Psst, I Got a Boat Over Here

How friggin lame is it that I brought two prescription pill bottles and a gun? she asked herself. Talk about overkill. She smirked; pun time was any time.

A perfect, dump-a-body pond was the predetermined spot, about an hour drive by backroads. Seated on its bank, ignoring the rotten egg smell, she dangled her legs in the water and laid the items between them. One. Two. Three. All lined up, an ever-ready death parade.

She’d already memorized where her parents kept their meds when she stole them a couple hours ago. Sometimes, she’d stared absently into the medicine cabinet after her long, Sunday night baths–the ones when she made little Ice Cream Mountains on her knees with the shaving cream, then nicked herself on purpose with the shaver and smeared little frowny faces with the blood.

downloadFirst on the bank, was her mom’s depression meds–looking like they’d plopped out of Candyland’s Lord Licorice’s butt–half bubble-gum pink, half lemon-drop yellow. But they were not like him nor the pink-haired Lady Lolly, (that fucking, uppity bitch, or so that’s what she remembered her sister acting like whenever she chose that character in Candyland). No, these beauties were just present, nothing more. It was nothingness that beguiled her now, the stoppage of all personality.

Daddio pops one of these mint-looking babies in his mouth with each morning OJ, she thought, looking at the other bottle. Sorry Dad–I need these. Not like the devil-may-care Mister Mint in his Peppermint Forest, though. No, they wouldn’t utter a single, heartless word to her.

Neither would the handgun judge her, the one she’d kinda, sorta borrowed from Grandpop and Grandmop, as her family affectionately called them. They’d been in for a visit and Grandpop didn’t go anywhere without his Remi Semi .45–the family was big on cutesy names. She’d found it easily, wrapped in a black sweater inside their guestroom nightstand.

Her ass was soaked now, from the dewy grass, but she didn’t care. Before she’d snuck out of her house in the middle of the darkest part of the morning, she’d let a shallow question surface. Seriously, at a time like this even. What should I wear? She killed the trifling thought. No distractions. No setbacks. She went braless under her blue hoodie, laundry-day underwear, and grey leggings. Barefoot. A solid, no-fucks-given outfit.

She didn’t even know how to check to see if the Remi Semi was loaded so she tossed it into the water. Kerplunk.

Thank god no one woke up and tried to stop me before I left, she thought. Her decision was as unwavering as Queen Frostine on her Snow Cone Throne. Fuck her runnin’ if this wasn’t going to happen.

Should she have made a ceremonious statement or left a letter on a pillow somewhere? Fuck it with the dramatics.

Several at a time, she swallowed all the pills with the help of a couple sips of pond water she scooped up with her hand.

Pssst. Hey, c’mon over here,” a man said.

“What?”

“I got me a little boat over there. You should come for a ride,” the stranger beckoned.

“Okay…sure,” she accepted. She wondered where he came from and whether he’d caught her in the act, but she didn’t worry too much just then, and the boat seemed the place to be for some reason.

The two stepped inside a motorless canoe. The man’s age was ambiguous. Dirt was smeared on his face and arms. Everything else about his appearance was ordinary, save for his spine; one could almost see the whole outline of every single vertebrae when he bent over.

“Where are the oars?”

“Who needs ‘em? The current will take us toward the falls,” the man gestured. She looked out ahead at what was now a river in place of the stagnant pond.

“Oh,” she responded, confused and in a haze. “So, who are you?”

“I’m Mr. Hypnos, but you can call me Sandy.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because, I’m the man with the sand,” he singsonged, resting his feet up on the edge of the boat, fingers laced behind his head. “Are you hep to the jive, bappu jee?”

“Is that, like, code for–” she gestured, bringing her finger to her nose to which he didn’t answer right away. “You know, booger sugar?”

Sandy belly-laughed. “Now why in hell would I need that in my line of work, for fucks sake?”

The girl giggled awkwardly and shrugged.

“This isn’t the part where you bombard me with questions, is it? By my count, you’re already up to three, and frankly, I’d kinda just like to enjoy the ride.”

“Okay, I guess,” she said, stifling her brimming questions.

The strangers sat in silence for a while.

“The mountains look so awesome.” She couldn’t help but to remark, having never noticed any there before; their silhouettes were daunting.

“Ha! Those aren’t mountains,” Sandy condescended.

“Then what–“

“Oh, just anti-matter or something like that,” Sandy answered, matter-of-factly. “Alright, forget about that. We’re getting close now.”

“Close to what?”

“Time for you to start thinking about your life and all the people in it and stuff,” he said, half-interested.

“People? As if I care two fucks about any of that army of mouth breathers?” she replied. She’d gone way past the point of wishing for life to change. Her mom’s Pollyanna, over-drugged wisdom, ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,’ was just dismissive and sickening.

“How adorable,” Sandy laughed. “That is the fakest shit I’ve ever heard. Lemme guess. You’re thinking that if only everyone would act the way you think they should, that somehow you’d be different?”

“No,” she lied.

“Ah…denial…So be it,” Sandy said flatly.

“You’re an asshole.”

“What’d you expect? Be glad you haven’t met my twin brother yet, Mister Thanatos.”

“I don’t–“

“Nevermind–we have arrived,” Sandy interrupted.

The girl noticed some objects falling down from the mountain-like structures, which were now very close to the banks of the river. They looked like body parts, charred black. An intact corpse hung in the water, head submerged, legs on land.

“Flip the switch?” Sandy asked, his finger poised upon a motor that appeared out of nowhere on the back of the boat.

“What? Why?” the girl asked, puzzled.

“On or off? Yes or no? Pick one!” Sandy demanded. He’d had to raise his voice over the approaching, roaring waterfall. It appeared to be a drop of several hundred feet.

She hesitated.

“Bye-bye, then.” Mr. Hypnos waved to her.

“Sandy, wait! Yes! Yes! Turn it ooon!” she screamed. The motor buzzed to life, sure and strong.

~

Drenched and lying at the shallow edge of the pond, she pushed her torso up out of the water. She projectile vomited liter after liter of muck, leech-looking creatures, and pond water–that had no business fitting into a person’s stomach. Then, up came the prescription pills, whole, undigested.

After burping up a few more still-fully-formed pills, she stood and took a couple steps onto the lush grass. The girl shivered, and not only her body; her long-term numbness ceased and she felt every emotion she was capable of, maybe even one or two a lot of us aren’t. She’d also seemed to vomit something else, intangible and dark.

Feeling the water drip from her hair and onto her back, she turned and stared for a while at all the multicolored pills still floating in the water, not going anywhere.

“Candyland’s for babies,” she said aloud.

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56 thoughts on “Psst, I Got a Boat Over Here

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  1. I loved this entire story. It was so well-written, and I love these sort of snapshot stories. What I mean by ‘snapshot’ is a story that doesn’t explain where it came from or where it’s going. It just is. This one was really good. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yesssss, ambiguity. love that thing, that’s why I love Twilight Zone or many stories like it–just a happenstance where some other-world encounter becomes possible for some freak occurrence/meeting and intervenes and an explanation would ruin it sometimes. this dude, maker of dreams or changer of minds or friend of death whatever he is forces this whiny bitch to change her mind then makes her magic-puke the pills and she wants to live then. voila. creepy life-chaging demons! gotta love em. Thanks for your time. so happy it wasn’t too shitty of a story

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I read it again. When I say it’s fucking uncouth and raw I mean it as the highest compliment I can bestow to a writer and I normally do it to Stephen King. He writes it up close, in your face, and he writes it raw. You did that. And you added a speculative tint to it. Love it.
    Candyland’s for babies, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wrote a story you might like, and I hope you do because I more or less posted it for you in hopes you would like it. I feel so vulnerable right now, lol. It’s called Hunter. I still can’t manage the horror that you do, so it’s more urban fantasy, but still…

    Like

  4. Another great post! I’m envious of your whimsical style that you effortlessly weave into stories with such dark natures. I kept imagining the scene from the movie The Crow, where he purges the mother’s drug addiction from her veins. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. *Now. Sheesh. Typos. i literally can’t communicate or spell. hahahha. I work so hard at editing my writing but when it comes to comments, all propriety goes out the damn window. fuck capitals and punct. and it’s just a raw reaction dump. hahhahhah

    Like

      1. You’re welcome. Hope you enjoy what’s on offer on my blog. I followed your link to the site that analyses text and matches you with an author. I was feeling pretty happy with myself when a lot of samples I entered were coming up as Nabokov or Foster-Wallace but then….

        I got Dan Brown and I came crashing back down to earth and shut down the browser 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww sweeeeeet! mad love for TZ! I’ve most recently got An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and also Come Wander with Me on my list as a couple possible influences for new stories sometime in the near future for my blog. So glad you enjoyed and thank you so much for the compliment!!!

      Like

    1. woah! Cool! How did you know which one of my posts was the one with Thanatos and Hypnos in it so quickly!? eerie! 🙂 i like it. also. i’m so glad you took the time to read it and enjoyed specifically that part because I was giggling like an idiot with that candyland gimmick when i thought of it. Thank you so so so much for the compliments and i’m so glad it measured up to the other pieces you’re read lately. looking forward to more of your stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. oh.my.god. This is one of the most fascinating things I have ever read. I am as a.d.d as the come and skim everything over in 2 seconds to see if I can maybe try to read it again and focus. This, my girl, THIS. I was so sucked in, every single person in this coffee shop disappeared. I was that girl, in that boat, pills trying to take effect, wanting them to, but shit, no, that means I really have to plunge over that waterfall…
    I swear to you, you have a gift…I’m just completely in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brooke–your comment means the world to me. The world. I thrive on support and I’ll make sure it doesn’t go to waste and turn that energy into good things as much a possible.

      I loved hearing your experience while reading the story. And I felt it along with you again, the part of a person wanting to take that step but not wanting to go through with it.

      Thank you a million times for your compliments. I will try to maintain this level and up the quality too.

      I just read your Smoke and Mirrors article and I cringed (in a good way)–I don’t ever like to talk about anything personal either. Just want to tell myself and the world that I’m normal and wonderful. hahahha.

      So glad to have met you and I’ll look forward to enjoying your blog as well from here on. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh girl, don’t you dare ever strive to be normal, ever!!! You are extraordinary… unbelievably talented… that is not normal… it’s fucking incredible. Read the ‘crazy’ article published in Thought Catalog (they gave it a terrible name.. some about here’s to the crazy girls ‘) it’s on my blog… Normal is boring and vanilla and we are triple five brownie 😉 I am sharing this with everyone… they are in awe. Don’t pressure yourself to write anyway… just please keep writing.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. After reading this post, I have been struggling to find the appropriate words to express how I feel. You are a rare talent who has completely blown my mind. You made me feel like I was that girl. Not because I know what that feels like, but because you wrote it in such a way it was as though you grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let me go. Your writing is breathtaking. Honestly, you are one of my favourite writers and I can’t wait to get busy reading your posts. Surely you know how talented you are. If you don’t, please go stand in front of a mirror and repeat ‘I am a talented and gifted writer who inspires others’ over and over again until you do. Much respect to insanely gifted you. Just wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww you are so sweet. Sometimes I wonder if my stories are entertaining or gripping enough or get a message across but I’m thinking this one was effective because of your kind feedback! I am so excited to know another fellow reader/blogger that is passionate like me. I’m looking forward to enjoying your blog asap! Thank you so much again for your time and for making me feel on top of the world with your compliments. 🙂 (and no, actually, I’ve pretty much always thought that my writing isn’t good enough. still do. I’ve only been on wordpress for about 3 weeks because before that, i was too embarrassed and self-conscious to share anything with anyone, even though I wrote stories for myself for many years. that’s the truth) 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So many writers struggle with confidence. My dream is to write my book and have it published, but like you, I too wonder if I am good enough. But, writing is what fuels my soul, so I keep on doing it because if I don’t, I will lose myself. So I understand how you feel. My friend sent me the link to your blog and said, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! She feels the same way I do – that you are incredibly talented. Thank goodness you found the courage to join WordPress because work this brilliant needs to be shared. Keep writing and believing in yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

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