Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mary Lennox in reverse

Just today that smell was back. That smell of soggy permafrost in summer, squashy and alive. Just enough to remember their first trip and the previous summer of blueberries on sideways-feeling peaks, adrenaline rush of seeing bear tracks and the fog of Benadryl after being bitten by five hundred mosquitoes. Theresa and Ben knew they were making a sacrifice by living in a terrarium. Only a few of those attached to their circle could enter the terrarium and see what they saw, and they missed births, deaths, tantrums, frustrations, and slap happy dinners where Theresa's Dad laughed silently until tears streamed down his handsome tan face. There were very few tan faces here. Alex's face in particular was almost transparent, in summer it reddened up a bit but it never seemed full of Vitamin D. Not that he browned up much down South. But he had seemed a little bit golden. The Scandinavian look he possessed was courtesy of Ben, whose father was mainly Swedish. Theresa was a brown nut of a thing most of her life, but up here she resembled some overgrown Madame Alexander doll, her hair was too black, and it made her eyes look a bit hollow. Her olive skin yellowed, then paled, and she was like Mary Lennox in reverse.

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