Fiction: The Rim by Bram Riddlebarger

 

Bram Riddlebarger

 

Rim 1

They lived on the Rim. There were two of them. There was green all around.

 

Rim 2

 

In the Rim, the world was round and steep on the other side. It was dark there, and not one of them had been to the edge.

 

Rim 3

 

They sometimes believed that there was a force interred within the Rim. Perhaps a volcano. But it was their bellies that rumbled, not the inside of the Rim. They did not know what lay outside, or inside, of themselves.

 

Rim 4

 

The season of fat; the season of lean. The sounds echoed around them. Them, and around the Rim. Far the valleys that did not hear their cry, traveling, like waves through the sea.

 

Rim 5

 

It would not rain. The ground had opened. It waited to swallow them, and, with them, in the Rim, their hope.

 

Rim 6

 

Salt became a pike for them, in the Rim. They hung their chains from it. The chains hung on the pike and rusted. Their lives in the Rim were saline, and thirst was always with them.

 

Rim 7

What they said were lies. You could not trust them.

 

 

Rim 8

 

They stood on the edge of the Rim, and the world, then, was all around them. The sea spread as far as they could see. The sand, like rain, washed over them. They stood and looked to the sea.

 

Rim 9

 

Shadows would float above them. The shadows rippled, like smoke in a blue ocean. But smoke was unknown in the Rim; and they were afraid.

 

Rim 10

 

It is the end, or the beginning? Before them: the peaks of the Rim, peaks covered with vegetation, and all around. If they would go, they would need to part the pearled sea.

 

Rim 11

 

I like extravagance, especially when dining alone.
I like extravagance, too, when dining alone.
They looked to the Rim. In the Rim, shadows would float above them.

 

Rim 12

 

In the Rim, there were two of them. The waters were miles above. But to them, in the Rim, everything was shallow.

 

Rim 13

 

The sand at their feet moved, as they applied calisthenics toward their defense. The shadows moved, like smoke in the Rim, above them.

 

Rim 14

 

The plants that grew within the Rim stretched like vines that bound them to their place. The plants reached like parishioners for a heaven that they would not find.

 

Rim 15

 

The shadows moved above. The shadows were light years of travel traversed like smoke. The fronds swayed in the waves, and they would huddle, close to them, deep, within the Rim.

 

Rim 16

 

Movement, like an alien. The shadows crept in, into the Rim.

 

Rim 17

 

And one day, in the Rim, there was one of them.

***

 

 

Bram Riddlebarger is the author of Earplugs (Livingston Press) and Golden Rod (Cabal Books). He lives in Athens, Ohio.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004511136795

Twitter: @B_Riddlebarger

 

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