Dad’s money is endless. It bought me this fine hotel room. It bought the bubbly Chardonnay from Italy. “Bring one every hour.” I told the servant. She looked worried, face pale, mouth drooping. My sloppy shadow rippled against the wall like an injured monster, my arm curling into my stomach like I’d been stabbed. “More!” I roared. “More drinks!” Dad’s money bought 4 more bottles. His money could not buy me company or anything meaningful. I thought I heard weeping when the servant brought the last bottle. Maybe I woke the monster. Maybe the bottle was alive.
Grief created the eclipse
I saw my husband and mom in the eclipse. My husband was the moon’s shadow, my mother the sun. Their shadows rippled across my face like tree branches. I touched my skin, as if the blackness they painted across my skin was a hand. Last time I saw them, they were both laughing. “We hate everything.” They joked. “Even you.” I started sweating and shaking when the eclipse slowly started to fade. “Wait! I want to talk to you both! I’m so sad!” My husband moved from my mother. Her light was so bright I cowered like a vampire facing dawn.
They stuffed me inside a tree. I was creepy and bloody. “He’s just a doll.” They laughed, except for one. Her name was Akio. She held me against her chest before, like her heart was lonely. I wanted to explain the discomfort of sadness, but she was just a child. She did understand emotions or that some inanimate things were like her, full of oxygen and blood cells. I cried after they left me inside the tree. I thought Akio would come back. She didn’t need a cotton-stuffed demon to hug at night anymore. She never did, but I needed her.
About the Author: Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. She also enjoys photography. Her work has appeared in Juked, the Potluck Magazine, Birds We Piled Loosely and others. She sometimes talks to ghosts when she's bored, or to other scary creatures, including herself.