by Chella Courington
She was a girl then. She’d gone to Carlito’s Traveling Show with her mother, a woman who died young. Glossy red with white stars, the box rested on a carpenter’s table. Carlito climbed in. A muscular woman, like her mother, appeared from stage shadows and would pull a saw through the wood. But first came the long aah from the audience.
What did you like best?
The woman who would die young was still there then, gripping the wheel of a blue Pontiac, driving behind a curtain of rain while the girl clutched her yellow slicker. Her head hummed from hearing blades bite the pine. She chewed her thumb until she tasted her own copper blood. She said, the teeth.
You mean the saw.
And she said, yes, the saw that sings in the dark.
Chella Courington is a writer and teacher whose poems and stories appear in numerous anthologies and journals including Spillway, The Collagist, and The Los Angeles Review. Her novella, Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage, is forthcoming from Breaking Rules Publishing. Originally from the Appalachian South, Courington lives in California with another writer. <chellacourington.net>.