family · fiction

Metal and Red

(fiction class ‘group’ story – each person to write a story referencing kevin bacon – yes, 6 degrees of kevin bacon – and yes, just kevin, or just bacon could be used) 😉 enjoy!

Kevin stood nonplussed over the warm fleshy body and watched transfixed as the blood pooled underneath Mr. T.’s shaved scalp, darkening the red rug. The metal picture frame tumbled end over end, image back image back, from his hand in a suspended eerie slow motion. It was the clatter of the metal as it bounced off the plush onto the hardwood that jolted Kevin out of his reverie.

He blinked his amber eyes, and looked up and around Mr. T.’s sparse law office, which felt no more or less impersonal than it always did. Sleek, sharp — corporate — lines and manicured dark woods. The kind of office that was too stoic to concern itself with the personalities it harbored, a structured tabula rasa which housed any new executive with the same masculine malaise, and remained unaffected by the dramatic disturbance it now witnessed.

The only scrap of deviation from this elegant vacuity was the ruby rug that had been delivered earlier that day. The chicano and Black man wore blue jeans, and buttoned-down short-sleeved shirts embellished with a patch expressing their first name, and printed on the back with their company’s. Mr. T. had peeked out of the corner of his eye to note two things. Firstly, to ensure the delivery men didn’t scrape the metallic and black leather chairs across the richly-oiled floor, and secondly to observe that the young black man reminded him vaguely of a photo he’d seen of his nephew in the holiday newsletter his mother sent each year to the seven children and the spreading branches of half, step, and full grandchildren.

Mr. T., unlike his office, had had to learn to be remote and unemotional, to be the aggressive shark instead of the Black black sheep prosecuting the White white-collars. Such voracity allowed little room for compassion, or appreciation of the subtle or often passionate gifts of human relationships. The last woman he’d involved himself with was during his first year of law school, almost twenty years before. Ruby, he almost smiled nostalgically.

This brief and rare reminiscence therefore seemed apropos when later that evening Mr. T. rose to approach the same young Black man who had been in his office just hours before. And as he crossed onto the red carpet, he realized it wasn’t the newsletter photo this man resembled—it was his own mirror, twenty years before. The broad and proud nostrils, the heavy eyebrows that masked seclusion but could blaze scorn.

Mr. T’s final coherent vision before clutching the striking and sudden pain in his wide chest was the name patch on the man’s chest. It read, Kevin.

December 2, 2010

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