- The Sea of Glass
The darkness only lasted a moment. I was sitting up against the kitchen wall wondering if it really was that shade of dank turquoise or if it just needed to be scrubbed. Enid was leaning over me, clutching my arm.
“Hear who? Dahlia? Who was talking?” She panted, putting her face very close to mine in an effort to connect with mer.
“No one.” I climbed into a chair. “We have orange juice?”
“Low blood sugar? Like your father. Hypoglycemic as they get!” Enid trotted off and returned with a coffee cup of orange mango something. It was too sweet, but I downed it.
“So my room is a slaughterhouse. Did you leave it pink?”
“There’s no need to be nasty.”
“I’m not the one cutting up defunct critters. That’s nasty. Does he just find them or does he kill them too?” I knew she wanted me to drop it, but I had locked eyes with the real Ig. The demon underneath the old man skin was capable of so much worse.
She sighed. “Ignatio doesn’t ask for much. I love him, but believe it or not, there are times when I want him to just leave me be. It’s a stupid hobby.” She ran her claws down her pantlegs, smoothing them.
“How stupid can you be?” I couldn’t stop. It was coming out. The fifteen year bullet of disgust and rage was out of the gun.
“How dare you.” Her facial expression, always carefully managed, contorted into a mask of anger and hurt.
“How dare you, Enid! You continue even now to sleep with the man who burned your husband and son to death. You tell me they’re not alive! Then HE did it! He said he would burn us down. You let him stay on Dad’s dime. On Dad’s life insurance. And oh when you tire of him, you send him to MY room to cut up corpses for a hobby?!”
I could not take it back now. I thought she would cry or shrink or apologize. But she dd nothing. She smoothed out her face until she was a 1970’s mannequin. She perched on the sofa with her own cup of orange mango vodka magic and looked at her nails.
“You don’t know anything, Dahlia. You never did.” She swallowed half the cup. “And Louis is dead. You need to grasp that. Your brother, your father, and your fat, bald Aunt Gerda.”
I needed to be in Louis’s room. I needed to be in his closet surrounded by his angel pictures and bits of scribbled words. I needed to be wrapped in the safety of what was left of him. I don’t know how fast I moved, but I was there suddenly, locking his door. Locking myself in safe, squeezing into the back of the closet. And I reached and touched and kissed and cried on his papers. Every time I grasped one, a small ghost atom of him vanished from my hand.
He was a ghost coming apart in little pieces, taking matching pieces of me with him. I was told so long ago that he was lost to me, but he lived still in my mind’s eye. I took him with me everywhere. He was with me every moment. He was the Sea of Glass. I carried all his missed life experience and sweetness for so long.
I could not find a stable piece of this life where he was gone.
Blind from tears, I tried not to breathe.
My heartbeat slowed.
She had lied to me so many times. How was this any different? Enid was adept at pinpointing weakness and twisting the knife. She was lying.
Otherwise, she was worse than Ig. She enabled him and profited from my father’s death. She was either the demon’s best match, or she was lying.
I opened the window, slipping through. I ran toward the path through the woods. To the place where the world could not enter. Through the twisted metal door. Back into the shadows in the corner. Back to the place where the man with the pale blue eyes lay waiting.
He looked up at me. He drew is hand over his face.
“Yes. I’m sad.” I was shaking.
He knelt down and wrapped his arms around my legs. He put his head against my hip and just sat there. I rested my palms on his shoulders because he was real. He was solid. He was not a lie.
Here was my burnt angel. Here was my truth, by whatever name he was given.
I sank down and rested in his arms. We stayed like that until the sky grew lavender and orange with the dawn.