Did Anyone Out There Loose A Candle?

Jane thinks she fell down the stairs
she isn’t sure
her feet haven’t touched the floor in twenty years
but her lip is cut and fat
not much blood – odd
and she is at the bottom of a flight of stairs
whose case and where it once lead she has no way to know
but down here she is
curled like a sad turtle
waiting for the gash in her head to notice itself and start reaching back together

Richard is in the kitchen eating bag after bag of peanut brittle separated based on caloric value into individual snack packs
he turns off the radio to ignore the news
from inside his small but swag suburban castle, he watches a bee fly up under a slat in his siding
Fucking brick and siding castles, he thinks, why do bees hate me so much?
In his garage he dons a heavy plastic apron before turning on his brand new arc welder

Jane waits
she listens for recognizable sounds
stream, bird, rooster
there is no way for her to know where she is until she can wash the blood from her eyes
it must be blood
it’s red, deep rusty rouge
and it tastes like pennies
(We had money called pennies once
they tasted metallic like blood.)

Richard takes his invention into the backyard
still wearing the apron and now a mask he bought as a sort of joke from an apocalypse-positive website, he holds the cool end of a rod in his gloved hands
the glowing end is kept as far from his body as he can get it
If this works he will be a millionaire and every girl in his town will line up to give him unlimited beejays
He sucks in his breath
he puts the pointy end under the siding
he pulls a rigged trigger
white smoke billows through the cracks

Jane feels something quiver or shimmy in her belly
the split in her lip starts to ache
the legs folded beneath her protest their impossible angle
first with a tender hey hey hey
then with a sharp fuck, hello?!
There is no mirror down here
wherever here is
whatever here means
but it becomes clear she has to move
As she contemplates the logistics of swinging this body upright, she is hit with an intense craving for beef stew

Richard did not die in the highly toxic self-made bee death bomb
which his neighbor thought of as weird
because his neighbor had long considered the man a giant pest
Richard missed the eerie glow coming from the basement of his castle
but his neighbors saw
every last one of them saw

On the floor, Jane asked in a curious but detached manner about the flood
it was warm and it was different
at first, she tensed
she forgot to breathe
but that was not new
she had only remembered to breathe about three times in her life
Nobody answered
Nobody unusual
she remembered to breathe then
at that exact moment


Author: tendrilwise

Hi, I have a diploma in Journalism, I've published a novel, and I am currently studying psychology. My odd way of viewing the world either gets me kicked out of parties or invited to them. Jenn McKay

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