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"The Way" • Fastball (by Mileva Anastasiadou)

He was already an old man when we first met, or he may have looked old, for some people are born old and wise, and he built a boat but he never used it, he hung it from a tree in the yard instead, and it turned into a tree house for kids to play with, but he called it an arc, someday it would save him, or maybe it wouldn’t, but in it he would sail, and I gave him the tape with the Fastball song, and he said, that’s it, that’s how I’m gonna do it, and he smiled and I smiled too, but then the floods came and threatened to drown him and he didn’t leave, he said, don’t mind me, my boat will save me, he wanted the sky like they wanted the highway, and some say they saw him fly inside his flying boat, some say he floated, as if he grew wings and into the sky he dived, not in the waters, but the police found his body, like they found the old couple’s bodies too, and I search in what’s left of his house, and I find a plastic bag in a drawer the waters didn’t touch, and inside the bag there is a whole life, there are photos and love letters and dreams, and also the tape, and I play the song again, funny how a lifetime fits inside a plastic bag, inside a song, like we are made of plastic, we don’t dissolve, disasters can’t touch us, ‘O Captain! My Captain!’, like we know The Way, we aim for the sky and we’ll live forever.

Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, from Athens, Greece and the author of "We Fade With Time" by Alien Buddha Press. A Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction and Best Small Fictions nominated writer, her work can be found in many journals, such as the Chestnut Review, New World Writing, Club Plum Literary Journal, HAD, the Bureau Dispatch, and others.


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