Flash Fiction “Never Too Old” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)


A Writer Writes –

Never Too Old

by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67)


“Let’s count the stars,” he said.
“Count the stars? That’s not possible!” she said.
“Not possible?”
“Right. Glad you agree. There are too many to count.”
“But, if we started now–look! There’s one….and another…:
She started laughing, muttering 13, 14, 15,16, under her breath, shouted out, “20! You’re right–there’s number 20. Do you see her?”
“Or him. Gender is hard to tell at this distance.” She had turned away, so he couldn’t see her face, couldn’t see the grin, the-making-fun-of-him smile that he knew so well and, actually loved, not that he would tell her.
“One hundred!” she shouted triumphantly, and started running across the field, towards more stars.
“Two hundred!” Another triumphant shout. “Two hundred twenty-two!” Her favorite number-222.
He laughed then and took off after her. She’d be easy to catch, easy to tackle from behind, easy to love. He should know. They’d been counting stars for years, after supper, after the dishes were done, and the kids in bed.”Let’s count stars,” one of them would say and out they would go.
“Two hundred twenty-two,” she shouted again and that’s when he caught her, when he always caught her, kissed her, and when they were younger, they had stayed there, laughing and kissing, not even pausing in the dewey field to look up at the sky.
“The heavens,” she always said.
“Ah, the heavens,” he said always. “The heavens….are here, right here.”
“Yes,” she said. “Yes, under the star-filled…”


Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67)

Kathleen Coskran’s collection of short stories, The High Price of Everything, won a Minnesota Book Award as did Tanzania on Tuesday: Writing by American Women Abroad which she co-edited. She is the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and residencies including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Bush Artist’s Fellowship, and two grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She currently posts flash fiction on her blog  Pocket Stories. Additionally she won the 2008 Peace Corps Writers Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award for her essay “Second Time Around.”

She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia from 1965 to 67, and has lived and taught in Kenya, China, and Nepal. She currently hosts the annual Malmo Art Colony in central Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis. www.kathleencoskran.net

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