In Between

Thick paper.

Gypsum plaster.

Thick paper.

Pressed together.

Whirring.

A pinhole opens in the ceiling.

A fine beam of light.

Bores into the black.

Strikes the heart of his chest.

Dust.

Floats in.

Floats out.

She appears.

Kneels by his bed.

Looks up.

Asks for more light.

Whirring.

The radius widens.

“That’s better” she says.

She sweeps back his hair.

There is so much.

She laughs to herself.

Knows what he does.

He gets up early.

Before anyone else.

Looks in the mirror.

Curses his curls.

Too many women tell him.

“I wish those were mine.”

He smiles.

Acts polite.

But, inside he wishes they would just shut up.

He turns on the faucet.

Water collects in his hand.

He douses them.

Goes to his room.

Stands by his bed.

Bends at the waist.

Presses down firmly.

The side of his head.

Against the top of his bed.

He stares at the wall.

Alone in the dark.

Does not want anyone to know what he does.

He counts out a minute.

Then rolls his head.

Presses down firmly.

The other side of his head.

He sees the hallway light turn on.

Curls…

They know he feels pressured to fit in.

And, they want to support him, stay flat.

But, they also know him.

Flat.

It does not fit him.

He leaves the house.

Curls…

They curl back.

She runs her fingers through them again and again.

He stirs.

Opens his eyes.

“Hey you” she says.

“Mom?”

“No” she answers sweetly.

“Who are you?” he asks.

“A friend of the beginning.”

“Where am I?”

“In-between.”

“What do you mean?”

“You are undecided….

Do you go forward or go back?

Do you remember or forget?

Are you a killer of flies?

Or more…

Undecided

An advocate.

Actor.

Agent of…

The birds.

The trees.

The streams.

Insects.

Tiny things.

Things unseen.

Within you.

Within me.

Within all things.

The clay.

The rocks.

You feel it.

Right here.”

She points to his chest.

“It connects you. It connects me. It connects everything” she says.

She touches his Pac Man print.

A vortex revs

Spins.

Grows inside of him.

His breath quickens.

The Pac Man print glows bright.

“You see?” she asks.

“Yes.”

She takes away her hand.

It dims.

“Now, you have a task to complete.”

He kicks off his sheets in a panic.

Jumps out the bed.

Pats his back baggy pocket.

“It’s still there” she says.

The door knob turns slowly.

“We need to leave. Are you with me?” she asks.

“Yes.”

He grabs a hold of her hand.

They ascend up and out of the hole ceiling into the mist.

Black crawls the walls.

Scurries across the ceiling.

Exits the opening.

Wings of Black

Wings fly open.

Flap.

Black ascends after.

Faster than them.

Devours the distance separating them.

She is determined.

It will not happen again.

She turns.

Throws out her arms.

Calls upon the bones.

Dismembered fingers.

Fractured femurs.

Move into position over and under her arms.

She strikes together her palms.

They fire down into the mist.

Perforate wings.

The black drops.

In crumpled heaps.

Smash atop the ceiling.

She and he continue their ascent.

Mist.

Loss.

Decay.

Bones.

She holds him up.

He grips the crater’s raised rim.

Scrambles out.

Pulls the six pikes out of the ground.

Hands her the skulls.

She lays them to rest.

Floats in close to him.

Runs her fingers through his hair.

“Remember” she says “sometimes love is enough.”

She disappears.

He slides down the side of the crater.

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