Krepler by Louise Norlie
I have killed Krepler with a too, too heavy application of the hatchet edge. Raim intones greedily into my ear – juicy, juicy like a split pomegranate – hinting at Krepler’s fate, Krepler who I once loved with the power of pearls and other obscenities, Krepler who – alas! – acted in the opposite of my intentions. Skin separates in such a way as whales, as ribs. Fingernails encrusted black and hands stained yellow, the whole corpus numbing into haze. The melting silts the earth. Krepler’s face gains immensity – imagine: he once took the most hush, meek actions – becoming mistier as we wait, our hunger rising like steam. Raim licks his chapped lips, grunts. You need to forestall that habit, I whisper to Raim, placing my hands over his eyes and near his ragged and well-chewed lips, that habit of staring. That habit of speaking. What’s done is done. At this admonishment Raim backs down, frothing about alleged unfairness. Don’t deny that you see what you did, how you make it unwhole, pry it asunder? Now is no time for quibbling. I do not hesitate. The hatchet pauses over Raim, then descends. Have I acted right? Raim tries to be still, but his feet twitch. He is just pretending, no doubt. But Krepler – he will not deceive me now. His mouth hangs open – the way fish scream – a sight exceeding all others in vain omnipotence. A voice calls – Krepler’s – pick me, eat me, a poison berry looks best. I could use something warm in my belly. I bite my tongue, bite it so hard I taste blood, thinking of Krepler and of Raim, of the three of us falling open and apart, parting wider and wider.
Louise Norlie‘s publications have appeared in Gloom Cupboard, decomP, otoliths and elsewhere. Her writing will also be included in the Quantum Genre on the Planet of the Arts anthology from Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink. Meanwhile, she has been putting in her time in a bureaucratic cubicle where she shuffles papers and pushes buttons deep within the belly of a large building. Visit her at louise-norlie.blogspot.com.