Monday, September 1, 2008

Forgetting near toward everything.


Initially it was so cold that I switched on all three of the overheads, climbed up onto the sink and removed the glass lamps over the bulbs so I could be nearer the bright white heat coming from them. One or two of the bulbs seemed to be dimming, but I pulled my knees up into my shirt, splitting a few seems in the process, and I couldn't care about the bulbs so much or the shirt much more or less than that, and then I sucked my arms into the shirt too, somehow, and just rocked there on the sink, gathering heat in a tired, wounded little ball.

Time seemed to pass quietly. The house stayed moderately quiet; a few pops here and there as the beams settled after all the running and the shapeshifting. I was not surprised in the least that it was easy to set aside the temperature of my body. Things had progressed from confusing to outright unending, in only a matter of seconds. There were arms sticking up from the deep-pile carpeting in the den, like palm fronds. The blood let loose from my surprised body had caked somewhat at the shoulder, suppressing the wound even though I kept ripping it open again and again as I ran and climbed the stairs with both fists and feet clenching the steps and clawing at them to just get up and as far away from her as possible.

The cool bathroom mirror turned frosty against the side of my face that leaned against it, making me wince. Out of the corner of my eye, the front of the sink, the door, the handle, the light switch, all of it was smeared dark violet. As thin as my blood was, it dried fast, and didn't run so much.

This helped my arm from seeping half the life out of me after the first plunge from the knife my sister kept sinking into me turned into several quick stabs. She got me pretty good. I'd never have thought she could be so fast.

Our father lay in a tiny pool of his own blood, down in the cellar on the shag carpet. He was probably as stuck to it now as houseflies to paper traps. I could bet he went out like a light, that guy. I'd got it pretty easy compared to him, who took the first unchallenged wound right to the throat. Mine was belly and arm, strictly. Bad enough, but not as bad, respectively.

He probably never had much of chance, but I didn't see what really happened to him, actually. All I knew was that the walls inside the house were changing shape, and the stairs slithered out from under my feet, so that I had to dive down half a flight to topple down like some discarded heap of clothes at the foot of the staircase. And my sister, her eyes were closed the whole time. When she put the knife into our mother's chest, ripping through her bathrobe to get at the breastplate, the whole table closed up like a thick wooden book and swallowed her as if it were some kind of carnivorous plant or a steel bear-trap. My sister stepped back and fled the room with her eyes still closed and the doubled-up table, for all I could tell, was actually eating our mother's dead body.

The knife she had in her hand was one I had used many times myself, but for purposes of eating food at lunch and dinner, and stuff like that. Not for attacking anybody. There were spiders just about everywhere. They were crawling all over my sister's face when she stabbed me in the belly.

That's the one wound I'm trying not to think about. I can't even feel it right now, which may be worse than if I did; speaking in terms of the long run, that is. In fact, now that I've been curled up on the sink in the upstairs bathroom, trying my best to stay warm under the three bathroom bulbs, I realize that I can't feel my legs at all anymore, and that I've since stopped rocking. Because I can't move my legs or hips.

I'm pretty sure the mirror is whispering into the ear that's rested against it, but I reach forward with great pain in my chest to shut the lights off regardless of how cold I feel, because I hear the carpet shifting outside the bathroom, tearing itself up and possibly climbing the outside of the door.


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