Moments

“Have you ever felt like maybe your life was just a bunch of moments, one right after another, like, y’know, nothing really stringing them together except that they’re all happening to YOU, right, but it could be anyone? Like you’re an understudy, and maybe you don’t have all the lines, because people are always looking at you like they expect something more, something different than what you’re saying, what you’re telling to them, you know what I mean? Or or maybe, maybe like, maybe it’s because they’re all a page ahead of you on the book? Or or or or or or MAYBE it’s because they’re on an entirely different chapter? A whole different BOOK! Yeah! Like they’re reading the cookbook version of ‘To Serve Man’ and you, yeah, you… you’re not even reading. You you, you you’re… you’re still picking lint outta your belly button and wondering why it smells like that. You get what I mean?”

“Uh… Is this where I can get my parking validated?”

Flesh and Blood

She peels it back, inch by inch, careful to remove just it, and not the viscera beneath. Concentrating hard on the sound of heartbeats, she doesn’t notice the visitor.

“Help me,” sobs the man in chains. “Help me!”

“Nice to see you taking up new hobbies,” the visitor remarks.

“She’s crazy, help me!” the sound of the man dims to background noise.

“Well, with you not around, I have to get up to something,” she says airily.

“Some people take up piano. Or French.”

“I thought I would study the great artists.”

“Monet? Van Gogh?”

“Dahmer. Sagawa. Also, it’s pronounced ‘Gogh’.”

“You sound like you have a hairball.”

“HELP ME!”

“Shut up!” she said tersely.

“Me?”

“Well I’m not telling him — I like the sound of his distress. It’s soothing.”

The discourse went on and on; and all the while, he slid closer and closer, until he reached to touch her hand. They smiled, sharing a secret sort of grin.

He closed his hand around her wrist, and pulled a gun.

She pulled him in closer, and drove the knife she’d been using to flay her neighbor right under his ribs, up and up and up. She was surprisingly strong for her size — surprising to him, at least.

She laid him down and let him bleed out; the tarp was already laid out, after all, might as well.

Still waiting

Wake up.

Just wake up and come back, would you? I can hear you, when I’m sleeping. I can hear you when I dream. I can almost taste you, the kisses that weren’t ever ours. You’re not far, but it’s world away while I lie here, remembering things out of order. She had starry eyes and she told me that it would always be this hard. That no matter what it would always be this hard.

There would be good, and there would be bad, but it would be hard, and I had to pick — I had to pick now.

I thought if I brought the building down around us, I thought I’d be able to escape. I thought I’d be able to get free from the monsters that came in and took away everything we loved.

I don’t want it to be hard. I don’t want it to always be hard.

I didn’t ask for this.

Why won’t anyone listen when I try to explain that I didn’t ask for this?

They listen,but they talk back, and their responses have no sympathy, only scorn: none of us asked for this. But some of us are grateful, and some of us are whining, puling children. Some of us know what to do, because we care to think about it, about something other than ourselves.

Some of us are just selfish.

So now I’m waiting on you, and any second, I’m sure I’m going to drown, so please hurry.

Wake up.

Please.

What It’s Like

Something is rising up, a tide of sick that never crests at the throat, never crosses the tongue, is never allowed out.

It swells and swells, a gorge that threatens but refuses to be purged. It lifts heavy chains, anxiety, agita, palpitations, dread, and settles them none-too-delicately around the neck.

Breathing becomes hard. All is gasping.

Eyes sting, water, well, run, these are tears, tears that only serve to compound the inability to breathe.

Hands flex, clench, grasp, reach, struggling to lift this feeling.

Legs move, as though ready to run, to flee. Have to get away.

From what?

What is this horror that has come up from out of nowhere? What is this terror that sits in the belly, a cold fist that slickly squeezes the guts, churns and twists until all thought of contentment is driven off, replaced by an inability to feel either safe or at the very least prepared for the nameless shadow that is coming.