A Long Night

I asked the doorman for a light, but he didn’t smoke. I just placed the cigarette between my lips and allowed its presence to calm me. Center my mind. My hands shook slightly at my sides as I released a breath I’d been holding for too long.

The night was over, and I was heading home. Bennett Vandermeer had invited me for dinner, on account of his being featured at the art gallery Pluto-Neon, and his need to shove my face in it.

I was standing, waiting for a cab, pulling my coat tighter around me. I waved one down as it came back around the corner, probably fresh from dropping off someone I would never know.

When I’d arrived Bennett had greeted me warmly, a friend of his, Louis, was already there, sitting at the couch with a snifter of scotch. “Oh Malak I’m so glad you could come! I do hope you like sushi!”

There was a platter set out with a wide array of sushi’s, which he was clearly displaying as though he had made them, but he was a painter, not a sculptor. I suspected they were from the sushi place three blocks over.

“Well I’m sure I can help put a dent in it.” I joked, faking a smile and following Bennett to the table.

As the cab came to a stop I climbed in. “Where to?” He grunted.

“Anywhere but here.” I handed him a fifty and sat back, looking back up at the beautiful facade of Bennett’s apartment building, before we pulled away and into the darkling night.

He had sat us at an oddly shaped table. It was perfectly round on one end but tapered to a rounded point on the other, like an egg. The platter sat centered in the rounded portion and Louis and I were forced to sit on the tapering side, with myself sitting nearest the end.

Bennett served the sushi to us along with tall glasses of wine, which Louis didn’t touch, focusing on his scotch instead.

“This tuna is Sashimi grade.” Bennett chimed as he placed a piece of said tuna which rested upon a bed of sticky rice before me. I doubted he had any idea what he was saying and was probably reciting what he’d seen on the menu.

I ate a piece and actually did quite enjoy it. That restaurant knew how to perfectly slice, roll, and serve its sushi so that each bite was a little glimpse of heaven.

I rubbed my face and sighed. It had been a long night. The streetlights flashed by, one after another after another. I breathed on the glass and drew on the fog which bloomed. A few lazy waves.

Bennett raised his glass halfway through the quiet dinner. “To artists! Creating the unseen, and always striving to better one another!”

I must have smirked because Bennett locked eyes with me. “You have something to say, Malak? After your little stunt at La Petit, I would think you of all people would admit how important it is to not snub your fellow artists. How many came to your showing? Oh remember, your mother doesn’t count…”

I wiped away the doodle and looked down to my other hand, which lay, palm up, and trembling uncontrollably. The night had been… so long.

Louis was choking on a roll. Eyes bloodshot and face a rosy hue which was slowing turning blue. I stood beside him, hand jammed within his mouth, a grimace across my face. “Oh you’ll fucking see Louis! Silent neutrality does not mean you aren’t to be held responsible too! I know what you did! I saw the emails you bastard!”

Bennett was weeping and beating his fists upon my back. “Jesus, Malak, stop he didn’t do anything! You’re killing him! Fuck! Stop!”

I grinned as I saw Louis’s eyes roll back and felt his body go limp in my grasp.

There were still bite marks on the first knuckles of my left hand. I squeezed my hand shut and closed my eyes. Justified. I was justified. They had ruined me…

I was holding Bennett by the hair, head yanked back and dragging him to the sink. “You fucking ruined me, Bennett! You RUINED ME!” I turned on the water and shoved his head beneath the stream. He sputtered and screamed beneath the flow and I used one hand to jam a kitchen towel into the drain. It began to fill.

The cab stopped and I stepped out with a, “keep the change…” I was outside of my apartment building… I hadn’t told him where I lived. I looked back and the cab was already pulling away.

I turned slowly and walked to the door, keying in the code and opening the security gate with a squeal.

His head bounced once, twice against the bottom of the sink as I held him down and he tried to struggle free. I shoved his head down myself, and slowly the water began to turn red. I had never smiled so much in my entire, miserable life.

The stairs creaked as I ascended to the third floor, fishing my key from my pocket. As I reached my apartment, I grasped the doorknob and turned the key. It glided effortlessly. It was unlocked already.

I opened the door slowly. Beyond the frame all was shadows except those things silhouetted by the windows. I flicked on the hallway light…

I released Bennett’s lifeless corpse and spat on it. “Hey, at least your shit will be worth something now… you hack.” I kicked him hard in the temple and his body didn’t so much as twitch.

I turned to leave the apartment and trod upon Louis’s hand, hearing bones snap. No reaction. They were dead.

I was sitting there, in my arm chair, which was moved to the middle of the hall, smiling at me as I stood in the doorway, stunned and alarmed. “Oh you’ve… you’ve been very bad, haven’t you, Malak?” The smile I… he, was wearing was wide, almost too wide, and there was something in his eyes which worried me more than his inexplicable physical resemblance to myself.

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Of the Five (Fetid Blood)

First I smelled it

Putrid festering

Then a sound

Clicking teeth snapping

And shhhffing feet dragging

Then I saw

Peeled lips

Lacking eyes

Slavering tongue

And sharpened fangs

Then it lunged

I felt its fangs

Sink, piercing flesh

Then a taste

Copper

Blood

Not my own

My whole body was warm

Burning

As it inj/fected me

With its blood

The featured image can be found here: https://twitter.com/jrgdrawing/status/1095578328180944896?s=21
It is what inspired this piece. Please consider following this artist as they are a fountain of fantastically morbid art.

One More for the Collection

A knife hissed through air

Inches from her face

“I always prefer those in their prime”

He mused softly

Eyes alight with something

It was red

And black

And full of hunger

“The skin of old people shreds like…

Wet paper”

His lip curled

As he pressed the edge

Of the cool steel blade

Against her cheek

Her eyes held something defiant

Brilliant and unwavering

Eagle soaring

Even so bound

And arms crossed

“I mean look at you

Skin so taught and tan

Ready for display

I’d say”

He turned and picked up a scalpel

Keen edge glimmering in candle light

“It’d make a fine prize…

But I think

I’d rather claim…

Your eyes”

Those eyes glared

Unafraid even in this

This horrible place

With such horrible words

He gripped her hair

And leaned in close

Blade edging closer

Closer

Closer to her eye

She kept them open though

And with a swift

And brutal movement

Yanked forward

And bit down upon his nose

Cartilage gave a sickening crunch

And the man screamed

Stabbing her shoulder with the little blade

But she held on

Eager for her prize

She twisted her head

And with a powerful tug

Came back with the majority

His face contained now

A bloody hole

Ragged and sputtering with air

He trembled as he grasped

And tried in vain

To staunch the flow

He stumbled back

With awkward gait

And collapsed upon the floor

She spat it out at him

Calmly she let go

Of the ropes

Which fell about her

In a loose coil

She stepped forward

And with a tug

Freed the scalpel from her shoulder

She knelt beside the man

Something sharp flickering in her smile

“Oh yes you’ll do nicely

Another monster

To add to my gallery…”

She growled low

Tracing the surgical steel

Ever so carefully

Around the curve of his chin

His eyes now filled

Brimming

With fear

The Azure Forest

The door swung open

Soundless

Before me lay a forest

Drenched in emerald

But fading to a deep blue

In little more than a few meters

As though the sun

Brilliant as it shone

Could only impress upon me

But this small section of sight

I walked and all of me was heavy

Like a dream torpidity I felt the drag

I opened my mouth to call

To search for another

Who tread these verdant paths

But nothing came out

I slowly turned my sight skyward

Then I saw it

Just below the treetops

A shimmering blanket of wave

Where danced the rays of sun

This forest was also a sea

I do not drown

And I know these paths well

Though I never walked them

And upon this path

Quite by chance

I found another

She took my hand

And I, hers

And together we forged ahead

Deeper down its winding paths

There was something familiar

Something familial in her touch

A lover long lost

But no memories to say so

Still

I know her

And she knows me

And together

We forge a world

In the endless blue

Reason’s Flight

Families abandon us

The gibbering dregs

The delusional wretches

 

Sterile confines close in

Oh but the sun is bright

Oh but the moon does call

 

These jailers press upon us

A horrible sanity

A terribly clarity

 

We howl in protest

Bang upon the walls

Slam against the doors

 

Our delusions torment, yes

But still it is better

But still I fear it less

 

If any we pray for obscurity

We flee from reason

We reject reality

Canning Methods of Old

“It’s best to begin it fresh. Canning preserves but doesn’t reverse” She growls, scratching her too-loose neck, skin scabrous and inflamed.

“I mean look at these beauties!” She holds up a jar, with tight packed digits of varying tone. “Got them packed in only an hour, and now they’ll keep for nearly a year…”

She sets down the jar and thumbs the stump where my fingers once were. “Oh yes yours will be nice crunchy and strong. There’s nothing like the fingers of a talented pianist”

She grabs the pile ten dripping digits, and shoves them into a briny bottle.

My vision slides blurs to the side. My final sight is her closing the lid.

Where All Souls Tread

All is light

A white so clear

It hides shades of blue

And the caravan walks on

Limbo interstate

Going nowhere

No where here

Wasteland cold

Whipping up a vicious

Minatory haze

Slashing ribbons of us

Us sinners clutching desperate

To arms and legs

Skin on skin

Anything to fend off this chill

But still we walk

Feet plodding

Clay mire slow

For that distant shade

Saccharin darkness

Calling for us

Our desperate rest

But no rest for the wicked

We walk on