Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zombie Seasonal Haiku

The world is cold, I
feel lost, thinking: am I dead
Inside? So hungry.

In summer brains are
Soft, casing easy to peel:
Look! no seeds inside.

Autumn leaves are a
Memory of my hair, which
Falls out as i rot.

Spring is growing things,
Rats burrowing in my legs,
babies born: more brains!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tales of a hunter


I lie to get jobs. Every town is a new name, a new identity thrown on like a cheap coat. Mr. Reynolds was asking me the usual questions, if I thought I’d be a good fit at Harolds. It’s a clothing store and he was treating it as if it would be my first and lost job, as if I planned to sell clothing until the day I died.
         I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of motivational tapes he was on.

“So, what do you want to do when you grow up, Billy?”
         “I want to work in retail, Ms. Smith.”
         “Yes, but what do you want to do?”
         “You already know that.”
         “We hoped you’d made progress since our last session.”
         “Increasing your dosage is not progress. I know what was put on this world to do. Do you?”
         I’d laughed, too. You don’t laugh at people in power. It had led to electroshock, but I never admitted to killing anyone. Because hey weren’t people.

He hired me, even told me his first name was Alex. I’m good with people, always have been. Sociopaths are too, I’ve been told, but people tell me a lot of things. Often when they don’t want to and in between screams.
         I lasted over three hours until one came in. Complaining old lady demanding this and that, trying to give meaning to miserableness by ordering staff about and considering it an outing, being social, meeting people. It would have been confused with royalty, once, but I saw beneath that. I offered to help her, the new guy foisted on the old lady.
         Alex asked me where she was, five minutes later, and I told him I’d left her in the change room. He looked in and staggered out a few moments later, throwing up on the beige carpets. The look on his face when he stared at me told me we were back to Mr. Reynolds but the only asked me to enter his office, then closed the door, and the blinds, and unplugged the phone.
         “What the hell happened?!’
         “She died,” I said.
         “You killed Mrs. Ditmore!”
         “Well, yes. It is quite hard to strangle yourself with scarf and bash your head open with shoes. It’s all right though,” I said giving him my third-best smile. “I am sorry I had to ruin a 220 dollar pair of shoes though.”
         “She was a demon. Normal people do not produce that much blood in a room when beaten to death.”
         On reflection, I probably sounded a bit too authoritative as Mr. Reynolds pulled out his cell phone so fast he almost sprained his wrist.
         My stomach rumbled, and he nearly wet himself.
         I used the moment to stand, grabbing his hand lightly. “You don’t want to do that.”
         “You killed one of my customers!”
         “You don’t want demons for customers. They cause aggravation, feed on frustration. Demon is just a term for them: they’re an infection, parasites who prevent people from being the best that they can be. I try and prevent them.”
         “Mad.” He jerked back. “You’re mad!”
         “I’m also hungry. I need a good job; a place to stay for a couple of weeks to ground myself. You call 911 and I’ll tell people you did horrible things to me.”
         “N-no one would believe that.”
         “The case would drag out. I have lots of buried skeleton,” I said gently. “I bet you do, too. Everyone does. You’d never escape the stigma of it. Or lawyer fees I couldn’t afford to pay, even if you won.”
         “How dare you?” He glared, anger pushing the fear aside.
         “It’s the law,” I said. “You appear to be a sane man, Alex..”
         “Mister Reynolds, to you - whatever you are!”
         “All right, Mister Reynolds. Then you should that your being innocent doesn’t matter. Victims go on trial along with the accused. And people would dig up dirt.”
         “What kind of monster are you?” he whispered.
         “Only the human kind. I’ll be gone in two weeks,” I said. “I just need to pay for some repairs on the car and an alimony payment.”
         “Will you kill any more customers?” he demanded.
         “Only the demons.”
         He paused a moment. “Do they have to be our customers? Can’t you do it outside work hours?”
         “Demons exist to destroy the potential to see the good in others, our faith in our shared humanity. Most of them frequent retail.”
         “Not politicians?”
         “Even demons have standards.” I waited, but he didn’t laugh. “Who do you think is a demon?”
         “My niece.”
         “Oh. Children.” I reminded myself that the car did need a lot of work, and his desire was working through his shock nicely. “I’ll see what I can do, but if she’s two or a teenager it’s hard to tell.”
         He did laugh at that, though I hadn’t been making a joke this time. I didn’t let it bother me; there was one less demon in the world, and that meant the world was a better place, even if I’d spend the next three hours lying to my fellow species and cleaning out a dressing room.
         If hunting demons was easy it would show up in the classifieds.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I do what I can

I do what I can and I can what I do
But I fear I'm losing it all for you.

I've traded summer for winter, dreams for memories
All for a door to your home and a set of your keys.

I wish I could be certain of anything but doubt
There's your new trick in bed I didn't know about.

Maybe you learned it on the anonynet
All I'm feeling is almost regret.

I do what I can and I say I still love you
Over and over, as if words make it true.