Flash Fiction Friday: Kreepy Krawly pt.5: Kreepy’s Dead
by Gabino Iglesias
Every end is a new beginning. When you’re born from chaos and in the midst of chaos, the dark energy that lives inside you, the vicious demons that ride your blood like coked-up surfers, well, that stuff doesn’t go away. Nah, murder, madness, and mayhem are always recycled, always transformed into a worse version of their previous incarnation, always reborn.
I want that.
Well, I think I do. There are boredom worms under my skin, I can feel them. Imagine creatures the size of hot dogs crawling under you skin, whispering things in your ears in a language you’ve never heard before. They crave blood. At least I think so. But it’s not the kind of blood I can give them. I’ve tried. I’ve killed and drunk my victim’s blood. I’ve bathed in it. Nothing works. They push me to test my own boundaries. Nothing gets them to shut the hell up. I’m bored. Each set of exposed and mutilated viscera simply reminds me of dozens more almost exactly like it. The last time I bit into a heart, the flavor was no more exciting than that of an apple.
Yesterday I drove two hours with my eyes closed. When I opened them, I was in the kind of small town that turns regular kids into raging psychopaths out of sheer boredom. I kept driving until I saw a gas station and pulled in. There was no one outside. The thirst throbbed in my chest. I walked into the station. The man behind the counter was short and brown. He smiled a gap-toothed smile and I calculated it’d take me just three kicks to knock out whatever number of teeth he had in there.
“Are you Damien Karras?” I asked.
“No, sir,” he replied with an accent so thick you couldn’t spread it on toast without melting it a bit first.
“I thought you were Karras.”
“You confuse me, sir. I’m not…”
“Fuck you, you already ruined the joke. Your mother sucks cock in hell.”
The man’s eyes opened wider than I thought possible and his filthy mouth hung open. I asked for the keys to the bathroom. He handed them over without a word. I decided to turn him into a piñata and add his yellow teeth to the mix inside him.
I walked out and around the building’s bleeding walls until I saw the door. I opened it to splash water on my face and empty my bladder. The light flickered, caught, stayed. The blood on the walls turned black under the soft yellow light. I was not alone. Floating above the shit-stained toilet was a fleshy pink orb with a tiny mouth and gorgeous blue eyes that belonged on the face of a mermaid.
“You’re finished, man, the jig is up,” it said.
“Who the hell are you?”
“I’m it. I’m the messenger. I’m calling you home,” it said.
“My home is in the woods and no weird balloons live with me. Take a dump or get off the pot.”
“You don’t belong here and you know it. It’s time to go back and join the real party. That’ll make the worms go away.”
I wasn’t in the mood for chatty floating orbs, so I pulled out my knife and popped the fucker in its left eye. Greenish goo that smelled like a ham left in the trunk of a car for a week oozed out. The thing deflated slowly, but the saggy skin hung there like a chunk of one of Dali’s nightmares.
I decided to piss on top of the thing. It took about half a minute but the maggots finally started crawling out of my piss slit and falling on the remains on the orb. Their minuscule teeth bit into the deflated thing. Each crunch was so loud that the walls shook. I decided to forgo the face washing and walked back to the brown man behind the counter.
Pulling him over the counter was easy. However, it took seven kicks and a little help from the knife to get all the teeth out of his mouth. I opened him up, removed his guts, and started throwing stuff from the shelves inside his chest cavity. Then I noticed the teeth were sprouting tiny legs and scurrying away. It made me laugh. The sound was just like laughter, but with each cackle, smoke came from my mouth.
With the torso stuffed with goodies, I used his shoelaces to close him up and his belt to hang him from a beam in the ceiling. None of it brought me the pleasure I thought it would. The worms didn’t slow down. The voices kept mumbling, making my brain itch. When I was opening the door, the guy spoke.
“Dude, I told you, it’s over.”
I turned. The man was speaking. Chips and candy came out of his mouth with each word.
“What’s supposed to be over?”
“This thing, this endless quest for an adrenalin rush. You could chop my head off, carry it into a police station, and proceed to fuck my skull and it wouldn’t raise your heartbeat. Am I wrong?”
The damn piñata was right. How did this thing know so much about my feelings?
“Those calluses on your soul? They’ve gotten too thick. You’ve killed, raped, mutilated, and ran too much. Don’t you want it to end? Don’t you want to feel excitement again?”
“The only thing you have to do is put that knife into your cranium and it’s a done deal,” he said.
I walked out and sat in my car. Time passed. It could’ve been ten minutes or six hundred years. Even the worms were still, the voices quiet.
“Bad genes,” Litty said once. Her words now haunt me. Her voice comes to me whenever I’m alone in my cabin. Downtime between killings stretches and bends. It coils around me and scares the oxygen away. Every bug in the woods hurls insults at me from the safety of their hiding spots. I often stick my knife under my nails and beg for silence. Outside, the large thing in the woods that tells the bugs what to say laughs at me. I’ve tried to go out there and kill it, but the laughter moves around. The bad genes, the bad years, the AIDS. It all piles up. I close my eyes and the screams always come to me. I dream of monsters with mouths on their stomachs devouring kittens that walk upright and are not really kittens at all. I am the mouth and the kittens that are not kittens. I kill myself by devouring myself. It hurts me and fills me up with flesh and pleasure. I end it all as I begin digesting. Then memories come. Their screams turn into metal shavings that fly toward my eyes. I dream of all the intestines of the people I’ve killed coming together and braiding themselves into a gigantic snake that spits venomous shit. I dream about very thin, feral-looking people with pools of shadow where their eyes should be. The laugh as they cut open my forehead and my gut. I’ve suffered at the hands of others and at my own hand. The orb was right. The short brown man was right. The thing that controlled them both is right.
The knife flies at my right eye and flashes for a fraction of a second when it catches the light coming from the mini mart. The steel is lukewarm and sticky from the blood, but it goes in smoothly. There’s a loud pop and everything goes dark before the pain gets there.
I blink. The darkness last forever. Then I open my eyes. My knife is still in my hand. It’s somehow clean. Looks bigger. I look down. I’m standing on a marshmallow in a house with white walls and ridiculously tall ceilings. The worms are gone.
“Are you ready for a rush?”
The orb is beside me. It’s full again. The mouth is curled up into a grin.
“You see that guy over there?”
I see him. Old guy. Great white beard. He plays a harp with one hand and eats a sandwich with the other. Harps are awful things.
“Yeah, I see him.”
The orb’s smile grows until it splits in half. “That’s the guy you’re going to kill next. Then we move on to bigger things.”
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias
Art “Shadow Games” copyright © 1993 Alan M. Clark