Donnerstag, 25. November 2010

Tessa

Tessa looks at me with her green eyes and waits for an answer. We have been best friends for as long as I can remember. Since my family moved from the country to the big city, where I knew no one and didn't have anyone to play.

I sigh. "Yes, I know. Happy?"

The doorbell saves her. Relieved, I answer the door. Peter is outside, with the guys and some chicks I don't know. They're carrying popcorn, pizza, beer and sodas. My part was renting the movies and making soup, and Tessa helped. She's a kitchen goddess.

This is what the Romans must have felt like when the barbarians were at their gates. My tiny, germ-free flat has never seen so many people at once. I usher them inside, feeling slightly embarassed at the lack of life. Peter gives me a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. He knows I'm not comfortable displaying affection in public. My knight in shining armor, respecting my every wish.

Standing close to him, I rather feel than see his gaze wander down the hallway, where he meets Tessa's shamrock stare. "Hello there, who are you?"

She won't talk to him. Of course not.

"That's Tessa", I explain, reluctantly. "She's a product of my imagination. Shall we get the movie started?"

Freitag, 19. November 2010

Mirror Child

She knows that she is damaged, after all they've done to her. Like the puppet with one arm at the flea market, which no one wanted.

"I told you", her mother had said, "who wants a damaged toy?"

And now it's her no one wants. When people look into her eyes, they do not see their own, clear reflection. She's like a broken mirror. Shards everywhere, used to protect herself, to hurt. Their images are twisted, more true than reality, closer to themselves than their reflections.

They leave her alone, and finally she is safe.

Broken mirrors can do magic.

Donnerstag, 11. November 2010

Thief of hearts

Living with a sprite wasn't easy. Especially on the days that Estrella came to visit.

Laurell shook her head. Estrella. No surprise her sister was so - special. She typed some more numbers into her worksheet, then closed her notebook. The desk was cluttered with all kinds of papers. Today, however, she couldn't blame it on Jack.

Jack was her sprite. And he was in love with Estrella. Only unfortunately Estrella couldn't (or maybe pretended not to) see him. Just as the fancy names went to the younger members of the family, the spooky gifts went to the oldest of each new branch. Laurel imagined herself as the defender of family traditions, but sometimes she thought she could do without.

She grabbed her half empty tea mug, carried it over to the dark kitchen and wondered where Jack was. Usually he stayed by her side pretty much all day, as long as she stayed inside. Laurell guessed he was somehow bound to the house she was born in, he had been her companion since childhood. His pointy ears and sharp white teeth made him a valuable friend - he'd willingly play all kinds of parts when enacting fairytales, and he never hesitated to defend Laurell. Against bullies, stray dogs, the mailman (on that one occasion where she had opened the door in her bathrobe and things had got a little bit out of hand). Sometimes he tried to help with the housework, too, but these efforts usually went wrong and left them with a bigger mess than before.

This morning, Jack had put on his best suit - his only suit, that is - and tried to comb the mess of greenish hair on his triangular skull. He had polished his nose to a shine and tried to be a good sprite. When Estrella walked down the garden path that led to the back door - she was superstitious and never entered through the front door - the most beautiful autumn roses were in full bloom, and Laurell wondered how he had done it. She was not sure what the full extent of Jack's powers was, and today it annoyed her. Everybody thought her younger sister was the family treasure. Even her old friend.

Estrella hadn't stayed long. She had finally gotten over her last desastrous affair with a married banker, gone to the hairdresser before coming to visit her sister and was on her way to a posh club somewhere a few miles down the road. "I only have to pick up my wallet on the way", she smiled as she sipped her tea, " and maybe catch some sleep. I've heard the guys at Ipanema Lounge are hot!" Her hair, once blond and now firy red, fell in gentle waves over her shoulder and had the audacity to glow in the afternoon sunlight.

The sisters wasted some time on smalltalk, and then Laurell went back into her office while Estrella went to kick-start her night life.

And that was the last time Laurell had seen Jack. Now that she thought about it, it worried her... but only for a moment, until she heard something rustling under the stairs. Jack had only taken a nap in his nest, after all.

Gently, she knocked on the wood, "Hey, old pal. You're up for some dinner?"

Something was odd. Jack didn't react. She could see him breathing, but he remained curled into a tight ball.

"You okay?"

Slowly, the sprite lifted his head and looked at her. His face was sprinkled with something dark, as was his shirt, and he smelled... metallic.

"It's your fault!" he sobbed. "You told me to do it! You said I could steal her heart!"

Inside Laurell's chest, something froze. Slowly she stepped back, her eyes fixed on the miserable figure sitting in the darkness. She couldn't make out any colors. Her breath seemed too loud - it hissed in her ears while she fumbled for her phone - an oldfashioned construction with a cord, so the receiver couldn't get lost - and dialed Estrella's phone number from memory.

Absent-minded, she wrapped the cord around her wrist as she waited. Somehow she knew that her sister wouldn't pick up the phone.

Donnerstag, 4. November 2010

This is me

There is nothing left to say, and so I keep quiet as I watch him leave. The flowers he sent me yesterday are lying on the floor, surrounded by puddles of water and white glass shards. My favorite vase. I will have to get a new one.

Of course he threw a fit. Hadn't he done enough for me? Didn't I love him anymore? Every guy acts like that. Heroes, broken and devastated. All of them. It's inevitable.

A smile hides just inside my ruby lips, barely waiting until the door closes.

It's part of the fun in my life.