Icicle
By K. T. Mitchell
You’re the only person I talk to about this, you know? I think you’re starting to understand where I’m
coming from even though I can’t be sure, because you don’t nod or even blink. In the movies people
always can at least blink an answer; once for yes, twice for no. Just goes to show the fools who make
movie don’t know a damn thing about being brain dead.
Catholics confess. I wonder if when they do something that’s really horrible, is it enough to get in that
glorified closet and utter the devilry once to immediately feel better? Do they get it out in one big gust of
breath and run from the cathedral crying and shaking, but redeemed? Or do they repeat the conversation
over and over in their minds to make sure they got out every last detail? I’m asking because I want you
to know every detail about what I did to you. I want you to absolve everything, so when I break out of
this fleshy shell of a body, God won’t go down the list of things I did and say, oops, it says here that
your husband didn’t forgive you for your jealous thoughts. Sorry, but I have to send you to hell on a
technicality.
I used to want to poison your food. I got the idea from a story about a wife that put holly berries in her
husband’s spaghetti. Don’t worry this soup is okay. We don’t have any holly trees around here. Just
spruce—spruce from here to the Atlantic Ocean, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
You picked this desolate place. You took me away from New York, in a flurry of writer’s fancy. Maine…it’ll
be a good place to work on our craft.
Our craft? Your craft. You wrote; I recycled the same poems that kept getting rejected. You stared at the
mailbox everyday at 2:45, waiting for the mailman to drop your royalty checks. I stared out the window,
watching the leaves gild themselves then wither like teenage beauties turned spinsters. Snow fell; I
stared out the window. Flakes melted into droplets, winked and flirted with the sun’s rays as they slipped
down the edge of the drainage gutters we never fixed. The drops turned sullen at night hardening into
the clearest of stalactites, sugar free trim on the witch’s gingerbread house.
God I hate this house. Even with the checks that come, we can’t afford to move back to the city. Now
you need too much care, too much attention.
You always had to do something to get people’s attention. You know that? Even after that horrific
blizzard you just had to be the one to bound outside to help the neighbors dig themselves out of their
driveway. Meanwhile, I hid in the kitchen busy with...whatever I was doing to avoid having some stranger
look in my face.
You know, you embarrassed me that day. Remember how you called through the window for me to come
out to drink cocoa with you and Mrs. Chalmers? She’s shy, you kept saying, she’s shy. You were such an
egotistical jackass.  
Now, you’re so easy to love. You’re quiet, you’re still. Your eyes catch a bit of the kitchen lights and
glimmer because they stare straight ahead, not jumping to the ceiling with each clever little thought or
staring hard at mine when you thought I was hiding something. I always hated that face because I
usually was hiding something. That doesn’t matter now. I am honest with you all the time. That’s why it
such a relief to tell you that I really did want it to happen. When I was trying to explain to you that our
silly little romantic foray had gone on long enough. Leave the woods to the bumpkins! It was time to go
home!
Pounding my fist on the wall was the only thing I could do to make my voice sound as thunderous as I
thought it should, since I felt like the snow and the trees were muffling, no, silencing me. You kept saying
that you weren’t ready. You had two chapters to go. Two more chapters! The publishers were calling for
them! Contracts to fulfill!   
I saw the icicle jiggle a little bit when I pounded my fist the second to last time. I looked over your head,
thinking, I wish that icicle would fall…just conk you on the head to shut you up! Well, you’re as quiet as
they come now.  
Looking back on it all, I wasn’t shy in front of the sheriff. Goes to show, you didn’t know me as well as
you thought you did, even after ten years. I let out all the tears I had; blubbering, snotty ugliness right
in his face. The sheriff hugged me, saying it was a weird coincidence. Who could have guessed that icicle
would have fallen into your eye? When he said to wasn’t my fault, rubbing my hair, I melted in his arms. I
imagined he was the funny performance artist you were before you crystallized yourself on paper. Then I
went inside, got a bucket of hot water. Tears freezing midway down their course on my cheeks, I melted
that icicle and kicked clean snow over the blood.