i open my eyes not ready to be awake. the restriction of not being able to move freely, is enough to cease sleep. i am wet. sticky, stiff and chilled. the room, my room is dark. humid. there is sweat lingering above my lip. i lick the dryness from my lips to taste blood.
i inhale to smell iron. metal. medicinal. it is almost acidic. my stomach rolls and my chest heaves. i swallow the contents of my last meal to keep it from spilling it beside my head in my blood.
my fingers are soaked. the blood is gelling between my fingers, between my legs, drying in my hair, lingering on my skin. cooling and heating at the same time.
the ceiling fans hums slowly in the ceiling. the speed not fast enough to carry a wind on. it blows the scent of blood in a cyclone around me. i’m getting dizzy. i don’t open my eyes. i can’t. i don’t want to see. it will surely lead to ridding myself of bodily functions one way or another.
“cicely, i’m home. it’s not midnight yet, what are you doing in bed?” it is the voice of my younger sister and roommate. it could only mean my older sister is near or coming.
the doors open slowly and the lights come on. she gasps. then sighs. there is a thump against the wall. she leans on the wall.
“what the hell did you do?”
“help me up.”
“don’t you dare move. you got three dead men in the bed with you. you stay right there before you make more of a mess.”
i exhale choosing to breath in and out of my mouth. i hear my sister dialing on her phone.
“send your man home. we need you. hurry up and get here. i’m calling mama.”
she called our older sister, dana. another heavy exhale.
“this better be an emergency, cass .” i hear my mothers voice through the phone.
“it’s happening again, mama. you should come. it looks like it’s escalating.”
“i’m on my way. don’t let her leave.”
i remain in bed feeling cold and hot, now humiliated.
“you better not go back to sleep.”
“i’m awake. go away.”
“i wish i could. i had a nice night lined up that i was coming to get you to join me in. seems you were having your own party without me. i’m partly glad. i don’t like blood with my sex.”
“go away, cass.”
“no. if you go to sleep again, i could wake up dead. i’ll stay right here.”
“well give me some cover. turn off the fan.”
“no ma’am. i don’t want to die from blood inhalation. i will get you some cover although the three men half covering your body should be plenty warmth.”
“they’re getting cold and heavy. cutting off my circulation.”
“i guess you could be dead. would that be better for you?”
“get me some cover or i’m going to end you.”
“i do believe you.” cass says her heels tapping against the wood floor. “this is a crime scene tech’s dream come true. i didn’t know three bodies could hold so much blood.”
“take your heels off. i just got these floors done.”
“really? you’re worried about my heels scratching your wood?” cass spreads a comforter over her me and part the men.
“you bought a white one home, i see. why are their eyes always open? they always look so happy. you give’em an orgasm the same time you end their life?”
“go away, cass.”
“but there is three of them. how the hell can you give three orgasms at the same time? they always look so straight. they do each other?”
“go away.” i growl. she steps away from the bed, her feet still in heels. she ends up leaning against the wall.
“three is a record for you, big sis. how does it feel? you’re exceeding your expectations?”
“it’s five of them. one is in your bathroom.” we both hear dana in the bathroom down the hall.
“dammit, cicely!” cass runs out of my bedroom to check her bathroom. i’m glad.
i hear doors open and close again. they are examining. they are talking to each other. i refuse to listen. i am thinking about the hot bath i will take when i get free. i can get up but i stay. part tired. part hot and cold. mostly exhausted.
“every single time, i think it’s over. that it will be the last time. it’s not. it’s never over. i’m back here again.” i hear my mother’s voice. i wish i could move to cover my face. she is coming up the stairs. “how many this time?”
“five. one in the kitchen.” dana, the oldest sister says.
“i really liked this house before she desecrated it by baptizing her men in sex and blood in every room.” cass says her voice coming back into my room.
“well, this is a god awful sight if i ever saw one.” mother says coming into my room. i feel her eyes all over judging. “cicely.”
“dana, call blade and rip.”
“no-.” both cass and i say at the same time.
“quiet, both of you. there are five dead men in this house. would you like the police here? you better believe many eyes saw at least one of them coming here. you want to kill police officers as well? we should be leading quiet and private lives.” she says for my sake. i don’t respond. “call them. cass come get your sister. and where is deena? she does live here, doesn’t she? why isn’t your sister ever here?”
“she obviously knows better than to come home on a saturday night before we’ve cleaned up the blood. i wish i did.”
“well, this is absolutely disgusting.” dana comes into my room. “they’re all on their way. i sent deena a text to come home now. she’s coming.”
“they don’t all need to come.” i protest. it won’t work but i can’t help trying.
“if i’m going to suffer cleaning up your mess, i won’t suffer alone. i was half naked at home.”
“so was i.” mother says closer to me probably examining the men. i don’t open my eyes to see her.
“ew mama.” cass says. she is in my bathroom. i have no clue why. i don’t ask.
“well, i only gave birth. it doesn’t mean all my parts stopped working.”
“nobody wants to hear about your parts.”
“don’t be rude to your mother, it isn’t necessary.” mother says getting a closer look at the men for whatever reason. “i still have feelings too!”
“it is amazing that the smell of blood sickens you so, yet you have no problem making a lake of it where you lay your head at night. cass, run the shower. turn it up high. need to burn off whatever diseases she’s rubbed herself in.” dana says. “give me your hand.”
“no. go away. i can get up by myself.”
“nobody cares about you being naked. this is is not the first time. i’m trying to spare you before our cousins get here. they will have no mercy on you. get up. if you vomit on me, i will kill you and i will not apologize for it.”
“mother, go away.” i tell her.
“i see your savagery obviously knows no bounds.” mother walks to the door and stops. “do i need to store you in a dungeon at night?”
“i’ll take her dungeon.” cass yells over running water.
“this can’t become a problem. it looks like a problem. five dead men with erections in different parts of your house is not something that we can afford to keep happening.”
“i don’t have the answers, mother.” i hold my breath being pulled up by dana who does not care that mother hasn’t left the room. dana puts limbs back onto the bed, that my movement shifted. i’m dry heaving.
“don’t spill the men on the floor.” mother warns.
“you, hold your breath! it’s bad enough i have to clean up blood.” more blood drips slowly onto the floor. i forget about my nudity as the bile rises in my throat. “i could so kill you.” dana threatens pulling me out the bed to run to bathroom. i upchuck my last meal into the toilet. cass only moves out of my way instead of leaving my bathroom.
“looking like a newborn werewolf all covered in blood and nude like you don’t know any better. you smell, too! i think you were born in the wrong family. mama, can i have the dungeon?”
“go away before i kill you tonight.” i’m done vomiting. i flush.
“stop threatening me and wash your body. have some dignity about yourself, sister.”
i get in the shower. the spraying hot water is relief and grounding at the same time. i start to feel more like myself after the second body scrubbing and third shampooing. cass in still in the bathroom with me. probably on her phone. she is silent. she is rarely silent.
i hear when my cousins come in. they beat my youngest sister to the house . my mother is tossing around directions. dana has already begun cleaning and grumbling in my bedroom.
“why aren’t you helping?” deena’s voice is at the bathroom door talking to cass.
“i don’t do blood and bodies.”
“what happened to you watching her?”
“i’m not a baby sitter. and where the hell were you?”
“both of you get out.” i tell them. neither of them makes a move to leave.
“tonight was your night. not mine. you disappeared?” deena asks cass.
“you know what? you want to hold someone responsible for you being inconvenienced, direct it someplace else. you are not the only one that had other plans.”
“we need to talk.”
“you need to go clean up. we’re done talking, sister. i’m on duty. remember?” cass reminds her. deena leaves the bathroom. her anger leaves a trail behind her. cass is pleased.
“she’s going to kill you.” i tell her scrubbing my skin.
“it’s amazing that she doesn’t want to kill you. look at me sitting here and i haven’t killed any man i’ve had sex with. i let them all go home. see me being innocent. it’s funny how anyone would be upset with me in this situation.”
“it was five of them?” i whisper.
“yup. could be more but i refuse to go in the basement or the garage.” i scrub twice more and rinse my hair. i turn off the shower and let the tub water run and fill around my feet. i sink into it feeling the horror of what i’ve done. it doesn’t matter if i meant it or not. they won’t ever breathe again. i’ve taken five lives and i have no memory of doing so.
i try to submerge myself underneath the rising waters in my tub. it’d be easier if i just disappear.
“alright, it’s time for you to get out of here. you’re clean enough.” cass says sliding the shower curtains back with a bath towel in her hands. “come on, get up. get out. no self-pity party on my watch.”
“you should have been watching earlier and this could have been prevented.” deena projects from another room.
“just go.” i wrap myself in the towel and sit on the end of my tub. cass sits beside me.
“i wouldn’t leave you. i know how you deal. and i know that you’d be the last person on earth to take pleasure in these acts. this is the part i rather be here for.”
“but it could be prevented. why not be there for that?” deena stands in the door way covered in plastic.
“deena. come and finish.” dana commands. i don’t look at her but the energy of anger and rage makes my bathroom a lot hotter than it needs to be. i sigh. she hates me. i almost can’t blame her. i would hate me too, if i were her. yet, i wouldn’t take it out on cass.
“this makes very little sense. why are we not talking about this? we clean up the trails of blood of innocent men and we cover it up. we hide it. we never talk about it. why? how many years will we do this? how many years has it already been? over a hundred now.”
“get out.” cass tells her.
“deena, are you being a hard time?” mother yells from downstairs.
“i’m the hard time? how is that possible? this is the hard time. at some point, we all need to call it what it is. a waste of time. this is all a waste of time. we shouldn’t be trying to hide this. we should be finding ways to end this and that starts with you.”
i feel the beast in my throat rising like the bile that forced itself out of my body.
“you can’t control yourself. and that’s a pity. if you were anyone else, you’d be put to death. we all know that.”
“i’m putting my money on, cicely.” blade jokes from cass’ bathroom.
“well, you ain’t getting no bet from me. i see what she did to these dudes.” rip says to her. we all hear them. no one responds to them.
“would you like to put me to death? if you are able, have your way.” i say to her. cass sighs beside me.
“i’m not cleaning up blood. deena, you could just get out.”
“i could. but i rather have this conversation. we have a defect among us. we kill defects. we don’t pretend this is alright when it comes to others.” i stand and put on my robe and let the towel fall to the floor. cass moves out the way. “have a seat. you’re going to black out on me? wake up and i’m dead in my blood and you covered in it.”
“well, i have no intentions of having sex with you.” i say. cass chuckles looking in her phone. “i can bleed you without killing you.”
the beast is on the edge. always on the edge. i smile at her. i could end her but she belongs to mother. mother wouldn’t intentionally want me to kill her last born daughter. but maybe by accident…
i grab her by her neck. she is hitting me and kicking. i lift her off the floor. she is thinner than i am but taller. i always win with her. dana stops cleaning to watch and warn me. “cicely, don’t kill your sister.” deena punches me in the chest. the sting of it radiates from my chest to my arms. i drop her to the floor of my bathroom. she realizes too late that it is not a good place to be. i put my foot in her chest and kick her before she jumps up. she flies out of my bedroom, down the stairs and near the front door.
“maybe i should give you the dungeon since you’re so hell bent on fighting your sister when she always wins.” mother says from downstairs. “you stay with me. i don’t want to clean up any more blood either. get a bag and start putting these bodies in them.”
“i would have killed her.” cass says casually. dana returns to her cleaning. cass gets up to leave my bathroom. “put some clothes on. you can sleep with me if you promise you won’t hurt me.” cass teases.
“i’ll be fine on my own.”
i’m rushing home before the night completely falls, per my agreement with my family. no men. no sex. just straight home. it’s been weeks of this. almost a month. i’m not in enough lust to disobey these rules. i will. they know it’s only a matter of time. tonight, i can wait. i am actually in need of rest. my mother and cousins have been keeping me busy so that i am distracted. no sex for me means no sex for them.
a group of men sees me before i see them. they are walking toward me. it is no accident. i smell them. i smell their lust and arousal. i sense their ill intentions. it is five of them. i will get hurt but i won’t die.
i hear the click and swish of a switchblade being released. i’m not in the mood to smell blood. not even mine. don’t vomit. i keep walking in the direction i was already headed in. it is my way home. i am not detouring. not for them. the one with the blade steps to me first. his blade and breath in my face. i smell the gun powder, the steel and the metal of more weapons.
the smell of meat, sweat, and aged leather is in my face. at least it’s not blood.
“you can come willingly. if i ask nicely, will you come? or will i have to stab you first?” the whiskey on his breath smells like sour like curdled milk.
“you should kill me instead of stabbing. i hate the smell of blood.”
i knee him between his legs. and the brawl begins. i take it. receive the hits. the kicks. the beast has to build. i allow it. when they think they have me overcome, the beast is ready.
i take the one with the knife and separate his head from his body with my two hands. this should scare the others. it does not. they charge me. i hear the growl of my youngest sister descend from behind me. her beast is swift and blood thirsty. her legs are fast. she reaches them before they reach me. she slashes and cuts. blood splatters across the walls of brick buildings. she chases one of the men down. he had enough sense to run. i sit and wait for her to finish. she drags him back. dumps his dead body in the dumpster.
“dramatic much?” i say standing. “this is not worse than what i do at the house?”
“this is self defense.”
“won’t look like self defense. go look at them. ‘what beast has been let loose to do that?’” she looks at me and sighs before turning around to the dead bodies. she returns to the dumpsters. i wait. i feel the heat of fire against my back. i smell burning flesh rising in the smoke in the night sky. she returns and we walk side by side. “ why would you help me? not that i needed it but that isn’t the point.”
“i don’t like you.”
“but that doesn’t mean i would let someone assault you whether you got it handled or not. i don’t know what your problem is. i don’t hate you for it. sometimes it comes at the wrong damn time. speaking of timing-”
“i’m being obedient. no men. no sex. no bodies.”
“that’s stupid. that’s how you lose control and binge.”
“binge on men?” i laugh.
“it’s a thing. it’s better to not do that. so let’s work on pacing. i’ll stand guard.”
“well, that’s just weird. i can’t have sex with you anywhere near me.”
“if you focus you won’t even know i’m there.”
“i pass, thank you.”
“i tried. see, there’s some good left in me. two for two. i looked out for you twice.”
“you’re acting very strange. what’s going on? rip and blade got you in a bet or something?”
“five hundred on you. i’m not giving them another dime.” she says. i smile at her.
“i’m fine if you want to go. i’m going home. no trouble. i am thinking of finding a woman though.”
“hmm. that could be a thing. you don’t kill women that you sleep with. it would be nice to come home and not have to clean up blood and bodies.”
“will that help us have peace?”
“it won’t hurt. i would like a little peace.”
“good. i just won dana and cass’ money. we’re not fighting and we just established peace.”
“i kind of hate you now. again.”
(30 posts for 30 days)