Mind Games

By Jim Harrington

Eve wonders if she has a secondhand brain, one transplanted in her head while she slept. That’s the only explanation for her forgetfulness. Either that or the doorways of her house have rays of some kind that wipe pertinent information as she passes through them.

Like now. She’s in the master bath but has no idea why. She walks back to the kitchen and retraces her steps. Still nothing.

She enters the bedroom and stares at the bed—a queen size covered by a winter blanket with green and blue swirlies. She stares at the left side, the side George sleeps on, and wonders if her brain is playing tricks on her. Like George is still alive and simply on an extended trip.

“You silly fool,” she says, with a wave to her reflection in the matching bureau mirrors. Eve remembers the funeral—the honor guard, the rifle volleys, taps played on a fake bugle, the stoic faces. Her thoughts revert to the present. She exhales a sad laugh, returns to the kitchen, and dries the remaining dishes.

She stares out the window and relives certain times in their past—their elopement two days before George reported to the Army, something her mother never forgave her for. The day they planted a sapling in the backyard of their first, and current, home. The night they almost got caught being naughty in the last row of the movie theater to the soundtrack of the original “Star Wars.” She feels the tension evaporate from her shoulders and face as she replays other events, only for the tightness to return when she can’t remember what she ate for lunch yesterday.

Eve jumps at the sound of the doorbell. Puts a hand over her heart. She looks at her watch. 3:00. Her brain processes what’s happening. Her daughter. Evelyn. Their weekly together time.

Eve hangs the dish towel on the stove handle, spreads it to dry, smooths her dress, and totters to the door, the sciatica in her left hip slowing her progress. She opens it with a smile and a hug and stares at the face in front of her, hoping she’ll never forget who it belongs to.

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Jim Harrington lives in Huntersville, NC, with his wife and two dogs. His stories have appeared in FewerThan500, Boston Literary Magazine, Every Day Fiction, MicroHorror, Flashshot and others. Jim’s Six Questions For . . . blog (http://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/) provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” You can read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com.

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