Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Ali hid under the table and sat on the kitchen floor. She stared at the open doorway that led to the living room, waiting for the sun to creep down and settle the day. The guests began to show up, appearing out of thin air and materializing from head to toe. Their bodies were translucent like vapor and glowed amber against the radiant dusk. Ali looked at the new arrivals and searched for a face she trusted. When a teenage boy made eye contact with her, Ali turned away.
"Ali, come out of there," said her mother Olivia. Ali pushed herself to the base of the table and grabbed the front legs of the chair in front of her, using it as a shield from anyone who dared to disturb her.
"No!" said Ali.
"I hope she's not scared of us," said Grand Aunt Colleen who appeared next to Olivia.
"No, she’s just shy.”
“That is so cute,” said Grand Aunt Colleen. She stooped down to look at Ali. “Hi Ali, don’t you remember me?”
Ali struggled to identify Grand Aunt Colleen; it was hard to identify someone with a see-through face. When Ali recognized the dragonfly hairclip and the plump physique, Ali remembered. Last year, Colleen was the loudest and the rowdiest of the dead relatives. Colleen had consumed a bottle of wine, a bottle of Jack Daniels, three bottles of Guinness and a glass of Long Island Iced Tea. Ali could never forget the smell of Grand Aunt Colleen’s breath. Ali raised an arm and waved at her to say hi.