In the Sacher, after my second coffee, he who I had written stood up
from his sentence and walked off the page. Czech pants, secondhand
boots, a zoster-pocked face, I had only love for him but there was
nothing I could say. He was free to do as he wished. He started across
the table, but before he leapt down to the empty chair he turned back
and gripped one arm in the other, an obscene gesture. I closed the
notebook, gathered my papers and took a stroll through the Burggarten.
Later, sitting in the Ambassador with my only son, he who I had written
came walking in the Kartnerstrasse though I did not see him till he had
climbed atop the table and stood beside the champagne. Look, I said to
my son, and waved my hand to this little one standing before us with
his absurd Tyrolean hat. My son gazed into his eyes, taking the measure
of his tiny heart, then turned to me with a giving smile. I loved my
son's smile perhaps more than anything I have ever created, and so I
set the newspaper aside and opened my notebook. I described a little
Carinthian cottage with an open door, inside of which a woodcutter's
wife cooked pig's trotter soup. He who I had written walked onto the
page and slipped into the sentence, and I closed the door behind him.
M. T. Fallon's fiction appears or will appear in Beloit Fiction Journal,
elimae, Hobart, Opium, Lamination Colony and Unsaid.