Posted on: April 24th, 2010 Liviana

by Carlie Holmboe

From the side of an algae-covered wall two bony legs dangled, swinging back and forth and occasionally tickling the stirring water below. These bony legs didn’t lead to a striking Venetian beauty with a toned abdomen and sun-soaked breasts, no they didn’t catch the eyes of passing fisherman or sellers of fresh Italian produce. And it wasn’t that her face was hideous or that her toenails were overgrown, although they did appear to be growing green mold because of the occasional urge to pick at the soft swaying algae. But looking just ordinary without sun-soaked breasts and silly hair can turn out to really be something when it also means that your sweaty, lazy father really believes that you won’t attract anyone else. No one else but him. And so he turns your bony legs inside out and runs his fingers through your straggly hair while you pretend to sleep. And it’s especially bad to have a dad like that who goes to church every single Sunday cause then through googly eyes nobody sees the signs and everyone thinks it’s sweet how he must love you no matter how ordinary you look because he rubs his rosary with tears in his eyes and works his fingers to the bone. And so sitting on the side of the bridge and wondering about humans and how their tricky minds work is something that happens naturally. Most people don’t understand how their own tricky minds work or how they are running with panting tongues and ridiculous shoes straight for bogus dreams and futures that promise big trophies, but in the end leave you mangled and sitting in a Lazy Boy remembering that you had forgotten to do all the things you meant to do, but now your arteries are clogged and air is pumped though a plastic tube and straight into your lungs because they don’t remember how to breathe. And people with functioning bodies are usually running straight toward wheelchairs just to take a break from it all anyway.

So that’s what she thinks while her bony legs dangle and she stares off into the sunset, all the time despising the moles that speckle her thighs. No one could blame her for wishing he was dead, and it’s too late to settle the wars that she charts in coming days and years. All the time the sun is falling and reminding her that it’s almost time to go home, but this time she won’t go home, no she can’t go home one more time and so she grips the green slime with her toes and vomits into the swirling blue water below while a little creaking boat and a man with bright blue sparkling eyes almost passes by, but then begins to paddle smoothly toward her as she quickly wipes her mouth. She can tell by his smile and his untidy hair that he has read a lot of books and doesn’t ogle the asses of laughing mothers as they make their way down the aisle at church. And he probably doesn’t go to church, but if he does then he’s probably right anyway, and so she clutches his hand and steps into the wobbly boat attempting to cover the moles with her plaid skirt and failing because he’s already spotted them, and he says “I think moles are beautiful.” That’s the first thing he says to her and she thinks it’s wonderful because he must really be the one who can save her, and she’s right. Because they paddle silently toward the horizon as the sun regretfully sinks and leaves them in the wailing black sea all alone. But this is just so romantic. And who knew it could happen to such an ordinary looking girl. With moley thighs. She thought it was surprising that he didn’t want to feel of her long black hair or kiss her quivering lips. But he reached under her blouse. And she searched for his sparkling blue eyes and couldn’t find them anywhere. Suddenly, that all-too-familiar sick feeling crept through her veins. She cried and then she screamed and writhed, and the boat tottered. But didn’t tip. And there were no more boats out selling fruit or laughing about bony knees. And no one to notice the splash. And how two went out, but only one came in.

Filed under: bad-ass, stories

3 Responses to “Liviana”

  1. The Great Geek Manual » Free Fiction Round-Up: May 3, 2010 Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    [...] “Liviana” by Carlie Holmboe at Brain [...]

  2. The Great Geek Manual » Free Fiction Round-Up: May 3, 2010 Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    [...] “Liviana” by Carlie Holmboe at Brain [...]

  3. Free Fiction for 5/1/10 - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    [...] harvest: “Liviana” by Carlie [...]