I get this unbelievable urge to just climb up onto a ledge. I’m sitting at some table just a few steps from the glass railing—If that’s what you call something made of glass…railing. You can look down four floors to the ground. People are walking and going about their business, talking, laughing, and just being. And I am sitting up here wanting to climb up onto the glass. I wanna feel like I’m teeter on the edge and just push off a bit and fall.

For a moment or two, I might think of the panic my falling will create, but that doesn’t matter to me really. See, I don’t care about someone remembering me, splattered all over the building’s lobby, like some tragic story. I only care to focus on the sensation of just doing something crazy—I mean something that feels like I’d have to be mental to do. Standing there and jumping off because I just fucking can. To hurt myself, or possibly kill myself because that crazy thought crosses my mind, and for no other reason. I’d be giving it all up, letting go of investments in myself and the future, and acting on the simple and senseless whims of the urge.

I don’t know why the ledge is so appealing apart from other things. I sometimes wanna jump in front of ongoing traffic*. Feel what it’s like to get hit point blank by a black eighteen wheeler or crushed under the wheels of some too expensive muscle car. Sometimes I think about just letting my legs go and crashing into the marble—whatever maybe porcelain—that makes up my shower walls or bathtub. Letting my skull crack against it, spilling out and pooling.

Somewhere high up, like looming over things—hardly protected from jumpers, an edge, though, is always at the forefront of my thoughts. Every high place. Every step up a staircase, I get this numbness in the pit of my stomach to crash down from this spot.

I tell others this

“Sometimes I wanna jump off of somewhere high.”

And they don’t get it.

“You really should see someone.” Some tight nosed asshole will say, thinking he knows better for me than I do. Or worse.

“You have so much to live for.” And they don’t know me. They don’t fucking know what I keep from them, so what the fuck do they know?! Nothing!

I don’t wanna kill myself, that’s obvious, but I hate when people talk like they know what I should do with myself.

Other times, the less annoying time, people’ll smile vaguely, nodding or sharing a moment where they’ve felt just like that.

“Yeah. I get that way about food. I’m on a diet you know.”

To which I don’t think it really compares. It sounds egocentric, but food? Really? Jumping off of a ledge is like not eating fucking food?

Sometimes I close my eyes thinking I’ve done it. I’ve embraced, the feeling of my stomach twisting and turning as I descend, just to open my eyes and find my feet gripping the ground. What do they have? A donut in their mouth?

And yes, I’ve spoken to my parents about it once. Being the supportive, caring, and respectable parents that they were, they asked

“Are you alright?”

or if

“You been bullied?”

or if

“You want to go see someone about it?”

I really didn’t want to see anyone about it. I had been bullied, but not in a long time, not that it mattered if I told them.

I wasn’t a cry baby. I wasn’t going to tell them when I was hurt physically. That sort of stuff didn’t faze me. It was actually more like a medal of honor to be in a fight—to fight back, to having triumphed or failed under the big bloodied knuckles of someone.

If you’ve never ever been in a fight, for the record, or no one’s ever hated you, or swung at you and busted your lip, then to me you’re like nothing. You’re just this fluffy cloud that no one can hit, because you’re just full of hot hair and water.

You need a few bruises to call your skin flesh.

“I do tell my parents about things that hurt my will, my heart, or my mind. Ideas and concepts that cut past the flesh and pierce into my—my soul or whatever. I tell them because hurt like that you can’t just cover in Neosporin and sit it out. It’s like the kind of infection that need antibiotics, but then the doctors don’t even know what infection you have. It gets worse and worse and soon enough it’ll kill you.” I’d say, half drunk, laying on Joe’s bed, wrapped up in the blanket with him.

I don’t mean it as dramatic as it sounds. I mean it like… feelings being an old sewer system. If you keep it all bottled up, you’ll eventually drown in all that shit or it’ll burst and then your shit will be on and in everything. Like you’ll stink. No one will want to be near you, so you have to let it out.

I cry a lot. I’m not a cry baby though. Like—like I don’t. Do it to get attention. I do it to feel better. I find myself some small dark, loud place, and I scream and bawl my eyes out. I don’t want anyone to see or hear me. No one but me should know what I cry like. I feel people pity me or look down on me when they see me blubbering, you know.

When I’ve got snot slippin’ out of my nose and my eyes are red and burning I feel the most delirious. It’s when I most feel like jumping off of shit or standing in front of traffic. It’s not because I’m so sad I wanna die, type shit. It’s more like I just want to be somewhere else, feel something else, be someone else.

I don’t know why it has to be violent. It’s not like I think about that shit often. It’s just that it possesses me. I try to think deeply about it, but when I do that I make myself even more confused with this false sense of control. I feel I know and the moment like things don’t work out how I thought (I feel something I didn’t think I’d feel) I just fall into a deeper pit of despair.

My dad likes to think that most of things I do come from anxiety. Then again it’s my dad. He thinks that there is something wrong with anyone who doesn’t agree with him. Though, somehow, he always conveniently thinks that he can be wrong and because he can acknowledge that fact it’s alright. Whenever it’s convenient for him to keep doing that same stupid shit he’s always done. He knows smoking is fucking horrible for him but somehow he can acknowledge that fact and not fucking stop doing it.

However if I’m not an upstanding member of society or if I drink, and sleep around, I’m this sort of monsters. I’m wrong and I know it, and somehow I have to fix that. I have to work on it. I need to get better. He’s just full of shit, but somehow I’m always listening to what he says. Usually for a few moments I can buy into what he’s saying. I can agree with it for a moment or two, entranced by his confident smile and his smug nature, but then I just walk the fuck away and then like that the air clears out and I realize just how full of shit he really is.

Nonetheless, he thinks it comes from anxiety. He cites some journal that I take his word he’s read. My three psychiatrists think that as well,

“You’re anxiety seems to be the root of a lot of your actions. You don’t get along with your parents.” Some of the tweedy eyed ones will say. I don’t know which fucking doctors is which. I got used to saying nothing, keeping my eyes on the floor, and letting my parents exemplify themselves as the perfect parents and me as a the problem child. Yeah, but I’ve not been to one of those since high school and early college.

I never spoke at any of the sessions, but I always imagined myself saying,

“You think that because people who think they’re smarter than me make me anxious. Like I want to beat the shit of them. You, as a matter of fact, and I’m really trying not to be rude, here. My mom beat my respect of others into me at birth, and every time I feel the urge to hurt someone else just on principle, I cringe. So write that in your silly little book.”

My mom beat a lot of lessons into me that evening, as always. That was why I moved out.

Maybe I’ve always been this way, angry, violent, but keeping it to myself. And maybe my mom had nothing to do with it. Maybe I’d always cringe when I felt the anger coming out, but I doubt it. No one could feel this violent and mean and incorrigible inside and just ignore it. I think it’s in my blood.

They, the stupid fucking doctors, told me I should try facing these situations, and fighting my feelings a little at a time. The jumping and the anxiousness from violence… They say that the thrill I feel is an addiction. I don’t understand how I could have gotten an addiction to something I barely even know first-hand, but they never answer questions like that; fucking doctors. They redirect you into place where they can’t sound less educated—intelligent—than you.

They want me to feed those “desires” into more productive venues.

So I do. I sleep with every guy I can.

It’s not that I’m some gorgeous woman. Well, I wouldn’t know. I don’t look at myself in the mirror much anymore. I saw the bags under my eyes and the bruises on my chest and neck and I just didn’t like what I saw. I avoid it.

It’s more about men needing to fuck something that isn’t fat, and makes sounds occasionally. It’s not really good for me at first, really. I don’t know if my sex drive is properly formed or whatever, but I like to watch the ecstasy and sexual explosion in others. I feed off the sounds of pleasure, off of a man groaning gutturally, and then I can get into it. I can feel it.

So when they need me I’m there. When I want to jump I am there for them. I feel like the weight is crashing under me and then I’m in someone’s arms and in between hot breaths and then.

Sometimes I like to try my own ways of “diverting” this desire. I try turning my back to ledges. Keeping them out of sight. It doesn’t work any better than the fucking psychiatrist decisions. Mine actually makes things worse.

Because there is a fear I get when I think about jumping. My stomach clenches up. I feel that’s the way of people. It like the body is trying to keep itself alive by giving you this kind of death anxiety. Somewhere in our psyche or in our physiological make up there is a craving to survive so engrained in the tissues and fibers of our bodies that, we can’t do an act without a feeling at all. We shy away at first and decide that somehow the pain or anxiety is worth the act and decide to do it anyhow.

I feel that with my back to it I could fall, trick myself into believing that I’m perfectly safe, long enough to do it and be done. If I close my eyes and lean back and decide to drop to the ground, then I’d be dead before I knew it. Or alive, having finished doing it.

There is only one person that tells me to jump. He’s got these dead eyes that give away nothing. I’m usually good at reading people. I read in a book somewhere that abused kids can read people better than the average person. They get used to reading faces in hopes avoiding a big ol slap in the face or a punch in the gut. But somehow I just can’t read him.

He says contrary things to me. That he hates everyone and then he says he’d never hurt anyone. He’ll take my hand into his calloused ones and just stare at me. Those dead eyes would try to make me feel better about some shit someone said to me. Then he’ll tell me to leave him and that he doesn’t need me, or want to see me.

He says I should jump off the ledge.

“Just jump already. Stop groaning about it and do it.” He said once, scraping at the rash on his back. He breaks out all the time, allergic to a certain type of fabric, yet he never takes any precautions, “That’s what I hate about you. You sit there thinking all these things and you never say or do anything about it.” I glare at him, but I don’t leave my spot next to him on his bed.

He then leans over and rubs his thumb over my cheek for a moment or two. My eyes fixed on his hands, the best part of him, one resting on his lap.

“Just fuck right on off Joe.” I say rubbing into his touch.

I think I’m in love with Joe. I don’t know. I thought I loved a lot of the people I ended up leaving, forgetting even. I’m not always at grips with my feelings, so I try to distance it. Keep myself just vaguely in control of what I think I am feeling.

I spend most of my time watching Joe. He’s not that good looking. I’d even go to say he’s unattractive, but he captivates me. He’ll smile but it won’t reach his eyes, like he resents himself for laughing. He dimly cares for things, while I have very passionate beliefs, but he always eggs me on. It’s like he cares to hear me talk about things. To watch me get angry to watch me laugh. He makes me smile, when I don’t want to, and sometimes he means the world to me, but most of the time he doesn’t.

And then there are his hands. My mom told me, when I was a little bastard,

“The way to find someone you love is to look at their hands. Know their hands. Love their hands.” She’d smile vaguely. Her hands in my father’s.

She made a huge deal about it… I never thought I’d take much stock into anything she ever said, but when I felt his hands in mine that time…I just became obsessed.

They looked big, but weren’t much bigger than mine. Wide palms and the back rough, dry, and hairy. His nails were even and well kept. His palms lightly callous, work of some kind I don’t know—maybe construction. Yet they were just so soft. Perfect. And I knew my mom had been right.

I think he may be one of the only people I’ve wanted to fuck. I get the urge to see him in ecstasy. Especially when I’m looking over a ledge, down at the ground and my stomach clenches. I think about what he’d look like covered in sweat.

I think he dates women, but I’ve never seen him with any. He probably sleeps with them while I’m at work.

I have a key to his apartment, he gave it to me a year or two ago. Ever since he did I get this thought right before bed.

I feel like I’d walk absently to his place after work, looking for some beer and his dead eyes, like I always do. Like I’ll open the door and lying there in the middle of the carpeted studio floor would be a creamy white girl, spread like a butter over the ground. And he’d be over her a black blob of images that are writhing and torn with passion, and slamming into her like an old film, slowly and mechanically. And they’d both be looking at me as they did it, but I’d only focus on her eyes and her face, upside down and moving in rhythm with Joe’s old film thrusts.

Then I’d wake up the next morning, my sheets stained with cum and sweat and tears.

Sometimes I dream that the girl is me.

Sometimes I dream that I’m the one fucking the girl.

Sometimes I don’t dream at all, but I wake up with my bed still stained with tears or sweat, or cum.

I like to stand at ledges and lean as far as I can while keeping my feet on the ground. It makes my heart race like crazy, and my eyes bulge. One time when I was leaning over the edge Joe pushed me a bit, and my feet came off the ground. I clenched and quickly backed away from the edge. Joe smiled at me for a moment.

“You should totally just do it already.” And with that he leaned in and kissed me softly on the cheek and left me there.

I don’t know what he wants from me, Joe. But I felt like that no matter what I do…my body will reject the jump. I’ll cling to the ground under my feet, and I’ll think of Joe and his dead eyes and then.

Today was important however. It was important because everything came together perfectly. I’d gone home to see my parents for Valentine’s Day. They lived an hour from where I lived. My mom and dad got into a stupid argument and my mother beat the shit out of me. Her eyes were wild and rage crushed her normally soft features into an apparition. Her fist were big as always, slamming down on my face, gripping my clothes and dragging me back when I tried to crawl away.

She was crying now. She always cried when she beat me, when my father was watching. It was like she felt ashamed that he’d see her that way, or that I saw what she’d do for him.

When she got too tired, a tension headache forming just behind her eyes, she fell back onto the black sofa, and stared at me. She breathed heavily. I glanced at my father and he looked ashamed of her, or me, or himself. He looked like he was going to say something to me, but I guess his ego informed him that would make him wrong, so he didn’t say it.

I pulled the jacket over my shoulder, it being pulled off of me in the struggle. My body was supposed to ache, but I always went into shock when I got into a fight. I never felt much until after I calmed down.

I pooled some blood in my mouth and spat it on the white couch near the front door as I left. I could hear my mother rise from her chair, and rush towards me, but I’d already stepped outside. She’d never fight me where the neighbors could see. She’d never take responsibility for what she sometimes took out on me.

I don’t know why I never fought back with her, but I knew that my dad was so pissy that he’d let her. Before I even started this, I knew she’d beat me. Normally he’d pull her off me, but I’d screamed at him too. I screamed…no words…but they could always see what I said in my eyes. They knew I would have said.

“You scummy old idiotic piece of shit wouldn’t know a fucking whore if she sat down and gave you a blow job. Callin me a whore when you haven’t even seen a vagina in 10 years?”

They thought I’d deserved it.

I probably did. I always go there and talk shit, mumble about how crummy their life is. I never shut up when I should and I tell them what a failure I’ve become, when in actuality I’m doing very well in college. I’m nearly a 3.8 student, but they didn’t care. They never really cared about anyone other than themselves, and I was fine with that. I just needed to see them suffer occasionally.

I left and drove to Joe’s. I don’t know why. It was a bit late too. He’d be asleep but he always heard me in the house. He’d wake right up. I’d never gone there this late before. Just before I opened the door I could hear the moaning. I knew that if I walked in right now I’d see him fucking some woman. I knew that I’d see him enjoying every moment of it. His dead eyes come to life.

I turned the knob, and it twisted freely. He didn’t even lock the fucking door. I pushed it and I didn’t see them there on the ground, like I had dreamed. I didn’t see her buttery skin coating the ground like some pastry topping. I took a few steps into his place. I could feel my fist growing hot and turned into the area where the bed was. Her skin was dark, Hispanic, tanned, and her hair was brown. Nothing like I imagined. And her head hung backwards, her eyes on the roof.

He was groaning and she was bouncing, but when I walked closer, I saw his eyes on me. They were cold and dead, and looking at me. I turned and behind me was his stupid brown chair. I couldn’t contain myself. I had to just destroy something. I had to just break apart this chair.

My fist tore through to wood so easily and pieces splintered and flew past my face, and then I was bleeding and walking out of the door and down the road. It rained the day before so there are these big pools of water. My feet were freezing, it was cold, and wet and.

Then I started to cross the bridge. I felt the lights on me getting bigger and bigger and then the brakes and I stood there, in the road, watching some horrified woman’s eyes stretch out. I wanted to tell her I was sorry. That I wanted her to hit me, but I didn’t want to put her in jail, but I just walked past her.

I walked past the dirty road and over to the sidewalk. My face burned lightly as the pain came back into my body. My mother had worked my face really well. And my hand hurt like a mother fucker. But that didn’t matter. It didn’t hurt. It was my badge of honor.

But I started to cry. It began to hurt at the bottom of my stomach and I couldn’t help but sob. My hands hurt. My face hurt. My stomach hurt. My head hurt. My heart ached. It was dark enough, and the constant blare of engines made it loud enough.

I screamed and leaned up against the side of the bridge. The blood pumped out of my knuckles and spilled onto the darkened wood. This was my fault. I knew it. I shouldn’t have waited so long.

I gripped the bridge bars and hoisted myself up, a knee on the top of the railing. Then the other. I looked down and there was supposed to be water there, but it was dark. My back pressed against the rails and my feet nestled on a bit sticking out from the bridge’s structure. Only a vague dark light illuminated an outline of me. The dark water lapped and stretched under the cool air licking from the distance. The bottoms of my feet tingled and curled back from the water. My body was rejecting the jump.

I don’t know how long I stood there, trying to let go, my hands gripping the railings harder than I’d gripped before. I didn’t know why now of all times it was the hardest to let go. I hung my head and closed my eyes and felt the hot tears wet my face, a rough wind blowing against my back.






All of the old stories said that the building had a face. Two sunken eyes and a lopsided jaw hanging  off to the side. The wood was waterlogged black, and groaning with the shifting earth. Maybe that’s why everyone was so sure it was haunted. If an abandoned building has a face, a creepy face at that, and was successfully groaning, agonizingly I might add, then it must  in fact be haunted. The logic seemed flawless.

The grass wasn’t as patchy as expected of a excellently haunted building, but Allison would make due. By make due, she had to withstand it. Now that she thought about it, standing in the driveway of the place, it was actually kind of strange how unpatchy, green, and well-kept the lawn looked. Well, it was a shitty lawn overall, but in retrospect and compared to the rickety old building, it looked pretty good.

Grass isn’t the point of this story, though if a little grass was introduced the plot it might be a little more enjoyable. Nonetheless a dare was a dare. A dare was a dare that Allison had to bear.

Allison, the hot headed stereotype that she was, had been dared to spend the night in that god awful building. Glancing back over her shoulders she could see her group standing by the car. Andy and Brian were leaned against the hood of the jeep, probably being too handsy for the group’s comfort. She rolled her eyes. Alex and Dusty were just staring at her in the darkness, grinning. Kind of creepy.

They were such fucking idiots. She thought, her discomfort speaking loudly. This was all so fucking stupid. She was nearly screaming. Her hand was clenched tightly around a flashlight Alex thought could be funny to give her. It didn’t have any batteries. That’s why he thought it would be funny. It wasn’t funny.

The cold air outside showed in her breaths, and her eyes stung. All of these things were excuses she could use ineffectually to get out of this stupid dare. But…. a part of her really wanted to go inside, the curious part.  The other part needed to both prove to them all that she could do whatever she said she could, and that she wasn’t afraid of anything. Both seem trivial if she died in there. And she was definitely afraid of a good amount of things.

“This is fucking ridiculous!” She screamed for the last time at them. She could hear and see them giggling, but Alex, the tallest of the group stepped out of the darkness towards her. Alex had light brown hair and a square head. He was barrel shaped and a foot taller than she was. Alex had a brotherly look in his eyes, but he seemed more amused.  He motioned for her to walk back to the rusty old gate to meet him. She grit her teeth and trotted over. She knew that there was a fifty fifty chance he was going to either ridicule her or console her. She could never tell when he was going to do either so she had to just go with it. He leaned over to her ear, and she listened.

“Stop being a pussy and do it already!” He hit three octaves her ear couldn’t handle and it rang in her head for a bit. She punched him in the arm and shoved him back, but he was grinnin’. He thought he was so funny. There was no turning back and she knew it. Allison would never live it down if she made Andy drive her jeep to such a shady spot with no sort of humiliation involved.

“I’m going.” She turned on her heels and marched right into the front door.

The door was aged. The wood was sleek and the carvings were clear even after all the water damage. It wasn’t locked. She tried to push it open, but it wouldn’t budge. Alison thought about turning around and screaming about how it was locked, but she knew Alex would graciously take that opportunity to immaculate her. He’d open it for her, and make some snide comment about, “Daddy’s little girl”

She shoved the door in. Pieces of woods cracked and spit from the frame, inside of the house, which was a relief.

Two steps in and the ground groaned under her, like it’s had been woken up by her. It was dark. Too dark to see anything, then the door slammed behind her. Shit. She thought. She swallowed hard, balled up her fist, and felt around with her feet. She was stupid. Being dared into this dumb old house was a bad idea. She was always duped into things when they said these silly words, “I bet you can’t.” The competitive blood just fucks up her chances at survival. If she was meant for a long life that’s gone now.

A dim light began to shine off in the distance, a soft, sudden glow. Allison should have thought twice about the appearance of the light, but she was just excited to see. The light danced around the small room, old tables and pencils scattered around the place. It was a bit weird…like a boarding school room. Allison took a few steps forward, her curiosity peaked more than just her fear. She pulled out her phone and started to snap chat with Alex.

She angled the phone for a selfie with the glowing room in the back ground. Just as she snapped the picture and hit send, her eyes settled on the roof of the room. It was white, pasty and bare. Not a single light fixture. Wait. Allison’s skin started to crawl as her eyes darted around the room. Where is the light coming from? She whirled around. Those bastards think they’re so fucking funny. Alex is good but she didn’t think he was that good. She dialed Alex’s number.

The phone rang and rang. He was such an ass.

“Stop calling me, you idiot. You’re supposed to be scared and alone for the night. Not sending selfies and calling me.” His voice slightly irritated.

“Okay shut up for a second and tell me how you did the lights in here, and I’ll leave you alone.”

“What?” He began, the other guys laughing in the background, “What lights?”

Allison rolls her eyes, “You’re a fucking asshole. At least promise to tell me when I’m done here. Bye!”

“Fine bye.”

The line goes dead. And for a few moments the entire area gets silent. Like the eerie silence in movies before something happens. Just when Allison opened her mouth to commend Alex on his perfect performance, the roof caved. The ceiling falling in so fast that she couldn’t move out of the way. A rock smashed into the middle of the room, a few feet from her. She staggered back. A rock, that chipped off flew at her, crushing her against one of the walls. Her head smashed back the hardest. The air got plastery and dusty.

She groaned there for a moment. Through her brown bangs she could vaguely see the moonlight falling in through the hole. Her body doesn’t ache yet, but her head is ringing and everything is hard to focus on. Before she could even move a muscle, let alone get the feeling back in her body, a face appeared in front of her. Big round eyes, cartoonishly drawn. And a small mouth. It looked at her for a moment. The silent fear that built as he glared at her, jolted her body alive. She shoved the creature away from her. It took a few steps and stood there staring. She was terrified and suddenly the pain was coming back and is radiated from her legs and her head.

She was too afraid to take her eyes off of the hunching creature, to see her legs. It eyes never wandered from hers. There was another crash. The room filled with plaster and dust again. A sharp pain hit her chest. Allison couldn’t breathe. She was clawing and tearing at the wall around her, when the strange monster surfaced in front of her again.

“I’m going to help you.” it said.

Then these spidery fingers caressed her. Tears rolled down Allison’s face. A part of her body had gone numb. She just couldn’t stop trembling. The spider fingers went into her mouth and yanked her jaw open. OH GOd oh GOD! She could feel the skin splitting in her mouth. She was screaming  but she wasn’t sure how loud. She was drifting in and out of the pain. In and out of consciousness. Soon her mouth had been opened wide like a jar lid. The creature stuck it’s feet in first into her mouth, her body inflating like a suit to it’s body. Then it’s arms went in, and lastly its head. It used her arm to pull the cap of her head on.

“Allison!” Brian’s voice dragged her out of sleep. Brian is her actual older brother, who was also part of the group of friends she hung out with. He and Alex are childhood friends, “Get your ass up already!” He said, “You passed the test with flying colors.” He he was being  sarcastic, slapping her lightly in the face. Allison would have replied like the snob she was, but she couldn’t shake the feeling. The images of what she supposed was a dream now. She looked around the well-lit building, “You slept like a baby.”

“Alex!” She called out.

“Not your own bother. Wow.” Brian’s tanned face fell out of view and in came Alex’s. Alllison had perfect vision…but the image of Alex had gotten blurry and hard to see. Why?

[incomplete/ dropped]

Bone Saw

It was such a loud grating sound. It echoed and traveled long. Most automatic machines make noises that do. They knew exactly what kind of noise that was. But there was a rational explanation. Maybe, they were doing some work on the building. That’s it. Some construction work on the building. That’s the kind of thought that crosses the minds of those, out of sight, casually listening to the gurgle of the machine. But those on the ground…They knew that it was everything except that. They knew that sound was for something else entirely. And when the sound chuckled, rumbling more pointedly, the people were struck by silent horror. The silence always comes first. They are just standing there, trying to move their body, rip their morbidly curious eyes away from it. Then the engine roars, again. Then there was the screaming, bodies cracking out shriek after shriek.

The best part is the running. The monstrous trampling of bothers and sisters, tearing through the lobby to get away. To keep themselves from being victims of the engine and the rumbling and the gurgling and the spitting. It roared loud and louder as if it got pleasure in its job, revving up with excitement.

The sound traveled to the second level, beckoning the observers to peering down from the upper floors to see the carnage. Dragging hollers and screams  from their lungs, savoring the savagery. The blood, the bodies, and the fear is everywhere. The vision of the machine confirms it is exactly what they had thought. It was a lovely black handled power saw. It is ripping through the flesh, effortlessly. The blood is splattering and dribbling around them. And you know this saw is meant for bone, because it hummed, a perfect pitch as it ground its way through. Its victims are grinding down and springing into the air, dust now.

The man holding the lovely black handled bone saw isn’t laughing. He isn’t giddy. He isn’t happy. The saw is doing it’s work, artistically even, and yet he can’t appreciate it. He is too busy. He’s trying to silence all the noise, all the talking, all the voices. He’s cutting through them. ripping them out from where they can bother him. Layers of blood coat his face, hands; his whole damn body. But he doesn’t stop. Not to appreciate the saw’s work, not to appreciate the art they’d created together. He keeps on cutting, keeps spilling the blood, as the room gets quieter and quieter.

Then the building is empty. Empty of all the noise and all the people. The saw is humming softly in his hands, waiting for his next move. He stands there, the blood pooled up around him, jagged flesh piled up on the ground. He seems serene. There is silence. He has silence. He smiles, and the saw purs.  He was finally done.

a cough, a gurgle, rasping, spitting. Shuffling, sliding. Oh…no. The noise. The noise is still here.

The man turns, his rubber boots squeaking in the blood, smearing on the tiled floor. He walks carefully, his steps echoing up the building. Staring up at him, when he stops, are these two brown eyes. Blood is splattered on her face and in perfect drops, like makeup. Her stomach is partially sawed into, intestines and liver slipping into her hands as she attempts to hold it all in… She is trembling and shaking when she sees them: a picture of black and silver and red. She tries to press her limp body away, but her hand slips in her own blood and the blood of those dead around, pooled up under her.

The saw begins to gurgle and growl, anxious in his hands. She spits and cries and shakes. It rips and digs into her jaw, piece of cheek quickly flying off, her scream erupting the loudest. It slides down and spills out her neck, to stop that sound. Then she’s gone, her brown eyes wide in what is left of her head.

The lovely black handled bone saw was happy with it’s work.

Again, he has silence.


He was grabbing at me, snatching a breath if he could. His legs didn’t move under me much, maybe it was because of the jeans he was wearing. He did rock and wriggle, his stomach and hips underneath me. I can’t even begin to relive or reimagine how angry I was. How angry I had to be to crush his neck for 3 whole minutes as he cried, and struggled, and clawed at me, gasping. What could have possessed me?

I remember little things, insignificant things. Like I remember that I was sweating a lot. The room felt hot, and the beads of sweat dripped from my nose, my hair, and slid down the back of my sweater. I remember how tired my arms and hands felt afterwards, leaning over him. How my head was on his chest, breathing against his neck. My fingers felt strange, out of place suddenly as they curled into light fists. I was so tired. My breaths were slow and rough but my heart was beating so fast in my chest I thought I’d die there too.

He couldn’t reach me, when it was happening. He had these short arms, you see. He swiped and scrapped at my arms, but it was so hard for him to move after a bit. He scrapped my arms up good though. I was bleeding a little bit, but after a few seconds he went all limp. His eyes got red, first, rolling back in his head. I didn’t stop though. I kept right on. I had read somewhere that people pass out from a strangling before dying. I had to to make sure. So I kept on with all my might until I couldn’t feel his heart beat in my palms. I listened closely, holding my breath, until I couldn’t hear a thing.

I didn’t cry right after though. I got up and went to the bathroom. I pissed into the shower, running the cold water on my clothes. I was burning up, like I’d soon spit fire, like the monster that I was. I thought I was going to pass out. It was hard to breathe, the air felt thin, but I didn’t. I didn’t pass out. I just felt the water slowly moisten my clothes, and grow heavy. When they got to be too much I stripped them off, clawing into my back. When I was down to cold sticky flesh, I leaned there, my forehead against the marble and for a long time I didn’t move. I don’t remember what I was thinking, but the ache started then, at the bottom of my stomach, dull.

I went back into the room, a shabby dimly lit motel efficiency, dripping wet, and naked. And I looked at his body. He looked all messed up and dirty and I just wanted to clean him up. So that’s why I took off his clothes. I knew it was a bad idea when I was unzipping his pants, his pale stomach contrasting with the denim. But I had to clean him up. I had to make sure he didn’t look so dirty. I wouldn’t want his mom to see him with his clothes all messed up. I didn’t want her to find him looking like some kind of bum.

I stripped him down to his socks. I had forgotten them, you see. I’d forgotten to take them off, which is why they got wet. I lifted him up and I laid him in the cramped bathtub. This was such a crappy place to leave him. I knew that. But I had to. I turned on the water and I washed his hair. I lathered it and then I started to cry. I don’t know where it came from but the tears had started and before long I couldn’t stop them. I was curled over him, scrubbing his chest, under his nails, behind his ears, and down his short arms, like a mother. But I couldn’t tell him I was sorry. I couldn’t make his death so petty. I had to keep those words to myself.

I dried him. Clothes. He needed clothes. I left the room, stark naked. I didn’t realize, you see. I was dead set on picking up some clothes for him and I just walked out, bare ass. I felt numb all over… I walked to the convenience store for a shirt. Only his shirt was dirty, but that was when they grabbed me. I was at the police station and they were asking all these questions.

“Were you taken advantage of?” One big guy asked–they had gotten me a blanket and some clothes to put on. For a fleeting moment I tried to think about the “right thing,” but the right thing wasn’t going to save me. The right thing wasn’t going to bring him back or console his parents. The right thing would only be punishment. I should lie. I should tell them that I had been raped, by some big guy in a trucker’s hat, outside of a gas station. I should tell them he had a tattoo on his stomach, that I studied for hours as he tore into my body, as I beg for God to save me. I should tell them that he threatened me. If I told he’d come and get me . I wouldn’t have to pay for his murder. I wouldn’t have to be punished.

They found him. The boy I killed. They found him swollen up big in a bathroom. The water got sucked right into him, you see. Flesh shiny and taut. Socks damp and pooling on the metal table where they put him to disect him. They asked me questions, but they couldn’t prove anything. I was a girl who’d been found naked in a convenient store. I had been raped, by a monster. A monster who’s  tattoo looked like a lion. I was the girl who stopped talking after her confession. The girl who had been adopted by a new family already and was just adjusting back into life. A girl who’d just started smiling again.

They didn’t find my clothes until much later. I’d buried them some time in the interim, but I don’t remember it. I didn’t even know I went back there, but they couldn’t use it against me. They did ask however. It seemed awfully convenient that I showed up naked when he was killed. That he was killed by someone about my height. They thought it was convenient that I wasn’t talking. That they found my clothes so close to the crime scene. But  I didn’t worry. The rapist ripped off my clothes, you see. That was something I remembered distinctly that day. I got away from him, and he scraped me. I just had to get away.

The police have stopped “harassing” me, because my new mom said, “She’s told you all she knows or is going to know about that awful night.” And now, here I am, with this new family. And they adopted a new son. He looks just like him…small arms.