Eve and Eden
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Evelyn's mama is a newspaper, classifieds road-stained and speckled with dust. She picks her name from those pages, rebuilds herself anew. A woman seeped in literal shadows, nightmares dripping from her lips and fingers, Evelyn walks away from her old life with little more than a newspaper clenched in one magic-stained hand.
WANTED—MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT, it reads, NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. More
Mama is a Hyde Park Herald, classifieds road-stained and speckled with dust. She wears her front page bobbed to style, dances in a beaded gown of birth announcements, all of them whispering promises. The quietest one—the only one that matters—wallflowers it in a two-penny slot of a wrinkled up corner.
WANTED—MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT, it reads, NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED.
Small as they are, those six words birth a brand new woman. A finger dropped blind on the page gives her a name. Just like that, Evelyn Hale sidles into the world and into the city, her face shaped for sadness and her dark curls bobbed for jazz.
She had a name before Evelyn, of course. A name for empty cupboards, for catalog dresses sewn and re-sewn for a half-dozen others, the calico flowers wilting in every wash. A name for a woman stood barefoot in the bathroom, lost hair licking her toes and rusted scissors hissing at her chin.
A name for a woman with chaos bubbling at the back of her clenched teeth, shadows clotting in her throat, flooding her chest until the force of them leaked from her eyes, her nose, the beds of her fingernails, and their drumbeat howling told her go, run, now—
Of course she had a name before Evelyn.
But Evelyn had nothing before she had a name.
Her mama is a newspaper. The story goes like this…
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