From TC 9:1 – “Merry and Monroe” by Shannon Schuren

She keeps it hidden in a box under the bed.

She only keeps the bed—the same uncomfortable one she’s slept on since childhood—because it is high enough to house the box, which fits snugly beneath the tarnished frame, which holds the coiled springs, which lie beneath the torn mattress, all of it covered by the quilt hand-sewn by her grandmother.

She takes comfort in these layers. They are all that muffle the voice when it calls. Teasing, pleading, wounding. She tries to ignore it, has faced the sofa in the opposite direction so she doesn’t have to look at it. Still, the loft is sparsely furnished. It is easily heard or seen from anywhere in the apartment.

She used to worry that visitors would ask questions.

Luckily, no one has ever come.

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