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DARK WATER

 

The siren lit up her hair and the entire fire squad saw angels. She was gentle like rain off a leaf. You wouldn’t want to grab her arm; her skin would surely break like a butterfly’s wing.

 

She had gone into the woods almost every night as a child, muttering to the moonlight and dancing to the rhythm of the roots. Wouldn’t it be better to live amongst the trees? Why should we hide ourselves in plastic shells? The wet grass never answered her, but not due to inability, simply because she couldn’t handle the truth.

 

Every year on her birthday, she would tie her hair into knots and go down to the water. The water was always black this time of year. The obsidian was the perfect mirror. And the way she looked upon the surface is the way she will remember her face as she dies. She plunges her fists into the stagnant abyss, understanding that the darkness has already taken hold.

 

It wasn’t until she was a woman, that she decided to give up most of her human attachments and live fulltime in the forest. The night she laid to rest upon damp spruce needles, the entire landscape erupted in a molten blaze. It was seven years past that the trees had last renewed their vitality. Her body, encapsulated in an oxygen chamber, was preserved until the rescue team arrived the following evening, right after the clouds came and the water poured down.

 

The men and women in yellow suits thought they would have to drag her figure from the smoldering embers, but she arose, stood straight and light. Her skin was examined with swabs, moist gauze, and pressure applied by blue paramedic gloves. She was completely unscathed, physically astounding the logics of science and medicine. Her birthday was to arrive in 3 days. She had never been baptized, and had been ostracized from her community. What they didn’t know, was that she was closer to the water than they would ever be; the water had accepted her as its own kind. She exhaled oxygen piggybacked by hydrogen. She had been swallowed by the black water. After she was cleared by the rescuers, she returned home.

fiction

There's Always Room

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There’s always room for one more. One more puppet to make my babies happy. I am going to grab the scissors this time. No need to chip any more teeth. Let’s see, scissors, taser, a crisp $100 bill, and a vial of my special medicine. Black bottle, don’t want that damn sun getting in here and molesting the serum with its joyful rays. Off to the club, going to the Drill Bit tonight, always something tasty to find there.

 

I always walk with my right foot in front. The calf is stronger to take the lead. They always think I seem older, more fragile with my right foot leading the way, allowing the rest of my body to drag behind me. So helpless, so weak, so easy to ignore. When you see an old wench stumbling, do you ever ask for her wrinkly old hand, help her glide along the concrete passageways as if she were a fairy maiden. Hell no you don’t. You look at the ground, away from her direction. You examine if the cracks are doing their job, holding muck and gunk in their every vein, making these streets pulse like real cities. The elderly are but invisible to the eyes of the dreamers. In their smooth skins and smooth clothes, they stride with each concrete block, towards their frivolous goals of getting a pat on the back, a gold star, or better yet, a handy under the streetlamp. So special, every one of them, so special the dreamers. They sleep when they dream, and dream when awake.

 

I get to the Drill Bit a hair past last call. My years of guzzling booze make me a superior planner. My body plans for me, allowing my mind to focus on more important pleasures. I like to wedge my ass between this dumpster and black pipe. A thick black pipe connecting nothing to no where. If I stabilize my frame, I can stay hidden while gaining double strength on the way down. I watch as the beings who stand too straight float out from behind the sweaty door. Never willing to get on their knees, never wanting to touch what they are willing to see. Another bunch of pretenders. They never inhale.

 

As deep as possible, I swallow in the despair drenched night air. This is better than vitamins, better than dyed chalk staining the teeth of ugly children. The moment is now. I pull the $100 bill from my droopy tit and smooth it across the palm of my hand. Blow, and fate awaits. No matter how torn up these ingrates are, someone will spot the glow, green glow making their balls tingle. I take the greediest one. Naturally salty. “In the air tonight” plays and I await the drum solo.  And here he comes, with iridescent grey skin and enough body hair to warm the whole damned city. He bends, leans in, and enters my black space. Tasered like a bass beat, sparkling stars onto a puddle on the ground. He always was the light of the party, or at least that’s what he will remember. I grab his slimy lips with my pointer finger and thumb, clamping them together like a dead duck as I clip them off. Everyone’s blood is a different color in the darkness. He looks lonely now, so I let him suckle momma’s medicine. It doesn’t come cheap, but it lightens the load over fifty percent. Wouldn’t want me pulling a hamstring, bursting any blood vessels in these white eyes. My babies need me, and I am no good to them a cripple.

 

The elixir takes 48 hours to do its magic. Within that time all the dead weight is disintegrated. Organs are diminished to sludge which leaks out each orifice, blending to the oil spills and toxic wastes of the concrete freeway. I return in 2 days’ time and heap my trophy into a large duffle bag. It is time to appease my babies, it is time for them to see the worth of their mother, feel the weight of her abilities. This gym bag has handled a mass of flesh before. I always thought of the stains as birth marks. These patterns mark me as unique.

 

As soon as I walk through that door, they’re on me. I mean shoved inside each armpit, between my legs, under my feet so I fall down to the fluffy carpeting and the bag slams to the floor, giggling ever so slightly under the weight of the cotton blend. My little furry loves know it’s about time to feast. Just roll out the trough, unzip, and let the fermented flesh pile high. Soft enough for even the little one’s teeth to just slice through. Nice fatty parts, good for developing muscle tone and a shiny coat. How majestic.

 

Have to rest so I can feed them tomorrow night. You know how cranky they can be. After each last one of them has had their full, I lie on the floor and hum myself to sleep.

For more writing samples, please contact Jessie Miller at: jessiemillersmind@gmail.com