Hello, all. This is a story I wrote more than a year ago. Was it a year ago, really? It seems like it’s from so long ago. From someone I only vaguely recognize. Is it frightening, how we grow up without us noticing? [“This Fleet of Shadows” was published in Philippines Graphic on September 29, 2008, and it is a happy dappy blessing.]
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This Fleet of Shadows
It is quiet again. Ever since you realized what exactly silence was, you know that is what weights the house in the hours before noon. The arms of clocks move slowly, dust courses through the air without displacing anything. Always that silence, as the day grows from the gauzy rays of dawn to the stark heat of midday.
Your mom is somewhere within the house, straightening pillows and blankets, watering plants, steadying vases; she is most probably humming a song you will never recognize. Your father is at work. Down the road, the old people with their rolled tobacco and nganga are talking about the snow that fell on the town of Rosario for exactly seven and a half minutes, some eleven years ago, the day you were born. Outside, the sun is relentless. Today is the hottest day of May.