Cernia Luna – Photo Story No. 19

If ever there was a person no one thought capable of murder, it was Luna.

Corey drove her to it, they’ll say. They were together two years. She walked in to an empty apartment and a note that just said ‘Bye.’ They all thought she would crumble.

She came to work like normal, ate, laughed, but no one saw her out nights. She stopped socializing with everyone outside of obligatory tasks. Understandable. Then one Monday, she didn’t come in. She didn’t call in sick, she didn’t return calls. The second no show day, their boss said ‘Fuck her then, post an ad for help.’ Work resumed.

Biels and Cernia went by her apartment after work. Luna wasn’t there; neither was her car. Biels had to bail, family needed dinner she said. Cernia stayed, waited. At almost midnight, she started walking home.

There was a horrible ache beneath her shoulder blades. Too much work. Too much stress. Some time off would do her good. She laughed at the thought, remembering she had three dollars and thirty-two cents in her pocket to last until Friday.

The bridge was dark that night, barren. Cernia’s stomach tingled, her arm hairs pricked. She wished she had cab money. She looked over the high ledge at the blackness of the water below. How strange that she could see the sky better than the water no more than a hundred feet beneath her ankles. There was a noise close by.

It was time to go.

Just passing the midway point, Cernia slowed, then stopped. Squinting, she saw a large silhouette, too large to be real, of course. She knew it was a trick on the mind. Her upper back ached. She rubbed her muscles. The things in front of her moved, swayed, like two tall but juvenile trees. Between them was a smaller, dense, stationary object. Cernia blinked hard several times. The shadows did not fade. She kicked herself for being a coward and took a step.

Then another.

And another.

She only accepted that her vision was not an illusion once she could see past the darkness, see the flesh, skin, blood. It was Luna, and it wasn’t. Her face had pulled, stretched. She had a long, moth-like mouth that was stuck into Corey’s throat, suckling. White, powdered wings moved in a wave like a conductor leading an orchestra through a delicate, sweeping downbeat.

Cernia’s shoulder blades pinched. A hot, singe plucked a nerve and shot through her shoulders, elbows, wrists, knuckles. She crumpled.

There was a thud. Thick iron and sweat whirled in her nose. She wretched, then drooled. She swallowed. She could hear Corey’s blood thicken, his heart rate slow then stop; she could hear Luna’s skin peel from the cement with each step of her bare feet; she could hear the coat of small hairs all colliding into one another, like grass in a heavy wind. She covered her ears and squeezed.

“What have you done to me?” Cernia yelled.

“Me?” Luna laughed. “Oh dear. Have you never? You poor thing. Let me help.”

The hair on Cernia’s arms pulled up, like iron bits to a magnet, and pointed at Luna. She curled into a ball and covered her throat.

“Please don’t eat me. I won’t tell anyone.” Her face was hot, moist. Luna was over her, all light from the moon blotted out by her wings. Cernia held her breath.

Luna’s touch brought not pain but release. She poked her fingers deep into Cernia’s back, causing an eruption of powder and feathers. White wings sprouted from her own back. She reached to feel a tubular mouth hanging from her face, twirled into a spiral.

The wind rolling over the water sounded like ice scraping metal. Birds chirped sharp. Leaves rustling was louder than a shattered window. Luna held her hands over Cernia’s ears.

“This is the worst of it. Your ears will adjust.”

“What. Did. You. Do?”

“I set you free, mon amie. I didn’t do this to you. You were in hibernation.”

Crying, Cernia looked up. “What?”

“You are awake now.”

“No, no, I must be dreaming.”

“You can go back to sleep if you like.”

Was she making jokes?

“Come. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Let’s try those new wings, anywhere you want to go.”

“But Corey…”

“Got what he had coming to him. I ate his new girlfriend, too.”

Cernia vomited. It spewed out of her little spout mouth.

“I can’t…I can’t eat people.”

“You can, and you’ll drool for more when you do. Each flavor is as unique as a line of reds at a wine tasting.”

“But they are people, with…”

“Meaningless lives and humdrum jobs raising kids they don’t even like.”

“Luna, what’s…”

“Gotten into me? The me you knew was but a portion of my timeline. I am hundreds of years old, sweetheart”

“How am I this, this thing? Was my mom…or dad?”

“One of them, yes.”

“Oh, God.”

“No, no god sweetie. Just man and animal and a fucked-up planet.”

Cernia gathered herself. She considered two options. Leaving with Luna or latching onto her throat. Would she die? Was she capable? She thought about everyone she knew, everyone she had known. Was anyone worth the life they’d been granted? Were their lives worth her own? She was hungry. There was a new cave in her core already.

“Who would you suggest I try first?”

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the photo that originally inspired this story, please visit the Instagram link below.

Photo Story No. 19

 

 

 

Cernia Luna – Photo Story No. 19

Photo Story No. 17

“It’s Friday the 13th. Everybody, stay safe out there.”

Celia turned off the radio. She spotted what she had been looking for. She killed her idling car.

Her long legs presented first. When Celia stood, four pairs of eyes followed her movements. She gave a nod to a few, then continued her hunt.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” she said, giving a light run to catch up with the blonde. “Excuse me.”

The girl gave a stuttered glance back, then fully turned around when she realized Celia was talking to her. “Yes?”

“Could you help me? I need to use a phone. Mine died, and I need to call my husband to tell him my car is dead.” The woman looked around as if searching for a reason to say no, then pulled her phone from the pocket of her Michael Kors handbag. When she held it out, Celia grabbed her wrist.

The woman tried to pull away, but there was no movement. Celia had the strength of stone. When the woman looked up, she saw her attacker’s eyes had gone black, and no one around them seemed to notice a thing. “Let go of me.” She pulled as hard as she could away from the woman with the black eyes. No one watched them, no one turned to look; those on the same sidewalk were walking around them. How could no one care she was being attacked? She screamed again.

Celia smiled. “They can’t hear you. Today is our day. Today, he protects us.” The woman half heard Celia, but she was frantic, hysterical, screaming, flailing. She felt like her wrist was cast inside of dried cement.

Celia tightened her grasp, then put her other hand to the woman’s chest.

“Help me, PLEASE.”

“I am helping you. You’ll live on forever, in me.” Celia’s palm opened, then latched onto the woman’s sternum. When the transfer began, Celia’s knees grew weak from the flow of euphoria. Her blood, marrow, cartilage, fibers, her energy….she tasted, she FELT divine. She didn’t even watch the woman; her eyes closed and her head fell back.

The woman shriveled before completely dissolving into a pile of dust, having been depleted of everything.

“Twenty-three more hours.” Celia licked her hand before the orifice closed. “Who’s next?”

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the photo that originally inspired this story, please visit the Instagram link below.

Photo Story No. 17

 

 

Photo Story No. 17

Flowers for Breakfast

I knew she was strange when I saw her eating flowers for breakfast. They were lined in rows on the table in front of her. As I walked into the room, a rose bloom disappeared into Justene’s open mouth. I’ve seen stranger diets. I proceeded to fetch my bowl of cereal and pretended like the roses and daises going down her gullet wasn’t new for me.

Clue number two stopped me dead in my tracks. When I came home from work, she was sitting criss-cross applesauce, naked in my den…mind you, she is only paying me monthly for a room. We aren’t roommates, and her name isn’t on the lease. I don’t know what she was doing. There weren’t any symbols drawn on the floor, and she wasn’t chanting; I just found myself staring at a lot of skin when I came in through the garage door. Thank god the neighbors couldn’t see. I reacted, she apologized, kind of, and floated to her room.

After I came home to her force-feeding herself crickets, I should have made her leave. Hindsight is twenty/twenty. I just told myself she must have had one tough childhood, or at least a strange one. I asked her to please keep her meals in her room if they weren’t normal groceries.

I didn’t see her much after that. I’d catch a glimpse of her as she moved from the bathroom to the bedroom, or when she’d emerge for a chilled bottle of water.

A couple of weeks later, I started finding green tiles of some sort around the house, they seemed to be anyway. They were round and slightly convex but tough as nails. I knocked one from the counter, and after it bounce instead of shattering, I actually tried to break one of them, but with no success. I left them in a pile on the bar for Justene to pick up. After they sat there over a week, I took them to her room. I was not prepared. I should have left when she didn’t respond to my knocking.

When I opened her door, there was a six-foot iguana on her floor – six feet without the tail. I screamed so loud my throat locked. The animal’s attention was on me before I even had time to process things. I fell back when it ran at me – I’ve never handled stress well – and by the time I felt the hot pain in my arm, it had gone back in her room and slammed the door.

It had bitten me. The damned lizard had bitten me. There was a clear “no pets” policy in the lease, and when I had calmed myself, I would begin eviction procedures.

“I’m going to sue you if that godforsaken thing infected me with something!”

My arm ached a lot. I sat up trying to collect myself and finally looked to evaluate the damage. When I saw the blood on the floor, the nub of torn flesh just above where my elbow had been, heat flushed my face. I instantly felt sick.

“What in the hell have you done to me? How did you sneak that monster in here?”

I was freaking out. I heaved my good arm over and stumbled from a seated to a tripod position, and then to a waving stance. After stumbling to my room and managing to lash a belt around my upper arm, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed 9-1-1.

“I’ve already called them. The ambulance is on the way,” Justene said from my doorway. I started and dropped my phone. When I turned to her, I saw the blood around her lips.

“What the fuck is going on?”

“I asked you never to come in without knocking.”

“I knocked…you didn’t answer.” I was feeling very woozy. I gripped the bleeding stump with my bare hand to try and slow the bleeding. Warm blood dripped through my fingers and pooled in my palm. Pain shot up my arm and behind my shoulder blade, deep into my back.

“I can’t talk when I’m the lizard. You should have just left.”

“When you’re…” I remembered thinking then I must have been losing blood fast. I seemed to be hallucinating already. “When you’re the lizard?” I huffed, laughing.

“Yes. I’ll be leaving now. I’m sorry I ate your arm. I hope they fix you.”

“Ha! You hope they fix me? They’ll fix you when they’re throwing you in jail.” I fell back, hard against the wall, then slid to the floor with my legs stiff in front of me.

“No, sorry. And you better not tell them your tenant turned into a giant lizard and ate your arm either.”

“Is that a threat?” I said to her back as she walked away.

“No, it’s a warning. They’ll throw you in the looney bin.”

I didn’t listen of course. What else was I supposed to tell the police? How else could my arm have ended up missing? They had no choice but to have me evaluated. Of course there was no evidence of foul play, no signed lease in the house from a “Justene Marbrow”, and no “giant lizard tracks” (they jested at me). After a stent in the hospital and an even longer stent in the mental ward, they had me transferred to a facility where I could be watched and my mental state could be “properly evaluated”.

Did you know a straitjacket is still effective on an amputee?

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the photo that originally inspired this story, please visit the Instagram link below.

Flowers for Breakfast

 

 

Flowers for Breakfast

Photo Story No. 14

I found her in Vegas, and that’s where I left her. When we first met, she was in a wig, a waist-length, platinum wig with bangs that curtained open between her dark brown bangs. Her eyes were a rotted-wood brown. Her legs curtained open too just like the velvet red drapes at the burlesque show, but that’s not the point of the story. I wanted to tell you about her talent…not that she dances with fire, not that she can swallow swords (and dicks like grape Kool-Aid), but her other talent.

I met her outside of The Charlatan, a fancy new hotel just across from the casino I had apparently disappeared in for over seven hours. When I came out for air, there she was, across the street, standing in black heels and a silver dress, like I said, in her platinum wig. I crossed traffic not worrying much about the cars. Her eyes were locked with mine – while I looked like a lost pup, she looked like she was ready to devour me. I had always been called handsome, but never had I ever fetched the attention of someone I deemed so attractive, someone so magnetic. Hours later, after her show, after I was dazzled by her peacock fans and crystal doused, wire-rimmed stage costume, after the drinks and gambling, we went back to my room and the wig came off. Her hair was as black as tar. Contrasted to her pale skin, she was a vixen. I wondered then why she ever wore the wig in the first place…maybe to protect her identity…maybe because it made her feel like someone else and made it easier to look in the mirror. I couldn’t care less either way. I never lied to myself and thought to try and save her – I just wanted her for the night.

She led me to believe I could have her.

As she came to me, dropping her clothes on the floor, unstrapping her shoes between steps, wiping the bright red lipstick from her face, I felt myself growing uncomfortably hard beneath my jeans. I didn’t want to adjust and distract from the situation, so I just watched…and ached. Call it masochism. I may have enjoyed it. When she shoved her hand down the front of my pants, she ended it. My head fell back, my chest filled with air…she squeezed just enough, and I lost my breath. When her free hand connected with my chest and I flew across the room, well, I was fully awake then and left trying to figure things out in my daze.

I felt pain, hot burning in my chest. I looked down to see a gaping hole…I looked up to see my heart in her hand. She pushed her tongue from her mouth and licked my still beating heart, then buried her teeth in the tissue and took a bite. I waited for death, knew it would take me quick…and when I was still awake to see her swallow, then take another bite, and another, I pulled a few deep, intentional breaths into my lungs and looked down again. Maybe she didn’t have my heart, maybe I was on some killer pills, but sure enough, the hole was still there pumping blood in spurts onto the floor. She came to me again, pushed my heart in my face and told me to take a bite.

I obeyed. Why? I couldn’t tell you. I want to say, “I’ve seen stranger things,” because that’s what you say in strange situations, but I would be lying…this definitely took the cake. What did it taste like? Well, I’ve never had a raw chicken liver, but if I had to pick, I think I would compare it to taking a bite from an oversized raw chicken liver. I chewed, twice, then swallowed. She called me a good boy then stuck the damned thing back in my chest. She told me then that I was one of “them” now and would have to find my own meals from here on out.

“One a week – no more, no less, or lest you’ll find yourself six-feet deep.”

I didn’t speak, couldn’t find any words in my mouth. I sat there like a layman watching her dress and leave. On her way out of my door, “The strip is my turf. I’d steer clear of New York and the entire west coast too. They don’t take to the new ones. Stay south your first few months.” Then the hotel door latched behind her. I didn’t move, didn’t try to. My cell was in my pocket. Instead I texted my parents to tell them I loved them, my friend to say I must have been on some killer LSD, and then I surfed Facebook and Twitter until I fell asleep propped on the drywall.

When I woke, the hole in my chest was gone, but I could still taste the iron on my tongue. There was a small scar over my heart and blood trailed across the room. I resisted at first, tried normal meals, tried ignoring the pangs. Ten days after my “death” I succumbed to my first feeding. I don’t want to admit, but it was a homeless man, the first who seemed eligible when I felt like I was dying, and I do believe I was dying. My skin was tightening, my bones seemed to be cracking – it felt like I was about to crinkle into a ball of skin and broken bones, then spread into a powdery dust. I didn’t even speak to him, I just pushed my hand between his ribs and took it, then left running.

Two years later, I saw her again on the strip, just outside The Charlatan. She gave me a glare – I raised my hands in defense and mouthed, “I’m only on vacation.” This time she crossed the street for me, eyes locked, my gaze as confident as hers. That night I had her…we fucked until the sun came up. As I watched her leave again, I wondered what her heart would taste like. I told myself next time we met, I would find out.

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the photo that originally inspired this story, please visit the Instagram link below.

Photo Story No. 14

 

Photo Story No. 14

Photo Story No. 13

The dark dance she promised we would do, the love she promised we would make – it was all gone after only our first date…

Mahogany, a dark name for a dark girl, was the most interesting female I ever had the pleasure to touch. We passed one another in the streets of New Orleans. I chased her down Bourbon Street, followed the haunted tour she was with and edged in. I laced my fingers between hers as she was looking up at the house of Madam Laveau. She looked to me startled at first, then smiled and continued gazing on the dark mansion.

“Do your tourists ever get to see a real ghost? This is boring,” a male teen said behind my shoulder. The tour guides attention was then brought my way, and I was asked to please leave. I handed the guy a hundo just so he’d let me stay with her.

“Will you show me around?” she asked once the guides dismissed the group in the creepy alley by the creepy cemetery. “I want to see your favorite part of New Orleans.” So that’s where we went.

“Why the swamp?” she asked. “What brings you’re here?” I didn’t have an answer for her, except that I felt drawn, attached to the murky waters and the hungry beasts lurking in them.

“There’s so much water and mud, unstable ground, water logged trees. I feel beauty in the drab nature here.” She kissed me and asked to see what spot I liked to visit most. I told her I would have to take her home first to pick up my kayak, which we did.

Two days after our date, on the night we were set for another venture into the swamps, I got a phone call saying she was deceased. They found my number in her phone. It also happened to be the only number in her phone. They wanted to know how I met her, how well we knew one another, did she have any family I could put them in contact with. I didn’t of course. They gave me her belongings, which included her wallet.

I don’t pretend to be a noble man, nor do I pretend to be a rich one. I saw the opportunity, and I took it. The night of our date I had seen her enter her pin number at the gas station when we stopped for soda and the candy bar I was craving. So I went to an ATM, slid her card inside, then punched in the four-digit code. When I did, holy cow, she had twenty grand. I used her card to pay for her service, a modest cremation which I attended, then withdrew the rest a little at a time and kept it in a shoe box under my bed. I wondered what might happen should someone catch on to the fact that a dead woman was daily pulling money from her account, but I wasn’t worried enough to stop.

Two weeks later with a stash of cash and her account cleaned out, I bought an upgraded kayak and took it to the swamps. It was different going out, knowing that was the place Mahogany took her last breath. I’ll never understand why she decided to kill herself there, but I can only guess she wanted to have someone’s help to find a final resting scene, one to look on while she died.

The act of her suicide made my stomach churn – she didn’t just take a gun to her head. The cops said she strung a noose from a tree, and in all black attire, she tightened the rope around her throat, let loose her step stool, then drove a dagger into her abdomen and drug it across. Her intestines spilled and tangled around the black pumps she chose to wear to her execution. She then held a chalice below her waste to catch the warm fluid spilling out. Once full, she took it in her mouth but spat it out again, obviously unable to swallow. The cops think that’s as far as she got before she lost enough blood and air to continue.

“We don’t know what she was up to, but we think she was trying to send a message,” was what they said.

“Holy shit. Did they seriously not clean up the blood?” I rounded the corner of Gator Creek, as I like to call it, and there below my favorite tree was what looked like maroon dried paint spattered on the bark and ground. It wasn’t until I inched closer that I saw the new mass growing from the side of the tree, an almost cancerous looking growth up by the branches. With more curiosity than terror, I moved toward the bank in my kayak to further inspect the death scene.

My tree felt different. I didn’t feel connected and at ease like I normally do. Instead I felt like I needed to leave – I should have, but I didn’t. Instead I walked closer, squatted down to look at the blood, then I stood to see the growth. It wasn’t a solid, circular thing, but a lumpy mass of wood and bark that looked like it boiled out in puss filled bursts from the tree. I held my hand up, then jumped back when I felt it was warm – I almost fell over when I afterward saw it move.

It expanded and contracted like it was taking a breath. I put my hand up to its bark again. It was in fact warm, and before I could pull my hand from its contact, it felt it “breath” again. I moved so fast that I tripped back with my hands out to brace on either side. I instantly regretted that move when my right hand connected with an exposed root instead of the dirt. My wrist cracked under the weight. I rolled around holding myself and taking exaggerated breaths for a while. When I remembered what startled me in the first place, I again turned my attention to my breathing tree.

The mass was still pulsing, expanding and contracting. I stood and reached with my good hand to feel its warmth once more. Like the dark swamp, like the dark Mahogany, I just couldn’t help myself. My fingers felt the roughness of the bark. The mass felt spongy beneath its broken armor. Satisfied and creeped out, I took a step back to reclaim my hand and leave the area. My tree had other ideas.

The exposed root I fell on before pulled further from the dirt to wrap around both my ankles. I fell back hard, only this time I let my backside take the full force – a decision poorly thought out. A pain shot straight up my tailbone that sent a sensation into my back and groin that made me feel like I had to shit and vomit both at the same time. I once more forgot about my diseased tree until the initial shock subsided.

When I looked up again, the lump had relocated – it was moving still. It slid down the trunk of the tree, only millimeters at a time. Ankles in lock, I sat watching as tears from fear and pain ran down my hot cheeks.

Once the mass reached the base of the trunk, I looked on in horror as it bubbled and toiled like silly putty set to boil. Gurgles seemed to reach the surface only to be pushed back down on themselves. After some time of this cycle, the bubbles actually began to break the surface. I could feel heat wafting in my face from the gasses being released.

My stomach was now so tight with tension that I felt my fried shrimp lunch work its way back up my esophagus. It projected out of me with a force I couldn’t remember experiencing before. I could taste the old grease and stomach acid, gagged, then vomited again.

It was then that the mass began to unfold. A crease sunk into the middle of the lump, then out it blossomed. Arms broke from the wood and opened wide in an arched stretch. The undefined mass formed into a long neck which led into a long, extended back, then down into a separation of skin, two butt cheeks seated on top of small feet – feet that I recognized from a kayak ride only weeks before.

Mahogany detached herself from the diseased trunk in a high backbend, first placing her hands into the soft earth, then kicking her legs over her head which landed, kneeling, in a patch of moss facing me.

Her skin tone was not that of human flesh anymore. She was white, pure white, with her still deep brown hair and eyes. Now hear me, she was not human pale, as snow white had been. Her flesh lost any sign of pigment completely. I could not help but stare at the whole scene. Her milk face, hands, nails, breasts. Her nipples, still in place, had gone the same color. The areola was no longer defined by a deeper hue. In the quake of my reality, I forgot my pain and horror and wanted to know her flesh, every inch of its mystery.

That night, my prayers were answered. Once calmed, she freed me from my shackles, pulled my clothes from my body, and straddled the thick of my waist. Her chilled skin sent gooseflesh like wildfires across my body – her hot breath in my ear drove all my patience out. I wanted to know her insides and feared her game would see me into a state of madness before she took me in. No such insanity ensued. She gave me my wish, and even more than I desired. Mahogany saw me into a state of bliss before I fell asleep with my ass pressed in green slimy moss at the foot of the tree.

When I woke the next morning, Mahogany was gone. I was naked and alone in the swamp, sleeping under my favorite tree which now appeared to be in a state of decay. Its limbs hung sad and loose, its bark flaked easily from its base, a white, spore-like disease appeared to be settling into the roots – I for the life of me couldn’t be sure of anything.

I felt deep in my gut that the night before had been real, however I supposed I could have been drunk enough to end up naked and alone in the swamp. It wouldn’t have been the weirdest story that started with, “One night I had way too much to drink, and then…”. Nonetheless, it didn’t “feel” like I passed out before spiraling into a sex deprived dream state. It didn’t “feel” like I imagined her touch, her taste, her warm inside enticing my seed from its cell. It didn’t “feel” like she was gone, either.

Here I am in the summer, three years after Mahogany died. I still visit the swamp every day, stop and sit where the tree had been. It died and fell into the green waters only weeks after she freed herself. I’ve talked to scientists about the event, doctors, psychologists, priests – anyone who would listen, anyone who may be able to offer a word of advice on my obsessions. All I want is confirmation that she really did sprout from my tree, die and regrow a new spirit from its deep soul. With no where else to turn, I am leaving for Salem tomorrow. I am hoping to either find her or where she came from. If her ritual came from home, the ritual I now believe to be witchcraft, maybe I could repeat the process and be free to join her in her frolic. With my blonde hair and green eyes, I wonder I’ll look like with her white skin.

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the photo that originally inspired this story, please visit the Instagram link below.

Photo Story No. 13

 

 

Photo Story No. 13

Photo Story No. 12

“Follow me to the sycamore tree, and there you’ll lose your mind,” she said.

Rob didn’t understand her jest, but he needed a bump and he guessed that meant she had it. He trailed along behind her white and gold dress that brushed the grass tips as it floated by.

“So how much.”

“Not so fast eager beaver. Just follow.”

He didn’t like games and she seemed to be playing one. He had a mind to tell her so, pull her golden, round rimmed glasses from her arrogant face, but he didn’t. His luck there would be some big guy with a gun following close behind. He was sure she had security. She always had security.

“Come on Lina, can’t we just do this. You know how it is.”

“You’ll do what I say, or be on your way.”

“Fuck, really Dr. Suess?” He held his tongue from there and waited for the damned sycamore tree.

Past the park, behind the school, and into the small woods the kids referred to as the hot box, Rob and Lina came to a tall tree. It had a wide trunk and flaking bark, and a huge head of leaves. Rob looked at Lina and asked if he could speak.

Lina didn’t respond, but instead reached for the leather pouch she wore on her back. The brown leather creaked as she pulled the strap from its buckle and opened the flap. Rob’s stomach churned in knots as he saw the white powder emerge from the bag. Lina handed him the small baggie, which he instantly opened. He reached in with his nail to scoop the white heaven closer to his nose, when he noticed Lina reaching up for her glasses.

She pulled the round frames down from her face to reveal a set of deep orange eyes with pupils as white as his snow. Rob’s eyes widened as he let the powder fall from his nail. He unconsciously started back stepping, and three steps in found himself against the wide tree. Before he could think of any moves to make, Lina dropped her jaw open as wide as it would go and let out a shriek that sent him to his knees.

The white baggie fell to the ground and scattered amongst the grass. Rob threw his hands to cover his ears, and, just before he made contact, Lina’s hands wrapped around his wrists, pushed his arms wide open, and her lips connected with his.

His brain at first wanted to think he was receiving the most passionate kiss of his life, but he was quickly reminded of her glowing eyes when her teeth sank into his gums and warm fluid began pouring from his wounds. He could imagine her pink lips pooling with blood, and through his shooting pain and his fear of what was next, he still found himself enjoying her skin on his.

Her teeth pushed deeper into his gums, forcing more blood to gush and fall from his chin, and he could here subsequent gulping from Lina. When she finally broke contact, he tried to speak but spit blood on her dress instead. She knew he was curious and she spoke for him.

“Your head is spinning, and your blood is dripping, and you want to know why, you will lay here and die.” Rob said nothing, but stared at the white pupils encircled in flames. “There’s a secret in life, from causing ample strife, with enough souls expired, I can now walk through fire, I can breathe water in, and die again and again.” Rob still said nothing. He had never been hit in the face with a bat, but if he had to describe what he thought it might feel like, this was it. He held his hands over his mouth then looked down at his hands, coated. Rob looked back up to see Lina pulling a large dagger from a holster against her thigh.

“Oh fuck,” he said, again spitting blood forward, but this time it splashed on her exposed legs.

“It’s just your luck cowboy.” Lina leaned forward, opening her mouth to his again. Rob threw his hands up to cover his mouth. When he did, her teeth connected with his hand instead, and he retracted them. It wasn’t a second before her teeth sank again into his gums, and he screamed into her mouth. Blood spattered and bubbled between their connection, and he pushed at her chest to try and break it. When he did, he felt a quick burn on both of his wrists, then a loud, sharp pain travel up his forearms.

The sensation in his mouth was masked by the hot pain on both of his wrists, and thinking she had slit them both with one swipe, he pushed at her chest again to get her off and find some help. When he did, it wasn’t his hands that connected, but his stumped wrists. He couldn’t figure it out at first, where his hands had gone, until he did, and then he lost any cool he had left. He pulled his blank left wrist up so that he could see it from his peripheral, and sure enough, his whole hand was gone.

He screamed again into Lina’s mouth. Open mouth, full force, yelled. No one heard him, or if anyone did, it wouldn’t matter. Though he couldn’t believe it was over for him, he knew very plainly that this was his end. He felt it when he woke up that morning. Something felt off, and on his way to pick up, he told himself this dance with the white devil might be the one to kill him. Though how wrong he was. He didn’t even get to snort a pinky full.

There in the hot box woods, in glorious passion with a beautiful set of pink lips, the only thing he regretted was letting that powder fall from his nail. If I was going to lay here and die, I could of at least been high while I was doing it.

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the photo that originally inspired this story, visit the Instagram link below.

Photo Story No. 12

 

 

Photo Story No. 12

Photo Story No. 11

“Come on, let’s go for a walk,” said Mina. Her tone was tense, per usual, but it was different that day – more monotone. “I need to get out of this place.”

Tommy didn’t want the walk. It was dusk, and the bite of the cold would be setting in soon. “Mina, can’t we just…”

“No,” she interrupted. “I don’t want to sit still anymore.”

“Well why don’t you just…” Tommy started, intending to suggest she go alone to clear her head. She understandably hadn’t been herself since her twin sister drilled a hole through her own skull last Spring. While he sympathized, he wasn’t in the mood for moping.

“Tommy, will you just fucking walk with me,” she interrupted again. “You need to see this anyway.”

“See what?” Tommy looked at Mina and waited for an answer he never received. Knowing he didn’t have a real choice, he braced his hands on his knees and pushed up from the couch with a hard sigh.

Tommy was tired. Over the last few months he had lost a lot of weight, over 40 pounds. He knew to some degree his stress with Mina kept him from eating regularly, but there was no way he missed enough meals for that kind of change. Still, his frame had moved from hefty to lanky, and he made another mental note he still needed to see a doctor. Tommy pulled his hoodie on over his head and opened the front door, then stood to the side to let Mina pass.

The pair walked through the neighborhood in silence. Mina’s dark hair moved like a heavy drape behind her shoulders and bounced with each fall of her feet. Tommy did his best to be patient and just follow, but after watching the sun crawl down and finally fall behind the horizon, he was ready to head back to their place.

“Mina, where are we going?” She kept walking without a quiver in her gaze. “I’m heading back. It’s cold.”

“You’re wearing a coat. Just walk with me.” Her pace had been steady forward since they left, snaking through the streets and heading west towards the highway. “We’re almost there anyway.” 

Avoiding the fight and the cold couch, he was giving her a few more minutes, but if she didn’t turn back soon he would deal with the repercussions and head back to their shitty but warm apartment.

“See. We’re here,” she said as they crossed into the Patterson bridge.

“We’re where?”

“The bridge. I like to stand up here sometimes and watch the cars pass.” Tommy was more of a river guy himself, but he supposed watching the traffic flow could be relaxing. Mina turned towards the oncoming traffic. They both watched the yellow eyes grow brighter as they neared the bridge then disappear below it.

“Take a picture of me.” She looked back over her shoulder and rested her chin on the fur of her coat. Tommy followed her brow line down the bridge of her nose to the pout on her lips. He wanted to rub the soft skin of her cheeks between his knuckles, but he was sure with her mood she would only turn away.

“Take another,” she said, then jumped towards the top of the fence. Once she was settled and seated on top of the chain link, Tommy snapped the photo, then reached up to help her down.

“I’m not coming home with you Tommy.”

“Bull shit you aren’t. Come on.” He stepped closer and reached his arms up higher. “I’ll make us some hot chocolate.”

“I’ve had enough.” She looked down at him and tightened her grip on the pole supporting her weight. “Enough of life without Mila and life with you.”

Tommy’s face changed. His grin fell into a frown, and his cheeks hung like jowls on a bulldog. “What do you mean?”

“She mailed a letter to me before she turned that drill bit in her brain. Told me about you two.”

Convinced she was only fishing for a confession, Tommy swallowed hard and told her she was crazy. “Why would I want anything to do with your sister? You were identical, and she was batshit.” It only took a second for Tommy to realize he should have bit his tongue.

“Don’t you dare you piece of shit. You seduced her, fucked her, then told her to keep it quiet. It only took an hour for her to decide she couldn’t live with that.” Her words plucked the tense air around them.

Tommy reached for anything to say. He didn’t have a comeback, a reasonable denial. He looked at Mina with softened eyes and put his hands in his pockets. “Why did you bring me out here?”

“I told you, you need to see this.”

“See what?” As smart as Tommy was, he was as naive as they come.

“I stole your soul while you slept. I only stayed to watch you suffer. You’ll fade to nothing within the week.” Her eyes cinched to tight smiles and white teeth peered through her lips.

“You stole my…?”

“Your soul and gave it to the devil. We’ll see you in Hell soon.” Mina lifted her legs and pushed back. She rocked off the fence and fell out of Tommy’s field of vision. Honking and screeching commenced below. He ran towards the fence and looked down to see Mina’s legs flailing about on the hood of a red Civic, and her body up to her waist through a hole in the windshield. He watched until her feet stopped kicking, then called 911. He spent the next few days rolling her last words over in his head until the 6th morning dawned, when he woke engulfed in flames.

 

THE END

 

Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To see the three photos that originally inspired this story, visit the Instagram link below. Two more photos follow the linked one in succession.

Photo Story No. 11 Part 1

 

Photo Story No. 11