The Magnifying Glass

by lonewolfpoetry

I know this is called Lone Wolf Poetry but I believe words are more important than form so here is a short story I wrote. Let me know what you think!

 

She lies gently curled into his side, her head nestled in the nook of his neck. His hand traces the soft curve from shoulder to wrist. This annoys her as a new lover so easily can. His finger stops and encircles a tiny imploding star the size of a pea midway down her forearm. It is a muted crimson and he wonders how he never noticed it before. He enquires to its provenance in an intimate whisper.

The past three decades collapse and she is six, leaning against the doorframe and silently looking out into the paved front garden. Her brother is there, three years older, squatting and staring fixedly at the ground, unaware of her gaze. She looks at her own small feet, gently clad in white cotton socks, slipping down from her scabbed knees and checked summer dress. The small boy with dirty cheeks smiles slyly as the dry grass he is holding a magnifying glass over begins to gently smoulder. This trick he learnt in a book pleases him greatly, he had after all searched every room in the house for a magnifying glass and found it in his father’s bedside cabinet next to an old watch, handkerchiefs and a box of condoms, although the boy didn’t know what these were. He had taken a slim silver packet out of the box to investigate later in the privacy of night.

The boy scoured the paving slabs around his feet for other objects to inflict the sun’s powerful rays on. Scurrying over the hot concrete he spies an ant carrying a tiny ragged piece of leaf with another following closely behind. He moves his hand and watches the intense yellow bead beneath the magnifying glass race toward the first ant. The ant scuttles down the crack between two paving stones so he moves it over the second ant. The insect moves quicker as it feels the intense heat but suddenly staggers and begins to slow.

The girl, watching this tiny melodrama from the doorway is at once horrified and bewitched. She gingerly steps out of the doorframe, placing her white socks on the grey stone, knowing the repercussions this will bring from her mother. The boy, startled by her presence loses track of his prey and it finds shadowy shelter in which to rest but doubtfully recover. He scowls at her and she tiptoes closer and squats down beside him. Wordlessly he grabs her wrist and hovers his instrument of torture over her forearm. Her eyes meet his and she feels the noon summer rays intensified on her pale soft skin. She remains silent and holds his gaze even though she can feel her bottom lip quivering and her tear ducts beginning to well.

Her innocent skin slowly turns scarlet and a small spot begins to pucker. The boy notices this change and stares only deeper into her nubile face. Without warning a crow swiftly swoops down from a nearly poplar tree and for the second time the boy’s concentration is rudely broken. He jumps up and darts into the woodland beside the house leaving his magnifying glass to clatter noisily beside the girl. She watches him run and then looks down at her milky freckled forearm now so violated. She places her lips over the mark and her tongue feels the lingering heat and the slightly metallic taste of her own blood. Yet she feels triumphant, and adult.

The woman comes back to the present with a second enquiry from her lover and she mumbles an excuse of a cigarette burn in her heady teenage years. Not yet ready to let this man burn her.

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