Aphelion Issue 287, Volume 27
September 2023
 
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Angry Chair

by M. Taylor




Allison had traveled fifty or so miles through Route 68’s four-hundred-mile yard sale, stopped at thirty plus yard sales, and left each one unsatisfied. She still bought a few things for herself, of course, out of want but not of need. She had accumulated a few odd trinkets and whatnots she found interesting, a purse, a painting, but nothing she had was a must have.

She was far from breaking the limit she gave herself; she thought she would have broken it ten stops ago, but she still had over a hundred dollars left. This year’s four-hundred-mile yard sale was disappointing. Allison pondered whether to keep going or turn back.

She decided one more stop wouldn’t hurt, and then she would turn back regardless of whether it was satisfying or not.

She passed a yard sale on the left side of the road—she would stop at it on the way back—and continued driving until she came to a stop on the right. She left that stop within five minutes of being there. She was beyond disappointed, it was infuriating.

She approached the yard sale she had passed. Her foot stayed on the gas pedal, but she scanned the stop’s merchandise. There was quite a variety at this yard sale. Tables and large pieces of furniture created a U-shaped border with scattered gaps. Boxes full of random items sat atop and underneath the tables; more items lay unconfined on the tables around the boxes.

Allison spotted a diamond off by itself outside of the border like a withdrawn teenager at a family reunion.

She slowed down immediately and parked on the side of the road past the yard sale. The diamond Allison thought she saw was more like a white topaz scarred and stained by years of weathering, but her attraction to it was unaltered. The chair was a very faded and tattered vintage coral pink wingback chair with a simple floral design. She was unsure what the color of the design was supposed to be, but it was elegant.

“A penny and it’s yours,” a woman said from behind. Her thinning hair was tightly pulled back, and she was red from the sun.

“Why just a penny?”

“I can’t ask for more than that,” the woman said and then muttered, “I’d give it away if it would let me… It’s just I have to sell it.” The woman took a breath. “It’s, um, it was my grandma’s, and was passed down to me. I can’t bring myself to just give it away.”

The woman continued explaining how she needed to sell the chair and how it was special to her, but Allison paid her no attention. The chair had drawn her focus.

She ran her hand over its tattered fabric. Dust bounced off into the air and sparkled in the sunlight. Strands of withered threading held onto her hand weakly as it passed over. The fabric in the back was split down the middle, exposing its wooden skeleton. The once artistically carved designs on its cabriole legs were disfigured by notches and missing chunks of wood. The back right leg was missing its foot, causing the chair to wobble. The chair’s left wing was dislocated; its bones creaked under the strain of movement. Watermark-like stains were the only distinguishing hues on the chair. The cushions sagged under the weight of the air and had no resilience from even the slightest touch. Its ragged cambric grazed the ground. The chair was on the brink of death, but it still emanated beauty. It was magnificent.

“Do we have a deal?” the woman asked, stepping between her and the chair. She had her hand behind her and smacked the chair as a mother would do to a toddler to punish it in public secrecy.

To punish something so beautiful should be a sin, a sin that repenting could never forgive. “Yes,” Allison answered curtly.

The woman pulled out a neatly folded sheet of parchment paper from her back pocket. A pen was attached to it by an unraveling brown string. “There’s a, um, contract I need you to sign. It’s meant for your protection—in case maybe it’s stolen. You would be able to show ownership.”

Allison needed that chair. She exchanged a penny for the contract without a second’s thought. Allison pulled the string loose and unfolded the contract. It was in pristine condition; there were no dogged-eared corners, wrinkles, or creases outside of the neat folds, and the contract did not have the slightest curvature like a sheet of paper would have if stored in a back pocket. She didn’t read the contract; she merely scanned it for a place to sign.

When she clicked the pen, it pricked her thumb. Out of reaction to the unexpected, sudden pain, she dropped the pen, but it was only a small price to pay to have something so beautiful, so pure. Her thumb produced a small blob of blood.

She picked up the pen and signed her name. The thick, dark red ink left by the pen was absorbed into the contract as she wrote each letter in her name. Allison Cain disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared. Fear and jubilation raced through her.

The chair was hers.

“Thank you,” the woman said. Allison felt a tingling feeling crawling up her back. She saw a grey shriveled vine-like tentacle creeping out behind the woman. The tentacle snapped around the woman’s neck and jerked her into a cavernous mouth formed where the back of the chair met the seat cushion. Large, serrated teeth that were bunched together extended out, devouring the woman’s head before a scream let out. Her bones crunched with every chomp of its jagged teeth. It was a messy eater; blood squirted, hitting Allison underneath her eye as the woman’s legs were swallowed.

The chair was seething. Chunks of the woman’s flesh hung on its teeth, and blood soaked the cushions. The grey, rotting tentacle danced in the air. The fear Allison should have had was drowned out by awe. That woman deserved the gruesome death she received for mistreating and neglecting such a magnificent beauty. Allison inched towards the chair, carefully reaching out her hand.

The tentacle whipped around Allison’s arm. There was a sound of searing meat, then smoke rolled through the cracks between the wrapped tentacle. The tentacle jerked back from its hold and went into the depth of its home.

Allison shrieked and grasped her arm where excruciating pain should have been, but the only mark she saw was her own hand’s imprint fading away.

The chair was back to normal. Chunks of meat were nowhere to be seen; there was no blood on the chair nor the ground around it. The chair seemed less dull than before. The floral designs were noticeably green, though stains remained the predominant coloring of the chair.

Allison scanned the yard sale and saw what she believed to be the woman that sold her the chair walking towards the canopy. Questions ran through her head in disbelief. Was it real? She touched her cheek. Blood coated her fingertips. It was. She quickly wiped the blood with a napkin and stored it back in her purse.

Allison got the attention of a wanderer who roamed around the outside of the U-shaped border. The chair was unexpectedly heavy even with two people sharing the weight. The wanderer made a morbid joke which Allison nervously laughed off.

When they made it to her truck, they sat the chair down. Allison climbed into the bed to make some room. Her back began to itch as if she had been covered with fleas hungry for her flesh. She apologized to the wanderer as she paused to scratch her back. Once the fleas had their fill, they decided to leave. Though the digging she had done with her nails stuck around with acute sharpness.

The wanderer was gone when she had turned around. Her chair was in the same place they had set it. She hoped the wanderer had just left her, but she had a feeling that something else happened. She regretted asking for help, but what was done was done. The chair was hers, and she was taking it with her even if it was maleficent. Maleficent and magnificent end same for a reason.

Allison struggled lifting her chair up in the bed. She managed to get it up, but at the cost of it falling on its back. The chair smacked the bed with a thud. The torn cambric revealed a void of black instead of the common innards a chair should have. She rushed around the chair to help it upright as if it was a defenseless turtle turned over on its shell. She expressed her remorse to her chair, checking it for any damage, and she noticed the opposite. Her chair’s broken wing was relocated; it was as firm and as stable as the other wing.

******

Allison sat in her driveway for a moment. She moved her purse out of the passenger seat, off the contract. Her purse had held the contract down the entire drive. It was a test, and the results were unsettling. Even being weighed down on a pliable surface, the contract remained pristine. The contract had even looked like any ordinary paper would have weighed down on an uneven, plaint surface—its revealed edges curled up from the weighted center. It was uncanny; Allison had one more test, hoping to prevent this credence.

The contract was firm and rigid in her hands. She gripped the top of the contract with both her hands and tried to tear it in half. The contract stretched like leather under the tension, but tightened back once she relieved the pressure. Allison dug in her purse and retrieved her Bic lighter. She held the flame underneath the contract, and it did not catch fire. This contract—no different from an ordinary sheet of paper—was supernatural.

For the first time, Allison read its contents. There was little to read, and what was there was succinct and flaunted its malign manners. It was separated into two paragraphs. Each sentence could have been bulletin points. Instead, they flowed as one idea in their designated paragraph. One went over what the Angry Chair would not do; the other informed the Owner of what they could do.

The Angry Chair agreed not to do a lot of things, mainly related to devouring its Owner. As for the Owner of the Angry Chair, there were very few things they could do. At the end, before the lines to sign, a brief message stated in the circumstance of the Owner’s death, ownership would pass down to the next-of-kin.

She was frustrated by how brief the contract was. Although it was direct, it was ambiguous and left much room for questions. What did it mean by “Owner can assign Angry Chair’s spot.” How did she assign its spot? She was worried by “Angry Chair will not devour Owner’s last next-of-kin.” Not because it would leave her with only one relative, but because she feared that her next of kin would mistreat it.

She looked at her chair in the rearview mirror. The ragged back of the Angry Chair brought her butterflies. She wasn’t afraid of the chair; she feared what she would turn into. She had already decided, for her Angry Chair, she would do anything.

Allison was carefully sliding her chair to the edge of the truck bed. Jackson stepped onto the porch and saw her. “Do you want any help?” Jackson’s mutt, that favored the look of a bloodhound, barked from inside their house.

Allison did not want to put him in danger, but it was the only way she would get it down safely. She rotated the chair to have its back towards him. Jackson abruptly pulled the chair—it looked like something dug out of a dumpster; Allison flinched when her chair was jerked from her grip. “Be gentle,” she said firmly.

Allison got out of the bed and noticed that her chair’s back leg, which was missing a foot, had started to grow one. A wooden ball helped stabilize the chair. There were less prominent indents in the wooden legs too, but the design was still hard to make out. They carefully lowered the Angry Chair on the ground.

Hannah pulled into their driveway. She and Allison exchanged no words, let alone eye contact outside of quick side glances. Lain hopped out of the backseat. Jackson greeted his ex-girlfriend and gave his son a hug before leading him inside. Hannah followed behind, carrying Lain’s overnight backpack.

Allison stayed outside by her chair. Her head was throbbing. She forgot she had agreed to watch Lain tonight. There was a lot she wanted to figure out about her chair, and it will be hard while watching Lain. She pinched the bridge of her nose. The pressure eased the throbbing.

Hannah and Jackson came back outside. Hannah left and Jackson returned to help Allison. They carried it into the house where Lain had already made a mess of toys. Rufus’s paws scraped against the hardwood floor as he ran away from them, from the Angry Chair. He stood his ground in the middle of the living room. His barks were deep and carried throughout the house.

Allison felt a faint but present ire rising within herself. She recognized this feeling. It was there when the woman was eaten; it was suppressed by the shock and weaker, but it was there, nonetheless. Allison steered Jackson to an open area in the living room. Rufus trampled over Lain to stay away from the approaching chair. The hound continued barking from a safe distance and Lain began to cry.

Allison witnessed the faded green floral design on her chair shift its color. The weak blue tint was gradually pulled out, leaving a dirty yellow behind. The ire within Allison became more present with this change.

“Stop. Set it here.” There was a hint of protest from Jackson, but Allison had already sat her side down near the middle of the living room. “Shut them up,” she commanded, then added, “please.”

Jackson stood for a moment, perplexed by her outburst, before attending to his crying son and manic hound. Allison stayed by her chair. The yellow design continued to shift colors. A muddy red hue mixed with the yellow, creating a burnt orange hue that was slowly being saturated with red. Allison could feel the chair’s irritation growing. The anger in her crawled up her spine with needle-like limbs and tingled along her ribcage. Perspiration leaked from the pores on her forehead, and her eyebrows itched. She had never felt a surge of rage like this. It was overwhelming.

Allison grabbed onto her chair’s arm. The frayed threads of the worn fabric clung to her tightening hand. There was a sliver of solace that soothed her. The Angry Chair’s floral design paused on a bloody orange shade and reverted to yellow. The piercing limbs grew dull, and the tingling on her ribs lessened. Allison noticed Lain had stopped crying and Rufus was outside. Besides the muffled barking from outside, the house was calm.

Allison was recovering from the rush of anger. She held herself up by her chair. “Allison,” Jackson said, disturbing her serenity. “What was that?”

Allison shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”

Jackson glanced at the Angry Chair she clung to. He saw its blemishes and discolorations defined under the artificial light. The color combination of coral pink and yellow could have worked, but the chair was too faded and dirty. Shampooing it twice might clean it, but the withered, dehydrated threads could not be mended. It was incomprehensible why she had got this chair. It did not match any of their furniture they had, and Allison had never shown interest in anything vintage. The entire house was comprised of modern furniture, and this cringy old colorless chair stuck out like a brown stain on white underwear. He checked the time and realized he was going to be late for work.

The ire had finally subsided, and she was able to relax. Allison reluctantly left her chair’s side and ushered Lain into the kitchen. When Jackson exited the bedroom, carrying his button-up work shirt, Allison met him in the living room with his lunch. He hesitantly moved the worn chair out of the middle of the living room for Allison. They exchanged a quick kiss, and Jackson hugged Lain before leaving.

The chair stayed on his mind for the entire drive to work. He avoided saying it gave him an eerie feeling, as if it was haunted or possessed, but it did. He refused to believe in such things, but when he moved the chair, he swore that ugly floral design, which was like a smoke-tarnished yellow, was bile green. He was worried that Allison had brought something evil into their house.

Shortly after Jackson left, Lain started acting like the devil-child she knew. He ran around the living room throwing his toys—one nearly struck her chair—and spilled his drink by running into it. She told him to clean it up and guided him to the paper towels. When they returned, the Angry Chair had moved back to the middle of the living room, where it was before Jackson moved it for her. Even Lain had stopped at this realization.

Allison pushed the chair back. Lain threw away the soggy paper towel and resumed playing recklessly with his toys. Her patience was short-lived before she snapped at him again. “Lain.” Allison clapped to get his attention. “Go stand in the corner right now,” she commanded in a more authoritative tone than normal. Lain noticed and, with a quivering lip, obeyed.

Allison was afraid of sitting in her chair. Not because she feared it, but because she was nervous it may reject her. In the contract, it stated, “Owner can sit on Angry Chair,” but what if it didn’t want her to. There was an undeniable bond between them—it was deeper than blood—but a bond does not mean there are no boundaries. She ran her hand on the torn threading. She noticed the threading would grip back as her hand passed over.

She could only assume what happened to the people who overstepped its boundaries, but considering the Angry Chair could not devour her, she wondered what kind of resentment it would bestow on her.

She closed her eyes, and a tear squeezed through her tightened eyelids. She felt a tugging feeling on her hand and opened her eyes. She wiped clear the tears away the back of her free hand. The withered threads looked as if they were bowing against her hand.

Allison took it as a sign and sat in her chair. She sunk in its weak cushions and felt the rigid bones of her chair through its worn-out padding. The Angry Chair’s bones creaked under her weight. Allison situated herself on its prodding bones; its cushions contoured around her body. She rubbed her hands along the wingback chair’s arms in one gradual push and gripped the edge, digging her fingers in the torn fabric. The threading held onto her hands.

The chair itself was uncomfortable, but being intertwined together provided such a tranquility that all physical discomfort ceased to bother her. Allison closed her eyes, embracing the warmth of the tarnished chair. It was serene.

In her tranquil state of mind, the Angry Chair opened itself up to her in a way it had never done before. Allison experienced it as a dream. She appeared to be standing on the air above a mass of decay. She saw, through groggy and clouded vision, the inner bowels of the Angry Chair. It was a field of weeds and vines consumed by blight that stretched as far as she could see. Among the decayed vegetation were souls of past meals completely drained of their essence. They were still bound by the diseased vines and crusted leaves. All but two souls were futile.

A glowing soul was pulled to her, and the terrain pulled with it. Allison recognized the translucent essence as the lady from the yard sale. Thin hair floated around its drained face. Allison reached out and grabbed its boney chin and held up its agonized gaze to her own. The plants around this soul combated the dull gray of blight with a soft red of life.

The red vines wrapped tighter around the essence. The purple lanceolate leaves seemed to dance in an illusive breeze. The essence groaned under the strain and quivered and jerked in its bounds. The essence’s radiating light dimmed as the red color of life advanced among the blighted vegetation.

FEED ME, she heard in a dry, gravelly voice.

“Allison?” Lain said worriedly. “Can I get out of the corner now?” He was sitting crisscrossed on the floor. His legs were facing the corner, but his body was twisted around. He had waited patiently in the corner for a while, and Allison was in the chair the entire time. She scared him when she had started mumbling in a deep voice.

Allison’s mind was fuzzy and her vision still blurry as if she was still in the dream that she had already forgotten. She was parched and managed a dry cough. She reluctantly stood up from her seat and became lightheaded. The wall prevented her from falling. She made it to the kitchen sink and fixed herself a glass of water and drank it all. She was still thirsty, and her mouth remained dry. She refilled her glass.

“Do you want to sit in my chair?” Allison asked after finishing her second glass of water. She was as caught off guard as Lain by her own question. There was time to renounce her offer, but she left it for Lain to decide. “Or you can stay in the corner.”

After a moment of consideration, Lain’s desire to get out of the corner caused him to agree. He cautiously approached the wingback chair. Stains of grotesque colors caused him to grimace. The chair looked uncomfortable too.

Allison helped him get up in the chair and left him by himself. The chair was as uncomfortable as it looked. He sunk in the cushions and the springs stabbed him with sharpened points. It felt dirty too. He kept his arms close to his body so they would stay uncontaminated by the touch of the chair.

Allison knew, when she heard Lain’s cry for Jackson come to an end, it was done. She sat on the toilet pinching the bridge of her nose. Her jeans hid the red marks formed by her elbows. In the darkness behind her eyelids, she saw flashes of Lain’s soul entangled in red vines. She was trembling with guilt and threw up the water she had drunk in the trashcan.

The Angry Chair waited for her like a puppy that brought a dead carcass on the porch. Luckily for Allison, there were no remains or blood left—just as the contract informed her.

Allison noticed the faded fabric had shifted across their ombre chart. The Angry Chair’s skin was brighter, but the dirty watermark-like stains were still dominant like bruises on pale white flesh. The cambric no longer grazed the floor; it was mended back together and veneered the innards of the chair. The back right foot was gripped by a wooden claw to match the others. Its split fabric in the back was loosely sewn by weak threads.

Her anxiety washed away by the feel of her chair. Its cushions were fuller, but they were still easily pushed down with no ability to rise back up. She still felt the bones of her wingback chair, but they protruded less than before. She rested her head against its wing and was engulfed in the abyss of dreamless sleep.

Allison was jarred awake by Jackson. She wiped the crust out of her eye and was careful to sprinkle it on the floor.

Jackson carefully articulated, “Where is Lain?”

Allison cleared the crust in her other eye. She stood up and circled around him. Jackson turned with her, his back to the chair. He was losing his patience quick; his eyes bounced side to side waiting for an answer. He was unsure what unsettled him the most: the way Allison was acting or having his back toward the chair. He stepped towards her, away from the chair.

Allison shoved him while he was mid-step. Her uncanny strength knocked Jackson back into the chair. He caught himself. His hand pressed into the coral pink chair’s seat cushion; a protruding bone dug into his hand harder as he pushed himself up. His arm was wrapped by a crusted tentacle, and it jerked his arm in a gaping mouth surrounded by jagged fangs.

Jackson flung back from the release of tension when the serrated teeth separated him from his arm. What was left of his arm—a nub of a bicep—gushed blood all over the floor. He kicked the vicious Angry Chair back from him, it smacked against the wall, and crawled away. The tentacle creeped out of the abyss it had taken his arm. It slithered into the air stretching out along its backrest. The lunge was quick, but fortunately for Jackson, he was out of reach.

The Angry Chair shifted to its assigned spot—it slid across the floor like a misplaced ancient relic returning to its designated eternal resting place—and was able to wrap its tentacle around his foot. It pulled his leg into its mouth and bit it off at the knee. Jackson screamed for help. The Angry Chair continued to eat him like he was a gourmet meal, savoring each bite. His screams faded away to weak whimpers until he fainted.

Allison watched like a proud chef with scabies that prepared the meal. It gathered up the loose intestines and pieces of meat that fell out of its mouth into a pile and scooped it into its mouth with its tentacle. Then it absorbed the blood that had painted the floor. Every bit that remained of Jackson was gone, soaked up into the field of its bowels.

Red flowers faded to green. The withered threads bound together and tightened. There were still blemishes with the worn fabric: pieces of stray threads remained stuck up and loose loops waited for the right hook to unravel for. Though the fabric was no longer a ball of tattered thread, but a carefully wrapped loop of frayed string. The cushions increased their padding and became more resilient, but the seat was still slightly caved in. The chair was emanating beauty far more astounding than before.

It was a diamond. A diamond found in the rough needing nourishing.

Allison was trembling. She had witnessed the transformation happen before her eyes. The slow mending stirred fluttering butterflies in her stomach. Not only did the fabric and cushions mend, but the coral pink became more vibrant, and the bruises were starting to vanish. They were close to returning the Angry Chair to its former beauty. She could feel it.

Rufus was barking from outside. An idea populated Allison’s mind. She rested her hand on the Angry Chair’s arm for a moment of serenity then went to retrieve another essence for her chair after carefully removing a loop of thread caught on her ring.

Rufus fought hard against her and broke his collar. Allison was trying to catch him when she noticed Hannah had pulled into the driveway. She forgot about Rufus and went inside for an easier opportunity that fell into her grasp.

Hannah was calling for Jackson and Lain. She came into the kitchen from the hallway and Allison waited for her in the living room. She stood offset by the wingback chair. Her posture was erect, and she waited for an opportune moment to pounce. Hannah asked a question which Allison left unacknowledged. She was focused on luring Hannah closer to her Angry Chair.

Hannah ignored her offer to have a seat. “Where are they?” she asked again.

“Just sit the fuck down,” Allison said, approaching Hannah.

Allison grabbed and pulled her into the living room. Hannah shoved Allison off her, but Allison rushed her again, grabbing two handfuls of hair this second time. She managed to pull her further into the living room before Hannah escaped her grasp and backed into the kitchen.

Allison’s lip was bleeding from the blow Hannah delivered. “You’re crazy,” Hannah exclaimed. “Where’s Lain?”

They were so close to restoring the Angry Chair back to its former glory. She could only imagine the amount of beauty that would radiate once it had been restored. There stood the next mending soul they both desired. Allison was becoming impatient. The needle-like limb returned, crawling up her back, and ran along her ribs. She embraced the consuming anger; it coursed through her like an electrical current through copper. She felt the malice behind its intent. “I’ll take you to him,” Allison said, circling around her chair. “If you just sit down!” Allison pushed the Angry Chair across the floor, towards Hannah.

The Angry Chair glided on the hardwood floor. The elegant dark red floral design contrasted beautifully against the coral pink fabric, but what drew Hannah’s attention was a long black tentacle covered with grey crust slithering out of the crevice behind the seat cushion. The fear that froze her dispersed with adrenaline. Hannah ran down the hall, to the side door.

Allison left her chair in the kitchen and chased Hannah. She shoulder-checked her running full speed against the side door. The windowpane on the door cracked against the impact of Hannah’s head. She collapsed, dazed and vulnerable.

Allison dragged her down the hallway effortlessly. Hannah’s unconscious body weighed as heavy as a sack of wet feathers to her with the maleficent strength she possessed. The Angry Chair’s tentacle waved in the air impatiently. Jagged teeth protruded from the crevice. A black abyss formed as its serrated teeth stretched open.

Hannah came to being dragged in the hallway. She flailed her legs, that were gripped by Allison’s uncanny strength. She got a leg free from the grip and kicked Allison in the knee. She dropped down under the sudden buckle of her knee. As she fell, she lunged, swiping Hannah’s foot, causing her to fall into the wall. Her head left a hole in the drywall.

Allison recovered quickly from the ground with a limp. She grabbed a handful of Hannah’s hair from behind and pulled her to the Angry Chair. Hannah smacked against her wrist, but Allison had entangled her fingers in her hair with a strong grip. Allison tossed Hannah to the foot of her Angry Chair and stepped back.

The Angry Chair lifted her chin with its tentacle. Her dazed state had faded, and Hannah stared into the void surrounded by jagged teeth that climbed on top of each other. The tentacle wrapped around her neck and locked itself underneath her arms. She braced herself against the chair, fighting against its pull.

The Angry Chair released its grip, and Hannah flung back. The tentacle reacted fast, wrapping around her calves and tightening its grip, and pulled her, legs first, into its cavernous mouth. Its bunched teeth grazed her legs and up her back. Grooves of torn flesh bathed the chair with thick, red blood. Hannah held onto a tooth, pausing her certain death long enough to cry out for help in vain. The Angry Chair snapped its mandible closed, severing her hand. It soon followed her into its eternal depths.

Allison was shaking with excitement. It started with the absorption of the blood that covered its cushions. It was like water that had simply dried, leaving no stains behind. It hydrated the chair’s remaining parched and faded color tones. The brightened coral pink fabric washed out the watermark-like stains completely. The floral design became a vivid green which heightened the coral pink’s lighter tone. The sunken cushions rose like a partially deflated ball being topped off with compressed air. The last of the loose fabric tightened together like interweaving muscles strengthening their bond, leaving no more loops to be caught by passing hooks. The back that had been slit open bore no signs of ever being sliced. The artistically carved legged were pristine. Their design was an elegant lanceolate leaf with defining grooves on the outward curve of each leg.

Allison placed her hand on the freshly tightened fabric and waited for its grip. Instead of the withered fabric gripping onto her hand, its cushions pulsed where her hand rested like a single beat of a heart. She tightened her grip on its arm and sat down in her Angry Chair. Its cushions held her like gentle hands around a small, fragile animal.

She had never felt comfort such as this. It was not physical comfort—though, the cushions were very voluptuous—but it was an emotional type of comfort she acquired. The kind of comfort someone typically gains from a significant other or a drug. But a sober state of peace fluttered inside her, making her burdens feel light as air. The satisfaction in restoring her Angry Chair made amends with the deaths that surrounded her.

She plucked a strand of hair caught in the fabric and dropped it on the floor. She rested her head on the wing of her chair and fell asleep in its malign grasp. There was magnificence in its malevolence, and she will continue to do anything for her Angry Chair.


THE END


2023 M. Taylor

Bio: "I have a B.A. in English and Psychology from Campbellsville University. I have a short story and a few poems published in The Russell Creek Review. I am a current member of Sigma Tau Delta."

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