September 16, 2013 Comments Off on Laughter By Dan Ress
She found herself trapped inside his laugh. The echoes defined the dimensions of her cell, but his mockery formed the bars. They say that brevity is the soul of wit, but his laughter held no wit, only satisfaction, superiority, and conquest, and it was destined to hold her for a long, long time. In spite of herself, she couldn’t help but notice his dimples, profound and hypnotizing, as they pulled her prison tighter around her. She couldn’t breathe, and she worried she would throw up, spoil her narrow space and his laugh, collapse it upon herself, crushing her in the ruin of his interest, forgotten at the base of the foundation of his new structures, buried or powdered and left to drift in the breeze of musing chance, perhaps to one day sour his eye but no more, a blink of pain years in the future, and that only by a miracle turn in the infinite curve of probability.
So she forced the bile down and instead responded with a feeble laugh of her own, bouncing pitifully against his piercing boom. It wasn’t funny, but she made herself laugh still, and her frail soprano played an awkward descant inside his commanding baritone, seeking escape on all sides and finding only the relief of its own sound and a soft, sad harmony. Suddenly his laughter meant more, but she couldn’t say what or how. The cloyingness of her trap opened to tight twisting corridors leading somewhere, towards some escape, or perhaps only to the center of his maze. She became her laugh, testing the walls of his laughter and finding paths forward, forking and winding around corners through the labyrinth he had become. Her urgency grew, and her laugh gained strength and depth. It was kind of funny when you thought about it. The breath behind her laugh was building to a gale, full of dust and sultry, grinding into a rough alto to round out a duet, mingling with his hard walls and eroding them from the inside until suddenly he seemed ready to burst, now a note of fear sharpening his pathways as she smoothed the lines and followed their contours down, deeper and deeper, toward their source. When she finally opened him, his laugh became a cry, a yelp, short but final. She kept laughing.
© 2013 Dan Ress
Dan Ress is fascinated by non-violent revolution, although he grants that it has fewer explosions. He enjoys writing, playing music, playing rugby, traveling, and helping people.