The Warehouse at the End of Everything

Rebecca Scott Lord

I’m in the basement, you see, and there is nothing but the smell of crumbling old paper from our elementary school days. There was a man in a suit with a push broom but we never paid any attention to him. Looking at all these drawings of little snake girls and it all comes back. Glue sticks and shoe prints and I can’t wrap my head around multiplication. In the driveway there is a dog but she is not our dog. Not an ersatz dog because we don’t have one. But you’ll see one day we will and she will be a gravel chomper. But the mold is about to take over and the drawings will be gone. Aha, he says. Not if we put them elsewhere, he says. So we do and that push broom is not gone, it’s never gone because he’s never going to go away as long as these little girls dance with the blood dripping down. And dance on they do, so he stays. Little tacks go into yellow corners and it’s a good thing we remembered to bring the glue sticks. The hallways are checkered and you can’t even see that anymore. The black is now grey and the white is now grey and the lockers are grey and our lives were so grey. The fuzzy feeling of being alone and your feet are freezing is not so bad when you realize that it’s just for today. Little blades of grass sprout between the toes of those little girls and doesn’t that hurt? They drink lemonade on the porch and lizards fly above and devils dance below and their mommy is inside for no one to see. You have to focus or it’s all gone in that dusty musty room. The paper is from a school big rolls of paper for the children. There are no more children there. Only the little girls in their gingham dresses play on the paper in the swirly room. No photographs, please. His heart is racing, please don’t find me. We did but it’s okay because you’re all better now. You’re better and you’re gone and they travel all over the world because of you. It’s like you are the made up thing and they are real, but I promise I won’t take any pictures if you don’t.