This Week’s Short Story (and first poem): “Sooner Than Later”

A dead bank teller rots fresh on the floor
Blue hair clotted with cerebral jelly
Smoking gun held with distaff, raging hands
She listens with hostages for sirens

This morning, and year, she was a pauper
Squatting in an industrial wasteland
Surviving on only the stalest bread
An edible stench long being her shroud
All for the sake of art and (in)fame

She was a nameless starving artist once
Poverty then was a euphemism
She studied the most remembered artists
And found a sick thread woven through their black
Most were precious dead before seeing fame
The sick was soon ambrosia in her mind
And her life savings was doled by blue hair

In time, or all at once, she found a place
Her own reverie repository
Easels, pencils, paints, brushes, paper, pens
“Bleeding Balcony”, “Darkest You”, et al
Courtesy, of course, of her finite funds
Save the only bullet for her new gun
“A Morbid Banking Statement” paid for that

The police arrive according to scheme
And she’s annihilated as she planned
A sanguine note is found in a pocket
With a place and plea: “Take care of Percy”
Cops find a torrent of art and a cat

In death she has success she can enjoy
The victory of Helen McAvoy


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