On One Hand

December 13, 2005

Susan

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 4:20 pm
Tags: ,

The projector clicks on to splatter pale gray light on the basement wall. Its hollow white square succumbs to rising streaks, pattering like a shuffled deck of playing cards, then speckles with hints of color. A blurry image oscillates between cloud and body on the wall, vague first then condensing, then scattering like sand swirling down a sink drain.

And then there is Susan, her strawberry-blond hair sharp and glinting in the sepia-toned afternoon sun.

She smiles. Blows a kiss, reaching out of the flat screen to Jon on the metal folding chair in the lonely basement. Her green eyes brighten the ugly concrete walls the way dark black bits of gunpowder light up into shining fireworks. A breeze lifts Susan’s hair and she dances through the shimmering yellow butterfly leaves and white trunks. She moves toward Jon. He can smell her soft perfume, barely distinguishable over the scents of aspen sap and bits of leaves and wood.

Susan is standing in the place where, two months later, they would bury her in the frosty ground. Just Jon and Susan’s parents, and his own, out in the woods like she would want, no one mentioning how poorly the makeup hid the bruises and cuts on her face from shattered glass and steel.

The basement door clicks from the top of the staircase. Jon jumps to his feet to switch off the projector. Susan’s bright face fades to black and the room is dark.

“What are you doing down there?” Jon’s wife asks from the doorway.

“Just looking at old movies,” he softly answers, lowering his chin.

Jon’s wife’s mouth sinks into a half-frown, her eyebrows narrow. Her brown hair, streaked with gray, is pulled back. She presses her knuckles on her hip and steps back from the door.

“Allright,” she says slowly, letting the door swing closed behind her. Jon can hear the floorboards creaking as his wife moves across the kitchen.

Jon looks down at the spool of film in his hand. He sighs. Slowly he puts Susan back into the cardboard box and hefts her onto the wooden shelf with all the other pieces of the old days.

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2 Comments »

  1. Maybe one day, I will be this phenomenal.

    I love this.

    Comment by dreams_denied — December 14, 2005 @ 3:07 am | Reply

  2. I’ friended you hope ya dont mind.

    Comment by uriebaz — December 17, 2005 @ 4:30 am | Reply


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