THE UNFINISHED DETAIL
[Contains Spoilers for Mom, Lies, and Videotape]
Louise often had difficulty letting things go.
Even tall tales.
She couldn’t quite place why this notion for further closure presently existed in her mind, but it was preventing her from a sound sleep.
The story had served its purpose, her mom was left feeling content and engaged by her account of how the play at school had went for her and her siblings. It wasn’t the real account by any means, they had to exaggerate because their father’s camera had died out on them, but it was a satisfying yarn that had pleased her.
So why couldn’t she let it go?
Was there a detail she missed out?
She figured she had covered all the nitpicking basics covered. When she described how Millie fell off of the upper floor of the bar in an elastic string shoot-out, she made sure her mother knew she had been training for weeks for the stunt.
She was the most experienced at the creative nuances of play production. She knew how to craft a cohesive story, so what wasn’t so straight about it?
Part of her thought it might have something to do with how she thought less of Millie, often her regular nemesis, in this scenario. Here she was in actuality a lackey to Chloe Barbash.
And then it hit her.
Of course it would be Chloe.
And of course it would be related to the one other thing she had left behind when she closed the story out.
The one detail she had left unfinished.
In this reality, he was something much more simple to her. He was her son. The son she was barely there for, but would at the most urgent of emergencies, come to the aid of no matter the distance between them in terms of miles, lifestyle or ideology. Priorities were so much more tempered when you are protective of your own. There was no room for emotional compromise.
That is, until she herself was compromised.
She had let the story get away from her, but she relished it. She relished letting in that reality, to let loose, take a risk, take a stray elastic sting, and pass on, leaving what she left behind with strong words to live by, instructing him to take in as much air and life around him than anyone who treaded through life with such soft steps and much shorter breaths.
In this realm, her motherly instincts kicked in.
The deep lore she had established for herself…an outlaw who had rarely ever been there for her child due to the most dubious and troublesome business leading her astray and incarcerating her, was ushering in a desire for redemption.
In the land of the living, she had been inconsistent, as a spirit fit for the sky, she could look upon what kind of man she left behind.
So in order to sleep peacefully, she would spend her entire evening’s worth of dreams attempting that.
She envisioned the slick, crisp sunset hovered high above the backwater town, bringing a day glow sensation to those who dwelled in it.
The Sheriff took in this sensation while keeping a sharp eye trained on the funeral procession for his mother. He took out the mini-bellows that passed for his inhaler and took in a breath, he walked past the coffin, tenderly stroking the side of the brazen brown casket with his fingers.
He tapped a little diddy on the side, the first few notes of a song Louise pretended to have sang to him when he was little.
He took his leave of the procession and entered a tailor’s shop. He made a request.
Louise could feel the other realm’s version of herself smiling warmly at him making specific mention of this, and she ascended to the highest point in heaven knowing he would not let his memory fade as long as his footprints remain engrained in the Earth.
She had that much faith in him.
Same applied to the version of him that awaited her in the real world. Where the truth was more complex for her, where the priorities were all over the place due to age, hormones, and vitality. Notions of love and compassion that overwhelmed her to such a degree she had to mask it in her day to day routine.
It was so much easier to consider herself a mother than a lover.
But who said reality, life, was simple?