Scratching the Corners
WAY a lot of houses at the end look like the same bones arisen from the
Flesh, blood and nerves come later, waiting for the blow of soul.
less than a grain of while ordinary lives stake to comport life. And
life – human life – shelters in
along the years may wander to its summit of good or evil; since sowing
to harvesting someday are an irrevocable law for everyone. For ones
just bones, but for others – it’s
– just another coffin you let the life and nature or deity (although I
met one since, particularly) decide for you to come through.
breathing to nurture its lungs for a
long had stopped.
can learn at the time through
pain or after death).
had passed too much time since my
coffin had lost the utter sense related to the previous words about
my own knowledge about these ones at all, and it gave for noticeable as
I was concerned to after (years? Decades?
Or weeks? Or just a twain vastness of hours or perhaps minutes?)
I saw that
girl, small girl sneaking into the house. Not necessarily stepped in
like a fugitive who had just fled straightly from the state prison. She
very keen in gesture and as soon as set over there, managed her own way
become invisible to whom was seeking for her,
held on still, crouched beside the
main door, clasping her knees, and benefiting from the absence of
scared, her chest had gone quiet after a circle of weeping gasps. I
always was meticulous
to attend any sort of details, therefore watching her in that position
kid playing with others in glinting excitement – what it depicted
the real true – … um I guess hide-and-seek (Goddamn
memory!), lifted a slight
me she might have at least between eight and teen; nothing more above
smiled at her, ever loosing away of my hands the wonder of what the
might be doing inside there in that desolated, mangled house for so
from any life, and for an instant, a brief one, I supposed she could who knows? be one of us.
It lit in me something I’d thought
it was dead and buried in the fish’s belly along the thirst, at least
the truth one.
hunched mild shoulders lowered after a
while and I saw her breath drawing in slowly, huddled with smooth
gulps, to then
blowing out in trembling gasps. Then all of a sudden she stood up and
the door aside, yanked it open and a second later a man snuck into
shut behind him, closing outdoors an unknown, hopeless world that now
hues and hums. The tall man with few blond-rusty haired spoke as
wheeled to the
girl: “Are u okay?”
girl nodded. And I felt like wishing
to hear her voice that much. Nonetheless, I turned out to hear other
was animalistic and in nonchalant mock. A laugh, which turned into many
in cunning amusement. I knew what was about to come and glanced at the
girl who were discussing something like if
they’d find out ‘em over there? It was her voice oh
yep it is, thanks thanks!
won’t, honey, no way, and I won’t
let it happen, okay, friihi?” The
gulped air. Spoke jovial. He was already running across the house.
why do they want to take me? What
there’s wrong at these people? My will doesn’t count in this, what I
her voice sounded upset, weary, distraught. But I saw reason and no
doubt drawing on her face.
bigger question is: they think
they’re doing the right thin, dig? But they’re nothing more or less
a bunch of soulless scumbags that have nothing to do better but wantin’
the others.” He had tried the switchers unhappily. Cursed.
have no place anymore to go.” Her
around Emmi!” The man broadened her
arms. “This’s a house or what? Stupid question for Christ’s sake!” Then
something started ringing laboriously. “Shit!” the man turned and took
small black thing straight from his coat pocket, whose he touched
through on a shimmering screen. I noticed (whatever that stuff shall
annoying ring came out of there. The man pressed something making it
brought it against his left ear. He started talking alone (or directly
thing, it seemed; I went confused). “Yeah, yeah, Bob. They-yeah that’s
the guardianship council appeared there and almost took Emmi. No, no
here now… no she was the first to run; uh? Yeah, course with me! Who else? I
am her father. She will stay here with me, no matter what those
fuckers are sayin’, neither of those creatures are her family. I am goddammit!!”
he pitched to the other empty room aside still speaking aloud over that
and becoming outsight instantly, words fainting. The girl, owner of a
blond-haired she had let to removing away two times already of her pale
forehead, stood alone within there. Her eyes surveyed around, mouth
half open, a
critical look scooping the most what could be helpfully described in
of light; likely, I supposed, a bricked-blocked fireplace and the moldy
tore off wallpapers that covered the length of rooms; stiff strips of
curled on the baseboard like old growing-nails; some other places had
friihi,” Her dad stomped into the room again. “Look, Emmi, I was
talkin’ to Bob
and he said he’ll try to give his way to help us; while that doesn’t
will stay here. I checked some candles and… I remember the owner of
that’s okay. The fucker’s died at least fifteen years ago.”
even before mom...” She remarked.
right. I guess I don’t believe the
family wants this crappy; never wanted so… so I gather it shall be easy
us up here to staying for awhile, maybe. The calefaction also won’t be
problem since this current heat’s boilin’ even ticks.”
thinkin’ on staying here so?” She
settled what unfurled a bit more relief, and agreed. I supposed it was
expected, although in the bottom she might be afraid of hearing other
do you think, honey? Cause real
choice, to be honest, we’ve passed to have few by now.”
me it’s fine daddy.” They exchanged
smiles, opening their eyes to the house around.
following day – after a whole night scurrying
down in slow paces, watching all their moves and ways to speak and act
awoke early. The father was the first one to get at the window of
and set still there peering out through the acrid greenish shutters.
soon followed after him. They seemed not mind that much the house’s
state; the partial decaying condition of walls within many others like
complaints of rotten boards and so forth. “You stay here, quiet,
silent, none a
whisper, are u hearing me?” The man said.
will you go daddy?” she promptly
else? To work.”
I’ll get alone here?” she
there, ain’t it? Between many asps
nothin’ has changed at all. In case now we have a house to live in and
ceiling over us instead of stayin’ under that bridge in that old shack,
breathing that whole cold. Hah, and furthermore, we need eatin’, ain’t?
he stomped to the entrance, the girl
following his ankles. “You did hear me so: quiet to not call attention
away from the windows and… lock the door as I leave, kay?”
I was already forgetting; there’s
bread on the kitchin.”
saw. I’m gonna make me one.”
regarded the girl in her details,
someone saving hope and acting as if in her inner it was the last thing
world could have saved her, like her
weapons. Also there was something more I allowed myself the attempt to
in her. She breathed that, and the sort of possibility her green eyes
around could reflect much without saying; I believed she didn’t fear
lonely, even though protesting against her dad leaving. It just showed
lack of sense of place and space; I didn’t know whether it was funny or
on finding out. However, and at some way that new possibility her eyes
had much to do with all around and above her (despite the house I’d
awoken up someday
was almost entirely empty at all, and wretched in many ways). In calm
neither apparent concern nor aim where to go to she just shuffled
house - albeit, not before brushed her hair and teeth neatly. It made
about the others peering upon. She
spent the day doing that, enjoying gaps and cracks where some shafts
from and it was what happened. Mostly after she had fished out of a
battered broom and swept all main floor’s ancient dust, and it tempted
following her and it was what I did, imagining how and how long would
take to the
others attacking that
I wanted to see that. She seemed unaware of them moving toward her, and
suddenly she began speaking out loud by her elbows and even knees.
awesome house you have, missus.
Really? Ohut thanks. I’ve always known it. Daddy’s bought it but it’s
mamma who chose the house and decoration. Mamma’s taste has always been
best. What? Yeah, we have much to do here before I goin’ to school.
tomorrow’s the parent-teacher conference. The cellphone? My cellphone I
speaking to Sarah… Who is Sarah? No one, unfortunately…”
seemed to keep them away, stunningly.
dad came home, whiter like a piece of chalk
and sweating like he had run on a marathon. He was blaring and
several times he had lost his goddamn phone (almost the same
name the girl had illustrated before).
you let it drop?” Emmi asked.
dammed guardianship council caught me
by the way when I was comin and I got to flee, and they came after and
this, I dunno, I musta’ve dropped it along the way. Shit! It’s a plenty
what we’d needs now.” He was painting.
gonna get a way.”
now this headache that’s burstin’.”
you want me take you an aspirin?” the
That’s okay. Friii, it’s everything
we’d need now.”
gonna get a way, daddy.”
How now without…” he shook.
the girl took his bigger hand in her
smallest, then put the other over his larger shoulder. “Don’t worry
things, I believe, I do believes it’s going to get better, and it soon
ever, you’ll see.” I conveyed the natural picture of her lines to see
another mask underneath that visage of wishing belief and faith. The
trepidation beneath shrank back, for some reason. The girl went on, “Do
believe me, right, when I say this?”
man smiled and seemed to enjoy
listening to that or the sweeter way the girl used to speak that. “I
honey; just in you, nobody else.” He said with his jaw clenched, and
looked like a long moment he stared at her, as though contemplating her
daughter, perhaps and truly the only important thing he still had. He
about a pizza?”
kissed him on the cheek, badly shaved.
the time the pizza came – he had gone to
fetch it and swiftly scuttled back – they bent over it clawing piece
piece. That smell brought me closer and as I gave for myself I had
nearer them on the kitchen. A fellowship of candles burned in
That warm flavor of candles melded to that food and shambled along the
pestilent odor skidded on my back. Emmi was propped on the counter,
chatting something my hearing had vanished from. The funny thing was
of the previous day and what it’d yielded up within me as I saw that
girl… Now closer
it, in a… different way it was like getting ushered into an alley you
step sprang up without my
consenting and suddenly Emmi dropped the pizza’s piece on the counter
pitched over to the sink to throw up everything she had eaten thus far.
I came backward
but it was too later.
u alright?” her dad glared at her,
took a while before standing up from
the sink; it made me flinch even more backward and I returned to my
I’m fine now, it is just… I dunno, it’s felt like my stomach went
dizziness dawdled a little bit, then settling away of her semblance
better now? All that is anxiety for
the money I’ll save in an account for u?”
plucked other piece of pizza off then
dashed it in. “Now I’m fine.”
a crude rasp pinched the candle’s flames
and the nocturnal inner of house creaked… squeaked, a carillon in
It maneuvered upwards and downwards. A procession just let to stop dead
door of man’s and girl’s bedrooms. It flung back, clawing in stoop the
rim hammered in the insidious dead silence of house. It had started
the breath of living, I took notice. And it felt like it’d taken place
levels within the realms. Stronger.
man left early the next morning, and
the girl soon locked the house altogether.
After a longer time being a dead part, fragment of that house
somewhat quaint, maybe a beat to seeing life resonating in constancy,
nourishment of a flooding river. A yellow flash in dagger’s shape crept
wooden floor across the window. It made me wonder of the days the tears
on my eyes, and harm just made part of my unusual nightmares. First
when I peed
on bed, then, afterward, when the pain in the heart usually let to
since my mother, then my kiddo of four had gone away to somewhere I
– as I got dead by… (how has that happened so?) – I didn’t make part.
ever could. They used to call me Jimmy… and I even liked to be called
I enjoyed my name and never concealed this from anybody. Reminiscences were a bad idea. Ever was.
sat on the much-more-clean-now-board-floor,
a knee upright and the other downright while she, faraway, cut great
fabric off; she had needle and line nearby, I observed, interested. The
scissors had worked some times before fitting in subtle rest on the
floor. The lamina stands dull, no blood.
Emmi arose on her knees, came over to the window of living room whilst
a strand of hair away of her eyebrow. She did the same at the
Particles of dust whirled around. Only a slight scant space at first so
she could peer out.
outside there could be heard yells
and laughter, and I shall know that, once that street in specific ever
known as a family-street which many children biked and ran and played
at some or other hour along the day or evening. The girl smiled
hands groped along the drapes, then with the same dithering moved her
by the edges of shutters and pushed them a bit more aside; a reflection
will enriching, I supposed. She stood there for a while; her hands had
on the windowsill. Her eyes simmered, veering past that sunshine
across the board floor behind her. I wondered how long the lightness
absented that ancient path. It at least maintained the others
backed away. I turned out realizing (I guess I had forgotten
that) they hated it, aiding back into the darkness and vast coldness of
corners. It was different in relation to me, always has been. I could
problem stare at the light, the sunrise, and even stay at a good
of that. It was harmless.
looked around, then back to the window
again. She licked her lips, went on tiptoes. Then her eyes widened in
terror, and she popped down, squatting below windowsill. The tips of
nails grasped the plan surface, ever abandoning it. She grimaced,
outcry behind lips. She stayed still there. Gazed the floor before her,
breath barely leaking out. Scarier than ever, I realized.
being invisible was easiest than
stand out to the world. After a while she closed her eyes, her mouth
mute curses. Emmi crawled on her knees the most farther she could of
with caution to ever sticking a single part of her body into view.
the time her dad arrived his face’s
features was of a stiff one and it hardened in profound reddish as he
hear what her daughter had just told him. “Do u what?!”
didn’t mean, but—“Emmi began.
u outta of your mind?!”
what we gonna do now, uh? Did u think
that? If any of those kids you’re tellin’ me saw u, everything is over,
understand it? It’s over! Even after… friihi!”
didn’t see me, dad… at least not
straight.” She was weeping and the sense on seeing her in that plight,
of providing in me the slight old peace with myself, bloated another
just uneasiness but…
do u know that!? Christ, I’ve told u
to stay away from the windows, goddammit!
Friihi! It’s so difficult to dig that?!”
AAHHHHAAAHHAHAAHAAAHA God it was rollin’—
drew back against the warped corner, returning to
the dichotomy of peaceful just the murkiness allowed to greeting me
sobbed. “I… I got hidden since that, I
swear… sorry. I know neither of em have seen me.”
man stood before her covering her
small, tiny body. He said: “Do u know what it feels like me to do,
Emmi? Do u?”
his hands slid at the length of his narrow waist, as though in
Take my belt upstairs. Go on takin that!”
daddy, please. They didn’t see me, I
swear, swear, please!”
on, I waitin!”
was when a knocker on the stale main door
salted their voices in. They dove silent. The man gestured to the girl
up, almost clapped her mouth, since there had been some muffled sobs
yet. He engaged
to make them to stop. I ambled after him under the depression of the
lights with which the scattered candles provided up on some strategic
around the house. He stopped at the door; my gaits too (of course
holding a good distance; I didn’t want him to happen what had happened
and went subdued twining where he was eying as he propped his hands on
leaning forward. He listened.
knock came again, this time rather
strong than the first one. He glanced at the girl, who was a frozen
there, defying none tread away.
the out-of-compass voice that snapped
next seemed to have changed the tension, which loomed in mid-air,
The girl was the first one to run towards door. The man opened it, yet
wary hands, before a woman, not so older than her energy could
transpire have plunged
into. “Where is she?”
Emmi threw against the woman and
hugged her strongly. The unknown woman did the same. Her semblance went
as trembling each of her etch lines.
my God, sweetheart, I’ve thought…
forget.” They withdrew. “Are you okay?”
you aren’t. You’re burning.” The
woman had withdrawn her hand away from the girl’s pinky cheek. She
looked up at
the man with poignant eyes.
No, she is not okay. Stupid
question.” He interjected. “What
do u think I’m?” The man roared.
I think, Martin!?” she rose on her
knees. “I think, no, no, not think I just can see an irresponsible guy
preferred to keep his daughter sleeping inside an improvised shack
fucking bridge instead of thinking in something better to her! And now this house; invasion, right?!”
u wants to tell me of better, so
what’s better, uh? So what
would be the better for her queen of shit? Lady of morality!”
offend me ‘cause I’m not
Since the first moment u step
here you are offendin’ me.”
here? I am her sister, do you
forget that? And I concern at her, and if I hadn’t followed you I doubt
you’d be generous enough to bring me to see her.” she was holding the
her, ever letting her go a further step.
don’t tell me, how did u know I’d do that? Amazing.”
How do you want me to stay away when
you are making everything and anythin’ to fuck this girl’s life!?”
stood gazing at her, glassy-eyes. “It
was u.” he said, his features sloping down.
come on. You needn’t any longer to
what, for heaven’s sake? What
crappy are you talking about?”
was u, accourse it was u who call,
denouncing us, denouncing me to
you losing your fucking mind, Martin?
Now this, too.”
know it was u, fuckin bitch.”
outta of this, Emmi, I know quite
well what I’m doing, and what’s happening over here. Now I know. Bob
ain’t he? Since beginning he is
give me a favor for heaven’s sake, I
don’t really need to hear this from someone like you, no way. You’re
ridiculous, guy.” She spat.
what u’e wating for to get outta? Come
on get otta!”
idea, Martin! But not before I take
my sister with me.” She promptly said.
voices on the corners laughed, teasing
as though having fun.
I want to see that happening.” The
man snarled. The woman had already gripped the girl’s hand but halted
man set both feet before the door like a huge brick-wall.
out my way; I’ll trespass, Martin,
and with Emmi with me.”
I said I want to see this happenin’.
U have no such courage to do that.”
crackling like branches lurked by the wind.
stays!” The man dragged the girl away
from her sister’s hold. “She is my daughter, my
daughter! She’s under
my custody, not u, not anyone, dig
it? Now get otta!”
you know a thing, Martin.” The woman
gasped. “I can understand pretty well now what my mom must’ve passed
with you all
those goddamn years and how you got
to kill her after so tryin’.”
man slapped her.
was like a lengthy spark. The glimmer
of it echoed along the radiating pain.
the girl shouted.
air condensed and it allured sluggishness,
without them noticing.
approached a bit and saw the instant
she, the older sis, held upon her jowl, startled as fixing at the man,
needed, was apt to catapult another hit. She offered her gaze back to
who so fearful with tears on the verge of eyes stood motionless at that
outstretched her hand in other
opportunity so her sis took that. Yet the girl, this time, didn’t dare
Emmi avoided her sister’s hand as if it could burn her, the fright ever
relinquishing from her.
otta, friihi!” The man growled.
the woman went out. She had yet
uncertain steps, but did even so. The door bumped.
Emmi quavered, she had started
sobbing again, and it made up a burden growing into form and solidness
me and for a long while I doubted if it was exactly what I should have
feeling at. Somehow it ached and even after a step forward later on it
still be felt stinging in, as though throbbing within me.
was fantastic, maybe awesome and yet
upset; the last one sounded unreal, alien in many single ways.
like that had no longer or centuries narrowed to nil. Just a distant
in which the fogged dreams rubbed by you from now and then. Nothing
less than that. However, regarding the suffering of that girl nothing
both tangible and pungent than the land under my feet appeared like so
alive now. It was on there again
like… like someday.
her go, Emmi. Did u see what she did?
It was her who’s called the guardianship council. It was only her
her will now you should be in some of those criminal shelters, kay.”
said it wasn’t her.”
did u believe that?”
was tension and a slight smell of
booze. An older friend, I recorded. The man’s face was of an oiled one,
frenzy still wiped sparks out his stoic eyes.
man walked away, leaving the girl
alone on the room. The ebony mass wheezed beyond him and like an
his thoughts ensued onward to his ankles. She was brushing away the
did the same with her blond hair which was jabbed behind her ears. She
for a rebuilt. I came another step toward her, then paused. The memory
throwing up was in fresh rags yet. I opted not risking.
the riot bulged in frantic
spasm and haunted after the man into other rooms. Like a darken team
against the object of victory they
to the man. To the end the miasma had gotten sanctified, reached. I
back at the girl, who remained so unawareness as the world outside. A
so alike a clown one fulfilled each distorted corner of house. Still,
gestured as if nothing had just happened. And once again it made me
that could be possible? It’d started to drive me mad.
night prickled as the hours came down
in its cervical seeping. Everything looked too silent according to the
(live days, I’d rather have told) and I knew what might be happening. Or growing to happen. I unglued out of
wall, the piercing pain and the rawness flared up along my being,
I strolled along the house, to then start up the stairs. The girl’s
was ajar, and my footfalls felt like rushing into it. As I got in I
dad was sitting at the far end of bed,
contemplating her daughter. The girl was entirely unaware of his
there like a gargoyle skimming down. There was a cushion beneath her
hair, and other cushion between the man’s hands. Then my gaze released
the darkening corner in the bottom of room and I saw that black taller
within a blink unclouded a gaunt figure. Its arms dangled freely along
board-floor, its finger tips tapped it like it were in use of an
trampoline, given by the gasping move of its larger shoulders did as
and down. It was grinning to me, a friendly smirk I recovered I knew
well and regretted for the first time, it felt.
was hoping it said something, but
it spoke only through its body that
perspired tiredness, the breath blowing out and drawing in
glared in its silver coins-like eyes just the eager to that happen. It
have been almost the same resemblance from the one belonged at the man,
on there. The man trickled exhausting on his expression – whose split
stages; some more unknown than others. His idle sunken eyes lacking
or any more love for nothing mirrored the thin tissue had finally
gotten to its
summit at all and for all at once. The so hoped and undesired moment
His eyes absorbed everything into the stone pit that landed on that special place (who’s dwelt in him).
dull moon outside fantasied thenceforward a
ghastly eidolic ablaze to the bed where Emmi slept.
I echoed. My footsteps snapped
steeply, but the certainty settled in my mind told me I had only gifted
the sense of knowing that, yet nobody else. Nobody, let alone the man
deliberate sly gesture stood up and strode forward no caring about who
that bed, and without a drip of remorse about what he was ready to do
little person in that instant.
came closer to him.
leaned upon him, the booze scent cocking
on the air, strangling. The stained air that hovered along the grisly
began to wobble beneath me.
kept changing miserably.
kill the girl!
an urge attempt I skipped over him but
there was nothing so much abstract than touching those dingy,
emerging up to the greasy and austere flesh.
do that! I wanted to yell.
a likely hint of idea flashed through
me so I hurried to paddle up in regarding to what had happened when I
closer to Emmi (much closer than I could). Fina
yeah, it was a chance, not just a choice
but a chance, actually the only chance I could embrace as to prevent
bastard from doing that for hell’s sake, hoping for God it could work.
stepped over in her direction, who still
lay in utter unconscious about all blinked around her in that minuscule
piece of cosmos. I slanted upon her tiny and fragile body that wore an
faint-color flannel’s pajama.
happened out of change, though.
and in complete despair, I
couldn’t figure out what the hell was so different now that hadn’t been
then to not work. I hauled my eyes straightly back to the tallest
straightened up at the other corner in vigorous contentment, just
back to the man as he bowed, arching his bony back. In slow-motion I
accompanied hopeless as his arms reached out sticking at a certain
pillow ahead of him, as if to achieving that necessary distance so that
could do that. So it came down no lingering a single second of
went down smashing the girl’s head, who stirred a little. Then that, in
cadency, brought her to try to move her legs in increasing tizzy
beneath the blankets.
And all at once the arms followed the bounce her body thickly
felt like fighting to get over and away from. There was now just
stood behind them, bolted in feverish agony
watching each detail that drained off the life of that child. “Sorry,
so sorry. Don’t resist, don’t resist. Soon it’s goin’ to be finished.”
croaked. Her body twisted wildly underneath while her hands struggled
surface against the pushing pressure. He kept her hands away from with
In sickness I glanced back to the thing stalked at the bottom and at
instance it looked having shifted two or three steps forward to
triumph. The hold which perpetuated me on the place and had been the
thief from my moves broke and I launched over to the hideous figure. I
reach some more closer than I had expected I could. Still, something
mostly in the electric bag suspended on the air. The green, sick steam
apart. The gurgled whimpers took form and scary hymns, and I turned to
the man had loosened the pressure slowly, then lifted the cushion,
letting air to
thrust into his daughter’s lungs again.
was not dead.
girl like a trapped mouse restrained
back against the wall, and I realized – by her wild eyes flared in
tears – for her
will she would have gotten through the wall to get refuge if possible.
I darted back to the noxious thing
before me, whose had engaged like a hook its bulky. It seemed to have
its size, its shoulders delved in uneven lapses. Its head now inclined
left side as though dipping the weight as well as the height. It
swerve past me. I wouldn’t let, though.
wouldn’t let it happen again. He wouldn’t
get this time.
I could feel pain again and it
came as though all age I would have owned, if I did breath yet, had
my whole body. (Body). Hungry and,
abruptly, the most thirst of world dwelled on me. I couldn’t stand
still could hear the echoes from the man’s voice walling in begs and
“Sorry, sorry, sweetheart… sorry I didn’t mean, sorry. I love u, just u
in all this
world, I love u, do u believe me yet? Beliuve? Sorry, baby… sorry…”
are you doin’ that daddy?” She still
coughed, trying to gasp. “So killer me’s the better… that’s what you
since beginnin’?! That’s it!”
No, never, baby!” his countenance was
of an ill-yellow color, in trying to be rescued from that stone pit. He was dripping profusely; spit was
blabbing out his mouth. “Look, look… rahaaa
now listen to me, I want u to listen to me the way a good daughter
her father, kay?” he swallowed. “…Daddy wants u to stay here… don’t
this bed, kay? I wants u to stay here in this bed. Come back to sleep,
love? You stay here very quiet, ruhh. Daddy’s not kay but tomorrow
and everything’s gonna be okay then again, fine?”
will you stay?” Emmi asked, her
dead pale face becoming so tiniest I thought she would pass out, what
happen at all as she blazed the man, her daddy, getting up of her bed,
answer, and straddling out of room at last, without looking back. The
smoothed closed like the nest of light the room cradled yet. Emmi
stared at it
for a moment as though sliding out of her solid domain. So she pulled
blankets and began crying.
burst out a howl sounded like it was a cargo ship in anchorage’s
squelch swallowed level after level adrift of madness, and unleashed it
Then it floated its huge back against the oblique corner with a thump,
its whole shape along the shadows like a black paint. It
it made me move not a single foot
away from there, since the others had
gathered around us like a chain and shortened the distance. I crawled
nearer the girl, who sat on bed yet.
wanted to come closer, were in unsettling
whirl as staggered toward us, tightening the space. Hands, distended
arms grew forward and their jotted shadows twisted back and forth.
I knew, not knew but urged to
sure. They couldn’t hurt that girl; that barrier, they could not
trespass and I
was the treacherous trench their errant will to stiff the pleasure and
from that poor soul hadn’t expected for. I looked down at the girl, who
snuggled uneasily between her blankets on her side. She was still
the shaking of her body suggested the cold she must be sipping perhaps (like me) at that moment. I stayed there
her bed as drove my eyes from her to the others
to the darker blue window and past it to the life running in
And thereby for other few live souls that wandered along it, and to the
of dead ones that shared with them their energy and inner sacrileges
the pains and sorrows of ancient places and oblivious traits and
had had some day in the remote past.
night gave place to the first hays of
silver beams of morning, and those ones became then a burning
was amazingly to survey around and seeing
nothing any longer stalked us, shrouding my pretty baby… They had gone.
had fallen asleep within two or three
hours ago; a disturbed sleep. The light was ornamenting her head,
hair to seem like cozy flames. Her expression was of a tenderness one
greater place or something almighty to get engendered such a
being, so like at the nature. The traces roughened a little bit as
aloud outside, and those grew madly as it got nearer and stuck below
didn’t stop squelching and after brief knockers a bump followed against
main door. The door fell out apparently. Then heavy footsteps sounded
around in accurate move… a mouthful of them revolving, faceless,
bangs and canvas noises. Boots. Clumsy
whacks. Almost at the very next the same hums and footfalls hastened
at that length with which Emmi swung awakened at once. She looked
eyes, and they widened in a miserably way when a policeman tramped into
room like a chivalry.
found the girl!” One of the men yelled
to the others, which clattered along the dark corridor. They bore
and silver guns in hands, and stern semblances. The man who yelled at
others approached. “Are you okay, darling? Did you get to stay up?”
said nothing. She just stared at the man,
stupidly, puzzled, while the others took hold of their fulfilled belts
within them. Then a sudden bellow cut the alloys of her body
skittered out of bed, the blankets fluttering until planned dead on the
The next human creak came up, announcing, “Hey
pals come to see that over here!”
thick scare had sharply given place to
a worry statement (I could feel weakly) she grabbed for a few whit of a
before headed off the room to the hallway. But little yards ahead a
pressure around her waist got her trapped. Thick-damp and unknown arms
her from approaching the room aside hers. “Let me go… it’s my dad! Let
couldn’t have seen what had happened
in that room.
man, Martin (according to the older
sister), her dad, sat with his legs sprawled onto an airy taint of
blood had scurried
along the wooden floor. Both wrists open and all life leaked along the
board; the blood had taken on a darkened tinge and reflected minimal of
His head angled down to the stiff chest. He was dead and I felt odd
that… there was…
I got closer but I couldn’t see his eyes any longer. Idem to his
crisp try to get over all difficulties they lived in, whereas they had
to overcome it together no matter what waited beyond the clogged layer
something I always doubted if Emmi did believe at all, mostly at the
girl’s screams squeaked out on the
corridor aside and I could hear her struggling to get rid of those arms
over there to see what lay in real focus. And what she might as well
already. The girl was dragged outdoors and, by the window of room, I
as soon as she met her sister out there and both embraced each other
The news were evident now, I pondered, with that
thing yet poking inside me.
policemen – later on – along the coroner
remained in the house, lingering to depart. But it was not before Emmi
older sister got into a policeman’s car and it pulled slowly away,
over an empty, quiet and secretive street barely I recognized now. The
the far end of street was the deadline of sight, and the last of the
my chest powered tickly… perhaps reminding
me one last time.
policemen kept a longer while more to
then, after all process, primary investigation and finally removal of
inside a black-lack-luster bag, set off, too. Their gone thriving
little away the clear view until taking the corner at the bound of
the opposite side from where the girl, Emmi, went. At last, all em had
came down feeling a sort of candescence weakness,
and as I lay against the wall, which ever fostered me, the darkness
been so harder eerie than ever. I asked myself what had changed? I
around. (All). And adding at that,
for my entirely surprise, there was nothing any longer mocking at the
The others had gone too. And what
a long time frightened me as hell
whether they had gone after Emmi or not. (Could
made me wonder for a long and long and
long ti-… darkening, lightening… darkening, and so the evening
sun likewise the rain stages of seasons and so forth
and so forth…
the hinges gummed the leafs
surreptitiously and the short melody jeopardized still, reverberating a
for my ears. The flourish pulse obligated me ahead, as if it had tied
by the call and a funneled light had started to lead me – no refuse – to that bright fountain,
which appeared like a sundial.
So a woman appeared, came up on the midst of room. She walked firmly,
easily across the room up till getting hold of a spot in front of the
It was on the living room. She was well dressed in a black thick coat
cream-clear pants. Her blond neatly haired spilled past her nape in
move aback. She glared around and suddenly I saw, going stiff. I knew
woman. All her traces now in slight depth and stories, the accentuating
and a renewed kind of idiosyncrasy that let the characteristic only on
surface, because I could yet distinguish it apart to what really
glitzy, beneath. The same girl she had been in the past.
was in dizzy disbelief, and astonished
for not figure out how that could be and supposed to be… How my eyes
unable to register the life going faster before me (maybe as ever) that
not even taken note of it as long as the couple of decades had skipped
from my reality
and illusory grip. It felt like a stab of frustration.
at that very moment my eyes were
invited to look round. The wallpapers had become darker and thousands
dots spotted here and there along the now-inclined walls. The time
indistinct but not invisible at all; I smiled in grim distaste.
tried to achieve her, but I couldn’t.
There was a sort of threshold between us. The girl-now-woman gasped,
her eyes momentarily lost in the innermost of thoughts, where I
able to have reached. She surveyed the whole place around. Her green
bearing the wooziness of age now went wet. So Emmi turned again toward
the same she had watched out other kids playing and got hidden from
eyes could have reported and, thus, let her and her dad in bad sheets.
possibility of being discovered and the real threat of losing the
chuckled, shook her head, maybe in distaste for
that reaction. I didn’t find it non-sense, and almost told her that.
chose to not say anything.
it’s always hard to remember myself they cannot hear me)
took a deeper breath, stood for a
further while staring out the window. Then wheeled one more time
marching in slow paces to the main door. She opened it
touch her, how I wanted it.
glanced back one last time, so walked out, bringing the door to slam
her back. An ultimate thud. I watched her going into her car, switched
sooth engine on, pulled back off driveway – which corrugated with
leaves – and jotted forward.
woulda I get to get outa of here?
few yards from me another figure stood nearest the window.
looked at it.
was the man, her dad. (Martin?). He was
standing over there, likely observing her lovely daughter now a growth
setting off. The sadness portrayed his semblance. I tried to say
him, but I couldn’t, and perhaps he had got sense of that attempt mine
turned to face me. The man, so tiniest than ever and in the same cloths
he had committed suicide, got sunken to the wall as though a flush of
snatched him back with urgency… to the darkness of corner.
were scratches, then reticence. In
the dark he was still looking at me but somehow I knew he couldn’t say
anything. My gaze held locked to his and just within that second –
second – I could figure out something in his eyes.
saw something and I pretty knew what it
© 2023 Michael Fernandes
Bio: In his own words; "I am a graduate of West Virginia
University where I earned my B.A in English. I came from Brazil. I've
been living in Idaho for two years. Today I work as High School teacher
and ESL teacher in a Brazilian school. I live with my fiancée Jade and
our three dogs."
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