photo courtesy Aswhin Rao
The days of daisy-chains lie dormant beneath her flesh, a sacred place no one can touch. She doesn’t visit there often, but the memories, forever, have a home rooted in childhood laughter and glee.
Pigtails and muddy feet, she loved the days spent drenched in nature’s tears. Rains hushed the garden, and she enjoyed the hum of silence, once.
Innocence is a beautiful gift no one gets to keep.
Beneath the steep pitched roofs most people couple and do things, normal things, like sharing Sunday mornings between lovers with coffee in bed, or rocking fussy babies back to sleep at 2AM. Life’s filled with interactions and encounters some subtle and others violently real.
She slips into the tepid bath—beneath her roof, on her side of the street—and toes the faucet to the right. The water’s temperature is perfect for her mood, doldrums of another winter. January’s air creeps up between the floorboards, biting her skin. She enjoys the sting, refusing the hot shower that taunts her. Showers bring to mind the time when innocence was brutally stolen from her, like pears she’ll never again eat.
Early spring, daisies weren’t in bloom, but the fruit trees were. She sat crisscross applesauce near the curb, threading pear blossoms onto a string. He was her mama’s friend. Always had a gift he’d bring, lollipop, soda in a glass bottle. That day he had a surprise, something to show her, somewhere to take her.
“Shiny shoes, Sally Sue.”
“I’m not Sally Sue.”
“I know silly. It’s a nickname, Susan. People give nicknames when they like someone.”
She bounded up into the truck, her innocence bubbling. That’s where hers—died. Her Mary Janes never fit the same, and the ankle socks got discarded along with her closet full of dresses, after that day.
“Shh … I know, baby. I know.” Her mother repeated the inane mantra as she scrubbed Susan’s flesh under the rushing pellets of heat plummeting from the shower.
The language of her wrists now bleed all she cannot say, all she cannot do, from within the hollow room beneath her steep pitched roof. No one knew of the razor’s edge.
© Grace Black
Winning entry, week 45, written for Angry Hourglass Micro Fiction Contest