In a Nearby Church
been twenty-three years.
Time enough to grow up, grow apart, get a girlfriend, a house, some debt, a dog
called Austin, and a kid called No-Name. I heard about the promotion a couple
months back and I’d say, “Congratulations,” but you’re not close enough to hear
why’d you come here? To
visit the folks, what’s left of them in that dark pit in the ground? When you
were nineteen, the day you left, I saw you kneeling on the grass talking to
their headstones. You should’ve known they can’t hear you, anymore.
It’s been twenty-three
since you drove through open iron gates. The glass is frigid where I press bare
fingertips, watching your tribe follow you through the churchyard from my perch
in the loft. I’ve got to move now.
Out on the snowy soil, you
barely recognize me.
“Cassidy, hey man.”
You’re nodding; you
see me take
a step forward, feel the chill of air as I continue past you and your kin. Your
girlfriend makes an ugly comment. You rub her arms like it’ll change her mind.
“Just give my brother
“He’s had more
than a decade,
In twenty-three seconds,
No-Name’s frothing at the mouth and drops to the ground in spasms. Your
girlfriend shrieks like a banshee. It’s in the cookies I left beside their
graves, homemade gingerbread with white, sugary frosting.
You didn’t see them
in the dark
but a child’s eyes could. Grubby fingers untied the ribbon, reached inside and
took what wasn’t theirs.
You’re rushing for
Tires churn over slush and gravel in a desperate struggle to get away, get to a
hospital, a cure. Snow cover drapes everything in sea-foam white, rooftops,
wide suburban streets ablaze with Christmas lights, the neighbors’ cars and
front yard nativity scenes, the perimeter of the lake. It’s a blind turn you
don’t see through the sudden flurry.
In twenty-three seconds,
water closes over your car. That last part I hadn’t intended.
Bethany Cody is an Adelaide-based Australian
writer of creative fiction, short stories, and poetry. She has received awards
in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Campbelltown Literary Awards as well as a
commendation prize in the 2018 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards.
Darren Blanch, Aussie creator of visions
which tell you a tale long after first glimpses have teased your peepers. With early influence
from America's Norman Rockwell to show life as life, Blanch has branched out mere art form
to impact multi-dimensions of color and connotation. People as people, emotions speaking
their greater glory. Visual illusions expanding the ways and means of any story.
arts mastery provides what Darren wishes a reader or viewer to take away in how their own
minds are moved. His evocative stylistics are an ongoing process which sync intrinsically
to the expression of the nearby written or implied word he has been called upon to render.
View the vivid energy of IVSMA (Darren Blanch) works at: www.facebook.com/ivsma3Dart, YELLOW MAMA,
Sympatico Studio - www.facebook.com/SympaticoStudio,
DeviantArt - www.deviantart.com/ivsma
and launching in 2019,
as Art Director for suspense author / intrigue promoter Kate Pilarcik's line of books and
publishing promotion - SeaHaven Intrigue Publishing-Promotion.