It was a magic place, where we met. The sweet brine of birdsong, a tapestry in the trees, the mystery of light angled through the leaves.
There, where the two made love on the ground, in the grass. How the forest had its depth of small sounds, of squeaks and clicks and falling leaves…how the sound all dropped out and went dead, when he came.
He stroked the steel cables that held the telephone poles in place, the land lines, and out went the windows, the lights. A murder of crows bloomed, a mushroom cloud of feathers, of blackened hands caressing the sky, closed. Some dark force that makes itself known by choking out the sky. Beetles on their backs fanning the air, the mottled sun.
It was a magic place that went bad by what we did, before we should, covered in lust, in sin. The poison that poured out of me, that evoked this rot, that became him, and let loose on the world.
Something wrong in the brain the doctor said, some imbalance of chemicals, something leaking behind the stove that’s gone bad, that made me do this, made me give form to him, some bad birth. I can’t make him go away now, I follow. It’s a kind of lie detector: my hand following the ink across the page, like a seismograph looking for some low-level disturbance, wanting it to stop.
My mom was visiting with us for the past couple weeks. She is one of my top readers; she’s my mom. She asked if I’m “disturbed,” based on recent blog posts, before these horror sketches.
Of course I’m disturbed! I’m disturbed by this world of ours, and disturbed that I’m not more disturbed by the tales of violence I hear on the radio, how the people I drive into work with on my carpool sit deadened by the news on NPR, the impossible tales of violence and illness, how we all sit stunned and silent, knowing it’s wrong but powerless to act, losing our ability to care or listen.
How the illness gets confused and co-mingled with a sense of evil. It’s hard to tell where the boundaries are, between “evil” and untreated illness. The guy who rapes and murders, but testifies he himself was abused, it just gets handed-down.
So I want to write horror stories of implied violence and possession, because horror is delicious like chocolate, but none of us needs any more violence in our lives. And violence as entertainment is gross to me.
I am disturbed. I like the rusty gate hanging open, and the possibility that something bad happened back there, in the barn. It’s stranger than fiction, and real. There’s a clown in the drain attracting children to the dark, to the bottom. That’s disturbing.