Incantation, 1.B.4, 300 words

Under the opposite bed the indelible crust of what looks like a bloodstain becomes visible to Twill in fitful sleep. The aberration of its peaks and salty sediments lists the room off balance from the hypnotic monotone of flight. Carpet then wallpaper and the lampshades and mirrors shed their boundaries into one indistinct body. Struggling to define the specter of that first room that he has forgotten the curtains billow and flow over the walls and walls advance to press the beds together and the bloodstain appears on beds covered in carpet. A revelatory Twill is on the floor outlining the bloodstain with the string of his forefingers and thumbs. As they repeated bland constellations of inanimate objects imprinted his days like the blank silhouettes they left in dust. Forms remained but their borrowed caresses and impressions slipped past. He slides the motel stationery and stickpen from the credenza and stalks the room on his knees committing binomial incantations to each organ, digit, defect, darkness, feature, and fluid. He whispers the words he transcribes: paregoric bloodstain, yearning pillow, surgical soapdish, amnestic bedclothes, adipose vanity, corporeal lamp, saintly washrag, crystalline soap, resuscitated headboard, angelic airconditioner, moaning pillow, syncopic chair, benzenic doorstop, acanthus table, etheric lamp, toothless credenza, seductive matchbook, peccant ashtray, parthenian sink, humiliated curtain, vital clothesrod, murmuring towel, scrutinous table, chair redivivus, withholding drape, shadow bedframe, bruised nightstand, abused headboard, astral lamp, curious peephole, permissive drape, tremulous knob, euphoric knob, prickled bedspread, viscous bedspread, rugose bedclothes, gasping pillow, fleeing pillow, insidious bedframe, pineal doorknob, heavenly television. As sun pries the drapes the transmigration is complete. Light falls on an already unrecognizable room. He discards the waxy pad and dry ink that doubles the room and flees with the impulse to construct its memory from scratch incorrectly, or forget it correctly.

Critical Response:

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