Yeah, mincemeat, and he had about ten kilograms of it. He couldn’t very well eat it all and he didn’t know what to do with it. And he didn’t know how he came by it either.
She recovers the stitch and keeps knitting. Despite her comment, she sings two bars from the Happy Days theme. “Sunday, Monday, Happy Days. Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.” She puts down her knitting, “It’s Wednesday,” she remembers. “We have to attend the hangings.”
For months I led Victor Frankenstein on a mad chase, from Switzerland to Italy to Russia to the Arctic Ocean. Then a storm separated us and, in the distance, I watched a passing ship rescue my creator and leave me for dead.
The day is so hot the sky itself might be melting when the girl and her father meet at the outdoor table of the tacky beachside restaurant three minutes off Greenwood Lake Turnpike. It’s a Tuesday, late in the evening but still a long way from sunset. She twists at the stem of the headless sunflower, the top of it left carelessly on the table beside the empty plastic vase. He fiddles with the corner of where the label meets on a bottle of Yuengling.
“So,” she says.
He waits. She adds nothing. The strap of her white sundress slides off her shoulder, and goes ignored.
“So,” he says. “It’s been a long time.”
People are looking at us.
Seema’s face was at the window, ten year old eyes surveying the world, button nose squashed against the tinted glass.
They’re not looking at us, honey. They’re looking at the car.
No one seems to believe me but I know there’s cancer in my foot. I’ve been to five doctors now and they all seem to think I’m batshit crazy. They don’t say that outright but I can see it. They’ve drawn blood and taken x-rays and talked to me at length about their conclusions but I can see the hate they hold for me. It’s in their eyes. There’s a deadening in there that looks past me and I know they aren’t giving me the kind of treatment I deserve. They’re thinking about their fancy car or their sexy secretary, who also holds me in contempt every time I call on the phone. I can hear a distance in her voice.
“Yeah,” Radhiyaa said into the phone, “Yeah. The water, it’s too high. It’s. No. There’s no way. Yeah.”
Diana’s father Brian was yelling meaningless, overly practical advice at her but refusing to actually leave work early and pick the girls up. And Radhiyaa knew, after five years of acquaintance with the man, that there was no reasoning or reassuring him, no way to get him to shut up – she just had to let him speak his peace and then get off the line as soon as possible. So she let him go on like that and looked ahead, where the murky river water slapped against the hood of the vehicle.
Billy Kennedy felt something racing in him, a mix of anticipation and unease. He was on the couch in his parents living room. The television was on and the air was cold through the walls of the old house. A bright December day lay shining beyond the windows, the end of the year close by, the famous ball in Times Square about ten hours from dropping.
Beren stared at the copper caps of Agna’s mead hall. Over the years, they’d been lovingly oiled and polished to ward off the jade patina that had still managed to start its incursion. It was a beautiful building, hewn from great, red trees and adorned with dozens of intricate carvings. Above the door hung a man-sized dragon skull from a previous winter’s hunt. This they had coated in black lacquer to protect it from the elements.
Golden Age Acres is faux-colonial. Mock oranges flank the columns that flank the covered entrance that is now the employee-smoking lounge. I slam the door of my rented Metro, step over a gutter flowing more with sprinkler water than the L.A. rain, and wait for Jared who slaps through the parking lot in the Tevas I bought him for Christmas.
I recognize Charlie, my favorite nurse. His brown skin strains against his white uniform. He drags on a Marlboro and I inhale his smoke.
He winks at me. “Yo, mama, you’re stylin’ today.”