Her father recommends she incorporate more air into her diet. If it tastes like sand, feel free to consume. Even the fat around her ankles is slowly leavening. Just put yourself into motion, he urges, before your eggs wither and are no good to you or any man who might have you. So she shuffles to the beach where all the pretty people lay caramelizing in the sun. She feels the breeze stir the hem of her ill-advised sundress. The affordable, easy-clean cotton blend of it tickling the back of her knees. She bends and grasps, raising it up over her head like the velvet curtain at the theater—leisurely to build anticipation. She leaves it puddled behind her, where the wind can fold it under the coarse, brown grit that feels so right sifting between her toes. The sun glares down disapproving at the blinding cream of her skin. She steps toward the water and begins to gyrate her hips to a beat only she can hear. Her hands caress the air, her feet don’t know the steps, but still they dance. She feels the pretty people glaze over in their discomfort as she grows larger and brighter. They can’t look directly at her. She dances harder, combining effort with laughter and savors her moment. She suddenly knows what it is to be a flower in the desert. No one to see her beauty but the lizards that slither by looking for their next meal.
Flash Fiction by Diane D Gillette
Published in Spring 2017