A scary story


This piece is a product of a prompt from my "Writer Wednesdays" group I started last year on this blog (should we start that up again? I'm strongly debating it). It remains one of my favorite pieces that I've written, and it's superbly creepy and dark, which is right up my alley. I'm at my best when I write dark and twisty. Enjoy, and try not to think of me as a serial killer in your sleep tonight. Happy Halloween!

Do you have secrets?

I mean the kind that come from the deepest part of you. The darkest. dank. infested. The place in your soul that you turn into on those cold midnights sitting at your kitchen table under a swinging, single light bulb, hanging, alone in yourself. The secrets are so hidden by heavy darkness that even the light bulb falters. Struggles for air. Kicks its legs and fights for life. Dying. Like your heart. Suffocated. Struggling like a candle in a lidded jar. Suffocating like  someone dragged down to the dregs of an ocean by the heavy gravity hooked to his ankles. Frantic. Dying

Everyone has secrets. Everyone has a dark secret that they shield from the world, curled into their gut to hide it from the blinding light.

Mine just happens to be this.

Just this:

I kill people. Those beautiful people walking around above us.

I have to. But I don't relish it. At least I pretend not to.

And maybe you are judging me. But.

Have you lived in a house where the air shatters with silence? Have you hidden between your pride and the couch to keep from being sliced by words? And punched by looks? and kicked mercilessly with indifference? Have you lived in fear of the night because of what it brings?

Have you?

It's no

but there it is. I am what I am. I have been made into what I am, just as you have.

Walk a mile
in someone's shoes, can you?

And while we're on the subject of walking...I do walk. I walk everywhere. I like feeling the air blow through my riddled brain, blowing snatches and bits of the things I have seen and done-- the things I relish-- out into the open air. I see them spiral out of my brain, through my ears, stream out of my mouth in a shivering whisper of insanity and hilarity and need. They leave me. They bleed out into the ink-filled night. Life extinguished, slowly, slowly bleeding, shuddering, and then quiet. Gone. 

And they are not my problem anymore. they leave me, the pictures. They leave me and I can think like what I imagine is normal. I can think about the bright winking of the stars and how long they have been alive; how many people like me they have seen shiver and slink in the shadows beneath them. 

So I walk.
and walk.
and walk.
and I forget while I walk.

But when I'm not walking, I'm doing my secret unmentionable, hidden guilty need in the dark. 
And I watch.

I carry on in my life, watching you from my vantage point. Acting normal. You'd never know it if you passed me in the grocery store. But I see it. 

I see the boy shuffling his feet by the magazine stand, a boy with his eyes down and his sleeves pulled across his ripped wrists, hiding his shame and hurt and lonely heart in the jagged lines and blood beneath his skin. I see me in him.

I see the mom buying a candy bar for the whiney brat glued to her side. She gives him a kiss on the cheek. But I know what she does at night when no one is looking. She thinks her secret is hidden. But I feel it. I feel the darkness seeping from her skin. I see it lying there, waiting under the shiny brightness that encases her smile. And in the darkness, the shiny brightness is stripped away, and nothing is left but the darkness.

I see the husband kissing his wife in the baking aisle as she turns away her purple and black ribs towards the sugar and chocolate chips. I feel the darkness of that husband as he goes home to force the love and feeling from her unwilling body. mean. hateful. The abuse like a bruise, swelling, an angry welting purplish black, like his eyes. Dr. Jekyll in the baking aisle, Hyde at home.

We all have a case of Jekyll and Hyde. Our dark side wants to Hyde. HA! isn't that a funny coincidence? our Hyde wants to Hide. ha ha ha.

I feel the darkness in the beautiful people, rushing around in the brightness, hiding in plain sight in the blinding light. I feel it in you. I see. The darkness is our kinship. My darkness reaches its long fingers, probing for your darkness, sensing and enveloping and relishing in the sameness. the connection is welcome. comforting and real. You and me, we are the same, in the darkness.

So that's it. 
I watch.
I walk.
I do.

And I wait for that reckoning. Because I know it's coming. For you too.

Because of our secrets.

It has to.





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