Author Topic: Amity  (Read 595 times)

Offline Kenilworth

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Amity
« on: April 26, 2017, 01:00:07 am »
The Reunion

Glancing left of the register, I feel a sharp and new disgust for the glossy covers-covered magazines. I have seen a catalyst for infidelity; the husband of a woman I love gone from his too-ordinary wife and their too-conservative bed in lust for the Plastic Fantastic. They have four children.

Outside, the grackles look ridiculous, running the pavement with bees in their beaks. Too frantic to swallow before catching the next, they swap one for another. It was a mild winter and there is an overabundance of spiders, bees, wasps, and other insects. Where will this chain lead?

A pickup in from of me has a sticker that says “My Other Ride is a Fire Truck”. Fire men, paramedics, teachers, farmers, coal miners; I wonder at these self-congratulations.

My little sister is writing in a big notebook, opens the door to let air through. Heat is blasting from the pavement. I watch her face in the side mirror. She is beautiful, unadorned, freckled, concentrating. Unsticks fine strands from her cheek with a crooked finger, makes an angular, delicate grimace, sits back, sighs, looks up, and sees that I am looking. I turn away, toward the road.

The view of the road is blocked by a Pepsi truck and a Budweiser truck, but I can see the wheels on the other side. Eventually, tiny tires and a short wheelbase approach, slow, and turn in. Grandpa says, “Hey! How are you boys? I mean, boy and girly?” A handshake and a sidelong hug and we’re on the move. The road out of town is cooler, tree-lined and pacific. We talk sparingly over the strained three-cylinder rattle.

--

The Cave
 
At the entrance, grandpa produced a key. The gate was a sideways T of angle iron, the swinging horizontal beam of which split the foot-high entrance. Inside, the dimensions soon increased dramatically and we were in a decorated room forty feet square. My heart hurt. I turned off my light. The gate was too late, or too little, or probably both. Grandpa clattered at the mouth of a low bedding plane parting and eventually eased out of sight.

I watched her move about the room, slowly, silently, dimly, with one of my old cameras in her hand. She took a photo of four pure grey stalactites of equal length, reaching to within six inches of four smooth-shouldered stalagmites, marbled grey and white. These were an island in a small pool, covered almost completely with floating mats of crystal. Someone had blasted this entire display with bands of bright red paint, and I don’t know if she took the photo because of this or in spite of it. She moved carefully among utter carnage, and never said one word.

I turned on my light and noticed that the top of a large beheaded stalagmite was underneath my right arm. I found the stump and hoisted the mass of calcite into position. Its little drip cup was immediately greeted by a drop from the ceiling and by the time our grandpa returned, saying that the way on was full of water, it had overflowed. An imperfect reunion in a terrible place. Almost nothing at all.

As Grandpa locked the gate, I saw that my sister was crying a little. She moved off through the woods ahead of us. Later on the riverbank she was washing blood from her hand, but she said, “Can we go to a different cave?” I looked at the sky, “Yeah. If it doesn’t rain a lot, tomorrow we’ll go.”

Offline pwhole

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Re: Amity
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 12:27:26 pm »
I enjoyed reading that, thanks.

Offline warren77

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Re: Amity
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 10:01:02 am »
Beautifully written!

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Amity
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 11:32:21 pm »
Thank you both for your kind words