The reservation spirits are sore again. They need our energy. Mom locks the door, useless as it is. We can hear them crying as they stagger towards the porch, their mouths drooling, their eyes bleeding. “Are you ready?” mom asks. “Yes. I feel sorry for them.”
Mom tells me to go feed the graveyard. I cut three inches of my hair off and drop a strand across each headstone. “One day my mane will be gone and I’ll have to replace it with another part of me.” I say, unsure who I’m talking to.
I lift the basement window and crawl inside. I feel guilty because I am late but she still accepts me with shiny, loving eyes. “Don’t hurt yourself trying to hug me.” I say as she lifts her arms and a piece of her bone snaps. I rub sea-salt all over her, quietly weeping as I see ants scattering across her rotten skin. “I’ll still do it forever sweet lady. I’ll never give up trying to preserve your body.” She kisses my ear. We both whimper as her bottom lip falls off in my lap. I continue to smear her with salt anyway, furious with grief, hungry for the thrill of everlasting beauty by my very own hands.
Izumi has been locked in the shed 5 nights. Mother doesn’t want him inside. He keeps spitting up blood. Tonight, he escapes and stares through my bedroom window. “Please let me in!” he screams. “Something’s inside of me!” I see a fist move beneath his throat and lock the window.
Intruding with eight legs
The snow makes the black widow outside the window shiver in his web. He’s been pecking at the glass with all eight legs, begging to be let in. “You’re too creepy!” I shout but the glass is breaking and as he slips his way through, he gets bigger and bigger.
I took two burning candles outside with me while everyone else stayed inside and laughed at each other. “You’re uglier!” mom had shouted at dad, making he and my brothers chuckle until spit came out of their mouths. I sat on the damp ground, placing the candles on either side of me. “Am I homely too?” I asked the flames. They must have sniggered because their wicks wiggled like an amused tummy. “I guess that’s a yes.” I sighed.
Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. She also enjoys photography. Her work has appeared in Spelk, Cease Cows, Juked and others. Her favorite wine is Merlot.