I didn’t connect the mouse and the headlights at first. The mouse barely registered in my consciousness, a blip under my wheels. It was dark; a blur of movement caught my eye…by the time my brain interpreted it as tiny mammal running rather than wind-blown leaf, I’d flattened it. A pang of regret and it was forgotten. No guilt. Not yet.
And there’s nothing strange about a car spinning a u-turn. I simply sped up to avoid the angry glare of lights from the car now following me.
Usually I’m the first to jump to conclusions, then spread them like fact on toast. The mouse, the headlights. Should’ve known immediately what it meant. Perhaps after Brian I’m hesitant.
Blessed are the dead, eyes forever shut to cold reality. They repose content in the womb of the earth as above autumns come and go, as men live, toil and suffer. In one bat of a maiden’s eyelashes, ages pass, nations rise and fall, pain is had, love goes unrequited, and agony is bestowed upon the unfortunate living…all while they sleep blissfully on unaware.
Damned are they, as I, that ride the night and moan to the moon, cast into dense thickets far from the sphere of men. We wretches roam the wild, shunned by even the most ill-tempered beasts, our faces wan and drawn, our eyes cold and hollow, our black hunger continually gnawing. We know not the comforts of home nor the love of mankind. We are hunted like feral dogs. Mothers tell their children to behave lest we come and take them away. Travelers keep one wary, superstitious eye on the forest when they pass at night, and then frighten each other with tales of us around warm inn fires. Children dress as our race in the harvest season, when the moon is full and the trees bare, and roam the chill countryside in ghastly light, snarling in ill will and confectioner’s lust, scaring babes and moaning for candy. Writers in Swiss villas take doses of laudanum and dream ghoulish visions of us. The righteous regard us as daemons sent forth to kill Christian children, and groups with guns and torches seek us and our demise.
We are cold, hollow creatures banished to hardscrabble limbo, damned to haunt midnight graveyards with large mouths and eyes. We know not the bewitching allure of evil, only the hot need that drives us to drag our icy brethren from the ground. Continue Reading
Fortunate I am, dear readers to be back on American soil now, mayhap bloodied but unbowed, having barely escaped with my life from the wilds of Europe and bonnie Scotland with many a tale to recount, strange and terrible, glorious and awe-inspiring. All the children of my village, and the adults as well, gather around me now wide-eyed in the local pub to hear the tales of my adventures abroad, which grow taller with each telling. They cringe with horror, as indeed I did myself, when they hear me tell of almost being slain by a pack of wild Haggis on the moors of Scotland. How the strange rolling beasties appeared from out of nowhere over the hill and spun towards me, their sharp teeth gnashing, pure hate in their piggy little eyes. I could see that they were out for my life’s blood. I should have known they were about because their stench preceded them, but I thought that was just the little pit I came across earlier with the hand-written sign saying “Highland Outhouse” over it. Continue Reading