2005 International Shortlist
Late at night in Oklahoma, a very small, an extremely small man ran across the road in front of my friend’s car. He does not doubt that this is real, though the rest of us do, and it doesn’t bother him. He continues to paint portraits of astonishing trees each day and take long drives through the country at night. Nothing else can be learned about this mysterious incident.
On Scott Road, in Pittsburgh, which is a steep and winding city, full of good-natured people, just at the point where the road bottoms out beside a gnarled and ancient cemetery, a very small, an extremely small man ran across the road in front of my brother-in-law’s car and scrambled into the tombstones. For the purposes of this story, I will refer to my brother-in-law as Matthew. Matthew had a friend in the car with him, and both of them saw this creature pass in front of them through the headlights. Matthew is the type to downplay this kind of thing, whether he dwells on it inwardly or not. Later, another friend of his who lives on Scott Road told Matthew he heard something outside one night and when he peered through the french doors he saw the same extremely small man leaping over the sandbox. How did he know it was the same one? I asked Matthew, and he shrugged and continued to strum an imaginary guitar, and Matthew’s unconcern is the biggest mystery of them all.
From A Green Light, by Matthew Rohrer
Copyright © 2004 by Verse Press