Taking care of Mabel (by Anna Shapiro)

July 10, 2009

Anna Shapiro offers the fifth post in an online game of Consequences (inspired by Hydragenic‘s wonderful experiment), wherein eleven writers, myself included, each write a 250-word narrative around the theme of an abandoned landscape, and must use the last line of the previous post as the first line. Our series was kicked off by Sam J. Miller, followed by Jade Park, Jane Voodikon, and Lisa, One-Eyed Woman. The next writer up is the inimitable Mark Krotov.

(Anna doesn’t run a blog, so here’s her post on my site.)


A leap out the window made the situation much more interesting. Interesting—so milquetoast. Milquetoast I now was. Normally messy and generally out of control, I was now inhabiting another life. This bed was not my bed. The bed, with its Marimekko Poppy bedding, was my cousin Lola’s. Lola vanished two months, one week, and three days ago. No one suspected anything. She’d sent me a brief note saying, “Not gone for good. Take care of Mabel. Water frequently. There is something I must do, and it may take me a long time to do it.”

I tried to rise, to look out the window, but even on a good day Lola’s bed held me with its memory foam. So here I lay on poppy sheets like Dorothy in the field of poppies, looking around in an opiate haze, the witch cackling at her confusion through her crystal ball.

What was it that Lola needed to “do”? Lola was a very simple, careful woman: her place was beautiful and precise, each surface accounted for in a harmony that engaged more than one sense at a time. That harmony was starting to fray at the edges at my hand. How could such a homebody willingly disappear?

Mabel came padding in, her soft whippet paws further muffled by the Flotaki rug. So thin and gray, almost a shadow of herself. No whippet can afford to lose her appetite. Mabel was no exception. I feared Mabel wouldn’t live long without Lola.


6 Responses to “Taking care of Mabel (by Anna Shapiro)”

  1. jadepark Says:

    WHIPPET!!! I love them! I hope Mabel makes it.

  2. jadepark Says:

    When is the next one up?!

  3. […] 5. Anna Shapiro […]

  4. […] what came before: 1. Sam J. Miller, 2. Jade Park, 3. Jane Voodikon, 4. Lisa Silverman, 5. Anna Shapiro, 6. Mark Krotov, 7. Wah-Ming Chang, 8. Alex Chee, 9. Viet Dinh,10. Lucas […]

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