Friday, April 24, 2015
Alaska. Known for it's beauty.
I wanted to experience it. I wanted to prove I could travel alone. Take care of myself.
It was a mistake.
Two hundred and sixty miles North of Anchorage, I needed gas. I was tired, and I needed a hot shower.
Mobile homes, a gas station, and a shot up "Motel" sign. It seemed good enough.
When the kid at the front desk told me there were no rooms available, I was offended. There were no cars, other than mine. I forced the situation. He gave in.
I got a room. It looks like no one has been in here for years. There are dead bugs all over.
I should of left sooner.
I tried, but the kid said he couldn't help me any more. Then he looked over my shoulder, and stopped talking.
I turned around. Across the room, there were five people sitting at a bar. They were staring at me. I felt fear. One got up and slowly walked past me. He stared hard into my eyes, smiled, then spit. He spit out a fingernail. An entire fingernail.
The kid won't look at me any more.
I'm back in my room, hiding. My car is gone, they've moved it.
Outside my window, I can see them. They are skinning and carving up animals. I see the pieces. They are in a pile.
There are feet.
Severed human feet.
Friday, April 17, 2015
They should make you smile. Feel good.
But, I feel sick. I feel crazy.
I've felt something has been next to me, against me, close to me, for the last week. But, when I look, there's nothing there.
I didn't know what to do, so I took pictures.
I grabbed my phone, and began taking selfies. I took one in every room of the house.
I'm not alone.
There was something behind me. It's in every photo. A dark shadow of a person.
I'm scared. It's 3:00 am in the morning. I've been up all night. I felt the shadow behind me. I felt it getting closer.
It's here right now. It's breathing on my neck. I can feel it's icy breath. I can smell it's putrid stench.
I just took another selfie.
It's not a shadow any more. It's a man. His head is close to mine. He's looking at me. I know him. He's the man that killed my mother.
He's been dead for ten years.
Friday, April 10, 2015
It takes four minutes for the train I ride to go through the tunnel.
At minute three, I knew something was wrong.
The train lost power. It went pitch black. It kept rolling, and stopped just outside the tunnel entrance.
Not a word was spoken from the twenty or so of us in the train.
The world is blanketed in thick layers of grey powder.
The surrounding forest is nothing but rows of bare trunks sticking out of the ground like coarse hair. No life. Nothing.
The passengers all scrambled out. Fighting. Frantic.
I refused to move.
I don't know where the other passengers went, but I know where they are now. They don't look right. There is bubbly red foam dripping from their noses and mouths. One of them is chewing on a small hand. Another one, has long blond hair hanging from a piece of skin in his mouth.
They're scratching to get in.
They're leaving pieces of skin on the windows.
What do I do?
What do I do?
Friday, April 3, 2015
The interrogation had been going on for hours. The room was damp and smelled like mold. A cheap table and fold out metal chairs were the only items in the room. The fluorescent light made everyone look sickly. Aggi had her legs pulled up to her chest. Her thin, pale blond hair, clumped together, made her appear almost bald. Band-Aids were wrapped on her fingers to help her from chewing her skin bloody. Her watery blue eyes stared vacantly at the ground.
“Explain this so I can understand.”
“I am so cold. I hate to be cold. Can’t we go somewhere else?”
“I need you to explain why this was in your pocket.”
“I really have to go to the bathroom.”
“After we get some information from you. Look, you seem like a nice kid, but you need to help us to understand.”
“It’s for good luck.”
“Good luck? How would this give you good luck?”
Aggi’s eyes met the detective’s. She stared hard into his eyes with a puzzled look, then stared back at the floor.
“I don’t know.”
“Look, I don’t know what happened to you in your life, but this isn’t normal. This isn’t right, if you are…”
Her head came up quickly at an uncanny angle and her dull blue eyes suddenly sparkled.
“When I went to see her in her coffin, I waited until everyone left. I took out my rose clipper and snipped off her finger. It was only a little one. Who would care? She was my friend and I needed to keep a part of her with me. You know, so I would not forget her. That’s all.”
Aggi then walked over to the door and stared at it, waiting to be let out. The room was silent.
It blended in with the ground it laid on, but Aggi saw it. It was a small dried up dead baby bird. The ants had eaten the eyes out. She knelt down over it, and picked it up. She removed all the ants and shook off the lose debris. She felt intense sadness. Her eyes welled up with tears.
“It’s okay little one. You are not alone any more.”
Aggi reached into her pocket, carefully unfolded a small piece of foil, and wrapped the little corpse in it. Then she wrapped it with a cloth handkerchief that Emma had made her.
“We are going to go for a little walk before I bring you home, okay little one?” Aggi tilted her head waiting for an answer. She seemed to get one. Satisfied, she continued her walk.
Later she would put it in her closet against the back wall, lined up with all the others she had collected, so they would not be alone or scared or forgotten.
Emma was always making new hankies for Aggi. She didn’t know why they were always disappearing. But, as Emma put it, “All young ladies should carry a handkerchief.” They were beautiful, white linen squares with colored embroidery along the edges and an “A” in one corner for “Aggi”.
Her name was Agatha. She was named this because her mother told her that all she did was cause agony in her life.
Life, as Aggi saw it, was different plains, different layers of existence. Aggi did not know what layer she belonged on or where she fit in. She wished she knew. She wished she fit in. She wished she belonged.
Aggi was an observer. She sat for hours watching people moving around her. She concentrated on each one. She studied their mannerisms, behavior and their eyes. She tried to figure out what their life was like. How they lived. How they fit into this world.
Aggi got home late, so she became invisible as she walked in. She did not know her parents could see her. As early as she could remember, they told her she could turn invisible whenever she wanted to. They thought it was funny. Aggi knew nothing else.
They had kept her isolated. She was their experiment to see what they could get away with. It was purely for their entertainment.
Aggi lived in a quiet, negative world. Either her parents didn’t talk to her, or they were telling her how she did something wrong, or was just bad. Her little brother never spoke.
Her mother and father kept pretty pictures ripped out of fashion magazines taped up and down the hallway to Aggi’s room. They told her she was ugly because she was a bad person. When she started being good she would turn pretty. Whenever Aggi got the courage up, she would look into the mirror to see if she had changed.
Most people would say she’s a beautiful girl. Her baby fine, soft blond hair wisps about her shoulders. She is average height and very slim like a runway model. She has a perfect complexion, flawless in fact. Her eyes stand out the most, crystal blue eyes that can change in an instant from penetrating to vacant. Girls are jealous and boys want her. When she sees herself in a mirror, she sees a warped monster as a reflection.
Aggi does all the chores in the house. Her parents are pigs. They drop their garbage wherever they are at the moment. Her parents love American cheese wrapped slices. The clear cellophane is everywhere, along with her father’s contact lens. He takes them out and just drops them where he stands. Sometimes he thinks it is funny to flick used ones on her.
Her parents never clean. They say their time is worth too much for that. The house is either disgusting or Aggi has just cleaned it. She cannot stand mess. It makes her mind foggy, and she can’t think. Her parents have her bury most of the trash in the yard. They say it is “weed block”. Aggi puts anything else in black garbage bags and slides it under various neighbors’ hedges at night.
She cleans up every night before she goes to bed. She is always so tired. She sets her alarm for 11:50 P.M. She then places it under her pillow so she does not bother her parents. She does this ritual every night.
When Aggi was little, her mother told her to stop crying, or at midnight her face would freeze like that forever. To prove it to her, they showed her deformed pictures of people and pointed out deformed people on the street. They said they froze like that. Her parents taped these pictures up and down the walls of the hallway leading up to her room.
When the alarm went off, she would position herself, without expression, and hope she did not sneeze. After midnight, she would set her alarm for school.
Aggi’s world was so ugly at times.
She felt divided in half. One moment she felt herself walking in a world filled with Emma, kindness, and possibilities. The next moment she felt herself stifled and trapped in her parent’s world, where horror was constantly shoved into her face.
“We are donating your body to science, you know. We own you until you are eighteen,” her mom said, with her head tilted down and eyes peering up from the top of her head.
“If we piece you out, we should make a pretty penny.” After a few moments of silence, her parents exploded with laughter and started poking at each other like kids in grade school.
Aggi said nothing.
The morning after they told her about donating her body, there were pictures taped up of cadavers in various stages of dissection. They were very disturbing. Some of the pictures took a minute to understand. The head sitting in a tin cooking pan with the face skin removed and folded over on itself was one of the pictures. Another was the skin of an old man’s face resting on a stainless steel counter. It looked like a rubbery Halloween mask. Her parents wrote messages on paper and taped them beside the photos. One scribbled message said, “I’m coming to get you!” in red ink.
She wished her life were different.
Aggi watched the families on television and wished for a life like that. Her favorite show was the Brady Bunch reruns. They were a perfect family. Especially the scrumptious dinners they had. They all sat together and passed around heaping platters of food. She loved the way their forks tinked on the plates. She wanted a family like that.
Aggi would sneak out at night so she could walk the streets; peeking from a distance into the lit windows; imagining the happy life the people had in there. Especially when it was a cool crisp night, and the smell of logs burning in the fireplace swept through the night air. She imagined people huddled around the fireplace laughing, and playing games. Sometimes not speaking at all. Families who are just content, safe and loved.
Aggi’s heart was heavy. She wanted someone to love, and to be loved back. She created her own family. Aggi looked through old Sears and JCPenny store catalogs. She found pictures of kids who she wished were her older brothers and sisters. They became real to her. So no one would find her paper family, she folded them into origami designs. She kept them on her nightstand. They were her secret family. Her mom would sometimes come into Aggi’s room just to knock one over and watch Aggi squirm as she crushed it under her foot. Her mom knew they were important to her, she just didn’t know why. As it would fall to the floor, Aggi would hold her breath.
Please be okay… Please be okay…
As her mom would grind it into the floor, Aggi would cover her ears to muffle the screams she heard from her origami person. She would close her eyes hard and say nothing.
“You are so weird. What did I ever do to deserve you?” her mother would blurt out. “Why didn’t I just abort you? I tried to, you know. I stuck soap up me to wash you out, but you wouldn’t die.”
No matter how many times she heard this, it would hurt every time.
Often, as her mother would leave the room, Aggi would hear her whine, “What am I being punished for?”
Every time it happened, Aggi would give herself a few moments to feel sad over the death, and then she would push away the sadness. She had work to do. She would get one of the little coffins she made from old cereal boxes, and would bury her family member outside, back along the fence.
The last time, it started to rain. Aggi tilted her head back to let the rain roll down her face. It mixed with her tears. She memorized the moment. She wanted to remember to never hurt people like her parents hurt her.
When she didn’t want to remember the hurtful actions or words of others, she would write them down on a piece of paper to quiet them from her mind. Then she would destroy the paper, so no one else would know her thoughts and feelings. Sometimes she would eat the paper, so her stomach acids would slowly destroy it. Make it disappear.
Only one person had ever known that Aggi wrote. That was Emma.
Emma told Aggi, that she was a writer.
Day 1: September 26 – 365 days to freedom.
Today is my birthday. It is not special. It never is.
Emma gave me this little book to write in so it is harder for me to eat the pieces of paper I write on. It is my birthday present. It is the only one I ever remember getting. She meant well. I will write in it. I will do it for her.
Some days I cannot smile.
My face is so heavy.
My heart is heavy.
I feel the corners of my lips turn down.
I cannot stop it.
What does this mean? Am I crazy? My soul is pulling to the ground. It is so strong. I feel like letting go sometimes. I feel like letting my body fall to the ground. Is that death? Would I die? I am afraid to do it. I am so alone.