KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Micro-Fiction: 321 words

A Tiny Disturbance

by Katey Schultz

Here is Quincy, unable to sleep. She lies in bed beneath the quilt her mother made for her Sweet Sixteen. Behind closed eyelids, Quincy sees herself pushing for honor roll. She sees herself set for the winning shot. Sees herself nodding yes to her parents, yes to her schoolteachers, and yes to her pushy boyfriend with the wad in his pants. Yes to all of them but now, sleepless, no no no. She feels as though her mind has been lacquered, each snapshot an image in the collage of a tightly molded life. Tossing onto her side, she kicks the quilt off the edge of the bed.

“It’s hand-stitched, Quincy, right down to the ribbing,” her mother had said, nudging the petal-patterned fabric across the dining room table.

“I... I don’t know what to say,” Quincy said, and she didn’t. What could she possibly say under the bulk of such domesticity? A quilt. She’d probably love it someday. When she turned forty.

She rolls onto her other side now, exhaling impatiently. When it gets this bad, there’s a scene Quincy draws in her mind’s eye, conjuring fields without fences, blue sky for miles and miles. This is not the business of counting sheep. It is Quincy, all sixteen matured years of her, running across those fields, breathless, happy, light. More than anything, this helps her ease into dreams.

In the morning, Quincy makes her bed before school, hands smoothing wrinkles from the quilt. She works left to right, back and forth, aligning the corners over the box frame. And there, along the bottom edge of the fabric, a thread dangles freely; thin as a strand of hair. Quincy tugs it, surprised by how easily it gives. A few inches of stitching unravel around the rim of a rose, the pattern disrupted. It’s a tiny disturbance, but for now it is enough. For now, she thinks, yes yes yes.

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