May 11, 2012: He took a sip and his lips twitched. CWE 222

He took a sip and his lips twitched. A fire lit the end of the living room with a low brightness, but the rest of the room was a dark tunnel. Shadows with blurry outlines floated against the grayed out walls. A short glass of whiskey sat at his elbow. The fire hissed and blew out red embers onto the gray stone. He could hear the children moving furniture upstairs. They were running from one bedroom to another, feet pounding across the hardwood floors. The children were never still. He carried them in his pocket like a wallet or keys on a silver ring. A tube of Chapstick. A handful of warm coins. A grocery list scribbled on an old receipt. Small handfuls of items stewn across the tops of dusty bureaus. Meant to stay put until picked up again. Slid into a pocket or left in a shallow pile to collect dust. Chapstick melting in the morning when sunlight came through the window and lit the bureau. These children were running upstairs, banging doors in the drafty hallway, screaming from one room to the next. They weren’t ever still. He grew redder and sweatier in the light of the fire. Sweat beaded on his forehead and his tan face was shining. Shadows shook slowly over the walls. The children lined the stairs like dolls, one to a step and not touching. They were still as chairs around a table or books on a shelf. His lips twitched.


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