The author, Jesi Met, blogs at Empty Labels and Full Thoughts, and invites you to check out more of Edge of Sanity at Authorhouse.com and Amazon. Hope you enjoy meeting Herby in this excerpt.
Edge of Sanity
By Jesi Met
I constantly relive this dream. I say it is a dream but honestly, it is a dark memory of my dilapidated past that I desperately attempt to ignore. Yet, my attempts are futile. I can never erase that memory just as I can never erase its existence. It happened. Some might say that it was a pivotal moment in my life. You know, one of those defining moments in a young boy’s life that forever marks the way his life will pan out. Those experiences that mold boys into homicidal maniacs and sociopaths. I doubt it. To me, it was one of those dreadful father-son moments that separated my sanity from my livelihood.
“Get up,” the raspy voice whispers in my ear. “Get up, boy.” I shake myself awake and open my eyes to reveal a dark figure hovering above me. I close my eyes when I lose interest in his presence. “Boy, I said get up, now.” He yanks my arm and pulls me from my warm blankets and plush mattress and onto the cold, hardwood floor. I keep my eyes closed though. However, I stand up in my Spiderman pajamas and rub the skin atop my weary eyes.
He strips me of my pleasant reminders of childhood and drapes me in dark, heavy, somewhat tattered clothing. He then pulls my eyelids open and forces me to stare into his cold, devious pupils. He has a mission for me tonight. A mission that I have long dreaded, but knew would await me. I look back at my cozy home of bed sheets and soft pillows and look through the small slit in the doorway. The rain that bangs upon my windowpane taunts me as my anti-sand man warden walks me down death row. We tiptoe out the bedroom door and rush through the rain into his unlocked Ford F-150.
“Tonight, I make you a man,” he says. I sit in the passenger seat, missing my car seat that sits alone behind me. When the cold air that escapes the air conditioner whooshes past my wet skin and damp clothes, my whole body quakes in fear, fear of what’s to come. Fear of death—the victim, my innocence.
We stop. We’re far from home, far from peace, and certainly far from the possibility of prolonging this daunting experience until my adolescent years at least. Father jumps out the car and motions for me to do the same. I reluctantly unlock my door and limp out. When I meet him on the other side, we stand before a forsaken shack with a slightly opened door. He taps the door twice and waits. After three seconds, a statuesque woman comes to the door. She looks at father and then to me. Her baggy eyes and cracked lips compel me to look away and stare at my small, wet shoes.
“This your boy?” Her voice gruffly bellows through her dainty vocal chords. Father nods his head and shoves me through the entryway.
“Should I stay,” father asks.
The woman shakes her head and tugs at my collar, yanking me deeper into her unwelcoming domicile. “I’ll take good care of him.”
Father nods his head and smirks. “Make my boy a man by the time I get back.”
She nods her head and pushes the door to close it. I quickly run after the fading presence of my father in a last plea for flee. But, her grotesque hands grip the back of my neck and pull me back.
“Don’t worry Herby.” Father yells through the doorway, “I’ll be back soon.” With that, his voice is gone and I am left alone with this burlesque streetwalker. I slump my shoulders forward and stand in the middle of her cluttered dwelling. She chuckles softly. Across from me rests a badly stained loveseat cloaked with various women’s undergarments and an assortment of whips, chains, and men’s clothing. She clears a space for her to sit and plops down across from me. Her eyes bleed through my skin as I try not to look at her. The odd joy she seems to get from taking advantage of young, unsuspecting boys irks me. I stand there questioning how long “soon” really is; soon should have came and went by now. “Come sit by me,” she says, “You don’t have to be afraid of me.”