The Silver Web page 54 & 55


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The Silver Web page 54 & 55


"The Waiting Room" fiction by Vera Searles and "The Rescue" poetry by Gary Myers

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by Vera Searles
Edward opened the door of the waiting room and walked in. No one

after all, but a big rag doll propped up in the chair. The potted plant was withered and brown. The snake rested comfortably along one of its dead branches.
Edward looked at his watch. It was still the same time as when he had first arrived here. Perhaps he had made an error on the date of his appointment. He reached into his breast pocket to check his little note­ book. It wasn ' t there. He searched all his pockets but found no notebook. Maybe he had left it in another suit. He should ask someone, but no one was there. When he looked for the note on the wall about being seated, it was gone. Someone had taken it.
The rag doll who looked like a little girl reminded
Edward of his daughter when she was that age. She always kept asking for a pony. He never gave her one. When she was sixteen, she went horseback riding with her friends.
Edward picked up the magazine and found the pony
inside. "Here," he said, handing her the photograph. "Here's the pony you always wanted."
As she raised her eyes to his, the snake whipped out its tongue and left a long gash down the child's neck. Then it slithered across the room and coiled up in a corner.
The little girl sat astride the rocking horse and gal­

Edward opened the door to the waiting room and walked in. No one was there. On the opposite wall a note said: Please be seated. Someone will be with you shortly.

I wanted to be rescued myself
But the blood dripped from the sky
And lions licked my feet

On the coast a voice could be heard
Assailing the dunes
Then falling to the depths of conch shells

A very loud voice
It reached the halls of nearby hotels
And danced faintly in the ears of the restless

In an effort to close the window
One woman noticed a star chained to her ankle

was there. On the opposite wall a note said: Please be seated. Someone will be with you shortly. Edward hoped it wouldn't be
long. His head hurt.
To one side were four chairs, and Edward chose the one closest to a table full of magazines. He picked one up and thumbed through it.
There were pictures of ponies, lions, and snakes. It was a children's magazine. He put it back to look for something else, but they weren't there any more. Someone had taken them. The room was too dimly lit to read anyway.
Edward looked around to see if there were any lamps. There were none. A small child was sitting next to a potted plant. He hadn't noticed her be­ fore. She had dull brown hair and a pale face.
Edward thought perhaps she might enjoy the children's magazine. "Would you like to look at these pictures?" he asked her. Slowly she shook her head no. As he put the magazine back on the table, he thought he saw one of the snakes slide away from the picture and into the potted plant.
Edward wondered where the little girl's mother was. In the inner office, seeing the doctor, he supposed. He hoped she wouldn't take long. His head hurt.
He glanced again at the little girl, and realized she wasn't really a child

The Silver Web

Vera Searles
li ves in Florida. H er work has appea red in over 70
publicat ions,
including Callio pe, Murderous Inten t a nd The
Roswell Literary
Review. She is currentl y working on a fantasy novel.

loped back and forth, back and forth. The floor undu­
lated with the rolling motion. Edward hoped it would soon stop. His head hurt. Finally the snake uncoiled and the horse reared up, throwing the rag doll off its back and trampling her to death.
Edward opened his eyes. Perhaps he had been asleep. The room was dimmer than before. The rag doll lay slumped beneath the plant, on her neck a long gash of dried blood. About the floor lay torn pieces of paper. Edward picked one up. It was his notebook. He read: Please be seated. Someone will be with you shortly.
He went down on his hands and knees to pick up
the pieces of paper and put them back in his pocket. The child watched him. "Where's your pony?" he asked her. From behind the potted plant he heard the roaring of a lion. The child fell forward, her flesh torn and her bones crushed. Edward picked her up to cradle her broken body. He found himself holding the rag doll. The horse was gone. Someone had taken it. The lion's roar sounded like his own empty sobbing.
The door opened and a man came in. "Are you the
doctor?" Edward asked.
"Yes, Edward. Why are you here?'' "My head hurts."
"Then you are in the wrong room. You must go to the next one, just down the hall."

And could no longer control her grief

She was ready to throw herself from the balcony
To cancel her midnight room service
When she was rescued

At the hospital where she was taken
Others were basking
In the Muzak of the emergency room

The prospects for saving blood
Instead of spilling it
Intrigued them all and lingered for hours

I arrived late that morning
Shadows of the night before affixed
Boldly to my hands and feet

The nurses were hysterical at the door
But the diagnosis was clear
A certain fear of absolution

And the woman's tears
Like hot drops of acid
Burned in my hands as we spoke of no one's salvation


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