A Royal Digression



Fragments of confusing conversation, I listen to the sing song, letting it flow around me like melted glass. Remembering the landing, stairs up to their world, stairs down to mine. Hearing voices echoing down.

A sofa, plump and far too old. Threadbare velvet brocade, the burgundy of lost wine and dried pirate. The cushions lost shape long before time. The arms however were vast and flat, perfect for stately launch pads and noble rebel bases and the windtossed survivors of foolhardy expeditions.

The windows were high and shuttered, yet barely above the ground outside, like big city transoms. I would stand on the back of a chair and survey the driveway in secret silence. Noting what cars passed and when, writing in private codes, always hoping for a mystery.

A fireplace that had not burned in years was set in deep, with a low brick hearth. Rough and red, suburban rustic. I would line bottles and gizmos across it, mix evil potions from koolaid and liquid smoke, practice my evil laugh. I split the back of my head once on the corner and bled for an hour before I mounted the stairs.

An heirloom table, once expensive, was inlaid with a rosewood chessboard, mother of pearl flourishes around the rim. I piled it high with paperbacks and Detective Comics. Underneath were cunningly hidden drawers for holding knights and rooks. I secreted dogeared copies of Penthouse inside and hoped for the best.

This was my kingdom, this was my keep. My prison and my palace….all I would take forward with me, all I would leave behind. In the dark I could hear the Burlington Northern and Union Pacific rushing by two streets over, they would shake the windows on still nights and drown out her tears and shrieked mutterings.

Some nights I think they still do.


1 Comment

  1. *nods* Some memories are that persistent.

    How’s your evil laugh now?

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