Saturday, April 23, 2011

Featured Selection for 4/23/11

To Die at Coachella (flash prose) by Kimberly Cawthon

Near Death, I felt the crowd push, pull and stick to me like a suffocating winter coat. The noise, the screams.

"Duran Duran. Really?" some idiot shouted

"The Strokes. Really?" another retorted.

I looked at Tim as the fear fell over his face, a look of dread, of powerlessness. The was no more air. A lady is groped next to me.

"Asshole!" her boyfriend shouts.

She looks to me to stop the hand fondling her chest. I look up the patch of open sky and try to breathe. No one will help me. I'm too far from the barrier to be rescued. They'll find me here--crushed, breathless, small and huddled.

I find a man's shoulders. I grab them and hold on like a train caboose. We worm our way through sweat, perfume, sun screen and cigarette smoke. Tight like an intestine, a fisherman's knot, pressed bodies joined like the balls of an abacus.

I bust out, gasping, eyes dripping tears.

What fools we are, what fools crush each other to huddle around sound. I could have died.

It's not like they would have wrote a song in my honor, planted a tree in my name. They would be no policies, barriers, safety enforcements. I would have been a squeezed tube of tooth paste, a tragic fan story and the show would go on, the bass would thump and bump and bounce against my face like a wall of fuzz.

I shouldn't have panicked. I should've stared them down, those fools with their hazy eyes. I should of said 'fuck' and 'move.' I should have screamed.