The Palace of Nansi

by Dean Lawson

It’s advertised as a romance. The poster shows a Sudanese woman with a child at her side collecting gum from Acacia trees. An usher shuts the lobby doors. Lights dim. Curtains divide. You see grains of sand begin to swirl and assemble. Soon the entire theatre is in the midst of this maelstrom. Hysterical laughter sweeps through the auditorium. Sand! In your hair, your eyes, your mouth, your nose. You squint and cover up with both hands — someone panics and shouts, Stop! Fade in: Shot of a truck’s wheel, black and dusty with no cap; earth, dead and dry, caked on. Then the image of a soldier, climbing atop an ivory flatbed truck. A small girl in braids, with cheeks like pillows, holds the leg of her mother. The mother says there is a key for everything. She stands behind, cupping the child’s eyes as the truck pulls away. Then says, God says so.

Dean Lawson is living in Japan. He has stories and poetry published or forthcoming in the anthology In the Silence of Your Room, and the journals Clockwise Cat and Long Story Short, to name a few. Another hobby of his is the recording of music. Two songs from his album Ballet of Media were used in the film Day of the Carp, a New York International Independent Short Film Festival winner. He is an editor at Grey Sparrow Journal.

Back to Issue Three: Spring 2009