Keep Art Alive :: “The Decoy” :: Art by Steven Kenny
“Well, it’s been days now,
and you change your mind again.”
It is a flash of memory that hits her, like wind whipping through the curl of her hair, back when it was still long, wild, the color of a late Summer sunset. She was a few years shy of being a child, yet she felt overwhelmingly young. There was a sound somewhere off in the distance, a song from her Grandmother’s youth, she can almost make out the girl group harmonizing, almost recognize the song itself.
It reminds her of the diner by the beach she used to go to, with the boy who put a baby inside her. It was open 24-hours and had miniature jukeboxes on each table. They took pennies and were filled with choices from the 50’s and 60’s. He would always give her all he had, piling them in front of her, as soon as they arrived. He called them pennies from heaven for his angel girl.
Back then, Jane believed he really loved her.
Jane has dirt on her face and hands. She’s been burying magic wishes again, a game she had made-up when she was five years old. Letters and numbers hidden in pictures of puffy clouds in a bright blue sky, she would color them with well-worn crayons and would sprinkle stolen spices from the kitchen cupboard all over them, raining down pepper and cinnamon and paprika over the sky. She would make paper birds to go with the magic wishes, she would whisper her secrets into the folded wings. She would gather up the birds and the drawn sky with its spices and secrets, carrying them into the yard, all the way back where the wild daisies grew. It was there that Jane would bury them, all her secrets, all her wishes, all her plans to escape in the ever elusive promise of someday.
Standing here now, closing her eyes tightly so as to not see all their eyes on her, she calls upon all that buried magic, reaching desperately into the chasm of her memory mind, in hopes that she will disappear into thin air, or that her imaginary hero, with pockets full of pennies, will come and save her now.