Alexandra Tamiko Da Dalt

Comb

The bushes ran parallel along the path to the door, linear as they greeted the family. Moss shuffled up the pavement and poured into the cracks where ice had gotten in and rooted year after year.

It was overcast. Once both sets of parents had closed the oak door behind them, the oldest girl turned to her sister and their small guest. She wordlessly moved to barrel up the stairs, with her sister pivoting to follow the moment after. The soft short-shag carpet that covered the wooden steps swallowed the sound.

Walking down the hall, she slowly felt her way down the path the sisters had disappeared. As she turned into the bedroom, she saw a tiny door between a dresser and a bed. The quaint wallpaper on the walls was patterned with tiny flowers on a fading bubblegum pink. The girl squinted to focus on the doorknob, which looked pearled from where she stood in the door.

The younger sister grabbed a fine-toothed comb off of the top of the dresser. All three girls walked around the wallpapered room clockwise twice, silently.

Downstairs again, the oldest girl pulled the fine-toothed teeth of the comb through her straight brown hair, frantically gathering speed as the thin strands began to lift upwards from her scalp.

"Look," she said, moving her comb back to the stream of water from the tap. At first it was slight, the aqua plastic comb making the water curve a few degrees. As she watched, however, the comb began to bend the water to a ninety degree angle. The stream hit the side of the sink and made her gasp quietly.

The natural light from the windows was fading, leaving her to squint in the twilight. The foliage outside was so deeply emerald it began to bend and turn navy. She thought she saw rain start falling, then realized the raindrops that had gathered in leaves were starting to peel upwards.

As she turned her head back to the sisters, she saw that all of the layers of their hair had risen up to the ceiling in unison and separated, framing their skulls into the spikes of haloes on placid Sassoferrato Madonnas. She felt her hair, too, rising upwards, pulling delicately at her scalp. She laughed as the sisters shook their heads to demonstrate the weightlessness of it all. The water continued to bend upwards, now flowing up towards the ceiling and dousing the glass lamp above.

Looking outside, the garden decorations made of marbled glass had come uprooted from the damp soil and hung inches above the wet ground. She blinked softly as they bumped against low leaves on bushes.

Time passed as they all stood waiting in the dim. Her eyes adjusted to the dark. The water droplets in the air began to catch the moonlight and shine a soft milky glow onto the two girls in front of her.

They stood as still as possible, smiling softly at each other, until a car pulled up in the driveway.

Alexandra Tamiko Da Dalt writes, teaches, and advocates. Her work has been previously published by Vessel Press and Hellebore Press. She is a Japanese-/Italian-Canadian interested in migration, belonging, and power. She recently moved back to Toronto after time in New York and Tokyo.

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