Surreal


Illustration by Julia Ogden (juliaogden.com)

Most of us, by the time we get to a certain point in life, have sat with a dying loved one, clasping their hand, trying to comprehend what’s happening in the surreal minutes, hours, days that tick or speed by. It’s like being in a time warp, sometimes hurtling too fast toward death, sometimes stalled, so that waiting for the inevitable becomes a kind of limbo. In THE WILD IMPOSSIBILITY, something even stranger happens to Kira at the moment her mother dies.

“The cool fingers tightened on hers and Kira squeezed back, hopeful for a fraction of a second. Her mother lay silent, her face the dull gray of concrete.
“ ‘I’m here, Mom. I love you.’
“All at once the room contracted, amplifying everything, as if Kira had lost the ability to filter sensations: her hamstrings taut against the plastic chair, the open weave of the blanket beneath her hand, the bleat of the monitor, the hissing sigh of the ventilator. Her lungs felt tight, too small. The air turned leaden and the room dipped and rose, earthquake sharp. Kira stiffened. The room, the air around her, settled into a slowstretched suspension, as if time had stopped.”
© 2018 by Cheryl A. Ossola