Oh my fur and whiskers
Derek stands in the forest, the darkness blindfolding him. He breathes in a sticky breath through chapped lips, fingers clawing half moons into his dry palms.
“Let’s go,” He says, the words sharp and deliberate exactly the way a person trying to sound unaffected would say them. Violet, who had been leaning against the tree, the uneven bark making a home into the bronze of her skin, licks her lips in response before sucking in another drag of the cigarette she really shouldn’t have been smoking.
She taps her cigarette against thick air and the embers that escape make a bee-line for the wet leaves residing in the dirt, they scintillate with the madness of a suicidal person before dissolving into darkness.
Violet doesn’t speak, she just slips clever hands into a unzipped bag and pulls on a mask. A rabbit, it’s cheeks caked on with unsubtle pink, it looks like the rabbit from Alice in wonderland… Only madder, more sadistic. Derek pulls on his own matching one; It’s romantic really. They walk to the house that’s too old with feet that don’t make crunching noises and it’s not long before the screaming starts.
* * *
The screaming generally doesn’t last too long, because neither of them can stand the shrill tones drilling holes into their eardrums. One of them is often inclined to slice the throat of the aforementioned screamer because then there’s only the scratched out sound of blood against incoherent cries.
Some nights, long dragged out screams are inevitable though because Violet and Dereke are feeling lethargic and lazy, unable to carry out certain tasks with the correct efficiency. Some nights like tonight.
The girl’s voice is high, too high and Dereke swears dogs all around claiming a land on this filthy earth can hear. It bounces off the walls, the ceiling, the red stained curtains; it’s claws refusing to seek purchase so it just dances around the room like one of those damn dancers Dereke sees on MTV videos too often. Dereke just falls to the floor, ungracefully folding his legs in front of him and he let’s the girl scream all she bloody wants to because it’s not as though anybody can hear.
Violet is a somebody though, and she hears. She hears the screaming all the way upstairs where the parents are currently lying in bed sheets that are a mess of liquid red that’s really not as red as the entertainment industry makes it out to be. She digs heels into the timber of the stairs, a scowl clouding the worn out flesh of her face while muttering swear words under breaths that are too heavy.
Violet stops the girl’s screams and collapses beside Dereke, temple resting against his trembling knees. He crouches over her, with top eyelashes meeting the bottom ones and presses dry lips against the soft of her cheek.
They fall asleep, the conscious mind finally curling up into a fetal position, reality’s cold fingers rubbing reassuring circles on it’s back. Violet and Dereke float through the blurred lines of reality and dreams (like the salt diffusing through the bowmans capsule of the kidney and back into the renal vein) effortlessly.
They wake up just before the sky is painted complexed shades of candyfloss pink with a brush that still has the stickyness of baby blue and a honey gold hiding beneath the bristles (because the painter like Derek and Violet, is too busy losing herself to the moment), the turpentine left unused in an unopened tin abandoned on a dusty shelf.
They’re the only two left there when they began to pack up, just like it always is after it ends. Violet had slipped off the mask half way through the whole ordeal because she has an odd fear that leaving it on for too long could result in the disdainful material soaking her flesh like hot glue stuck on paper…Impossible to peel off without tearing, ripping the delicate threads of the finely processed bark. They are the only two left heaving in the oxygen (sweet and light like the artificial taste of strawberry lolly that gobbles up the amylase in Violets mouth) and converting it into carbon dioxide ( deadly like the remnants of the substances exhaled from a cigarettes puff, all bad, no good).
Derek and Violet leave the house, their eyes barely glancing at the roof that sags down in distaste at the both of them. Connecticut’s air is harsh and smoldering against their throat when they pick up the money hidden in a tree. Violet and Dereke don’t even notice, because they’re already sipping in Louisiana’s mint breath.
—Story by Addriey.