sleeping dog/paper tiger

It’s not much, except it’s everything: love, money, health etc.

I got a real story: real witching hour claw-your-door-down shit. Something to put blood beneath your fingernails and battery acid in your veins. I can’t tell it though, because as soon as I do, it disappears in transmission between you and I. Poof, gone: nobody on the line except a storm of white noise. All the monsters of my imagination are nothing but pencil scratches, and a smacking of lips and teeth.

Lemme try, for propriety’s sake.

Boy goes out into a field. All the grain is burnt, and still smoking. Heat makes the air shimmy and shake. He’s sweating. There was a scarecrow in the field, but now there’s a man. He’s burnt, still smoking. He’s making noises, because there weren’t much else he could do – not voluntary shouts or anything, just a dying vocal ooze drooling out from between his lips.

The man is important to the boy. I forget the details: dad, big brother, uncle? Don’t matter. There’s a kid who can’t handle it, and nobody left in his life to share the load. The last man who gave a shit is now a strip of barbeque chicken. There’s ligature marks on his arms, his ankles, his throat; they’ve left queer little tan-lines where the rope kept the fire off him for just a little longer.

Boy’s crying, because that’s what weak little boys do. Boys ain’t been taught to hide from their feelings.

Dad’s body on the scarecrow’s old perch: smells like pork. Makes the boy’s mouth water, which only makes him cry harder; that little detail is gonna keep him up at night for the rest of his life.

Dad’s got his arms spread like Christ on the cross, except he ain’t ever coming back. His hair is burnt away. There’s something carved into his chest, but the boy can’t bring himself to read the words. He knows what they are: knows his family were never welcome around these parts.

“Dad dad dad daddy please dad dad dad,” he’s saying while the tears choke him up and make the sound come out harsh and low – almost a man’s voice. He’ll be tasting salt for days. He knows what it smells like when they burn a man alive, and he’ll be tasting that in the deep asshole of night for the rest of his life.

“Dad,” he’s saying blah blah etc etc. You know, I think he mighta been an uncle? Doesn’t matter, mate. Doesn’t matter. It’s all –  

It’s just a story, haha. It’s not real. I’m messing with you. Yeah.

Just a story; something to keep you up at night, so for once I won’t be alone.

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