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graphic by Jessica Del Greco Eloise
by William Fairbrother

"Eloise, wake up!"
"What?" She calmly rises. "Have you been smoking that pipe?"
"What is it?"
"Maybe it's from the factory."
"You see it?"
"But it isn't smoke."
"Where has everything gone? Do you know you're naked?"
"You're naked. It's a haze of some sort. I don't smell burning."
"Where's the bed?"
"My hope chest!"
"We went to sleep in our bed, right?"
"Thieves? Couldn't be. Shhh! Shhh. Listen."
"Am I breathing?"
"I think so. I'm breathing."
They hug briefly.
"Try standing."
He bends onto his knees in relation to Eloise's reclining figure feels the weight of his sex dangling as he stands dizzy.
"Don't fall!"
"I can see farther."
"What? What do you see?"
"More nothing."
"There's more? Can't you see the Millicents'?"
"Not there."
"The Jones'?"
He turns very stiffly, carefully to his left.
"Is it fog?"
"Are you cold?"
"No." She screams, "Help!"
He plops down beside her, yells, "Eloise, for god's sake!"
"We need help!"
"You're getting hysterical! They'll take us away!"
"Are we blind!"
"But I can see you very clearly."
"I've heard of that of a blindness where you can only see each other."
"Are we... Eloise, are we... Maybe we've died."
She laughs.
He takes hold of her shoulders and gently shakes her, "Stop, Eloise! Stop it!"
She continues laughing, eyes closed, tears forming. She stops laughing, opens her eyes. "Nothing." She begins sobbing folds into his arms. He cradles her, rocks her gently in his arms.
"Maybe... Let's go back to sleep."
She draws back from him. "What do you feel?..."


William Fairbrother born La Jolla, CA April 10, 1956, 10:10pm. Winner of Bravura Award for poetry, four plays produced, eight collections of poetry and four novels published. Lives in Denmark.



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