Lisa Lynn Biggar and Ana Goncalves

Ana Goncalves   Windermere Horse

Inspiration piece


by Lisa Lynn Biggar


I took a different path.  Normally, I jog down the path that leads to the public park outside the city, but this time I took the path that went deeper into the woods. I maneuver around branches; this path seems forgotten.  I come across a large tree that has fallen across the path, and I jump it like a hurdle. I’m running faster than I normally do, and I’m breathing hard, so that when I come upon the pink canopy with all the little people preparing their evening meal, the stop is hard—it nearly lurches me forward onto the canopy that is at my waist.

I  squat down and shield my eyes from the setting sun.  These people aren’t midgets, they are more like fairies, beings of light, rainbow colors of light, as if projected from a screen. But they’re three dimensional.  And they have no wings. No one seems to notice me, this monster  gawking at them.  They go about their business, laying down table cloths on miniature size banquet tables, bringing out tiny steaming plates of food. It is a feast. A celebration. I am enchanted and want to join them, but the size of my foot is the size of one of the tables. I rub my eyes, I pinch myself. Maybe I am sleep jogging?

And then “Welcome,” one of them says. He seems to be the mayor with a pink top hat. “We’ve been waiting for you.”

I looked around.  “Me?” I say, placing  my big hand over my heart.

“Who else?” the mayor says, and then takes off his hat and bows.

Now you think I’m on drugs, that I’m off my gourd. But I’m telling you the truth.

“This is your special day,” the mayor says.

My special day?  It’s not my birthday.  I turned thirty-five last month, my wife just had a baby.

A lady walks up beside him and curtsies. She’s wearing a crown of yellow flowers. “We’ve prepared all of your favorite dishes,” she says.  “Roast beef au jus, macaroni and cheese, potato stuffing. . .” She continues with the incredible menu, many of the dishes I hadn’t had since my childhood.  My mouth is watering. Everything smells so delicious.

I look at my hand and realize that I am shrinking in size.  I can now easily fit under the canopy.  I step inside and I’m immersed in this rainbow of light. I feel free, unencumbered. The joy of the celebration dancing within me. I sit down at one of the tables.  Wine is poured, dishes are passed around. The mayor makes a toast to me.

“To the one and only,” he says.

My name escapes me, but the food brings back memories.

My grandmother is making wild mushroom soup, I am helping her can, ladling it into jars, the thunder knocking the clock off the wall.  We go down on our hands and knees and pray. She’s counting on her rosary.  Our Father who Art in Heaven. . .

There is laughter around me, song.

My father’s dark coat, his cigar smell. . .

I am dancing at my wedding. A lavender bow in my wife’s dark hair. I am whispering how much I love her into her ear.  Her cheek is soft against mine. She smells of honeysuckle.

The food is now gone and we say our goodbyes. I thank them for having me. I step outside of the canopy and regain my size, bones aching from the expansion.

And now I am remembering that I was planning to leave her. That I was going to keep running into the night. That she and my boy would be on their own.

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