Originally published on The World of Myth - Issue 68
Oh sister, you have no idea what you do to me; what you make me feel. Your frigid little bones, small enough to snap, surrounded by supple skin, sweet enough to savor. I want to feel you, touch you, taste you, break you. I want to surround you with my shadow; cover you in a cloud of black. Your flesh begs for my flesh. Your body demands abuse. I will become you. I will devour you. Soon, you will be mine.
❃ ❃ ❃
Tablecloths wisp across the wood, while ceramic curls against it. Cabinets close and a piece of silverware clinks against one of the plates, clumsily placed too close. Mother shouts. The dog barks. And my sister ruffles her hair and rises from her bed. I hear everything. Always. And tonight will be no different.
Sliding out of my room, I walk down the hall, pass hers, and make my way into the kitchen. Taking the seat across from the hall, I wait and stare, searching for her arrival. The dog scratches and paws at my legs, but I refuse to give him any attention. He’s not who I’m here for. I’m not even here for the food, despite what mother may think. I’m here for her.
Dinner is the only time I may feast my eyes on her. She keeps her distance from me otherwise. It’s like she knows something is wrong with me. No. Not like. She does know something’s wrong with me. She just doesn’t know what. The extent of it all. She just thinks I’m weird, telling me as much whenever she can; she even tells mother. But she does not see that it goes deeper than that. If I have my way, she never will.
Keeping my eyes still, her glow starts to shine through the gallery. Fresh petals of amber blonde hair peek around the corner until, finally, her full figure appears and enters the kitchen. At once, her eyes meet mine, but then she snarls like a pompous pussy and pulls them away.
“Stop staring at me, freak.”
“Nice to see you too, sister.”
“Ugh. Can’t he eat in his room?”
“Helena, we’ve talked about this. He’s your brother. You can’t shut him out all day.”
“Not with you making me eat with him every night.”
“Would you rather have no dinner at all? Didn’t think so. Now shut-up, sit down, and put a smile on that face before I slap it off.”
She fakes a smile while shading her eyes, angry at the genuine smile I now sport. I love to see mother yell at her like that. I love to see her on the defensive, in her most primal state. She’s a feisty little feline, acting like she doesn’t want to play. I know she does. I know what she likes. I know what she fears.
Mother slaps the cooked carcass down on the plate and takes a seat. She gives us each a hard look and then sighs.
“I just want—once a day—to sit down with my two children and pretend like we’re a happy family. Like we’re whole. It’s hard enough having to look at that empty chair every night. I will not look at two. You two will eat together and you will learn to like it. And, goddammit, you will learn to love each other. For Christ’s sake, can’t you just try and make your mother happy?”
“But I do love my sister, mother. Dearly.”
Across from me, my sister’s face turns inside out. It’s like she’s holding in her own tongue, not realizing what I’d do to taste it.
“Now isn’t that nice. Helena, what about you?
“Don’t you love your brother?”
“That doesn’t sound very convincing.”
An excess of air shoots out of my sister’s mouth like a swarm of bees escaping from their nest.
“I love my brother. Okay?”
“Okay. Let’s eat.”
With every mouthful, I curl my eyes up and look at her. I want to chew on her like she chews on that chicken. I want to taste her like she tastes that broth. I want her essence to flow through me, down my body, and rise like a proper soufflé. She should be inside of me. This meal is not the nourishment I need. I need more.
❃ ❃ ❃
Night falls. Doors close, lights dimmer, and silence sweeps through the house like a shimmering leaf, losing its last bit of color. I sit in my room, waiting for my time to strike. My sister’s room sits directly adjacent to mine. Placing my ear against the wall that separates us, I can hear her move around, trying to find the comfort necessary to lose consciousness. Seconds turn to minutes, and minutes turn to hours. Eventually, the sound of ruffling sheets turns into that of a soft slumber as my sweet sister starts to snore ever so slightly. I eagerly await my moment to join her but hold myself back from approaching too soon. She must fall into a deeper sleep before I can enter, otherwise, the slightest crack of the floorboards might wake her.
Time passes and, feeling more comfortable with the sounds that seep through, I slowly inch my way towards the door. My toes tip and tap off the wood-grained floors, making noises only audible to a more alert animal. Reaching the door, I curl my hand around the handle like a sloth would curl its way around a tree and slowly turn. Opening the door, the hinges start to creak, and I freeze in place, standing with one foot still elevated. I look left, then right, and focus my senses on the single one most important, but hear nothing, and move on.
At her door, I treat the handle just as I did my own. My heart starts to pound violently inside my chest. If she were to wake at the sound of my door opening, that would be fine. I’d just try again tomorrow. But if she hears me opening the door to her room, that would be it. No more planning, no more me. There’s no good reason for me to be going into her room while she sleeps; no excuse I can even fathom to make. The only way this night can end is with my sister and me, joined as one, screaming for our lives.
The door opens, and I look over to the bed. There she lies, my sweet sister, sleeping soundlessly under the sheets. Her tiny little toes peak out, asking to be eaten. Small snores sneak out of her nose with each exhale. I close the door gently, staring at her as I do and, when it closes, I make my approach.
My feet slide across the carpet like snakes shuffling through grass, but make no sound. All that can be heard is the air that creeps out of our mouths, crawling across the ceiling and merging as a single cloud of CO2. Standing beside the bed, I perch over her like a vulture looking down at its prey. As my face moves closer to her’s, she turns suddenly, shifting from her side to her back. I flinch and inch back, afraid that she will wake, but when she doesn’t, I step forward once again.
Perfect. On her back, fully exposed, just as I like her. She lays with her arms out wide, reaching towards the sides of the bed, while her feet stay planked together, poking out of the sheets at the bottom of the bed. Her face is still. Her breathing has lessened. She’s falling into a deeper sleep. Now is the perfect time to pick my little princess apart.
With my eyes locked on her lips, I move towards the bottom of the bedside. Once there, I plant my hands down on the sheets, beside each of those perfectly long legs which lay wrapped under the fabric like a gift without a bow. One at a time, I move my hands higher up the bed. My knees join, digging into the mattress and making her body shift ever so slightly with each step forward. With my shadow fully shaded over her soft skin, I gently lower myself so that my entire being will be only an inch away from her without touching. My eyes pierce the lids that cover hers, looking for a way in, while my floating fingers trace her skin like the point of a knife. I watch as she winces but stays under. She always was a deep sleeper.
Falling lower, I open my mouth, release my tongue, and let it brush over her like black on white. There’s a sweetness to her; a nourishing nectar only comparable to the sweetest honey, cultivated by the brightest bees. I want to rip her open and see what the rest of her body tastes like. I want to be inside of her. I want to be her.
Curling away, I throw the blanket from her body and begin to gently strip the clothes that cover her. She stifles and snores but still does not wake. With her body fully exposed, I strip my own clothes off and throw them to the floor. Then I crawl over her once more. Oh, Helena, my sweet sister, now you are mine.
The pull takes over completely and the world around me disappears. No consequences exist now. No fear. No worries. Whatever happens next will not matter. Once our bodies become one, and I take what is mine, there will be no more meaning to this life.
Lowering my weight completely, I wrap myself around her like a straitjacket, sift one hand through her heavenly hair, and let the other pull at her skin. Then, suddenly, a sound cuts through and freezes me in the moment. It becomes louder. And louder. Bark! Bark! Bark! I always knew I should have killed that God-forsaken dog. Bark! My eyes expand. All the air sinks back into my system. And Helena wakes up.