The Counter Has Begun To Move

by Peter Fagan

The counter has begun to move.

Like a conveyer belt. Objects reach the edge and fall onto the floor. I lift my laptop but can't save my glass. It falls first, spills water and shatters on the floor. Then my art books land in the water, my pencils, the bowl for rinsing the spinach.

Luckily I save the vase.

Then objects I do not expect slide down from the ceiling as if from a chute. My mother's urn, purple and black and defiantly cheerful for an urn, begins to move down the counter too.

This is when my father returns.

I thought he was in Florida, but he is worried.

He is afraid that he will have to unpeel my body from the bathroom tiles. No, I am fine. It's just that the counter is moving like a conveyor belt.

He's quite shocked to see it.

Looks at me accusingly. I pass him the urn. At least I kept something safe. He puts the urn on the chest in order to catch the crystal goblet that is about to fall onto the floor, though I caution him, who knows what the chest will start to do?

Unfortunately, I'm too late.

The chest has grown legs and shakes itself like a dog, spilling the urn and the ashes on the carpet and trotting off into the living room.

We're not sure what's going to happen next.

I'm holding my laptop but am alarmed. The screen has grown into a bird beak. It caws. As I try to type, the keys peck at my fingers.


Peter Fagan is a writer who lives in Cambridge, MA. His story "Thin City" appeared in Issue #10 of The Cafe Irreal.