It smelt like pine; dry, clean, pine. Dust rolled into my nose, causing a flinch. Woozy awahzy ahoozy mahazy, I was fucked up, dude. As if I had my skin peeled back and I’d turned into a pig, ready to be roasted for dinner. My spine touched my belly button. I hadn’t energy for consciousness, only blurs, and though common – soon dissipating – turned to moments of pictures. However, the smell of pine reassured where I was, though I wouldn’t admit it. My crotch was wet and smelt like piss. My arms and legs, didn’t move. As if I lost them. As if I lost them? Nothing, no movement. I kept trying and rolled off my stomach, onto my side… Ah, that’s where they are. Soon the blood rushed back, reliving my extremities and stomach, but butchering my fucking back. My hands tied to my feet, and only now realizing the towel wrapped around my mouth. A single yellow bulb above was on, everywhere else was dark. Though I recognized the table beside me, I was inside. It was finally happening. I didn’t know what was going to happen. But there was always something that made me knew it was. At some point. And in a way, I’m happy it happened. At least there’s some closure. Like I came over willingly. The mystery is answered. And though it involves something probably horrible, it’s something. It’s the scratch you couldn’t reach. And having imagined this before – because I imagine everything – it felt distant, oddly, like I was back in the dream, watching, then feeling the forceful floorboards with the early sunrise above my head. Having only seen the last light slowly hide behind the trees – remembering everything up to that moment – this bulb was a warm reminder. Along with the fireplace that smoldered and savoured its last source. For a moment I felt comfortable. Grateful. Until I smelt the roast. For some reason that made me sick, caused the exorcism in my stomach again. And sent the dawgs on home!
Her legs began walking in slow motion. Barefoot and skin up to ripped jean shorts with frayed white strands being exposed to the light that merged with her copper skin, at first distracting me from the knife in her hand, sending a bright wink.
Soon up to her neck, then chin.
And her eyes – dark voids with a glimmer of a soul.
“Hello, sweetie, how are you doing?”
Her teeth drooled with long fangs filling every gap of her smile. I was looking into a demon. That is surely what it was. From hells very own and here for thirst and pleasure, searching for blood, hungry for satiety, filled but never full.
“You can breathe okay through your nose, right? I don’t want you passing out. We’ve got a wonderful evening planned for you, dear. We do. We do. I can’t wait, honestly. You’ve been on my mind ever since our special night. Ohhh god. You know how much I came?” She began biting my ear. “It was fucking great flower boy, and now we get to do it all over again… but better.”
Legs that were surely Adam’s appeared from above, blue jeans and barefoot.
He knelt and said, “Hi.”
I gaggled and groaned.
“Sorry, but it’s gonna be okay. We’ve still got the roast for you to… uh… have?” Both him and her laughed. “And I got this really good wine from town last week that is going to go absolutely perfect with it. A forty dollar pinot noir. Here. See. Not bad, eh?… Hidden Rivers Winery? Hidden Rivers. Hmm, hopefully it’s better than the name. Ha!” He looked at the bottle and onto oblivion. His eyes went big then small then he looked at Margaret. “Good idea to tie him up, right? If he got free, oh man, I would have lost it, aha. Would have really lost it!”
“Yes, you were right, for once. And don’t scream in my ear please. I want to hear this.”
“So hot for this one, eh?”
“I think I love him.”
She grabbed me by the cheeks.
“He’s nice. Ain’t you…” said Adam, who got down and gave me a big kiss.
“Just give him another dose, honey. We’ll butter him up soon enough.”
My stomach doubled over in fear and disgust and I most certainly did piss myself, if not again.
“Don’t worry, dear,” said Margaret. “We’ll have you all fresh and clean for dinner.”
And as if this moment contained some essence of sanity, the streaks of colour I saw melt from the sky and ceiling contained no sense of it. As if my world was melting. I was melting in it.
Naked and tender.
Soft and nimble.
Drugged and numb, so that my body is being carried like bags of sand.
Take the hypocritic oath and treat me like a human being. Like an animal deserving of trust. The type a steward warrants or a giver receives.
Not to this dust. This blubbering buffoon.
My bare bum felt the cold and warm spots, sliding on the sweaty chair. A handkerchief still wrapped my mouth, the taste of the cotton turned awfully bland – paste and vinegar. It all smelt like something sour too. The air was just thick of it. This acidic sour vomit, as if placed up my nose and painted around the sides. I didn’t know if it was me or the room, which started to become vivid in my sight. The chair sturdy under me, I was sitting at the table. My feet tied and hands too, thankfully not behind me. I felt the table and had it distance itself from me? I pushed my hands into the wood and still couldn’t get to it. I mean, I was touching it, but couldn’t feel it. A force pushing my fingers. As I pushed and pushed, pushed and pushed, a rivet of pulses shot up my arms, through, my spine, and into my head, causing carousels of turning. I lost balance and fell over, the chair coming with, it strapped around my thighs, below my penis. I banged my head which caused the whole spinning to crash and implode.
“Do you fall over every time you wakeup?” Margaret picked me up, dusted off my shoulders, and kissed my cheek. “We’ve been waiting for you to wake up. I’ve been watching you sleep. I love the way your lip has that cute crescent.” She giggled and paused. “You don’t think we ate without do you? Oh no, of course not. How could we?” She now laughed aloud and I hated to admit she still looked beautiful. Evil but entrancing, or rather, illuminating. “You’re the guest of honour!”
She walked around the table and I saw what she was wearing, just her underwear. Black with only a little lacing around the cusps of the bra and a strong line curving her formed ass. Adam appeared, out of nowhere and in his underwear, she rubbed her hands on his chest and said to me “You’re still hungry, right?”
I looked down and the table was then full of food. I blinked compulsively, I don’t know what was happening. The roast, mashed potatoes, corn, brussels sprouts, and bread. And I had to admit that once I had a moment to stare at the food, I did become a little hungry. But Margaret snapped it away with the re-arrival of the knife, stabbed into the table so that I could distantly see my reflection, paired right between the smiling two.
They left, returning with the steaming roast, potatoes, etc, etc. Margaret was smiling through the stretches of her mouth, the excitement killing her and me. The irony of the stain from the roast pressed against her chest did little to ease it. They constantly kept looking to and from the table, back to me, then the food, then me again. Everything must be perfect, everything must be in its proper place. Everything must be right.
“You ready for dinner?” asked Adam.
I moaned and then nodded – because fuck em.
Margaret sped over to nurture my shoulder for some reason, rubbing it and then moving along my entire back and chest. “Don’t worry, honey. Everything will be alright. This will be as enjoyable for you as it will for me.” She looked at Adam, “Right?”
He laughed louder and harder. “I’m just going to start eating…” He started with the roast, cutting off a chuck and then biting in.
“No, no, no. Hear, listen,” said Margaret, sitting half on my lap, skin to skin. “I want you to enjoy it too. I appreciate your honesty… with others and yourself. I see how much you are suffering inside, and yet you still show kindness to others, no judgement, just love. It is beautiful.” Her eyes sparkled with the cosmos. “And it’s going to be beautiful…” She took my tied hands and gently caressed their unity. Wrapped around the wrists so that the hands could have some freedom, she put hers in and around mine. She touched along the lines of my palm on the table, layering hers on top and sliding them over so softly I left them there to feel the wood and skin. She then moved one hand, grabbed the dinner knife beside my plate and lanced it through my hand, into the table.
Spiders crawled into my skin and laid nest underneath. Though from my hand I felt nothing, for I dare not move it, a shot of whiskey splashed my every open nerve. I don’t know what sound I made and don’t know who I was. The blood began to pool out the sides and warm my hand. I was stretched to comprehend reality. I had to reach, and then let go. Reach, and then let go. Because this ain’t fate.
Because how could it be mine?
Soon it dripped on my thighs and down my leg. It felt good, in a way. Like I was returning – connecting. But the colour made me pulsate away and awake. Margaret looked at me curiously, waiting. Nostrils flared as my breath ran like fire. In and out. In and out. She looked at me. In and out. In and out. She got closer. Sweat began to sting my eyes but she wiped it away. Her hands moved along my face, feeling it, down to the cloth around my head and in my mouth which slowly and finally fell free with her hand. She looked at me. My mouth quivered in delay from the knife. She looked at me, taking a glass and putting it under the dripping blood, now flowing more like a string than droplets. It filled to maybe an inch, and then maybe two more after she pushed the blood from the table into the glass with her finger. She looked at me and licked and sucked until the blood was gone, and then she sucked some more. It popping out of her mouth like a lollipop… It wasn’t until then where I felt I might start crying. Tears welled in my brain, internal bleeding, waiting to be poured out…
She brought the glass to Adam. He smiled and raised the glass to me. Tilting his head down and continuing to smile. And rather than drinking it, he pours it on his meal. Still smiling, he cuts a piece of the roast, dips it around, getting all the juices, then cheers’ me again with the fork and takes a bite. Still smiling as he fucking chews.
The build of disturbia – at the cottage – laid bugs in my mind. The spiders there too. They rolled around causing something like motion sickness, a melting and sloshing of my brain. My eyes fell back and rolled around too, bobbing in the slush, waiting for a bite. My legs hadn’t moved, along with my hands. Adam ate like a pig as Margaret dipped her finger in again. The single bulb over the table accentuated the dark circles under their eyes. The room was turning into something else. The orange filter started turning darker, redder. The already sunken blue windows molded to a black haze. The mood was turning to a hopeless evening. The blood started slowing. And as the drips became less and less, I realized that I get to find out what happens… when we die… And… actually… it’s okay… I’m ready… always and everywhere… because… because… because the thing is… If I could fast forward and conserve my end, I would – especially, obviously, these next parts. As I’ve been ready, people. I’ve been waiting. As if it’s predetermined. My choices. My life. Me. I. A Strange Loop… Of course I would miss my sister, and it’s not like I want to leave her. It’s not like I want to leave here. I just want to see what’s next so much more. I’ve already felt enough. Cried enough. Laughed enough. Loved enough. I am full. All of it and all of you were enough, and more, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Which now bleeds blissfully empty.
They both seemed satiated, as they ate while I watched. Margaret got another cup for her plate. I was becoming tired. Felt nothing in my hand. The fear and pain inside drained me on E. My stomach rolling like an orb of lightning. I felt like I was going to fall asleep. Till’ when the pain turned to more of a rock than a fire. Heavy indeed. But no longer burning. It was a relief. Lasting me the strength to keep my eyes from shutting.
A hand stroked my arm. Then another my back. And my ear. My chest. My leg. My hand.
I looked up exactly before another knife went through, what looked like, my other hand.
“See, doesn’t hurt at all right? Soon you’ll enjoy it…”
I woke up with a rattle. A dream then a babble. The blood had crusted over around the sides of my hands and the table, a middle stream of glossiness still holding true. Everything was fuzzy and someone had turned the light down. It looked like they were still eating. Though that could be anything. My body was tired, though no longer in pain. Like a weaking numbing hysteria. This ball rolling around in my stomach, holding me down with the rope. These two stars of knives shining like eyes of the devil. I look down and see another in my foot. And still I don’t feel it. My breath shutters and my heart ripples but the pain is not there. It’s… dreamy. As I sweetly begin to sleep.
I feel my eyes lower, the door shutting. Till’ I hear a tick tick tick on glass. Tick tick tick. Like an alarm clock it popped my head up. Simultaneously balancing my head and focusing my vision became difficult to say the least. I looked around, still not seeing much, and questioned if I even heard anything. Anything real. Then tick tick tick.
“What was that?” said a voice that no longer sounded like Margaret or Adam but vultures.
One of them got up.
“Where you going?”
“Something was at the doooor!”
The other got up two. Shadows across a canvas.
Then a bird lands on one of the knives. I thought. I think. Its so real. Like the one from before. Like it is the one from before. Amazed. Confused. And slightly enchanted in hell. It looks at me, moving its head quick in rotation then looking down at the knife or my hand and back up at me. A bird. The bird. Wow. It landed on my hand. I could feel it on my fingers. It pecked at them. Then flew away to where I could not see.
And a moment which felt like eternity passed. Forever. And ever. And around.
Until I decided… I decided… or something… to lift my hands up. And to no surprise at all except for all of it… it barely hurt. I mean… it didn’t really hurt at all. A little stop at the handles then something like freedom. With an opening of blood running down my arms. The knives hadn’t moved and my hand slipped when trying to grab one. I squeezed into nothing and thankfully got one loose and started cutting my legs free. Me free. Until they saw. Until they came back. But… they hadn’t yet… and the strands were peeling back…
And my knees were free to open. I then cut my feet free, pulled the knife from my foot, and felt a surge of energy starting from my feet and fizzing up to the top, lift my body. And whether I was going to the front or back door, I ran the exact opposite direction they went.
I felt glass, large sized glass, and pulled the sliding door open, running on the deck, running into the railing, down the stairs, and into the forest.
I imagined no cuts on my face from the passing branches, none on my feet from the rocks and sticks, nothing catching my scrotum, none poking holes in me. I just ran and didn’t stop. Occasionally bumping into a tree and falling over. Then getting up and continuing like it was nothing, because it was. With nobody yet grabbing me.
Until I ran into a house.
It couldn’t be… I both hoped and dreaded it?
Feeling the flat panel boards, this looked like it was it. I paced around the side to the window and door. It was the cabin. It was the cabin. Why am I here? I don’t know.
Something like sweat dripped in my eyes. Where is it? Where is it?
Where’d I put it?
Where you hiding?
Running in circles looking. Now feeling the leaves on the floor. As if I already know where it is.
And I don’t know what’s going on. And don’t know how it ends. But I began digging with open hands.
My body felt like it was slowly dissolving. But I had to see.
Where she was hiding for me.
Because I don’t know what’s happening anymore, this reality is too far for me.
And then I felt it. The box. The bird. Or not…
And it almost didn’t really matter to me. And I almost really don’t care. All the pain my body bleeds returns into thin air. And for a moment I feel connected, for those moments so rare, now forever, when I laugh and see, it too is still dead.