The Flat and Weightless Tang-Filled Future
About the Book
Paperback: 150 pages
Smashwords (multiple formats)
A short-story collection featuring tales of obsessive teachers and distraught parents, technology run amok and technology to the rescue, and clashes between conservatives and liberals. Race, sex, religion are fair game.
“In this excellent collection of stories, Lyn Fairchild Hawks tackles touchy, sensitive, and divisive issues with unflinching honesty––racism, sex, class, religion. Her startlingly razor-sharp prose takes us into the lives of her unforgettable characters with clarity and specificity, enabling us to experience the sometimes unpleasant, sometimes painful truth as they see it.”
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BY THE WATER
The man kept a grip on the hands of his youngest one and his middle one, and told the oldest to stay close as the four stumbled down the hot, soft sand to the water. How he hated grit rasping between his toes, the E. coli waiting in the waves, and the violent shrieks of gulls and beachgoers. But it was a rare weekend with the boys and he was not to be outdone by Marjorie and her elaborate, overscheduled hoopla as custodial parent.
In the shallows, the water swirled gray green, full of sediment and pocked with soapy foam. Farther out, pelicans floated like fat black cats on the waves, the sight of them making the youngest point and squeal. The man told his sons to wait and let water lap around their ankles because their body temperatures needed to acclimate. It was the warmest water he had ever felt––in the seventies––but he had to buy some time while his mind scrambled and heart raced. Supervising a four-, eight-, and twelve-year-old simultaneously on miles of beach: an impossible proposition.
He looked north and south, yet saw no one else saddled with three children, and boys at that. To his right, there was a little girl supervised by her obese mother, who was in turn aided by her obese mother. Between them, enough buoyancy to support the entire crew of an oil rig. To his left, a white-trash guy complete with a box goatee and Jesus-wrestling-a-devil tattoo, looming over his only charge, a chubby toddler, while his wife snapped pictures of Baby’s First Swim with a camera too expensive to be anything but stolen. A two-to-one ratio, everywhere. The unbalanced proportions of his group squeezed him into a dangerous predicament where jagged shells, slimy seaweed, and unknown creatures of the Jaws-filled deep surged close, while the example of thrill-seeking fools egged his sons farther out. When he was 18, he had never dreamed of life formulas rendering outputs like this. Yet here he was––caged.