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July 15, 2010

by Nancy Gott

Outside the Plaza Hotel on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine, wearing a brand new suit, hair parted and carefully combed, he waits for her, his bride in an hour’s time. He carries a gift for her — a cobalt-blue ceramic water pitcher made exclusively for Westinghouse by Hall’s China, in 1938. She saunters past the KNX Studio toward him, sunlight dancing on her golden tiara, red and purple blooms nodding in her arms — a strumpet straight from heaven — stops and drops a postcard in the mailbox. Although he cannot read the scrawling script (“Hellow Mrs. Shellie, Hope you are through canning peaches by now. Will be seeing soon. Dora”), he will discover, after this golden afternoon has passed, what a terrible speller she is, not to mention grammarian. When it comes to beauty, though, she is peerless, and when she stands before him, he forgives her every flaw. Her hair, the color of a Kansas wheat field; her eyes, the Pacific; her lips, the Western sky at sunset, transfixes him. When she winks his legs tremble, and fearing he might drop the pitcher, he thrusts it toward her. She drops her bouquet, grabs the pitcher and yanks off the lid. A cloud of bees explode from the pitcher’s mouth, cursing them with poison, pestilence, and fervor. Dora clutches her gift, hands shaking. Clamps down the lid.

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Nancy Gott grew up in Iowa and graduated with a B.A. in English from The University of Iowa where she studied fiction writing with Stuart Dybek and poetry writing with Chase Twichell. Currently, she lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she avoids casinos, gaming, and the sun.

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  1. August 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Gorgeous pace and color. The accents of detail sewn into the general landscape and personage is delectable.

  2. nancy gott
    March 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Thank you, Gary. This is based on a postcard my great-grandmother received from a woman named Dora. The actual message from the card is included in the text. Most everything else came from my meditations on the front of the card, a relic itself from the ’40s. At the time I wrote this I was in a poetry workshop, and our assignment was to write a poem based on a myth. And when I discovered the postcard, the name on the card, the rest fell into place. I appreciate your kind comments.

  3. junor flip
    June 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Boy, you can write, even your explanation to Gary is so laconic……

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