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Valentina's Ghost

Wayne Wolfson By

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I got a visit from a dead friend the other day, crawling out from in between the pages of a found notebook.

I now sit here thinking, which is funny. All the time she had tried just a little too hard to get lost in thought and I would mock her for it. Every time I had made her cry, she had, had on that dress. Through no apparent design it had just always worked out that way.

When I first met her, she had been a dancer with a penchant for tricks with a lighter.

Another holiday with not enough of anything. Our last together. Soon she too would go the way of Crazy Legs.

Inside her overly hot apartment. In a series of sobs she named all her poisons. The complete absence of light kept me from seeing if she was telling me the truth. There was the record player, but that one bleary red eye was not enough to guide me. It did tell me the distance to the door, but that was not what was needed. Her eroticism burnt with a fierceness which bordered on madness. It was this which kept me from running, to and from her.

It was too hot, I could not breath, she began to repeat herself. I thought that if I told her I was going outside, she would elect to stay in bed and I could slip home.

She came. We lay on our backs in the field watching the explosions overhead. Each shimmering bouquet was accompanied by a deep boom.

To me, there was something almost fatalistic about it all, although I did appreciate the brief lifespan of the beauty, mirroring nature in that way. Besides, it is how they do things here. Terminal bouquet.

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