Monday, May 19, 2014


She ran. She was nine years old and she ran.. anywhere... anyplace .... just away. She saw it all, the blood slicked walls... the torn flesh... the white bones. Can eyes still see when the face is ripped away? ... Can hands still feel when the meat is chewed off? She wanted to cry. She wanted to curl up and sleep.  Ruby was with her. She saw too. Dogs understand. On a visceral level, they know.

So they kept going, down wooded roads, over fields, through the moonlight.... just away. This part of Bucks County is fairly built up... malls... tract houses, fragments of old farms... some big farms too. But it's not hard to avoid folks. Dive in a hedgerow when a car goes by. Cross a cornfield. Easy this time a year. Stalks are still real low. Had to skirt Levitt Town. Yeah, Philadelphia has a Levitt Town too. It's not just a New York thing. Houses all re-modeled . Not like Edward Scissor-hands no more. Got 'farm houses,' 'colonials,' 'cape cods,' 'Spanish-Russian-Japanese' kind a places and big, old, cagey pit bulls in every yard. Ruby didn't want no parts of them.

Stopped at a Dunkin Donuts in a little strip mall. Not the Dunkin Donuts, more like the big, green dumpster out back. Store was closed. Old bag-lady dived for crullers. They were clean enough, packed in big, plastic trash bags. She saw the nine year old. Says - What you doin'? Don't you know how late it is? Get out a here and leave me alone..... Ruby growled... Bag-lady went - Shut up, you shit-ass dog, you.... Topaz started crying. Not 'cause she was hungry.... 'Cause she remembered. She 'saw' her sister. She saw Opal chompin' on her folks like they was KFC. Guess to zombie-gal, like her, they were. What you gonna do? Shit happens. Lot a folks get chomped by zombies. That how it is. Bag-lady feel sorry for her and go - They got apple fritters back there. Little bit dried up, but I like 'em like that. Got a whole big bag. You want some?...... Topaz just nodded. Not really payin' her no mind. Still seein' what her sister did..... Bag-lady throw down a little sack. Got four fritters in it. They big. Topaz take one out. Breaks some off for Ruby. She lookin'. Dog want some. Once ate six tubes a lipstick, (cheap kind too) so you know she want that cake.... Topaz mumble - Thank you..... But bag-lady find big tub a tuna fish what got throwed out that night, so she all excited and don't say nothin'.

Moon go down. It get dark. It get real dark. Cold too. Not winter time cold, but fifty eight degree bad enough. They up by some lakes. Folks fish in 'em. Kids mostly, tryin' for sun-fish. Maybe like a lake trout what the county throwed in. But now it empty. Road dark. Trees dark. Field dark. Sky got too many stars. Look scary, like there ain't no air, just outer space. Like you gone float off and go 'whoosh'... lost in the stars.... 

Then they see her up ahead. Got long dress on. Look like for fancy dance. Hair all stringy just hangin' there. She swayin' a little. Don't say nothin.' Ruby (she the dog) just look, but Topaz keep walkin.' She like in a daze. Rough night for a nine year old. Maybe stringy haired gal know that? Maybe she don't know nothin'? You can't tell. Not like it light. Stringy haired gal just a shadow... like a shade... just swayin' and if your hearin' good, she hummin' somethin' too. Topaz gettin' closer and closer. Twelve heartbeat later she right there. Stringy haired gal not lookin'. 
Topaz want a talk to somebody. She want to forget. She want a friend. Hold bag up and go - You want some apple fritter?...

Then real fast, like when a lady snap her finger, stringy haired gal lift her head up, turn 'round and smile, ' 'cept stead a teeth whole lot a fat, black leeches fall out and eyes just bloody sockets.... Dog start cryin'. Topaz just drop the bag.

They got lake runnin' 'round out here. That where she drown mos' eighty years ago. Folks say she 'Midnight Mary. But that not her name...

Soon Topaz gonna know...

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