KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Micro-Fiction: 451 words


by Arya F. Jenkins

By the time she jumped off the cruise ship, Alana had already lost her mind. It was just the body going down into the black womb of time. The sea would gobble it up. She would rest, her arms and legs writhing like fish while she kept still, anchored by some invisible hand to the bottom, her eyes wide open, her whiteness making her seem, well, like she belonged, a part of the sea, of something.

This is how she imagined it—easy, clean. Despite her fear of being eaten alive by some shark, she had read that bodies are not bothered at all by carnivorous creatures, for it is blood that attracts them, not the bloodless, so this had reassured her.

She had thought about these things, the 10-year-old girl she would leave in the hands of her efficient financier ex-husband. Mostly, she had thought of the bliss of void into which she would be depositing her endless obsession with body weight and appearance. It would be like she was discarding all the magazines, Cosmo, Vogue, all the endless pages of women’s trivia, The Bachelorette, the crying crap on which she had subsisted all these years.

It should have been like this, and would have been, but for the fact that upon jumping, she was spotted immediately by the ship’s co-captain, who was stealing a smoke.

It should have all ended then, but did not. She survived, a fluke, like one of those bridge jumpers. After what had felt like the entire ocean up her behind, she had risen, and been reeled in by arms into the cool, jagged night.

She had nothing to say or explain. It would have been impossible. For days she felt put upon by what she had failed to do, the ocean’s semen clearing out her breath and mind. She felt herself falling and turning, falling and turning, until the plug was pulled on her poor, obsidian spine. Then, impossibly, she returned, finding her ex-husband and their child, her eyes empty, dark, unbelieving, beside her. Had he told her too? Her husband was praying, his hands clasped, head lowered, her daughter gazing at her expectantly. Neither could see she had opened her eyes.

She attempted to reach over and caress her husband’s head, the lovely hair loose, like a young man’s still. But she could not. She gazed at her daughter—forgive me? in her eyes. But her daughter did not blink. Could she not see her? Sweetie, she heard her own voice. Her husband’s head raised and her daughter’s eyes widened.

“Alana,” he said, and she heard “Mommy,” but after that only the ocean roaring, humming, beckoning and retreating inside her.

Arya F. Jenkins
Issue 2, Winter 2015

Poet and writer whose work has appeared in Agave Magazine (which nominated her poem “Incorrigible” for a 2016 Pushcart Prize), Serving House Journal, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Dirty Chai, Gambling the Aisle, Two Cities Review, and Brilliant Corners (a journal of jazz and literature), among others.

Her poetry and essays have been included in three anthologies, and her Buddhist poetry chapbook, Jewel Fire, was published by AllBook Books. She was recently commissioned by Jerry Jazz Musician to write jazz fiction. Poetry is forthcoming in Blue Heron.

Ms. Jenkins blogs at:

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Attendance, micro-fiction in Crab Fat Literary Magazine (12 October 2014)

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