“See.” Auntie would hiss, breath-half mist-half piss–spit splattering across my face like soggy freckles. “Don’t you see?”
Spittle soaking deep into bone, I’d bob my neck up down. A metronome kicked on its side. But that was never enough.
My compliance meant nothing till it suffered. Till I suffered.
Till I looked.
“Can’t you see?” A banshee-screech that bounced off mirrored glass like my small skull in Auntie’s gargantuan grip. Bang. Bang.
“I see.” My raspy exhale fogged the glass.
“See what?” Bang.
“I see a sister slayer.” Yours. “Mommy murderer. Blood traitor.” The worst kind of betrayer. The kind that bathed in their victim’s blood and cried out in wailing victory.
“What else?” Auntie pressed–my head harder into my fisheye-like reflection.
“I see,” I swallowed. Chewed the tip of my tongue. Bang. “a pretty dress.”
“And,” Auntie dragged the consanent across her crooked incisors. “what do you say?”
“Thank you,” Bile slid down my throat. Spit settled on my face. “Auntie.”
I was released with a huff that coated me in another spray of slimy, grimey, salted spit. Tasted like Mommy‘s tears. Probably. I wouldn’t know. Won’t. I sagged into myself.
“Good boy.” I’m not.
Satisfied, Auntie would slink off and I would scramble back from smudgey glass. Smooth my hands down silk. With fingertips, find frills, find something like-comfort-but-not-quite in the edges.
What? Auntie’s spit simmered on my skin. My fists clenched frills flat.
Boy. Bang. Good. Bang.
Auntie comes to see that for herself. Eventually. She has no choice but to.
Not when my shoulders brush the height of hers. Not when my eyes meet hers on an upward climb. An ascent.
The few photos kept reveal Mommy had a good head above Auntie. My good head, now. The only good thing about me, according to Auntie.
Still, Auntie takes me to the mirror. Stands me before myself and demands–See.
See what you’ve done to your mother, boy. To me.
Auntie reaches for my lengthy curls–for leverage–but the bang is already echoing in my ears. The spit already boiling fresh on my flesh–each drip of dribble like a teardrop at the corner of two lids kissing. I flutter.
Auntie is against the glass in a spin that twirls my skirt.
“See.” It isn’t a hiss. Nor, an order. It’s the slightest, crunchy-squish of a hard-shut eye opening. Blossoming. Ricocheting ad infinitum off mine and Auntie’s super-imposed reflection.
“See.” Frills brush Auntie’s skin like eye lashes, gentle but coated black so they curl. “Can’t you see?”
Another bang and she does. She looks and–
“I see.” Of course, Auntie spits it–in our shared face. My glassy-eyed part of the reflection doesn’t relent. though. Not now.
“What?” Bang. Red joins spit. “Auntie, what?”
“I see,” She huffs when struggling only intensifies red. “a sister slayer.” Mommy’s. I bob my head. Auntie’s lip curls sharp. “A Momma’s bo–” Bang. The mirror cracks.
Auntie gasps, splattering crimson in our splintered reflection. It’s splitting down the middle. Like a large eyelid.
“See what?” Like glass, my voice cracks. Auntie can’t stifle her snicker. Bang. Bang. Bang. She stops. “You see Mommy’s what?”
“–aughter.” Auntie spits between a newly chipped tooth and mouthful of shards. I crook a brow and she tries again, “Daugh…ter.”
“What else?” I roll her limp head till she’s staring straight at the split separating as it joins. “What else do you see?”
“Blood…” Her gurgle hides her reflection’s eye beneath a red coating. Again, a try. A cry. “blood…tr…blood-y….dr….ess….”
She slumps into herself like one lid folding down and I rise from her like the other lid sliding up.
“Thank you, Auntie.”
My fingers find wet frills, edges soaked in and dyed a colour they’ve always been afraid of.
Blamed for. A colour I’ve not worn since my first and only–till now–victory.
What would Mommy say?
I wipe the glass before my eyes till I peek through red. Split open and smiling. Fingertips brush the toothy slash.
Good girl. I nod.
Hope you enjoyed reading ^.^ For more twisted and delightfully disturbing tales, check out my Killing It tab~ I usually most twice a week.
**This is the painting in the Featured Image for this post. Saw it at a recent trip to the Whitney Museum in the city and–fell in love–but also felt like it would be perfect for this sweet
vicious little story**