Friday, September 11, 2009

Old School

I use black thread because of the way it looks against his skin.

Its skin.

But before I sew, I pour in the salt. At first, the stench seeping from its mouth knocks me back, but I hold my nose with one hand, hold out the container with the other, and dump the contents past its rotten teeth. The pile of salt conjures thoughts of sugar or a small hill of snow. Must taste awful though, if the poor thing still can taste.

Then, the stitches. I push my needle--a heavy upholstery needle from that little shop downtown--through the lower lip at one corner. The skin is a little tougher because he--it--has been dead a few weeks, so the needle, designed to punch through thicker fabric, is a must. I don't bother with a fancy pattern, just a simple zig-zag, back and forth across the lips.

Just as I tie the knot, it opens its eyes, and I swallow a scream. We make eye contact for a second, and I imagine a muted "thank you" pushes through the clot of salt and sewn lips before the eyes roll back and go dark.




*nods to the original Kolchak: The Night Stalker

11 comments:

K.C. Shaw said...

Dang, Aaron, that was awesome. Creepy as hell, but awesome, and one of those stories that I know I'm going to keep thinking about all day. Well done!

Jamie Eyberg said...

nice scene and the movie clip really shows how the old movies were so much better at atmosphere than the new ones tend to be. Thank you.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I haven't thought of the Night Stalker in years. Rember watching it as a kid. Too bad it only lasted 20 episodes. My skin was crawling when he crawled in next to that thing...incidentally, I enjoyed your ending better than the TV show ending. Much more stylish and poignant. Great job, sir.

Aaron Polson said...

I watched that episode again last night...originally from 1974-75, Kolchak was only a few years separated from Night of the Living Dead. "Zombie" had yet to become synonymous with Romero's vision of the undead (the word isn't even mentioned in Night), so Kolchak's voodoo menace wasn't all that much of a mental reach for the audience.

But now...some may scratch their head at a face full of salt.

Natalie L. Sin said...

I knew there was a reason salt creeped me out.

Jameson T. Caine said...

Creeptastic! Is that word? It should be. It perfectly reflects your work.

Barry Napier said...

Great story and SUCH an under appreciated show...the original that is

Cate Gardner said...

Excellent as always. I'm feeling very repetitive, please write something awful next week. :D

Aaron Polson said...

I'm convinced they're awful every week, Cate. Really awful.

katey said...

I hope you won't mind my using strong language, but you're probably used to my lack of vocab by now:

That first line is f@$king awesome.

Danielle Ferries said...

Creepy :)