L. N. Holmes
I played the theme song for Star Wars on my cornet in the middle of the woods. My sister accompanied me on flute. The melody ricocheted off the nearby tree trunks, creating a symphony from our duet. We performed half of the piece before Dad started revving the chainsaw, the sound of metal teeth biting through a fallen hardwood swallowing our glorious anthem of a galaxy far, far away.
My sister and I walked back to the truck parked on the trail, balancing our instruments on the lids of worn cases. We sat on the open tailgate and watched Dad work. He squatted among the autumn leaves, the chainsaw handle parallel to his thigh. Sawdust confettied the air. Slices as big and round as tires were lopped off the trunk. As payment for clearing fallen trees for farmer friends, Dad was allowed to take the wood and sell it. It kept our refrigerator humming, along with the nightshift job he worked.
When the saw ran out of gas, my sister and I vaulted off the tailgate and resumed our performance. My mouthpiece felt like an ice cube pressed against my lips. I progressed a little too far ahead of the beat, my sister too far behind. We stopped and yelled at each other, my sister brandishing her flute like a police baton. Dad shouted at us, but we acted like we couldn’t hear him over the wind.
Later, my sister was Leia and I, a female Luke. We darted around trees, shooting phantom enemies. We ran into each other, provoking a brawl that disregarded the dark side. Dad was too occupied with his saw to pull apart the crooked limbs of his nearby daughters.
L. N. Holmes (also known as LeeAnn Adams) is currently the publishing assistant at Tethered by Letters and acts as fiction co-editor for Blue River. Her writing has appeared in Vestal Review, F(r)iction, STARK, and several other publications. She will graduate from Creighton University with an MFA in creative writing this spring.