Brand spankin' new layout.... I hate you CSS.
Anyway, I have started to get back into writing. Found this in the back of my hard drive collecting dust. Its from the same novel as THIS post from way back when. Thought I'd air it out for a bit.
It's a little NSFW. Violence and a bit of gore. Bad metaphors and similes abound. Very much unedited in any way, shape, or form.
Please enter with CAUTION.
I don’t remember much, but I remember this. When I was five years old my mother’s boyfriend hit me with a nine iron and cracked my head open. The sound was loud and wet, like an egg hitting linoleum floor. The suck as he removed the corner from my temple drew out my breath as well. It hurt and then… it didn’t. I remember lying there, looking down at myself as I convulsed; the left side of my skull caved in and my body convulsing on David’s—the boyfriend’s—new hunter green Berber carpet.
I remember how it happened and I remember when it happened. David was an avid golfer, a terrible golfer, but an aficionado for the sport. Whenever Mom could not find a sitter to leave me with she would bring me to David’s apartment and I would sit silently behind the couch as David would watch the games on his huge theater of a television set and Mom would read Lawn and Garden. It was boring, and I hated it.
David had this set of clubs sitting in the corner of the room, near his dark blue bedroom, where he lay out one of those foam turf putting greens. The clubs were beautiful—silver and amber rods that reminded me of tall metal bamboo trees. When David and my mother weren’t around I used to pretend that I was in a great Asian forest and an entire safari lay in wait for me.
There, I was a great hunter and all beasts in the forest were my quarry. I imagined tigers, long limbed and slick, prowling through the dense wood. Their yellow eyes the only sign of their presence as the darkness of the forest swallowed up even the fire orange of his pelt. I needed to be quiet; I needed to be unheard and unseen. In my mind, if I gave up my place through even the smallest sound it would be I who was the prey, and they the hunter . In this jungle of rough plastic grass and tall metal trees I was a force to be reckoned with. I was a hunter in this world, and I was alone.
It happened one evening. Mom couldn’t find me a sitter and so again I found myself staying with David. They weren’t on the couch—there was no golf to watch that night—but I could hear Mom’s shrill laughing from behind the bedroom door. I lay in the dining room, head against the putting mat. The plastic fibers dug roughly into my cheek. It was raining, and I was bored. I tried to call up my bamboo forest but that night I could see no wood in the metal rods. The tigers were hunting elsewhere.
David made a grunting noise that the walls just barely muffled and Mom laughed again. There was a pop as they turned on the TV in the bedroom and after that I couldn’t hear anything past the canned laughter of a sitcom. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I remember looking for something, anything to do. David kept the TV remote for the living room on top of the entertainment unit. It was high, but with a stool from the kitchen I was certain that I’d be able to reach it. It was better than nothing.
The stool was heavier than I thought it would be, but I half carried-half dragged the furniture across the room from the small side kitchen into the newly carpeted living room. The legs of the stool left little gullies in the soft green behind me. Suddenly, my forest over took me and I was again in the wilds of my imagination. Just outside of the bamboo grove and now into the tall grasslands. This was unfamiliar territory, but I was not afraid. I imagined the tiger watching me from the safety of their amber bamboo forest as I made my way through the green rough grass. I was out of their domain, no longer predator nor prey.
I set the stool upright in front of the television but to me the mundane world of David’s living room melted into a brown, craggy mountain. I needed to climb. I hooked my toes over one of the rungs and clenched my fingers over the top of the stool seat, pulling myself up to my knees on it. It wobbled beneath me, an earthquake on land that I had believed stable. My breath caught in my throat and I held still. Once it calmed and I was again sure of my footing I rose. I reached one hand up, grabbing a ledge—the shelf upon which the TV controller rested.
I could see its end. It was a hair’s width away from my fingertips. I told myself to reach a little higher, pull myself up and I could get it. I stood on my tip toes, one foot moving to the very end of the hole the TV council fit into. There was a sliver of wood, just slightly higher than the stool, and I knew if I could only find purchase on that shelf I’d be able to reach my goal. My arm’s tightened and I pulled myself up a little higher and rested more firmly on the edge; my toenails set against the hard plastic of the television base.
And then, as my fingers brushed against the plastic of the remote, the whole thing fell out from under me. I remember pain and the feeling your stomach gets when you fall from sleep in a nightmare. I remember grabbing onto the television as the stool flipped out from underneath me and falling back hard enough to pull the entire black box from the wall. I remember hitting the floor and the cracking sound my shoulder’s made as the hit the back of the stool and the way the television crashed onto the green carpet next to me. It crunched.
David was in the living room after that. He was yelling at me, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying because the blood was still pulsing in my ears. I saw my mother reach out to try to calm him down and he shrugged her off roughly.
I remember him pulling me to my feet and I remember crying out in pain. Mom tried to push him off of me and he pushed her. She tripped over the stool and ended up on her back. I pushed him off, trying to get to her and he yelled, trying to get my attention over her screaming.
I remember him picking up the nine iron from the bag where he kept his clubs in the corner of the room with the green putting mat. He was swinging it around and I was crying. Mom was on her knees then and she reached out to grab his robe and he threw his shoulder back trying to shrug her off, the club in hand.
It hurt when it hit. I saw light and then I saw color—the amber shaft orange in my hazed eyes. I wasn’t in the living room anymore. I was in the grasslands. The tall grass around me, and I was so naive to think that when I left my bamboo jungle I left the tigers behind as well. No. They’d followed me out and, unlike the bright greens of the bamboo thatch, their amber eyes blended into the soft wheat grass.
I realized that this was the tiger who had come to strike me down at last. I was prey. It loomed over me, yellow eyes like twin moons before it struck, ripping open my head like a rotten melon between the teeth of it’s wet, hot mouth. I saw fireflies behind my eyelids and heard ocean waves as my fingers tangled in the grass beneath me.
I thought it was beautiful.
I don’t remember them putting me on the gurney or going to the hospital. I didn’t remember much of anything between when I finally fell asleep and woke fully to consciousness again. I awoke and there was fire in my throat and chest and I realized that it was because I was torn between screaming and sucking in chemical air.
Men and women in white stood around me. They all jumped, surprised to see me awake. I kept screaming and screaming. I kept trying to breath around the oxygen tube that had crawled down my throat and finding myself paralyzed by its presence. I was suffocating. I clawed at my face and they had to hold me down. Everywhere they touched throbbed, and I felt my throat spasm against the tube and my stomach spasm along with it as my stomach evacuated itself. The tube was removed and they did their best to turn me on my side so I wouldn’t choke.
Acid ran down my arms and through the tears I could see the mottled mauve and black of the inside of my elbows as a nurse extended out my arm to slide a thick piece of metal into the crook to replace the one I had torn out when I had woken out. Everything hurt.
Everything was star fire and a woman leaned down to place a cool hand on my forehead as a similar coolness bubbled up from the line. The doctor had a needle and he was injecting something into the thin plastic tube that ran from the bag to my arm. I slept again.