Delta Delusions: Faces

By WILLIAM PRENTISS

CLARKSDALE, Mississippi

Photo by The Delta Bohemian

Photo by The Delta Bohemian

I see faces everywhere and in everything, always have, but I had never seen them in second story windows–not until recently. I doubt I am alone in fearing hollow faces peering out from lonely windows!

I see faces in clouds, trees, rock formations, paintings, and just about any collection of found objects. I even see faces in oriental rugs and busy wallpaper. These faces have never frightened me. I thought it cool to see what wasn’t really there.

But, the faces I see now are not so much malignant as they are eerie. Billy Idol sang about eyes without a face; I see faces without eyes–soulless visages void of corporeal identities.

I have seen pale, white children and young, black children peering at me and through me from windows on the second floor. I have seen adults from every locally represented race, creed, color, and socio-economic group staring at me as I drove or walked by homes housing apparitions and doppelgangers.

My wife knew briefly of my visual relationship with things unseen, but she was not to know of this day’s reckoning! Never! She would say, “Oh Steve, quit being silly; you know nothing is going to happen to you. You are just imagining things again, Honey!”

Am I? I think not! Driving down one of the oldest streets in Clarksdale, one housing monstrous Delta domiciles, my eyes were drawn to an attic window, one above the second-floor balcony!

I knew I would see something. Maybe a restless, wispy child, dressed in Civil War era garb, or maybe a Native American, one who might have lived on the banks of the Sunflower River. What I saw was neither.

Peering from the attic window was a carbon copy of myself as a child. I slammed on brakes, rubbed my eyes ferociously, and fearfully glanced again. I was still there. I backed up a couple of feet hoping for a better look. As I inched in reverse, my visage became younger.

As I moved forward, I aged commensurately. When I saw an image of what I looked like this very day, I stopped again. Did I want to see the future? No, but I must!

I inched forward, holding my breath, while bare-knuckling the wheel. Nothing changed. I inched forward again–nothing–same guy. I jerked forward with a rabbit-hare start–still me. Then I knew…

This would be my last day.

 

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

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Comments

  1. Alex Lundy says:

    I enjoyed reading this. Kind of “Dorian Gray” thing going. A lot of possibilities here.

  2. Me too Chilly. I was thinking you better drive around in reverse from now on.

  3. Dude, I have been driving in reverse my whole life, but the only thing that is not aging is my love unit, but then again, maybe it never grew up! Alex, thanks for the kudos man; looking forward to your guest’s submission next week!

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