British Columbia, Canada
The faucet is on. I do not want to turn it off.
I do not want to force my bones to grind together, my muscles to pulsate and squirm.
The noise bores a whole through my skull, scooping out the grey matter and leaving it upon my chest, cool and writhing.
I need to turn off the faucet. I get up.
The floor is cold.
Feet are cold.
Where are my slippers?
I meant to find them, where did I leave them?
I tear apart the shell of my room, though there isn’t much to tear.
They are where I didn’t leave them.
Under my bed,
in the back corner, where no one can reach.
No one is allowed to touch my slippers.
The faucet. I must turn off the faucet.
Before the water digs a scar into the basin, leaving it barren to flood and mold.
There is a sandwich in my bag. I packed it for lunch, but the meat…
It was all wrong.
I need to get the meat out of my bag before the meat gets even wrong-er.
Before it grows spines and a tail and hunts me down.
I find the sandwich unassuming.
In a small plastic baggy at the bottom of my sack.
I know the truth.
It’s wrongness cannot escape me.
I do not throw it out. It can crawl out of the trash on its hidden, spindly legs.
No. I must burn it.
I move to the porch I don’t have.
The wood tries to sting my feet but my slippers stave it off.
they do not need to be burned… yet.
The lighter in my pocket is light, it feels real in my finger tips in a way nothing else does.
The sandwich is burning.
Screaming. Plastic and meat and wrongness melting away to nothing more than a puddle.
The faucet. I need to turn off the dripping. It is in the kitchen.
The kitchen sink with its long copper spout,
a snake that expels watery blood from its jaws.
but never thirsty.
Snakes are fascinating.
You expect slime to greet your fingertips when they graze the scales, but it is not.
It is dry and smooth, not what you would expect.
But it is not wrong.
I let the snakes live in my yard, in the pile of old wood I leave to rot.
Wrong things do not deserve to live long enough to rot.
I should get rid of the pile of wood.
It obscures corners where things can hide.
Things that creep through windows on spindle thin legs,
cut your face from its moorings with claws of ice and darkness.
You will not feel it until it is there.
I will not be tricked by one of those things again.
I need to turn off the faucet
Where is the faucet?
I am in the kitchen.
The place of food and eating.
The place where I got the wrong-meat from the package.
It still sits in my fridge, curling its tendrils among all of my food,
turning it against me.
I am afraid.
I can't afford to throw out all my food. But I cannot have the wrong in my house.
Make it stop….
The metal is cold. Freezing. I shiver.
My slippers stop the floor from swallowing my shudder.
I go to the fridge.
Stacks of cheese with 5 legs. Pickles with eyes where the stems should be, fingers for carrots.
The wrongness hasn’t spread yet. I cannot take chances.
I pull a wet bag from under the cupboard. It ungulates.
I begin to pile food into the stomach, it growls with approval.
organs of gelation.
I need to turn off the faucet.
The dripping needs to stop.
Make it stop.
I need to make it stop.
The smell. The bag. It is slimy. My fingers do not like the slimy.
They tell me to drop it. But if I drop the bag the wrong will spread to my floors and I will need to pull them up.
Board. By board. By board.
I throw the slimy bag onto my pyre of sandwich.
The sound is soothing.
Time to deal with the faucet. I turn back into the room. To the kitchen.
I trace the spiraling fractals in the floor.
There is a dark patch on the floor.
I am afraid.
The badness. It dripped. From the bag. Onto my floor.
My precious floor.
I bend over. My heart is racing.
Quickly. If i do not act quickly it will swallow my floor
and my walls and
my ceiling and….
I step over the spot.
I make it to the kitchen. The kitchen… there are dishes in my kitchen
Cannot lose focus
The faucet is off.
But it is still dripping.
I have only 1 faucet. Many sinks 1 faucet.
On my head.
The dripping is on my head. It is not raining.
It hasn’t rained for. Months? Days? I could not tell you when it rained. but it hasn’t.
I smell the breath. The humid.
I look to the ceiling. The ceiling.
It is no longer a ceiling.
A gaping maw of flesh and wrong smiles down.
Teeth of broken glass and a tongue of writhing rot entombed with lips of viscous skin.
It smiles at me.
Its saliva drips red onto my shoulder.
No. no no no.
It followed me.
Did it bring it to me or did the house bring it to the sandwich?
Was it me?
I cannot have the wrongness.
I have cut everywhere the wrongness has touched away.
I will not let it get me.
Not like mother.
Not like them.
I run. Run away.
The safety of my room. I wrap the blanket over my head so tightly I can’t breathe.
I cannot let it in
I will not let it in
My tears hit the mattress.
A steady pattern.
The wetness spreads.
It swallows me.
I feel the wrongness spread. To my fingers. My wrists.
Cut out the wrong..
Cut out the wrong…..
The. Faucet. Is. On.
I am a faucet.
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