silver pistol

AGAIN I SEE VESTA. She’s at the parchman farm with her husband, the Pole Radek, but all the pressures of farm life have toppled her over the edge. Clad in blouse and skirt, she loses control, cries and howls, reaches for Radek’s silver pistol and lets loose, shooting friends, relatives, neighbors. Radek and his brother Marek stack the corpses in an old cellar, the bodies laid along the wall shelves like in some early Christian catacomb. The brothers panic and scheme. They ride away in their truck and then it’s just me and Vesta, who seems tired by all the bloodletting. I am afraid she will kill me too, so we play nice and as she gets into bed for the night, with her golden locks strewn across the pillows gleaming like patches of wild summer strawberries, she looks up at me and sighs and we embrace and exchange. Her flesh comes alive to the touch, her strawberries rise up as if to taste the rain, but then she pushes me away. “You have to go,” she says. “He’ll be back soon.” Downstairs, she shows me an old Russian tractor with an odd curved key. It takes some time to get it started. Then I hoist her up on its lid and bury my face below her skirt into that brilliant fertile crescent. It feels as if I have surrendered my very soul up to kingdom come and my heart now is at ease. “You really must go,” she says again. “I love it, I do, but you have to go. He will be back very soon!” I look at Vesta in the light of the barn and think about the bodies stacked up in the cellar. She looks gorgeous but it is time to go. Then I ride the sputtering old tractor over the hill and into the starry evening darkness. “As soon as I get home, I’m calling the police,” I think to myself. “Then I will tell them about the murderers and where the bodies are.”

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