Some of Us Bite Back

Some of Us Bite Back

I’ve tied him up in the bedroom next door. You might  be worried that he’ll get out, but I made sure to tighten the leather straps as far as they would go. I’m not afraid of him getting away, but I took extra precautions by sprinkling garlic all over the floor, and nailing strings of it up in front of the window.

He keeps saying that he isn’t one of them, but I know better. I saw him that night, in a parking lot, sucking on some poor woman’s neck. I’ll never forget the sound of her limp body hitting the pavement. A wet thud after her legs gave out. He just left her there, didn’t look back or show any kind of remorse. He didn’t know I was there. I hid in the shadows of the alleyso he couldn’t see me. I’m surprised he didn’t smell me somehow. I’ve always heard they can smell you from miles away or maybe I’m thinking of something else. Maybe it’s that they can hear your heart beating. I don’t know about that. Seems like if they could, they’d all be driven mad, but then again they aren’t human.

That woman wasn’t dead. She was close to it, but I saved her. The doctor said if I hadn’t have brought her in she would have died in that parking lot. I went back a few days later to visit her in the hospital. She was being released the next day, and wasn’t sure what she was going to do. She looked better, and I knew she’d be beautiful once she got her strengthen back. Not that she wasn’t beautiful then, she was, but in a weak sort of way. She’d be absolutely stunning after she was back to herself. I found out how true that was later. She was grateful that I had helped her, but she broke down crying near the end of my visit. She had just moved here, didn’t have any family or friends, and didn’t have anywhere to go. She didn’t remember much of that night, but she did remember that the man that had almost killed her had offered to help her in some way. He’d used her instead and then left her to die.

She moved in with me after she was released. Julie was her name and I loved her very much. She was here for three months, and then she left without a word or an explanation. I felt in my gut that it had something to do with him, and I was right. I started going out late at night to look for him. After about a month I spotted him in a dirty club, grinding against some woman. I thought she’d be appalled, but she seemed to be enjoying herself. He drank from her and left her just like he had with Julie. I followed him and he led me to the place where he rested during the day. Julie was there, but he had changed her. She was one of them now, and I hated her more than I’ve ever hated anyone in my life. Most of all I hated him. He had given me something, then he had taken it away. He had brought us together, now he had pulled us apart. She found him somehow, for whatever reason, and now it was all over. Maybe she asked him to change her, maybe her offered. It doesn’t matter really, because she’s dead now, and soon or maybe not so soon, he will be too.

He’s screaming, the sun has started to come up. I’ll be right back.

The board I put up wasn’t blocking all of the sunlight out, so I put a tarp up. He said the light hurt his eyes, but I saw blisters starting to form where the sunlight had been. I know he is lying when he tells me he isn’t one of them, he knows I know it too. Luckily, I remembered to pull the garlic from behind the tarp, although he doesn’t seem bothered by it all that much. The room stinks to high heaven with it, but I’m questioning how effective it is. I wonder if he has to touch it in order for it to work? Everything I’ve read seemed to state it was the smell that gets to them. I’m thinking that may be untrue. I need to find something else to use for insurance. Holy water, maybe? Crosses? I’ll have to do more research, I’ll be back later.

I’m back. I was scared to leave him alone, but I’m glad I did! Turns out the garlic thing is a myth. I could kick myself for not checking into that futher before I took him. Such a mistake could have cost me a great deal, maybe even my life, haha! I read somewhere that they can’t walk on consecrated ground, so I stopped at a church not to far from here, and dug up some soil from the graveyard. I felt bad about that, but I’m sure God will understand. They won’t notice it’s gone anyway, and I covered up my tracks with leaves. He gave me the most curious looks as I cleaned the garlic up, then sprinkled dirt all around the bed. I held a clump of it to his skin just to see what would happen. The shriek he let out was awful and made my skin crawl. It wasn’t as bad as the thump that Julie had made, but it was pretty damn close. Hold on, he’s raving about something, I’ll go see what he wants.

Just wanted to beg me to let him go. I wonder if he feels pain since he hasn’t fed in a while. What does that hunger feel like? Is it worse than the pain we feel when we don’t eat? I wonder if his body would eventually dry all up if he didn’t feed. That may be one of the experiments that I do.

So why did I take him,  you ask? The answer is simple. I want to show him that some of us bite back. I want to teach him a lesson, that he can’t just do whatever he wants to people. I’ll make him regret every single life that he has taken. I’ll make him regret giving me Julie, only to take her way. He will know what he has done, and he will be very sorry.

The best part is that he won’t die unless I let him. I could make him pay for years  to come. Maybe I will.

Eye doctor.

Eye doctor.

So I’m waiting to see the eye doctor (haha), and eye doctors make me especially nervous. The dilation of my eyes, the liquid stuff they use to numb them, the disposable sunglasses you have to wear after. It’s all too much for my heart to take. What really makes me nervous though, is the eye exam. You know where they ask which one you can see better, one or two? That part causes me so much anxiety that I have a hard time deciding which one is clearer. What if I choose the wrong one? Then I’ll have to wear glasses that don’t really help me see for a whole year, because I’d be too nervous to tell them I fucked up on the eye exam.

The point of this post: I’m neurotic.

Where Trees Used to Grow

Where Trees Used to Grow

you can pine,
and pine,
and pine away

let the sap run over the back
of your hands
after the cut becomes too deep
to ignore

but it won’t change a thing.

forests disappear every day,
the grain of you
your core
ring less
after years of hard living

you can’t see them
but I do.

I was a forest once,
row after row
of the perfect things
marked for burning

no hard feelings, my dear,
somethings you have
were only given
to be taken away

and I fear
I am only
the sum of loss too.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

You can tell they’re around when you hear birds singing at night. You hear that between the hours of one and two in the morning, you’d better get yourself inside some place safe.

My first experience with them happened when I was eight. My mother had asked me to clean my room, I did, but not up to her standards. The neighbor boy had gotten a slingshot for his birthday, and I wanted to watch him shoot down some cans. I cleaned my room, but knew when my mother came home and checked, she wouldn’t approve. I’d spend the next day after school scrubbing until it was time for bed. I wasn’t worried about it then, didn’t even think about what my mother referred to as “dust bunnies”. I’d been hearing about them since as far back as I could remember. She said they preyed on people who didn’t keep things clean, and they had a special fondness for children. She described them as masses of gray fluff, claws where their fingers should be, with big eyes like puppy dogs. That’s how they got kids so easy, those eyes of theirs, but when your reached out to pet them they’d open their jaws like a snake, and greet you with several rows of black and yellow teeth. If you were unlucky enough to get bitten, you’d have at least twenty-four hours to say goodbye to your loved ones, and wish you were already dead in the process. Whatever it was that coated their teeth was a poison unlike any other. The afflicted would lie in agony, begging for someone to put them out of their misery, until they dried all up and broke apart in clumps when you tried to move the body. I grew up fearing them enough to keep my room clean, but a part of me always believed my mom might be making the whole thing up.

I watched my friend knock cans down, tried it for myself when he offered, then went home when my mother called. She must have not checked my room that night, she never said a word about it, and I went to bed thinking I had gotten away with it. That night had been the most terrifying night of my life until recently. I laid awake, listening to the sounds coming from under my bed, too scared to tell my mom what I had done. She’d have been real mad, would have gotten the mop out, and washed the floor while I watched. Watching her mop would be a hundred times worse than doing the work myself. My mom worked hard, seeing her up in the middle of the night pushing a mop around would just about break my heart, so I stayed quiet until morning.

I didn’t sleep at all. When I would start to doze, I’d feel the covers at my feet being pulled away, slowly. I knew if I fell asleep whatever was waiting for me under the bed would come out. I stayed awake and as soon as the sun was up I cleaned what I had failed to before. I never half-assed my chores again after that night. I had convinced myself that my mother only wanted to instill good hygiene, but now I know better. All the stuff she told me about them is true, the birds singing at night, them coming in through any crack or crevice you have failed to clean up, their teeth. The birds didn’t make sense at the time she said it, but now I understand. They get bored you see, they go out wandering at night looking for anyone that happens to be out, the birds must sense them, and either their singing is a warning or the presence of the dust bunnies confuses them into thinking it’s morning.

I saw one once while I was out late at night.. I was with a group of friends, we were all drunk walking downtown. It was three in the morning, we were all laughing, stumbling along down the sidewalk, my head was a mess of circles, I could barely talk. There was a park ahead on the left, I heard the birds singing but it didn’t register until I saw it standing underneath a tree. The only reason I was able to see it was because the tree happened to be behind a streetlamp. My mouth went dry and I sobered up instantly. I made my friends wait with me until the taxi got there. I haven’t been out that late at night since.

I met Alex five years later, we hit it off, became really good friends, then started dating. We moved in together after we’d been dating six months. We loved hard and often. I told her about the dust bunnies one night after we had split two bottles of wine. She laughed, thought I was pulling her leg at first, but then said that all of my habits now made sense. I was a neat freak, she wasn’t. You would think we’d clash because of how obsessive I could be about it, but to her credit she let a lot of my craziness slide. She understood better after I told her and did the best she could to help ease my anxiety. I asked her to marry me two years later, she said yes, and we began to plan our wedding. Six months before we were to get married we were at the mall window shopping, a pair of finches in the pet store window caught her eye. I bought them a week later as a surprise. We named them Marlon and Brando after our favorite actor.

With planning for the wedding I wasn’t able to keep up with my normal cleaning routine. I was exhausted by the time I got home from work, then there were always decisions to make, things to prepare, order, discuss. It was all too much. I wish I would have kept up with it. I’d give anything to be able to go back in time, this would never have happened. Marlon and Brando started singing when there were two months left until our big day. I panicked and woke Alex up in the middle of the night, telling her we had to clean, telling her they were here. She wasn’t happy about being startled out of sleep, but she helped clean. I stayed awake all night to make sure I didn’t hear the birds singing again. I didn’t sleep much during the next week, that’s probably why I didn’t wake up the next time they sung.

We found Brando dead the next morning. The cage door was open, Marlon had backed himself into the corner and was still shaking. Poor little Brando was such a beautiful bird, but you couldn’t tell that by what was left of her. We buried her out back, Alex cried, I cried too. I told her it was the dust bunnies, they had gotten her, and we needed to be more vigilante in keeping things clean. For the first time Alex snapped at me, she said there was no such thing, said that Brando probably brained herself to death trying to get out of the house. I tried to talk to her, but she wouldn’t listen. She told me I was crazy. We went to bed in silence, the next morning she was dead too.

They must have come while I slept. I hadn’t slept very long since the first time I heard them singing, and knew I had to do something. I thought maybe Alex was right, maybe I was going crazy, and sleeping might help put things into perspective. I took a sleeping pill in the hopes that it would let me catch a few hours, it knocked me the fuck out is what it did. When I woke up Alex was no longer in bed beside me. I found her downstairs, Marlon was once again tucked into his corner, Alex was all dried out and shriveled up in front of the bird cage. I thought it took a day or so for the poison to do that, but maybe I don’t know as much as I think I do about these creatures. I couldn’t think of anything to tell the cops, if I told them what really happened they would lock me away. I packed up my things and took off.

I figured out how to kill them, ammonia, if you can believe it. Sprinkle that shit on them, and the howl they let out is terrifying and invigorating all at the same time. I’ve killed sixteen so far. I hunt them at night, sometimes I have to break into people’s houses to do it, but I haven’t been caught or killed yet. I’ll keep it up for as long as I can, although I’m going to have to switch towns pretty soon. Only a few left here to kill, then I’ll move on. Eventually, I plan on going back to where I lived with Alex, but it will be years before I can. They are still looking for me, and I can’t say I don’t blame them.

This is my life now. Some days I don’t kill any of them, others I’ll get one or two. One night I bagged four of them in a nursing home. That was one of the proudest moments of my life. I hope I’m making Alex proud, I hope she doesn’t suffer, I hope she is at peace.

I’ll get them all, I swear to God I will, even if it kills me.