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Blue Vein

How now, I thought to myself, how now would I gladly give anything to have her back and welcome her with redemption.

I looked up at the battered street sign, and against the pitch blackness, made out my location. I had ended up in the alleyway behind the Miramar Hotel at 5th and Main, a humid rupture in the infrastructure of the city that had somehow escaped the notice of sanitation crews, police detectives or exterminators. I waded through a mulch of unidentifiable debris, the viscosity of which seemed to increase as I progressed deeper into the canyon.

Suddenly a car screeched to a halt on the main street, and a woman flew out in a rage. As the car sped off she howled like a wounded animal, “Motherfucking scum!”

It was her, of course. I had found her where we had our first liason. She ran toward me, crying, and when she reached out to me I felt her left arm moist with blood.

“Reverend,” she pleaded, “help me. Those motherfuckers tried to kill me.”

I examined her arm and found a serious knife wound. “I used my arms to defend myself,” she explained.

We walked a few blocks to my modest tabernacle, where I applied a tincture of mercurachrome to her arm and provided her with a place to rest. She consoled herself with a bottle of whiskey from my cabinet, and dabbed some into her wound for good measure.

“I really care about you,” I said feebly.

“At least somebody does,” was her reply.

Then she asked me a curious question:  “Reverend, do you think that I’m a…a bad person?”

Before I could reply she changed the subject. “You’ve got a real nice place, Reverend. I lived with my aunt and uncle in a big house once. They had beautiful furniture.”

I saw her back straighten and her eyes grow clearer as she assumed an attitude of pride. “You know,” she said with welling tears, “I used to be happy once.”

Suddenly the bottle of whiskey slipped from her hand and crashed to the floor. “Oh, I’m sorry, Let me clean it up.”

“No,” I said, “no,” “The pieces are too sharp. I’ll go upstairs and get a broom.”

I climbed the little spiral staircase behind the pulpit to a loft I had been cleaning, stumbling around in the dim, cramped storage space, trying to recall where I had placed the broom. After some blind groping I found it and descended the steps with a dustpan, .

When I returned, she was crumpled on the floor. I rushed to approached her and kneeled down. Resting in her hand was a glistening shard. An elongated pool of blood extended from a gash in her throat.


[Long pause]

My love has died with the awful groan of steel girders in a quake, twisting in their foundations as if struggling to break free of the tyrannical earth.

. . .like the futility of well-chosen words arranged conscientiously on elegant stationery as they make their journey south to the waste basket in the corner.

My love has died like the seeds of reason, cast upon hostile soil in hopes of inseminating virtue.

“There is a meanness in me.”

[his back to audience, ponders again]

“I’ve been tricked. Satan, it was you!!”

Posted at 1am on 10/11/2005 | comments are closed Filed Under: Fiction

"The sleep of reason
brings forth monsters."

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