bugs and spiders and stuff in your head.

Posted: October 31, 2014 in Fiction

The kid woke up with blood on his pillow and he thought it was snot. It was all over his face and in his hair. He put his hand up to his nose and pushed it around his cheek and upper lip. It didn’t feel like snot. It was slick and warm and tasted sour. It was metal-y in his mouth. He pulled his hand back and started to cry when he looked at it. The red streaks on his fingers and knuckles made him scream a little bit.

“Mom!” he screamed, “Mom!!”
His mom ran in with her hair wrapped up in a towel. “What is it?” she asked.
“I’ve got a bloody nose,” he whimpered. He had never had a bloody nose, ever. His friend Deon got them all the time. He even got one in class one time and it freaked the kid out. Everybody else at school said they’d had one too, but he hadn’t. His mom bent down and looked at him calmly.

“Did you bang it on anything?” She asked.
“No.” He said.
“Does it hurt? Do you feel weird?”
“Sort of?” He wasn’t crying now. He wasn’t even really scared. He was sort of… proud. Blood was tough and he was bleeding, so he was sort of tough too. He hadn’t cried that much anyway, and he wouldn’t cry next time at all.
“Well, I don’t think it’s anything,” His mother reassured, “You probably just banged it.”

“I didn’t bang it!” he sort of yelled.
She poked her head out of the door and looked right at him. “Oh yeah?” She said, raising her voice at the end to dismiss to his tiny challenge.
He looked down at his hands.
“It’s nothing,” she assured hi. He finished waking up. He walked into the bathroom and got into the shower. He stripped off his underwear and the pajama shirt he slept in when it was cold and threw them over the top of the plexiglass. He turned the single knob and started the water. It felt good and washed away the dry and cracking blood on his face and hands. He liked watching it disappear. He spit hockers in the warm water that formed around feet. The blood and snot swirled in the rapids around his ankles like bloody amoebas. The paisley pattern pulled and stretched down the shiny metal drain. He shampooed his hair and washed the rest of his body. He turned off the shower and opened the door. It was still cold in the bathroom and he hated getting out of the water. Today was worse than normal. His throat and his nose hurt, they felt raw and red. He dried off his body but missed his hair. He always forgot to dry his hair. It would freeze on the way to the bus. His mom had already left, so he made a bowl of cereal and left at 7:15.

By 7:40 he was riding on the bus and nothing was unusual. His nose hurt, but he thought it was just from rubbing it, and his shirt collar was wet from his thawing hair. He got to school around 8:15.

At 8:30 class started with the morning announcements. The kid couldn’t understand the voice over the intercom. It came out of the metal speaker like a car horn a giant bird. He looked at his classmates who hadn’t seemed to notice the mistake over the intercom. It squawked and rattled and hummed like a warning, but they continued to write and ready their day. He shook his head and didn’t ask questions. In a minute he barely remembered.

At 9:00 his butt felt weird. And… crooked? It hurt, and it stretched up into his body; like the stomach ache had been there before he was there, like he’d walked through it and it attached to his bones. He turned his head towards the little boy next to him. He couldn’t stand his face. The little boy’s skin was thin and whiny. His hair was falling out and his skull poked out under the drooping eyes and mouth. The kid’s pulse pushed out and stretched his skin like sandwich wrap over that ugly bone cage. The pulse synced in time with the ache in the kid’s belly. He moved his eyes past to the girl one seat over, and could see her pulse the same way too, and the little girl next to her. It struck in rhythm with the pain in his gut. He wondered if she had started the pulse, or if it was the teacher. Regardless, he hated them. They had gotten there first.

He needed water and had to go to the bathroom. He stood up and felt himself pull away from that pulse. He gasped big breaths of air like like he was pulled from the ocean. He couldn’t see the little boy’s pulse, and he didn’t have a skull face at all. He walked to the teacher’s desk and asked to go to the bathroom. She gave him the novelty pass and he walked out into the hallway. The bathroom was empty. He walked into the second stall, pulled down his pants and sat down on the toilet. It was 10:07.

He farted and felt better. The ache in his belly started to ease. He farted again and it almost scared him, they were the loudest farts he’d ever heard, and he couldn’t believe they came from inside him. He farted again and wet shit spattered the bowl. It happened again and again. He didn’t feel done, but he was too scared to stay any longer. He had never pooped at school before, and was terrified of the teacher asking where he’d been and then everyone knowing. He reached at the roll of toilet paper. It was cheaper and crummier than the stuff at home. When he wiped, his butt it felt slick and oily and not cleaner. When he grabbed for more he saw he had shit on the back of his hand and he almost threw up. He wiped at his hand and used the same paper for his butt. He grabbed another handful. He knew if you used too much toilet paper, the toilet could overflow. He thought about standing in a bathroom while shit water filled the floor and he stood there crying until some janitor came in and rescued him. He grabbed another handful and folded it up carefully like he knew he was supposed to. He looked down and saw red in the toilet. The water was red. It steeped from the toilet and the dark mushy mess like teabags. He turned clumsily and flushed. The cold water swirled around and splashed on his butt. He jumped up and stared at the toilet. One large bubble rose up from under the bleeding vulgar mass and stirred the pile. It spun before it was pulled below. He sat back down and and grabbed more paper, he wiped and looked at it, and it was only blood. He dabbed at his butt, more blood, just blood, not shit, just bright red blood. He couldn’t tell his teacher. Butts were about sex stuff, and kids weren’t supposed to talk about sex stuff. When you added poop and blood and sex stuff and water you ruined everything. It was 10:15

He wadded up more toilet paper and wedged it into his butt cheeks. He wedgied up his underwear and walked back to class. At 10:30 the class took a break and even though he’d just gone to the bathroom the teacher let him go too. He drank for a long time from the water fountain. One of the boys, Deon, came out of the bathroom with the big orange monster attached to a keychain the teacher had given the kid as a hallpass. He’d forgotten it, he abandoned his monster. She yelled at him a little. The kid looked at her quizzically. Why would she smile at the end of her yelling? Why did she think he cared? He hated her, and he hated Deon. He knew he would kill him. He hoped he died first. They walked back to class at 10:35

His desk was in the sun, and he liked that. This day was here before. His desk was in the sun. He sat back down and nestled in. His teacher yelled at him at one point. He didn’t know why. He thought she said something about workbooks. It was 11:25

At 11:30 the kids got up for lunch, but the little boy didn’t stand up. The teacher barked his name. “What’s gotten in to you today?” she said, but the kid didn’t hear her. He just looked at her and made a stupid smile. That’s what you do when you’re yelling and you don’t want people to know, he thought, you smile. They lined up and walked down the hallway. When the teacher looked back, he was gone. Her last little train-car had derailed. She panicked and called for him. She told the kids to stay there and they did. She ran the down the length of the hallway and out of the double doors, he wasn’t there. She yelled for him, but not loudly enough to spook the children. She leaned out, scared to go outside and have the doors lock behind her. She yelled his name again. It was 11:33.

They’d find him half an hour later, just after noon, right when the Vice Principal was about to call the police. One of the secretaries spotted him, looking out the front window. He was wrapped around the flagpole. Nuzzled up top like a bees’ nest, curled into a tight little ball. It was impressive really, thought the Vice Principal, he was kind of a wormy little kid, but he was all the way up there, and locked in like a bulldog’s chomp. He sighed. The Principal was about to make an announcement, and she would have hated that worse than calling the cops, The Principal hated having to speak on the PA, and hated ever looking like the school wasn’t in working order. He told her not to and ran outside. The secretary ran out behind him. The Janitor and Gym Teacher both ran out too. They formed a semi circle around the kid and hollered. “Get down here right now!” The secretary asked him if anything was wrong. The gym teacher made a threat, but he didn’t respond to either. Eventually the Janitor went and grabbed a ladder. Some kids had noticed by then and a couple of classes had come to watch. It was about 12:10.

The Principal turned the kids inside, but the windows filled with pressed faces. The teachers and staff continued to call at the kid. A cop car came by with his lights on and siren off. The windows all turned and talked to themselves. The Janitor and Gym Teacher readied the ladder. The Gym Teacher had tried to shimmy up the pole, but he couldn’t. It was thin, with no grip. He wondered how the fuck that tiny bastard with arms like pipe-cleaners had gotten up there? If he got him down from here and he wasn’t a total headcase, he was going to teach the kid to wrestle.

The Janitor put the ladder up and asked the kid to come down. He gave nothing. He didn’t cry or shrug or scream. The gym teacher re-positioned the ladder and it scrapped the kid’s leg. They yelled for him to come down. The Gym Teacher went up 5 steps, the Janitor stood at the base in case he fell. The Gym Teacher climbed, calling his name and asking if he was alright. When the kid didn’t move he reached out and tugged at his shoe. “Hey buddy,” he said, reaching out a little more. The two cops stood underneath too. A few more cars had arrived, but still no sirens. It was 12:32.

The teacher reached out and brushed his fingers at the kid’s pantleg. It was dried and crusty and bits of mud flaked off when he touched it. He grabbed a little at the cuff and tugged. The wet red mud on the boy’s shoe felt oily. A hollow burping sound came out of the kid and it looked like he pushed the man with his foot. The Gym Teacher reared back and lazily tore off the boy’s leg at the knee. He fell off the ladder dropping the shoe that had a syrupy foot and a leg bone still in it. It was 12:34

The foot strung lines of amber goo as it fell the 9 or 10 feet to the ground. The thin streams of sap or snot or whatever it was whipped back and wrapped around the brick and the pole and the Gym Teacher’s outstretched hands. It stuck like tar where ever it landed. The Gym Teacher recoiled and skirted to the edge of the bricks, doing his best to wipe his hands and everything else clean. A crinkling like leaves shuddered, and an empty thud slipped out from the bottom of the boy. A glob hit the brick with something like a splat. A hot pink mess struck the ground and sounded heavy or important. It stunk like veal or angel meat. Viscous streams of yellow fluid strung from the hands and shoulders still wrapped around the top of the flagpole. The boy’s T-shirt fluttered from them like a banner to an old god.

There was a lot of screaming and the cops yelled “what the fuck” more than should have in front of children. The Splat wasn’t caught on anybody’s phone, but a good shot of the mess that landed was. You could see hip bones in it. The Gym Teacher started screaming and the Janitor went insane. The cops pushed people inside and radioed everyone they knew. I lot of people called for Jesus. The Janitor came running back with a can of gasoline and set everything on fire. The gym-teacher stripped his clothes off and threw them in the fire. He burned his hands face where the goo had touched him too. He said they felt itchy and no one was quick enough to stop him. The Gym Teacher and Janitor were brought in on charges. The Principal and the kid’s Teacher too. They say the kid’s mother never quit crying.

Nobody ever did anything with the hands and the parts of the boy on the flagpole until like 3:00. Some probably cops in Hazmat suits came and bagged everything up. They had to scrap off the hands and shoulders and maybe a head off the flagpole. They cut it down and shipped it off.

All the kids had been bused away to a hospital, and all kinds of news vans and stuff showed up but never really got close to the school. A bunch of scientist and doctors came in, and the cops shut everything down.

The next day, a little girl in Ohio woke up with a bloody nose too. The news would be worse tomorrow.

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