The pointy tip of my cane was quite thirsty, and the punk sating the end of it wasn't doing much as far as quenching went. Yet, steel tongue, slavering ruby filth, withdrew from the wound in the tenant's skull with a delicate twist, flourish, and charm. The man's shouting and whining – the contorted wobble of a recently marred mutt – chimed every now and again until his chest stopped moving. The steely fang leapt in again and again, perforating the vessel of flesh, forcefully liberating the soul. Everything else from then on was spectacle: little bits of flesh removing the need for anything as vulgar as a chalk outline, lazy strands of emancipated veins like the roots or branches of an old willow, a porous face and honed pupils entombed in perpetual disbelief. I found myself laughing like a macaque with each recoil. Baring teeth, my crooked, gnarled grin envied by piranha.
When it was all said and mutilated, I sat next to the corpse sensing the cold glare not of conscience, but discontent. I was still hungry, and I'd want to sate that nagging appetite before this convulsion was all said and done. The twitch came and went; life came and went. I caught at the man's blood vacating the throat, spluttering, stupid, and held back a titter.
I was a hermit in a vague village full of vague people. I was old, broken, weathered, with a sour sense of humor. On that trail I looked through windows of houses and saw sills with little gardens in them. I saw mossy wooden shacks with boards made from ancient but obscure trees, built by drifters an untellable amount of time ago. I would look at the changing weather, the shifting sky, the dark and the light, how the sun would rise and fall, and I would laugh. I thought it was funny, how they did such things in such a course, with such punctuality. The blue sky, with a big gaping mouth minutes from savoring the world.
In my dreams I jumped up into gray clouds and made a home. In this dream my brain was hanging out of the top of a fractured skull by the wires, orbited by chickadees singing pop goes the weasel. A soft dream that made me wake feeling refreshed and happy, if only for a moment, before the thoughts of Mr. Redd returned from the miasma in my crippled psyche. I found some solace in the silhouettes on walls, friend to an afterthought of a candle, and the shadows which would often grace my feet. This shadow would always stand silent and waiting for my next move, ever faithful, only victim to changing light.
I grafted the space between my pant-leg and my flesh with the aid of mountain air and some novice oxidation. My eye-holes were bouncing back and forth; reaming! The clouds played a respectful homage as they slowly wafted by; soft grays and impossible purples. I pulled the cloth from the oil and winced slightly, noticing the clouds were smiling at me and informing me that I should give up. Mr. Redd appeared in my mind occasionally to inform me that I was a great lie caught between a little truth.
In my dreams, I was running from something unforeseeable. Hobbling; in wide circles around a little grubby hovel with my tail clanking between my legs. Lightning striking the ground hundreds of miles away punctuated the time between the tips of my footpads hitting the ground and the pivot of my heels manipulating soft orange dust. I thought that I had long since lost my oppressors' shadow underneath the pistons and gears years ago, but his intuition had never failed him. I am always anxious.
I stirred that morning attentive, and my wits bade me take flight through the threshold of the cave where I was resting – little faceless god-knows-whats hanging from veins along the walls bade me farewell.
I etched "Liar" into a headstone leaning on a cliff I came across, although I’m not sure why. I set the crude visage of a headless peacock which I had produced from my skull to perch the top. There were a few wind chimes nearby hanging from some petrified cacti. I pulled back a leather hatch leading down into a hole nearby and rested my head on the organs inside.
The pounding heat turned the few hairs below the horizon into the fabled river of death. Masses of pulsing, wriggling agate-skinned maggots curdled and churned there. I made-believe once that I had flown off into the rot, towards the black shores of fingernails. I would fly there; high, up towards the brain, and commit the full tilt of a nosedive deep into the bowels - trailing with stygian blood – killing Mr. Redd and myself. A bittersweet daydream, even if things never went quite as expected.
The sun was present that day, as was the rain; friends they were to soft glowing golden clouds. The dusk signaled me to put on my footpads – it was a night for a walk. I went down into the city so that something might find me there. I had not exercised in a long time, and I was starting to malfunction. I opened my mouth and "fix by sigh why night" let loose: my usual incoherent jumble when I try to vocalize. I didn't mind the tongues, and it didn't really matter when no one else was around. So I'd walk a mile or two down to a dive muttering this gibberish, muttering this "alarm invention at what time I descry why try" and tilt my hand over my cane as if performing for the dirt. No, I didn't need to flatter the dirt, not Mr. Purple. Mr. Purple was pretty and he knew things!
Occasionally I would stop, and scowl into the trees. I knew they were out there: Mr. Redd’s shy and malefic shadows.
After I had awoken from resting on the corpse, a face paled through the dusk with the chime of a man’s gravelly voice. I excreted a great deal of my oil when I realized who it was.