Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Layer by Layer

This is a flash fiction piece that I wrote and submitted not too long ago. Thanks, Neil. This thing is open for debate- speak your mind.


But, he didn’t have the answer. And, somehow, she thought, if I stare at him hard enough, I’ll find the answer. Her stare took him apart layer by filthy layer. First, she took his skin and shook it out and beat it like you do a dirty hallway runner. Then she laid it out and, using a critical eye, looked for clues. Like the time he lost the keys to his office an d blamed her for it and they got into that big fight, she found that in there. Then she found the time he lost $386 gambling at the casino and tried to blame it on her and her mismanagement of the checkbook (she was an accountant for chrissakes) and they got into that other big fight. She found other stuff in there too, like the time he sped through that school zone and almost hit a kid, but didn’t tell anyone, a lot of stuff like that. But she didn’t find what she was looking for. For that she would have to dig deeper. The answer was there, somewhere deep in his bones then, she could feel it in hers. She found that time his father took him fishing and then his father passed out drunk and they floated in the middle of the lake until night, after the mosquitoes had eaten him and his father finally woke up. She found the time his father took the dog out back and beat it with a bat for stealing steaks from fridge. But it wasn’t what was she was looking for. She ran her fingers through his entrails, through his veins and squishy brain. She found the time that he was born and his mom and dad were fighting over how much he cost them; they couldn’t pay the mortgage, the hospital bill, for the damned diapers. Let’s just give him away, damnit! That’s not it, she thought. Finally, after enough digging, she found herself floating in the space between his molecules and after enough effort caught an atom between her teeth. She chewed and chewed until she broke it down and found herself floating within its space. And it was beautiful there, that immense nothing. It was peaceful in there, infinite. There it was, so deep inside. She stayed for as long as she could, long enough to appreciate him for his potential. There, deep inside, his peace was forever and there were no more memories, there were no more times. There was only him, and from far away she could feel his heartbeat and wishing she could bring this back with her to show him that it would be ok. She tried putting some this in her pockets, down her shirt, in her shoes, but it leak back out. She had found him deep, deep in there but he wouldn’t believe her. And, so they would have another one of those big fights, and she would tell him he was made of better stuff, his potential was beautiful she’d seen it. But he would just stare at her like she was crazy.