The Diamond

 

 The Diamond

She thinks of the house with the stair treads hinged so that beneath each stair the hollow became a storage box for such things as shoe polish, the long can-shaped vacuum cleaner and the gun cleaning kit. There was a gun in the cabinet beside the backdoor.

Remember how precise the backdoor latch was, press the brass thumb paddle and then turn the heavy door knob with the raised rosette filigree and there’d be a very liquid click like the bolt sliding on a rifle. It was a heavy door solid wood and thick with an upper window the glass old with faintly puddled distortions. The door would swing light as a breeze on its hinge.

Outside the smell of air in town was of feedlots, sagebrush, trash burning in a barrel, and then that bright metallic tang, a high shining smell that rose up into her head that tasted and smelled and was tasted on the tongue a taste of brightness and chalk. Or there was the green and bitter smell too of the black walnut trees and their hard pitch-colored fruit that lay scattered in the yard.

And so to the girl stepping out through the heavy door the latch clicking like a gun behind her as she stepped into the shade of the black walnut trees, something was moving and it would always be moving she could at once taste a cleaving on the air, and hear the splitting as it raced on and far away.