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Immigrant Song

Sometimes when it’s not too cold and it’s also winter I like to climb the stairs of my apartment complex and visit the Borgeleone Family attic.

I get up to the attic by having my feet whisper to me and by keeping my hands covered with splinters.

The room is filled with cobwebs like a small wine valley. The walls are made of wood that tells stories in the knots, like The One About the Haunted Castle and the Bats or The One About the Old Crone and the Little Dog .

The room is empty: even the dust on the floor doesn’t seem to be there. I’m pretty sure I see the spider webs evaporate into smoke.

The Borgeleone Family used to live here. They were immigrants from somewhere not here.

The Borgeleone Family was an ugly family. They had flat brown faces and one long eyebrow that stretched from son to father. The son looked like the mother who looked like the old man who also looked like the daughter who looked like dirty laundry.

They were a quiet Borgeleone Family. No Borgeleone Family member ever seemed to leave the attic except the little Borgeleone Family boy, who would go play on the sidewalk with the Borgeleone Family shadow.

I can still smell the old woman’s dirty laundry on the stove. It smells like fish and work and the Borgeleone Family.

The Borgeleone Family didn’t speak any English. I’m not sure about anything they did.

Sometimes when I visit the attic and it’s not raining I pull the shutters open so I can look at the night sky over the beach.

Usually there’s too much light pollution to see anything but a star which might be a satellite over the sky.

I’ve looked at that star a lot seeing if it still moves and I’ve called it the immigration star after the constellation you, my lost neighbors.

Flash Fiction by Patrick May
Picture: Goldstaub by Marcus Pink under CC BY 2.0
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Published in Spring 2017

One Comment

  1. I quite like these ghosts who may or may not be here among the dust.

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