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A Walk Through Town
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A Walk Through Town
A story of magical realism.
[1,132 words]
Literary Fiction
Cristina Sanidad
Graduate of Notre Dame Highschool now attending Santa Clara University.
[July 2004]
A Walk Through Town
Cristina Sanidad

As Cain perambulated through the swaying fields of wheat, weaving through them as though feigning the travels of a chicken with his head cut off, his eyes remained fixed on the enveloping and secretive sky, the smell of the putrid harvest, and the sounds of the cutting scythe behind him. His walk was impeded by the presence of another being, a character of mysterious aura that stalked him with the vengeance of a demon, though he was unacquainted with him. A better glimpse revealed the town drunk, his breath rank with the decaying fruit of wine, his eyes like black beads reflecting the merciless heat of hell and his lips mumbling the painful chorus of an old church song. The heat of the December day caused threads of sweat to ski down the legs, arms, and forehead of the unwelcome stranger dragging him into the ground under the added weight.
The stranger had frequented his 200-year-old grandmother who revealed to him the fate of his newborn daughter. Her mangled and unrecognizable body had been feasted on by disease and her spirit choked into nonexistence one week after her birth. The strangerís wife had struggled through the birth and now bore the trenches across her swollen belly and breasts, and her eyes were scarred from the tears she had brought forth in mourning of her first daughterís death. The sinner was filled with a hatred so deep that he could taste its sweetness on the tip of his callused tongue, sweetness, in this case, referring to pleasantry as he found great satisfaction in his hatred.
Cain remained numb to the old manís pain, and as he gained speed to overcome the restrictive gaze of the haggard beast, he frantically searched for a pleasant item to fix his own relentless gaze.
He next caught sight of one of his classmates. The hopeless boy had been drained of all emotions and coloring, which was evident through his near transparent skin. The opium he had been introducing to his body did nothing but relieve him for a minute of some of his stress although it added distinctively worse side effects. The bags under his eyes drooped to the bridge of his nose, his bloodshot eyes divulged his confusion. His mouth became shriveled and his teeth resembled the size and color of a muleís . Kyan Jay was Cainís friend from many years ago, yet Cain could not find it in himself to reach out to him. He allowed a noncommittal wave in his acquaintanceís direction.
As Cainís eyes rested a moment from the grotesque sight, his eyes feasted on the unworthy figure of Ms. Attlebee, the schoolteacher. He watched her obsessively with the same morbid interest that an old man might have for a young girl. He followed her slightest movements, breathing in her perfume so as to make the memory of her more substantial in his mind. She sensed his awkward vibes from several yards away and shifted her weight so as to subtly inch away. He has caused her trouble before. It was because of him that she and her husband had separated and it would be he who would cause her to make the final, desperate act of her life. Her face turned a marble blue; it began to twitch, and sudden jolts shook any kind intentions out of her. She returned his gaze with the ďbirdie.Ē Cain moved on down the cozy street, still followed by the ungrateful old man.
Cainís apparent disinterest subsided as his eyes traveled to the worn figure of Miss Abby , his old nanny. She has nursed him to health many times and had become a significant asset to the family. As he stared at her soggy face, he began to pick out the imperfections that dominated her once majestic face; the perfect creases and the warm eyes that might remind one of his grandmother, disgusted him. Maybe his disgust stemmed from watching her sob into a pea colored napkin as she drew in each breath as it might be her last. She had good reason for her remorse. Her husband of 73 years was now declared the victim of a driver whose substantial drug intake had inflated his mind and body. The young man, Ryan, Tyan something or other had not been sentenced. The woman had lost all her security, her passion, her reason to live in that crash. Her children were also decimated by the impact of the crash; Miss Abby had hoped the pain would somehow unite them, yet it just drove them farther from her. The spike of their neglect drove deeper into her heart each moment she survived alone. Cain smiled as he remembered his last visit with her.
Now almost 2/3 of the way home, he noticed one last soul. The hapless shape of his kid neighbor invaded his view. Little Jeremy, only 5 years old, was tending to his mother who was still laying crumpled on the porch the way she was when Jeremy had first come home from school. Her awful stench encouraged Cain to walk a dew hundred yards out of his way. Jeremy carefully used the torn rag in his pocket to dampen the corners of his motherís mouth, clearing away the drying saliva and vomit. Her last rage had lasted the whole night and the bruises on Jeremyís neck and arms from the lamp disallowed him the graceful movements that had so defined him. Maggie, the old maid, slapped at her son, cursing at him to bring her inside. Jeremy collapsed under her overbearing weight as he dragged her into the house, scraping from the dirt floor any last bit of dignity that the family might have.
Cain did nothing.
Tree minutes and 27 seconds later, Cain let himself into his own yard. The small Victorian screamed class and it seemed to smile as he drew closer. The fresh yellow paint and stainless white shutters shouted their separate welcomes as he opened the door, and the pansies and daisies in the box on the porch stood taller for him. ďGood afternoon, mother. How was your day?Ē His gracious mother lifted herself gently from her chair and while giving her most heartfelt smile, she offered Cain an after school smack. The smell of the chocolate chip cookies she had baked flooded in the room and oozed out of the cracks where it was met by a decrepit woman, a worthless drunk, a hopeless youth, and an exhausted 5-year-old. Cainís mother drew the scalding pan out of the oven and allowed the cookies to cool. Cain was drawn into a state of awe by her beauty; her porcelain face and delicate features were the same as his. As she handed him a cookie, she hid her hands which bore the scars of stigmata.


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© 2004 Cristina Sanidad
July 2004

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