Concise Prose. Enough Said.
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Summer Lies

By Wayne Willison


I kicked off the sheet, wondered what waited. You know perfectly well what waits, your job. Oh that, yeah, but what else? There’s always something.

I stretched, rolled out of bed and opened the screen door, stepped through and stretched again. A trail of moonlight slicked across the lake, smooth like the loon’s call that now glassed over it.

I smiled. I smelled the air. Morning dew said it wouldn’t get hotter, but it lied and I accepted it. Enjoy while it’s here because it’ll come tomorrow with the same lie as today and you’ll agree the same as just now and then make coffee and sit and drink in more lies, the ones that enable you to drown in sweat for the rest of the day and the day after and during all the weeks and months that it’s summer.

Suits me. Ain’t no better place I’d rather be.

My move from Canada where it was either cold or getting cold seemed a good trade for the promise of year long summer. Eat the heat, but sip the mornings is what I thought, and had long since acclimatized.

Soon day would come, but as I treasured the cooler dark a neighbor’s plant wafted by. Confederate Jasmine, she’d said one day on the lake when I asked because it was safer to ask about the plant than her boobs that made demands on the string top.

A light came on along the water, and another, and soon, another. The pretend breeze would die with the lie, and sounds of doors slamming and cars and kids would rattle the glass to tell me to get going as well.

I lay back on the lounge knowing the palm trees would be there tonight and wondered at the far away place I’d come to and had only imagined on cold, bitter days that said it wouldn’t be real and I’d never find it.


Wayne Willison works as a nature photographer in the Everglades. His newly completed novel, Carice, is about a bored wife and mother who trades her backwoods home in Nova Scotia for a sizzling lifestyle in Miami. Works in progress include a second novel, To The Last Penney.

Photo "Moonlit River" courtesy of Alexei Novikov, Växjö, Sweden.

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