We appear on a hot summer sidewalk in front of a one-story house, modest in stature and scheme, to hide in plain sight I suppose. Edna pulls me close to her. I feel the flesh of her, but my stomach grumbles a sound of discomfort. “You must be famished sweetie, come on in and we’ll get you something to eat.” I dig my fingers into her, but she seems to enjoy it. She puts the silver ball into the mailbox then closes it. She catches me staring “For later.” she says. We walk into the house, she twirls from me, not letting go of my hand. “The kitchen is this way.” She pulls me into the living room and sets me down onto a chair. “Let’s see what I got for my hero.” I watch her every movement as she walks to the fridge. A hop to her step that I hate. He pulls some containers out and smells them, each one she gives a disgusted face too. She shrugs and pulls a beer from the fridge and pops it open on the counter. She almost floats across the floor as she makes her way to me. She hops onto my lap and hands the beer to me. “Here you go, how does a pizza sound?” she asks looking into me, maybe through me. I drink the beer, well I chug about half of it, and I feel the angry gas in my stomach rise. “Well, I’ll call them and you can decide when it gets here. As much as this mess excites me I think I’ll go change into something more comfortable.” She lifts herself off of me and walks down a hall and disappears. “I am really proud of you, you did so well…” I hear a struggle with something in her voice then continues. “We’ll sit on thrones honey, we’ll be gods, king, and queen of life itself.” I hear a medicine cabinet open, a faucet run, then a medicine cabinet close. A tap, then another, every repeating, ever refining, growing louder.
She leans on the wall when she emerges, her figure a ghost, a haunting naked form. I want to laugh at the fact she went somewhere else to strip, but I just cough beer. As if practiced in a mirror a long time ago she moves with an unbecoming grace towards me. Each step making a straight line in the direction to where I sat. I place the beer on the table as Edna sits back onto my lap. With skin like milk, but features as pink as her lips. I study her and she studies me. “A reward, dear.” She runs her fingers through my sweaty hair, I run my fingers up the middle of her torso, ever leading to their goal. I am amazed by my fingers knowledge, regardless of the fact they have none. She smiles a loose smile, her teeth show, I smile a tight smile with tight lips. She pulls herself in to kiss me, my fingers, my hand wraps like tentacles around her neck. Her lips graze mine as I squeezed her throat. She tries to ask why, but spit and gargles come out. I fall with her and on top of her, as we hit the cheap linoleum floor, I put my weight on the soft flesh. She beats onto my back, but I just squeeze harder, pulling her closer. With one shoe she kicks at me as the other makes a tapping sound for the last time. Her eyes bulge as the floor changes underneath us.
Hardwood, my hardwood floor. I hear something to my right. My bed. I stirred in my sleep, distracted her open fist collides with my face. It hurts but pulls my attention back into my hand, I grip harder. Her feet kick, making thumping clicking sounds. The ground changes again.
We’re on grass, wet grass. My knee slips, my fingers slipped. She gasps for air, louder than the lawnmower that sounded in the distance. I hear popping sound the further past that, I lay my weight into her. She wraps her legs around me. With a firm grip again I try to make my index finger and thumb meet. The grass vanishes.
The room is dark and dank, the smell of urine. I hear the screams of agony. I remember the smell I remember the screams. With my free hand, I strike her, her legs go limp, then pull me closer. I feel a wetness press against me. I return my focus to her as she gasps, and there’s another of her gasps from the other room. The scenery changes, I feel the fiery heat, as I begin to choke on the fire the floor changes to a carpet. She kicks, she punches. I clasp harder and harder. With her last ounce of strength, she swings her arms around me and pulls my body as close as she could muster, with a blink she dies. I keep my hand around her neck for another minute. I let go and a shadow of my hand remains around my neck. I look around to see myself asleep in the bed with Yumi. A tidal wave of humility comes washing over me. The transformation was already done, I was, I am a monster.
I sit at the foot of the bed, staring at the spot of carpet that Yumi loves to dig her toes into. “She can’t see this, they can’t see this, I can’t see this, not yet.” I think to myself. With the small measures of will, I have left I walk over to the milky white body. I lift her up and something small and silver falls to the floor. With a bit of a struggle, I bend down to pick it up. An earring, Edna’s earring. A blue emerald sits in the center. Blue and deep like the ocean. I think about the seas arms when the room disappears.
I am swimming before I knew I should be swimming. I let Edna’s body go and it sinks, into the sea, where secrets are kept. I try to swim up and up, but the surface seems so far away. I think of my house.
There’s a splashing sound as I return home, but not home. The paper and the ground wash to the walls as the water tries to find an escape. I struggle with the air, I want more of it then I can handle. I feel dizzy and fall onto my back. Spots appear in my eyes, I feel tired, I think of home.