She chose an inconvenient time to die
but chose the warmest place there was, away
from the mossy tree where we kept her chained
for safety, so she wouldn’t run away.
i have walked with half a skull and i have walked
with a blanch shell. i have walked, legs
split hungry, and i have walked too old.
Sidewinder, the kids called her, because of the way she walked, dragging her left leg, swinging herself along half sideways. A witch, they said. Boils cats and puppies to make her soup. No one knew where she lived, or how, or where she’d come from, or if she’d been born here.
A young girl has a dream about a monster. The monster is gray. It enters her window at night, just pulls it open and slides through, facing her, sagging and infinitely wrinkled, with rotting teeth. It reaches its long shadow-arms into her parted lips and down her throat to grab her life, to take it from her. She wakes up screaming.
The bus is on fire.
No, wait—before that.
It’s 5 AM and I’m in a panicked scramble for my duffel bag.