running red | by Jordan Meechan

1.      This is chaos. Organized in its own right, but chaos all the same. This is the wind slamming doors closed because all the windows are open and the books propping them open aren’t as thick as cinderblocks. This is curly dark hair blocking her from view. She is smiling, wearing chapstick because lipstick makes her seem too put together. Her high heels sound too loud on the hard wood floor. They give the illusion that the house is empty, devoid of conversation and laughter, but not people. She rubs her hands together to warm them up, but doesn’t think to close all the windows. Even inside the house, it is a windstorm.

2.      This is broken. She kneels on the carpet and studies the chip out of the coffee table. She holds the broken piece in her hand, like she cannot believe that after eight years, it broke today, like fate must’ve had something to do with it. She turns away, runs her fingers over her lips, ignores the pink stain that is left there. She is determined not to let it bother her and throws the broken wood over her shoulder. It is salt in that superstition from a million years ago. Maybe this too, will bring her good luck. It lands on the sweater she put through the dryer one too many times to have the illusion of fitting properly. Now the sweater will go to good will and the wood to the garbage, or maybe the fireplace if she remembers.

3.      This is old. Red and worn, but mostly old. It would turn to dust if you touch it, so you look at it, study its spine, nestled between Nabokov’s other books. A word of caution: You can hear it in each of the pages you flip through, quickly, like you don’t want to find out the ending, despite already knowing. You can feel the hair on your arms standing up, because it tickles, the voices tickle! Their lips press against your skin, murmur things in your ear, things you don’t listen to. A word of caution: this book is a trap.

4.      This is lovely. At least, it is supposed to be. The wedding march is playing somewhere upstairs and the telephone is ringing but no one’s going to answer it. The bride picks at her freshly painted fingernails, and then bites them, then bites the hangnail on her thumb until it bleeds. Until it runs down her thumb and someone gives her a tissue to keep it from spilling onto Nana’s chair. She rips the tissue up, letting the pieces fall onto the tile floor. The wedding march plays louder; someone’s idea of a joke. The bride purses her lips and her lipstick stays in place.



Jordan Meechan is an English major from Rochester, NY. When she’s not writing, she’s likely re-watching The West Wing or re-reading Harry Potter for the hundredth time. Her work has been published through ANGLES literary magazine, and she can be found @j_devereaux_ on Twitter.