Charybdis by A. E. Weisgerber

Charybdis

It’s always 3 p.m. when Yankee walks alongside the house, clapboard, and its water meter glass is crystal clear. It’s gleaming, and the hands on the meter dials tremble high noon. A green garden hose coils neatly beside leggy boxwoods.

It’s always about 3 when Yankee comes along the side of the house. It’s the house in New Hampshire, at the tip of the triangle, pointing at the park. MTV agitates through motionless curtains. There’s no traffic.

Yankee walks on gravel alongside the swan-white porch, examines her watch, triangle-faced but set in a round case. Its crystal is clear, its second-hand is quivering. Yankee is almost rounding the corner. There’s no traffic. Hands are vibrating.

It’s dusk in this diorama of chattering light. Yankee strolls along a sugar scene in a sugar egg. There are wheelbarrows, Yankee, clapboards. Along the porch, a coiled hose, green grass, the barometer dropping. Robert Palmer is addicted to love. Yankee rounds that corner where meter wires snake up to roof shingles, antennae.

It’s 3 p.m., but Yankee’s watch says high noon. It’s dark and barometers are falling. Blue water retches up the swan’s neck. Yankee comes around the back of the house. Out there, the house banks into a hill. Yankee rounds the corner, stops dead, says: How have I not known this pool? This plunge pool? This dip pool?

It’s always 3 p.m. when this odd wood-white house is closed up, except for its crystal meter and the cement iris of its black pool. A double-pawed kitten trembles on the gravel drive. The pool is too close to the house. Its water is still, cold, mewling. There’s no bottom. Nobody in New England has pools like this.

 

charybdis

 

A.E. Weisgerber has two goats named Snapdragon and Socrates. She has recent/forthcoming work in DIAGRAM, Shotgun HoneySmokeLong QuarterlyEntropy MagazineThe CollapsarStructo Magazine, and her story “Sleeping Beauty: Markson Fangirl” is a Best Small Fictions 2016 Finalist. She assistant edits fiction at Pithead Chapel, and reviews for Change Seven Magazine and The Review Review. She’s writing her first novel, and keeps things up to date at anneweisgerber.com

 

(Next LADY MONSTER story: Ninth Stepping by Kim Magowan)

(Previous LADY MONSTER story: The Smallest of Things by Lucy Durneen)

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