Late last month, just before Christmas, a strange, prickly feeling crept up my spine and made a patch of my neck feel cold, as if someone had left a window open. I looked around at the familiar setting. Nothing seemed amiss. The windows were shut. The doors were closed. I realized my heart was pounding and I couldn’t figure out why I was so anxious. After a moment, the feeling passed.
I had lunch alone at my desk. My sandwich was good – ham and cheese and butter with a little dijon mustard. The rest of the office had gone out, taking advantage of a break in the snowy weather. I ate mindlessly, relishing the peace and quiet, until I felt the cold again. This time, it was physical and penetrating. A frigid wave of thick air wafted into my cubicle and chilled me to the bone. Goosebumps rose in a wave over my back, neck, and arms. The feeling of uneasiness returned. Something flickered in the periphery of my vision.
I whirled around, my swivel chair nearly toppling over.
Either I’m going to kill my husband for lying or whatever’s growing in his mouth will do it for me. God only knows what that slut gave him on the night he didn’t come home, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let him go to the doctor for it. The last thing our family needs is the nurses down at that clinic talking about how Jerry’s been fucking around on me again. I’ve got leftover penicillin from the infection he gave me two years ago. He can have that. Continue reading “Jerry’s Mouth”
I was out on a hike when I discovered a dog in the forest. She was in bad shape. She didn’t have a collar, but it looked like she’d had one in the past. The fur and skin around her neck was terribly calloused and infected. She was skittish and didn’t want to come near me, but when I gave her a chunk of jerky I’d been carrying, she changed her mind.
She loved the stuff, so I used that to lure her out of the woods. When she got out from under the trees and I could see her in the sunlight, it was obvious she’d been neglected a long, long time. Every rib was visible under her mangy coat. She had a couple sores near the remains of her tail. Her left ear was missing, too. It looked like the poor girl had had a very difficult life; I got the feeling that if I hadn’t come around, she wouldn’t have lasted much longer. Continue reading “Smokey, the Dog I Rescued”
I hate hiking. I hate the outdoors. I hate being sweaty, dirty, bored, and nowhere near a good WiFi signal. Yet there we were. Hiking. And I was sweaty, dirty, bored, and nowhere near a good Wifi signal. Life was unpleasant.
Dad said it would be good for us to get out of the city for a while. He didn’t say why. It was obvious work was getting to him; stress always makes him want to run away from the situation until he can figure a way to manage it. I figured that’s what we were doing out in the woods. Running away – one sweaty step at a time. Continue reading “Far Too Many Legs”
The lights in the sky were a diversion. We should have looked down.
November 20th, 2016
In a matter of days, the following terms will have meaning to everyone in the world:
That which grows through our heels.
That which tastes our skin.
That which fills our pores.
That which empties.
November 21st, 2016
Laura is dead. Gus is dead. Mohammad is dead. Nes is dead.
November 22nd, 2016
Where can one go when everywhere is a trap waiting to be sprung? I feel as if I’m navigating an endless minefield, with every step having the potential to be my last. Everyone is staring at the sky with hope in their eyes. Everyone is going to die.
Saturday morning, there were long smudges on the glass of my front door. Three, thick, semi-parallel smudges from what looked like fingers. They trailed from the middle of the door down to its base, then disappeared. If they were from an animal, it wasn’t any animal I knew about. If they were from a person, he was unfathomably deformed.
An hour later, I discovered nine dead deer behind my garage. Their eyes, sexual organs, and teeth were missing. I called animal control and was told there were mutilated animals being reported all over the county. They had no explanation, but I was assured the carcasses would be picked up before the weekend was over.
As I hung up, I heard something in the background on the phone line.
I bought these few pages at a local trader’s tent for the equivalent of $.25 USD. It was the only thing there written in English. I don’t know what any of it means, but the fact it names the missing explorers and ruined village is troubling.
June 29th, 2016
Let this be a journal of our last moments. I know we won’t make it out.
June 30th, 2016
They took Jane last night. This morning, the trees have her eyes. All the trees; every knot hole, every space, every interstice, is stuffed with her eyes. Two eyes copied into thousands. I don’t know how. Nothing makes sense. But they’re staring at us. We’re being watched. They follow every one of our movements, as if they didn’t already know what was going to happen.