“Headless” by Jim Meirose & Artwork by Sophie Filomena

Jim Meirose has work in numerous journals, including the Fiddlehead, Witness, Alaska Quarterly review, and Xavier Review, and has been nominated for several awards. Two collections of his short work have been published and his novels are available from Amazon.


Cool and dry smelling room next to the altar. It held statues—all kinds; big, little, and in between. Walking around the church, came upon it, through the  brown wooden arched creaky door. Just one statue, take; just one small grey statue of an angel. Holding this, see great angel in the center of the room, headless.  Shadows.  Leave room with small grey statue. They won’t miss it;  they’ve got so much stuff crammed into that room.  Walk out quickly; cannot be caught. Not a crime; they won’t miss it. It is hand-sized. It is small. So much smaller than anything else in that room; the room with the great headless angel. The grey dust whirls like smoke, about my hand, as the small statue is carried. It writhes it seems as it is carried, but of course this is imagination. Leave the church. Walk the street; pass the storefronts; they are full of nothing—nothing. FOR LEASE signs; an abandoned part of town.  Come to the apartment door. Slide in the key, go up, and in the small room the statue seems bigger; the small room makes everything seem bigger. It is on the table; the plain wood table the same color as the door to that room in the church.  The light in the room is dim; the shades are pulled. Let up the shades—in slants the grey light. The statue is greyer in the grey light; the light matches the statue exactly. The statue is now the size of a forearm; the room’s made it bigger. It’s stolen; was that wrong? The statue is at home on the table.  Lie on the couch, open the paper. There is a story about the mayor. There is a story about a school. The paper rustles. Glance over; the statue looks back, and behind it is the great headless statue that had been in that room. It is of course imagination. How did the statue lose its head? Somebody probably dropped it; that’s what happened; years ago in that other life a small child picked up a statue from a nativity set and dropped it and the head broke off. Funny. Funny. Headless statues. The statue on the table is the size of an arm; soon it will have to come off the table and be put it on the floor because it will be too heavy. Fold  the paper and get up and put it on the floor. It seems to be made of stone; wrestle it to the ground; it had been the size of a hand; what has happened to it? Maybe, maybe, just maybe, it should be brought back to the church. But no, this is foolish—look it is the size of a hand—look at the hand beside it, expanded; the hand wraps around its head. It will go back to the church, though it will be tough—it weighs a lot now—it is unmanageable. There should be a wheelbarrow here, like that one that was back in the poison ivy in the other life. So bite the bullet; heft it, go out the door. As the door is passed it must be put down. Turn and lock the door. It is now the size of a forearm. Lift it again; it is lighter. Go down the stairs and out into the street and it is once more the size of half a forearm and walk toward the church and once more it is just the size of a hand. Go in the church and head for that room, and it shrinks too much—get to the room, open the door, and the little angel disappears. It is gone; but there is the big headless one; and suddenly, abruptly, everything in the room is headless. It is all because the little angel was taken. Lean on  the great headless statue in the center of the room and it falls and it shatters; it shatters into what looks like hundreds of pieces. Get up and everything in the room is shattered; it is all because of the angel; the little angel; go back on the street to the room; fall on the couch atop the newspaper and cry.

three wise men by sophie filomena -- view more work by sophie in our Winter 2014 issue: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/684930
three wise men by sophie filomena — view more work by sophie in our Winter 2014 issue: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/684930

Sophie Filomena is an illustrator based in Bristol (UK). She moved from a small town called Stourbridge 2 and a half years ago, and immediately felt the positive and creative effect of the City. She work primarily with markers and paint to achieve bold and iconic artwork. She would describe my illustrations as experimental and very immediate. She finds that if she spends too much time on a piece, she gets very uptight. She likes to enjoy what she does and move on to the next idea.

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