The Fortress

They were happy in Lübeck.  They crossed out every fifth day and repeated the others twice.  Instead of an onion he’d peel an orange and she’d sit and listen.  Instead of a fish she’d hold up an eel or boletus and they’d end by making love.

She’d gather and wash the stones then he’d etch the Tor or lions into the stones’ flat faces and place them in the window for sale.  The stones piled up, eyes shined and hands fumbled, but the door never opened.

Orange, eel, boletus.  Stones piling up. Within a year—by whose measure—even sunlight failed to find an entrance.  Mortar was the last step before they disappeared.

About the author

R L Swihart was born in Michigan but now resides in Long Beach CA. (He just completed a “road trip” — from Long Beach…

Read the full bio

Issue 03 · February 2009

Table of contents