Happy Halloween!

I wrote this for the thirteenth day of the month of October in 2006, which fell on a Friday. I posted it at my old blog, and here’s the repost. Don’t eat too much candy, and stay warm.

I’m a fan of the horror genre in movies, books, and probably all possible media. It isn’t that I enjoy being scared, because I don’t. The horror genre doesn’t frighten me, and I derive great pleasure in depictions of fictional events that tend to cause the opposite reaction in others.

When I was very small and my mom took my brothers and me to see Alien, she struggled to cover three pairs of eyes every time something terrible happened to each member of the Nostromo’s crew. I struggled to stop her from doing that.

One could argue my mom shouldn’t have taken such small children to a horror movie of that sort, but I’m glad she did it just that once, because I loved that movie. You know that thing in children that makes them scream and avoid scary things? That fear mechanism that reacts to scary books or violent images never worked inside of me when I was a young girl.

I can’t begin to count the times my little brother (and sometimes my older brother too) begged me to let him drag his mattress into my room, because he was too scared to sleep alone, a concept alien to someone that had invariably been doing that since the age of two.

I was always giggling when Freddy was slashing and smiling when Jason was chopping, and my inclination for fiction of that sort permeates my thoughts as a giantess and as a shrinker of one tiny, defenseless little man. Not the sexy thoughts, but the ones that belong to the reader, the writer, the storyteller.

So don’t worry about the scalpel in my hand… shh, ignore the chains wrapping around your ankles and wrists, and listen as the slow drip of my words trickles down your spine.

Or your funny bone.

* * *

She wept, his side of the bed a colorless desert in the moonlight that filtered from the window she hadn’t closed in weeks. The little dunes of cotton that the sheets that should have covered him shaped blurred beyond the flow of her tears. The cold of October moved the curtains in the room, and she shivered, but refused to reach for the quilt that had fallen on the bedroom floor many unmade-bed days before.

If he was cold underground, so would she be, above it.

I’d do anything to have you here again. Anything.

She had the same thought all the minutes of each day. She had begged him to wake up when she saw his broken body on the cold slate of the morgue’s cold chamber. She had prayed to every god to return him to her, her promises shapeless words in her mind, but no god responded. Somewhere in the darkness of a world that no sane person can see, something heard her. It woke up with the smell of her grief tempting its appetite, and waited until she thought the word

-soul. I would give up my-

to act.

She woke up as though a gun had gone off in her head. She turned to look at her alarm clock. 3:34 in the morning. The quarter moon’s light had been swallowed by the same hunger that had taken the wind. She sat up, disoriented by something she couldn’t name. She looked at the clock again. 3:34 still, and she noticed the seconds blinker wasn’t moving. The only source of light in the room, its green glow looked like a photo. Her heart started pounding painfully as she realized she couldn’t hear anything.

Then it was over. Moonlight came to be again, and the clock’s light began palpitating in the room again. And she saw it.

In the white flat of his side of the bed was a small shape. She stared at it in recognition of the sweep of that shoulder, the narrow of those hips that had fit perfectly against her many times. It was him! No, it couldn’t be. This body was only a few inches in height. She covered with her hand the sharp gasp that her lungs forced from the air in the room when the tiny body moved to turn in sleep in that same manner he had always done. His arm moved to find her, and she thought she could hear him breathe.

She watched him without moving until her soul was collected from her body the moment he woke up.

He stretched his arm to seek out her warmth and felt the offense of thick, crisscrossed ropes scratching his skin where he lay. He remembered nothing of the accident, and opened his eyes and saw nothing but black. Where she should have been, his fingers touched the strange material that was their bedding. His throat felt dry as he spoke.

“Honey?”

There was no answer, but the silence in the room was heavier than words.

“What- what’s this on the bed?”

He looked toward her side of the bed and saw nothing but a mountain of darkness haloed at its summit by a green glow that pulsed behind it. Then the mountain moved. It sent a shock wave that hit him from underneath at the same time a cold wall of fingers coiled around him and lifted him in a tight embrace. Her voice ran through his body like a shattering glacier as the last word he ever heard guttered from her and her teeth closed around his neck.

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