Trust me

“Trust me,” he says as she watches green bills dance madcap out the window.

“Trust me,” he smiles as she cringes from the furious collectors who shatter the chilly silence.

“Trust me,” he mumbles around the lavish feast while her belly tightens in fruitless anticipation.

“Trust me,” he laughs as the balloon animals of her dreams scurry past, to be burst with darts of unconcern.

“Trust me,” she hears echoing in the deserted, musty halls of love.

“How can I not,” she says, “when the word is all that’s left.”

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Her protest

The words, “Never again,” flashed into sight, glossy white posterboard boldly inscribed in crimson.

Then the girl shoved a flimsy plastic case, holding one DVD, into a bystander’s hands before she swan-dived onto the tracks below, just in front of the 4:10 from D.C.

The detective turned from the recording to his captain, his hands cradling the evidence she left. “It’s him. The mayor.”

The captain shook his head, trying to deny it. But the detective went on, “And not just him. It goes higher, deeper. All the way.”

Once again the captain shook his head. “The world will burn.”

The thing outside the window

The figure outside the window is so funny looking. His head is perfectly round and bald. He has no features, that I can tell. He bobbles like a balloon held in a joyful child’s clutch.

His body is long and gaunt. His legs are stork thin and miles high. His arms are sticks, like a first-snow snowman, all akimbo in his perplexity.

I see him, from over the top of my computer screen, bobbing his way to-and-fro and fro-and-to, going and coming from who knows where.

I try to ignore his waving arms and his ducking and weaving head, but when I look away, he bounces from left to right, right to left, grabbing my attention again.

I reach down to pet the snow-white, sparkly creature beside me. Her single silvery horn nods at my unspoken question, her rainbow hair swinging along. She sees the bobble boy, too. But then, a unicorn would.

She’s in Ocala

The hoarse breath came from behind my left ear. I could feel the moist heat from the exhale.

Petrified, I couldn’t move. I waited, hoping it was my imagination. But the breath came again, closer this time, nearly in my ear.

I looked past my feet, hanging off the end of the bed. The door was still locked, four locks in total.

I’d checked the room before bed. No one was in the house, anywhere. My family wasn’t even in the state.

But the next breath came and with it, a whisper, “Karen.”

“Karen’s my mom,” I whispered back.

“Oh, sorry, my apologies, madame,” the high-pitched British voice moved from behind to beside my elbow.

There, beside me, was an imp. Hairy-faced and pointed eared, with a widely smiling face full of teeth.

“She’s in Ocala,” I said, helpfully.

“Thanks, love,” the beast said, “I’ll just visit her there.”

She sits, alone

She sits, alone, marveling at the wondrousness of her life.

She’s known the violence of peace, the calm in brutality. She’s known the wealth of poverty and the destitution of riches. She’s known the love of strangers and the hatred of friends. She’s known the ravages of time, the beauty in war, the deceitfulness of promises. She’s known weakness of faith and strength of doubt. She’s known the fragility of family. She’s known the unbreakable bonds of descent.

She has cherished. She has despised. She has desired and she has required. She has explored her reflection and she has delved into lives. She has closed her mind and opened her heart. She has lusted. She has been discarded.

She has lived.

She sits, alone, contemplating the unknown, the future that may be.

Sleeping

My sleep was disturbed by the deep rumbling coming from my husband. The cat-like purr vibrated right through me. I turned over, never fully waking, a smile on my face, giddy with his obvious contentment.

I caressed his arm. I kissed him lightly on the shoulder. I snuggled myself closer, letting the purr vibrate me back to sleep. My arm slipped across his back.

He murmured my name. My heart swelled. I let my tired limb slowly run down his spine, eliciting a deeper, louder rumble of pleasure from my beloved.

My fingers fell numb at the touch of the freezing, bony fingers trembling in the small of my husband’s back. I tried to snatch my hand back. My eyes flew wide, but darkness was all I encountered.

A whisper of heavy fabric and the musty smell of ancient flesh tickled my other senses. Hesitantly, I reached for my still-sleeping mate. His rumbling changed. Snores, instead of contented purrs, sounded in my ears. He rolled over, flopping a heavy arm across my body.

I laid awake, listening for more rustling material. But nothing disturbed my wakeful waiting. Not until the orange glow heralded the safety of sunrise.

Is this right?

“I’m not sure if we’re doing this right, Bub. Are you sure a pentagram is right?”

The sharply dressed man shrugged at his questioning colleague. He didn’t know if they were performing the ritual right, either, but this way seemed as good as any.

“I’m guessing here, Don, same as you. I’ve never done this before, either. Unless you think we should be using a rainbow or something?”

Don chuckled. “How does anyone figure this stuff out? I mean, I know it’s been done for millennia, but who figured it out first? And why hasn’t it been written down?”

“I’m sure somewhere it has been,” Bub said, “but probably up there, not down here.”

“Well, if we figure it out, Bub, let’s at least try to write it down, so it’s preserved for the future.”

The neatly dressed figure nodded while walking around the chalked pentagram, “Sure thing, but what makes you think anyone else is going to want to summon a human?”