The Incident


The Incident

The evidence was stark and slim.

A photograph of akimbo’d limbs against a whitened sky.  A dark bird.

The detectives were at a loss, many losses, and uncertain of how to proceed.

They called in “the expert,” a wizened old crackpot retiree who still seemed to capture things no one else could.

He was sent for and trundled his bulk up the sidewalk later that day, grimacing and cursing his way to the station.

Huffing and grunting, he picked up the picture between leathered forefinger and cracked swollen thumb.  He squinted.

“All I can tell you boys, is that it sho’ ain’t no murder.  A murder involves always  more than the one.”

N Filbert 2012

be sure to join us at Friday Fictioneers – photo prompted flash fiction

Tying Knots

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“To tie knots, not decipher them”

-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko-


Thinking again of my father.  Which wends its way to thinking of my friends, my nearest family, my mother, sister, sibs-in-law.  Children.

Mainly I’ve been thinking of my father.  For decades now.

(Rewritten 41 times).


I keep trying to decipher.  In fact in yesterday’s version I described my desire lacking the keys to its secrets, and declared us all impossible to descry.

If that’s the word for it.

Forty-one years using letters for rope.  That is fraying.


I’ve said that I want to be known better than I can know myself.  By him.  By which I meant differently.

I’m sure that’s correct.

Otherwise not being possible.

And vice-versa.

Such knotted things.


Unfortunately I deciphered it, thereby fancying a code of simplifications and falsity.  Reading something like this: ta TAH ta TAH ta TAH / de dum de dum de dum dum dum.

Sounding better than the truth I never hear.


In other words, by desiring my desire (to comprehend it – synonym: “fit it into my small frame”) I laid it out in lines of script as on a butcher’s table.  And looked for patterns.

xxxx— I want to be known better (elsewise) than I know myself —xxxx

by:       +@+@+@ my spouse; -/-/- my siblings; o][o my friends; ~!~~!~ my children; ^*_= my parents…

and likewise inter-pret them

forever crafting spies sniping through tiny keyholes

one another.


The dimensions are not vast enough.

We don’t possess the organs (apparently).

I’m not sure any of this has much to do with knowledge (though I keep on using those terms).


It was about knotting ropes or threads, veins or limbs, ideas.  Tangling memories, blending emotions, and cross-narrations.


I tried actions (working-with, snuggling, fighting, conversation and more).  I tried history (genealogy, geology, agriculture, politics, religion and so on).

Think of these as ropes or twine.

Perhaps tied is a better word than tried here.

I tied performing, misbehaving, more languages and themes.  I tied sickness and health, better and worse for this knowing, this desire.  These persons.

to no avail

What was I expecting?




Deciphered companions.


What have I got?

Unclear, confused and knotty, my hands can’t pass through them.

I can’t wrap my brain around it/them/us, nor define.

At a loss as to explanation (a probable gain).

Father-cipher.  Mother-cipher.  Spouse-cipher.  Family and friend-ciphers.


Something substantial.