(Warning: This is horror and has sexual elements.)
Sometimes I can’t read because I’m too tired. Or I drank too much coffee or too much stress during the day and my mind is full of angry weasels with sharp teeth. Sometimes I can’t read because they steal it.
It happened today. I didn’t see them again but I can feel it. They come in through my open mouth, like spiders are supposed to do when you’re sleeping. Only spiders don’t really do that. But they do. Or they come through the space between my finger and my fingertips. They’re much bigger than that space, but they’re bendy. They’re clever.
I don’t know why they like my reading so much. I think they like the way it tastes because I can hear them chewing on something with my inner ear. But they don’t eat it. I couldn’t get it back if they ate it. I always get it back. So far.
Sometimes it’s hard to chase them because of what they take. They cut out my motor control or my vision. They never take all of those. I think they’re too big. When they take my motor control I stumble around and I can’t grip anything tight, but I can still move. When they take my vision there are blurry spots. Sometimes all over and sometimes one big one, right off-center of each eye. It’s hard to chase them. They’re hard to see at the best of times. They slime out of vision as soon as I catch them with in my sight. And when I grab them they burn my skin and its memories.
When they take my reading I can’t read. You don’t need much taken out of that. Just a little missing piece of brain and you can’t follow what a character is saying. If you’ve ever read the same sentence over and over, you know what it’s like. You know what it feels like to have them take it, just the tiniest piece. The moment their wispy fingers dig in isn’t like anything else. It’s sharp and small and oily. Like you’ve eaten too much fatty foot and you can’t get the grease off of your lips, only it’s on the inside of your brain.
Sometimes they take my sex drive. Brandon gets mad at me because I make excuses. Tired, stupid excuses. But it’s not my fault. I tried to explain to him about them and how they kept coming and taking it out. His eyes grew so wide I thought they were going to crack his skull. I realized that he doesn’t like talking about them. Most people don’t. It’s one of those uncomfortable subjects to most people when I bring them up. Brandon never brings them up, either. But sometimes he has no sex drive. He just makes excuses, so that’s what I do, too. But they come for me far more often than they do for me. For anyone I know. I think they like me. I think I’m tasty.
The sex drive isn’t the worst. It’s not the worst for me and Brandon. Two weeks ago Tuesday they took my compassion. I didn’t know it was gone until we were in bed together, and I was giving him what he wanted. What he’s always begging for. Only it was too much. I knew they had taken something. They took while I lounged on the wicker chair, I think. I could hear their voices. Like tiny violins just barely out of consonance. The perfect movement away from sounding beautiful to sound truly unpleasant. The bottom of the uncanny valley of beauty.
You don’t know compassion is gone until you try to use it. Most of the time compassion is sitting in the back of your brain not doing much. But then we were in bed and I was inside him and thrusting and he was begging me to go harder and screaming and then he was begging me to stop and I didn’t want to because I didn’t care. I looked at myself not caring like it was from above, just taking what I wanted, and I realized what they had taken.
I didn’t want go after it. I had to force myself. It’s hard to care about compassion when it is missing. But I cared about Brandon yelling at me afterwards. So I found the one of them that took it and caught it and shoved it back in. Then I felt guilty. Feeling guilty is terrible. If they ever take my guilt, I’ll probably let them keep it. But they never take something I don’t want. That’s not how they work.
Recently I’ve tried starting to talk to them. The noises they make are starting to make more sense to me, and they respond when I speak. They never used to do that. Maybe I’m on to something. Maybe that’s why they like me so much better than other people.
I don’t know what I would do if they weren’t around. It hurts when they tear out parts of my brain, but sometimes there are too many thoughts in my head and I need some of them to just go. It’s like worms in the soil. They are the worms, and I’m the soil.
There are more of them then there used to be. Sometimes I feel like I’m all worm and no soil. But that’s okay. The soil is dead and meaningless without anything to grow in it. Some things are bigger than we are. No one else understands that.
I’ve always wanted to grow.
I don’t know why they find me so delicious. I’ve learned to accept this.