A Story by October


I pulled my shirt back on, leaving my bra lying across the floor. I sighed and lay back, grabbing Finn’s box of cigarettes off the bedside table.
“Got a light?” I ask Finn, who is staring at me from the other side of the bed. He waits a few seconds, then reaches in his pocket and tosses a lighter to me.
“Thanks,” I mumble. Flicking it a few times before the flame will stay constant long enough for me to light the damn thing. I take in the smoke deeply, hoping it will consume everything inside me, leaving only smoke. Smoke and ashes.
“You’re so beautiful,” I hear Finn say from across the bed again. I don’t look up. I ignore him and watch my cigarette burn.
Finn clears his throat. I tap the cigarette against my knee, letting the ashes fall on his bed spreads. I’m thinking about how fire is at the top of every food chain. How it can turn anything into a heap of ashes. It could make you disappear. Or me. Or Finn. Or Finn’s friend, Ralph, who I can’t stand…
Finn’s still staring at me. His staring at every part of me, but lingering on my face. I refuse to meet his gaze. He clears his throat.
The reason I don’t like Ralph is because he asks me too many questions. The kid never shuts up.
“So…,” Finn says, his dark blue eyes shining.
When Ralph comes around, I feel like I’m babysitting.
“I love you, Kris.”
Ralph won’t sit still, either. He’ll keep commenting on how bored he is until he leaves. Then I thank the God I doubt exists. If fire doesn’t get him, I hope he gets ran over by a truck.
“When can I call you my girlfriend?” Finn asks, ignoring the fact that he’s being ignored.
I try to pick some black residue from under my thumb nail. I really don’t mean to treat him like s**t. I just do.
It’s Halloween night around ten o’clock. Almost eleven, I guess. I’ve just got off the phone with my friend, Sam. She was taking her sister out, but I asked that she join us anyway. I guess that makes me selfish, but I don’t really care. Not really.
“I don’t know, Kris. I’m out with Casey. I really want to though.”
“Come anyway,” I say.
I say, “You don’t have to stay long.”
When she and her little sister arrive we are all in John’s backyard. Standing around the fire. I’m drunk, but not drunk enough.
Casey is dressed as an angel. Her hallow is drooping now, a little eschew, and her left wing is bent a little; but she looks like something you would put on top of a Christmas tree. The decoration people save for last.
Sam is dressed as Wonder Woman. It’s hard not to stare. Her dark eyes are shining from the fire. Her dark hair barely reaching the top of her large breasts.
Most guys are grouped together, catching sticks on fire and poking them at each other. Casey smiles at me.
The last time I saw her, the time before this Halloween, was two weeks earlier. She was standing inside Sam’s kitchen. She wasn’t an angel. She wasn’t a demon… She was reduced to a regular five year old. Her thumb was shoved inside her mouth. Her cheeks were flushed from her afternoon nap. She’s standing by a fish bowl. The orange fish inside is unmoving, floating at the surface. Casey is just looking. She’s just staring.
I whisper to Sam, “I think your fish is dead.”
Stating the obvious.
She says, “No.”
She says, “He’s just old.”
The fish just lies, lifeless, on the surface of the water. Not breathing. Starting to give off an odor. Casey is just staring. Thumb in her mouth.
It’s only when we die that people really care. We could be hated all our lives, but take a bullet to the head and everyone is saying how great you were. Wearing your name on their backpacks and purses. Wishing you a peaceful rest.
Back at the party, Sam is leaned against a tree with some guy that looks familiar, but whose name doesn’t come to mind. He’s whispering in her ear. Probably telling her how beautiful she is. How long he’s liked her. He’s massaging her breast with his left hand. It all starts the same. It’s just a cycle that you have to let happen.
I’m drinking whiskey out of the bottle, and everything is spinning a bit. The fire has died down a little, but it’s still almost waist high. I’m not in a dark corner with anyone. Or playing with fireworks like some of the guys. Or playing truth or dare with a small group near the mouth of the forest. I’m in a reasonable distance from the fire. Chugging Whiskey and watching everyone else. The depressants in the alcohol are starting to infect my brain. Why am I such a f**k up? Why am I such a s****y friend? Why can’t I bring myself to love anyone? Why am I such a s****y daughter? Yeah… S**t like that. Useless thoughts that could repeat in your head until the day you die.
I can hear everyone’s excitement in their voice when they yell, “Step back!” I don’t really understand what’s happening, but I don’t want to join in. Not right now.
There’s an explosion, and something sticky and wet lands on my bare arm. I feel blood splatter across my face and eyes, so that everything’s a blurry red. I figure they blew up some poor animal. A small deer. A large rabbit. A wrong place, wrong time situation.
But after I clear the blood from my eyes I see half a halo on the ground. I see the large chunk of flesh that landed on my arm. Then I hear Sam screaming Casey’s name.
Before Casey died, the time I felt most worthless wasn’t covered in flesh and blood. I was standing in Finn’s room. There were tears in his eyes, and he was curled up on his bed, begging me to sit with him. He’s grandmother has just died, he says.
Now I can’t remember why she died. It was either a heart attack, stroke, cancer, she may have slipped on her own piss in a nursing home and broke her neck. It’s so easy to die when you’re old.
He’s crying and he’s asking me to sit with him, but I don’t know how. I look down into his dark blue eyes, needing me. And I don’t know how to be needed; I only know how to need. I could crawl into his arms, but it would be all wrong. I’m too used to being the scared child, not the adult. My knees are getting weak. Sweat falling off my eyebrows. Both of us needing to be saved, but fresh out of Saviors.
The flesh that landed on my arm, Casey’s flesh, I don’t think I’ll ever quit feeling like it’s there. I scrubbed and scrubbed, but it’ll never quit burning.

They had to pick her up in pieces from John’s backyard. Like an Easter egg hunt in Hell. At one point, I watched them use a hose to wash the blood away. Maybe we’re all fresh out of Saviors.   

© 2008 October

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wow.... you're an amazing writer.. you're story is really entrancing.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yeah, I don't know why it the words get bigger at the end.
I was just too lazy to change it. Ha.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on November 10, 2008



Decatur, AL

Quiet. Disturbed. Insane. more..

You woke up. You woke up.

A Poem by October