Sharp: Part IV

Back to Where Home Is

Budding Blossoms. Early Spring. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Robbie slugs away from their home, blade dripping blood, legs shiftless and without care. He will bury the child’s head in a toxic heap, far away from the townspeople. It’s where the others are. It is where he is thought to be from–garbage. The tale of his emergence is a strange, sad one. It is said among the gossipy that his Mom delivered him in an alley, tore him from her womb, and threw him in the nearest dumpster.

She was not quite human, but not quite monster, either. She was this strange in-between thing and fearful of passing down her likeness to her offspring, she rid herself of it. The city trash collectors came the next day. One, a father of two girls, heard the wails of a shivering baby. He ordered his partner to help him search through the pounds of garbage, finally landing on Robbie. They stood flabbergasted, exhausted from a day’s work, but also scared to death. What was this thing? They wrapped Robbie in a soft towel kept in the truck’s bed, and transported him to the nearest convent.

Let the nuns deal with him, they thought. 

Those who truly fear God are said to have ways of exposing evil and exorcizing it. After months of exorcisms and numerous Doctor’s house-calls, the sisters believed that Robbie should be sheltered, kept away from humanity, for they knew that others would fear him. From the very first time he walked, they took him to the local park and explained to him that his place was among nature. From dirt he arose, back to dirt, he would go.

And with fresh blood on his hands, Robbie hurried to his place of safety, away from the summoning calls of the neighborhood children, away from all that was normal.

From dirt, he arose, back to dirt, he would go.


Parts I, II, & III


*This concludes the Sharp series. Thank you for reading.

Sharp: Part III

Cruel Acts

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Front door mat. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Robbie slips away from the bushes at first light, his hands are contorted and shaped into demon’s wings, he cuffs his blade tightly to his chest. In front of their door lovingly displayed is a mat that says, “Love is all you need.” He wipes the muddy gunk from the soles of his shoes on it, twists the edge of the blade into the keyhole, slides another in between the door jamb and the knob, and shifts the door silently. It opens. He listens for every breath in their home–Jaimie’s, her mom’s, her older brother’s, and her dad’s. He sniffs at the air, pulls in scents from days past, and bites down on his bottom lip.

Towards the stairs, he creeps. His not-quite-right wings are tucked in slightly behind his back as he maneuvers up each step, careful of creaking floorboards. Slowly he makes his way down the hall. Jaimie’s door is a dead giveaway–white door with pinks flowers and unicorn stickers don it from every angle. He pushes his way through the door and gently closes it behind him. His fangs protrude, salty saliva drips from the edges. Jaimie, sleeping peacefully with her teddy bear cupped tightly in her little hands, does not hear a thing.

Quickly, before anyone can wake up to Robbie’s presence, he leans closer to the sleeping girl, breathes into her ear, licks the tip of its top, and bites down hard, ripping her flesh in one, swift tug. To quiet Jaimie’s screams, his talon-like palm thrashes against her mouth. In one gulp, her head is devoured.

On her chest, Robbie carves, “Number 125.”


Part I & Part II

Sharp: Part II

Raindrops and the poolside. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

The Rains Came

Robbie clicks his tongue, summoning a new day, the rains came along to cleanse what has been made dirty. Jaimie is still asleep. Her five-year-old dreams cause her to smile… Angels are watching over her. She snores lightly, unaware of the half-man/half-devil waiting not too far from their door. He toys with the blade, licks his sharp teeth, and smacks his lips.

He measures the distance from the bushes to her window. From the bushes to their front door. From the bushes to their beaten up, midnight blue sedan, and then counts…

He counts the number of minutes it takes him to beat the sun and kill again. Dawn does not wait for him, it awakens to the birds’ songs.

Just one more, he thinks. Just one more. 


Part I

Prepared

The Inevitable

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Tushar Adhikari|Unsplash

Today, I prepared my Living Will & Testament. I had been meaning to draft this up for years, started it, and never finished, but today–it is done. I have all of the necessary mentions, made one of my best friends the Executor and both she and my mom as primary and secondary beneficiaries. Why one of my best friends and not my mom? We have discussed this, my Mom and I. Should I go before her, she is not what one would call a stable person emotionally. She would be too overwhelmed with sadness and grief and probably not the one to execute things accordingly. As grim as death is, in the event of the death of your child, plans still have to be made, funeral arrangements need to be completed, the gathering of souls and notifying them as well must be carried out and well… to be frank, she would not be able to get this done.

My best friend, on the other hand, handles things efficiently and does so in a way that many cannot. Plus, it will not be her first time dealing with death and dying and head-mastering the arrangements. I hate tasking either of them with this, but it must be done. Although I am what most would call young in age, death does not care about that. When I am called by God, I will be called and age will be the last thing on God’s mind. While diligently compiling the list of belongings and making sure Jernee will be cared for and loved when I am gone, I became a bit emotional myself. To think of one’s own death is quite macabre, however, as I stated earlier, this is necessary. I have had a number of peers die “untimely deaths,” and I am certain there will be more. It is not my intention to leave my family wondering what my wishes are nor is it my intention to leave them solely responsible for funding my homegoing.

The nearly three-page document lacks nothing. I went through it with a fine-toothed comb and I am pleased with every item bullet-pointed, including the want to be cremated and have my ashes relegated to my mother who may do what she likes with them at her discretion. I requested a small funeral–family and close friends only. I do not see a reason to have a mass gathering for the purpose of me leaving this earth. The more people at this event, the more my mom and best friend will have to deal with and I intend for their burdens to be light. They will have enough on their plates. Should my Mom go before me, I am the Executor and her primary beneficiary and I will adhere to her wishes as she has laid them out for me. The same goes for my best friend. We talk about these matters, better to do so than not be somewhat prepared.

The only thing left to do now is to obtain signatures and get the Notary Public at my credit union to notarize the document. I will try to accomplish this in the next week or two. I can let out a sigh of relief because after the fall in the shower, nearly two years ago, the one thing bleating in the back of my mind like an untamed billygoat is, “you need a Living Will. Get it done, Tre.”

And now, it is.

Centered

My Great-Grandmother Lucille Tiggs pictured at the far left. I have no clue of when this was, but I love this picture. Not sure who the other people are, but I aim to find out.

I remember my Great-Grandmother being more than sure of herself, she was confident and she had a presence about her that demanded your attention. I was close to her, undeniably and inexplicably close. Her passing more than sixteen years ago now gutted me. I felt as though my world would crumble. Her mind decided to give up on her. She had a form of dementia that beat her to a pulp and shrunk her overwhelming presence to one that we needn’t cower from. 

I do not want to ever know what it feels like to lose your mind, your sanity, your ability to make vital decisions for both yourself and others. When my Great-Grandmother’s condition worsened, her children agreed to have her placed under the watchful eyes of an appointed caregiver. There, in someone else’s home, she was monitored and cared for accordingly by professionals. It was there on my visits to her, that I noticed how aggressive this illness was. She didn’t know me anymore. Oh, she knew that I was family, but she kept referring to me as my older cousin. It pained me to watch her wither, to witness her become someone I did not know. 

Even though she was no longer as smart as a whip and her memory began shifting and leaving her day by day, there was still a sense of groundedness in her. I looked at her and she appeared centered. Was it the fact that she was in her eighties and had been the epitome of strength and tenacity for our family for decades? Was it because I still saw the confident and self-assured reckoning of a woman that she was? I am certain that it was a combination of these things, but now, when I feel as though I may fall or am falling, I think of her. I remember who she was and…

I tell myself that I am of her blood and I am centered, grounded, confident, and sure. 

I am hers even if she’s gone.