Small Spiral Notebook - Vol.3 Issue 2 - (Page 5)

Warning : session_start : The session id contains invalid characters, valid characters are only a-z, A-Z and 0-9 in /mnt/data/ on line 9 Warning : session_start : Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent output started at /mnt/data/ in /mnt/data/ on line 9 Warning : Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by output started at /mnt/data/ in /mnt/data/ on line 10 MIA ALVAR 5 ROUNDABOUT by MIA ALVAR Under a salt-white sky outside of Bahrain’s only airport, I scan the parking lot with my daughter Clara, waiting to be picked up. Sunlight flashes off the cars and makes us squint. Only the Arabic numbers, etched like knife strokes into license plates, hint at any foreignness; otherwise these are the same Nissans and Chevrolets you would find anywhere. I’d have hoped for something less familiar. Some memorably alien sight to greet me right away, like a camel. At least the weather’s different, I tell myself, suit and tie growing heavy on my skin. We come from a tropical country, and in this hard new desert heat I feel like earthenware left out to dry. From between the gleaming trunks and hoods I hear my name. “Vic!” A familiar voice. And then my old friend Ben appears, T-shirted and sandalshod, waving. We shake hands and clasp shoulders. How long has it been? Almost ten years now, we determine. He kneels to have a look at Clara. His graying hair has thinned a little. Bahraini time is five hours behind the Philippines’—does this fact make us younger now, I wonder? “I knew your mother,” Ben tells Clara, then seems to decide against saying more. He leads us to a maroon Toyota Cressida. WELL COME! reads a sun shade drawn across the windshield. The brand-new car belongs to me: “A company perk,” says Ben, though I, like any newcomer, don’t have a license to drive in this country. Instead it’s Ben who drives us from the lot and airfield. Clara unzips her knapsack behind us. The girl is six, but self-sufficient to a point that is unnerving. On the flight—the first of her life, so far—she somehow thought to save the food she didn’t eat: jam, a candy bar, a plastic tub of crackers and spreadable cheese. There’s a rustle of foil being torn open, and Ben glances in his rearview mirror. “Hang on, Clara,” he says, “it’s Ramadan and all the Arabs are fasting.” “Fasting,” she repeats. “Like forty days at Lent?” Warning : Unknown : The session id contains invalid characters, valid characters are only a-z, A-Z and 0-9 in Unknown on line 0 Warning : Unknown : Failed to write session data files . Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct /var/lib/php/session in Unknown on line 0

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Spiral Notebook - Vol.3 Issue 2

Table of Contents
Roundabout by Mia Alvar
Caretaking by Besty Aaron
Wonder Woman Grew Up in Nebraska by Sarah Gerkensmeyer
Nightshade - an Excerpt by Susan Y. Chi
Dumpster Tuesday by Scott Snyder
Last Resort by Nova Ren Suma
Five-and-Dime Valentine by Felicia Luna Lemus
The New Children by Kira Henehan
Get Away, Little Man by Brian Joseph Hurley

Small Spiral Notebook - Vol.3 Issue 2