Monday, 16 July 2018

Sunburn

By Iris Green

iced sangria


“Kill me!” Iris cried. “Kill me now!”

“Iris is that you?” Zach asked.

“Any second now a foul alien creature will explode from my abdomen,” Iris explained. “Kill me now before it’s too late!”

“Is that Saran Wrap?” Zach asked.

“Yes,” Iris answered. “I’ve been Saran Wrapped to this telephone pole.” Her legs and feet were wrapped together and her arms were straight at her sides. She was wrapped from her ankles to her stomach; her exposed skin squashed against the transparent wrap.

“Who did this?”

“My best friend in the whole world, Vicky.”

A horse fly was buzzing around Iris’s face. Zach flicked his hand at it until it flew away.

“The sun will be up soon,” Zach pointed out. “You’re gonna get a sunburn on those white legs." The wrapping process raised the hem of her dress up so some of her thighs were exposed. “A bad enough burn and you could get skin cancer. I think Vicky is trying to kill you.” 

“What are you doing out so early?" Iris asked.

“Going to the Grab & Save for some smokes. How long have you been like this?”

“Since about midnight. Vicky is really pissed at me, something about a boy. She can be way too competitive.”

“Aren’t you going crazy out here?” Zach asked.

“I got some sleep,” Iris answered. “I can see the big screen TV in the Hartman’s house across the street. The African Queen was on, that’s when I fell asleep.”

“What’s on now?” Zach asked. He turned to see.

“Looks like Bugs Bunny,” Iris answered.

“There’s bird shit in your hair,” Zach said, not taking his eyes off the Hartman’s TV. Iris’s short jet-black hair had a splash of white near the top of her head.

“That’s a bad omen,” Iris commented.

“Nonsense,” Zach replied. 

“A bird shitting on your head before the sunrise is a sign to go home and crawl into bed for the rest of the day.”

“My parents are taking the boat out on the river this morning,” Zach said. “You wanna come along?”

“You know I do.”

“I know you really love the river. Bring sunscreen this time if you’re gonna wear one of those sundresses. And your big goofy straw hat.”

“Here comes old Mrs. Stilman,” Iris said, her head turned to look down the street.

“In all of her blue-haired glory,” Zach chided, “and walking her mean Chihuahua. Don’t ya just love small town life? Want me to stick around and make sure it doesn’t piss on your boots?”

“I’ll be okay,” Iris assured. “You’re probably dying for a smoke by now.”

“Be at the marina by eight?” Zach asked.

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Iris answered.

Iris was right Zach wanted a cigarette bad. He meandered down the sidewalk toward the convenience store. Behind him, he could hear Mrs. Stilman.

“You’re going to get those snow white legs sunburned,” she said. “It’s supposed to be a warm day today.”

“Kill me Mrs. Stilman!” Iris cried. “Kill me now!”
 

About the author 

Iris' history of publications includes Slice Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Birmingham Arts Journal, Downstate Story, Bluffs Literary Magazine, and CafeLit. Her novel “Redemption Story” is currently under contract with Ricky’s Backyard and should be published soon. She is an English/Literature major at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and hopes to use her learned skills to enhance her writing ability. Iris lives in an empty nest in the same town as her university with wife Bonz, five dogs, and three exotic, though unwieldy, birds.

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