There is a rumor that Laura Palmer’s going to be at the dance.
While you don’t know her personally, all you can think about is the exquisite mystique of her corpse, and how her live voice, on a tape loop, kept repeating—So … you wanna fuck the prom queen?
Just the faintest tickle of the idea that Laura Palmer, THE Laura Palmer might breeze into the school auditorium, and perhaps stand only ten feet away from where you are standing, you holding a plastic cup filled with cherry punch, dressed in a suit that was your brother’s, god rest his soul . . . Laura, could I get you a glass of punch? (good, in your head, you didn’t stutter or stammer when propositioning Laura).
You suddenly realize that cherry punch is leaking from a hole in the bottom of your cup, and onto your new shoes, as you tip the cup horizontally which unfortunately sends the entirety of your cherry punch splash-spilling onto the tiled floor. The cherry punch now pooling around your shoes reminds you of cartoon blood, and you remain transfixed by this grotesque effect until, out of the corner of your eye, you spot a figure, crowned in a baroque silver tiara, and wearing a white ruffled blouse and tight-fitting blue denim jeans, walking backwards through the doorway. She seems to be rewinding at a spasmodic, off-kilter pace, toward you.
You cannot understand the words coming out of her mouth, as they sound as if they are being gargled, and are being spoken forward, away from you, with the girl continuing to rewind, and you locked in a pause, awaiting her targeted arrival.
When she gets to you and wheels around, as if she were wearing roller skates, it is the smile that you can bear least, and how its presence, what you might call its inadmissible entry in a forest with no moon, causes you to look down at the mess you’ve made, and please god, tell me why anyone would serve cartoon blood at a high school dance?
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag.
His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.