The Remnant

21 May

The Remnant


When Ramone died Alice did her best to carry on. She got her hair done. Tried to get out, see friends. She painted, listened to music, read, bought a CD-Rom that guaranteed her the ability to speak Mandarin in just thirty days. She saw each new movie as soon as it came out and for the first time in her life she could actually choose her picks for the Academy Awards with confidence because she had seen them all even the foreign shorts. When her best friend Phyl had her baby she even agreed to be the godmother, this shocked the hell out of everyone who knew her because it was common knowledge that Alice liked children about as much as the Pope liked homosexuals. But that was beside the point; Alice was embracing life with her arms open wide and a beatific smile on her face. Well for almost a month anyway. And then she grabbed her favorite duvet cover threw it over the dining room table and moved in.


It didn’t take long for Viv to notice something was wrong because she was a really stellar girlfriend. And if truth be told she knew that it was just a matter of time before this ravenous hunger for life that Alice was experiencing would become anorexia. So when she came home that night and found all the lights off and her Siamese, Mick howling like it was the end of the world from the top of his cat tree, she immediately feared the worst. Taking a deep breath she prepared herself to find Alice soaking in a bath of her own blood, laid out like Camille in their bed or lying broken and small, looking like one of those macabre dolls that Alice collected, the ones that came in coffins. Therefore finding her set up like a Bedouin under the dinette set was actually a relief. And she decided to ignore this rather eccentric behavior and carry on as if everything was status quo.


Alice was trying to decide where to set up her laptop when she heard someone knocking on her roof. She knew it was Viv. She heard her come in but had decided to ignore her. After all Viv was a part of the world Alice had left behind after she had been left behind. She knew that Viv loved her but not as much as Ramone had. Nobody loved her as much as Ramone and she missed him so much it made her crazy. Everybody knew you only got one soul mate in life right? Alice’s was a sleek black cat with one patch of white at his throat and one just below his belly making him look like he was dressed for flamenco. So when the rapping continued Alice threw sanity to the wind and chose to believe that she what she was hearing were chunks of meteor sizzling with radioactivity and she prayed that her shields would hold.


Viv getting no response slid Alice’s dinner through what she assumed was Alice’s door, drew a chair up to the table and ate her meal in silence. It was not the best steak she had ever eaten. But then it could have been a lot worse considering the fact that Alice did all the cooking. Viv hoped that this tent thing was just a phase because she really didn’t think it was fair for her to work all day and then come home and have to make dinner. She enjoyed being a provider. She did not enjoy being a nurturer.  Although she very much enjoyed being nurtured especially since it was a totally new experience.

Alice was trying to decide where she was going to live now that she had started a new life. The choices were literally endless because here under the dining room table she was omnipotent. She was the Creatrix. All she had to do was imagine it and it was. Here time moved backwards and forwards at her whim. Here she was alone or surrounded by the friends she’d always dreamed of. She could get naked throw on a mock, mink coat and sip mint juleps with Tallulah Bankhead, smoke Gitanes and scream her existential angst with Sartre, Camus and any other philosopher that struck her fancy. She could watch the nine moons rise over a planet that she had painted into existence and then dance down a white marble staircase with Fred Astaire. But the best thing about being the Alpha and the Omega was that nothing had to die. So here in her snug, duvet heaven, Ramone was still alive.

Resurrecting him had not been easy. It had taken an incredible amount of concentration and she had needed to put in her ear plugs to drown out the sound of Viv asking her if she wanted things. But once Viv had gone to bed and the apartment had fallen silent, Alice was able to conjure a shadowy version of her soul mate and hear him purr. And with his near transparent arms wrapped around her neck, and his practically sheer head on her cheek, she had the first good sleep she’d had since his death.


One Response to “The Remnant”

  1. KUKUSAN May 23, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    Marcy, as usual, your work is stellar! I particularly like your use of language so incredibly precisely descriptive, & somewhat stark! Your characters are quirky but quite believable. The plot is an interesting one which made me really long to hear more about Alice & Viv, moreso than about Alice & Ramone! It is also eery that your last paragraph reads almost exactly like one of my stories about a lover whom I broken away from for some 35 years, as if he had died. Then I “resurrected” him because I wanted to be in love again, only to have to kill him off again 10years later because he just could not “get me” & let me be.

    One of my older women friends (age 85) later said to me: “Not only did you kill him off & bury him deep down in the coldest ground, but you later dug him up, resurrected him, and put him back on the “roll-call”!! Why would you do that to “US”? Why, gal?! Whyyyyyy?!”

    So when I read your story, I was reminded of all that & I am trying to find my notes so that now I can finally finish telling that particular story. That is what reading the good & moving work of others can do for another writer. Thanks, my dear! You are “the STUFF”! Indeed!

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