Short fiction by Diane Williams
“I am going to the doctor. I can’t pay you!” the woman told the taxi driver, “You’ll have to take me back home. I forgot my purse!”
“Now how do you think I got here?” she asked the nurse, whose reply was, “You floated.”
Then there was her fleet exit before she took her turn.
The nurse quizzed other patients, “Did she have on a black coat?”
Someone said, “I thought it was red. She’s still out there.”
“Where was she?” said the nurse. “She must have been close to the building. I couldn’t see her.”
“Because of the umbrellas. Why doesn’t she wait inside? Do you know her well?” a patient said.
“For fifteen years!”
“I can’t go after her,” said a man who was holding on to the cross piece of his crutch. There was nothing on his head for head protection.
On the avenue the woman’s face is shot with rainwater. And she is named Eranthe Littleton, just so you know, and is diminutive.
Her shoulders are narrow, her arms are short and her hands undersize. Her natural hair color tends to brighten her. It is terra rosa or is that burnt sienna?
Her active mind speeds along because she is a sylph who loves the world and she rises in her life through her own merits.
And when the nurse finds her, I can easily foresee that Eranthe will offer to take her by the hand.
The Collected Stories of Diane Williams is due out in the USA from Soho Press in October. She is the author of eight previous books of fiction. She is also the editor of the literary annual NOON.