Friday, October 22, 2010

The Scaredest I've Ever Been

This is what it feels like.  To live in a house that’s haunted.  Possessed.    I’ve never seen “Amityville Horror.”  I'm too chicken.  I think I remember the commercial though.  Didn’t it say the house was alive?

Mine’s like that.  My house.  I can feel it breathe.  The frame, underneath the brick skin and Pink Panther insulation flesh, expands and contracts when it takes a breath.  In a rounded way, like ribs.

The house has help.  Being bad.  I can’t see the winged, Notre Dame-like gargoyles, but I can hear ‘em.  Their loose jowls flap.  And slap.  I listen to the splash and slippery drip of their saliva.  No.  It’s drool.  They know supper’s soon.

Do you have any idea why creepy concrete critters, with forked tongues and eyes that bulge, cover God’s fortress?  I’m pretty sure I know.  They’re looking for a crack.  A way in.  Into the goodness.  Where the angels are.  See, they want to devour the cherubs.  Feast on ‘em.  Use their rough and slimy serpentine tongues to lap at the chubby baby bellies.  

They’re ready, can hardly wait, to snap the holy bones and slurp the marrow that leaks out.  Most of all, they wanna chow down on the scarlet, still throbbing angel hearts.  Make pigs of themselves on the sweet, golden goodness that lives on either side of heavenly sternums.  No way, no how, do they want that to ever shine again on God’s green earth.

I didn’t read about these guys in the World Book Encyclopedia.  Didn’t have to.  They tell me their hissy secrets almost every night.  Right before they say, “On your mark.  Get Set.  Go!” 

They whisper and whine, so I’ll worry and fret.  Then I can’t help it.  My fear pheromone.  It leaks out of me.  Like pee.  I’m pretty sure that’s how their slave finds me.  Shhh!  Don’t move.  I think I hear him.

I know!  I’ll think happy thoughts—Myrtle Beach in August, hot chocolate with extra marshmallows—the big ones.  Oh!  The time my cat, Ginger, had kittens in the laundry cabinet in the basement.  I swear.  It smelled like Campbell’s Chicken and Stars soup. 

Here.  I’ll smile.  Aren’t my teeth pretty?  Betcha can’t tell I sucked my thumb ‘til I was 12, and then some.  Maybe I can trick my fear gland, and it won’t spray.  Crap!  It’s too late.  I’ve already started to shake.

Did you hear that?  The squeak?  That’s the stairs.  The ones at the top always creak when he starts down.  And of course.  Here come those dang devil birds.  Every night they flock to my windowsills.  Wrestle for front row privileges.  ‘Cause they wanna . . . gape . . . gawk . . . at . . .

Hey!  Maybe if I pretend I’m asleep, he’ll go away.  Naw.  It won’t work.  It never has before.  Why would it now?

I’ve got it!  I’ll scream.  Really loud.  Inside my head.  “Mom!  Dad!  Somebody!  Help!”  If Kreskin can bend a spoon with his brain, surely I can wake someone with mine.

I sniff.  Smear my snot.  Naw.  That’s never stopped him either.

C’mon!  C’mon!  He’s not on the bottom step yet.  Think!  Think!  Okay!  Okay!  Here’s what I’ll do!  I’ll roll myself up in my sheet and quilt.  Super tight.  Like a Taco Bell enchilada.  Maybe that way, he won’t be able to penetrate.  My defenses.  Not this time.

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