UNDERGROUND VOICES: FICTION - 02/2012
CHRISTIAN RILEY

What Little They Know

         They'll tell you that "White" is the color of truth. That she is absent of sin, and not burdened with a longing to peel back the fabric of her existence. That she doesn't own jealousy; the kind that sears within the heart, thrashes over cloth and flesh, like heated flames whipped from gusts of wind straight into a frantic fury ... all upon observance of her despondent lover. They'll say that even after a million years, White will never beg to be left alone.

         "Don't put me in there with him again. Please."

         These same people will also tell you that photographs are like static eyes, and can never be false. And that double-shaded prints, however sportive, convivial, or persistent, have always captured the passage of time exactly how they've seen it. That they, too, bare the light of truth.

         And it is the reasoning of Data that has convinced them of this. For Data has provided them with nothing, other than all that they have ever known. It tells them when to slide their bodies from their beds and stretch for the heavens above. When to gather sustenance, or release the pangs of necessitation. Data whispers knowledge into their ears in a breath of cruel innocence, as time and time again, it crawls forth on spiny legs, crablike, from the muddy holes of behavior. Data is alive.

         Sterile hands will point to this Data, in the moments prior to closing my book. They'll flip through the evidence, pick a piece or two out and hold it up to the light, then place them down onto the table once more, notwithstanding tenderness. And Data will suggest that since clothed in the robes of purity, covered with immaculate appeal, these hands that carry forth such allegations must indeed do so with prized accuracy.

         "It is not uncommon that they dress in white, when committing crimes unto themselves," so they will also say.

         But the irony of this argument, is that nothing could be further from the truth.

         White is a lying bitch. She hates her lover. She loathes his aloof existence, and spits upon the very ground he walks on each time he passes by. White paints pictures of this aberrant being she is often shoved in bed with. Pictures of him drowning in a pool of shimmering, sea-green tide, with bands of foam rushing into his mouth, gagging the life out of him. White seethes in jealousy over her lover's undying simplicity. And she does beg to be left alone. To be void of the constant chatter that dances in her face each and every time she opens her eyes. The real truth of the matter is that White has never known anything, other than that of a lie.

         She had it out with him one day. She spat in his face, not behind his back. She cursed him for what he had done to her, for all those years. How he was ever so quick to meet her sinuous touch with nothing short of a cold shadow.

         Data suggests that it is not uncommon that they dress in white when they commit crimes unto themselves. That upon giving up, once and for all, their final tantrum will carry them headlong into a pitch of dead nothingness. But out upon the vast body of the Aegean Sea, where the glistening folds of a lapping current dance under a cloudless sky, there were no eyes to witness the violent conflict White had with her stubborn lover. No eyes to explain that Data is but a figment of their imagination...save for those of a mindless gull, and the endless parade of the sea-green tide.

Beginning at 5:00 a.m., Chris spends the only available lot of solitary time he gets in a day feeding his addiction to writing. If he's lucky, he'll get two hours in before "they" wake up, after which he lives a wonderful life as a family man. His stories have been accepted at a number of publishers including Midwest Literary Review, Short Story.Me, *ete Noire, Bards and Sages Quarterly, The Absent Willow Review, Residential Aliens, and Underground Voices. He can be reached at his anemic-looking blog: frombehindthebluedoor.wordpress.com







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