To 2015 - 2016

By Molly Friedel

  1. Untitled
    By Alice Lee
The clock hums, and Windsor knows it is not Tuesday.
He knows yesterday wasn’t Tuesday and he knows that tomorrow will not be Tuesday either, and yet the crisp letter in his hand with black ink still wet is dated Tuesday, December 21.
He is sitting in his office, vibrant blue hair a mess around his face as he slowly spins around and around in his swivel chair. The room is relatively dull, gray walls, whitewashed wooden furniture. Red crayon has been used to scrawl scribbles all over the walls, all over the furniture.
Not into any particular picture, perhaps, but maybe you just aren’t looking hard enough.
Windsor places the letter words up on the desk as he lazily spins past it.
The clock hums.
It is not Tuesday.
Nor is it Thursday, he muses, tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling. Although the letter is not dated Thursday, so he supposes that this information is of less importance than the fact that it is not Tuesday.
Yesterday was also not Thursday, nor will tomorrow be Thursday.
The clock hums. 
There is a knock on the office door.
Windsor stops spinning reluctantly. He continues to stare at the ceiling a moment, debating whether to answer it or to pretend that he is an oddly realistic wax statue.
It is not Tuesday or Thursday. He sighs. 
“Come in.”
Windsor starts spinning in circles on the chair again.
The door creaks open slowly, and a white mouse scuttles in, carrying another letter. It pauses, glancing around nervously, and stands up on its hind legs, wringing its front paws.
Windsor gestures vaguely and keeps spinning. “Drop it wherever.”
The mouse spits out the letter, falling back on all fours. Blue ink has painted English all over the crisp paper, and it runs slightly as it floats to the ground. The mouse gives Windsor a last glance before turning and scurrying out again. The door closes behind it with a soft click.
Purple crayon has been used to scrawl scribbles all over the walls, all over the furniture. Not in any particular picture, perhaps, but maybe you just aren’t looking hard enough.
Windsor glances at the letter as he spins past it. Tuesday, December 22. He heaves a sigh again.
It isn’t Tuesday.
The clock hums.
There is no clock.
It hums anyway.
There is another knock on the door.
Windsor glances at it, then at the letter still on the floor. He resumes spinning. “Come in.”
Cue Change Face’s arrival.
Windsor scowls. Change Face will try to convince him it is Tuesday. As per usual.
Change Face is wearing a maroon suit. The head extending from his body is one of a bloated pig’s. Windsor finds this amusing. Usually Change Face begins as a rat.
Windsor pointedly ignores Change Face, continuing to spin lazily.
Change Face gives a barely audible sigh. He’s quiet for a moment. “Been drawing on the walls again, Alexander?” he tries again.
Windsor casually glances at the manic scribbles of green crayon all over the walls. He shrugs a shoulder. “That wasn’t me.” He looks at Change Face again, momentarily amused to see such an exasperated looking duck in such a nice suit.
“Alexander,” Change Face begins.
“Change Face,” Windsor replies pleasantly in turn.
“My name is Sean.”
“Mine’s Windsor.”
Change Face rubs a hand over his head.
The clock hums.
“It’s not Tuesday,” Windsor says suddenly, stopping his spinning right as he faces Change Face.
The pig head is back. Change Face folds his arms. Windsor snickers.
“It is Tuesday.”
“It’s not.”
“I know it seems like a Sunday to you, but the first step of recovery is to understand that not everything is as it seems, and that people are just trying to help.”
“I don’t need help.”
“Alexander, please.”
“It’s Windsor. It’s always been Windsor. I can’t imagine where you got such an atrocious name like Alexander from.”
Change Face sighs.
“Windsor then,” he amends.
Windsor gives him a nod of acknowledgment, pushing himself off with his foot to spin in the chair again. “You know, Change Face, we could probably be friends,” he says loftily. “If you weren’t an idiot.”
“It’s Sean.”
“Change Face.”
The corner of Change Face’s mouth twitches. “Alexander.”
Windsor is quiet a moment.
“.....fine. Sean.” The word tastes gross on his tongue, but he understands that some things are bound by a give and take relationship.
Change Face’s head is now that of a toad’s.
Windsor imagines him flicking his tongue out. He giggles.
Change Face frowns slightly.
“Curious how all the letters say Tuesday, isn’t it?” Windsor changes the subject randomly, gesturing to the letter on the desk. “Although both the 21 and the 22 can’t possible be Tuesdays.”
“Ah yes, the uh, letters.” Change Face pauses uncomfortably, fidgeting and glancing to where Windsor gestured. “Well, it is Tuesday, Ale- Windsor.”
“It’s Sunday, Cha- Sean,” Windsor replies snidely. He tosses his hair. “I don’t like the name Sean.”
“You don’t have to like it.”
“Good, because I don’t.”
“I’d ask you still call me Sean, though. Change Face is a bit- uhm- what caused you to choose that name, anyway?”
Windsor studied Change Face. He was again sporting a pig head.
“Your head is a pig,” Windsor told him.
Change Face frowned more deeply.
The mouse is knocking at the door again, presumably with another letter. Change Face doesn’t seem to notice, and Windsor doesn’t feel like answering it with him in the room.
The knock eventually stops.
“I really would like to be friends with you, Windsor. Honestly,” Change Face says, his tone suddenly earnest.
Windsor flashes him a skeptical look. “Well, you’re an idiot, Sean. You think it’s Tuesday. You pretend you can’t see the letters that are all dated Tuesday and you pretend that your head is just as normal as mine. You tell me there’s no clock and that the humming noise is just the vent. You say you’ve never seen the white mouse and that my hair isn’t blue and that my name is Alexander and that you have to be called Sean.” He tilts his head slightly. “Grow up a bit, and then we can talk friendship.”
Change Face purses his mouth. As best a horse mouth can purse.
The yellow scribbles on the wall snicker at him. Windsor does too. A pursed horse mouth is amusing.
“Well,” Change Face says, rubbing the back of his neck. His maroon suit doesn’t seem to crinkle in the slightest as he leans up against the wall.
“You’re just not looking hard enough, Change Face,” Windsor says loftily, resting his head in the palm of his hand. “Reality is out there waiting for you. You just have to open your eyes.”
“It’s Sean.”
Windsor sighs.
The clock hums in moody agreement.
He knows that Change Face’s name isn’t Sean.
“What an idiot,” he says to no one in particular.
Change Face sighs back at him.
He pulls a small cylinder out of his pocket and walks towards Windsor, placing it on his desk next to the first letter. “Here. More medicine. It’ll help.”
“I don’t need help, Sean. Or medicine.”
“Just take it for me.”
Windsor raises an eyebrow at him, stopping his spinning to give Change Face an incredulous look.
Change Face shoves his hands in his pocket as he walks towards the door again.
His head is a rat.
“I’ll see you next Tuesday, Windsor.”
“Monday isn’t Tuesday, Sean.”
Change Face pauses by the door. “That’s true.”
“I’ll see you next Monday, Sean.”
Change Face is silent a moment, then he shrugs one shoulder. “Monday it is then. Don’t forget to take the pills.”
With that, Change Face walks straight through the door as if it isn’t even there.
Windsor spins in his chair again, closing his eyes. “You can come in now. Change Face left.”
The mouse opens the door and pitters inside, letterless.
Windsor snatches his pills as he spins by them and tosses them at the mouse. “Here. A Thank You gift. From Change Face.”
The cylinder rolls towards the mouse, slowing to a stop just in front of it. The mouse’s nose twitches as it eagerly sniffs the cylinder, putting a small paw on it. After a moment, the mouse opens its mouth and swallows the cylinder whole. It blinks, then sits on its hind legs to lick its front paws.
Windsor smiles.
The red crayon watches solemnly from the walls.
The clock hums.
Windsor knows it is not Tuesday.
You’d know, too. If you just looked hard enough.