New Stories by Ashlie Allen

BLACK PAINT

We were painting pictures, a bottle of wine glowing in the background. It was too sunny, so we closed the curtains. I guided your hand towards the canvas, helping you create visions. You giggled and said I was awkward. I grabbed the wine and drank heavily, desperate for paralysis. I wondered if you knew what anxiety was and if I looked like the devil. “Please keep painting.” I begged. You were unaware that the paint was black.

When you finished, I jerked open the curtains, wanting you to see your creation. “Where are you?” you cried. “You made a masterpiece.” I winked, though you could not see. My entire body was covered in black. I was your creepy, drunken art.

 

 

LISTENING TO MEDICINE

I’m best friends with my static radio. I sit outside with it, blasting classic music while watching my nieces and nephews play. I wish I was them. They don’t understand why I’m out here every day or why I look so pale. They often ask if I’m sick or just bored. “Give uncle a kiss and forget about him.” I’ll say. Once, when I was a kid, I played without worry. There was just the wind brushing against my skin and the yummy scent of burning leaves. The radio is my soothing breeze and holy incense; it is my Medicine-man.

 

 

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