Her leaving was quite sudden. Her warmth will be missed, but my love that I had known for these many years turned out to be simply a bitch.
Now I sit in this house we once shared…its a big bold hold of a house, with cracks in the walls and crevices in the floor boards that lead to the in between spaces and nowhere.
I would have fixed them all, all those broken pieces left unattended over the years, but now what’s the use. There really is no call to repair something that only brought me to despair.
Never good enough. “A hole in the wall, ” was my only gift to her, she had ever said.
Then they began to come.
Out of all the those holes and cracks they seeped.
The Monsters liked to crawl from where they laid hidden and nip at me when I turned away. They are an annoyance, their pestering, their little pains. I have gotten scratched on many a occasion, a bite mark or two when ever deep asleep or not quite quick enough on my feet at night.
I felt them grinning there in the dark. I couldn’t see them in the cold dead spaces of the room as they hid but I knew there was an upturned lip or a crinkling of the eyes. I felt them there drinking me in.
I tried not to think about them as I drove to work, or as I sat at my desk, or went to the bathroom or ate my lunch in the breakroom. Sometimes, I even thought one or two had hidden in the trunk of my car and came to work with me. For I felt their presence always….
Its was oppressive.
It hadn’t always been like this. Once I had been free. No monster nipped, scratched or bit. For they didn’t exist in my home. Back then, there were no shadows to hide them. No cold spaces to give them comfort.
I am not sure how they found me. For I sure as hell didn’t let them in. I never asked them to come into my home. I hate them. All of them and they hate me.
There are so many, skinny ones, fat ones, ugly ones, ugly skinny ones, ugly fat ones, foul smelly ones, red eyed, green eyed, black eyed, no-eyed even. So, so many.
I keep them back. Even though there are many, they are not very brave, not at all. They may grin from the dark but they cower. They are afraid of me in some small way. I have yet to figure out why.
I know they don’t like my boot when I give one or two of them a good kick. Oh no, they don’t like the boot, not at all. Then I grin back at them and I sense them cowering more.
They are weak little Monsters and I have my big black steel toed boots to keep them at bay. I wear them all the time even in bed. Not in the shower though. That would be silly. I lock the bathroom door tight, remove my boots in a flourish, still laced but loose, enough to slip back on in a flash.
Naked, I jump in the shower, scrub scrub scrub, then out in a moment between a heartbeat of their indecision to possibly break down the door. I scramble for my towel, dry off and put on my clothes for the next day, slip into my boots and crawl into bed.
They are not as clever as me. Not by far you see.
Until I wake up and find my legs secured, and tied tightly to the bed .
Hmmm…my arms won’t move… they seem to be tied at my sides as well. I am all snug, snug, snug
They all are there, perched on my footboard. Waiting for me to wake up this whole time. They just stare at me, colored eyes shining and no eyes and lifeless and all.
Why do they wait?
Why don’t they rent, why don’t they tear and rip and claw?
A taloned appendage slips off my boots and with a clunk they both hit the bedroom floor.
Then the grins began. This time I can see them. Some toothless, or black and decayed as death,
some mouths with lolling tongues licking lips which drip, milk white saliva which issue a delicate hiss
upon my sheets.
They creep as one …like a low rolling wave they come. Up my body, over my feet, calves and knees…blood seeps, staining the white bed red.
Thighs are on fire as they continue to eat and eat…
All I can do is look on…pain, oh the overwhelming pain, drowns me as the wave of teeth and claws and malice munches me, a wide awake nightmare…of my Monsters finally taking their due.
Darkness falls complete as my eyes are plucked and eaten…how is it that I still live?
My mad mind is all that remains intact.
Until they reach my brains for their final snack.
My mind settles….then drifts…the pain is gone and I meander in a pool of blood red mist…
Images come, blurred and dim, a focus , a purpose coalesces ….
A man sleeps before me angry and mean, fear filled and hopeless as I sit looking through a lit crack into his room and give him a little grin.
by Philip Wardlow 2015