Thursday, January 26, 2012


My wayward son.

I could protect him from the world most of the time, but I've never been able to protect him from himself. He had better things to do by the time he was two, and he ran off to do them on every available occasion. One fine morning, while I was in the shower, he crawled out the bedroom window wearing nothing but yellow potty-training pants. I spent a half hour screaming for him and peering into parked cars and trash dumpsters, bracing myself for the worst possible sight. The neighbors later told me they'd never heard a more desperate woman calling out to her child. The police found him at the YMCA two blocks away standing on a stool playing an arcade game.

When Mom and Poppy came over to build bunk beds for the boys, Jacob managed to break his arm jumping off the tiny toddler bed. Three adults stood two feet away when he got the idea that he could fly. "Grotesque Deformation" they called it. The radius was broken. The ulna was broken, and my heart was broken. I cried for hours. He didn't cry once.

I think he was three when he tried to ride my cousin's rottweiler like a horse and got his face torn open. While we were in the emergency waiting room, some people brought their little Pomeranian in, and Jacob, of course, had to play with it. "What happened to his face?" the lady asked as she allowed my son to pet her pooch. Jacob's bandage was flapping away from his cheek. You could see clear through the torn flesh to his teeth and gums. He was amusing himself by poking his tongue through the hole.

"He got bit by a dog," I told her, and she pulled her pooch away.

There are so many things I could tell you about Jacob, you'd wonder how the child is still alive. He is alive, I assure you, though only by the grace of some higher power, because I have more than once had an overwhelming desire to ring his neck.

For now, at seventeen, he lives.

I dream about him all the time. In my dreams; I usually hear a rumor that Jacob has been killed doing some terrible thing. That's how it was in this last dream. I heard the news, and ran out to see if it was true. That old familiar feeling crept back in as I was sorting through dead bodies, looking at the faces, bracing myself for the sight of my son lying dead on the burning tarmac. Surely he was the one who had caused this devastation. These other people lying here dead were somebody's children, but I was only interested in the one that was mine. I couldn't find him. I had started to lose my grip on the very thin thread of sanity I had left, when I saw from the corner of my eye, a teenager running past in a black duster. Jacob's black duster.
"HEY!" I called, and the runner turned toward me with her middle finger raised in defiance as she kept running.

A girl.

Not Jacob.

I started after her. I was going to find out where she found that duster. Nobody around here wears anything like that but my son. Surely, she had ripped it from his dying body. She knew where he was, and she was damn well going to tell me!

But strong hands held me back.

"It's not real, you know." It was Old Green Eyes, back for more hero work. This time, I guess he was saving me from myself. What a pal. I turned and looked at him. It seemed so natural to be standing there, looking at his face more clearly than I had ever dreamed it before. I was becoming more comfortable with his presence here in my subconscious. His soft, deep voice resonated in me. Of course it wasn't real.

That's right. I'm only dreaming.

"Seems real," I told him, but even as I said it, the bodies began disappearing, and the sky and helplessness started to roll away. My child hadn't actually caused this kind of damage to the world. Only to me...

"You know you're crazy, right?" he said with a laugh. He wrapped his arm around my shoulder and we walked into the next dream together. I laughed too, but not all the way down. I get the disturbing feeling he's probably right. I'm probably crazy.

Normal people just don't have dreams like this.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Why do I always go back to that house? It's not there now, you know. They condemned it. It was torn down and hauled away years ago, but it still stands tall in the shadows of my worst nightmares.

Inside that house fear and cold and anger swirl in the air like body-less demons seeping through the cracks. On really bad nights, you can hear them moan against the boarded windows as they force their way in.

One moment, I'm laughing, watching the kids bicker over who gets to stir the kool-aid. I turn my head to look down the hallway. Everything's gone dark, just like that. Sometimes the house has been emptied, free of obstacles. Most times, it seems to be a living entity, complete with internal organs, digesting me.

I'm compelled to venture down the hall. A sound or a light or a feeling beckons me into that room, and even though I know there's nothing good waiting for me there, I push on. My fear is conflicted, shoving me forward, wrenching me backward. I shouldn't be going in there. I know what's there. The whisper in the back of my mind keeps telling me, This has happened before. This is real. There's no escape. Don't be stupid. Don't be stupid. Don't be stupid.

My body disobeys. I see myself opening the door. I see the things that have been done.

Why? Why, why why would he do that? 

My anger turns to rage, but no matter how much I try, I can never do any damage. I swing the bat, but I never connect, and I wake up to a overwhelming feeling of failure.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

He takes.

What is that?

Hmm? oh...that? That's the dead babies.

They're not dead. They're still moving.

Don't worry, dear. They won't live long. They never do.