Mother Notion

A low flat road of a bridge leashed the island to the core of the city like a loyal mastiff. Its subtle undulations at each pier testified to both its age and its commodity; two newer bridges in [name of city] had already been rebuilt. But Mother Notion knew the bridge wasn’t a leash and [name of island] wasn’t a hound—at least not a loyal one.

“Boy!” Mother Notion called out the summons like a person being attended upon despite having traveled to [name of city] from [somewhere] alone. As it happened there were boys around and I’ll make that seem more obvious in some later revision of this text.

The clump of boys behind the woman singled out one of their number and cajoled and coerced him toward her. She smiled encouragement his way and he immediately stopped resisting the others to come stand in front of her. “Yes, Sister?”

Mother Notion drew the boy’s attention to the four raised scars encircling her left forearm. “Sorry. Mother. Yes, Mother?” The clump snickered.

She squatted to join the boy at his height; her bead-heavy hair hung to her thighs as she leaned forward. “I am Mother Notion. What is your name, son?”

The boy looked to the clump for help but got none. “They call me ‘Rabbit’, but my real name is ‘Brian’.” He looked down.

“What would you like me to call you?” Mother Notion smoothed her hands to the tops of her thighs to her knees brushing the strands of beads aside. The boy’s eyes reversed the movement of her hands tracing backward into the shadowed crevice and then up to the crevice of her chest. With a bent finger, she tilted his chin up so his eyes could join hers again. “What would you like me to call you?”


“‘Rabbit’ it is then, but there may be times when it won’t be appropriate for me to call you that. I may sometimes need to call you ‘Brian’. Will you be able to answer quick to that if I do?” Rabbit nodded.

“Rabbit, I am not from [name of city]. I am from [somewhere]. Do you know where [somewhere] is?” He pointed and looked north. “Nearly so.” Mother Notion corrected the angle of his arm carefully to the east without looking away from his face. When his pupils dilated she stopped. “There.”

Some stuff I can’t squeeze in before I run out of time this morning.

Mother Notion produced a silver shim from behind Rabbit’s left ear. “How long would you carry my bag this?”

“All day, Mother!” She squashed a laugh into a tight smile at Rabbit’s enthusiasm then serioused up her face.

“How far down that bridge.”

Rabbit erased his smile and swallowed. “Maybe halfway.”

“Then I’d better give you two.” She fanned the single shim into a pair of coins. Rabbit didn’t smile, but he did nod.

483 words on day 833