In the beginning it was enough. Id be wide-eyed, quietly watching her through the windows. Limbs and torso like a slender tree; bowing in wind and always shooting up toward the sun. Shed wear summer skin in the middle of winter with freckles spoiling her shoulders and cheekbones. Her birthmark was a dull red stain at her collarbone and she had a mole beneath her left breast. She was thirteen and I thirty, but my, oh my, did I ache to see her insides.
The house next door they called the sea house because it was two stories of cerulean blue. Through my bedroom window I could see naught but an empty bedroom. But late September the Parler family moved in. The Father was a tree of a man who was always working and the mother was a blonde lady named Annie with big tits and long legs. She brought around a tray of brownies for me, pathetic bitch, I thought as I fed them to the Cooper. I took him for a walk in the early morning mist and let him shit on their lawn.
It was late afternoon when I first saw their daughter, the sun was just dipping into honey and smearing it above the horizon, and there she was- skipping tirelessly with burnt blonde hair mid-air and utter determination caressing her features. And god, did I want to caress them too. I imagined feeding her soft hair through my fingers and gently unbuttoning her school uniform, holding those willowy bones to the cement and entering her with a knife. The sound would be heavenly. Elastic skin splitting then bursting open with the colour of fire, passion, death. Such a wonderful colour shed be.
But in that moment of shut-eyed daydream she had vanished, without as much as a skipping rope to mark her angelic existence. I sighed, bowed my head and shuffled toward home. Only to have a fire alight inside of me and a grin carve its way into my face later, when I saw through two layers of glass- right into her darling bedroom. I thanked the lord profusely.
But the first night her bed was vacant. So instead I let my imagination meander; silently dissatisfied. My fantasies of the child that night were immoral and they stirred up the dark, sadistic part of me. So I let my eyes glaze over and my hands wander.
Annie loved to garden. I often saw her about, swathing herself in irises, tulips and roses. I wanted to rip them from their beds in the soil and clump the dirty weeds together to shove into her mouth (so I wouldnt have to listen to that whining voice of hers any longer). But alas I was dying to know what her daughters name was. And so I opened my mouth and made sounds, which formed into dull words and then blunt sentences. I hadnt shaved in several months. I didnt like the feel of speaking, prickling my neck with my own beard.
So how are you enjoying the neighbourhood?
She paused before she replied, as though her brain took a little longer to process conversation than it should. I wanted to take the hose from the grass behind her, turn the tap to full blast, hold her nose and fill and fill until her lungs inflated with non-air and her chest exploded. But instead, I waited.
Oh its quite nice thank-you. I have been feeling a bit funny though, do you know if theres anything wrong with the tap water? It doesnt taste-
I dont think youve introduced me to your family I interrupted; I havent had practice in this, this conversing, this politeness. She looked almost startled.
Oh well, Im so sorry. Mark, well, hes out working. But I can introduce you to my daughter Lucy if you like?
Lucy, I tasted it on my tongue, I almost said it aloud to hear if it sounded just as pretty as it did in my head. Lucy. I nodded to Annie and said it again several different ways in my mind before she came out to the front yard to stand by her mother. She was just as tall and she wore the same blue-green giraffe eyes. I wanted to stroke her, carry her away on my shoulder back to the basement, where god would meet us and wed drown in all the colours of his rainbow. But somehow, I resisted.
Mother nudged daughter. She blurted out a Hello in a sweet candy voice and I suddenly wanted to hear her scream, to cry and to sob violently until her little figure was a shaking leaf and I, the sadistic wind. I was nervous. Hello, Im Mike, your neighbour. I held out my monster palm and it engulfed hers, I held it a moment too long but her mother simply regarded me curiously.
You like affection dont you; I thought to her loudly in my mind. I wanted to give her a special kind of affection, one that lasted onwards to heaven. But not yet, I told myself, narrowly refusing temptation.
One week later I sat by my window with greedy eyes. She flowed into the room like music and lifted her arms, bringing her shirt high above her head. Her bra was a faded red. Her fingers reached to unclasp it and when it released I stifled an audible groan. Oh my, her breasts were so slightly; lovely blooms with nipples the colour of piglet skin. Tender flesh and tissue I decided Id cut from her chest first, savouring the way itd lift up from her mutilated, young body. Separate parts. Pieces. Lucy would be my puzzle and Id mix her up and put her together again. I always did like puzzles.
It was agony seeing her bare skinned from the stomach and upward. Seeing her delicious blank canvas so close. Devising the way I would pluck her from her family home and lay her across the 1950s operating table in my basement. I could have done it that night, you know. But you always enjoy things more when you have to wait for them. Something Momma taught me, before Daddy and I forced an electric sander to her warm skin. Afterwards hugging her blood to us, laughing and collapsing in red- playing happy family.
Dad and I were close. He taught me everything I know. Later I would use it all against him and skin him alive with the electric carving knife I bought him for Fathers day in 87. He would be so proud to see the jars alongside my basement wall. Suspended organs in jars just like Mommas. Like Father like son they say.
My dreams were agonisingly lucid the night after I saw her naked. Bones bursting through skin, like flowers from the earth in spring. Fingers snapping like feeble twigs in autumn wind. The skin remaining on her battered body winter pale from shock as a separate piece lies beside her on the cement, still summer golden and freckled.
I woke at 4am sweating lust and choking on dust, feeling that throbbing ache all over. Oh I want to see your innards, darling. I sang softly. Even though this was a song I had never heard before. I shook the sleep from my body and I fell down onto my knees habitually, bounding my fingers and sinking my head in prayer.
Oh dear Lord,
I will not wait any longer. She tempts me God, oh how she tempts me. I fear I am not strong enough. Give me enough strength to do what I must with her infantile body. Give me strength to do what I will with this gift of life. I pray forgiveness God, but this is something I cannot stop.
Oh yes, that day I would do it. I would bathe in the blood of little Lucy Parler. Her shrilled screams still reverberating in my newly crimsoned basement. I would paint the walls with her dismembered limbs and stroke the flaps of flesh after Id cut each from her. Then later that night Id clean it all up and Lucy Parler would just be a collection of organs in jars.
But Lucy Parler was gone. Through my window once again I saw a vacant room. My breath had seemed to have disappeared with her. I hammered the brick wall in my living room with my fists and the blood from my knuckles mocked me. Eventually I ran outside to have the sun beat down on me, hearing neighbours talk from across the road.
Oh well that isnt very good then, is it? The man said. I know! I hope our tap water is okay, I wouldnt want to spend the holidays in hospital, poor Annie. They were such nice people too. Such a shame, and that Lucy-
My heart sped in response to her name. Serves the dumb bitch right, I thought about the Mother. But Lucy. Oh Lucy. How could God do this to us? We would have had such fun. You would have become an angel and I would have experienced heaven for a little while. Oh beautiful Lucy, you left me no choice.
My dog Cooper didnt look nearly as wonderful as you would have without flesh.