Dragon

Posted: June 3, 2014 in World On The Edge

SDRandCo (6)Today is Terrific Tuesday. Whether it’s terrifically good, or terrifically bad, will probably depend on us. So let’s try the best we can to make it the former, not the latter.

Thank you for your response on my Monday Blog!

Here’s the first page of the second story in my soon to be published collection, Birds of a Feather. It’s called “Dragon.”

Can you guess where the Dragon will be found in this story?

Pick an answer, and leave it in the comment section below.

On the beach
In a mirror
In Richard’s medicine bottle

DRAGON

I keep my head down when I sign for a Gulf front room, not wanting to face the night clerk. She directs me to the fifth floor: shell-shaped pillows on a king-sized bed, gauzy drapery mimicking crystal green water, and double-paned windows, framing a fire-breathing, dragon-like sunset.

At home, in Highlow, they’d quoted St. Cyril.
“Beware of the dragon,” they’d said about Richard.

I stretch out on the king-sized bed and turn on the massage. The pulsing reminds me of his fingers and the expensive bottle of sun block he bought, all of which he used on me. Richard liked manipulation, the slip-sliding feel of possession. Maybe he was born that way and couldn’t help it. Maybe I could have changed him. Then maybe he wouldn’t have died.

For months, I was Richard’s only nurse; the one he’d been having an affair with was afraid to touch him after she learned he had AIDS. He didn’t cheat anymore, and he didn’t lie, except in the bed he’d made for himself.

At home I was taught compassion, so I timed out medication every four hours, kept watch that the oxygen hose stayed in his nostrils, that the battery worked in case of a storm surge; but I resented the stench of his bed pan, the ooze of his lesions, the diapers wrapped around hips so thin that bones showed through tissue paper skin. The man betrayed me after all.

“Don’t trust him,” they’d said.

Before I left Mobile, I telephoned Anthony, Richard’s best friend, to say I was leaving. Again, Anthony said, “I love you.” He wanted to know if I loved him. I gave no answer.

An empty pause and then, “Richard’s death was an accident, Liz. You didn’t create the storm. I’ll call your cell tomorrow.”

 

 

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