Tag Archives: suicide

Screaming Giant

Mainline City’s giant started screaming one day. He wasn’t usually like that. Usually he was a quiet giant. Usually, he just stood there saying nothing.

At 11:42, just before lunch, he just started screaming, louder than an air raid siren. And he didn’t stop, either. People were surprised at first, then they were just mildly annoyed. It wasn’t until about 7:30 at night that people began to think he wasn’t going to stop. The mayor called the governor who phoned other states. Nobody’s giant had started screaming. It was just Mainline City’s.

Understandably, this was bad for business and tourism. People could hear the giant screaming in the next cities. The governor called a meeting to figure out how to stop the giant. They tried reasoning with the giant, but the giant just screamed over their bullhorns. The people began to resent their giant. They demanded that he be stopped.

Building anything soundproof around the giant would be too costly, and they couldn’t reason with the giant. Nobody knew why he started screaming in the first place. Times weren’t great lately, but things had been relatively the same as long as most people could remember. After days of deliberation, they decided they needed to eliminate their giant. Nobody had killed their giant before, but not every city had a giant, after all. If they could at least drive him out, it would be best for everyone. It was the giant’s fault, after all. If he hadn’t started screaming, they wouldn’t have to do this. The giant had forced the city to act.

First, they cleared out the area. An emergency bulletin was issued, though not everyone heard about it over the screaming. Police shot him in the legs. Warning shots. They gave him an hour before they sent in fire brigade with axes and chainsaws. He demolished the entire city on his way down. It took another hour and a half before he started screaming. The ambulance came and declared him dead.

Cleanup took weeks. The smell stayed for months. No plants grew again where the giant had landed. The water in the city became tainted. The reach had moved out early on but even the middle class were packing up and leaving now. Mainline City became a blight on the map, a disgusting zit for the rest of the country to point at and wonder what went wrong. The government maintained that the giant began screaming on its own, but the people began to wonder what they could have done to make the giant scream like that. They wondered if it could, or would, happen to their giants, too.

The giants themselves remained tight-lipped, at least until the giants in Kinderton County began to weep uncontrollably. Suicide rates in Kinderton raised over 600% in the following year.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

Resolution

My resolution for next year is to not kill myself. It’s not next year yet, though. The metal hitting my teeth is cold and it hurts. I have really sensitive teeth and I can’t even enjoy ice cream without it being extremely painful. But, hey, I’ve got to tough it out if I’m going to shoot myself in the head. I don’t think it’s angled right, though. With my luck, I’ll just shoot out my spine and have to spend 2011 in a wheelchair. I take it out of my mouth and put it to my temple. Funny how this little device can just shoot out metal fast enough to travel straight through my brain. Well, not funny ha ha, but you know… the ball is dropping. 10, 9, 8… should I do it? I mean, the afterlife might not be any better. Or maybe it would just be nothing, emptiness. I would like that. 7, 6, 5… I hate Ryan Seacrest. He’s such a douchebag. No, focus. You need to kill yourself. Man up. Man up! 3, 2, click. Ah, forgot the safety. Well, maybe in 2012 the world will end. I’d actually like to see that after all.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX

Hold Me. I’m Drowning.

“She’s not answering,” I had called Sadie’s phone five times in the last two minutes. “Should I call an ambulance?”

Dizzie’s mouth was scrunched up in deep thinking. I tapped my foot impatiently. “Dizzie? Should we—”

“Shut up! I’m thinking!”

I kept tapping my foot. I needed to do something. I’m not sure why, but I felt partly responsible for Sadie. Maybe it was because I liked her or maybe because I was guilty about what happened with Chev. Dizzie would never forgive me after tonight.

“We don’t know what happened to her. She could be fine.”

“She could be dead.”

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up!” Dizzie was shrieking like a banshee. There was a wild look in her eye and she stepped on the gas pedal. I didn’t say anything for the rest of the car ride, even though I was scared for my life and, above all, for Sadie’s.

We pulled up to her duplex and Dizzie kicked me out of the car. “I’m going to find parking. Keep knocking on her door and don’t stop.”

I ran up to the door and began pounding at it. Someone the next building down shouted at me to shut up. I didn’t stop, and he eventually poked his head out.

“Shut the fuck up!”

“I need to get in!” I yelled, still banging on the door.

“I’m calling the police!”

Fine with me. Dizzie ran up to me by this time. “Nobody’s answering!” I told her, a little out of breath.

“Fine. You can stop knocking.”

“Someone’s next door says he’s calling the police.”

“We don’t need this,” she said under her breath. “Can you drive?”

“I’m not leaving.” I sounded braver than I felt.

Dizzie looked at me for a moment before scratching her head. “We don’t have time to argue.” She looked up at the building. “Window’s open a smidge. Give me a boost.”

Fueled by Chev’s meth, I cupped my hands and pushed her up to the window. “A little higher,” she said. I was also feeling the ass-whooping I got from Chev, but Dizzie was able to slip her fingers under and pop the window up. “Yes!” She kicked my head crawling in.

I looked around, panicking about people watching. Aside from a few moths in the streetlights, the streets were pretty empty at this time of night.

“Dizzie!” I whispered shrilly to the window. She didn’t answer. “Diiizie!” I tried to jump up but it was slippery on the ledge. A hand shot out of the window like the saving moment in an action movie.

At the other end was my big sister’s scowling face. “Get up here and help me!”

I dug my feet into the wall as she hoisted me up. Dizzie pulled me through the window frame and fell over backwards. “Phew! You really shouldn’t be so heavy if you’ve been taking meth.”

“It was just that one—”

“Come over here for a sec. I need your retard strength.”

It’s pitch black in the room except for one light coming out of the back.

“I can’t hear anything coming from inside,” she said quietly, though the room seemed to make even our breathing seem obscenely loud.

“You think she’s all right?”

“I don’t know.”

I ran to the door and began pounding on it. “Sadie? Sadie! It’s Seamus!” My mind kept running to the worst case scenario, that I would find Sadie sprawled out, pale as a ghost with vomit running caked to her cheek. I rammed my shoulder into the door and busted a hole in the exterior after the fifth time.

“Seamus! Hold on!” Dizzie pushed me out of the way. “Sadie! Can you hear us?” She knocked again. “It’s no use.” She pulled out her phone and tossed me the car keys. “I’m calling for an ambulance. Check the drawers in the kitchen for a screwdriver.”

I darted off toward the kitchen and started throwing open drawers. I could feel my heart trying to tear itself out of my chest. I kept repeated the word in my head: screwdriver, screwdriver, screwdriver, screwdriver. I was amazed to find it already in my hand. I was so excited that I nearly stabbed Dizzie on the way back.

“Shit! I’m sorry!”

“The door!” she screamed. “Get the fucking hinges off!”

I started at the top and then removed the bottom hinge. I held on to where my shoulder had cracked through and pulled the door toward us. A bright light filtered into the room. Dizzie ran in as soon as I had the door out of the way. I threw it aside and heard it thump against a wall.

Dizzie had already reached Sadie and was checking her pulse. Sadie lay there wide eyed and moving her mouth open and closed like a suffocating fish. The bathroom smelled a little acrid.

“She vomited before we got here. That’s good.” Dizzie was mumbling to herself. Without even taking her eyes away, she said, “Get her some water.”

I threw open all the cabinets in the kitchen before I found a plastic Scooby Doo cup to use. It went under the tap and then into Dizzie’s hand.

“Drink,” she told Sadie and poured the water gently into and on her mouth. “Help’s coming.”

Sadie coughed. “I. Wanted.”

Dizzie shushed her gently.

“N-no. I wanted. Let. Go.”

“I’m not letting go of you, Sadie. I’m right here.”

I wasn’t sure what to do or say then. Watching my sister folder her arms around her, I felt embarrassed that I ever thought that I loved Sadie. It was ridiculous to think that I could be as strong as Dizzie had been tonight with Sadie and Chev. Though I guess that wasn’t really my fault. I guess I was mostly ashamed for making her go through the trouble of taking care of me and being my big sister. She didn’t deserve a screw-up brother like me.

“Seamus,” Dizzie said, this time looking straight at me, her face like stone, her friend limp in her arms. “Go home.”

I left out the window and took the Mini Cooper to our house. I tried to drive slowly and it just ended up being sporadic toe-tapping on the gas and the brake to keep with the speed limit. There was one police car out on the way home. I immediately made a right turn just to get out of the way of him. It took a lot longer to get home than it should have. All the while, I was thinking about Dizzie and Sadie and Chev.

When I finally got home, I couldn’t sleep. I was incredibly parched so I grabbed a glass of water and paced around back and forth most of the night. Dizzie got home the next morning and reported that Sadie would be okay.

After this, my sister did something I’d never seen her do: she cried. I stood there for a moment just watching her face get rid and contort until I didn’t even recognize her face anymore and she was just a sobbing mess. I folded my arms around her like I’d seen her do.

“They’re gone, Seamus. I don’t have anyone left.” I don’t think I really understood what she meant back then. Still, the words caught me in the throat. We stood still for what could have been at least ten or twenty minutes. All the while, my heart was beating hard against my chest, trying to break through.

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Sadie’s Blog

Sometimes, at 3 or 4 in the morning, when I’m all alone, I think of drowning. At first it seems like a peaceful way to die—nothing but water all around you, damping out the noise of the world, covering your senses like a blanket—but then I think of the actual dying part. I mean, think of it—you’d try to breathe and breath wouldn’t come, and then your lungs and chest would start collapsing, shrinking, and you’d try to breathe but only water would come in, and you’d start choking and all the veins would bulge in your head and it would hurt. So. Much. And the water. The water tries to come into you, take over you, and death tries to make you nothing, take you from yourself. You’d think, “No!” No. I don’t want to be water! I don’t want to stop being! And that’s when you’d lose consciousness. Your brain loses function, the neurons stop jumping, your body loses it warmth, and you shit yourself. The water seeps inside and changes you, warps you into some swollen doll, and you sway at the bottom of the ocean like some corpulent buoy or float to the top like a long-forgotten diver with flesh like cottage cheese. The fish would probably eat at your crap-filled clothes, ‘cause fish’ll eat shit like that. Heck. They’d probably eat your cottage cheese face, too. And when all’s said and done, you’ll probably get fished out with a hook by some fisherman and maybe someone would spew chunks into the water—the fish would probably eat that shit up too. Fish are disgusting. Anyway, it kind of loses its appeal when you think of it that way. I’d probably never drown myself. And I know she loaded up her pockets with a bunch of rocks, but Virginia Woolf must’ve had some serious willpower. I wish I had that kind of strength.

Posted 2/2/08 3:58 AM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

I’m having trouble sleeping again. No big news, right? The sun does look so pretty in the morning, though. I just wish I could see it when I wake up. I’m so useless! I mean, why can’t I function like normal people? I’m going to get to bed before my mom wakes up and yells at me.

Posted 2/3/08 5:42 AM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

Mom and I fought again today. She says she’s going to take away the computer when she gets home. She thinks I’ll sleep better then. Sometimes I just hate her. And I’m not being an emotional teenager. I hate her like a knife in the eye. Sometimes I wish my dad were still alive. Maybe my mom wouldn’t be such a bitch then.

Posted 2/3/08 6:30 AM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

I’ve started cutting myself again. Mom said she’d let me have the computer again. She doesn’t know what to do when I “act out” so she just caves. She’s so pathetic. Every night she tells me that Jesus loves me. I hate when people say that. It’s like they’re using Jesus as a crutch to feel the love they’re incapable of. But the truth is, I couldn’t care less what she does. I’m just so tired. I hate myself for it, and I hate myself for making my mother cry. It always feels like there’s all this tension building up inside of me, and when

I make that first cut, it all just melts away. I’m afraid that I can’t stop. I’m afraid someday I’ll just decide to go for the veins. It doesn’t sound so bad, anyway.

God, I hate myself.

Posted 2/6/08 7:47 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

We keep gauze around the house all the time. I know how to bandage myself up and I always wear a sweatshirt or long sleeves, so it’s not a huge problem at school. I used to just let myself bleed and Mom would take me to the hospital, but we don’t have the money for it. She works cleaning people’s houses and has started going to school to be a nurse. I don’t know why she still pays for the internet. Maybe she’s afraid of what I’ll do without it. I can hear her praying for me in the next room. She does that every night before bed.

Posted 2/6/08 10:28 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

There’s only one person who makes school bearable. Dizzie and I are kind of friends but not really. We don’t really hang out. I mean, she has her own circle of friends, which is mostly her band. Somehow, they straddle being cool and being outcasts. They kind of float around among the stoners, the band geeks, and other assorted freaks. Sometimes we talk at lunch. She’ll start drumming tables and people’s heads and then stop at me to chat before moving down the drumline. I don’t know why, but I think she likes the freak in me, and she’s the only person who’s made me laugh so far. Only once. Still, that’s a good record she’s got going.

Posted 2/7/08 4:25 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

Currently Listening: Alien She by Bikini Kill

Ugh. Having the ol’ period again. Whoop de doo. These are cramps that would take down a bull elephant. No lie. Mom says it runs in the family. It must be so easy having a penis. I know it’s a cliche, but boys have no idea. And then when the subject of period comes up, they flip a bitch. It’s ridiculous! I won’t silence myself for them!

Posted 2/8/08 6:57 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

Sometimes I have the weirdest dreams. This middle-aged woman set herself on fire. She was smiling. And then she started shaking all over. She opened her mouth like she was about to scream and I woke up I was so scared to hear it. Then, I heard the scream in my head after I woke up. It was the most haunting thing, like the sound a cat would make if you used her ribs to sharpen knives. But the weirdest thing is, I read an article today about Kurdish women setting themselves on fire. I don’t know if I believe in “the power of dreams” like my mom does, but I do think sometimes that I, in my “moments of non-being,” know things that I don’t know when I’m conscious and aware. Maybe I just know how people respond to all this pain in the world. I mean, think about it. You’re trapped. Your parents have abandoned you since you married. Your husband hates you for being ugly and barren. He beats you. Daily. Everyone in your community is blind to it. They just stare ahead with those dead, vagrant eyes. You feel tired and invisible. What can you do? How can you make yourself heard when no one will listen? How can you be redeemed when you feel like trash, like your role in life is to be discarded and forgotten? You light the kerosene stove for dinner. There’s no way out. Maybe. Maybe I’ll light myself. The only way. There’s no way out. And then you do it. Woosh. Pain. Unimaginable, hold-a-hot-frying-pan-to-your-face pain all over your body. Your hair and clothes ignite. Your skin bubbles and melts. Your eyes boil out of your skull and the fire climbs into your mouth as you scream. It feeds off of you, turns you into a shrieking bonfire. When your husband breaks down the door, he finds a smoldering corpse, like a doll made of ashes. The only part that still looks human is the blackened shape of a person and those teeth. You wear an eternal grin, a result of your lips melting from your face. I could never be as strong as that.

Posted 2/9/08 11:23 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

Currently Watching: Reign Over Me

I accidentally told Dizzie about my blog. She wanted to read it but I told her it’s private. She didn’t push. She went back to her friends. I feel bad. I mean, Dizzie has always been really cool to me. But there’s a limit to how much freak someone can take. All the other girls hate me. I can tell. The talk behind my back, about how I’m an emo bitch, crying out for attention. Yeah, like your low-rise jeans and insect glasses aren’t a cry for help. At least I don’t write sob poetry about my boring life over a Lindsay Lohan background. I can’t tell Dizzie. She’d line up with the rest of them. I can’t give up what little things I have that hold my sanity together. I need this blog. And I need her.

Posted 2/10/08 5:44 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

I keep thinking about Dad. He and my mom were high school sweethearts. Probably not a good idea but they went with it. I was an accident, and they married because of me. Probably another bad idea, but who am I to judge? Dad went into construction. Mom did, well, pretty much what she’s doing now. She didn’t get the nurse idea until after Dad died. Depression runs in my family down my mom’s side. She had postpartum pretty bad with me. Dad had to take time off of work, which was not really possible with the financial situation. He was quite the self-sacrificer, my dad. My mom tries to be more and more like him every day. But, it’s a weird thing I remember this now. I remember him telling me a few months before he died: “My mother was into the whole feminist thing, but I never understood it. She never had any girls, so she’d always tell me over and over again at the most random times, ‘This doesn’t apply to you boys, but don’t be a martyr. If you ever have a little girl, you pass on that message.’ I always thought it was a weird thing to say, but she’d say it anyway. Constantly. Then she’d pinch my cheek and tell me to go out and have fun playing football. That was her way of saying not to worry, to just be happy I had friends and that I was a kid. I think she always wanted a girl, though.” Then, he’d shake off the old cobwebs of his memory and pat me on the leg, saying, “Go have fun and play football, or whatever.” And he’d laugh and laugh. My dad had that kind of booming laugh that came deep from the gut. The man had lungs like bellows. He always smelled like sun and asphalt… dad was doing road construction on the highway at night when a car went speeding through and hit him. Maybe he wasn’t being careful, I don’t know. They wouldn’t let me see him in the hospital. I was 11. I cried and cried and it’s been hard to cry since. There wasn’t anything noble about his death. He just died. In a stupid accident.

I didn’t mean to write so much tonight. I need to settle down and get some sleep.

Posted 2/11/08 4:32 AM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

I talked to Diz today and told her I’d play ball. She just raised a pierced eyebrow at me. “You win. I’ll post my stupid blog.” She had this big stupid grin on her face, looking all smug. I tried not to smile, too, but she’s like a virus sometimes. So, every post from now on is going to be posted for everyone to read. Well, not forever. I’ll just try it out for a while. No biggie. Okay. OK. You can do this, Sadie. Here goes nothing!

Posted 2/11/08 5:09 PM angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

So. This is my first public post. I mean, how’s it going? This is kind of weird. I don’t know what to say. Okay. Let me start over with something familiar.

“And then a Plank in Reason, broke, / And I dropped down, and down – / And hit a World, at every plunge, / And Finished knowing – then –” -from poem #280 by Emily Dickinson

All right. Now that you know how weird I am, I guess I’ve broken the ice. So, school is pretty lame. I like English class, though. Obviously.

Listen to me! I can’t do this, Diz. I’m sorry.

Posted 2/13/08 4:38 PM by angelintheattic92 – Public – add comments – edit – link

Comments: np sadie lady! chillax 4 a while. eat your wheaties and get back on it k? Love that Em D. Keep her comin sadie the sadist! ur hardcore! jk! pretty sweet peptalk right? lol catch you in school, grrl ;P

Posted 2/13/2008 7:55 PM by DizzyGrrrl16

Thanks for the pep talk, but please don’t call me Sadie the Sadist again. It’s embarrassing. Anyway, since you requested more:

“I’m Nobody! Who are you? / Are you – Nobody – too? / Then there’s a pair of us? / Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know” -From poem #260 by Emily Dickinson

Mom’s never around, but I get the house to myself a lot. I just like to hang out, watch movies, and surf the internet. It’s cool having someone read my blog. Thanks, Diz.

Posted 2/14/08 5:15 PM by angelintheattic92 – Public – add comments – edit – link

Comments: sry, Sade. u know the Marquis is my idol! btw, did u call me a nobody?! JK. i was doin some serious teletubby giggles after reading that. Keep rollin with it, Sade. ttyl!

Posted 2/14/2008 7:31 PM by DizzyGrrrl16

Why did I agree to do this? What should I write about? How much I want to kill myself? Well, can’t do that! Mom’s been hiding the damn razors again. Can’t even shave my damn legs! I’m just not strong, not like her. And I’m not brave enough to live like you. And I’m not so resolute as to die like Virginia Woolf. What should I do? Dad? What should I do? I’m sorry, Dizzie. I’m so sorry.

Posted 2/14/08 5:25 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

I swallowed my pride and talked to Mom. She told me to pray. I told her to try again. She sat down – crumpled, collapsed, imploded – and put her face in her hand. I felt this deep revulsion for myself, this emotion in the pit of my stomach like wanting to cry and throw up at the same time but with cathartic/purging release. Nothing new. But then she told me to sit down. She was smiling and crying at the same time, and she started stroking my hair. She told me how beautiful I am, and how much I look like my father. “I’m nothing like him.” She sighed. She kissed my forehead. “Your father was a bit of a loner, too. He kept hoisting everyone’s problems on his big shoulders. And whenever anyone tried to help, he’d just push them away. He loved you so much. The man would have walked on water for you.” “Yeah, right.” She put on her amused Mom voice: “Yeah, really. Now, come on. Pray with me. Your father is probably being a big grump up in Heaven. He needs somebody to talk to.” I kneeled down by my mom’s bed and tried to pray in front of that ghastly crucifix. Then I thought, if you put a lot more weight on Jesus, he’d look a lot like my dad. Kinda weird, but I felt a little more comfortable with him on the wall. We all ended up sleeping together, wrapped up in a polar bear comforter. It was nice.

Posted 2/15/08 4:23 PM by angelintheattic92 – Private – add comments – edit – link

Diz, we need to talk. Rather, I need to talk. And I need you to listen. If you’re not okay with that, it’s fine. I’ll live with it. I’ve been alone for a long time, anyway, and I don’t expect you to mold yourself around my lifestyle. I don’t want you to sacrifice anything for me. Not even your time. It would hurt too much. Understand? Okay.

The truth is, I’m messed up. I think about death on a daily basis. I think about killing myself, about other people killing themselves. I hate myself. I cut myself just to see my own blood. I cut myself just to inflict pain on myself. Because I’m a bad person, because I hate my mother and she’s done nothing but good for me. And I also hate my dad for dying like he did. I can’t talk to anybody. I don’t have any friends. All I do is sit on my computer and surf around, maybe writing something of my own every once in a while. So, I’m going to bare myself to you. I’m going to set all my entries to “public” setting. Read them or don’t. But only do it if you really want to. I don’t want to hold you back.

Posted 2/16/08 4:07 PM by angelintheattic92 – Public – add comments – edit – link

It’s been over a day. I’ve seen her at school, but I don’t think she’s talking to me. I probably scared her off. Talking to myself again. I’m so freaking pathetic.

Posted 2/18/08 4:49 AM by angelintheattic92 – Public – add comments – edit – link

Comments: omg! sry! took me 4evr to post! i was readin all ur entries and ive bin rly busy with stuff. actually i lied. only read a few mths back. Still grrl thats sum wickedness fo rlz. i told you bout my band right? ***BAYSIDE SEX DEVIANTS*** prty cool ya? we kick hella ass but our lyrics all kinda sucK with a capital K ;P anyway, we meet on Saturdays. c u then???

Posted 2/18/2008 7:11 PM by DizzyGrrrl16

Mom was ecstatic to find out I was going to hang out with “friends” this weekend. I told her I hadn’t even met any of them except Dizzie. She kept on grinning and washing dishes. Then she started singing “Strangers in the Night”! Ugh. Sometimes my mom’s like a virus too.

Posted 2/19/08 8:28 PM by angelintheattic92 – Public – add comments – edit – link

Currently Listening: In the Garage by Weezer

Guess I haven’t written in a while. Every writer needs a room of her own and I guess every band needs a garage. It’s not where I saw myself even a month ago, but I’m enjoying the company. I still stay up late but I don’t have as much trouble getting to sleep. Even Mom’s happy, but I’d never tell her too much about the “Bayside Sex Deviants.” She’s much happier not knowing, I’m sure. Dizzie’s bandmates are pretty cool people. I’d never really talked to them before in school. They were sort of inspired by riot grrl bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Voodoo Queens. Dizzie says they’re also going for the “stage presence of The Clash and the sexiness of The Ramones.” No small feat. It’s kind of weird writing music. Not all the lines have to make sense. It’s kind of hard to explain, really. I suggested that Diz and I collaborate on writing a punk ballad of the Marquis de Sade. We’re using Dead Kennedys as a model to work from. Diz is really excited about it. I’ve never been complimented for having a “disturbed mind” before. It’s a strange feeling. Kind of embarrassing, actually. But I’m happy, too. Mom thinks it was the praying, and maybe it was, but I feel saved in Dizzie’s eyes. Sometimes it’s just enough to belong.

Posted 2/25/08 4:32 PM by angelintheattic92 – Public – add comments – edit – link

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Filed under Short Story

Year of the Meteors

“Year of comets and meteors transient and strange!—lo! even here, one equally transient and strange!” ~ Walt Whitman

This year, a hale of meteors falls upon us like the retribution of those we’ve wronged, victims of genocide and spousal abuse alike. In Argentina, a man was struck down by a meteorite. It crashed through his ribs, cauterized the wound, killed him on impact. There was no sign of the rock; it had sunk into the earth. The Argentinians and much of the world took it as a message from God, that the man had been smitten.

For the first few seconds we met, all I noticed was her lips. They were full like two moons. I wanted to bite into them and suck whatever juices they held. The thought both repulsed and aroused me. I looked at her eyes and her hair next, and I was sad to find that she was very plain. Her eyes were gray and smooth like washed pebbles. No texture or depth to them at all. Her hair was coarse and unbrushed. The breasts weren’t amazing. If had seen any other part of her, I would have passed her by without another glance, but those lips…

There were cults. Lots of ’em. As our neighbors drank the Kool-aid, the grape soda, and the Mr. Pibb, we laughed. We all laughed as the world came falling down. What else could we do? It seems like the messenger for catastrophe is always Chicken Little. Sure, the news is terrifying, but who can take the bastard seriously? The smokers, the drinkers, they all killed themselves slowly, while the “sane” ones bit the bullet faster than an Ethiopian sprinter with a jet pack.

She looked burned out, like she’d been running around all her life and finally had the chance to stop. The dust kicked up behind her where she walked as if some small hammer had just beat itself into the Earth. “Was that a–” I started. She only smiled, pushing those reluctant lips deeper into her cheeks. I must have been seeing things, getting all hysterical over nothing.

We watched the religious wars on the T.V. Christians and Jews shot at Muslims. Muslims shot back. There was nothing different about them from before, except now people were shooting each other over whose interpretation of the apocalypse was correct. It was just an excuse, like everything else. All they ever wanted to do was shoot at each other.

When she leaned in to kiss me, my breath caught. I’d always closed my eyes before when I kissed a girl–it just seemed polite–but with her I kept them wide open. She must have sensed I was looking at her because she opened her eyes too. Those eyes, that had looked so bland before, were burning. I could see the burning trees falling onto burning people running into burning houses. I pushed her away. Her laughter split her perfect lips in two, exposing the hard, stained teeth beneath. I backed away and I’m glad I did. A meteor the size of a Buick flew out of the sky and swallowed her up. The aftershock broke my ankle and knocked the breath out of me.

When the year of the meteors had ended, everyone had their stories, their physical and emotional scars. Bridget’s poodle mix–yappy little shit–went up in smoke while she was taking it for a walk. Doug la Pier’s death shook everyone in town when one rock took him right in the head while he was passed out on his couch. None of the drunks crashed on the couch after that. Instead of kicking their husbands out, wives held their men closer. Everyone had a story after that year. But even in the midst of all that craziness, I wasn’t sure if my story was even real at all. I kept it to myself.

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Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction