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Friday, June 5, 2015

A Terrible Way to End a Life-Part 3

Breathing the clean earth from atop a picnic table near the western parking garage, Lizzie recalls the card from Ms. Holloway.  Written within are a series of numbers connected by dashes, two groups of three, one four,  and a single word: NEMSES.

Seemingly nonsense, Lizzie is tempted to watch the card swirl down a nearby drain, another empty promise of friendship washing away false hopes.  Instead she finds herself pocketing it and hopping down, landing silently with the non-existent crunch of malleable mulch and rubber soles.

Anthony and Alicia are having a bad day.  For most people, a bad day would involve spilt milk, a failed test, or even a broken heart.  For Anthony and Alicia, a bad day is much, much worse.
Imagine the worst moment of a hopeless life, a seemingly endless spiral of desperate clingings.  This is not that bad.  It is, however, the beginning of a terrible end. 

Alicia lost her mother to a Hermes in Bangkok a month ago.  Massage students found his broken body between the toes of a great golden Buddha soon after.  The emptiness filling the moments between the silence of her mind and that of her formerly shared and messy apartment has only just begun to sink in.   

Alicia duct-tapes the last of the boxes, each one bruised and crumbling in their corners.  "What does this make, mum, twenty or twenty-three times?", she calls to no one in particular as she wipes the sheen of dusty sweat from her tan brow.  Even so, everything feels just a little bit colder.  Realizing the window is open, Alicia does nothing.  She does not have to for very long.
The birds seem slow tonight, laden with a heavy burden once more.  For a moment, she ponders the safety of an unknown father but brushes it away quickly as they reach the ledge.  A pelican, three starlings,  two doves, one mockingbird, and the rare American temperate penguin lay scattered on her kitchenette floor and counter.  "You know, guys, I may not know who sends you, but you should strike", she leaves a previously prepared bowl of water, berries, and granola in the center of the tile, "You always seem exhausted and underfed."  The penguin, Franki, she had chosen to call him, waddles the bowl off to the side.  "What?  Do you suddenly not like my food?  Well, I am sorry.  I'm new to the whole cooking scene."  Franki the temperate penguin shakes its head solemnly, seeming to look at each bird in turn as they slowly gather around their recently evolved leader.

Alicia palms her face as, in unison, the ungrateful and unapologetic birds vomit on her floor and leave the way they came.

An hour later, Alicia wonders if birds just might be the most intelligently conniving creatures on earth as she looks at the nearly finished crystal pyramid in her palm, pieced together from their unconventional delivery.  Putting the thought of the missing capstone aside, Alicia focuses her attention on identifying the black elongated bird engraved in the base.  "Definitely a hawk", she mutters and goes to bed, dreaming of final messages and birds with too big eyes.                                 

Anthony lost his identity this morning.