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He Gave

By @madelinemdooher

The Exhibition

“How long do you suppose he’s been out here?”

“Long enough.”

Frost had formed along the riverside, gathering on leaves and benches, making everything fragile to the touch. Rolling with urgency, the river bustled on, springing against and spreading between the dead man’s waterlogged feet. If the two men had the mind to smell the air, they’d find it unusually sugary, like the distant fumes of a homemade pie or the sweet hint of snow on the pallid horizon.

But the men kept their mouths open, white puffs of vapor sprouting from under their mustaches. Beards adorned with ice.

“You think it could be foul play?”

“Nah. Probably just some drunkard who found too much beauty in the Seine.”

Skin stuck to grass and eyes shining like marbles, the body lay before the men in a frozen display. Had the snow fallen sooner, the exhibition might have lasted all season.

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