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The Heaving Breast



The sun sank like a large unripe tomato, more orange than red, behind the sagging willows covered in moss looking like an army of spiders had woven for days, draped the foliage and then dyed it green. The dirt path wound between the land of cotton without forgetting the good times but remembering to eventually arrive at the fork, not the kind you eat with but more like the one you use for tuning because there were only two choices, one leading to the terrible swamp where a mist hung over the water the color of black ink but more brown, like the steam on a pot of water salted with Kosher salt because it contains no iodine just before the full rolling boil begins and the pasta is dropped for thirteen minutes, al dente and the other road leading to the ancestral home of the Montague family.

No moon hung in the sky this night like a fiery orb hanging from a light post in London to be lit by the lamplighter who had never missed a night’s work since he took over the position from his father when he was 17 who had died from a combination of addiction to hard liquor and chewing with his mouth open which offended another customer in the restaurant who had a gun and a quick trigger finger. Trudging through this stygian darkness, a young girl, not the young of boy chests, but the girl youth of healthy pink complexions, the dewy moss on alabaster skin and the chest of impressive dimensions usually associated with country singers, ladies of the evening, and champion Guernseys. With each step a tiny explosion of dust rose from the road like she was dropping a tiny nuclear bomb beneath her dainty toes but not radioactive. She paused at the fork and with a sigh turned to the right knowing that over the next rise she would be home.

Desiree Montague, the most beautiful women in Montague County where the beauty competition rivaled that of any pageant without the talent competition and the few women who weren’t beautiful pretended they were deceiving themselves if not the men folk who starved for affection sometimes had to settle for less when it was closing time on the plantation was returning from a party she hadn’t wanted to attend but the Italian Ambassador, after an arduous trip from Genoa was rumored to be rich beyond imagination in spite of the fact he vomited the entire voyage.

Desiree, thinking she could possibly interest Guissepe since that was the ambassadors name, the same as his father and his father’s father and his wife’s father because they came from a city where almost half the men were named Guissepe and the other half were named Guido except for Luigi who wasn’t and no one knew why to lend her some money for the vast but insolvent Montague plantation. Faster than Luigi, the boy with the singular name could suck the cheese off a lasagna, Desiree was turned down and in humiliation, as deep as that suffered by a balloon artist who’s dachshund is indistinguishable from his giraffe left the soiree and decided to walk home using the time to think.

Ahead, like the glow from a dying fire something flickered like flames just above the tree tops like a thousand lanterns being waved by 500 people, one in each hand. Desiree’s heart began to throb, not like it did when she saw a really industrious man without his shirt or when swimming in the pond and a stray fish wandered up her chemise close to forbidden zones of heaving discontent but more like the anxious heart of a cook wondering if the turkey will be dry again this year. She crested the hill receiving a shock not like being hit by a bolt of lightning during a thunderstorm that usually didn’t come until the rainy season beginning in September but more like how she felt when she saw the overseer trying to climb on the sheep’s back and losing his pants in the bargain.

Montague Manor was ablaze!

(To Be Continued)



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