Vanished

One minute I’m sitting on the veranda, in my favorite rocking chair, watching the rather large wasp try again and again to go through the screen instead of using the door it probably came in through, the screen on that door has never been attached correctly, wasps and water beetles find the way in so easily, the next minute, Emily has collapsed. Well, first, Emily is falling backward, a warped piece of plywood, restricted, without arms to catch itself, it’s falling flat to the ground, and that’s what Emily is doing, eyes and mouth wide, voice saying nothing, then she’s lying flat on the veranda, looking up into the cosmos, seeing things none of us are seeing. It’s haunting how things got this way, five girls, none of them bring Emily to reality. She doesn’t recognize worried looks, dangling hair, her own mixing with pollen and dirt blown in by westerly Florida winds.  “Can you sit up?” Sit? Up? No.  I find Holly, and she’s at her phone, debating to call the police. There’s primitive fear in her eyes. Wasn’t it her idea to give Emily what she wanted? I feel vanished. No one is calling the police to this house. They say it doesn’t take more than five minutes to get back to ground. Once the sizzling and the face-numbing have stopped, it’s like being dropped back into the here and now. Only after these points on the map have been established does the world find you again.

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