The Dead Girls

Round and round—round and round.  The trees and mountains flashing by, gone, flashing by again.  He feels sick.  The beer is churning in his stomach, and before he can stop himself, he vomits.  Is splattered with his own mess.  Shutting his eyes, he fastens his hands to the bench, but in a whirl of confusion the sky dumps on end.

He’s falling.  Arms up, legs up.  He thinks he’s screaming, but can’t tell if that’s his voice or someone else’s.  In his mind he calls his father’s name.  Beseeching, begging, pleading for his assistance.  But all that comes back to him is darkness . . . and the sound of two weeping girls.

He’s dashed into cold wetness, seized by tiny claws, dragged downward.  Has he opened his eyes?  Yes he has, but it’s still dark.  Darkness everywhere now.

A light.  Rising.  Ringed with bubbles and sinewy water currents.  Long blond strands, snaking lengths of grass, bobbing reeds.  They’re coming up to meet him, those two dead lights, two dead girls who used to be one—who aren’t really supposed to be at all.

But I did it, he thinks, goddamn you, you little bitches, I did it!  I caught my father’s fish!  Do you hear me?!  I caught his fish!

More bubbles swirl around him; he’s drawn down, deeper into a watery blackness.  Twin mouths open like twin dead fish.  Teeth or rocks piled high, jumbled, sprawling about and below.

There you are, Pop; thought I’d find you here, cleaning the catch of the day.  What’s that?  You want me to carry you up the side of that pyramid?  Sure thing, Pop, anything for you.  After all, you are the Pharaoh, are you not?  And me, well . . . I’m but the lowly Hebrew.

 

©2009





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