Three Fictions
Elizabeth Ellen

My Daughter and I

Mostly we kept to ourselves. There was a candle on the table. We kept tipping it over for something to do. Wax on our hands. The man came over and pulled up a chair. Later he told me he would have been sad if we'd left him behind. "Aw," I said, taking his hand. It was soft from the wax, like mine. My daughter had gone to bed an hour earlier. Her hands were soft, too.


The woman's friend was asking questions. The man was seated on the other side of the bar. There was a bathroom down the hall with six stalls. She had counted once when she was hiding from another man. She thought she could sit in one of them for an hour without being found out, maybe longer. The man answered four of the questions politely. After he answered the sixth question, the woman's friend got up and walked down the hall and the woman wished she had acted sooner.

Sometimes I Feel Too Much

Let me bathe you, he said. He was fully clothed. My clothes had come off long ago. No longer easy to locate. I didn't want to make a big deal about it now but later I would have to look for them.
Naked, I felt everything more. I was tired from it. I didn't want it to continue after the man was gone. It would be an unfair outcome.
In the water I had a hard time staying afloat. My pores were enlarged, saturated. I was afraid of drowning. When I cried, he lifted me out. The fibers of his shirt bruised my skin, but I clung to them anyway. On the way back to the bed I saw my clothes. They had fallen under a table. I didn't say anything. I wasn't ready to put them back on.