Norma and Wallace
It was raining. They knew this by the warm liquid spreading over their heads like cracked eggs.
Someone was bleeding. They knew this also by the warm liquid spreading over their feet the way lava flows down a mountainside: thick, dark, heated from being inside.
She could feel him beside her, where he always was, where he always had been. She was suddenly concerned about her hat. It was getting too wet. It would be very difficult to reshape. It would never fit the same.
His fingers were wound in hers, the same fingers practically. They were in the correct places. But something was no longer correct. Something was missing.
Their eyes found each other’s. True.
They considered each other’s faces. Appropriate and right.
His tie. Her necklace.
The trip was no one’s idea. There were simply places they had never been.
And now it was raining and she could taste metal.
And now someone was bleeding and he knew absence.
The car was shiny and blue and on its side. The mud was very conspicuous. The mountains were green and splendid and tall and very far away. Nobody wanted to walk on them. Nobody would walk on them today, in the rain.
Before, they had not known they were apart. Once they found each other they promised to never be separated. It is not good to break things. It is very difficult to put pieces back together. It is a lot of trouble.
Embarking on this trip was unexpected, but not unacceptable. There are places they have never been.
She knows his arm is around her. She can see his shoes.
He has always liked her dress. Her shoe seems a bit drab in this setting. It is lacking.
The rain mixes with the blood and the mountains seem greener, taller, but farther away. The car remains on its side. The shoe.
They remain where they are because they do not come apart. Her face. His eyes. Her hat. His suit. Her necklace. His mouth. Her shoe.
They miss what never was.
Christina Rauh Fishburne
"Norma and Wallace was published in 30 handwritten Little Books coordinated with the release of my brother Charlie Rauh's last album, Hireath. He attended the Raushenberg Residency on Captiva Island and found this little music box figurine in a second hand shop there. He wrote a song. He sent me the song and a picture of them and I wrote a little story. The details of our collaboration and photos of each Little Book and its significance is here:
Christina Rauh Fishburne is a writer, Army wife, and mother of three currently living in England. She has an MFA from the University of Alabama and is at work on her third novel. She blogs at smilewhenyousaythat.wordpress.com.
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