creative ramblings & reverie

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two Postcards

Déjeuner sous les arbres

They'd buried her that morning, Briony, but Paul above all wouldn't let it rest—reviling the man who'd had the gall to show up at the cemetery, dove gray hat in hand, floozy sent back to the hotel in a taxi, and make a show of being sorry she'd 'misunderstood.'  Guillaume chain-smoked the bad Italian cigarettes his friend Puccini gave him when they hunted ducks at Torre del Lago, not responding to Paul's rant.  Virginie had eaten nothing of the omelet or salad.  She stirred and stirred her cold coffee, knowing that any minute her mischievous tart-tongued Bri would come towards them through the diamond-dapple of midday under the late October trees, just like her entrance in Giselle in diamond-dappled tulle, or her emergence from the river naked that dazzle of summer mornings at Fontaine de Vaucluse, grousing "you're all so stupid—could you really think I'd die for such a one as him?"

Stealing Away

She'd slipped out of the city, the apartment in the Fens, the thirty-year familiar room of maps and antique globes, to this place off all maps—Tucumcari?  Tumacácori?  There was, she'd read, a spice shop, a mission.  But having come this far she found she couldn't make herself go out, go any further.  She couldn't leave the little tin trailer, sardine can without key; could only sit in the revelatory August heat and contemplate the stolen pot, imagine her bare arms shaping a hug around its pregnant belly, the old Apache pot she'd taken from the conservation lab without anyone noticing, thinking maybe (if she had stopped to think) it would somehow make up for the daughter not for the taking.  Or the baby, whose name she'd never know, though in time she would learn the names of stars, tribes, roads away, and twelve varieties of turquoise, riddled with imperfections.

—Christie (originally published in First Class Lit)

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