All Evidence to the Contrary by Kelly Grotke

The mind creates reasons, maybe this was one. See if it sticks, see if it can survive the exacting standards of a child dredging the bottom of a pond with a branch. Interesting? Or is it pitched back where it came from and you watch it sink down again to the bottom with all the rest. Because you have to figure it out for yourself, don’t you, and she wouldn’t have listened anyways even if they’d told her back at the house that you will never, ever, not in a million billion years find a pharaoh’s mask hidden in the dark bed of a Midwestern pond. A year or so later it was Indians. They’d gone one day to a high crest above a river and she’d seen the carvings on the rock. She’d find them in the woods someday, she was certain. Because in all that living moving solitary space there must be someone like her, before her, really it was just a matter of time and so out into the world she went, after school and on weekends too when she wasn’t locked in her room reading and sometimes even with friends. Years later she’d married a man because he seemed to be from the world somehow but it turned out his wilderness was much deeper even than her own and she’d shown him all the paths and places and secrets but he told her there was no one there. No, it hadn’t worked out.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “All Evidence to the Contrary by Kelly Grotke

  1. This is wonderful in all aspects; the story, the concept, the voice and mood–just wonderfully written and told.

  2. guy

    Hooray, a Kelly piece!

    Those last two sentences really hurt. I find myself breaking with my technical detachment and identifying with her.

    • Kelly Grotke

      maybe flattery isn’t so bad for my ego after all, hehe. Thanks, Guy, I always look forward to your responses, and thanks for this one especially.

  3. stephen

    i really like this piece.

    i don’t think you need the last line, though. the sentence before says everything. and it’s a hell of a sentence….yikes…

    strange underwater pharaoh echo echo.

    • Kelly Grotke

      and we were posted right next to each other – hm….hehe. Thanks, Steve. I guess the thing builds up to the end, and I suppose I’m more aware of that now after your comments & Guy’s than when I was writing it. The last line – maybe it’s not the right line, could be better, too neat in some ways. But I wanted a temporal shift somehow, and without some line or other that doesn’t happen. Will think about it, and thanks again

  4. I love the depth from the first words and the probing questions, the voice and the haunting end. Lovely story, thanks.

  5. There is mystery in this piece and wanting..its got an edge that gnaws at me.

  6. So evocative and haunting…

    • Kelly Grotke

      the things that haunt are always hard to grasp, it seems, and maybe writing is only a way of trying – thanks for reading

  7. The mood of this… sigh. Lovely, lovely, poignant. I agree with Sir Hastings that the last line could safely be ditched; the preceding line, oh how I wish I had written. Peace…

  8. Al McDermid

    Perhaps ‘No, it hadn’t worked out.’ isn’t the best line, referring to the other comments, it does seem to be a very different voice. Do like the idea however, how her way of seeing the world is so different, so unique to her.

  9. Pingback: Week # 30 – Urban convert | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  10. kelly

    Thanks, Linda & Al – been thinking about that last line, and have given up my attachment to it, hehe. Think you’re all right, that it’s a better piece without it, and am grateful for the criticism

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