Scintilla Whiff’s Short Day


No one’s perspective on the school’s collapse could be consulted since no one could have been awake in the vicinity between midnight and five a. m. on a Thursday, no insomniacs in this town.

     Scintilla Whiff was the first to spot the collapse, the moment she opened the kitchen door to let Banshee the Pomeranian bounce into her fenced-in yard just after 5:30. Most of the available light was from the rear, the distinct silhouette conveyed one sense while offering little detail of the topography of the collapse. Across the street low sections of brick walls stood, but most of what was left was a pile of deep rubble atop the low brick supports. No smoke, no fire, just a collapsed roof atop shredded sheetrock and rebar and lots of bricks and mortar dust. Scintilla verified the sight before and after coffee.

     When she emerged from her back door two hours later to leave for work, Scintilla halted suddenly: her Chevy Impala remained where she’d parked it the night before but it had become disassembled on the spot. All the pieces and components appeared present and accounted for, they simply were all discrete and disconnected, the tires and rims, the roof, the hood and trunk covers, the windshields and their wipers, the windows, the doors, the seats, the steering column, the dash, the grille and the bumpers, headlights and taillamps with their bulbs and assemblies, all the mirrors, the complete transmission, and all the engine assembly with the chassis, and the gas tank. All the car’s fluids had coagulated into one malodorous puddle, still creeping as she stepped out along the gutter to the drain a third of the way down the block.

     Intuition told her to stay home this one Thursday, she obeyed without protest.


strannikov thought of changing his name to Snaimthorpe but prudently decided against it, even though the optional nominative features the dog letter, too. Immediately afterwards, he elected not to alter his name to Selphrenia, even though it, too, features the dog letter. strannikov continues to search Latin literature for the cat letter, surmising without evidence that it might be “f” (felix, feline, pffft!).

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