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K. Scott Forman

A View with a Room

It was a room with a sense of urgency. The urgency to leave itself, and it did, and the urgency was still there. It went down a dark hall, a darker staircase, and into a kitchen, a single 60-watt naked light bulb revealing a table whose Formica covering matched the linoleum floor that smelled of memories: memories just on the edge of comprehension in a black void that sounded like fear, but tasted like curiosity, and the curiosity pushed the urgent room out the screen door and unto the porch and into the night.

It was fear that made the room feel small, but it went on anyway. It had to know what was in the garage, just off the porch, linking the light of the kitchen and the light of the garage window with a small gray patch of grass that smelled gray.

Sounds. Sounds came from the garage, sounds of trust, of betrayal, of fraternity, paternity, something seriously wrong: something only heard in subconscious nightmares. The door was open to the curiosity, to the fear, to the urgency that made the room peek into the garage and then to the man standing over the workbench.

There was a hammer on the workbench, hair, bone, and blood in its claw, and on the floor the daughter that lived adjacent to the urgent room, a pool of blood floating her head on the concrete floor, a round black and blue Cyclops eye in the middle of her forehead staring at the room. It wasn’t the daughter, the girl, it was something beyond the back of the man, the urgency, that drew the room to this place, that made the room pick up a shovel, to see what the man was bent over the workbench intently working on.

The vise on the workbench held the head of the daughter’s brother that lived in the urgent room, the room that loved him, the room that needed him, the room that would protect him, the room that could not understand why the daughter was sleeping with three eyes open, why the brother was quiet, and why the man, the father, was guilty.

The father tightened a half-inch drill bit into the old drill with a chuck that was always hard to find: it wanted to hide. The trigger seemed to pull itself, the electricity jumping inside the drill revealing its blueness and ozone pheromones through the drill’s vents, the bit spinning at a speed of torture, the speed of death, drilling a hole directly into the forehead of the boy with his head in the vise, the brother who had a mental condition, a special need, something that wasn’t normal, was feared by some, pitied by others, all streaming into the room’s consciousness with the copper smell of the red sea at it’s feet, the blue ozone above, and the cold sweat of the father. The room smelled it all happen, the room heard it all happen before it really happened, and the room had to do something.

No sound, no smell, just the taste of the spinning drill bit, the look of innocence, of trust on the face of the boy, the empty understanding of the innocent, and suddenly the silent taste of a shovel against the skull of the father, the man, and it wasn’t enough. It was too late, or too early, or too much. Nothing could be undone.

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