#103 Plaster

by Sarah Read

Ella Florentine did more damage with her eyes than that man with the shotgun ever did to her. One look from her double-barrel face and the walls all around them came unhinged. Windows came unmade. And, trigger or not, it was too late for them both. Because out there in the world already is a fresh face born with her oil-slick eyes and his trigger finger. Soft hands, toting a bucket of nails and a hammer, driving new holes through walls till it’s home again. But now it’s little Lou’s home, and she can unmake it in any way she pleases.

She slapped plaster over the hole in the wall behind where her mother had stood. Over the ceiling above where her father fell. And she runs her eyes over me in a way that says I should keep my mind on that finger of hers.

Patches on walls flake, in time, and things come unhinged in old houses. I see old Ella’s eyes staring at me out of the dark, and realize too late that the eyes are all Lou’s. Brighter than a muzzle flash, those Florentine girls. I should know.

I keep a tub of plaster on hand, for patching holes in things. And I count myself lucky to have my father’s feet—for dancing out of her line of sight.


Jonathan Riley said...

"Patches on walls flake, in time, and things come unhinged in old houses." I love the simplicity of this line but how universally relevant it is in the larger scheme of things. This whole story is creepy in the best way, and the final line is gold. Great job, Sarah.

Dino Parenti said...

Haunting and gorgeous. Truly wonderful.

Unknown said...

Beautifully written. Somehow I think I've seen that look - "shotgun eyes" - somewhere before. I, too, love the last line.
Good Job,Sarah L.