The Beautiful Blouse
July 4th 2010
A wooden floor rests beneath the feet of a porcelain-faced woman. The dress she wears is from the Victorian age. There are frilly ends to every end she has. There is a large plush to the dress that adds to the elegance. Her back is flat against the wall as if she had been practicing her posture. Her white knuckles and extended arms hold tightly to the front of the armrest in her oak dinner chair. She’s holding on because the ship has tilted so far that she’s now on her back. The sharks head, no body attached, is hardly noticeable at first, though its teeth are resting around the entirety of her neck. As I notice this, the teeth sink slowly and nearly effortlessly into her neck, sprouting a dark purple color into her dress that had been so elegant.
The restaurant was brightly colored. The small table I sat at barely fit the four of us. Chad, one of my bosses, looked at me with his dark and serious eyes. His moustache didn’t dare hide any left-overs from his mouth. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was going to pay. I looked to where the waitress might be, and saw her with his card. If it weren’t for me just knowing it was his, the name would have been written in 100-point font across the front. I quickly stand to my feet and get to her before she begins the process of swiping and validating his card. I look at her as if she’s mad. I had planned on voiding the entirety of the check so that I wouldn’t have to pay for it, when I realize I don’t have my manager’s card on me.
I’m sitting in my mother’s living room, white walls, simplistic, with a boarded up fireplace, and a television on the floor. The television gives off enough light to see that there are clothes strewn about the floor, even though the main lights are off. There on the sofa is my handsome boyfriend curled up presumably sleeping. I call out his name again and again. I soon stand from my chair and approach his location. I can now see that he’s unresponsive and leaning over a toilet. Immediately my senses begin to arouse.
“Are you okay?” I’m asking. “What’s wrong? Babe, are you okay?”
I look up to see that two of his guy friends walk into the room. They are talking, as one sits down on the couch. I stand. When they notice me the one begins to hide a small bottle of something behind him.
“What did he do?” I ask, quickly approaching the one and pulling his arm out from beneath his back. From his hands I grab a bottle of Robitussin.
“What dude? We haven’t robo-tripped in a long time!” The one yells at me. I become infuriated that they would give this to my boyfriend. I point at my boyfriend, but as I look at him he has altered. He is wearing the same white t-shirt, but he’s gained five pounds of body hair, and thirty pounds on his gut. I am disgusted at first. I take him in, then look at his face. But I love him, I rationalize to myself.
Now I stand on a boat at sea. It’s only as wide as an airplane. Something terrible has happened, but I am not made privy to it. I begin to fall, as the front of the ship rises skyward. We’re sinking. As we sink a single sharks head falls down from the front of the ship. Everyone is defying gravity and running from the direction of the shark. It’s clearly vicious since it was separated from its body. I land on what once had been a wall when I watch the head bounce twice next to the porcelain faced woman. She’s wearing a blue dress and looking at me very still. She was trying to deter the shark. It looks at her and moves closer through movements similar to if it’s body were still attached. Suddenly from the severed portion of the head a green cocoon wraps around the lady tightly. Her face changes from that of pure surprise to that of defeat. The shark sets his teeth quickly around her throat before I watch the jaw muscles move to quickly squeeze into her neck sending a flood of blood into the beautiful blouse she had worn.
Caleb A. Mertz