Grave Etchings – Prose Submission by C Duncanson

Cassie Duncanson is a student in Western Massachusetts studying English and Art History. She bakes like a 50’s housewife, and has a film camera I don’t use often enough because film is expensive. She works on an island off the coast of New Hampshire during the summers.

Grave Etchings

I knew a girl who wrote her thoughts out on aluminum foil. Sometimes they were her thoughts from her head, and sometimes they were stories she conjured up from the space between daydreams and her subconscious.

She’d tear a sheet off of the roll, lay it down on a table and begin scribbling away in pencil. She just sat down and wrote. Never looked back, never read over, never deleted words or punctuation she had misused.

As soon as she wrote her last sentence, she crumpled the paper up, and smoothed it back out. The words gone forever. She would immediately throw the foil into the trash without a second thought, stand up and walk away as if she hadn’t just created something.

Sometimes I would go to the trashcan and gently pluck the foil out. I would take it back to the table and smooth it out, soft as possible. That could be an A, I thought or a wrinkle in the foil; I saw an S or an indent from the table.

I started taking notebook paper laying it on top of the foil, and running the smooth edge of the graphite of my pencil along the paper. Like a grave etching. I wanted to find the words I’d never seen.

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