Reaper’s Eye

It could be somethin’… Or just might be nothing …shrug… I don’t suppose it matters, but I have a question

Have you ever died?

Not figuratively, or even spiritually.

Died.
Ended.
The old dirt nap.
Existence: Terminated.
Stop breathing, stop everything, even fighting for your life kind of death.

I have.

I’m still here, breathing and stuff; fact: I’m a walking, talking, profanity spewing fucking miracle of science and stupidity. Some have likened me to a cockroach, stating that I’m impossible to kill, and nearly as ugly.

Ugly is as ugly does. Survival is never pretty.

If they only knew how close to the truth those obnoxious sons of whores really are. Stupidity, being what it is, makes it possible for me to employ the necessary skills needed to avoid those agonizing recollections that haunt relentlessly, and, for a while, pretend that I’m a person.

A human.

I’m not, though, human. I’m not even real. How could I be, when I ceased to exist in 1996. Stop rolling your eyes. I am well aware of the way I am viewed, and I don’t give a rolling fuck at a traveling donut. No one has lived my life, and no one has to live through that motherfucking nightmare every godammed night of theirs. I have that delightful chore

Not that I’d wish those all too real memories on even my worst enemy…although it might teach some valuable lessons to those who think themselves so holier-than-thou. Those memories hurt. They ache and burn and steal breath, driving you to scream and fall to pieces in silence. Why would I shared them, anyway? I can justify until I’m blue in the face, for all the good it does. Why – why Why WHY? – why’d you stay? Why didn’t you run? Why didn’t you FIGHT?

Why’d I stay?

Where would I go? Who would believe me? I was, am, nothing and had less. The ownership papers are real – I’ve seen them with my own eyes. So where was I to go?

I. Did. Run.

There was nowhere to run to, but it didn’t stop me. Not right away I ran; so many times I fled the fists and the and the barbs and the lies, and every time the people I thought I could trust took me straight back to hell. That desperation to be free was all encompassing but I was trapped, a relative prisoner. Do you know how that feels? To sit shivering in a dark corner, falling apart because it’s Friday at 5 and he’s been drinking again? Praying that some drunk angel driving would destroy the monster on its way home because You can’t take being hurt one more time? It feels awful, and you feel like a horrible person, begging for the death of another being, and then praying harder. Then, when the monster stumbles through the door, that energy evaporates out of fear.

Why didn’t I fight. Such a simple, stupidly ridiculous question. I did, at first. I gave as good as I got, for a while, fists and verbal spears, poison daggers. I fought and hard, but a mind can only take efforts to shatter it for so long before self preservation convinces you that it’s safer to take the hits than to throw them. Bruises heal. Scars fade. Life goes on.

Except, I’m not sure it does. The night I died hasn’t faded in the least, not in the sensations nor in the torturous dreams in which it is relived. The fragrance of stale beer, sweat and perfume is imbedded in my nose, as is the scent of my bladder when darkness finally crept in and Reaper stood waiting by the door. The over warm meatiness of hands around my throat, and that laugh lingers even now….

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image

broken sky

My name is Triss Pettigrew, and I am sixteen years old. I live in a remote Village south of nowhere, and close enough to the underworld that the clear pools closest to the mountains are as hot as boiled water. It is picturesque and to the eye, perfect. I couldn’t find anything as wrong about my environment than the fact that everyone that I have ever known has grown up the same way: silent, but not out of some defect that had stolen our voices but by necessity, by choice even. The spoken word is used so sparingly in my smallish township and used so rarely that it carves the event into your memory. When I was very young, I was sure that we were a community of mutes, living in a world of unheard noises that only I could hear. The first time my father spoke I was stunned.

I remember every word that my mother had said to me, and in great detail. It’s hard to forget as each was an admonishment, and in every instance. I wasted so much time vying for her approval and pride against those of my brother and father, that eventually I gave up making any efforts. Even when she lay dying amongst her trappings, I had no need to go to her bedside, not until my father came and told me that she asked for me. Her last words were a liberation and my heart leapt in glee when she finally whispered on her last breath, “Not your mother.” The old bitch was nearly pretty in that last fading light, such a gem of hope. She begged for my forgiveness; I wished her consecutive sentences in Purgatory for the years she made mine unbearable. I’m not cruel by nature but even the kindest souls have a limit.

I’ve softened the edges over time, the memories of the older barbs have grown smooth as river stones by my own design. The hurt becomes too heavy a burden to carry and the cuts from those edges never see to heal until they are faded. The ache is easier to live with once it’s been smoothed away; liveable recollections. Because of her my life was quiet as the grave, and I despise the constraints I am forced to exist in. Father speaks even less than Mother ever did, and ‘normally not even in the traditional sense of speech; he expresses his wants by the way he flicks his eyes or the set of his jaw, and you must use a certain amount of anticipation.

He actually used words this morning as he sat at the table, staring at the sunrise through the dewy windowpane. He appeared reflective and even happy. My brother, Errol, was smiling stupidly to himself over the bowl of porridge I’d made him, with his eyes far away and dancing. My big brother is in love. The poor thing. An event of a such an odd happening in a home of unhappiness, and yet Father seems amused, pleased, rather than annoyed. In a tone I am unaccustomed to, he chuckled and met my eyes with a smile, and patted my hand when I tried to remove his plate to wash. “Tris, go relax. I don’t need you today,” and he shooed me from the house with no tasks, chores or instruction. A free day just for me.

There are markets that overtake the streets in town, and I wander with my mind twisting and turning as I search desperately for a handle on this situation. As the only female, it’s been my lot to care for the men of the home always and before myself. I haven’t had a day to myself in my life and I feel so disconnected with nothing to do and all day to do it. Every living soul in Harrow Haven has been marked as to have knowledge of its Citizens, and then there is me. As the sole, un-Mapped, un-Marked being among the body, mind and soul connected sea of humanity I am mired in, I find I just don’t belong here. I’m so damned lonely and I wish I could say so.

Purchasing nothing, nor laying hand on anything either, my collectible data is kept to my footprints in the san. I simply observe; my eyes covertly searching faces for contact, a glance of acknowledgment or an unexpected expression but there’s nothing. There’s is no need, so the experts say, when every person you pass in a day has their bio cross referenced with yours. A discreet ding announces a match and if both parties are interested, they are Connected. In theory, I think as I watch the couples walking together, never touching, never speaking. How is that a connection? I wonder if it is worth it.

My childhood and subsequent adulthood certainly has been less than ideal and I am destined to live alone, such is the way with silence. But If i had my druthers, I’d choose to spend it looking the person I’d chosen to be mine, in the eye.

Something is in the air, affecting the human robots around me. I’m less noticed than normal, which is both a relief and a burden. No one likes to be completely invisible, however it’s a blessing when I see old Madame Blanchette eyeing her chicken coop with a thoughtful expression. Last time the old building nearly collapsed in my head. I’d rather avoid a repeat performance and consequently duck between the market and the barbers and into the forest shadows.

The trees are denser here, offering a small respite from the realities of my world and I breeze amongst the tiny wildflowers and dry leaves, clearing my head. The smallish petals in pink and purple are sweet as honey on my tongue; the fragrance heavy lilies are irresistible, and so I weave several into my hair. My shoulder blades are twin itches, suddenly my breath feels frosty in my mouth. It’s  a strangely uncomfortable and sensual sensation that sends a shiver over my body that steals my air.

Stop.

The word rings in my head, heavy like the funeral bells we are forced do listen to in the enforced classes we attend. More silence that breeds not education but hard feelings. I continue on my path, choosing not to respond. After all, perhaps I really am crazy, as I’ve heard from time to time in the kitchens.

I know you hear me. I can make you stop.

The shiver turns to chills when hands encircle my waist, holding me in place with no strength at all. Another like me. I hope he isn’t sanity-challenged, but truly don’t care. The relief of knowing I’m not alone in the world makes my knees weak. He can use me as bait as long as he is real, and as long as the rest of him is as warm as his arms. His breath tickles my ear with a whisper

Turn around.

I stiffen. and turn. I see that he smiles and it touches his eyes. Genuinely happy to see me. I don’t know what to say or where to look and so I just lift my knee and ram it in between his legs then run. He gasps and staggers, and he laughs and gives chase, pulling me tight against him. “Feisty. That hurt you know. Relax, Triss, You’re safe.”

Safe. I wonder about that. My insides are shaking, and I am still in his arms, straining to staring at his smile. Feelings I’d been taught to suppress under painful punishment surge in my guts, burning lower. I had yet to speak, old habits die hard. Today everything changes. In an instant, everything I know is no longer.

“There are others Triss. Do you want to meet them? You can speak, can’t you?” I nod, my hands pushing hard on my middle to smother the butterflies, “How do you know my name?” He smiles sheepishly, holding out a palm and waiting for my return greeting, “My name is Windsor. Win. You are on the Board. People we watch for signs of advanced thinking. Your brother is one of us.”

“My brother? Scott? No, you’re mistaken. He would never -” Win cuts me off with a shake of his head, “I have only one brother and I he would never keep your secret.”

“No, Triss, not Scott. Drew, your older brother. He is one of the original members, and he’s waiting. We should go now.” My Father had mentioned a Drew on occasion, in passing rarely and on nights where the chill forced us all to sip from Father’s prized whiskey bottle. I had assumed he was a dead friend.

“I have an older brother?” I can feel the smile growing wider in spite of my assurances to myself that I would find no pleasure in this situation. If it gets much wider the top of my head might fall off. Win nods and offers his hand, and gesturing towards the path ahead with the other. His hand is warm in mine and a comfort to my reeling thoughts. A random thought keeps bounce around my mind and with a lump of trepidation I ask, “Win? How old are you?”

To Be Continued….

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image

The Door Face Stranger

There is a new face in the hole.  A shiny new mask sent just to confuse and confound me further.  It’s eyes are dark and deep, thoughtful as they observe.  The voices quiet some, the drop in volume from screaming to a dull roar, all of them muttering about this new one.  We could kill him they murmur, skittering away into the darker corners, we could fuck him they giggle like teenaged girls. Behave says the Mother and they hush. It is quiet in the room and in my head as it’s brown eyes observe me on my knees in the corner with as close to no expression change at all.  Even the human masks show some pity, at some stage.  Perhaps it is not human.

Curious, the monsters creep back into their holes and crypts, waiting and watching for Mother as they plan their moment to attack.  I do not want to hurt anyone. I just want out of this place. I fight not to drop my head in shame and see my vision blur and sting.  The face smiles, fiercely, gently, his eyes saddened at what they see and I am suddenly shy and shattered with no place to hide.  I am not crazy. I am not, and I can’t hold his gaze to defend myself any longer, not so exposed as I am and so I look away, shivering in my misery.

Killer they sing, as the new face pulls away, Idiot!! Did you think he’d want to save YOU? Who would want you? and my tears fall, scalding my already flushed face. Someone must have, once upon a time. The voices stab me over and over, their words honed to destroy me.  They leave bloodless wounds behind, stabbing until I sob, and even then I am unable to even raise my hands in a makeshift mask to cover my pain. I just don’t have the will to try.  He’s back, the voices marvel and I drop my head lower. His gaze weighs so heavily on my bones.

“Please stop staring.”

My voice is little more than a gruff whisper as I haven’t used it except to answer the occasional demand or to scream when I am strapped to that damned table in the exam room.  I am dead inside, little more than a ghost but I manage to muster what little backbone and humanity I have left into my plea.  There isn’t much, voice or humanity, and I’m so tired of looking at these filthy floors under my too pale knees. Filthy knees.  I don’t remember the last time I felt clean and certainly the tangles in my hair attest to the time that has passed.   The weight of his stare moves away and my lungs explode in a harsh exhale, surprising me into tears again.  I wasn’t aware that I’d been holding it and that frightens me more than the clicking of the key in the lock.

My breath comes quicker, my eyes still downcast -I can see the door sweep open, the little rubber flap at the bottom frayed like teeth that catch the dust on the mats and drag it along in a visible arc.   A pair of highly polished shoes step towards me and I catch my breath again.  The Imps startle and shriek, forcing me to skitter away before the shoes can reach me. The last time they got too close and I was unable to walk for three days.  The last time I bled for three weeks. They slow but do not cease, tentatively creeping closer and closer.  I have nowhere to go.  I am rapped like a rat in a trap and all too aware of it.

“Should I come in too sir?”  A voice from the doorway.  One of the guards.  He is not a kind person, one of the mean ones and I skitter further backwards. I was in trouble when my back hit the wall.  All I have left is my fingertips and I press them into my eyes.  They softly move with the pressure, spreading out like the sugar cookie dough we used to make at Christmastime.  I increase the pressure softly, at first, then harder. The pain is explosive and my tortured sockets leak down my face.  It hurts so badly but be damned if I am going to live through it again.  I would rather die by my own hands.

My wrists are smothered and pulled out and away, and I fight but they are held tight to my sides. “No no no no NO!!!” I scream and the livid voices are screeching along with my frustrated wails and I throw my head back.  Last resort. Last chance.  “STOP,” a firm male voice barks and I throw my head forward with all I have and feel his nose crack under my forehead,  His grip tightens on my arms and I try again, my forward momentum stopped as I open my eyes and see the thick blood that is flowing from his nose, turning his mouth and chin red.  But that’s not why I stopped.

Officer Unfriendly has joined the party. His gun is drawn and pointed directly at my temple.  I can feel the cold metal pressing hard beside my left eye, see it gleaming in the natural light that is flowing through the open door.  It’s eye is frigid as I stare into the eyes of the Door Face Stranger. My chest moves rapidly, I can’t breathe, my fear bigger than I am.  The barrel tip presses harder still and my heart stops, staggers, beats.  All I can do is hope that one of them will end my misery. Just kill me and let me rest. The voices keep blaring in my head DO IT DO IT DO IT they scream end it kill her she deserves it.  Mother has no authority now that the riots have begun.

“Kindly go back to the doorway and put your gun away for Christ’s sake.”

“But, sir, she’s a dangerous offender. It’s my JOB!!”

“You’ll be jobless shortly Mr. Duncan…”

The pressure on my temple eases, then vanishes, as does the elephant that had been sitting on my chest.  I’m horrified as an acrid smell assaults my sinuses and I sob in self-disgust. In my fear, my bladder has let go and the last of my self-worth drains into the puddle of urine beneath me.  I am less than a shell of a human now.  How I wish I could just fade away.  A gentle hand strokes my hair and I stiffen in surprise, the hand that was once on my right wrist.  My arm is free.  His other now strokes my back in a gentle motion. It’s been forever since anyone touched me, and I give up, give in and silently cry.

“It’s over now.  All this humiliation goes away right now. It never existed.”

Lies. Lies and more lies and the door is still open and I’m frozen in the arms of an unfamiliarly gentle man. A Stranger.  My way is clear’ It’s right there and I just can’t move away. The monsters are confused, whining at each other from their destructive activities. Mother paces, fingers behind my eyes digging into my will and urging me to run, crawl, TRY.  I want to obey. I want it badly enough that I can smell the rainstorm that was raging outside the windows on the other side.  I want out of this piss smelling room and in the fresh clean air.  I want to let the rain wash the stench of this place away.  I want that so badly that my legs are trembling as they try to lift me and fail.  Of course they would.

I was forced to swallow the noontime drugs. Nurse Noxious stormed into my room carrying the small paper cup that held the pills and with her was Officer Unfriendly.  He kicked me hard, knocking me on my side then pulled me to my knees by my hair, his big hand releasing it and then cutting off my air while shoving his thick rough fingers inside of me. I had no chance to scream.   He fucked me with his hand, while pushing the pills into my mouth with his other; he blocked my mouth and nose and I had no choice.  Once I had swallowed the damned things, he yanked his fingers out of my violated pussy and shoved me face down to the dirty floor.  I tried crawl away, but he held me fast and shoved his cock in as far as it would go.  It hurt and I screamed at last, loud as I could and that’s when I saw stars.  I’d forgotten Nurse Noxious. She laughed and encouraged him to pound harder.   I came out of self-defence. It wasn’t out of pleasure, or worth the further injury to continue to fight.  Thankfully he pulled out this time and spared me the added stress of worrying that I may wind up pregnant in this place.

“Can you walk?”

Walk? I can’t even speak or lift my eyes, unable to articulate more than a bare shake of my head. That was enough it appears.

“Mr. Duncan?  Where is her room please?”

Officer Unfriendly steps over the threshold and the panic rat starts to gnash in my belly.  The voices clamour in alarm but I can’t move or protest, only lift my eyes to plead, and I do. I lift them to the stranger whose arms are still around me and beg.  I have no one else.  Mother snaps and the bells cease, all monsters to shelter.  The stranger smiles into my desperate stare.  A smile that doesn’t quite meet his eyes, and one that stiffens the small lines around his mouth and creases his forehead creases his lips and he snaps at the guard in a growl.  “I didn’t say come in. I asked where her room was.”

“You’re standing in it. Sir.  After the last time she decided to cut herself open and draw in her own blood on the walls, they put her here permanently.  She isn’t right, sir.”   Officer Unfriendly’s tone jeers from the doorway, finding my discomfort amusing.  I look to the wall and see the tiny scratches I’d made there with a small stone that fell on my head in the night. I remember the first night I made my mark.  Small enough not to be noticed, deep enough to remind me of the eternity of darkness I had already been mired in.  The stranger looks as well, his breath catching in his chest and I watch his eyes crawl over the notches in the padded covering with disbelief and horror.

“Four months. You’ve kept this woman here in this room for four months? This isn’t for her safety. This is cruel. Find me a room now Mr. Duncan, and gather her belongings,” the Stranger snapped as he held his hand out to me, “Come, let’s take you home.”

I hear the words.  They bounce off my mind, ricocheting against the others that had been drilled into it since I cut the throat of the first.  Murderess. Insane. For life. Killer. KILLER.    But home.  I have no home. Not now. I am undoubtedly unwelcome, as I’ve been alone since they dragged me shackled through the doors. Not a single visitor save the Door Faces and this Stranger. I can’t move from my wet spot on the floor and I look at his hand for a long moment before raising my gaze to his face again.

“Where is home?” I ask softly and his only answer is a vague smile and a brush of his fingers across my forehead.  His touch stings my skin as he sweeps the matted hair from my face and frowns at the reddish purple bruising that is hidden under it.  The rattling clatter from the doorway startles us both, and the Stranger takes a deep breath and exhales with a rapidly cooling warmth in his expression.  A wheelchair that looks older than Christ with Officer Unfriendly at the controls, his knuckles white and trembling slightly on the handles as he glares at the stranger.

“Please, don’t let him touch me.”  My voice, already rough from disuse cracks further, fracturing my words before they reach his ears and I try again.  This time I succeed. The Stranger’s eyes narrow, considering me at his feet, and rises with a stony expression replacing the kinder one.  From human into something not remotely so and it should scare me, but I am not afraid. It is familiar and I feel safe. All I can do is watch from where I wait, my legs beginning to tingle slightly.   I hope he hurts him.

“Mr. Duncan, if you please, I’ll take the chair now.”  The stranger’s words, though mild, contain a threat that Officer Unfriendly is clearly missing.  The monsters snarl when the guard’s features become more predatory than professional and he continues to destroy me with his open glare. It doesn’t last long. The Stranger speaks to him sotto voce, his hands casually in the pockets of his trousers and demeanour far less so. Officer Unfriendly’s eyes snap to the Stranger’s, bulging slightly and jittering when the intent is realised.  A fine sheen of sweat covers his creased forehead.  He is afraid. “Do you understand me Mr. Duncan? Nod if it’s clear, but I expect an answer.”

Officer Unfriendly’s eyes get so large they look as though they might pop out if his head and I watch with amusement as a dark spot appears at his zipper and spreads rapidly. The tingling in my legs is stronger, as is the desire to close my eyes and escape this mess so strong that my vision wavers like the road on a hot summer day.

 “Yes sir Mr.  Zachary,” he stammers, hands dropping to cover his crotch, and his face blazing red and dripping in embarrassment.  He nearly runs down the hallway in his efforts to get away.   Zachary.  So the Stranger had a name and a temper it seemed.

I wonder if this experience will change Officer Unfriendly, or will his fear make him worse.  If is for the worse, I will give him a reason to kill me.

My eyes keep closing. I just can’t stay awake and I am afraid to fall to sleep alone.  The door is still open.  It shines like heaven, the sun so strong on my face that I can feel it baking off the depression and tombstone mentality.  His arms are so strong when he lifts me from the floor and I cannot struggle anymore. My head falls to his shoulder as the darkness takes me. Maybe I will wake up in a better place, maybe I won’t wake up at all.  All I had to go on is that I was out, and this Mr. Zachary was taking me home.  The rest I will trust to fate.

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image

.

The Ticking

Tick-tock

pacepacepacepacepace

Tick-tock

Has the clock stopped?

Tick-tock

Seriously? Not even a minute yet?

Tick

Time is just a myth …

Tock

Fuck

Time, in our limited perception, only exists in our minds….

So the so-called experts say. Whoever THEY are…

However, when a body is positioned, poised…

Waiting becomes torture to the impatient, the desperate…

This non-existent perception of time seems pretty damned real…

I wonder if the ticking of the clock
is the sound of Reaper’s heart.

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image

the jar of self

Midnight has passed and the moon is just a sliver in the sky above her.  At her feet, a man lays naked and unconscious, and she nudges his still toned ass with the tip of her bare foot. Once upon a time, Theo had brought her here, and she fell to his romantic gestures and sweeter words; granted the exotic accent probably encouraged the swoon marginally. He promised her the world, and a year later, brought her back and proposed.  Happier times then, and it really wasn’t so long ago that she thought that they would spend their lives together on a beach exactly like this one.

Naturally, life has had its little jokes and their marriage was no exception.  It was like being promised a box of your favourite chocolates and opening it to find rotting mice, and Glory Nobel had finally had enough. It had started 10 years ago on their wedding night, when she caught him balls deep inside her maid of honour and she’d foolishly forgave him.  Tonight, she had planned an anniversary dinner unlike anything he could have imagined, down to the flowers, a decent Pinot noir to go with the steak and steamed veggies she’d arranged to have served and a surprise for later.

As is always the way, the evening didn’t go as Glory had planned. Theo had wolfed down the steak like some animal, looking at her only once with bloody juice dripping off his chin. Disgusting.

“I’ve grown hoarse over the years, trying to fix things as unobtrusively as possible. Spent forever speaking without being heard unless it suited others. Sometimes,  it was so frustrating  that I screamed until I fell silent, simply tired of expending useless effort.  What is the point of losing my voice repeating myself? The only one getting annoyed was me.

I’m only a vessel.  Simply a jar that has finally run dry.  Today, after another day of taking the brunt of more negative noise, I reached in to grab a handful of happy for myself, desperate for some reason to hold on and you. You stood there and laughed behind your hand while I lamely tried to grasp a rainbow and instead  found only crumbs.

I wonder if you know how much I hate you.   You think you know,  but you don’t,  not yet.

Pay.  Attention.

The soul needs replenishing now and then. It needs to be refilled too, and though giving oneself to another is its own reward, a body requires more. It needs to feel love in return or that heart dies. It just fades away. A soul needs more than darkness and  bullshit.  The things I asked for would have cost nothing in monetary value, but rather a fortune in effort to show that more than personal gratification mattered.

But instead, after breaking down and showing you my wounds and thick still weeping scars, I was treated to more of the same neglectful sarcasm.  Stabbing words that were thrown – they had no basis in fact – blaring lies that should the revisionist history be discarded and reality truly considered, would be plain as your forked tongue

You lying sack of shit

I’ve burned away so much time that can never be regained.  Wasted,  like the breath it’s taken not to sigh and snap your fucking neck. Wasted breath and wasted words; it’s all for not when the results of self-centred indifference have been slammed into your  consciousness at long last

Everything is fine so long as the story suited your phantasy. As long as the tale always followed your storyline.  As long as that happened, life was a carnival; except it never was. It stopped being amusing on our honeymoon.  It’s been a horror freak show from the get go, and payment for participating in this sick and twisted game of yours is another machete in the gut instead of a kiss and a grope at the end.

You see, nothing can be fixed when only one tries. It’s hardly a relationship when it becomes about indentured servitude rather than a partnership. Nothing will change because it can’t. The collar chafes  –  I’m not getting  any younger, and frankly? I’m tired of your  narcissistic crap,

What’s wrong?  Is a little water going to kill you?

What a pussy you turned out to be

You left me empty  The jar of self holds only air now and there’s nothing left to fill it up again.  It’s not cracked, any more than it was before – not broken in any way,  just empty.   That’s why we are here, or rather,  you are.

shut up cunt

Do you know how it felt, after  months and years of begging to deaf eyes and to blind hearts, to be told that I was nonexistent, invisible?   It hurt, a lot.   It was also evidentiary proof of the suspicions I’d long-held.

Always easier to play the blame game than to admit a failing or several in your case, isn’t it?  Stop looking at me that way  It doesn’t make my chest burst in pride to see you this way.  The body I used to crave day and night, naked and shivering, bound and unable to move in the growing tide makes me happy.   It also makes me cringe because I know there’s no choice really.  Sad though it is, people like you never learn the easy way.  No, no you don’t

Now, it’s time to look to the horizon and beyond.  Stories end. Sometimes there’s a new beginning just past one’s line of sight;  sometimes, like for you, it’s just over.  It won’t be a comfortable experience;  I can promise you that, but you won’t be entirely alone.  I’ll be sitting right up there,  and my investors will be watching via live stream, right about…now.

“Good evening gentlemen and Ms.  Langston and welcome.  I’ll be with you shortly.”

Don’t be rude asswipe – say hello!!

It’s really not worth the struggle, you know.  Sooner or later, you will get tired.  Just think of the water as replenishment, and drink it down, let it fill you.

And remember how you left me empty.”

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image

The Papillote Princess

Her name is Byrne.  I met her tonight.  She is beautiful, that angel with the light brown hair, laying there in repose. Peaceful, she sleeps and I can’t help but stare at the stray curl that cuddles against her cheekbone. I dare not brush it away and spoil the perfection. Enveloped in blue – the color flatters her fair skin – giving her that resting vampire glow, and I find it a little humorous that she strives to be that dark beauty when she has been the very definition all along.

I work part-time as a cook across the street from The Third Eye Jazz Club on 52nd Street. It’s a hideaway, a forgotten place out of time that I like to visit on occasion after a long and arduous week.  It’s not easy to pretend to be one of the crowd day after day without going batshit crazy and frankly, I deserve an Oscar for my performance.  Sometimes, though, like today, it’s more than a chore, it’s a trial and I decided that deserved several drinks to celebrate not ripping the throat out of each and every person I came in contact with today.  I could swear the stupid was in full bloom..

It is cold out, unseasonably so for June and the fog was so thick that the headlights looked like will-o-the-wisps instead of the metal killing machines.  The lovely fog that turns everything into shadow and mist. The shadows and strange noises entice me, the pleasure of anonymity is like a sweet treat.  Normally, I would be walking, relishing the breathing space as I watched couples making  out in the darkness and nervous loners hurrying along pathways to wherever they were going, but tonight I wanted more and I wanted a drink, badly.

There was a woman there, alone, standing outside The Third Eye, endlessly shaking her lighter and cursing under her breath in a husky that made my mouth water. She lifted her eyes to mine as I approached and smiled when I offered a light; her face lit up like a candle in an instant, turning her eyes into an ocean. I can’t swim but I was willing to drown and after few seconds of engulfed silence and an aromatic exhale, her lips were on mine and she was alive in my hands.

A live wire with rapidly eroding skin, she vibrated and stole my breath;  I came to in an unfamiliar bedroom that smelled of sex and warm flesh, beside me lay Byrne, her chest rising and falling slowly. I wanted her again, in a bad way but needed to take a piss worse. Her bathroom was tiny and the pink walls were eye melting but still less horrible than my reflection in the mirror.

A haze of blue across my right cheek of my battered swollen face. Split lip and a scratch on my neck as well. Who the fuck puts a mirror behind the toilet anyway? “You hit like a girl, but you held your own. Wanna shake off so I can go too?” Byrne stated from the doorway, her perky breasts jiggling slightly when she laughed at my expression when I was startled out of my thoughts.  Time had passed while I stared at my own face with my dick in my hands. The sun hadn’t been yet peeking like a curious child at Christmas when I had gone in there, and now there was a line of light on the wall.

Washing my hands quickly, I brushed past her and she stopped me, entrapping me with those eyes that probed into my mind and made me drown again.  “Hurry up Bryne.” The memory of her on her knees sucking me off with those eyes on mine –  my cock twitched and she smiled and gave it a firm squeeze before gently closing the door.  I glanced at my watch and cringed at the time.  I knew I’d be late for work if I didn’t leave then,  but I wanted her again and be damned if I would leave. I was texting my partner when she was behind me with her coolish hands on my back and her teeth nipping at my shoulder.

Text:  I’ll let the Sarge know.  You owe me coffee. Tell Rita hello

“Lying to your wife? Put down your phone.”  Her hands slipped around my hips and slid down my stomach to grip at my dick and laughed when it lay limp in her grip.  “Whats the matter baby, you can’t get it up for more than one round?  Guess I’ll go back to the Eye and find someone who can.” If she hadn’t mentioned Rita I would have been fine but knowing that I should be at home with her instead of Bryne made any desire I had shrivel into nothing.

“Yeah you do that sweetheart.  I need to get to work anyway,” I tossed back at her as I slipped my jeans on and stuffed my underwear in the front pocket.  I heard her gasp and felt bad but it was a fact that I couldn’t exactly ignore, “Bryne, I’m sorry.  I really do have to go and I haven’t been home yet. I still need to find something to tell my wife.”  Her hand was cool on my neck and her lips soft on my cheek.  “I understand.  Apology accepted.   Will I see you again?” Her scent stirred the beast in my mind and it turned over in its sleep, suddenly restless, and so I quickly agreed and kissed her hard before I bolted out the door towards my car.

She stood with clutching the sheet from the bed around her slight frame in one hand and the other raised in a wave that broke my heart a little.  I knew that I would see her again.  I just didn’t expect it to be like this, her dead and wrapped in an odd package made of tarp and me standing over her body taking in the perfection of her face and wanting to brush the curl from her cheek.  After the scene this morning, and now this.  How the hell am I going to explain to my wife?

image

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

Coming Undone

Folklore and childhood tales vary from family to family and certainly in this case it is no different. Those dark tales told by firelight sometimes become tangible and the unknown becomes frighteningly real. For 30 year old Dee Carpenter, it is a perfectly warm Saturday in June and Dee and her live in boyfriend are celebrating her birthday in the backyard with friends and family.

*a bright kitchen – a small dog scampers into the room with its nails clicking on the tiles. –laughing and party sounds from outside – classic rock music.  Small dog sniffs along the floor and growls at the window when a shadow passes by. On the counter a black cordless phone  begins to ring.  The handle of the door rattles slightly and stops*

Francis:  And where are you going birthday girl?  Come on Dee,  you promised.  No calls til tomorrow. You’re always on the damned phone.  Don’t roll your eyes at me.

Dee:  (annoyed) You just love to torture me don’t you? It could be important, like the that guy in scary movie calling to save me from you.

Frances: (with a nasty laugh)   You wish it was, and you love it.  Come on honey.  Just for a few more hours okay?  Everyone came for you, not to see you on the horn.

Dee:  Fine. But it’s your fault if I die.

*inside –  answering machine interrupts *

Dee’s Voice: (in weird voice)  Greetings Earthlings! I’m out of my mind right now, and Francis isn’t far behind.

Are you sure you couldn’t have texted instead? *giggle* do whatcha gotta! Ciao!

 *answering machine beeps.  a gasp and a woman’s shaky voice*

Cora: DEE? God Dee, I need you, please pick up? Jesus…  *click and hiss of a lighter followed by a shaky inhale*

Dee, It’s Cora. (coughing fit) Fuck me I gotta quit these things.   Okay,  I know it’s been a while so don’t be hard on me. I emailed you on Friday so you can’t complain too hard. Dee, please pick up the phone.  Something’s happened. I’m not sure exactly how explain it and I could and will call back to explain, if I can, but you need to know that I put this in a letter and sent it to you. I may not be able to call if – This needs to be in writing. It’s going to sound nuts, like you expected any less, but I mean really nuts and it’s true. I swear on my life it is. On my own grave even.

*drinking sound – wheeze and cough from Cora*

Cora: I really wish you had answered Dee.  I’ll call back later, if I can.  I love you Dee.   Happy Birthday.

*call disconnect – dial tone*

outside – Dee – NO DON’T YOU DA- *a scream, a splash and laughter*

Unknown Female voice:  Francis ain’t getting any tonight for that *giggle* She loves that dress.

inside – Dog barks and howls at the door. Scratches and whines in a fretful way.

*deeper in the house – slamming door – soft dark chuckle – dog whines louder*

*Break in the music – Phone rings three times –

Francis’ Voice: (deep)  You’ve reached Francis and Dee.  Dee can’t come to the phone right now. I have her tied up in the basement…(muffled noise) Just kidding! We’re busy.  You know what to do (evil chuckle) Coming dear! 

Cora:  For fuck sake, can’t you two do anything normal? Dee, it can’t wait and you need to pick up the phone!  This is so frustrating! (growls) You know that story mum used to tell us about Gramma and great-Gramma and so on? About how they all just fell to pieces and died too young? I’m hoping against hope and praying you remember or I will sound well and truly bonkers.  I’m not convinced I’m not crazy.

I never believed a word of it you know. Not even that first time.  Do you remember? We were maybe four or five and mum had invited you for a slumber party.  I know Aunt Cate hated that Mum loved all that scary stuff but for some reason said yes when mum called (laughs sadly) usually it was a big old Hell NO! Anyway, it was right near Halloween and the house and yard were decorated with pumpkins and zombies and those fuzzy bats she hung from the trees.

*amused chuckle and inhale*

Francis: *opens door* I’m just going inside for a second!  (muffled voice) I need to get more beer!  Okay Mom okay, I’ll go through the garage.  27 years old and I still get told what to do by my mother – yeah yeah I’m goin!

Cora: Mum let us help make rice krispy squares in her coffin tin and we decorated them with bones and flowers. You were so scared of the bones. Anyway, that night mum lit the fireplace and we gorged ourselves on sweet stuff while she told us that story. It was little more than a delicious wasn’t it? Knowing your mother would disapprove, and somehow that made it even scarier. Dee, WHERE ARE YOU? God.  *sniffling* I need you. I’m scared and I need you.

I just didn’t believe it when my mum told me about how all Alexander women, what were the words, “come undone and die on the floor.” It’s creepy as fuck and dammit Dee- where the hell are you?! *quiet sobbing* The one time I really need you and –

Francis: *opens door* Okay Mom okay, I’ll go through the garage.  (to self) 27 years old and I still get told what to do by my mother – yeah yeah I’m goin!

*loud rattling in the background*

Cora:  (scared tone) What the hell is that?!

Dee, honey, I’m sorry to call today with this but mum’s gone. I found her tonight when I came round to bring her dinner. She’d been wearing a bandage on her ear for a few days and she just wouldn’t talk about it. She wouldn’t let me look either.  I was going to force her to come to the doctor with me this morning.  She was fine when I arrived; she had made me my favourite breakfast, from when I was five, and reminded me of that story.

She seemed fine otherwise but that bandage was bothering me and when I told her about the doctor she ripped off that thing and *a scream followed by choking sounds and heavy breathing –a trembling breath*

Unknown Breathy voice: deeeeee

Cora: OH FUCK DEE!!! 

*dial tone*

image

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

wattage & currency

What’s on my mind…?

The easy answer is nothing.

Not a thing in my head but air,
and perhaps a few dust particles.
Snippets of songs and useless trivia
Slap on a smile slathered in vacancy
and wattage, don’t forget the glue…!
It wouldn’t do to have it slip.

In reality, I have too much in here.
Boxes and tubes of questions and queries
Fuck a fire sale, I’d rather just flush
Get a brain scrub and maybe intelligence injections
For that youthful glow

So, how exactly does one go about it?
I can’t exactly blurt out my innermost thoughts
To anyone.
Sadly my trust fund is now gutted
But it doesn’t detract from fact

Life is a toss up
between what is needed and what others require.
Most often, everything else wins.
I find myself calling out to the Partisans
for protection, for peace but
feel so much more vulnerable.

Maybe they aren’t really here.

A spiritual connection, though wonderful
But it does not make up for a physical one,
nor is it as interactive.
Nothing exists in the world like a
True, real human response

I require this.
I need this.
It’s necessity, not frivolous
And still…how…?

 

48 = Agony

Finger pads slide along the shattered mirrors edges
Guitar strings cut the same
Notes on the page, fingertips yearning
Stinging my eyes like papercuts
Memories of lines and bills
Chemical fueled destruction
Reminds me of when-
And the blood on the snow
And the laughter, and the love
Freed birds rocket fuelled, fell
May they party in Hell
And save our place in Lucifer’s playground
I miss them all
Those misaligned Heroes
I wonder if my place is still held

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image

the ludicrous suggestion

Fuck you for leaving us a less than amusing world.
I get it.
The darkness can swallow you whole
I understand,
but nothing is right.
Nothing shines since you left us weeping.
Maybe years have passed,
a lifetime of days;
you’re gone and
I hate you for it.
Because the world is NOT BETTER OFF
I happened upon your voice this morning,
repeating the words you said the last time
I was drowning.
Just when I needed you,
both times,
you were there, somehow.

I told you once that you were magic –
you laughed at me as though it were a ludicrous suggestion –
but I was right.
You were magic.
You were music and giggles and fairy dust
and sadness and beautiful eloquence
stuffed into a human body.
I miss you, my friend.
I wish you were here.

©MelanieMcCurdie2016

Alone

Everyone is full of advice
Yet few even know about my reality
Even fewer care.

It ain’t easy.
Life rarely is and I know it.
But dammit,

*deep breathe*

Between the squabbling and the meltdowns
and the whining and the crying and the dying
and that’s not even the kids…

Responsibility calls
and I come close to mainlining Java
while searching for shoes and agendas
while trying to breathe through a pole between my tits
while attempting to juggle knives
and dogs and the jar with my sanity-

I have no time for myself.
Like, none.
5 am *blink* 4 pm *blink* midnight
How the hell is it June?

Ta-da!!
It’s an illusion and one that works,
so far. But in all seriousness,

Goddess guide me.
I’m not taffy. Or Stretch Armstrong
Please.
Stop yanking and pulling.
I may be invisible, but
I’m only human, after all.

The Woman In The Box

An excerpt from Interludes

SS3 Final cover promo
Cover Model: Amanda Marie Photo by FelRod Photography LLc (Felipe D. Rodriguez)

The Woman In The Box

From the desk of Dr. J.T. Pasture

Re:  Patient 16854-855

Dear Gentlemen,

I have observed this poor creature for several months now. I am beyond reasoning as to why you would insist on releasing this lovely young woman who crouches in the corner of her room and hides under the tables in the common area. The nurses have noted that should she be pulled bodily from one of her hiding places, she begins rip out her hair and claw at her face. She responds to Vee when the nurses come to draw blood and see that she eats, but she answers to little else. Yesterday, she flinched when I called her Violet and when the maintenance man smiled at her as he passed on his way to the kitchen.

As this is a private matter, and these words will be read only by those in charge of the hospital, I will call her Vee, and say that she cannot ever be integrated into society. There are no circumstances under which she can be expected to function.  Long before she came into our care, her ability to cope outside the box she was kept in was stolen away.  It would be as cruel as turning a child out into the woods to survive when they have no skills to care or feed themselves.  Vee’s  care was handed to those who run this facility and they, as we, are responsible for her wellbeing.

Gentlemen, extrapolating reasoning into emotion is such an impossible feat that we cannot stop inventing new ways to fail at it. After centuries of investigation, experimentation and the subsequent discoveries into the human psyche, we are no closer to understanding the purposes behind the whole facade of emotion.  Sadly, most of those who do not express the societal prerequisite array are often labeled as psychopathic and turned over to professionals such as those involved here to house, care for and with luck, give some quality of life.

These lost souls are exposed to the limits of medical breakthrough in order to force conformation on those few who view the world differently.  Have any of you considered that perhaps it’s our views that are slightly skewed?  It’s not to say that all those who feel little to no emotion are all axe murdering psychopaths, but rather, that there is a slim margin of individuals who do not wish to cause harm but are, simply, unable to express such.  I believe that Vee is in the latter category.

If we consider the iceberg as a metaphor, could you not envision several different scenarios or alternate reasonings for certain behaviours?  Perhaps, in the case of  Vee, we have found someone who is not unable to feel but instead, someone who has been trained and threatened into cold indifference; fear has switched her emotional thermostats to off and she is therefore unable to articulate to any degree, her thoughts or feelings towards being institutionalised.  I have wondered if she may be nonverbal and whether her reluctance to communicate is actually inability.  The extreme isolation that she forces on herself seems to hint at horrors and it would certainly explain such an extreme response.

Vee is naturally a loner who comes out of herself with surprising consistency to converse with her fellow patients. The time spent learning about a new friend seems to be something she enjoys and I was considering suggesting an outpatient program when she attacked Leonard Rinter with a piece of the mirror she broke in the bathroom. Thankfully, he will survive, although his vision is never going to return and nor will his ability to speak.  Vee has had nothing to say about the situation.

Sleep is a luxury Vee rarely indulges in. I  began to stagger my appearances in an effort to gauge her sleep patterns and have discovered that she sleeps less than two hours per day, with several short naps throughout her 24 hours.  As Vee has had no visitors in the three months that I have been here, she has few obvious attachments and no living beings that she seeks out that exist in life.   She also has wildly romantic tendencies that seem to  become more outrageous as the number of sleepless nights reach frightening levels.

As you well know, Vee resists any and all medications and so the nurses, under my direction, are forced, at times, to dissolve them in her foods or drinks.   Quite often, after too many nights spent afraid to close her eyes, Vee herself will request and take pills that will make her sleep, all while begging for gin to wash it down. This is a behaviour that causes increasing concern.

Vee disarmed the guard who was on E wing several nights ago, and escaped with his weapon and the keys to his truck.  The vehicle was found several blocks away at a convenience store with no incidents.  The guard has no lasting damage and received medical care for his injuries but up until a four hours ago, there had been no sightings or even false reports.

Tonight at 7:04 pm, a domestic disturbance was called in by a neighbour at the home of Benny Jones. We, being the hospital team, rushed to the location, unsure of what we were walking into.  Upon arrival we were witness to  shouting punctuated by sharp, short screams that made me weep.  Several attempts were made to ensure Mr. Jones’ safety, including  two visits to the front door. One of our number now lies cold on the lawn.   Someone blew a hole through his chest.  There is another in the local hospital fighting for her life.

The sounds of a severe beating grew worse with each interruption. I knocked on the door with my fist, calling her name softly and asked her to come out.  I had never been so scared in my life, waiting for someone to answer the door and heard a roar that sent a thrill of terror up my spine. It was inhuman.  We waited, cautiously, hoping that Benny wasn’t dead when the dilapidated door slowly opened and Vee stepped out onto the deck wearing a soft, serene curve on her lips that could have been beautiful if she hadn’t been carrying the severed head of Benny Jones. If she weren’t drenched in his blood as though she had bathed in it.

Gentlemen, Vee was a horror dressed in bruises and battle scars;  a pretty pantomime of death and she struggled little when the local law enforcement rolled up to survey the damage and lead her away. She whispered to me when I brought her to back that she is happiest when she feels needed in some way, no matter how small it is and showed me a photo with a tiny smile that lit her eyes with less madness and more pleasure. “I matter to someone,” she murmured, holding the photo to her blood soaked chest and stared out the window at the city, “someone who doesn’t see the shackles or scars.”

Tonight, she smiled herself to sleep with her split lip trembling and her photo tight in her hand. I do not think she can help herself from coveting the tiny seed of knowledge that although commitment in any form is a unicorn, that there is a fragile glass spun string of emotion that connects two souls. It’s not a step but a start and one I hope will be just the beginning. Only time will tell.

Dr. J. T. Pasture
Partisan

 ©MelanieMcCurdie2016

image