Chapter 9: The Poison Popsicle


Cecilia smiled sweet as the school kids coalesce upon the playground, the bright summer sun bouncing back off the pavement, bake the kickball crusty and everybody eyes Chinese. It was recess, on a Thursday, like a field trip, with nowhere to go, and too hot for even the minis to run around, so they swarmed the warm grass, tire swing melting like a yo-yo hungover, monkey bars broil to the touch. They look up at her, mistrust in their trusting little eyes, and Cecilia pull the popsicle slow from her ice-pack styrofoam box.

There was Cherry for Eduardo, Maple for Emily & her sister Diane, redhead Danny Fischer grab fast for Blue Raspberry. Faith takes a Lemon Sour, Sydney like her Orange & Rebound bites a blueberry. The children lick their popsicles for sweet relief in frozen sugar, but soon they found their feet unsteady underneath them and maybe it was time to sit down, maybe. Cecilia, the venom already in her bloodstream, couldn’t help herself but smile, and the smile turn into slow drops of leaking laughter.

“I don’t…” This was Stephanie Angel, the last words she would ever speak. She never found a way to finish the sentence.

The children looked up into the sky and saw it all: God, the Devil, every color of the rainbow, every smile, every handshake… they saw the beating hearts… the blueprint of the universe.

Cecilia lay back on the merry-go-round, lifting her dress up before spreading her arms wide. She wanted the papers to find her this way.

The children looked to one another, moments remaining, adults now, Gods, beings of infinite knowledge, and when Jon Moody tried to stand

(cont. on page 43)

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