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Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Story by Kaye Linden

A Story by Kaye Linden
He walks alone in the Bronx where women glance and men look down. He pushes a supermarket cart with a squeaky wheel till he reaches his dwelling place where he unloads lentils, rice and onions, carries them up three flights, stopping only to adjust his hold on the bags. The unwinding of the white cloth around long gray hair takes a few minutes as he stares out a grime-streaked window onto the chaos of cars.

Chai tastes best when Assam leaves with cloves and cinnamon sit for five minutes in boiled water. "Ahh, yes," he sighs and drinks tea alone.

Moments of respite in one long respite from torrential Bombay rains and children with one arm begging.

But he would offer his one bedroom flat to the homeless woman who sleeps alone on the bus station bench, offer his full stomach to her lost child, trade his old television for the bitter taste of grit in his teeth, the acrid fumes of suttee, humidity blanketing skin, crowds in colored saris, chai from a street vendor.

He would offer this America for one more day in a Bombay market.

Hint: “Chai” is a Hindi word which means “tea”.

Author’s Bio: Kaye Linden has an MFA in fiction from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island. Her collection Forty Tales from Ma's Watering-hole was recently accepted for serialization and publication by Shelf Stealers press.

Kaye was born and raised in Australia and now resides in Florida. She is the short fiction editor of the Bacopa Literary Review, an annual print journal and teaches short fiction at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Kaye has lived in the Punjab (Beas) and has a deep seated love for India.

Kaye's short stories have appeared in multiple journals including: The Camel Saloon, The Soundings Review, The Bacopa Literary Review, The Raven Chronicles, Expressions, Breves No Tan Breves, Whispers from the Unseen, Danse Macabre, 6Tales.com, the Linnet's Wings in narration at Theshorteststories.com, Dogzplot and the September print edition of Six Minute Stories Magazine. She can be reached at: kayelinden@gmail.com.

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