Friday, August 22, 2008

The Chewy Nougat Center

Mona, her mind sadly clouded by back-to-school and the all-Michael-Phelps, all-the-time coverage of the Olympics, has abandoned the word of the week and replaced it with a theme of the week. College. I can do that.

This is fiction, by the way, not a confessional.

Or is it? (Insert creepy music here as we fade to black.)

I am not an easy man to like.

I was less likable in college. Less able to cover my self-interest with a candy-coated shell of easy-going respectability. My wife, my kids, my friends, my co-workers, they look at the shell during our backyard bar-b-ques, our weekend bicycle rides. They look at the shell and are satisfied, and look no further. Everyone likes candy, right?


My senior year in college I slept with a girl who had just lost her mind. Really. Her name was Rachael. Her roommate had taken out a Ouija board after a few too many bong hits, a few too many kamakazies, and I don't know, I wasn't paying too much attention when she told me all this, but some dead girl with black doll eyes had apparently shown up in her brain and grabbed her wrist and tried to pull her through the board. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but again, I was distracted trying to get into her pants, and may have gotten some of the details wrong. I showed up a couple hours later, in the dorm, and heard it all then. She was by herself in the lounge area, crying. She told me her story, I sympathized, held her hand, dried her tears, rubbed her back.

The sex was surprisingly hot. I'd been expecting her to just go through the motions, get it over with. But she was really into it.

At one point I said her name, I moaned "Rachael," and she moaned back, "I'm not Rachael," and I didn't laugh, though I wanted to. She was one fucked up girl.

I hung out with her awhile Saturday morning, to be nice, but avoided her calls and her knocks at my door the remainder of the weekend. When she showed up in my Monday morning Ethics class unannounced, staring at me with all that cheap mascara running down her face, I broke it off. Dumped her.

She dropped out of college a couple weeks later. I finished out the term, got my degree, got a job, got married, had kids, the whole enchilada. Built that candy coated shell around my skin until it became my second skin.

I never saw her again.

Until last night.

When I dreamt I was back in college, shaving, and looked in the mirror and saw her face. And she said "Remember me?" and laughed. "Are you Rachael?" I asked. "I'm whoever you want me to be, baby," she cooed, and her eyes turned into black doll eyes, and she reached through the mirror for my hand. I screamed, and dropped the razor. And woke up.

"Are you alright?" asked my wife.

No, would be the short answer. But I said nothing.

I'm seeing her face, and her dead black eyes, all day today. In the sunny glare of random store windows, the rear view mirror of my car, the refection in my children's bathwater, the shine of my wife's earrings.

I am afraid to go to sleep tonight.


Irrelephant said...

Wow. You are one seriously scary dude when you want to be, aren't ya?

Nancy Dancehall said...

Eeeeeeeee! Nice one!

I think I dated her brother...

Noel said...

Wow. This made me feel really uncomfortable. I love it. It works as a short short.

Maggie said...

you are creepy...deliciously so.

Daisy said...

Let me know when you're posting the next one so I can have popcorn ready. I love a good scary movie. er. I mean story.

[You and Tink have a colorful candy theme going. I'm getting snack cravings]

Mona Buonanotte said...

Ooh, you are GOOD. I wonder...what happens next? Does the candy coating peel away...and then what do we find? Maybe I've watched too many horror movies, but I think this is totally film-able.

Clowncar said...

Irr, you have no idea.... I love genre writing - sci-fi, horror, crime - cuz while the reader is looking at the monster you can slip your real intent in under their radar.

Nance, I had the GK dorms in my head while writing that. So you dated her brother in the same place the creepy candy-coated guy dated Rachael. Very scary.... Want some...tea?

Uncomfortable is what I was going for Noel. Well, that and kind of a Twilight Zone finish.

Confess, Maggie - the reason you used the word "delicious" is because of the picture of Skittles, isn't it?

Glad you caught the Creature Feature vibe, Daisy. Remember, boys aren't contrary with girls who like scary!

Thanks, Mona. It's film-able, sure, but it'd be like a 5 minute film. Because I have no idea what happens next.

Mother of Invention said...

You must have written for The Twilite Zone!

gary rith said...

EEEk! Pretty damn spooky and totally believeable. Thanks for the visit, lurk again dude!