This piece of flash fiction was first published in Spellbinder, Issue 3, Summer 2021 (paperback print edition)
A 16-story Soviet monolith – a wannabe Optimus Prime apartment building – blocked the sun from our balcony. I was just about to launch my plastic bag on a string. No square kites on this launchpad. I had birch trees to my left, the tall, sad excuse for architecture at one o’clock, and a failed attempt to pave over all of nature on the right – a pothole ridden agora of concrete, boasting a statue of a rider on a horse. The horse’s balls were spray-painted silver by local tribesmen. Our 5-story building snaked right up to the side of the agora. A small rock wall stood there, built with smashed up Jewish gravestones from destroyed cemeteries. If anyone knew this, they didn’t talk, so unwitting lepers sat on it daily, mourning their loss of dignity with unrequited love for yeast shit.
I could see the gentle wind in the birches. In the distance, a bus puked out people into the agora. A good handful of years prior, plastic bags were a sign of high status, especially if they had a foreign logo, like Adidas or Aldi. Yet here I was, at the tail end of the 20th century, flying trash on a leash because that was the kite I could afford.
And I was getting good air too, man. Some days I could even get it above the monolith.