Friday, October 3, 2014

Ricochet


The white bone of my index finger glistened under the flickering porch light. Metallic numbness spread from my hand, up through my arms, and pierced my back as the rifle clattered against the burgundy tiles. All my senses went into hallucinogenic shock. My hand bubbled a frothy pewter substance, the grass was silver porcupine shards. Mouths and bodies moved in slow, muted, balletic gestures. Vibrations floated from the radio, the street lights, and passing cars. I was bathed in an electric plasma, alternating between frost and lava. In my chest, a velvet knot unfurled. My mind processed the hallucinations.
Blood isn’t silver.
Grass is green.
These vibrations are sound.
Robotic instinct made my right hand grab the bubbling gash of my left. Was there a magic bullet still careening out into the night and across the Miami sky? Would it come back? I was 10, but I guess you’re never too young.
***
Something's going wrong
Someone's on the phone
Three o'clock in the morning, yeah
Talkin' about
How she can make it right.
Uncle Harry unlocked the briefcases. He took out a small militia of rifles, pistols, ceremonial arms. Uncle Harry and Uncle Bill laid out the assorted collection on the burgundy leather couches. I stood up and began pacing the living room, beating out the rhythm to the Al Green song pulsing from the stereo. Texas sunshine slid in through the Venetian blinds of my uncle’s living. Guns, film noir lighting, and soul music.
Make you do right...
Love'll make you do wrong...
Make you come home early...
Make you stay out all night long...
The power of love…
Smith & Wesson. Browning. Beretta. Heckler and Koch. Kimber. GLOCK. Harry and Bill fondled the various handles covered in chrome, mother of pearl, steel, durable rubber. A trickle of sweat fell down the side of my face.
Uncle Harry noticed my averted eye contact and careful foot steps around the couch. He motioned to Bill and -without any further conversation- they quickly pack up the guns and the cases disappear behind locked wooden cabinet doors.
I looked down at the smooth L-shaped scar on my left finger as I hum along with Al Green’s falsetto.

***
A dull muffled horn blasted through my ears. The notes spilled into the middle of my skull and trickled down my spine. This trembling numbness slid down my back and reached my bubbling left hand. The rifle clattered against the patio. Robotic and emotionless instinct took over. My right hand grabbed its twin, covering a glistening white bone.
Trauma knocked something loose. Rusted silver gushed on to the patio and grass. It was blood. Why was it gray? Maybe it was blood and marrow, or smoke mixed with blood?

I recognized the vibrations. They were voices. I looked around and saw strained faces. Worry, concern, confusion, disbelief? My mother’s lips were moving.
-Aurin Squire


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