When I was bad as a kid my
grandmother would threaten to
skin me alive to curb my poor
behavior. It never seemed strange
when I was younger but now I
picture a middle-aged woman wearing
a pastel tank top sliding a steel
blade through the fatty tissue between
the muscle and the skin, peeling the
flesh off as one would from a piece of
chicken, but with the added difficulty
of the wriggling little boy fighting for
his life as the warm blood sprays onto
her plain white tennis shoes.

What does one do with a child-pelt? Would she tan the hide and make gloves to use for the next
kill, softer than lambskin and more durable than cloth? How does one explain the crime to the parents? He was being a smart-alec, maybe, or I told him to stop the goddam whining!

She still threatens me now but old
age has slowed her reflexes, arthritis
has weakened her grip on the
dull grey handle of the good
knife she bought at the Amish
market. Her days of gutting and
cleaning her victims are behind
her. Her favorite gloves, now decades
old, no longer even fit.


About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in family, fear, history, people and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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