Time Shift by Lesley C. Weston

They are driving on a suburban parkway. The vacation, so long awaited, still feels new. They have walked in a woods by a boulder-strewn stream. They have showered together and made love, prepared and eaten several meals. They have posed for grinning selfies. They have rested and read books with fingers entwined.

They have driven out for illicit ice cream.

The car speaker is finally working: Love, love me do. You know I love you.

She, the passenger, the stranger to this wide, clean highway, this fast-moving traffic, is filled with sugar-sleepy-contentment. She sees the large, off-white plastic bag suddenly flop onto the road ahead, its edge fluttering in the wake of a passing car. Dreamily, she recalls a dance of such bags in a film she once saw, she can’t remember its name but once, long ago, went to school with its star. And, she thinks perhaps she should rent it, and watch it again.

The driver makes a small sound of alarm. She brakes, signals, and switches lanes. Her maneuvers are controlled, sure-handed and calm. But the sound she made lingers, interrupting the beat of the song.

The passenger turns and stares out the window at the lane they just left. She sees the plastic bag become a doe, struggling, then failing, to rise.


Lesley C. Weston lives and writes on a sweet meadow, surrounded by surly trees. Her work has been published in Narrative, A Cappella Zoo, Caketrain, Smokelong Quarterly, Molotov Cocktail, Ars Medica, Opium Magazine, and Per Contra, among others.

Image: Cory Bouthilette