Saturday, November 30, 2013


They were clearly growing much too quickly. No time anymore to move about unencumbered. There was one for every day of the week. So, on an evening drizzled with rain, a mother set out for the busiest part of the city, sure her mission would go unnoticed in the indifferent crowd. She swore she would unload, one at a time or all at once, at the first offer. Four of the quintet of boys thrilled at the man in the blue and red shiny suit. One remained skeptical. Of the two girls, one appeared aloof while the other scanned the crowd like a miniature radar tower.

Suddenly the brown-eyed girl with the searching eyes pointed directly at me, her expression one of unflappable determination. I met her mother’s gaze and saw my life change in a nitroglycerine moment.

“There is nothing to be frightened of,” he whispered. “All of the monsters are gone.” The girl slumped under Hello Kitty sheets. A pinkish glow bounced off hundreds of Hello Kitties stamped on the wallpaper in her pink and white room. He set her Hello Kitty Alarm Clock Radio and adjusted the night lite. He turned off the Hello Kitty musical lamp. He brushed away a tear, like a jewel awash on her wet cheek. Her eyelashes trembled with disbelief. Suffering, he drew her to him. “Darling girl, it’s gone forever. It can’t hurt you now. Do not be afraid.”

“Bring it back,” she whimpered. “Bring him back.”

They wanted to defriend her, every one of them. Never mind that she told another story. Or that one of them was lying. They were loyal. She had to go. So, they withheld their likes. And waited, and waited, and waited.

He crushes wild iris underfoot. More will grow back next spring. The lush undergrowth is getting to him. The vast, unkempt property is littered with mirrors; every size, shape and stage of distress. The bluebells are just the beginning. Soon he will see marsh marigolds and lupine. Wild columbine, he is sure, will take hold again. Bergamot and goldenrod will root like murder among the cracked mirrors. Black-eyed Susan. How could he?

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