Sunday, March 08, 2009

The phone call every morning was from Chip. They kept quirks from their childhood: one was the first hello, a second--the love of old phones, like the antique rotary dial their father had on the desk in his home office. In their early adulthoods, they had both scavenged for one separately, and now the olive model beside Tree's bed rung its long and lovely brrrrriiinng.

-Tree?
-Yes G?
-Don't call me that.
-Fine, Al.
-Tree...
-Sorry, what's up Chuck?
-Chip.
-Of course. Chip. What's up?
-I had a dream last night.
-You dream?
-Stop it. I'm calling because you can't... don't do the show.
-(Pause.)
-And don't get rid of it.
-Rid of what, Chip?
-The last one. You've been having a hard time voiding it, yeah?
-How did you...
-The dream, sis. Just keep it. Somewhere. Hide it. You'll need it.
-Why?
-To do more.
-More?
-That's all I know. I'll explain when I work it out. Listen, maybe I'll come over later?
-Yeah. You're being very weird, Chippie--you best come on over.

Later, however, Chip did not come over. Later, Chip was found face down in the sludge along the Schuylkill River. His neck offered up the precise red absence of piano wire. Chip and Tree also had a thing for acoustic instruments. Tree played three-chord guitar, and Chip's stand-up was never, ever in tune.

2 comments:

Sian said...

A mystery??? I love it! My favorite genre of all genre fiction--bodies and gore. I'm trying to do more bodies and gore in poetry lately. I haven't had the guts (or the blood? or both?) to try my hand at a mystery novel.

Speaking of mystery novels, I'm reading Smilla's Sense of Snow (Peter Hoeg) right now and it is amazing. It's everything I want to do in a book, I think. Esp how he writes of ice and of fabrics. Also, if you are game for mystery novels, PD James's An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is one of my all-time favorites (along with just about everything she ever wrote--you really can't go wrong with her).

Curly Strong said...

Is that a reference to Paul Simon?