The Serpent Bearer

Word Count: 1,755

I am the Serpent Bearer.

I am protector, mother, goddess, destroyer. I am a Force, seductive black light shimmering with promise and death. My body comforts. My actions heal.

You are still reading and not reaching for the phone – not that it would matter, since it’s been disconnected. The wires have been cut inside and out, and I know your home is a cell phone dead zone. Perhaps you’re thinking about leaving, just setting this letter down grabbing your keys and heading for the door, and had I not super-glued the windows shut and epoxied the tumblers in the lock, you’d be well on your way to running into the street screaming for the nearest phone. Go on – try it. I’ll wait.

You double-checked the windows, too, right? Who’s idea was it to put up the security bars? Yours, right? Something in your brain said your crap was worth breaking into your home and stealing. Probably the same part that believed your orgasms sounded real. I have both recorded – the fake ones with various partners and the real, self-induced ones. I will be happy to see that part of your brain gone.

You haven’t yet earned the right to know my name, and don’t bother skipping to the end to see if I was dumb enough to sign this, because while you may have the brain capacity of a rabid mole, I do not. While you wait for one of the slow, painful deaths I have chosen for you, you may as well read on. Grab a glass of water – I can imagine how dry your mouth must be.

By now, you’ve also noticed that you have no electricity – I had it shut off. When you carelessly throw around personal information, you can expect it to be picked up and used against you. Your relationships, your lovers, your credit history. I know you have a credit score of 0600, you’ve defaulted on every loan you’ve ever taken out, paid for most of what you have on your knees, and your mother’s maiden name rhymes with clit. A laugh, a joke, and three transfers later I’m shutting off your electricity, stopping your mail, and canceling your e-mail accounts. As far as the outside world knows, you’re either on an extended vacation, or you’re planning the most dramatic suicide it’s ever seen. The important part is that most people believe you’re nowhere near your home, which is why by the time anyone bothers to check on you, you’ll be decomposing. Trust me. I’ve been planning this a long time.

Now as to why. The sad part is even when I tell you, you won’t admit it was you, or that it was your fault. This letter is a much a desperate failing as your understanding of what you’ve done and how it affected the people around you. You’ll throw a mini tantrum, scream obscenities at the wall, maybe even rip this letter to tiny pieces, but if you do before you reach the end, you’ll never know why. Have a drink of water, since that’s all that’s left in the fridge, and take a deep breath. Yeah, the fridge. There’s nothing in it but ice water, milk, and bologna, which is sort of funny since you’re a vegan. Ha ha. Also anything edible has been removed from the cupboards, the pantry, and that personal stash you keep between your mattresses – the protein bars, the soy candy, the pot. I smoked the pot. Do you always lace it with coke, or was that a bonus for me? It made what I had to do next a little more difficult, but with the proper concentration and breaks between the giggle fits and reciting this letter at the top of my lungs, I managed to get it done. There’s a bleach stain on the carpet. You’ll forgive me that transgression, especially when I tell you what I did. A little bleach is the least of your worries.

So, right about now you’re having a panic attack. What’s that like?

I can see it in my mind – your palms are sweaty, your heart is beating wildly, you can’t breathe, you can’t think. It’s all so clear, even as I’m coming down off this high. You’re wiping your brow with the hand you’ve touched yourself with – I’ve seen that too. Sex is messy – but Christ woman, you make it look like wrestling in mud, grunting and screaming, a rutting pig in heat. You even have the pasty porcine complexion for it, but I’m getting away from the point. There isn’t enough time for personal attacks.

Have you had enough water? About that …

It’s laced with cyanide. It could have been arsenic, but I wanted it quick and for you to leave the most grotesque corpse possible without me personally being there. In fact, everything is tainted in some form or another, even the air, which took a little ingenuity without personal harm to myself, but I managed. There’s drain cleaner on the bologna (because it needed that extra push to become completely inedible), rat poison in the milk and cyanide in the water – all of the water: the ice water in the slowly warming freezer, the toilet tank, pumped into all the faucets and throughout the plumbing. I suppose you can just let the water run, hoping to flush out the poison, but the pipes will run dry in roughly 5 minutes, and there is enough cyanide-laced cotton shoved into the pipes that the building may have to be condemned. I’m not sure what’s more horrible – starving or dying of thirst, though I would imagine that cyanide poisoning is pretty darn yucky. You’re probably feeling it now – your panic attack, the way it makes the body feel like it can’t breathe, each breathe drawing shards of glass through the lungs. When they find your body, you’ll look like you injected cherry soda. I’ll take pictures.

So you broke the heart of one of mine, one whom I would obviously kill for, and now I will toast to the bursting of yours. How will your final hours be? Screaming, sobbing, flopping on the floor? Your poor luck to live on a street buffered by a freeway and busy highway. Your poor luck to have neighbors who have just won a trip to California. Those lucky bastards. Don’t worry, I’ll check on you in a few days to see how you’re progressing – I mean decaying.

Do you hear the scrambling in the crawlspace? There is a rabid dog beneath the floorboards. I know how you love animals. In fact, it’s your dog, Muffin. I like to go for the personal touches that say, “I care”.

He “ran away” two weeks ago. I watched you tearfully put up posters and talk to neighbors and accept sympathy sex. I didn’t understand the sympathy blowjobs, but maybe it was in exchange for the gas used to drive you around. Muffin contracted rabies from a squirrel, or a raccoon, or maybe a fox – all of them had it and all of them attacked him. I guess while you’re waiting for your body to implode you can listen to the gasping death rattle of your dog – at least until the time-release lock lets him loose on the upper level. I warn you – he looks a little mottled, he has open sores, and he smells like he’s been rolling in his own feces, but a momma will always love her baby, right?

There are rats in the bathtub. They were drugged and sleeping when I left them, but should be awake soon. And hungry. Very. They may also have, or be, carrying rabies. I didn’t bother to check. It seemed trivial.

The coke is making me ramble.

You hurt someone I care deeply about and now I have returned the favor with interest. Now you can understand what it’s like to be trapped in a situation where nothing you do will make it better in any way. The price of burning your bridges, I suppose.

Have you thought about it yet? How many times have you read this and though about what it’s about or who it’s from? Do you know what you did? As your body asphyxiates from the inside out, I want you to think about who I could possibly be, but again, I’m not that stupid. You’ll die, stink, and attract the attention of the local authorities who will go over this place with a fine-tooth comb and me giving you information would be like me giving them information. I’ve said too much already.

I am the Serpent Bearer, an archaic reference to a lost sign – lost but not forgotten. I sustain the one you hurt, all of his grief and pain, I absorb it and turn it into something constructive and meaningful, and dare I say it, art. I am creative in my vindication and your punishment has been most satisfying.

You are not the first, and with his track record, you won’t be the last. That’s okay. I have nothing but time and toys and vengeance. Unlike you and your complete incapacity for compassion, I have given you one out. There is a revolver in the freezer behind the ice trays. She’s a .22 caliber, pretty little vintage piece I liberated from another. You’ll need to fire it at close range or the shot won’t be fatal. I recommend the sternum – that would be your breastbone – or perhaps the head in that growing flab behind your chin, angled upward just slightly. You wouldn’t want to accidentally blow out your trachea and strangle on your own blood, though I’d pay good money to see it. I would have left you a rifle or an automatic something or other, but you may have tried to become clever and shoot out the locks.

Cold, it may not fire the first round, but keep trying. You have six chances, the number of times he held your hand because you didn’t have the sense to leave an abusive relationship. Six is the number of times he held your hand in the ER when you overdosed on your “pain” medication, pathetic cries for help that he answered because part of him loved you. Those parts are now dead, obliterated because you lack anything resembling humanity. I’ve taken care of that as well.

Is that scrabbling getting louder? Do you feel a little parched?

# # #

Appears in Black Petals #36 July 2006
© 2005 MontiLee Stormer
All Rights Reserved