“I saw Wires again..?” Isaac murmured, mostly to himself.
“...What did you just say to me..?” replied his father, still drunk from the previous evening.
Isaac focused on his hands clasped tightly in his lap, knowing better than to look up as he tearfully whispered, “He was tasting again.. it hurts.”
“You listen to me now, boy. You hear? There IS no “Wires”. The only thing in that damned closet is your momma’s dress and I’ll burn the damned thing if you don’t stop your lies! Now, quit your crying and go comb your hair. It’s sticking up.”
“But there is! Wires is in there, I promise! He comes out to taste!”
“Shut up now, boy! I don’t want to hear it! You do as your daddy says and go comb down your damned hair!”
“... But it hurts.. my head..” Isaac cried.
Isaac’s father had reached his limit with these lies. He propelled himself across the expanse of the small kitchen table, one hand on each side of Isaac’s little head, “BOY! I’LL GIVE YOUR HEAD A REASON TO HURT! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT PAIN IS, JUST YOU-” and stopped as goosebumps traveled up his arms and neck. He swallowed hard. The back of Isaac’s head, beneath the point at which his hair was disturbed, was warm and it.. it was wet. “What the…?” his father began to question as he pulled his hands swiftly away from Isaac. His right hand was glistening and he vaguely noticed a familiar smell. He stood up and slowly walked behind Isaac. What he saw had an entirely sobering effect and he was horrified. There was an injury to the back left side of his son’s head. The hair had been removed and where there should have been skin, there was an area of exposed skull. It was the edge of the wound that brought the vomit to his mouth.. It looked like someone had taken a large pencil eraser and had effectively erased away a section of Isaac’s scalp, leaving a wide hole with a red, raw edge. No.. No, it was something else.. It looked more like when a predator with a rough tongue just licks and licks its lifeless prey, clear down to the bone. His father went pale as he recalled what Isaac had said just moments earlier; “He was tasting again..” He walked shakily to his son’s room. The nightlight was still on and from inside the closet, he heard the distinct sound of wire hangers scraping along the bar as the door softly closed.
“Daddy..?” came Isaac’s tiny voice from the hall behind him. “Did he taste you, too?”