My brother is too skinny. He said he wanted to sing for me but he's too weak. I crept into the room and parted my lips. "Steal my vocals. I am too shy to talk to my sensuous brother." He dug his fingers into my throat, took my vocal chords and swallowed them. "I have always been so ugly to myself" was the first thing he said. I could not scream to tell him shut up. All I could do was stare at his long ebony hair, his verdant, Asian eyes and protuberant cheekbones and make wishes to be his skeletal body.
We all die when night towers over the reservation. It's when cable goes out. It's when batteries die. It's when hunger pinches our gut like a demon in want of freedom. I have always been a night owl, so I am awake when everyone dies.
Tonight I watched my little sister collapse in her bed, her bed that was made out of old clothes and broken hair. I pushed her shoulder to see if she would make a sound. When she didn't, I realized I was the only one alive. I rested beside of her, wishing I could sing her a song. Maybe I wanted to sing myself a song. Maybe I felt sorry for myself and wanted to cry about it just this once.
The moonlight shining outside made my eyes pulse. There was a blockage of its radiance suddenly as I was about to protect my sight. Standing in front of the window was the silhouette of a willowy man with his hair combed back from his forehead. Its volume was so large the shadow of it darkened the entire room. I grabbed my sister and held her close.
The man nodded his head, ran a hand through his scalp and moaned. "The only one who never passes," he sighed. "I am the beast in your gut, but I can never be free. I want you to suffer because life is not honorable unless we are dying every second." I closed my eyes until morning. I went outside to find the man's mane scattered in the dirt. When I showed my sister she said add it to her bed.
Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. She is also a photographer. Her work has appeared in Spelk, The Vending Machine Press, Burningword and others. She loves the Victorian era.