Picnics with Sally

You know that scene in Snow White where the seven dwarfs set off to work? Swinging their axes, keen to create something magical.

Powerful moment. I was like that once. Helped build the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Fine example of suspension engineering.

I would set off with a jaunty tune and a peck from my sweetheart, Sally. She’d slip love notes into my lunch pail, and I’d sip on sunshine while I breathed in metal filings. Beautiful girl, my Sally. Always wondered why she said yes, but damn glad she did. Those twenty years were bliss in a basket.

Earlier this year I coughed up blood. Felt the slick ooze bubbling. Felt it retch from my throat like sugared syrup. Too bad it didn’t taste that sweet.

My doctor checked my x-rays. Muttered something about a tumour.

“Excuse me?”

His eye twitched. “Sorry, old chap, looks like those construction days are back to bite you.”

Sitting here in my hospital gown, I stare at the bridge. Not the bridge, but a bridge. Cough. It’ll collapse; I can read the signs from here. Cough. Cough. Like me, it’s worked its magic, put itself out there, destined to be swept away.

Sally, I could sure go for your sunshine right about now.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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