Harmony Neal died, then rose from the dead. There was no hullabaloo. She’s not bitter. She’s been published in recent issues of Gulf Coast, New Letters, Hobart, Cold Mountain Review, Curly Red Stories, and Prick of the Spindle.
Recorded by Graham Duncan
The boys in the park watch her through the trees. They wear pre-tattered jeans and button down shirts with sleeves rolled up to reveal intricate painted tattoos of fish and fire and dragons. Her music reverberates to where they are, a succession of songs out of genre and time, unmatched: disco, grunge, metal, folk, the music has no consistency, no thread they can detect, but they watch her sway her hips and arms on the second story balcony, all tanned shadows offset by the white terry cloth jumper, no straps, short. Her hair flips in dark blond tangles back and forth, over her arms, fast or slow, to the beat of whatever song wavers through space and time. They take turns throwing plastic discs at a metal canister, looking up at her, taking drags off cigarettes and pulls from bottles of local beer hidden in backpacks. They argue about whether or not they can see her nipples through that white fabric, whether she’s wearing panties.
What they can’t see from the park is that she is not a girl, but a woman of thirty. That she has pale crisscrossed lines running down her left arm and thigh. That while her body is fluid, her face is pulled tight, not thinking of them, but trying to disappear in a place where she is always standing on a red X.