Resplendent by Brian Warfield

March 22, 2012 Comments Off on Resplendent by Brian Warfield

Betty’s finger got married to the circular saw on a brilliant Saturday in June.

It wasn’t her ring finger, but whatever.

There was one witness, and he referred to the blood-spurting ceremony later as “resplendent.”

I knew the circular saw from my high school days. We’d cut class and not smoke cigarettes out behind the gymnasium. Cigarette after cigarette we wouldn’t smoke together, flicking no butts end over end into the gravel there.

The saw was round by definition, 1/4″ thick, vicious gnashing teeth carved into its rotating maw by some other, steel-cutting saw. The light of the mid-70s afternoon, glinting off sharp points.

Betty moved in over the donut shop in ’82. Her legs were as long as a flight of stairs. Her hair existed, and whole queues of gents waited to run their fingers through its tangled embrace.

I, like everyone else, trained my binoculars through her windows to watch her eat pasta. She was always at the far end of a noodle from some tramp.

I rode up and down the strip in my Camaro, the circular saw strapped in the passenger seat egging me on to go faster. We wanted danger. We traded curse words for the color purple under our eyes. We traded fat lips for bloody knuckles. It was free market mercantilism, all violence and unchecked emotion.

That year, I watched Betty run her mollusk tongue down the unterraced terrain of the circular saw’s body. They were at the drive-in, and a 1,000-foot projection of severed body parts flashed on the screen.

I hid under the car like an oil spill.

And then they disappeared like an elopement. I sat in my apartment and painted it egg-shell white. I opened the window and stuck my head out trying to wear my whole house like a body. I wanted to peel my body off and be done with it.

The next time I saw her, Betty’s finger stopped short at the knuckle. I wanted to tell her how much safer she’d be strapped into the chair in my basement. But my teeth were stained with a bloody sheen.

© 2012 Brian Warfield, first appeared at Fictionaut

Brian Warfield lives in Philadelphia and publishes chapbooks through Turtleneck Press You can find him at

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