500 micro fiction test time! ok this came out v. mildly homoerotic. for some reason but not really. couple extra words, 1 hour and no real conclusion. oh well. First sentence came in the shower days days days before.
I found myself in the classic isosceles. I was in love with Ken. Ken was in love with my sister, Beatrice, and dear Beatrice was in love with Egypt. Two beautiful, equal, destined lengths, claiming space with Beatrice’s odd man out. Egypt was not the nickname of some barfly, floozy, nor a mutt. That would make things simple. Egypt, in this this case, wasn’t even a country, but an idea. And Trice was,surely, an ideologue. This was the treacherous terrain of the heart, and it could easily slip into the realm of the scalene, ugly, grotesque, unrecoverable.
This whole Egypt-nonsense started with children’s literature. A slender tome, adorned with that most sensitive of accolade aches, the honorable mention. (A Newbery.) That flimsy, slightly embossed silver adornment caught her blinkless stare, to be ensnared by that mysterious author whose name sounded like a polite onomatopoeia for the will-o-the-wisp inhale from a startled lady, hands clasped in white gloves. Z will always and forever be the occut. Trice was hooked, stolen away by a cover’s clutch and designer tag, the actual nemes-wearing moppets parading about all but invisible until after the act. A Stockholm baptism took place as she devoured words, pages served as the eucharist, and priesthood achieved two chapters in. She was now another daybed Egyptologist who could rattle off King Tut’s post-vitals without batting one of her thick, mothy lashes. But she wouldn’t notice the palindrome, even as I breathe-echoed ‘tut tut tut’ as a forcefield to her ramblings.
Oh, but Ken. Kenneth really. I ached to amputate the K and lop of that lisp-snare TH, and hug and nurture and dominate the ‘enne’ in the middle. Feminine, maybe French? or reminiscent of a noodle? penne, soft, but a palindrome. A rorschach of my very own, to splay my wiring to the world. I wanted Kenneth to be my Kenne, that big K not reminding me of blue light savings, but bluer waters, words, diving down to more clandestine purple. That hard K reminded me of Greek loans (a different time) wading into the Latin lexicon, owning time, the moon. The Greeks, I respected. Geometry. Scholarship. Intercrural intimacy.
Alas, Kenneth, Kenne, Ken, was more than the sum of his consonants and repeated vowel. He was a boy with a bowl haircut and an unappealing habit for hot dogs. Peeling off the lamb skin casing (a Casandrain scream beckoning a future of barebacking?) was his ritual, before the relish shower. To this day I swear his adoration for Beatrice came from an inner, sickening, self-love. He was Ken and she was the closest to Barbie. Looks? Maybe. Trice was blond but proportional, but that big B almost-foreign name aligned in whatever matrix Ken had cooking.
(Many years later Ken would donate heavily to charities setup in the wake of hurricane Katrina, unconsciously upset that such a malevolent proper noun would nestle its defining representative in the same strata as his own.)
And while Ken primped and pined for dear Beatrice, Trice only had eyes for sarcophaguses, hieroglyphics and Elizabeth Taylor. And her lashes. It’s a sure bet that if she’d lived to see it, that the celluloid pulp of Raiders would have been ordained immediately into the pantheon. Just the flashy and fun facts, you know, the plagues of the Pharaoh not the wallowing of slaves. Only what would look good on the daybed. But Trice died, living out an alternative, bleak, ending to her favorite book, where the grocer’s nephew kills the kids.
There’s no mummification for Trice, no jellied brains removed via nasal passage and ceremony. Dear Beatrice was burnt right up. Time of death and cremation shared a timestamp. What she did end up sharing with her lover was a sense of mystery, set in a grand demise forcibly stapled to its newer incarnation, a phoenix without the fire. Trice was an ancient Egypt, glossy, sexy, glyphic, pondered. I’m modern Egypt, the one who’s lived on to watch Stargate spin off into cable series. Trice was easily two of me at least, but I was one of her by birth right alone. I’m her sister, and I while didn’t take take her life, I did decide to live it.