes of the surrounding beach, chose to nap during the day. She herself had been hiding even from the resort staff, for fear of being revealed.
The sun and the ocean sparkled brightly in her window, but she found that she could not reach the cord to close the drapes. The chair proved too heavy to push, as did the ottoman, the marble table, the love seat. All that she could lift was a bronze cat sculpture, which she placed on the ground.
Standing on its back, she reached for the cord, but the statue toppled over, as did the Fox, who punctured her arm on the tip of the cat’s tail.
Her arm immediately went numb, and she had no choice but to call the hotel staff and seek medical attention. Pictures of her at the medical center and later in a sling resulted in a number of sour stories making the rounds, including rumors of drug use, a failed suicide attempt, a fight with the staff over the number of ice cubes in her water.
For the rest of her stay on the island, The Fox remained inside, gazing down upon the blue water and white beach, and reminding herself how much she hated her previous life in a dusty town, with nothing to gaze upon but a peeling advertisement for grape juice. She’d project her self onto that billboard, holding something sweeter, a cologne bottle or microphone, holding it out from that sign. And, on the ground, she’d reach for it, its form always beyond her own grasp.
Randall Brown teaches at Rosemont College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. He is the author of the award-winning collection Mad to Live (Flume Press, 2008), his essay on (very) short fiction appears in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field, and he appears in the Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction (W.W. Norton, 2010). He blogs regularly at FlashFiction.Net and is the founder and managing editor of Matter Press and its Journal of Compressed Creative Arts.
Photo: Ekaterina Belinskaya