Brevity is the width of soul.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


(Strictly speaking, this is too long to be an Hectowords piece, but, given how long it has been since I've written for this site, I wanted to post it nonetheless.)

I had met her before in the elevator. At least I think so. I can't quite remember meeting twice the same woman; different faces, hair colors, clothing, builds. The only thing familiar was the sense of having met her before, of a regular progression of strangers.

And one day I met a beautiful woman in the elevator, and she bared her teeth at me. It was forever until the doors opened and I could almost-run away. I remember that now.

I didn't then, not when I met her again, not when her mouth spasmed into a rictus I had to avoid with my eyes.

There must have been many times like that. I only remember the one when she smiled at me and it was the most attractive thing I had ever seen. I didn't get out on my floor. She kept smiling, and I followed her hesitant steps to her door.

Everything but her beauty and her smile were wrong. When she entered her dark apartment I could no longer see either of them, and my skin grew cold as I understood, and ran.

"Come," said her spidery voice from behind. I didn't wait for the elevator - I didn't stop until I had crossed and locked my door. No matter what I could half-imagine waiting in the darkness, her voice had been worse.

Now I'm trying to think about something to do.

And I'm realizing that I'm already forgetting, and that the next time her voice will be sweeter, and one day it will work.