Her garden was full of red cicadas and black dahlias.
He remembered her garden when it was full of black dahlias, and how sunlight was split apart by her bedroom window, how paint was curling away, tearing up the blue coat to show a white belly, moving from the glass.
He remembered waking up that morning realizing his wallet was left in the wrong place.
The answering machine was blinking pink, black, pink, black, pink.
He always thought it strange that she owned a home phone, let alone one of those clunky machines where the prerecorded message always twang metallic, as if recorded in a can, and your message was either institution-formal or a friendly-joke.
Hello- Hello- I can’t hear you- Hello?- Is this a prank?- Ha- just kidding- Leave a message after the beep.
Before the police officer’s message played, and she yelled, and he left, blue chip in hair, her father left a message inviting her to the symphony, and she talked over the recording, how the last time they went this group of white guys in ceremonial pajamas interrupted the music to remind the audience they owned the building, and paid the musicians, something how good music was supposed to civilize abnormal people, and how because they paid the musicians who helped bad people evolve good, how they must have been good, too, and, by the way, still very alive, in control.
“But just look at Alex from that Kubrick movie: Listened to Beethoven’s fifth before going out to kill people.”
Laugh- more chuckle than belly- came from him, and his shoulders rumbled in the present, thinking about the past.
If you speak to him, it would be good for him give me a call, to talk- you could mention that his accomplice is already here, saying some interesting things that he, your boyfriend would definitely want to hear- you should also know that your sister may be is involved. Oh, your father would like to say a few words-*
Hear from Claire here
colour by Riccardo Guasco
words by Liam Lachance