Bring the night. Continue reading “Hunter, Oh Hunter”
Bring the night. Continue reading “Hunter, Oh Hunter”
A dark story about murder, and also, complacency.
The first time I saw him for what he was, it was nighttime.
I was out for a smoke on the porch. Enjoying the summery breeze. Listening to the cicadas scream and the owls give the occasion protest. I was smoking, imbibing in my worst habit.
One of my worst, anyway.
When I was halfway through my smoke, he pulled up in his red pickup. Pulled up, parked, turned off his headlights. Got out with a fire under his ass, moving real quick, his movements clipped in a way that showed his focus. His extremely narrow intent.
He pulled something out of the back. Slammed the tailgate down, dragged something out, then slammed it back up.
And dragged it.
A burlap sack that was large. Quite large. Probably weighed a buck fifty or so. Maybe more. A sack that, as he dragged it up to his porch, was illuminated by his motion sensor light. A sack that, once in full view, looked as though it might stand at about five foot five. A sack that looked long as he dragged it. Lumpy. A sack that was not just the dingy brown of burlap.
But it was blotched with shades of red.
Red that ran out of the sack, up his porch.
Red that stained the ground with dark streaks of pooling liquid.
Red that was coming, most certainly, from whatever was within the sack.
I saw what he was then.
Saw him for what he truly was on that humid summer night.
At his front door, he paused. Turned sideways. Noticed me.
I nodded to him, nearly done with my smoke.
“Hot out tonight, ain’t it?” I asked him.
His face was… hollow then. Shut off. As if none of his skin were real. All of his bones were blades under the thin facade.
He nodded to me. “Too hot, I’d say.”
“Definitely,” I agreed. “I best be getting inside, much too hot out here for me. Not like anything interesting is going on anyway. Goodnight.”
I put my cigarette stub in the ash tray.
Locked my door.
And, that night, I shut my eyes. Went right to sleep. Because, even though I saw him for what he was, I figured:
Why poke the dragon? Continue reading “Dragon’s Fire”
Nobody outside of the community would know, because there’d be no way for them to know. This curse is ours, and ours alone. No other land sees the creature—no one else has to fear it like we do. Our ancestors spilt the blood on this land, and this land makes us pay for it.
And over again.
When the crops rise, and the harvest moon peaks its bleary eyes out over the night sky, we know.
It’s almost time. Continue reading “Part of the Crop: A Tale of Harvest”
There was a trick to it. There must be.
Or there wouldn’t be so many.
Stories can’t all add up to nothing. Neither can missing people. If something is out there, it’ll drop hints. Leave clues. It won’t go unnoticed. It might stay mysterious, yes, but it won’t go completely unnoticed. Everything leaves a trail.
And this one? This trail?
It’s going to lead me to the jackpot.
There are no pearly gates. Not for me. I already know that. But there won’t be a hellfire either. No mouth swallowing me whole. Death will reach for me…
…and he’ll miss.
If only I can just get this right. Continue reading “Metal Eternity”
“Do we have to bring another one so soon? These bodies get heavier and heavier every time.”
“Shut up and keep hauling.”
“Ugh. Fine. But you’re taking me to get an ice cream after we dump it.”
“Don’t say that.”
“‘Dump it’. Don’t say ‘dump it’.”
“It’s so… irreverent. Like we’re common crooks or mafia thugs or something. Like we’re lowly peons.”
“Aren’t we lowly peons? I mean, we’re dragging a body, and it’s not for our own sakes. Right?”
“We’re not peons.”
“Then what are we?”
The night grew thick in that moment. As if a spirit-filled fog settled between the two quarrelers. The more convicted one looked to the complainer a moment. Looked to him and decided that, yes. Maybe the fellow next to him was, in fact, a peon.
But he, himself, was more.
So much more.
He looks away from the fellow. A dark pooling sensation settling in his stomach. Gurgling and oozing. Hiding what was beneath the surface.
Looking away from his companion, he says what he’s thinking out loud.
“I’m not sure what you are, but I know:
“I’ll be the one that wields the beast.”
Maps have always been used to find the way. To pluck out the wrong roads and toss them aside. To find the correct avenues. The roads that will take you somewhere you wish to go.
To take you places.
They’re strands. Tiny lines that intersect. Tiny lines with mysteries, marvels. That contain whole worlds without our notice. That lead to “x”s and treasures and gold.
Maps are so much more than they appear.
Why wouldn’t it be the same with our DNA? Continue reading “The Mystics of Maps”
Memories are a hazy thing. I’ve heard it said that, by remembering something, you’re making it untrue. With every recounting of a tale, the story becomes more story, and less of what actually happened. And I don’t mean that we’re all liars and that’s how I know. Scientifically, that’s what happens.
Or so I’ve heard.
I wouldn’t actually know.
Not that it matters.
I can’t remember anything.
There is a start, and a stop. A place where my memories definitively begin, and a place where they end. There’s no “maybe this happened a long time ago” for me. There is a line, and that line is where I started.
Right in the middle.
People get told all the time that they’re a mistake. It’s a common dis.
That is exactly the truth. Continue reading “A Monster Remembers”
Do you know what hatred is?
Real, true, hatred?
The pure kind. The kind that is undiluted by human compassion, or by strong belief, or unavoidable morals.
That’s the kind of hatred I’m talking about.
It isn’t some fire in your veins at the mention of their name. That’s anger. You can be disgusted by a person and not hate them. Hatred, the kind that I’m talking about, is something different. It isn’t a fire. It isn’t an emotion. It isn’t a state of mind.
It’s a state of being.
When your hatred is pure, it consumes you. Crams itself into your mind, during your waking hours as well as your sleeping ones. It brings this sense of dread, of hunger. And it’s as unavoidable as thirst.
You long for something.
You just don’t know exactly what it is.
But it’s very directed.
Hatred isn’t the emotion of disliking something or someone.
It’s the need to eradicate.
Have you ever experienced that? Have you ever been consumed by the destruction of something, or someone, else? Have you ever looked at the idea of something and, every time you do, you find yourself wishing that it never existed in the first place?
Because even if something exists in a state of suffering, at least it still exists.
But, after I’m done…
Not anymore. Continue reading “Consumed and Fading”
“Do you know what the difference is? Between a gator and a crocodile?
“Well, I’ll tell you. Because it’s a secret.
“Sure, you could compare their teeth, their snouts, their eyes.
“You could even compare their body size.
“But you know what the real difference it? Where it counts?”
You still say nothing. You just watch me.
That’s what they call you.
A man backed by paper. By schooling. A man surrounded by staff and nurses, preparing his symphony for him. Readying the insane to his liking. Prying their minds loose for him to crack open.
A man of science. Of scholars.
His brown eyes stare bleakly into mine, leagues of dirt above me.
I shake my head.
“Never mind. Even if I tell you, it won’t matter.”
“And why is that?” you ask, as if you really care to know. As if it’s a real question. Not something fueled by psycho-analysis.
I shake my head again.
“Because even if I tell you, you won’t know the difference until it bites you in the ass.”
“Is that a threat?”
If it is, he doesn’t seem upset about it.
“It’s a fact.” Continue reading “Alligator or Crocodile?”