Nightmare Fuel October 2012, Day 8

by johannespunkt

Optophobia

Suicide by Cop

Lucy was in one of her moods when Clark came home from the office. The house was nearly speckless and dinner was cooking – something sweet. Even the bits of flappy wallpaper had been glued back to the wall. She wore a dress that was all buttons and flowers and an apron over that and she smiled her pearlywhite when Clark walked in through the door.

He struggled out of his jacket and scarf and hat. It was the 1950’s in the house and he tried to remember the rules for leaving shoes on inside the house.

“Shoot any criminals today, hon?” she asked him.

A scoff. “You know I just do paperwork, sugar.”

“But you brought the gun home, yes?” She was on tiptoes to kiss him and let her arms stay behind her back, balancing herself like a ballet dancer.

“Yes, as is regulation.” He rolled his eyes. Hung the jacket and holster on the wooden thing that looked a bit like a tree and had no name as far as he was concerned. Pulled away from the kiss and stepped into the kitchen, “need any help with this?”

There was a strong smell of syrup and it hit him like a sack of meat to the face and watered his eyes.

“No! It’s all me.” She dragged him out into the hall again and slammed the door. “Go do something manly. Watch sports or something.”

“I don’t even like– what is it you’re cooking anyway?”

He waited a bit at the door, shaking his head and opening his eyes carefully. She stood before him again with a silver tray and a smile and a curtsy. On the silver tray were two beer cans. “Drinking beer is manly,” she said.

~

On his plate. The body of a dead beetle. Or something beetle-like. Clark recalled a science class a million years ago in which he’d learned insects couldn’t grow very big because of their tracheal systems and how they breathed and all, so if you want to find giant scaly things, go to sea. This thing looked pulled out from the bottom of the ocean. Clark’s mouth went up and down like a ventriloquist dummy’s, emitting no sound. There were ants – quite obviously still alive – stuck in a sticky substance covering the beetle.

“I chopped off its head,” Lucy explained, “and coated its body with syrup and other sweets, and waited for the ants. Vwa-lah.” Her pearlywhiteflash again.

Clark met his wife’s gaze in disgust and incomprehension.

She put her elbows on the table and leaned forward, wiggling a little and still smiling. An ant emancipated itself and scrambled up her right arm. “I slept with Mike,” she said. She picked up a beetle leg and put it in her mouth, crunched down. “It was so good.”

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