Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Prompt: painting with a curse on it, pink panties, chicken bones, several bottles of booze, a fake I.D., a bunch of matches

Cheryl stood in the center of the red design painted on the studio floor, considering the place where she’d devoted so much time and energy over the past two years. Looking down at the carrier tube under her arm, she thought about the painting rolled inside. Was it enough? It had to be. It was time to cast the curse.

With a shrug, she held the bottle of turpentine at arm’s length and tilted it upside down, walking toward the door. When the bottle was empty, she dropped it behind her without a backward glance.

Stepping over empty beer and liquor bottles, and an almost-artistic array of red Solo cups, she stopped next to the living room table and tipped over the last standing vodka bottle, watching the scant remains dribble across the table and drip onto the stained carpet. Empty pizza boxes and a KFC carton overflowing with bare chicken bones covered the low table.

Cheryl reached down and picked up a handful of bones, dropping them on the table and nodding as she studied them. She glanced up at Jonathan, sprawled motionless on the couch, and Carolyn, curled in the La-Z-Boy. “You really should have known,” she admonished them. “It’s all there in the bones.”

At the door, she picked up the fake ID Jonathan had delivered this afternoon. Studying it, she smiled. Looking back at him, she said with a laugh, “Really? Cherry Cotton? Funny, Jonathan. Hilarious.”

The name didn’t matter, only the coding on the magnetic strip. Magic didn’t work well on technology. Tucking it into her bra strap, she frowned. Her mother’s voice whispered in her ear, “The day always goes better with a matching bra and panties.” Black bra, pink panties. She hadn’t bothered with laundry this week. Sorry, Maman. I’ll have to take my chances.

She struck a wooden match on the side of the little box. Leaning down, she tucked it upright into the box as it sputtered down and set it in a puddle of vodka that stretched over from the living room carpet. Shouldering the art canister, she picked up her keys and swung them around.

Waiting to make sure the match did its job, she considered Jonathan and Carolyn once more. “Thanks, you guys. You’ve been a big help. Sorry I can’t stay. Places to go, masterpieces to steal, curses to cast, and all that.”

She shrugged as the matches sputtered and burst into flame. Turning on her worn heel, she pulled open the door, carefully locking it behind her. Looking down the hallway, she heard voices on the landing. Collateral damage?

She cocked her head to the side, considering. No, she could pass by them without being seen. She waved her hands from her head down to her feet, erasing herself from sight, and walked toward the stairs.

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing
Too long!

April word count

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