Monday, August 20, 2012


c 2012 Roger A Wilbanks

Desperation clouds his judgement with each peal of thunder. That frantic message written in the fog of the bathroom mirror pulled the pin. His mind exploded into shrapnel, and shredded his mind into jagged bloody strips. She was out there, waiting for him. All this time he has fought against his nature. All this time he has supressed this incindiary need to have her. To be with her. Gone. In the blink of an eye with the long faded message written in the fog on the bathroom mirror.

Come to me.

That was what it said. Three simple words that undermined every defense he had built over the years. Deep inside him, he understood tall this was pretense. He knew that he would run to her the instant she gave him permission. But this was different. Something about these three words seemed wrong. Out of place. Indecent. He could not say why. He just felt the sting of her loss. He knew his combattiveness was all an act. Those three words “Come to me.” were wrong and he knew it. She would never just say it. She was sly. She would hint at it, “How have you been?” she would ask. She would never just tell him what she wanted.

He saw her in danger somewhere. His immagination put her in every scenario in which he could rescue her. He always saved the day here in his mind. He was James fucking Dean and John fucking Wayne here amidst the shattered remains of the walls he had built against her return. She just never needed that kind of man, he remembered. She was always strong enough to simply walk away and never look back. Sometimes the beauties are insecure. Sometimes they need to be told how special they are. She didn't. Ever.

“Come to me.”

He rolled these three words over in his mind as he turned the key. The engine roared to life. It was more ready than he was to run to her. He flew past the people of the world on his way to her. The wisps and wraiths never registered to him as anything more than obstacles to avoid if applicable. He knew the way. He had driven it hundreds of time both in the real world and his own creation.

He was sweating. That was strange considering it was the beginning of fall. The air was comfortable and relaxed. The breezes that wiped their hands across the city shook the hands of the people rather than strangled them like Summer would. He wiped the sweat from his brow. It was really pouring down his face now. He looked at his hand as he took it from his forehead. It was shiny with sweat.

He saw her house. It punctuated the street. It grew larger and more detailed as he drew closer. He could see the door open. He thought that was odd. She was remarkably paranoid. This was not a sign he was expecting even were she leaving the door open for him. He leapt from the car as it skidded to a stop and landed on the sidewalk. He looked at her house and it glared back. It told him he was not welcome even though she had given permission. He defied this obstacle and began the walk to the door. He could see into the hallway, the grand staircase on the right, leading to the bedrooms upstairs. Her jacket draped over the bannister as always, a sign she was home. The light from the back door 's window bounced off the shined hardwood foor of the hallway, striking his face. He stepped onto that first step, the one that creaks. This was an old carpenter's trick. The house was built in a time when craft was king. Carpenters would build that first stair to squeak as a signal that company had arrived. It's announcement hard-wired into the house, it would reverberate through every room on the firast floor. She knew he was there as his weight pressed down on the stair.

He pushed open the door. The hallway dark save the light coming in from the back door window. The entire house was dark. The hair on the back of his neck tried to tell him. The raised bumps on his skin tingled their warning. He ignored all of them. He walked into the dark house and closed the door behind him, further darkening the hallway now lit by a single light from the back door. She would be upstairs. He knew this. His mind painted a picture of a candle lit room with a pink duvet covering her four poster bed. He put his hand on her jacket as he mounted the stairs. It was cold and wet from the rain. He ignored this also and bounded up the staircase without a sound.

He turned to the right to face the hallway that opened up to the Master bedroom. She was there, he knew it. All this time of pushing him aside was done. All the energy he spent insuring this woman never stepped into his life again was wasted. He stopped in his tracks and remembered. His mind played out scened from the movie of his life. He saw the time she cut his spark plug wires. He saw the time she set his dog on fire. He saw the time she paid someone to beat him up. He watched all these as if they were coming attractions. None were relevant to the main feature but all were somehow tied by genre. He squinted his eyes as he stood still, feet from her open bedroom doow. The amber glow of candle light danced on the floor in front of him through the crack. He remembered why he ran away the first time. He remembered the time she cut him. He felt the blood running down his arm as he stood there in disbelief. It warmed his arm and chilled his body. It dripped onto the floor and made sticky puddles. He couldn't move. He was frozen in place. He looked doen at his feet expecting to see a shadow of crimson.

The hair on the back of his neck, were it given voice, would have screamed. The goosebumps on his arm, were they able would have solidified into armor to protect him. But it was the little voice he heard from directly behind him that froze him and rendered these defenses worthless. “You came. I am glad.”

He almost didn't even feel the straight razor as she dragged it across his throat.