EDDY'S TYRONE #2
Atheta Long lived in front of a banana-yellow crosswalk. It looked like an extension of the walkway leading to her front door. Thick hatch-marks she would glaze over with glow-in-the-dark paint, so that when the Sun sank behind the hills and the street lights were snuffed-out there'd be a visible bridge from one side of the road to the other. At least for a few hours, while some ambled their ways home from the mill, or French's.
The kids in the neighborhood used to play on the glowing crosswalk during the summertime, when it became night. King Of The Bridge. A bridge suspended in a vacuum. The road it was painted on became empty black space. Two would jump from one band to the next in competing directions, with branches in hands, as though it were a kind of joust. If you lost your footing, you fell. And you fell forever. Things got even more exciting when it was windy, or when traffic was heavy. You could almost feel the bridge sway...
Atheta Long would be the one who'd collect the roadkill the crosswalk would attract. At least once a week a truck would smash a lumbering raccoon on its way to the woods. The neighbors stopped thanking her years ago for cleaning up the bloody messes before the kids left for school. She'd bring the crushed animals inside, cut off the fur, and de-bone them. The rest she'd rinse off and reduce down to a thick paste on a low flame. Her Frigidaire was packed with rows of Ball jars... And when losers of the young summer duels were injured, she'd bring the wounded in. She'd smear the paste on the hurt and the hurt would go away. She called it Love Butter.