DANCIN’ TO THE FUNERAL MARCH

DANCIN’ TO THE FUNERAL MARCH

 

Bonjou, you.

I be Visolelah Delacroix.

I be a Mambo, High Priestess, Vodou princess.

Is right: Mambo Visolelah Delacroix.

Me friends just call myself Vee Dee.

Me day job is Plot Broker for Soysete City Coroner.

I tell you:

 

Time killed is a river.
This river she flows to After All.
After All is where they Dead they live.

 

I seen After All.
They Dead they know myself, you see.
They know all Mambos.

 

What you call Halloween, they Dead welcomes they new Dead from this year before.
They new Dead been sleeping in they graves this year before.
I be renting you people you graves if you knew, ha, ha, ha.

 

I be a Plot Broker I told you.
I witness the funeral march.
I seen they Dead dancing to the funeral march.

 

I seen them what died in the finest clothes get the best seats.
I seen mutilated babies carried by angels.
I hear they Dead priests they saying:

“Truth is unmoving.
Desire is the moving principle.
I desire a God who will remember this passing Love with its child, Sorrow.
I ache that they might be left in the grave.”

 

So, you.
I am you spiritual guide.
You dancing very fine.
I take you now to welcome you place in this Funeral March.
Happy New Halloween to you!

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CLICK O’TREAT (2017)

click o' treat - resize 1

 

A TASTE FOR LIFE

 

                                                            THE DEVOURED HEART

 

                                                                                                                                                                                 PATRICK BUTCHER’S HAUNTED THEATER

 

TEMPEST

 

                        FALL OF THE SPARROW

 

                                                                                                                                                 THE FOGDOGS

 

                                                                DUCKY SHINCRACKER

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BAFFLEGAB

 

                                                                                      CLICK O’ TREAT 2014

 

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~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

BOO HOO!

BOO HOO!

 

You’re dead.

 

Don’t bother “looking around” for something to describe.

 

You are dead.

 

Right now you are nothing in particular.

 

The way you were in life.

 

Right now?

 

“Think” of yourself as a fading afterglow.

 

You think, therefore you were.

 

Any last questions?

 

Me? I’m what you could have been.

 

I’m what you used to call an angel. But I was always you.

 

The Meaning of Life?

 

The Meaning of Life is Death.

 

The Purpose of Life?

 

Oh, come on: Living.

 

Not much “time” left. You are wasting time. Just as you did in life.

 

God?

 

Yes and no.

 

God is Yes and No.

 

No, Nothing but Everything.

 

Yes, Everything but Nothing.

 

LOL

 

You are just too much fun to torment!

 

The Devil? Me?

 

HELL OH HELL

 

I AM

 

YOU

 

A soul?

 

Yes. Spelled: S.O.L!

 

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THE LINEMAN’S WIFE

THE LINEMAN’S WIFE

 

Grassy Ridge is high above historic Saddleton,

California.

Once a legendary outlaw hideout, “Saddle Town”,

Saddleton is now a tourist destination.

Respectable.

Today’s forecast: more hot, dry, windy conditions.

Linemen look down on Saddleton from Grassy Ridge,

“Beautiful.”

They’re “riding” the transmission towers,

4-wheelin’ along the spine of Grassy Ridge,

Looking for overloads.

I’m Aideen, visiting Barbara at her job, giggling,

“Rigid.”

Barbara, dispatching for Saddleton Electric Company, grins,

“Firm.”

Us two cowgirls snicker saddle fittings,

“Girth.”

My husband Glen, a “Tramp Hand” lineman,

Moves around wherever the electricians’ union finds jobs

[Barbara?]

“Read you, Glen, what’s up?”

Glen, [Hazy. Down the east side. What’s cookin’?]

Barbara sits straight.

“Nothin’. What can you see? Be safe.”

[Flames!]

“Glen, get off that ridge. Go now.”

Glen, [There’s men climbin’ this way.]

“Glen!”

I muzzle my outburst as Barbara shushes.

Glen, [Orange jumpsuits. Convicts. Firebreak maintenance detail. Scrambling!]

“Glen…”

Glen, [I see flames moving!]

Barbara, “I’ll send the helicopter. Where are you?”

Glen, [No time!]

Travis, Glen’s partner on this tower inspection,

Shouts,

Travis, <Those guys’re waving up to us!>

Glen, [Fire’s catchin’ the slower guys!]

[God]

Travis, <Climb! They gotta climb faster! Look!>

Glen, [A dirt bike’s coming up our trail]

<Shit!>

Barbara, “Talk, Travis! What’s happening?”

Travis, <The kid dumped his bike. Not starting!>

Glen, [C’mon, kid!]

I look out, up at the hills,

“Jesus!”

Wings of smoke unfurl behind Grassy Ridge.

Barbara fights not to sound frantic,

“Glen,…”

“Wind will push that fire over you all!”

Glen, [Tell Aideen you’re just bein’ Mother Hen…]

[<…No!!>]

Travis, <Fire ate two guys!>

Glen, [Come on you guys! Don’t look back!]

Travis, <Another one!>

Glen, [Big convict is climbing up fast!],

[Faster!]

Travis, <The slope is rolling into hell!>

Glen, [They’re burning up! Burning up!]

[Look!]

Travis, <The big convict made the ridge!>

Barbara, “Hear me! Get everyone out of there!”

“Now!”

Glen, [Big convict’s runnin’ to us!]

[He’s picked up the kid running to us!]

[He’s not real!]

Travis, <The fire’s jumped the trail ahead!>

<Fuck!>

Glen, [Can’t go back down the trail!]

[Climb! Everyone! The tower! Come on!]

“Glen!”

I’m pulling my hair out, yelling.

Travis, <Those flames gotta be twenty feet high!>

[Climb!!]

Barbara yells in sympathy, “Climb!”

We hear over the radio desperate breaths only.

We hear crackling.

We hear a stranger’s voice calling out.

{Help!}

{Here, take the kid! Can’t climb anymore!}

{I shot my wad. I’m empty!}

{Help!}

We hear a kid scream, “I’m hot!”

Travis, <Grab my hand! I got you, kid!>

<OK!>

Glen, [Big guy! You too!]

[Big guy, we got the kid. Hold on!]

{Can’t. Hold. On.}

Glen, [The helicopter! The helicopter! Hold on!]

[Hey!!]

From the window, I spot the helicopter.

A high burst of fire retardant!

“Yes!!”

Flames vanish from around the tower base.

The blaze moves away down the west slope.

“Glen!”

I see specks up there,

On the tower. The helicopter’s landing near it.

I am fainting.

Barbara is above me, cradling my head.

“Aideen!”

We both start to cry and laugh.

Days later at the memorial,

Bittersweetly,

We pray for those lost up there,

And we pray for those saved down here,

Humbly.

Glen, Travis, the kid Steve,

The convict Michael, everyone together,

Memorialize this:

Barbara’s dispatcher recording.

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CHUM

CHUM

.

Who would have thought that my death would be owed to my friend of a lifetime?

Tied to the mast of a boat that is sinking, abysmally bound?

Feast for a shark that is circling beneath reflections of dimmed sky?

~

Shuffling the memories dealt to me, frantic for meaning from God, “Please!”

Double-crossed!  Spitting down blood to my shadow on legions of sea waves!

~

Seeing those waves, as they pass like the years of my life in my grade school;

Seeing them, when was I only those nine elementary years old?

Yes.  It was friendship we made in our wood-crafting class time together.

Was it Felipe who dared me to carve ourselves two “assault rifles”?

~

Sent to the Principal we were arraigned by our teacher and sent home.

~

Spending the rest of that day with a newfound alliance while swimming.

There in Felipe’s new family pool was a dowry to seal any marriage.

“But,” he warned, “If you try peeing in our pool the water turns purple!”

~

So it began just like all foremost friendships of youth: with some bullshit.

Dream turns to Lie, not like fairy tales televised under the moon’s face.

Dark sides of animals search for a light in the struggle to grow up.

~

Worshiping rock ‘n’ roll bands in our stone age, we sacrificed virgins.

I was expected to get a real job after college diversions.

Feral himself, Felipe was heir to his family’s horse ranch.

Yet we were “bruthas” from different “muthas”, Felipe would tell me.

~

We shared the long march of youth and the uprising freedom of ourselves.

~

One day Felipe returned home to Mexico, “Adios,” to me.

That day our odyssey ended but we didn’t really believe it.

Even when I joined the DEA I didn’t feel different.

~

So I was justified one day when I saw reports of drug trade.

Listing of dealers involved in the West coast supply pegged Felipe!

Next report said that the West coast connections were all being removed.

One at a time they were prey to a take-over bid by El Papo,

Swallowed by Satan himself, the elusive El Papo drug cartel.

~

I had to find how to rescue Felipe since no one gave a shit:

“Let them all kill one another and we’ll yank ‘Pendejo Last Standing’.”

~

I had a plan since we knew how El Papo would set up his victims.

“Victims are hit by their last link supplier who’s ‘owned’ by El Papo.”

“Let me just bring in Felipe from out of the heat and turn witness.”

“Yes.  He is still my old friend from our childhood together, I just know.”

“No, I do not need a wire.  Just let me go in undercover.”

~

Calling Felipe’s old cell number I got his old message voice mail.

“Por favor, dígame como ayudar el uno al otro.”

(“Please, tell me how to help each other.”)

~

I said, “Felipe, my dude, it is ‘mio’, your ‘brutha’ from ‘mutha’.”

“Where are you horsing around these days?”  DEA knew it was Long Beach.

“I’m headin’ Calif’orn’ya, my bracero, Felipe, to farm pot.”

“If you still live on the Left Coast then maybe we’ll meet for cervesa.”

“I’ll bring Maria my Juana along just to show what I do now.”

~

After a while I received a short text asking, [Back from the dead, bro’?]

Texting my answer, sent, [Hell is a bore without you there, my brutha’]

The replies: [I am an absentee landlord, my tenant, so sorry]

[Meet me instead in San Pedro.  We’ll fish from my boat and we’ll catch up]

~

Setting the date I was hoping I wouldn’t catch Hell on this moon shot.

~

Hugging our greeting I thought, Holy Hell, was Felipe’s boat primo!

Nodding, Felipe said, “Papa would take me out fishing the West Coast.”

“Papa just loved the old classic sport fishing fleet just like this ‘DYER’.”

~

Passing the breakwater barrier, soon we were rolling the main sea.

All there turn pirates who aren’t really seamen, and I was no different:

“Ahr, matey, where bound ye, Phlegm Beard the Pirate, the Scourge of the Maidens?”

~

Playing along, said Felipe, “I say with a scimitar smile, ‘Ahr’!”

“Out to that fog bank erasing the western sea’s edge and horizon.”

~

Asking him, “Fishing is good there along that grey wall of cold mist, yes?”

Answered Felipe, “Ah, Yes, but there’s more payoff inside the fog bank.”

~

Inside that vault was a phantasm world at the edge of what’s certain.

Boundless horizon retreated outside the cathedral of the fog.

~

I opened beers for us, uncapping how I would broach my deception,

Hoping Felipe would find that my lying was justified tough love.

Coming to take care of business, El Papo used hostile maneuvers.

I could arrange for Felipe a Witness Protection concealment.

~

Suddenly water was boiling up close to our vessel and rocked us.

I yelled, “A whale!”, and Felipe laughed, “White whale blows, matey!  For Pop-eye!”

~

Rising: a mini-sub (“narco-sub”) transporter; cargo of “white blow”.

Just like the lectures described it.  But this had been totally submerged.

Very improved over previous subs that were partially exposed,

Men and the motor all needing fresh air from the surface for breathing.

~

“What do you think of my sea horse?” Felipe asked, narrowing his eyes.

“Wouldn’t you like to be riding with me and not digging in the dirt?”

“What do you know about working ‘Maria la Juana’s’ weed garden?”

~

“You are a smuggler?!” I faked my surprise as a voice from the sub hailed.

“Verga mojado, arriba con tuyo,” it cryptically said.

(“Wet dick, up with you.”)

Answered Felipe, “Encuentre agujero en océano”

(“Find hole in ocean”)

~

That must have coded the “call” and the “answer”: “All clear” without radio.

Reading my mind, said Felipe, “…and track with fake fish-sounding sonar.”

~

Wanting to hear more, I couldn’t when two men appeared on the sub’s deck.

Both of them held a machine gun.  Then one of them climbed on our boat’s deck.

Then, said Felipe, “I need to go next door and ‘sign off some papers’.”

Climbing across to the sub’s hull Felipe descended below deck.

~

I was left here with that submarine crewman.  I smiled and he didn’t.

Looking away, all the fog seemed to swirl as if warning me.  Too late!

Red sky fill eyes fall with stars boiling ocean of pain tasting salt blood.

~

Waking to pounding behind both my eyeballs, I’m hearing a man sing.

“Lindo pescado no quieres salir a jugar con amigo?”

(Pretty fish, won’t you come out and play with a friend?)

Submarine Crewman is slashing to pieces a fish that is thrashing.

Into a bucket of blood and intestines and bones go the fish heads.

~

Naked, I’m tied to the mast by wire fishing lines; hooks in my torn flesh.

~

“Are.  You… El Papo?” I mumble in pain to the submarine crewman.

Singing, he laughs and he throws in my face a fish carcass and cuts me.

Placing the buckets of viscera squirming and shivering, he stands.

Over the side in an arching expulsion he smears on the swells gore.

~

Then do I recognize slowly our boat has been settling and sinking!

Scuttled!  Felipe! This can’t be the end of it all for you and me!

~

Submarine Crewman is climbing across to the sub and his partner.

“Lindo pescado no quieres salir a jugar con amigo?”

(Pretty fish, won’t you come out and play with a friend?)

Submarine crewman now points as he sings and I see the first shark fin.

Swells are beginning to lap on the gunwale as bloody foam splashes.

~

Suddenly there is Felipe who’s peering above the sub’s hatchway.

Crying, “Felipe!” I‘m totally stunned when Felipe waves ‘buh-bye’.

“I am El Papo, my DEA friend, which spells ‘DEAD’.”  And they submerge!

~

Who would have thought that my death would be owed to my friend of a lifetime?

Tied to the mast of a boat that is sinking, abysmally bound?

Feast for a shark that is circling beneath reflections of dimmed sky?

~

Suddenly water is boiling up close to this vessel and rocks me.

Nothing describes all my tears of last hope as Felipe returns here.

Suddenly there is Felipe who’s peering above the sub’s hatchway.

“You are now dead,” says Felipe, “So rise again, live as my partner?”

~

What else can I, were you me, ever do in this same situation?

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NIBLOSH

 

baby mouse

NIBLOSH

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“Who is my favorite Little Girl?
Are you ready for a story?”

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Niblosh was a mouse.

He lived underneath our house.

Behind our rosebush

Niblosh met his friends.

They talked of all odds and ends

‘Neath the high crow’s tush.

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Bumba was a bee

She, in camaraderie,

Told the latest buzz

To Niblosh, saying,

“You won’t want to be staying.”

Niblosh asked, “Because?”

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“Because,” Bumba hummed,

“You are going to be bummed.”

Niblosh begged, “Please, say!”

Bumba then complied,

“Little Girl who lives inside…”

“Has to go away…”

.

“From me?!” Niblosh wept,

“Cookie crumbs were all I kept.”

“What did I do wrong?”

“Little Girl loves me!”

Bumba asked, “Does she really…?”

“…A love is lifelong….”

.

“Little Girls grow old.”

“Then your name will be untold.”

Niblosh cried out, “No!”

Bumba said, “No tears!”

“You will count days, months, then years.”

“Now will be ago.”

.

Little Girl came by.

Bumba said, “I’ve got to fly.”

Little Girl called out,

“Niblosh, can you hear?”

“I have to tell you that…we’re,…”

“…now please do not pout,…”

.

“…Leaving from this place.”

“Don’t have a sad face.”

“YOU WILL LIKE THE NEW PLACE TOO!”

And so Niblosh squeaked

And up the rosebush he streaked

To Little Girl’s view.

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He jumped in her purse

For better not for the worse

To find she loved him.

But please don’t bother

To repeat unto Father

Her innocent whim.

 

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“Yes, my favorite Little Girl, I know this tale should be true.
My imaginary daughter, so too should you.”

 

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OUR MOMBIE

zombie-mom-pink-dress-drawing

OUR MOMBIE

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        Our mommy came home from the hospital.

She was in a bed.

She wanted to be here at home with me and my sister Ruby when she meeted Jesus.

I am Scarlette.

        That is Sir, our step-dad.

When Mommy went to the hospital, Sir said he was supposed to take care of me and my sister.

We don’t need any help.

We don’t like him trying to undress us and dress us.

I bit him once and he hit me.

Now he doesn’t try.

But he takes Ruby into our bedroom and locks the door.

I hear him yelling and Ruby crying.

I’m going to tell Mommy when she gets out of that bed.

        We live where it’s pretty where there used to be a pig farm.

But we’re Cooters, cousins of Daws, and this is Daws County.

        Mommy was in a bed in our living room.

        Ruby and I were brushing Mommy’s teeth ‘cos she was real weak.

She opened her eyes and she whispered, “I’m sorry, babies”.

        I won’t tell her yet what Sir does.

        When Mommy got sick we needed money ‘cos she couldn’t work and Sir worked just sometimes, so Sir, now he sells little bags to strangers for money out back of the house

Before Mommy got sick she and Sir would have those little bags and laugh like stupid.

And Sir said don’t worry that he will take care of all of us.

        Daddy would have been real mad if he had been here, I just know it, ‘cos they were acting stupid if you ask me.

        Mommy told us she tried to be happy that Daddy was with Jesus but she wasn’t strong like me and Ruby; that we were like Daddy.

        Sir said that this house was perfect for a business.

He said to me and Ruby that there would always be a place for us here but I didn’t like the way he said it.

        One night Sir went away to meet someone.

        I said, “I like it better when it’s just us, Mommy.”

        Mommy whispered for me and Ruby to please stay next to her, ‘cos she thought Jesus might be coming tonight and she wanted to ask a favor from Jesus, and she wanted us to meet Jesus.

I could tell Mommy was crying.

Her face was shiny in the moonlight.

        Ruby was combing Mommy’s hair.

I was singing the silly song that Mommy used to sing to me and Ruby.

I’ll eat you, I’ll drink you

Yum yum yum yum yum.

I’ll drink you, I’ll drink you

Slip slop slippy slippy slop.

 

I’ll bite you, I’ll chew you

Yum yum yum yum yum.

I’ll gulp you, I’ll slurp you

Slip slop slippy slippy slop.

 

I like you, I love you

Yum yum yum yum yum.

I smell you, I taste you

Slip slop slippy slippy slop.

 

I touch you, I feel you

Yum yum yum yum yum.

I pat you, I rub you

Slip slop slippy slippy slop.

 

Well, I’ll eat you and you’ll eat me

And I’ll eat you and you’ll eat me

Sody pop, ice cream, sugar in my tea

1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3.

Ho ho ho ha ha hee,

And I’m a-gonna eat you up.

I’m a-gonna drink you down.

I’m gonna eat you up.

I’m gonna drink you down.

 

        Ruby asked, “Mommy?”

        The way Ruby asked her, I looked in Mommy’s face.

Something was different, “Mommy?”

        Mommy breathed out long and slowly and was real peaceful.

        “Mommy?”

        Ruby asked, “Mommy’s sleeping?”

        I watched Mommy’s eyelids open slow.

I watched her eyes dry in the moonlight.

        Ruby whined, “Scarlette.”

        I hugged her, saying, “Mommy sees Jesus…”

        Ruby cried to Mommy, “You didn’t let us see…”

        I hugged Ruby and we couldn’t stand up.

We sat on the floor beside Mommy’s bed and we cried.

        We woke up on the floor, still hugging.

It was still moonlight and quiet.

We were alone.

I thought about Sir and I got real scared.

        I woke up Ruby and I unhugged from her.

        Ruby was startled, “What’s wrong?”

        I said, “Nothin’.  I’m going to get something important and I’m coming right back.”

        Ruby moaned, “I’m afraid.”

        So I said, “Come with me quick.”

        We stood up and looked at Mommy.

        Then went into the pantry and I climbed up and felt the top shelf.

There was the oilcloth.

        Under the cloth was Daddy’s hand gun.

Mommy had never moved it and she never told Sir about it.

        Ruby and I walked real careful back to Mommy and we sat down together again.

I looked at the gun and Ruby didn’t say anything.

Daddy had showed me the gun and I could feel that it was loaded.

I slid it under Mommy’s bed real close.

        The front door banged open.

Sir bumped inside cursing.

In the moonlight we saw him go unsteady to the lamp.

He turned on the lamp and covered his eyes.

Then he saw us sitting on the floor by Mommy’s bed, “What the, you scared the, what the, are you girls doing up like this?”

        Ruby blurted, “Its Mommy.  She saw Jesus.”

        Sir came over and looked at Mommy’s face.

Then he looked down at us, “Your ‘Mommy’s’ work on earth is done.

And now, she wanted me to care for you two and don’t you worry.

I will help you.”

        I looked down and I said, “We don’t need help.”

        Sir asked, “What did you say?

No damn matter.

Both of you are going to be a lot nicer and…

damn grateful to me,” and he snatched up Ruby, saying, “Time for bed.”

        Ruby yelled and struggled.

        I jumped up and yelled, “Leave her be.”

        Sir was laughing and spanking Ruby’s legs.

He sounded crazy.

Then he grabbed Ruby’s ankle and he lifted her upside down and Ruby shrieked and he started singing Mommy’s song.

 

I touch you, I feel you

Yum yum yum yum yum.

I pat you, I rub you

Slip slop slippy slippy slop.

 

        Then I could hear Daddy in my head.

I dropped down to his gun there.

I held it at Sir with both hands.

I yelled, “Quit it!”

 

I’ll bite you, I’ll chew you

Yum yum yum yum yum.

I’ll gulp you, I’ll slurp you

Slip slop slippy slippy slop.

 

        Then I squeezed the gun the way Daddy taught me.

        Sir he spun around and he dropped Ruby and the lamp bulb popped and Sir dropped in the moonlight onto the rug.

        Ruby hopped shrieking to me.

I put the gun down and I hugged Ruby.

Sir was moaning.

        We both cried.

We were rocking back and fore and I think we must have fell asleep.

        I opened my eyes and I saw Mommy.

Her back was to us and she was standing.

She was standing over Sir who was still moaning.

Mommy wasn’t standing steady.

I called, “Mommy!”

        Ruby opened her eyes and cried, “Mommy!”

        Mommy started to turn her head to us and her voice was awful and dry and creaky, “You girls go to your room.”

And we started to see her face and for a second it looked all shrively.

But then the moonlight was on her face and her face was the face of Mommy like when we were little girls.

She was pretty and happy.

        Ruby yelled, “Mommy you got all better.”

        And Mommy’s voice was her sweet young voice, “Girls, now go to your room, please.  I have to fix this.”

        And Ruby and I left the room still holding each other.

And we saw Mommy kneel over Sir and she undid his pants.

Then she laid her head on his tummy and we heard a crunch like a carrot and Sir screamed and then he cried softly under Mommy’s hand put over his mouth.

        In the morning Ruby and I woke up and thought we just had a dream.

        I stood in front of the dressing mirror that Daddy had bought us.

I could still see Daddy smiling behind me and Ruby when we used to dressed in Mommy’s clothes.

        But when we ran into the living room we saw Mommy sitting on the couch in the morning shade and our front door was open.

        We didn’t see Sir but I saw the dark stain on the rug.

        We ran to Mommy, “We’re so happy you’re back!”

        Mommy said, “I’m still tired, my sweet girls.”

But Ruby and I were looking into Mommy’s face and it seemed like Mommy’s voice was in our heads but not in our ears.

Her face seemed bright and she was young and she was happy.

But Mommy moved slow.

        I asked, frowny, “Where is Sir?”

        Mommy smiled, “He’s out in the pig roaster barrel, dears.”

        I said, “OK, Mommy.”

        Ruby said, “OK, Mommy.”

        We heard a creak and Ruby and I turned to the open front door.

On the carpet of morning sunlight we saw it was just an ol’ crow looking in at us.

        Ruby laughed, “Look, Mommy, a crow wants to come in!”

        Mommy said, “Stop foolin’.  You girls show Lenore your manners.”

        Ruby asked, “The crow’s got a name?”

        I asked, “Mommy, wasn’t ‘Lenore’ our godmother’s name?”

        Mommy said, “Of course it is.”

        Suddenly the crow flew to Mommy’s shoulder.

Me and Ruby yelled afraid.

But Mommy raised her shaky hand and said, “Shhh, shhh, little babies.”

And the crow started to pull strands of Mommy’s messy hair!

        Mommy said, “Now, can you sweet babies clean up and fix up this messy living room.

We will be having a visitor, sure enough.

Ruby?

Will you bring me my Sunday hat with the veil, please.

And Scarlette?

I’d like to be wearing my coat for company.”

        I said, “I wish our godmother was here real.”

        The crow made a creaking croaking sound and tipped its head back at me, I swear.

        A hour later Mommy had me standing with Daddy’s gun behind the front door, peeking through the butt of the door, and Ruby was in the kitchen.

Mommy had sat again on the couch, still in the shadows, facing the open front door.

        Mommy looked pretty in her Sunday hat with the veil and with her coat for company.

        The crow made a creaky sound from the back of the living room.

        One of Sir’s crummy “friends” walked up to the open front door and looked in.

He said, “Hi, Ma’am.  Is your husband in?”

        Mommy said, “He’s away but I will take care of you.”

        Sir’s crummy friend nodded, saying, “You are looking much better.  That’s good.  That’s good.”

        Mommy asked, “What did you expect?”

        Sir’s crummy friend stuttered, “I thought…, I mean you came home from the hospital…, to be with your family…”

        Mommy asked again, “What did you expect to buy?”

        Sir’s crummy friend was real fidgety and he said, “Oh.  Oh… I thought you meant… Well, I was told one bag is going for a ‘Benjamin’.”

        Mommy called to Ruby who was in the kitchen, “One bag, baby.”

        Sir’s crummy friend said quick, “Oh, no.  Sorry.  I need three.  Three bags.  I got three ‘Benjamins’ here,” and he held out cash.

        Mommy called to Ruby, “Three bags all told, baby.”

        And that is how me and Ruby got money to live on so we could run to the store.

After a couple days we sold all of Sir’s bags.

Mommy didn’t eat much during then that I saw at all.

But she had a glow except she was still skinny.

        Then Mommy said she was hungry and she went out to the pig roaster barrel.

        Ruby and I went to our room.

        But something wasn’t good.

Ruby said, “The house always smells now and there are always flies now.”

        Just then a fly landed on our dressing mirror, a big noisy fly, and Ruby said it was making her sick.

I reached out quick and I smushed the fly right on our dressing mirror.

        Ruby cried out, “Ewww, yucky gross!”

        And we both heard a stifled cry and then we heard buzzing from all over the house.

        I heard the crow squawk.

        Mommy appeared in our door and startled us and she said, “What have you done?!”

        And her face was like it glowed blurry and was wrinkled.

She was hissy and raspy, “What have you done?!”

        Mommy was real mad and Ruby and I were real scared.

Mommy grabbed for us and I screamed.

        Ruby cried out, “We just only smushed a fly!  Why are you mad, Mommy?”

        Then Mommy seemed to try to keep her temper.

I could see her face again.

Mommy said, “You… made a mess.  You must not do that ever again.”

        Mommy turned to go out of our room and I saw her in our dressing mirror.

I saw her like a skeleton with flies for skin!

        I screamed, “Mommy, the mirror!”

        Mommy turned to the mirror and I saw Mommy’s face but in our dressing mirror it was a scary face.

Ruby screamed.

        But Mommy was like hypnotized looking.

She stood in front of the mirror and raised her hand but she wouldn’t touch the glass and she turned her head side to side slow.

        I peed my pants.

        I saw Ruby was in a ball on the floor covering her face.

        Then I saw Daddy in the mirror like I could in my mind but this was different.

Daddy in the mirror reached his hand to Mommy and Mommy touched Daddy’s hand in the mirror.

        Then Mommy fell to the floor in front of the mirror.

Now in the mirror was both Daddy and Mommy and they were young and happy!

Mommy touched her heart and waved at us and Daddy wagged his finger at us and he smiled.

        Then the mirror was empty except for Ruby and me.

#

 

        And that is all what we told Sheriff Arvin Biggs and his men.  But they didn’t want to believe us at all.  They said we were shocked.  That we had been mawl-sted.  Trom-tized.  They didn’t want to ask us too much more what happened at all.

        I know you understand.

        But, Lenore, you will still come and see us, won’t you?  And make sure we go to church and praise Jesus, won’t you?

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#

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“I’ll Eat You, I’ll Drink You” by Woody Guthrie