by Sara Saab
My ma's ma swears up and down roads once criss- crossed Earth, her finger points at my collection of toys, 'like stitching in your wee football,' She is phlegmy and I have nothing to say, too annoyed that she traces my toys with her gross, slow, bendy finger when I am allowed to touch them only at World Day and my conception day and sometimes if I have been good enough sometimes to make mother and father agree. ** Okay sure they once criss-crossed Earth but now any dummy knows there is only one where only rich people can feel what it was like to drive on it; They kinda fake it. The rich people slide into a tuk-tuk on their really muscled bottoms — from the vibroglutes they sleep in (, Joshwa's joke. My face so red I think father sees the dirt-talk on my cheeks like magic writing,)— and when the rich people are cozied all up on the tuk- tuk bench, there are drawings on either side to look like what a real Car was. And the tuk-tuk girls pedal and off they go slowly down the middle of it, the rich people get drove down the only Road still on Earth. ** I see it happen on a holiday. It is a sweaty hot World Day so we go to visit the Road. It is a long grey tongue out of the sand with yellow paint lines and some white lines There are people milling about it and mumbling. There are big signs with symbols on a big metal pipe. One is bent over like a broken wing, which doesn't really matter I can't get the writing anyway — Father looks sad I think because he told me they took all the other tars and gravels and melted them in vats to make fuel so now there is only this last Road, They burned all the roads criss-crossing Earth. ** I like it a lot but I think it's not much use for games until I look close at it while sitting on my football, then, balancing, I like it more Because it looks like dragon skin and feels hot, fiery, like dragon skin I really like the road when I decide that it is the last dragon because why should a person use a road when it is obvious where to go? You go where the grass is already trodden down, where there are no rivers blocking you or or to your friend's house for a treat or Or sometimes you can follow other people, But especially you go where there are no gendarmes. Everyone knows. ** So for fun this World Day I make up stories with the dragon road like a hero. A sleeping hero, Like the Road is one of the toys and I don't need a tuk-tuk ride anyway — sometimes my ma nods yes, that I can touch the toys today but I hover in their air and breathe them, rapt and splotchy with guilt. I am scared to wipe them out like gone roads. My father and ma say it is fine but it feels funny I can't.
Sara Saab came wailing into the world at a Beirut hospital in the winter of 1984. The prime witnesses each recall a single stand-out feature of the event: her mother, the musk of hard liquor on the skin of the attending obstetrician, and her father, the worrying Klingon dent scoring the tiny nose of the ruddy and slick infant. This crease soon disappeared, but little Sara didn't. Nowadays she dabbles in software in London and — embarrassingly — aches too much in the heart when confronted by rock anthems and perfect sentences. Sara has had writing appear in Stone Telling, Apex, Fantasy Magazine, and Electric Velocipede.
Figs are her favourite fruits.
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