Those Dutch Girls by Alex Lockwood

Worms. No, beetles. What am I talking about—spiders! When you helped Simon dismantle his garden shed, those great black horrors holding to the rotten wood. Or those white striped disc-like jumpers, flat as communion wafers, and fast, my god, in that guesthouse in Zambia. Worse than the attempted break in, I remember you said, worse than the stories from the other charity workers about the rapes and HIV. Kept you from sleeping, those spindly fuckers. Or that time the foot-long stick insect got up inside the back of your t-shirt, and you just thought it was an itch?

Ok, now I’m thinking. Wait. Of course. It’s not bugs, but the water. Sharks. Jellyfish, purple gelatinous globes hanging in the sliver of warmth where the sun just reaches down. But you navigate your way around those. Those, you can see. It’s sharks, isn’t it. From out of the black. The invisible deeps, sure, but even the shallows, you’ve seen the nature documentaries. Four feet is all a shark needs. Remember that time in the sea off Bundaberg, wading out? How about those Dutch girls from the zucchini-picking—now, they were liberal—their nipples cold and hard and all you could focus on was the water past the boats, looking for a fin. Even though other times you’d take your boogie board out at sunset and felt no fear. Its coming and going, catching like a breath. Is that what you dread?


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Filed under Alex Lockwood

8 responses to “Those Dutch Girls by Alex Lockwood

  1. Love the tension and drama in this story, the way the narrator is so wrapped up in nature and his fear of nature, really wonderful work

  2. The details prick like needles–wonderfully well conceived and written!

  3. The stick bug in the shirt made me wince!

    Nice way to creep me out. hehe :) Nicely written.

  4. Darryl P.

    I also thought this was right there–in the moment, in the mention. Your words created and sustained. The ending was a little abrupt, but only perhaps because I was wanting more.

  5. Hey, thanks so much for the feedback. Appreciate it.

    Writing it brought back all those skin-creeping memories…

  6. Gorgeous prose, all in the description. Yeah, I wanted more, too. Damn we’ve only 250 words. Peace…

  7. Pingback: Week #25 – least favorite « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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