Terror. At its core, the demons dance. And they dance oh so well. Almost rhythmically to a tune which cannot be heard or known but only to myself. They exist in my every waking moment. They know no rest, they know no mercy. If sleep comes, they whisper in the blackness and I suppose, delight in my unconscious twitching. Demons are not seen by the naked eye but the wounds they inflict are greater than a broken rib. Breaks heal. Their wounds are unseen because these exist inside. These wounds bleed. All. The. Time.
“Ah. Smell that Nancy?” I grin. I inhale the waft of smoke. The crackling is such a pleasant sound. True, the warmth is a blessing this evening. My coat, alas, provides nothing. Of course, clothing would be beneficial. It’s not terribly chilly as of now and I can’t see any mist from my breathe but you never know. If there is one thing I’ve learned in this life, be prepared. Shit can, and will change on a dime.
“Isn’t that right, Nancy?”
“Well, I suppose your time is up anyway. I mean, it’s not like you could last forever. Indefinitely.”
I wonder who is the next lucky participant? Who shall spoon with Nancy? Hmm. I scratch my chin, thinking, studying the fire thoughtfully. Squinting, I try to find any remains of her. Oddly, and I find this somewhat peculiar, even for the likes of my talent, I cannot spot one piece of dust or ash of poor, delicate, little Nancy girl. Typically in the darkness, the blackness not only does it caress me and provides protection- concealment, my sight, well, I will just say I can spot a bird shitting in a tree some yards away, possibly fifty or so. But I cannot see one spec in the pit tonight? Grunting, I pull my tongue in and swallow.
Well, no matter, I surmise with a sigh. Plenty. Plenty to pick. Plenty to pry a part. I look down. Chunks of balls of hair; there are a few red, some blond but mostly black pieces because I quite enjoy the color black, and their scalps are folded in under the edges of the flesh. I used whatever I could find really before I staked my claim, so to speak. In the trash can, the dumpsters, I found needles, lots and lots of needles. It was like a smorgasbord of needles everywhere especially in the dumpsters and on the ground next to them. Thread, well, that was a bit trickier. To sew the fleshy squares together, I made due with duct tape and discarded strands of string.
Below, I study a crude patchwork of various colors. Skin is unique. There are so many glorious shades of colors. Hmm. But who? To decide, I tap my chin and sit in the middle to decide. Of course, I notice the immense rise of temperature around my body, or lack of, I suppose.
“Heh,” I mumble. “Silly me.” The solution was plainly obvious the entire time. My coat, while it catches, and laps up Jeffery, Melissa, Fred, Sam, and a yap, a most irritating woman, hungrily, my quilt, it unravels. Now, every person can sleep together, in the fire.
Gnashing, and a low growl erupts in the region of the stomach. I cough and spit several times, and then plug my noise. “Damn the smell. Damn it so much.”
There is a tongue, a wide one too, which I feel licking its teeth. But this tongue is not from my mouth, oh no! I rise and shake, much like a mutt would if a human had finished bathing and taken the pooch out of a tub. The coat gives away easily, reveling my one true self.
“Give!” the stomach snarls. “Want. Now.”
Smirking, I stroke my beard. “And what might you desire, friend?”
“No, I suppose not,” I say. “Had I any hair on this melon, I’d feed it to you.”
I glance at the fire. Jeffery and Melissa, there is a little left. Relieved my vision has now improved after shaking off humanity, I reach out and gently, carefully, pry a few tenderloins of remains fused to the wood.
The stomach howls, yips, cries in delight.
I frown, not amused in the slightest. I hold the scraps between my claws just in the outskirts of its mouth. It can smell the meat but cannot not eat the morsels. Not yet.
The tongue slides out again. Reaching and swaying the tips of its tongue, the stomach tries to grab even a pinch.
“I like skin too,” I say, still frowning.
The tongue stretches out more.
Not willing to oblige, I toss Jeffery and Melissa.
Its tongue retracts back into the stomach in response and glances up questioningly.
I have no name. But I exist to feast.