The Price
Abha Iyengar
Tapas Winner

She could not force times of entry and exit. She could only watch from behind the screen. The work was delicate, they had to ingest very carefully, just those areas of memory in which Moshe’s fears resided. She could see them undergoing change, ingesting more and more, cowering in corners, not wanting to move. Some of them still flitted about, unaffected, exiting to enter again. But many of them were slowly congealing into live carcasses, staring into death.

She just wanted Moshe to return to her the way he was before captivity.

The Academy had given her a choice, pay for physical reconstruction or mental, she could not have both. Moshe would return to his former self, the horrors of his incarceration removed from his memory. She would touch his limp leg, his cavernous cheek, his broken mouth and see love in his eyes again. 

They were working hard, identifying and drawing into themselves the micro morsels that were Moshe’s all encompassing scenes of hell. She wrung her hands as she watched them falling at a faster pace into the corners, creating a litter of nothing much, just a vast collection of tiny proboscises, a surreal painting of sorts. Soon, none would leave and she could not force them, nor sweep them out.

She would have to live with them in her own home.  Maybe she could lock them up, once she got Moshe.


First published: May, 2010
comments to the writer: doorknobsandbodypaint@gmail.com