A Picture of Beautiful Catrina

Delbert has captured something. It is the most sublime moment in his lifetime; the perfect alignment of his passions and his dreams, as if every twinkling star in the endless stretch of blackness above him all of a sudden converges into the singular point in his own mind; the one point that really matters; the one point that cannot be lost, no matter how the Polaroid may crease or may yellow over time. But something strange happens; something that he does not expect when he takes out his album and observes his photographic trophy glued onto a page; something that seems to be crawling out from his graying pores as much as it is thrusting into his ears. It is a sound; a peculiar sound; a brittle teeth chatter; a dead bone chiseling into another dead bone; and finally, as distant as that final swoosh when the sun gives up its ghost and slides down into the dark tomb that has been dug for it beneath the horizon, a loosened jaw on a skeleton face that is caught up in a mad chuckle. And even worse than the sound is the effect that that sound has on the Polaroid; the image fading back into blackness; the smile on her innocent lips contorting just enough to suggest that she sees something, knows something, and is not the gaggle of giggles and the bubble gum pops that had stolen his heart on the dance floor. The mad skeleton witch adorned in her granny dress and bonnet is glaring at him from within gray shadows; laughing at his weakness; and, every now and then, flaying the skin and the flesh off of his own bones. Can he stop her? Can he preserve what he has captured inside of his Polaroid forevermore? Is he willing to wrap his hands about a throat and to hold until the skin is waxen blue, if that is what it takes to keep her away from him?    

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Published by Michael Sean Erickson

I write, act, and produce films in Los Angeles. Everything else is conjecture.

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