Saturday, April 30, 2011

Burgundy ran down the inside of the glass. The telephone booth's pane was broken at the waist with a jagged edge across.  Fluid dripped from its points as if drooling down its chin.  She walked slowly toward the dark box, curiosity leading her forward against  fear.  Something  like a dark bag  could be seen through the lower half of the panes.  It was as much fear of blame as fear of harm that raced her heart.

Walking steadily she remembered a black and white where the heroine is near a river not looking at the water on the right.  The audience saw the quick glistening movement but the victim did not.  There was no music now.

The phone rang--long, almost a melody.  She turned her eyes from the bag which now had a grey beret.  Blood trailed from the glass down.  Much more than originally seen.   Smears of red dirt stained the glass.

She remembered a tune sung when she was four,
      Snails leave trails
          i wonder where
          the fox goes down
          to lunch with the hare

She heard a car brake and park across the street behind her.  She was too scared too look away from the bag.  The phone continued ringing-- fifteen long alarms.
Stepping to the glass she looked down. It was too dark without the light.
        "Can you please hang it up?"
A man's heavy steps came to the sidewalk behind her.   The voice below was harmless in its desperation.  She picked the phone from its hook and dropped it there.  As if in response to the silence the light inside the booth flickered and came on.
        "Oh the light!"

The light was bright, white.  Her nails looked yellow although painted pink.  A firm male voice said from behind her neck,
        "I need to use the  phone, excuse me."

A suited arm behind reached through the broken pane, dropped a quarter and dime, and punched a number.  Reality broke mystery and she realized the bag was a fallen man.  She retreated walking quickly toward her home several doors away.  Her alert ear heard the phone replaced on its hook, then three well spaced shots.   The last sounded as the door closed behind her stepping onto the pale blue carpet of the family living  room.  On a wall were three coachmen candelabras.


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