Jane Unrue


It was winter. Wasn't it. Looked cold. Lie back. Eyes closed. Keep thinking about that picture. Winter cabin in the woods. Take good long sweeping looks across. That is. Remember everything that you were given. Windows. Empty. Sky was crisp. Reflect. Or should I say. I'll even pull the drapes so there's no need to. Snow had fallen but it seemed as if there might be something worrisome about to. Walkway peeking out from underneath the snow. Trees. Sky. And even though it's just an image in our minds let's situate ourselves within it someplace where we more effectively can watch. There's something sad you say about the walkway? Possibly the walkway I guess. Little bit. So let's all hide out in the woods not close but close enough so we can. That's right. Brad. We're focused on it. In it. Only now this image has begun to move. Smoke rises from the chimney and the windows have begun to flicker. Chrissy. In one window you can see. Look left. A figure of a man whose back is turning. In the other you can. Brad. Look right. A woman staring off into the distant reaches. Do not wave to them. Just watch them in their windows. Incidentally. You two. This room you've chosen for yourselves by picking from that copper bowl out there this is the only room that has this kind of picture on the wall above the bed. My goodness. What a lovely way to. Lucky ducks indeed. Brad. Reach your. Place your hand on Chrissy's. Lower. Brad. Eyes shut. You two. Let's fix our gazes once again. Same cabin that we just. Except there's something different now in. Brad. The window on the left is empty. Chrissy. On the right there's that same man except he hunches now as if to look at something on the floor. Not moving. Frozen there. That's right. Brad. No. They don't just disappear. Things. See. It's time you started thinking of somebody. Chrissy. Brad. Somebody other than yourselves. Don't call to them. They. In a way they're busy working. Interruption leads to. Maybe even. On the other hand you might just find that you have busted in on something truly. Think about that bowl. That numbered key. The mirror on the wall above the bed in every other room except the room that you were fortunate enough to. Close your eyes. Of course my dear I understand it tickles. Eyes closed. Good girl. Deep breath. Cabin in the woods. Where suddenly it's late. The snow has stopped. No smoke. And it is not just that our man is missing. There is something strange about the. Did you hear a latch?
      Eyes closed. Look at the door. It's open. See there. Brad. A figure backs out through the. God. Whatever you do. Don't either of you make. He drags a body out onto the walkway then he turns and drags the body back. See here. Brad. I am going to tie your. Just your. Sweetie. Bear with. Inner wrists. That's right. And. Easy does it. Bedposts that's all. But while I am fooling with this stuff I'd like for you to close your eyes and both of you stay put same spot behind the trees. Breathe in. Light snow is falling. Deepest night. Our cabin seems to glow as if that fire's come back to. Eyes closed. Where you. Where they. No. The history of the picture. By the way. It's something that I think you'll come to find. In other words. This has a lot to do with how we live our lives today. They're gone of course long time ago and though the story is a rather. Doesn't really matter. All that matters is where they have ended up.
      Okay. From here on out I'm going to speak as softly as. As you are finding out today it's not just watching from above and sending messages to those you've left behind by leaving pennies for example if your loved one likes to look for pennies leaving pennies in the corners of her house and in her car floor every now and. Jesus knows. It's not that kind of ending. Cabin in the woods. No more than just continuous engagement in life's awful not quite ever finished. First he clubs her. Drags her. Chrissy. Brad. Nobody's going to chop you into pieces. All that anybody's going to. In a moment I am going whisper open up your eyes. For now. Kids. Yes. Of course he chops her into. Tries to but he can't quite get the. Deep breaths. You two. Pulling on the head until he falls asleep right in the middle of that ghastly cabin floor though when he wakes again she's in the window once again and she is staring off as if she thinks she sees the top of. What's it? Mauna Loa. He is in the other window. Turning. Slowly. Thus it all starts up again. Yes. Come to think of it. This story might be why we have a saying round these. Something that you might just find yourselves reciting to yourselves whenever you find yourselves in contemplation of the holy afterlife. Though maybe that old saying about the parking structure built on top of where their king and queen were buried hasn't got a thing to do with. Kids. Look there. Her window's empty. He is hunching over in his window as if. Mother of God. Don't call to him. You two. You can't stop this.



This story is part of a new collection of travel stories.