Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Suzanne Aubin
I make my way through the crowds, grateful not to have anyone in tow. A hundred thousand people fill a single city square for this concert and I cannot find a spot from which I might see the stage. The crowd moves me against my will, I cannot stand still. Lines of people holding hands slice through the mob, creating paths that close quickly behind them. Loathe to leave the proximity of a subway entrance, I focus on landmarks. Once on the street, there is no retreating. Aiming for the Jazz Festival banner on the corner, I dive in to find a spot where I can see the musicians. Three steps and I am buoyed by sweaty shoulders half way down the block. On the edge of the flow, people stand, sit or squat, many of them obscured in fumes of gitanes and cigars; my stomach churns. Frantic now, I hurry towards the subway access but I am slowed down by baby carriages and oblivious lovers. Policemen have closed the subway doors and reroute me, two blocks away. I pick up the pace, shoving people aside with my elbows, looking for a break in the surveillance. On the corner, an unguarded yellow rope; I swiftly duck under it and weave into the entrance of a hotel. There, finally, I swallow a bowlful of air. Had there been someone with me I could neither have explained my impulses nor acted so swiftly. Had I not been alone, I would still be gasping for air in the middle of that roiling sea of bodies.
E-Mail Suzanne Aubin
Native of Québec City, Suzanne Aubin now lives in British Columbia where she is a language teacher and a translator. Her latest publications include BluePrint Review, Flash Flooding, Salomé Magazine and Flash Flood Fiction. She received an Honourable Mention in this year’s Mirrors and Masks Mindprints contest.
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