Author Archives: alanaicapria

May 17, 2018

“Once upon a time, something I thought I did not want was taken out of me. Whether it was womb or pregnancy did not matter, only that it was removed and so I was left with an unfilled space that often ached when I thought upon it for too long. And it was a cruel emptiness that drummed violently in my head, saying: You are missing…”

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May 3, 2018

“But ghosts do not leave because they are asked or begged or forced. Instead, they become more solid—hungrier—and so this is what happened to my ghost. It grew bodily, grew flesh and hair, although the hair was immediately clawed off and cast into the dark of the house. And so the ghost was made flesh and it followed me, dragging the weight of itself…”

April 28, 2018

“We had neighbors. They came to the house once a day and knocked on the door. From outside, they called: Are you in there? Are you okay? We did not answer. We crouched away from the door, held our hands over our ears, and whispered: Go away, go away, go away. And the neighbors did go away, but only for the night. They returned the next day, then the next…”

April 13, 2018

“From out the mud crawled a man. He came to me, touched me, gave me a glass of brackish water. This man, still caked with mud, gave me water to drink. In my naivety, I believed the water holy. I looked upon it and thought: Yes, this water is blessed. And so I drank, first a sip, then a gulp, until I realized my tongue was sour and the water hard…”

April 4, 2018

“There were many gods, those that had no names, who were thought of only vaguely because to think hard on them was to think of misery and abyss but a misery and abyss that was so overwhelming, so stinking, it immediately killed the one who thought them. Father and mother wrote on my body, smeared me with old blood, invited the gods out of the shadows, told them to do with my body what only a god could do to a human woman…”

March 19, 2018

“I took the parsley each day, in many ways, until my tongue and teeth were green, until a vague parsley smell came from my pores. The parsley sprouted around the side of the house where I did not like to go. I did not trust what might be out there in the grass. And so father went out of the house while I waited with crossed fingers. He returned with fistfuls of parsley, root ends still attached, dirt clods falling onto the floor…”

March 8, 2018

“Once upon a time, in a dark, hungry forest, there lived a girl hated by her mother. When the girl fell in the woods, tripped, and was cut up, the mother thought: My child has given her flesh to the spirits. When the girl hunted and returned with handfuls of bloody flesh, the mother thought: Surely this meat is human in origin. When the girl was knocked flat on her back by the temperamental old goat, the mother thought: She copulates with the livestock…”

February 23, 2018

“But the man was inside me. How was that not enough? He swam in my veins, ate from my stomach, swallowed from my throat. He was in my brain, behind my eyes, dripping from my nose. His dreams were my dreams, his hungers mine, his sicknesses mine. He made me alive again. His blood was better than a kiss of true love. He saw me nearly dead in bed and gave of himself so that I did not sleep forever…”

February 5, 2018

“The house was covered in blood. The walls were in varying stages of brownness (some edges were still red from fresh blood but the rest of the stains were already oxidized with age) similar to thick rust. We could not breathe without inhaling the blood. I tasted it on my tongue and in my throat. I was dizzy with the blood smell. I could not think right. I staggered about, holding the bloodied walls for support, then sinking down onto the equally bloody floors…”

January 29, 2018

“I wanted to be buried with the man. Put us both in the box and leave us to rot. If I curled against him, pressed my head to his unmoving throat, then the box was large enough for two. In that box, I breathed for him and me: deep, soothing breaths that ended with the air. My flesh became indistinguishable from his. Down into the ground we went, down into the dirt, deeper into the dark, where the man already did not breathe…”

January 22, 2018

“I saw a body once, one that was butchered and splayed. The body was a slab of meat, like a pig, a cow, a sheep. I was horrified, sickened, by the corpse. I could not stop thinking: This is what I will look like one day, this is what I might look like now. Once dead, with our flesh removed, we were all the same meat…”

January 16, 2018

“There was nothing to be afraid of in the house. It was only a house, just as any other house was what it was. It was a house with bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, attic, basement. It was a house with a man and a woman. It was a house with us. A dark house, yes, but still a house. A house that was not fearful, not unless you spent hours staring at the slightest crack in the wall, thinking: What is it inside?…”

January 9, 2018

“Why was it, when I thought of the man’s eventual demise, I could only ever imagine him in a box, the mess of his putrefaction contained? There were other ways, were there not? To be cast out to sea in the bathtub, a torch alight above his heart, curtains flapping around him, until finally, the smoldering weight of him sank beneath the water? Or to be chained atop the attic’s chimney, his fleshiness exposed to the birds who would peck and pick him open…”

January 2, 2018

“I dreamed that the man came for me. I walked to a house in the dark and the man came out the front door. He beckoned me forward, reached for me. The man took my hand. He kissed each finger, then pulled me through the door. The house was cold and I could not see. I felt the man against me. I felt his hands on my back, then his hands in my hair. My eyes burned when I blinked…”

January 1, 2018

“The house reminded me of stone. I walked through the front door and it slammed shut, sealing me in the dark. This was the dark of underground and crypt. I smelled mildew, dirt, and rot. I walked into this darkness and saw nothing. I felt my way, running my hands along crumbling walls, crawling across sagging floors. I tore my body open and bled freely. The blood smelled of water…”

December 27, 2017

“I grew tired yet refused to sit. I avoided the chairs and sofa. With each seat, I thought: There is a man hidden within. I saw it clearly, the man posed with knees and arms bent, head swathed in fabric, sighing with delight as my body eased onto his. I imagined that if I sat upon him, he would grow hard with erection, then come, his body seizing beneath mine, but so swaddled that I could not feel the jerk…”

December 18, 2017

“Eventually, I went from the table to the door. My hand shook upon the knob and the lock clicked. I barely took my hand away before the door swung open. The house beyond was dark. I felt the darkness as oppression and flinched. I felt the silence in a similar way. It felt as though both would beat against me relentlessly until my internal organs failed from the barrage. I did not want to go through the house but there was nothing left for me in the dark, dark room…”

December 17, 2017

“And then I noticed that everything else seemed to leak—the corpse and the walls and the table and the chicken, and more, the pores, hair, eyes—all of it, leaking clear and amber and green. It was a thin, noxious fluid that dripped upon everything and never rolled fully off. And I thought: Was this what we eventually became, once we ceased moving…”

December 13, 2017

“The family said: Touch the dead. I refused. Mother yanked at my hand. Father pushed me forward. Sister and brother begged. Putrid grease dribbled from uncle’s bottom lip. The family shouted: Touch the dead, touch the dead. I could not. I did not. The dead’s smell lingered at the back of my nose; when I sniffed, I caught the smell as if my face were buried in its soup-like innards…”

Excerpt #8 from “Mother Walked Into the Lake”

Excerpt from Mother Walked Into the Lake (out 12/5/2017) now available for preorder at http://www.kernpunktpress.com/store/p9/Mother_Walked_Into_the_Lake.html.

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