purple jelly monsters

I’m in clearing in the middle of a rolling thick forest. It’s dark. A fairly large community of people started living here ever since a Black Magician put a spell over the land. We live in trailers and eat whatever we can scavenge. There is a political science club that holds classes on political theory — I am in this club — and we are currently studying for a national test that will award a monetary scholarship to those who score in the top 5 percent. I couldn’t care less, but I’m still kept up at night trying to solve annoying practice test questions. The teachers of this preparatory class are my former high school professors — I know they don’t like me very much.
Life in the forest has a very cinematic quality to it. Everything feels predetermined, as if at any moment someone much larger will hit an otherworldly fast-forward or rewind button. Tension is running high through the community. Word is out that the Black Magician will be up to something particularly sinister this evening (and this is the night before the big test on political theory!).
The ground begins to tremble and the surrounding trees are swaying frantically, though the sky is nursing no wind. Over the treetops an enormous glowing purple mountain begins to amass . . .  no, not a mountain . . . .   It has eyes! And a dreadfully large mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth! A giant beast is approaching! It’s body is a bit translucent through a hazy purple hue, with stout arms and legs protruding from its robust round figure.
As it enters the clearing I can see that it is at least thirty trees tall. Almost immediately it explodes into hundreds of large jelly balls . . . and then those balls explode into thousands of smaller one. This multiplication of itself happens about four more times until the earth is covered in millions of balls the size of a human hand. Deep dimples form in the balls, two of which fill in with mean glaring eyes, and one which hollows out into a sharp hungry hole. I have a gun that shoots lightening. I take aim and fire, but my weapon is useless against the ravished jelly beasts. My childhood friend (Joe) drive up in a cardboard bus. He is going to save the day (or at least that is the sentiment that his arrival elicits). About thirty people dressed in white assemble against side of the bus — they form a wall, three people high, standing on top of each others’ shoulders. Suddenly a massive saw blade begins slicing through the bus, and it passes smoothly through the bodies of the people whose white clothes are now red with blood. They collapse into a withering pile of limbs and heads. The monsters are hypnotized by the spectacle, and quickly begin to gorge themselves on the human offering. After being hypnotized, myself, for a few moments over the feasting monsters, I make my way to a quite trailer at the edge of the village. I have to inquire about a particularly difficult question that I’m nervous is going to be on the test in the morning.
Freakin’ test! Do I really need to take it? I hate these kinds of tests!

a backup soul

They were tearing the backs off of toads. It starts with a tiny cut under the neck. And then a pry of the blade against a thumb.
It comes off fairly smooth, a tiny slab of forest green lumps and bumps — an exquisite splash of raw red flesh glistening against a silver moody sky.

Why are they doing this?  To what avail?
I look into the creature’s eyes, searching for something . . . anything.  I find nothing.
A cursed stone face — unable to convey its agony. It mocks us, and renders us soulless.

Perhaps nothing I find, because nothing is what I seek?
“Give me that knife.”
It’s time I look beyond my own reflection in a set of glossy golden eyes. There’s got to be a ghost in here somewhere.
And I’m going to find it. I need to find it.  ♨

the box girl

They kept her tucked into a box for many years — actually it was more like a drawer. I walked by this gray steel drawer many times; it was in a school, high up, a good reach above my head. One day I heard wrestling around, the scrapping of metal — that’s when I first discovered her. She had forgotten how to speak. A few days later, I freed her in secret. Though the drawer was small, she unfolded herself into a fully grown woman. She was unsurprisingly daunt and covered in sores. Her fingers long, brittle, and unbending; her eyes hungry, narrow, and still.

I was teaching a class on mythology at the time and soon came across an ancient myth about a boxed girl and her detainers. As I was teaching about the myth a few of the people in attendance began to get up and leave the room. They were obviously uncomfortable with the subject. I knew I was striking a nerve, so I kept going. A homely woman with curly brown hair turned angry, she knew of the girl in the box drawer and knew that she had recently gone missing. Now she was blaming me for releasing her. I took her blame with satisfaction, hastily ended the lesson, and cursed her in front of the others. They all began to accuse her of evil. Not soon after the taunting began, her conscious broke and she began grieving in shame — explaining that she, and others, loved the girl . . . that they wanted her forever, and that now they would all be lost without her and their lives would hold no meaning.
We gave her no sympathy. We watched her cry. We tucked her into that small steel box. We walked away.

Years later our hearts began to heal and grow . . . for we truly love that box girl . . . and will never let her go.  ♨

a small sacrifice

I am preparing two women to be sacrificed. They are in a bird cage in my parents’ family room. I’m upstairs and annoyed that I forgot to remove their clothes, and I am nervous for them. Of course they won’t want to remove them when I instruct them to do so, but the flames will be more painful if they don’t. To my surprise they are nude when I arrive downstairs. This is the second time I have had to prepare women to be sacrificed by fire — in fact, it seems like I have prepared these very two women before (perhaps that is why they removed their clothes). I feel bad for them, I can only imagine how they feel knowing what awaits. I’m sure they are nice ladies, I’m not doing this to be mean, it just has to be done. If freeing them was an option, I would — but it isn’t. The sacrifice must be made.
As my brother, Bobby, and I are loading the cage with crumpled newspaper I see that he left them two large plates of bird food. I’m annoyed because there is too much, and if they eat it all they will be in even more pain when the fire is lit. But there is nothing I can do about it, and rationalize that the food will be a good sacrifice too — besides, they will escape if attempt to get it out.
As I’m loading the cage, the moaning, screaming women turn into beautiful birds. They are flying about and franticly trying to escape when I open the small door to load the newspaper. I know that even if they were to escape there is noway for them to get out of the house. They would be better off not fighting so hard for life and instead contemplate their short time left embodied on Earth. One of them succeeds in getting out of the cage however, and immediately after she attacks my arm with her beak. The pain wakes me up in the middle of the night. ♨