Page 71 - WTP Vol.VII #3
P. 71

gonna let it go or we’ll make you.”
“Is he gonna stay in that getup?”
 “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Yeah, yeah. That’s right. Long as I been working here. Anyways, we don’t ask questions, man. We just follow orders.”
“Of course not.” Merrily smiles, but it is not pleasant or happy. It is the smile of the tormenter. It is a smile engaged by thespians portraying villains, fangs just visible, left eyebrow raised, brain boiling with ma- levolence.
“I hear you.”
The men in white arrive before I can respond. They seize my wings and pull me to my feet. They are thick, strong men, but I tower over them.
The lock clicks and the silence of the Quiet Room en- velops me. Despite this I do not despair. I am not unhappy. I am not lonely. I am confused, yes, but one way to be less confused is to summon what you know, what is real and true to you—and to use your instru- ment. My instrument has always been myself, its tru- est version. And when I reach into myself mere walls cannot enclose me. But I grow sleepy. My eyes close. I’m not certain what this is or what this has been. Un- less I’m dreaming I hear music. They’re pumping it in over the speakers:
“Take it easy, big guy,” one says, tugging me left. “Don’t fight it,” says the other, tugging me right.
“Take him to the Quiet Room,” Merrily says. “He’s be- ing aggressive.”
They pull me away from my table. If I wanted to I could crush these men. I could knock them down and stomp them until they were pulped. But suddenly I feel tired.
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
“Come on you big galoot, move those clodhoppers.” “Fucking weirdo.”
Difalco is the author of two story collections, Black Rabbit and The Mountie At Niagara Falls (Anvil Press). He lives in Toronto, Canada.
  Five Stones
oil on panel
4'' x 15''
By Jeff Uffelman

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