BY P. FERN PHILLIPS
Copyright is held by the author.
I’M JUST a small fish embedded in stucco on the sun washed side of a typical building in Creston, British Columbia. The art deco buildings lasted longer than expected in this mild climate, but there is some crumbling apparent.
I notice that many of my friends and neighbours are leaving. One by one they fall from the walls in chunks. Soon the building itself will be torn down. It seems most Art Deco buildings were built in the 1920s when Creston was financially supported by a prison which required guards and cleaners. The prison closed and there is no one to do the maintenance that art deco requires, all the special flourishes and flanges are now broken or tarnished.
My days are numbered but a photographer comes out to document the art deco buildings. I, Small Fish, dance and gleam in the summer heat. I hear him as he smacks his lips at me.
He puts Creston on the map. People suddenly want to save me, the little fish. My scales itch as someone is painting my back.
Fern lives in a detached house in Western Canada with a “trouble and mayhem” young Australian Shepherd. When she is not shepherding the dog, she writes flash fiction, short stories, novellas and is working on a memoir of her unique upbringing in an isolated wilderness. She belonged to the Internet Writer’s Group for five years and she ran a local writer’s group. She successfully did NaNoWriMo (Write a Novel in the Month of November) three times. Fern has self published an e-book technical textbook with Smashwords. She has two image-journalist books, the first is now available at Blurb Books Canada. She published two recent memoir pieces in the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (October 2022, January 2023). Bewildering Stories has accepted a short story for publication in the fall of 2024. You can visit her at www.pfern.org