Preeta Samarasan

Trippin' Out

Astral projector journeys to landscapes inaccessible to the average traveler.

ONE AFTERNOON, Tonjia, a 32-year-old Korean American musician, found herself in the apartment of a friend on whose answering machine she'd left a message before falling asleep. She watched her friend come home, check his messages and pick up the receiver to call her; then she woke up in her own bed. A few seconds later, her friend called and described his last few minutes exactly as she'd seen them.

Our House Stands In a City of Flowers

Winner of the 2007 Short Story Competition, Co-Sponsored by Hyphen and the Asian American Writers' Workshop

On the day my aunt dropped Mariamma’s baby, the man from Batu Pahat had arrived on one of his visits. He’d been sitting in his usual seat when the baby had squirmed out of my aunt’s arms and plummeted headfirst towards the pale blue tiles.

I watched the baby blink while he fell, first two slow, surprised blinks, and then a flurry of quick ones, as if invisible fingers were brushing against his eyelids.

I heard his breath, calm and steady as a yogi’s.

Six inches above the floor he smiled, and his soft belly shook with unlaughed laughter.