Tuesday, May 9, 2017

#9 - The Last Supper

Banks hadn’t known her very well. There was that time when they ran into each other face first, but other than that Banks had nothing. The police were saying that Chambly was depressed, but Banks had always seen her surrounded by friends. They said that Sep was suffering from sort of post trauma from finding the body in the park a year ago-- that he had never recovered from the series of events in the past year. Banks didn’t buy it.
She taped up the last box, and marked the box with the address of the art gallery it was going to.
“You’re not actually moving are you?” Michael asked his head poking into the doorway of #308.
“Yeah you can’t leave. I mean look at this place. It’s a perfect art studio.” Timma said from the couch.
“I’m not moving” Banks insisted “I just need a little trip away for the summer. I was thinking Spain or Italy?” Michael responded with a very pointed look at the several boxed around Banks’s living room.
“Spain or Italy? You’ll never want to come home.” Timma held up her hands in defense.
“Okay Michael, like I said before all of the boxes are going to the gallery. Geez you’re almost as bad as Max and Nathaniel. And Timma my offer still stands if you want to come with me…”
Even though Banks hadn’t known Chamby particularly well, the whole situation had been a major wake up. After all that could’ve been her. A night out being sad, walking into the road without looking, and bam that would be the end of that.
“I mean I have all this money from my dad. I need to do something. Have an experience, you know.” they were all quiet for a moment.
“Go live in the trailer park for a week. That’ll be an experience.” and the moment ended and they were all laughing.
“I don’t know, it just feels like something’s ending.” Michael said resting his cheek against the doorframe. Banks reassured him that nothing was ending but the small pang in her chest said something different.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#8 - The Fighting Temeraire

One hour. Michael promised one hour in IKEA. He had finally started calling Banks by her first name and dropped the “miss” all together after several death threats and the threat of tears spilling from her eyes
It was right when they started to leave that the automatic doors closed. The doors closed, no big deal right? They’d just reopen when they got close enough to trigger the motion sensor. Except they didn’t reopen, they wouldn’t budge, and the power flickered and shut off. Michael’s eyes went and Banks shoved on the door. It rattled but wasn’t even close to opening. All around them the residents of Winthrop place began to panic.
Banks wondered for a second if this meant that everyone was in imminent danger. Would people start to turn on each other? When would IKEA turn into the island from The Lord of the Flies or Lost? But nothing really happened. People panicked and yelled, and cried. Michael was a statue, for a solid half hour before he said “excuse me” and walked towards the bed sheets and musical instruments section.
If I’m going to be stuck here I might as well make the most out of things Banks thought. She collected the rest of the chocolate, and some popcorn from the checkout area then headed for the pillow and blanket section. Banks curled up in the blankets and picked out a movie from her i Tunes account to watch until things blew over.
Oddly enough this was a pretty benign thing. And for the first time in months Banks started to feel like herself. She missed her movie nights with Timma, her work shifts with Nathaniel at Jimmy’s, Looking over her art with Maxwell, going out to drop off mail and running into the mail men, and even banging on the wall at in the early morning hours because Michael seriously needed to figure out how sound worked on his piano.
For the first time in a long time Banks didn’t think about being dead or wonder what disappearing would be like. But she thought of art and the future. She thought of how she wanted much more out of life.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#7 - The Death of Casagemas

She remembered her father’s funeral clearly. Apparently a year had passed since the call from her step-mother, however since then Banks was so numb that the passage of time wasn’t something that mattered anymore. She didn’t know whether Jimmy’s still held her job, and frankly she didn’t care. Her job with the art gallery had barely gone through, and while there were voicemails piling up from other galleries offering art shows to her, she didn’t answer them. Most days Banks just slept. In a ball, on the floor of her living room. Sleeping hurt much less than being awake. Except for when the hurt entered her dreams, and she woke up sobbing into the floor of her red carpet; leaving dark tear stains. The insurance company had given her mass amounts of money, that now sat in various places collecting interest. But no amount of money could fill the gaping hole that grew in her chest. Her apartment became a grayer version of what it had been before, as the creative blossoming of art slowly faded away to nothingness; just like Banks herself.

Raising of voices
Then total silence occurs
Nothing makes it up

Thursday, January 19, 2017

#6 - The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Banks, hi honey -- It’s me, your mother. We miss you, your father especially. Elliot told us that you were having an art show in the city. That’s so great! …… Banks…… we, we really miss you. Honey, there’s something I need to tell you, it’s your father, he’s-----

And that’s when she stopped listening. Banks cut the voicemail off and her stepmother’s voice was cut short from finishing her sentence. Banks was sure that her father would be fine no matter what was wrong with him. She looked at her pile of 3 weeks worth of mail. A good third of it was crumpled up from Logos’s harsh remaining hand and angry delivering style. There were five letters from her father and stepmother, more attempts at communication in three weeks than she had gotten in the past year from them.
Banks frowned and tossed the mail onto the table, she ran out of her apartment door and didn’t stop until she reached the pond behind the police station. The few people skating around on the pond didn’t seemed alarmed by Bank’s dishevelled appearance. There were a few couples, and a few loners, but no matter who they were with they seemed to be in their own little happy world. The scene melted the edge of Bank’s emotions.
She sat in the snow and drew the image of the skaters in the snow, using the mud underneath the thin layer of ice as a sort of shading. After a little time had passed a couple walked past the pond and glanced at the edge of the pond. They looked alarmed, and quickly waved the policeman over. There was frantic whispering, and then the policeman’s notepad was out and he was taking notes.
“Excuse me?” Banks asked the one of the women in the couple “What happened?”
“Oh dear,” The woman mumbled, obviously shaken.
“Oh you’ll have to excuse my wife,” the second woman said “There was this little purple mitten frozen in the pond, it’s been there for years, and now it’s gone.” the woman laughed “It’s silly, but we’ve grown quite attached to the mitten, all of the regulars at the pond that is.”
“It’s okay ma’am, we’ll find out what happened” the policeman reassured. Banks wished them luck and quietly excused herself, to wander back home. When she got home she listened to the voicemail again

Banks, hi honey -- It’s me, your mother. We miss you, your father especially. Elliot told us that you were having an art show in the city. That’s so great! …… Banks…… we, we really miss you. Honey, there’s something I need to tell you, it’s your father, he’s sick. Really sick. He really wants to see you. He thinks he’s getting close to the… um never mind. Please call us back. Please.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#5 - La Pietá

“What do I feed it?” Banks asked Elliot through the phone; holding up the tiny sleeping dragon closer to her face to closer examine it.
“Lizard food?” He suggested
“Does it really count as a lizard?” She asked putting the dragon whose total length was about three and a half inches. Banks hadn’t been quite sure what to expect when the little box showed up on her door step with little air holes burned through the top of the box. The note that had come with it read This is as big as it’s gonna get.
“Sure it does why not?” and she didn’t see why not. The little dragon was just like a lizard with it’s own tiny wings to match it’s red body. “Have you decided what you’re calling it?” Elliot asked “This could be the closest you ever come to a child.” Snickers could be heard from Elliot’s side of the phone.
“Shut it El.” Banks said setting the dragon down into it’s new makeshift home. “What about Bill.”
“Yeah, you know like the 5th Dimension; Wedding Bell Blues.” After she said that, she could practically hear Elliot roll his eyes over the phone.
“The one time you don’t go straight to an artist, it had to be that song.” Elliot said sighing. Banks laughed in return.
Next door She could hear the jingling of keys and the lock twisting to 307.
“El, I gotta go.”
“Goodbye crazy child.”
“Loveyoubye.” She blurred together and hung up before Elliot could respond. Banks grabbed the neon pink socks, the other thing left on doorstep earlier that day by Michael Hay, the famous pianist living next door to her, and threw open her own apartment door to see a more shaken up version of Michael (if that was even possible) than before.
Banks leaned against the doorframe to her apartment, looking at disheveled Michael.
“Hay, keep the socks.” She said tossing the socks at him. The bright pink wool socks hit him on the shoulder, and fell limply to the dull gray floor of the apartment building hallway.
“I don’t want them.” Hay snapped back.
“Well that’s too damn bad isn’t it?” Banks shot back. “Sometimes we all just need to look on the bright side.” Michael stared blankly at her. “Keep the socks Michael.” Banks was about to go back into 308 when Michael spoke up.
“How do you know my name?” He asked.
“When you make friends with the maintenance man, you start to learn who people are real quick.” Banks responded and gently closed her door.

About an hour later Banks picked went out to find dragon-- er lizard food. After passing a few Mariah Carey’s singing All I Want for Christmas is You very off key, a flaming wreath or two, and a couple Samuel L. Jackson’s. She found the lizard food at Green Greenhouse, and as she was walking out she noticed a building that she’d never noticed before. On a huge wooden sign that was spattered with paint were carefully written words in elegant writing that said Paintball. Banks opened the door and walked in.
“I’m sure Bill will be fine for a little while longer.” Banks reasoned as the little silver bell jingled with the door opening.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

#4 - The Scream

This place is so weird Banks thought when she picked up the invitation to the building party. Some places had open room parties, others had block parties. Winthrop Place? It had a murder mystery party on the creepy abandoned floor that no one went on. Nevertheless Banks felt like going to this party would help her become more apart of the community so she RSVPed that she would be attending. The next night a beautiful card was slipped under her door. It read: Your character is: A wealthy Bank Owner.
“Wow,”  Banks said dryly. “how funny.” She spent the next week thinking about what she would wear for her costume to the party. Did she even have anything black tie? How deep should she go into character? At work Banks talked with Jimmy and one of her coworkers, Nathaniel, she found out that most of the building was going to this party.
With only a few a few hours to spare until the party Banks dug a short red evening gown out of the back of her closet. Where had that come from? She paired the dress with some matching red heels, and when she walked out of #308. She caught Timma heading up to the party.
“You look amazing!” Banks said.
“Thanks Banks.” Timma replied. The girls linked arms and walked together to the 7th floor.
The 7th floor looked gross from the outside, but the inside? It was stunning. Tons of the people had already shown up by the time Banks arrived. A guy named Sep tapped a fork against the glass he had in his hand.
“Hello ladies and gentlemen.” He called. “Please take a seat, our dinner will begin!” there was a great shuffling of feet and chairs as people made their way to their assigned seats. Banks was seated between a guy named Michael and a guy named Paul. There was quiet chatter as people started to eat their dinner and make small talk.
Minutes later the lights started flickering and finally went completely out. There was the clash of breaking china, and a high pitched scream from someone at the table. Banks froze. Her breath caught in her throat as something touched her shoulder. Every bone in her body screamed run, but her mind rushed to remind her that this was just a party. It was all fiction. Right?
The lights flashed a few times and finally came back on. There were a few gasps. Banks followed the gazes of the people around the table to the ring master’s side kick who was laying face down in his soup.
“Do something you’re a doctor!” someone yelled to a guy named Tom
“I’m not really a doctor.” Tom said quickly between gritted teeth. Reminding everyone of his fake profession, and deflecting the attention from himself. Somebody rushed checked the man’s pulse.
“He’s dead.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

#3 - Portrait of Madame X

Gone were the sweet warm days of fall. Winter was bitting deep into Winthrop Place, and Banks felt the cold. In the passed week she had met one of her neighbors. #309’s was named Timma. She worked at the movie theater in town, and she was an incredibly sweet person.

Banks had also picked up more shifts at Jimmy’s in the past week hoping to fill her time, but she felt the lost time for her artwork tearing at her. The truth was; she felt blocked. Ever since she’d graduated art school her time seemed empty, which was disappointing. All the cramming and stress to graduate early from both High School and Art School, and now she couldn’t even produce artwork, at least, good artwork.
Today she was out walking around looking for inspiration. It was her day off from Jimmy’s and he wouldn’t let her pick up any extra time that week. Which was both a blessing and a curse. Off down the road she head someone whistling the tune from the circus. Banks picked her gaze from the ground and saw the ringmaster from the circus walking towards her. One night only. Rang in her ears, and yet here he was.
“Hi there!” he said brightly. A soft southern accent touched his voice, one most people would miss if they weren’t a native.
“Hi, what are you guys still doing here I thought--” she threw her hands up enthusiastically “One night only.” she mimicked the performers from the circus a week ago. He shrugged.
“Thought I might stick around a bit longer, you’ve got a pretty interesting little town here.” he said and smiled, but the smile didn’t reach all the way into his eyes. Banks smiled and nodded slowly. She walked back to #308 and grabbed a sketchbook. She felt her inspiration brighten suddenly.
While she drew she heard the taunts from children from elementary school in the back of her head. Brooke Banks. Brooke Banks. Now she had no idea why they thought it was so funny, or why it had upset her so much. Now it seemed natural for her. Brookes have banks. Turning the taunt into her nickname hadn’t been her idea, it was Elliot’s. She had been skeptical at first, afraid that her new step brother was also mocking her. But ever since the nickname the two became attached at the hip.
Banks looked down at her finished sketch. She could start painting it on canvas soon, but before that....
She picked up her phone and dialed.
“Hi, this Banks Avery, my brother gave me this number. I heard that you have an opening in your gallery?”