Flaming Harpie

November 8th, 2010

A nameless woman roars down the block carrying what can only be assumed to be the glassy glare at the root of her tectitic fit.

It wasn’t the frenzy itself that was unexpected so much as the size of her wails, and she kept it up so long, and it made her so hot, we were afraid she’d be reduced to a molten goo, so we fanned her flames until she pinkened down. At least, we hoped she was pinkening down. We hoped it wasn’t wishful coral-colored thinking on our part. We’ve already got too many pieces scattered about. We need her in one piece, at least until we clean up the mess we’ve already made.

As we said, this wasn’t unexpected, not entirely. We made a point of staying up late to watch the meteor shower, which was actually more like a hailstorm. And when Jeanne wanted to know why we couldn’t watch it on television, or at the very least from inside and through the window so we wouldn’t get hit, the rolling of our eyes was almost reflexive. That’s no way to catch one if it gets lost, and it’s definitely no way to locate the baubles that might make their way down here. It’s worth the risk, and besides, even if you do get some in your eye, it doesn’t hurt for long.

That’s what we told her, anyhow, and it got us through the night, though this morning’s scene didn’t help our case much. We all kept close watch on this smoldering harpie, still toeing the line between hoping and imagining while waiting for her to go the way of salmon, fleshily speaking. Her forehead started to go first, the purplish receding, we were sure of it now, retreating into something a little closer to human, if it wasn’t, of course, that humans shouldn’t be able to smoke quite so much. But regardless, there was no end to the speculative attempts to convince each other until her forehead made the decision for us, and our eyes were ashamed of themselves for having rolled the way they did. Jeanne was with us, of course, and is a stand-up gal, though we know we owe her an analogy. No, we owe her an apology. Or at the very least, an explanation. Or a piece of pretty black glass, if we ever find one again. And if we don’t find any, next time, we won’t be so pink-obsessed and we’ll let the flames die themselves down. It’s what happens when you play with stars, and not our place to stop it. We’ll let the pretty lady go to pieces.

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