April 4th, 2009

Glasses and Notes

Saturday Short #4

I'm going to explain my Frankenstein monster (short story) because this entry follows the 'idea vampire' entry. There are several stories in American Indian folklore about bats. I'm playing a lot with the idea of shape-shifting. fabulousfrock is playing with a winged boy. The other day I was drying off from my bath and *MONSTER TIME* it all came together.

Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly

Something catches in the weave as the washcloth scrubs my back. It’s an old washcloth that I probably should throw away. It’s been a long day helping Pa and the others gather apples in the orchards and I’m filthy. My skin’s peeling from all the hours spent outside. Harvest is always the busiest on our farm. Dirtiest too. The grime pools at my feet before slipping down the drain.

I wash my hair with soap. Our neighbor, Lesley, cuts my hair for free every six weeks. Says it gives her a chance to keep her salon skills sharp. She’s always telling me to stop using bar soap on it. Apparently it dries out my scalp. I’m not sure why she thinks I’d care about a dry scalp. I’m a farm boy. The paparazzi’s not taking undercover photographs of me. Soap’s cheaper than the bottles of shampoo and conditioner at the local grocer anyway.

The hot water’s almost gone. As usual, I’m the last one to shower. Geordie, my little brother, took a ten minute shower. More than double the time we’re allowed. Pa doesn’t shout and bang on the door when Geordie goes over the time limit. Geordie never gets yelled at. I suppose it’s because he’s delicate.

Geordie was born funny -- all pointy teeth and ears and extra bits of skin -- and had to have lots of surgeries as a kid. Some of them were performed up in his bedroom with the local doctor. To this very day, the smell of antiseptic gives everyone in our house the shakes. I was born funny too. Good thing they tore off my wings before I grew up to be a shame to my parents. Parent. Ma died giving birth to Geordie.

I turn off the knobs and stand in the shower, letting the drops of water run down my arms and legs. Having nothing but boys in the house makes it easy to avoid “women’s work” like washing towels. Of course, when I need one, there’s only the pile of mismatched towels on the floor. Still damp from Geordie and Pa. I shake my head and rub my thick hair, trying to squeegee it off between my fingers. The same approach is used on my arms and legs.

The light in the bathroom is harsh and fluorescent. It shows all the weight I’ve lost this year in sharp angles that stand out. I was scrawny to begin with and now I’m a mess of ligaments and bones with skin stretched over. Muscular is not a word I’d ever use to describe myself. Pa keeps feeding me extra. Telling me it’s nothing to be worried about because I’ve grown three inches this summer. Great, now I’m going to be the second shortest guy in high school instead of the shortest.

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    "Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly" - HIM
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