KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Micro-Fiction: 437 words

Yarn Galleon

by Tara Campbell

“But where will you keep all your yarn?” asked Milo.

Vanessa blinked. “Excuse me?”

They sat at an angle, he on the couch, she in the recliner he normally occupied. She’d needed to change her position to tell him about everything else that was about to change.

He frowned into the worn Persian carpet. “That’s, what, forty years’ worth of yarn? Where’s it all going to go?”

Vanessa didn’t have an answer, either to the storage question, or as to why this would be the first thing Milo thought of when she announced her intention to leave their forty-year marriage.

“Do you even knit anymore?” he asked.

She took in a breath, but only shook her head. No, she did not knit anymore. There were a lot of things she didn’t do anymore. Couldn’t do anymore.

He shifted again on the couch, knees higher than hips, leaning forward against the pull of the cushions. She felt guilty now, watching him struggle to keep from sinking.

He buried a hand in his silver-brown beard, which he hadn’t trimmed for months. “Well, I can’t take it on the space galleon.”


“I’m sorry, honey. Regulations.”

“Yes. Regulations.” She knew all about regulations. About consent vs. coercion, and how to get him to stay in-patient. About separation and insurance, and how to cover him in case of divorce.

His face brightened. “Baby, come with me. We’ll build you your own ship—use the yarn for rigging—and we’ll sail side by side.”

She laughed, too close to a sob. “Like those people in the tubs, in that commercial?”

“Exactly!” He balled his hands on his knees. “We’ll build it before I take off in the morning.”

She rose from the recliner. “That’s sweet of you, but I know you don’t really want me there.” She walked to the couch and sat in his lap. “Do you?”

His whiskers shifted as his lips tugged to one side.

“See, I knew it. You’ve always wanted to go off on your own.”

He burrowed his face against her neck and shoulder, the way he always avoided admitting to something. His beard pricked her chest.

She rocked him gently and breathed in his shampoo. Something with sandalwood and spice. He’s still bathing, the doctor had said. That’s a good sign.

“Don’t worry about me, or the yarn or anything, darling. Just go complete your mission.”

He hummed one of his space shanties as she stroked his hair. She thought about the journey ahead, and wondered whether it would be sadness or hope that would tear open her hull and sink her.


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