When you smile I smile.
Your laughter is infectious.
Your hugs let me know I’m safe.
Sleeping next to you is like a comfort blanket.
Like horny teenagers we make love daily.
When I’m down you pick me up.
Our love is washed over by something more sinister.
In the cupboard I hide from you.
Our love had turned to hate.
Your anger is like an erupting volcano.
We play a game of hide and seek but if you find me I will become your punching bag.
No one is safe from the red demon that lives within you.
Our new puppy lies dead on the floor, a victim of your rage.
Strangled for peeing on the floor.
I tried to stand up for myself, threatened to call the police.
This was a mistake.
This fuelled your anger more.
I sit as still as I can in the cupboard with my hand over my mouth to muffle my breathing.
For hours you trash the place then grab a crate of beers and sit in front of the tv.
I will not move until you fall asleep.
Rain or Death
Rain pattered against the window, the day outside bleak and gray, and the girl sat in the window, a book in her lap and air pods in her ears. Blocking out the pouring rain; And the screams of her mother upstairs. The thump of something fell down the stairs, and the screams went silent, replaced by the girl’s shriek instead.
A set of dark, soulless eyes stared up at her. Her mother’s once lively eyes.
Luna looked outside the window. The bird was squawking constantly. She searched for earmuffs to cover her ears. Through the thick wool, she could still hear the bird. When she looked closely, she noticed it was her pet bird that went missing a few days ago. She placed bird seeds in the feeder, happily. At night, Luna ate her dinner.She looked down at her plate and smiled. The utensils, stained red as she brought them up to her mouth for a big bite. Her earmuffs lay by the side of the table. The bird was no longer squawking.
The delivery notification said the box was on the front porch, and it was there as expected. I placed the box on the kitchen table and cut it open, a bundle of new socks. What a glorious time to be alive: we click a computer button and socks just appear on the porch. But suddenly a silver colored beetle scurried out of the box and ran across the table. Then a second one. I grabbed a magazine to swat it but missed. Some sort of roach? I tossed the package outside in a panic then grabbed a can of insect spray, but no luck. I sprayed the kitchen baseboards and hoped for the best.
At 3:00 AM I was jolted awake by a sharp sting on my arm. I switched on the light and shrieked. One of the silver beetles was on my hand and the room was alive with a steady buzzing sound. All at once a flurry of stings hit my legs and feet. I tried to throw off the bedsheet but it was wet with blood. Scores of insects were attached to my legs, biting, suckling on my blood. I screamed in horror and tried to brush them off but they were too strong. I scrambled out of bed to run to the bathroom but tripped on something. It was the box that was delivered earlier. The package of socks lay shredded and chewed.
Then everything went black.
My Favorite Babysitter
Bill comes over to babysit me
Even though I am thirteen
I like it when he plays games with me
And tells me I'm "his little queen"
My parents came home early yesterday
They saw Bill inside my room
I told them it's okay
Because he's leaving pretty soon
They said they didn't know him
The babysitter has been ill
Said "You are old enough to be alone.
Who fucking the hell is Bill!?"
Why Does it rain, Grandma?
When I was younger I was told that when it rains it means that God is sad and the rain is his tears reaching the earth. So it didn't shock me when God was crying during my great grandmother's funeral. He cried with my grandmother and as her tears fell and my father comforted her I could feel the rain around me. Internally, I understood that God felt what my grandmother felt.
It all made sense.
Until my grandfather died and there was no rain. I asked my grandmother, "Why isn't God crying for grandpa?" she stepped closer to me, kneeled down, and leaned in just inches away from my face. Then she whispered, "I don't know. Maybe he wasn't as good of a person as we thought."
I responded, "That's not fair. God is supposed to love us all equally and unconditionally. He can't just pick and choose who to make it rain for."
" It's fine dear, God works in mysterious ways.
"No, that's not fair, Grandma. Grandpa died for nothing."
She looked blankly at me. Confused and startled. "No, grandpa died in an accident in the backyard. Accidents happen. God could be angry. Which is why it's so hot."
"No! It was hot when I pushed Grandpa off the ladder, it was supposed to rain! But now I know God only cries for good people. Are you a good person, Grandma?"
Who could resist?
I feel consciousness coming in, rolling over me. I've been out for weeks, maybe months.
I'm vaguely aware. A warm sensation. Tactile - sticky, hot, putty-like between my tingling fingers. Like literal putty in my hands. Easy to squeeze and smush. I play, explore. Toying.
What's the matter?
Cute little Pogo
I drove over to Amy’s place with a lab bag and some tools. When she answered the door she had her pet companion Pogo under one arm. It had short fur which looked light blue in daylight, purple in shadows. It’s face had a mixture of cute and confusingly sad, like a pug. I didn’t like looking in its big eyes, so I aimed my gaze elsewhere.
Amy placed it on the floor while she put the kettle on, made small talk about my lab job. The pet companion looked from her to me, licked its lips and tilted its head, twitched an ear in puzzlement. I think it had doubled in size since the first time I met it.
Amy droned on about the myriad of cute things Pogo did. One of them that had her in hysterics was that Pogo sneezed. That was the whole story. I know some people change when they become pet owners, but for Amy this was too soon, too much. I wanted to get a sample of this thing’s fur, run some tests. I wasn’t sure if it was a dog or cat or mini capybara or what.
“So you think you can track down Pogo’s litter?” Amy asked. “I’d love to reunite him with his siblings.” I held the bag open while she took the tongs and plucked a large wad of fur from its back. I felt its eyes on me and I avoided its gaze. The first time I met Pogo and I looked in its deep round eyes, I began to feel a lovely calming euphoria, but a suspicious one like I had been drugged.
“Don’t you want to pet him?” Amy held him right in my face. I sneaked a quick glance in its eyes as if to test myself and that warm drugged glow pricked up, so I shut my eyes and faked a sneeze.
Amy set it down, grabbed the tissue box, held it out to me. “Oh, I hope you’re not allergic!” I had some words to say but they all dropped when I saw Amy’s hand around the box. Her ring finger and pinkie were missing, shoddily bandaged.
“Amy, what happened?”
She sat and rubbed her finger stumps. “Oh, you know. Just kind of an…accident. I was petting Pogo and making dinner and I guess I must have had sauce on them or something because he….nibbled them….and he was so cute…..he kept nibbling…..it didn’t even hurt….I guess he was just really hungry.”
A cold darkness settled in my guts as I drove to the lab. This creature, whatever it was, and wherever it came from, it was dangerous and up to no good.
The lab results were quick. The fur had an oil composition similar to cannabinoids mixed with painkillers. Petting it made you happy, agreeable, and free of pain. Addictive combo. I surmised its eyes must have some hypnotic quality. Might also be pheromones involved. Pogo was a threat.
I raced back to Amy’s. Whatever I had to do, it had to be quick. I kicked open the door and dropped the crowbar I was carrying. Pogo had grown again. It hulked over the kitchen table. It was swallowing Amy up to the neck and her face turned to me, a wide smile. “It’s ok. I guess he’s just really hungry.”