Here is your wake-up call! After posting Andrew’s story, there are but two more to post, at which time you can send in your votes for your favorite to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone who entered the contest can vote: one vote for each entry you submitted, and you can vote for yourself. You can certainly lobby for your fav by leaving comments in the box below. In case of a tie the Editor-in-Chief will consider all offers…And here is a bit of history to add to your bank of trivia: Washington Irving and my great-great grandfather, portrait painter Thomas Sully were known to tip a pint together: they were mates! Here is Andrew Perez with his entry:
A Mirror, A Frame
by Andrew Perez
In a room where the sheets and towels were washed and bleached, seldom replaced when bloodstained, she looked out to a billboard of a portrait of a girl all smooth skin and anemic bones. Games of hopscotch by her hair were played on a color wheel though she couldn’t remember if she was born blonde or brunette because that budding figure in the mirror never looked like her. She ate the lettuce around her sandwich then took another capsule. Sometimes for the pain in her chest.
Her manager knocked at her door and walked in while she dressed.
—You’ve got five, kid. God and the world are waiting.
—Give them this message from me, please: On my way.
As she swayed left or right in awkward posture, the man behind the clicks and flashes said he loved her most of all. But she was loved by many others, by those whom consumed intrusive images to raise and slay her throne.
Her nights didn’t end unless the sun rose and she nor those whom she called friends woke before it dipped again. Lines of ground, processed alkaloid leaves like tally strokes of chalk positioned on a hand mirror laid at a table next to bottles of wine preordained to fill the soul’s abyss. And when she took it in through a straw, a last glimpse in the looking glass spoke of infallible beauty.
Twenty years asleep, surrounded by shape-shifting faces and changing names. The scrubs always similar. The bright white walls had turned a mustard-grey. For her no time had lapsed; it was another evening waking from a doze. She opened sore eyes to find herself in a familiar room where her mother used to rest. The same mechanic hum as in her childhood except the beep, this time, not flat and eternal, echoed like a metronome. With the push of a button she sat up, turned, and found her gaze on a picture frame displaying a black and white cityscape. She looked ahead until she caught a reflection of a girl who seemed to have missed her youth. Unbelieving, she tried to run to a mirror for a clearer picture but her legs caved. A woman in uniform ran in hearing the sobs and sat beside her in a pool of saliva and tears caressing the flesh above her heart to sooth the convulsing,
—It’s okay now. It’s okay. You’ll be okay. You’re awake.