“Here, my pet—hold onto this for me a moment, won’t you? There’s a dear.” He handed her his flute of champagne and strolled to a seemingly blank stretch of wall. He then shot her a cool, wry glance as he reached into the breast pocket of his tuxedo and retrieved a small key. The key fit smoothly into the wood paneling, and the wall split with a hiss.
“Oh my!” breathed Vivienne as the walls came to a halt. Before her hung Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. She turned her awestruck gaze upon her host, who had glided back to her side unnoticed. “Is that—“
“Oh, heavens no. A reproduction.” He took his glass back from her and contemplated the fake. “The painting may be a counterfeit, but its beauty is real.” Vivienne watched as he drained his glass. “Yes. Very real indeed.”
Sometimes I wonder:
Do fish get diabetes?
Even if they do
Could I say no to that face?
Surrounded by beauty,
I’m filled with regrets–
These Indian peacocks make terrible pets!
How are you? You remember how we promised to go back to Camp Weenahaw? Well I am going to do it! I am packing my things tonight and I will leave at dawn! I can’t stand it here any longer! You live closer, so you will probably get there first! Let’s meet up at our secret tree okay? See you there!
Mary looked at the letter a second time, then a third. She ran to the foot of the stairs and called up.
No answer. Mary could hear the shower running, so she sat down on the stairs to look at the letter again. “See you there!” She looked out the window and shuddered. The last of the leaves had fallen from the trees, like the last of the Camp Weenahaw scabs on her knees. Her summer freckles had mostly faded away, and the cut on her thumb was now nothing but a thin white line. That was from when she and Aggie made the blood oath to return to Weenahaw.
She stuffed the letter back in its envelope and tucked it into her hoodie pocket just as her mother was stepping out of the bathroom.
“Were you calling me, sweetie?”