In The Night Sky

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Who will Denver be?

Submitted: July 31, 2018

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Submitted: July 31, 2018

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Grey morning fog fostered whispers of awakening critters. Birds chime in, awaiting breakfast, or stalking breakfast, hoping for a delectable meal. That’s what Denver wishes for as well, a delectable meal, but she’s locked away in this space, hunkered down beneath a few moth-eaten dresses, some blazers, the top of her head licked by the ends of dangling ties. Lifeless, they are, she knows, hanging as if they’ve been punished, as if their purpose is a warning. To her, they are friends. She’s named each of them according to the personalities she’s afforded them in her head, based on the colors they let off in the darkness.

Spicy was orange, or red, hard to tell, and Night Skylar was dark, a navy blue perhaps, with white dots sprinkled across the fabric. Those two were her favorites; they were opposites, but similar, and before she knew what the word juxtaposition meant, she fell in love with the meaning.

When the lights went out underneath the door, she’d unhook Night Skylar and wrap him around her right wrist, and Spicy along her left—she couldn’t sleep without their safety net.

If the bad man caught her wearing his ties one more time, he’d kill her, that’s what he said, and she was willing to die for Night Skylar and Spicy, they had been the best friends she’d ever had. They dreamed together, always together, and sometimes Night Skylar had a deep voice, other times he was a woman, and sometimes he spoke a language Denver couldn’t understand. But she did understand, in theory, because her and Night Skylar frolicked among daisies and tulips and wide-open fields where her legs were crammed between boxes of shoes and old clothes that were fallen down and forgotten like homeless war Veterans.

When she woke, Night Skylar’s voice lost itself in the continuation of her dream, somewhere far away, and he hung tight to her wrist. Spicy had been untied by her tossing and turning, but she tightened her well enough to support her fragile wrist. Food, perhaps, this day? Denver peered through the slits in the door. There was movement. Footsteps. A mumble of voices, of laughter, of things that pained Denver’s ears because she didn’t know about them. There was a woman, a new woman, giggling and soon she moaned and grunted, and Denver plugged her ears with Night Skylar and Spicy because her hands didn’t have enough strength for it. There would be no food today, either.

When the new woman left, the door knob jiggled. Quickly, Night Skylar flew off, Spicy too, onto the pile of forgotten homeless war veterans and Denver brought her knees to her chest, her little heart thumping to the beat of a marching band. Above her stood the bad man, whatever truth may lie in his eyes hidden beneath a sinister glare, his teeth yellowed and crooked, his hair grey, and thinning. He beckoned for her to stand, and stand she did, timid, frail, her bones shaking beneath her skin, her blood barely warm enough to keep her temperature from plummeting.

A woman and a man, in their mid-twenties the bad man suspected, came through the door and the woman squealed delightfully at the sight of the ruined girl. She grabbed Denver’s hands, felt them all over, and rubbed her bony arms up to her elbow.

“We can put some meat on her bones,” the woman spoke softly.

The new man handed the bad man a bundle of cash and the bad man thumbed through it lifelessly.

“Would you like to come with us?” The woman asked Denver. Her eyes were sweet like candy, large like a Doe’s, and the velvet of her voice reminded her of one of Night Skylar’s impersonations. Denver nodded tentatively.

“Can I take Night Skylar?” she asked.

“Take whatever you want, just get the fuck out,” the bad man said. Denver rushed back into the closet, almost tipping over her urine bucket, and snatched up Night Skylar and Spicy. She stuffed them in the front of her shirt, so the bad man couldn’t see what she took, then ran to her new family.

In her new home, the closet was slightly bigger, she could stretch her legs out, and as often as her new mother, Barbara, told her she didn’t have to sleep in the closet, it was the only place she could truly be with Night Skylar.


© Copyright 2018 A.D. Ware. All rights reserved.

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