the little girl was scared at first but now she was terrified and about to have a panic attack He kept her tight in his arms and covered her ears and told her to calm down and that everything will be all right It was 02:24 AM and the knocks in the door and all around the walls and windows still carried on And there were howls coming from outside and curses and a constant sound of nails scratching on wood “Daddy, I’m scared! I’m…” “I know, dear, I know. But you have to calm down. Remember to focus on your breathing like I told you. Deep, deep breaths, okay? Deep. In and out. I promise you, tomorrow everything’s gonna be fine. I swear.” “Is it zombies?” asked the little girl. “No, dear. It’s something else.” “What’s it called?” “An ex-girlfriend, dear.”
he sits alone in the darkness on a wooden chair The walls surrounding him have no mirrors and the windows are covered by the thickest blinds He doesn’t want to see his old age and the decay that already started consuming his body In his mind he’s still young, still in his early twenties still dreaming He’s listening to music He’s playing the music and it exhausts him The music comes from within An instrument with strings His growling guts He lubricates them with more beer
Well, when you’re desperate you’re…
“Me,” he said. He was alone in the room and lonely enough to have bought one of those Ouija boards from some old woman who called herself a medium. It was time to try it out.
All he hoped for was a sexy ghost that would haunt him, maybe hurt him a bit, he wouldn’t mind. Anything just to take away the soul-crushing loneliness. Anything!
He said the prayers exactly as the medium instructed and did the breathing exercises and was ready to use the board. He moved the piece to spell HELLO. Got no answer. Looked around the room. Nothing. Again, he spelled HELLO. IS ANYONE HERE? ANYONE AT ALL? ARE YOU FEMALE? Nothing. Nothing new at least. Only more loneliness and more frustration and deeper down the rabbit hole of misfits he slipped.
WELL FUCK YOU! he spelled, and jammed the pointy side…
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he opened another beer and sat on the couch but turned off the TV He watched the kid The kid was on his knees before the coffee table busy with an orange pencil and a piece of paper Tongue poked to one side and held firmly between the lips, he was writing letters to the pet dog he’ll never see again And he did that all day long Dad sipped at his beer. The years of action were far beyond him now but by all the gods he swore tonight will be the night he sneaks into his ex-wife’s home and kidnaps the dog He even rented a van for it
A pretty thick slice of hell That was life so far But today things will change Today he was six years old and that meant old enough to guide his blind father on the streets The old man was only blind for a year after some work related accident involving acid And there was a mother somewhere too. She left shortly after father’s accident Today father held on to his son’s shirt at the shoulder and told him to walk towards the railway “I want to listen to the train,” said father but it turned out he wanted much more than that. He wanted to feel the train. Against his face So he stood on the rails and told the kid to go back home and return after an hour or so “Okay,” said the kid. But he didn’t leave. He watched from a safe distance Didn’t even find the event particularly disturbing Then he went back home and had some fruit loops with milk and his first taste of beer He had become a man
She could say it if she wanted to but the words would carry no weight behind them like a cat shaking the paw with you and not understanding the real meaning behind the gesture so was her every “I love you.” Enough to make an old boy cry but he preferred suicide Needless to say her response was “Meh.”
There was a dog outside and it kept barking for some reason. Ah yes, it was chained and the chain was terribly short and the poor animal was hungry.
Mother wouldn’t bother feeding it. No, mother wanted it to die because it had been father’s dog, inherited along with the house after father died. Mother forbade feeding the poor thing.
Her child stood next to the window and listened to the poor thing barking outside. It was better than listening to mother drinking and talking ugly words with her boyfriends.
He opened the window and the dog saw him immediately and barked at him. He wanted to cry. Tried talking to the creature but it wouldn’t listen. It kept barking.
“Mother would cut my hand off if she caught me stealing food for you.”
But he was a smart kid. He leaned over the window and thrust two fingers down…
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in nights like this he would just drink in the dark and smoke and lie on his side and hallucinate about a snake vomiting vibrating colors on a white wall Maybe the snake had eaten paint But it was a small snake no bigger than a worm and the amount of dancing colors it vomited all over was astounding Enough to paint the whole house But the colors would never stay on the things they fell upon The colors would bounce around and dance and vibrate mingle with each other and part and mix again and the small snake would vomit some more and it would make a sound like babies crying All he wanted in times like these was to crawl over to the poor snake and comfort it in some way pat its head, place it in his armpit to get warm…
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and the few survivors who couldn’t fight were lined up along with the civilians and shot or killed in ways to entertain the soldiers And dogs were trained to tear them to shreds and the ground became black with their soaked blood and over the next few days a carpet of butterflies gathered on top of it “It’s beautiful,” he said She didn’t pay attention. Was too busy removing golden teeth from a severed head she held in her lap. “Dammit, whoever made these implants did too good a job. I’ve to take ‘em with gums, alright. Look, my knife keeps slipping.” “Stab his eyes please,” he said “What? Why?” “Because he’s looking at us. I can’t stand it.” “Jeez, you’re such a pussy.” She quickly stabbed the blade into the head’s eyes one after the other. “Better?” “Whatever,” he said. “Just hurry up and pull those teeth.” “I’m trying. If I had better tools though…” He was silent for a long time and then he cleared his throat and said, “Hey, so… now that this shitty war is over… like, what are you gonna do with your life?” “I don’t know,” she said. “Get myself a few gold teeth as extra spoils and go back home. My mom wants me to marry this fat guy from the neighboring village. I probably will then I’ll shit him out a few kids and… well, grow old and die, I guess.” “What? Is that it? That’s all?” She looked at him with a grin. “Hey, don’t worry, you’re still getting some. Just wait until tonight, okay?” “Dammit, that’s not what the heck I meant. I meant… you know, there’s gotta be more to life than just… just getting married, making kids, and dying.” “Really? Well, what are you gonna do then?” “I’m… gonna write. About it all. The war and… everything.” “Write? Like, a book? A story?” “Yeah. It’s been my dream since before the war started. Now I’ve the experience to write about.” “Bullshit experience,” she said. “Who in the fuck d’you think will wanna read that? What’s the story gonna say? How you killed the enemy? Poisoned their wells? Raped their women and enslaved their children? Stuck twigs down the dick holes of prisoners and broke them inside for fun?” “Hey, I never did any of that.” “But you were there when the others did it. And did nothing to stop them. It counts as--” “Fuck! Okay, you’re right. Writing a book about this would be a terrible idea. Thanks.” “Shit, look, I got one. This is solid gold. Two more to go.” He sighed. “Listen…” “Yeah?” “About that marriage of yours…” “Yeah? What about it?” “Well, let’s just say… I mean, you know…” “Fuckin’ spit it out already!” “Don’t marry that fat guy from the neighboring village! Fuck, I said it.” “Oh? And marry you instead?” “Well…” “Y’know, the fat guy from the neighboring village is the son of a fairly rich butcher. Family business. And you… Your father’s the drunk who hung himself to avoid paying back his debts. You see the conflict here, I hope.” “So all you care about is money?” “Why wouldn’t I care about money? I want to live good, thank you very much. This is the real world, not some romantic story. Wake up. I gotta make the rational decision.” “I thought we had… something.” “Yeah, we fucked a few times cuz’ there was nothing better to do. And we’ll fuck again tonight, sure. But that don’t mean we’re lovers now. Look, you’re a nice guy. I’m sure you’ll find love back at home. You don’t need a bitch like me. I mean, if you think I’m not gonna screw other guys behind my husband’s back, you’re seriously trippin, boy. So think about it, that could’ve been you. Would you want that?” “No, I suppose not.” “Good. Well then, let’s get these teeth and go have some ale. It’s on me.” She stood and with her hand soiled with blood she reached out and pinched his cheek and stretched it to force a smile on his face. “C’mon, cheer up, damn you! We still have a life ahead of us. Let’s fuckin’ live it.” “Yeah… let’s.”
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a songless bird that would be the nicest name she’d been called the others, far more common, being that little wench your bastard kid the little rat useless piece of shit that came outta you and others She liked the term songless bird It was a title worthy of her in all the good and the bad ways The songless bird stands locked in her room and knocks and waves in the window for she has no voice to sing She gives silent cries to the neighbors and the passersby when the noises from the other side of her door get too violent or when it smells of smoke Which happens every now and then