Pregnant Pause

by Peggy McFarland

The pregnant pause filled the space with anxious expectation, words overdue. Just when the listener thought it might be another false alarm, or maybe just his own imagery and he could avoid their portent and the ensuing upheaval to his complacent life... the words gushed. He tried to catch them all, understand them, but they were too many; they littered the air with their foreign cries and hurt the ears. Still, he attempted to listen, and cared for the first few, mulled them over, doted upon those phrases, arranged and rearranged them until their language matched his own, let them evolve into slogans; yet, he never understood his revisions smothered their original intent. Exhausted, she tried to gather up the rest of her words, but so many spewed forth that the ones she could recall remained out of context, orphaned and misunderstood since their conception, so she cleaned the expressions she had and rearranged them until the abridged version satisfied her sensibilities. They accepted this edited story as their own rebirth, and so what if a lost phrase emerged to claim its original meaning when he watched the news, or when she read the newspaper... those were banished, lest a well turned phrase enlighten their new dysfunction.


Peggy McFarland, whose full catalog is here, is most proud of Katie’s Six, is honored to have two stories in 6SV1, and continues to seek inspiration.


Harry said...

Very smart piece Peggy. You put into words the feeling of an uneasy treaty reached when folks have talked until they're blue in the face without finding the right ones. Excellent!

Joe said...

Six-tacular! Great job and you caught the sense of how language can bring ntwo together but also put distance between them.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Adept vocabulary, yet disfunctional in life. Disturbing on so many levels!

margery said...

Beautiful and elaborate.

Anonymous said...

Peggy - I think I just read my favorite 6S! This was beautifully written, complex, moving--an original look to a common, complicated problem.
Thanks for a great read.
Caroline Wells

Kevin Michaels said...

Just want to echo everyone else's comments. This was beautifully written, evocative, and strong. Very glad to read your sixes again!