#159 Coming Apart

by Aerin Rose

The trailer’s lit up like special effects from an old UFO movie, shining lasers through the trees, onto the barn, into the chickens’ pen. The truck’s gone, leaving a flattened circle of mud. I float into the kitchen.

“Hey, Sam. I told Ms. Winston today that extraterrestrials are vegetarians.” The alien’s eyes chime, missing nothing as he skins dinner for the men. Sam points a greenish finger at my arms.

“Don’t worry, it’s just marker.” I pull Sharpies from my backpack. “Ink. See?” The lines on my pink skin are black with silver stitches, reinforced, holding everything together. “Ms. Winston”—fourth social worker since mom left, the only one who’s made me swear to tell her the truth—“said I looked like a Tim Burton character. She might be a keeper.”

The metallic echo of those words zooms around my brain, a lost ship trying to find port. Something that happened . . . couple of years ago? Yeah. The kitchen. Breakfast. Uncle Jasper and my father. “Not like her whore mother.” “No, she’s a keeper.” Oh. After the first night.

I study Sam as he finishes with the blade. His shiny skin has turned dull like snot: we both hate the cutting, the oozing, the fluids. His eyes sing, sounding like a unicorn or church bells. The knife glows, a redneck light saber. I hear the chickens screech and the truck wheels in the gravel.

The truth I will tell Ms. Winston tomorrow is that aliens don’t burst at the seams. They shatter.


Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm intrigued if a little confused. I'd love to see a longer version because there's so much here that interests me. I'm just not quite sure about what's happening.

Anonymous said...

Creepy in a good way.

"The knife glows, a redneck light saber" - I love this line.


Flutterby said...

I feel like I am missing something -- I can tell you've written a clever bit of story, but I'm not entirely certain what's going on. Your writing is strong and enjoyable. I'd love to see more of this.

Catherine Vibert said...

I love your writing Aerin. I sense a chilling story in the middle of all of this, a murder, a cracking up into insanity. I want it to go on to get more clarity on the characters and uncover the ominous truth.