The Short Spark

**The following was originally published by Linguistic Erosion on June 8th, 2013.**


My mother and father met on New Year’s Eve at an office party. They were drunk and lonely, which is almost certainly a requirement for attending such a party. Mother was 27, and the receptionist of some CEO on the top floor. Father was a 29 year old accountant on the fifteenth floor. By all laws of the universe they should never have met. But fate was with me as I tried to enter the world.

My recipe: an empty office, a desk cleared in haste, and a lot of tequila. My mother found out soon after. My father knew shortly after that. He wasn’t happy. He never really was happy, though I think he just hated his job because, let’s face it, nobody wants to get with an accountant. They might catch boring.

There were fights after that. They were constantly yelling, though they avoided each other for the most part. But when they were together, it was a storm of persuasive tones turned to angry shouts. Father didn’t want me, and Mother didn’t know what she wanted. She couldn’t be a single mother on her receptionist salary. She didn’t know if she could even handle motherhood. Father won her over.

My curse is that I existed when I should not have. The punishment for my crime is watching the world from without, never entering it. I can see my ghost. My future echoes show me what I could be, but none of it will happen. I watch, a child born of the short spark of lust.


Emerging into this place

Ripped from all we know

Stripped of every comfort

We grasp for the Familiar

The dull, consistent beat

Now silenced, replaced

With cacophony

Warm darkness, once cozy

Now cold, piercing.


Mother we know

Mother provides

Mother is


In blood. In agony.


The universe dies

Everything falls away

Is destroyed

By deafening, blinding chaos

Something enters, invading

Breathed in, not given


Breathed out

We claim our voice



We are held

Close once more but

Different, swaddled

Not carried

Our small body contains

Kinetic energy, tightly bound

Enormous power

It may break free

Our world is gone

Our world is

Lain before us

Larger than before

A familiar voice speaks


A new voice, from


Thrust out

Shapes and color


Swimming, swirling

Music, a pillow

Sight. The light

No longer hurts.

Perhaps ending

Begins us