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Sunday, November 16, 2014

"The Vitruvian Farmer" by Marcelina Vizcarra

Appeared in Flash Fiction Online. Story found here.

Here's an author to keep your eyes on: Marcelina Vizcarra. She has a lovely style without being overwrought, a temptation a number of stylists fall prey to.
"A week before Christmas, my father left the milk jar for me to skim off the fog-colored fat. I found his boot prints in the ice kicked out of the goats’ water pan."
Understandably, the narrator's mother responds with venom to the supposedly time-travelling father:
"My mother accused him of staging a time-travel triumph to make us admire him while we grieved his absence, instead of doing what we should be doing–growing bitter."
The daughter, on the other hand, is fascinated by the objects that disappear, cataloging them, leaving questions behind to which the father leaves inscrutable replies.

Spoiler: The ending is equally nigh-inscrutable. A man almost matching her father's description appears. She steals the machine and disappears herself. What's inscrutable is her purpose: To find her father? This seems possible but less likely. Wouldn't she have questioned the man first? It seems the time-traveling for time-traveling's sake is her aim. But the ending is unclear. It would have been to have received more clues, more ideas about the relationship between daughter and mother, daughter and father, but perhaps that's the point: The concept itself has hijacked human relationships, but this does not show a negative fall-out (perhaps because we are in the daughter's POV, but the author could have offered glimmers that this was a negative act if she desired).

The title comes from the Roman architect, Vitruvius, who believed that architecture came from nature, specifically as drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. This indicates, perhaps the father's "perfect" search for time has sown seeds in his daughter.

Definitely check this one out.

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