Monday, April 16, 2012

from 'She Named Him Michael' by Heather Rounds

The fair had first brought pieces of the world to Claire, long before Michael, back when she had a mother and father. She’d found herself inside a tent just as humid and red as the tent of Nature’s Mistakes. Rather than a headless chicken, a woman whose bones had not grown beyond her first year of life was the Mystery Finale. The woman lay sprawled across a tiny rose-colored chaise lounge. Paralyzed from such small, weak bones, she takes in the world—never having sat or stood said the Talker. Her quilt of skin, powder white, bunched over and around her and flowed beyond her twisted, flipped feet. Some fingers poked out from underneath, stiff and pin straight. Her chin and torso seemed one. But what is meant by possible. Who are we to say what should be said the Talker. Despite her stunted bones, her head had continued on to a full size and in her head lived an adult brain full of many facts. Over the head sitting over the brain came hair curled in brittle ginger sprigs inching out from all directions. She did not look real but She is alive! She blinked her small eyes as the living do. Her doughy cheeks warped up as she smirked. She looked at Claire. She smirked as the living do. She was alive and Claire didn’t know how one could be and not grow. How said Claire. This was how it was meant to be. World travelled and more valuable than a jewel. Full of jewels of her own. More valuable than most anyone or anything. She learned and saw and took in the world without ever having to actually move! Said the Talker. Claire reached her hand toward the quilt of skin, she reached in and felt for the jewels. She felt the jewels and moved them toward the open. They hit the open light and bled into the doughy cheeks that warped up as the small woman smirked at Claire. A moment rushed beyond the humid, red tent, beyond the little rose-colored chaise lounge, and there was only that moment.

Heather will be reading her work at WORMS on Tuesday, April 17.

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