Thursday, October 11, 2018


Barn Dance

Blood geysers from the stump where Mitchell Grovers' masked head once connected to his torso.  Thump, thump, thump rolls the noggin until thudding, upended sideways and clotted with hay, against a tractor tire.  Mitchell watches his malformed bulk stumble about, still struggling to impale the lovebirds with a pitchfork, until it crashes twitching and oozing to the grimy barn floor.

Mitchell tries to sigh, but lacking lungs, can’t.  He rolls his eyes in disgust.

“Careless.  Humiliating,” he muses.  “The Male got solid chop.  Impressive.  Least now The Female will stop shrieking.”

Mitchell’s head idles in the shadows, counting down the minutes until rebirth.  This part almost bores him back to the grave, because by now it’s so rote:  first the teenagers embrace in adrenalized joy (at least he thinks it’s joy—that emotion baffles, then infuriates, him), then they mash faces in a sloppy mixture of tears and sweat and saliva and mucus and blood (whose never seems to matter), then they drop their weapons (The Male’s machete vibrates as it impales the dirt), then they turn away and limp back to the car, or towards the highway to flag down a ride (since Mitchell previously destroyed their engine, they’ll definitely need to hitchhike).

He wonders how many times the ritual’s played out in his unlifetime.  Forty?  Fifty?  Mitchell reminds himself to tally the trophies in the secret shack; last thing he needs is Voicemother berating him for losing track of the tributes.

Enough time passes.  With no gaze upon the corpse to disrupt the healing, Mitchell wills his body to release the farm implement and crawl the fifteen, twenty feet to his head.  Huge, calloused hands grab the lumpen orb and press it to jagged wound, and a satisfying pop fills the barn.

Mitchell pulls himself upright.  He cracks his neck a few times to ensure proper attachment.

“Urghhhh,” he gurgles.  Re-found breath fogs the mask’s lenses.

He strides to the pitchfork, stomping the tines and launching it into his grip.  It feels good, so natural.  Mitchell is almost outside when he stops short.  He shakes his head in admonishment.

“Almost forgot machete.”  A quick backtrack rectifies the mistake.

He exits the barn, driven to continue his crusade.  The moon sinks ever faster to make way for the accursed sun, but with a steady gait, he will beat them to the roadway.

Despite the absence of a lower jaw, Mitchell Grovers smiles as he tromps through the underbrush.

 Justin S. Davis, Age 45

No comments:

Post a Comment