Keep Art Alive :: Art by Christian Schloe
“She wore blue velvet,
bluer than velvet was the night,
softer than satin was the light,
from the stars.”
The end of February came without consequence, without significance, without the reverence that Laney felt it should possess. It was a Leap Year, like that year had been. That year. Was that why she had disappeared that day, Laney wondered, because it was a disappearing day itself?
Jack sauntered into the kitchen, red eyed and slack jawed from the just awake haze that still lingered on both of them. She knew he had been up most of the night like she had, both of them restless with the knowing of what today means, what it had meant, yet neither of them willing to knock at the other’s door, to say “hey, I can’t sleep either, and yeah, I miss her, too.”
Missing their Mother had to be an invisible feeling, too, like the day. They kept the missing locked up inside, tucked under resentment and anger and rebellion, and in shyness and obsessiveness and over-thinking, traits split between them like card hands in a never-ending game of Go Fish. Sometimes Jack would draw their Mother in his notebooks, but she was always hidden within something otherworldly, part animal, or winged, or gifted with long, electric blue hair. She was always young in his drawings, younger than Jack would have known, younger even than Laney was now.
“You want a ride, J?” Laney asked, tossing a day-old bagel at him.
Jack almost caught it, but his hands were shaky and his reflexes delayed. It fell to the floor, spinning madly until Laney reached down and picked it back up.
“Five second rule.” She laughed, handing it to him this time, carefully.
“You actually going to school today, Lane? Like going to classes and everything?” Jack asked, half-incredulously and have curiously, speaking softer than he usually did with her.
“Yeah, might as well. We don’t get this day very often. But, hey, want to skip first period with me?” Laney asked, darting around the kitchen with nervous energy, trying to dart throw her words with a brave precision.
“Uh…why? I mean, I guess, but I have to be there for second, I have a test and…” Jack had it, too. The nervousness, but his was more obvious, and clumsy.
“I want you to help me dye my hair, like this.” Laney held out a ripped page from one of Jack’s notebooks, a drawing of her, with long, wispy blue hair.