SciFi sundays presents musings of a dirty old man

May 30, 2010 at 1:26 am | Posted in spiritual rantings | Leave a comment

Foggy, rainy, miserable days were meant for me, Mr. Peterson moaned,  rolling his eyes upward toward the darkening sky. The daunting weather overhead threatened his land with rains torrential, the howling winds already bending a group of young poplars in the woods that surround him. . ‘Give me what you’ve got, oh masterful Lord. And Ill spit it right back at you.’

Uncomfortable, sitting awkwardly in the aged wooden rocker on the porch of his home, Mr. Peterson digs the nails of 67-year-old fingers into the soft cedar. There was a time when the cleansing perfume from the wood gave a treat to the discerning nose, but no longer does the bouquet exist. Scratching into the splintered boards that support his arms, Mr. Peterson challenges God himself with dull gray eyes.

A wart with wrinkling gullies protudes from his wide Irish pug-nose, creating valleys both deep and shallow on his forehead, around his eyes; its calyx replaces lips that were far more succulent in years long lost. Ornery old Mr Peterson  has abandoned cleanliness and all that goes with it, including changing any of the clothes on his back.

He doesn’t fear death, He defies  the Maker to take him. And when he does, Mr. Peterson will give antagonistic counsel at the top of his lungs until  he is dropped into the fiery pit of hell. Fire and Brimstone, he thinks, is meant for me.

A crinkled hand splattered with brown spots of age reaches into a box of full flavored cigarettes. When  he exhales, the malodorous cloud of smoke surrounds his head, covering his bent shoulders and yellow brown stained shirt, that was once white.

Just as they do every day at this time, a group of schoolchildren walked past the withering 19th century farmhouse, never failing to slow their gait. They hope for a glimpse of the notorious wicked widower. When they see him, they run. Their screams and laughter have no effect on Mr. Peterson. None whatsoever.

He  hates the children with or without the banter.

Rocking in the chair – his ankles doing most of the work – Mr Peterson leans forward, protecting the brittle bones of his back from the hard planks behind him. His late wife Annie, had always brought her  pillow, though Mr. Peterson believed it a paltry accusation of his own shoddy craftsmanship. For several years after her death,  he deliberately pushed back into the exposed nail heads, hoping her spirit was able to watch him suffer from her rudeness to his assaulted ego.

Pain is meant for me.

Life wasn’t always so dreary for Mr Peterson. It was a party, a means to submerse himself in pleasure while so many others strove to stifle the entertainment. He found people to be invasive, smothering him with their petty concerns and grievances. At times  he could feel them  all clogging his throat like so many maggots on rotten meat.

What right had they to proudly display their countless insecurities as badges of authority? Digging into his business with picks and spades?  he didn’t want to be lonely, simply alone. They wouldn’t allow it. After all,  he was life, a tasty morsel for the appetite of the dead, which is what they  all were.

Dead men and women, scratching at his skin to feast on the delicacy of his hard work.  Marrying Annie, was Peterson’s  own suicide, an axe driven into the pith of his dreams. The vows were quite simple: take me away from the scavengers, Peterson , for I would rather tolerate one man than a world full of them.

Oh, the things he would force on her in the bedroom. Penetrating her flesh was not enough for Peterson , he insisted on an intimacy that could never exist. Even now he cringes when he considers her, rolling over to his side of the bed with the eyes of an excited child. Such words he would throw at her. The sweetest of nothings that she considered just that.

Nothing at all.

It would have been better for Peterson  had Annie  exposed her lust for what it was; a release of the animal inside her. Instead, he chose to love her. Love of all things! No matter what fight she managed to give him, what pain she would bring to the table with her teeth, nails, or bitter words the weak man would never lift a finger in defense, instead lying broken until she would stop the irruption. There was never an apology, not from Annie . She would simply grow tired. Tired of it all. Peterson knew he was never enough man for her, he was never meant to be.

At least when he was on top of her, inside of her, she would find something of interest to bide the time. Gifted with an active imagination, Annie found physical stimulation to be a perfect catalyst for the imagery in her mind. The places she went on such occasions were dark, dangerous. Never would she picture a man having his way; it was always a demon, a frightening monster, perhaps a rabid animal. Peterson played his part becoming the rabid animal, devouring her flesh, lusting for her blood, violating her until his love turned to hate.

He sits there rocking in total disgust, He took care of it, many suspect something,
foul play, but he gave Annie what she wanted, the ultimate sexual experience that the
goddess deserved.

A slight pang of hunger pushes against Mr Peterson’s stomach, reminding him it will soon be time to eat. There is a certain intimacy  he finds with food. The idea of puncturing something that was once alive – pressing into it with a steely fork and bringing its juicy essence to his mouth – excites him. While meat is his preference, rare and dripping, there isn’t a corner in his kitchen that doesn’t remind him of Annie’s struggle to live..

Each fruit and vegetable begins as a seed, digging desperately into the earth, hungry and parched. So many predators to contend with. So much competition from the encroaching weeds, from the footsteps of lumbering men. Nature rewards the weak; the prize is a withering death. And for the strong?

Eating life is meant for me. Peterson  smiles when  he thinks this, enamored of the gifts creation itself spills upon him. Pleasing him, is why the world exists.

Lost in his thoughts, the old man doesn’t see the approach of the little girl. No more than 7 or 8, wearing pink sweatpants and a powder blue jacket, the child moves fawn-like legs forward, her big brown eyes staring up at Mr. Peterson, her pretty blonde hair in a ponytail. A slight scraping of the little girls tennis shoe snaps Peterson  back into the real world.  he is alarmed by the child’s presence, at once putting a decrepit hand to his heart.

“What…”  Mr Peterson glares down at the child for interrupting his thoughts…

The girl stops. Waiting. Staring.

Mr Peterson puts his hands  in his lap, squeezes them, Leaning slightly forward, he says, “You’re not a Buffy, are you? Maybe a Jenny?”

The child shakes her head, her little pink lips trembling. She buries her hands deep into the pockets of her jacket.

“What do they call you little one?”

It isn’t the first brat to brave the gritty driveway of Peterson . A dozen vile children have succumbed to the challenges of their playmates, mistaking foolishness for courage and engaging the old  man. A handful have come to befriend the widower, attempting to share bright eyes and warm hearts in an effort to ease the pain of his lonely existence. Peterson always welcomed the random caller, for a much darker purpose..

In little more than a whisper, the girl mutters, “Cindy.”

“Cindy, is it? How darling is that? A thin strand of milky white saliva stretches between Peterson’s  lips as  he speaks. Pungent breath fouls the air around him, eventually reaching the child, evidenced by the wrinkling of her nose. “So tell me, little Cindy, what is it you think you’re doing here? On my personal and very private property?”

“I dont know”

“You dont know?” …. I do, you little witch! Like countless others before her, Cindy has come to take a bite out of Peterson. A trophy for her friends. A stake of ownership, like bear urine on a tree.  .  Peterson  gave up wishing years ago. Wishing they would stop coming, that the parasites would leave him be and find another soul to feed upon. Now  he accepts it, watching the bloodsuckers grow younger and younger, trying to fool him with the innocence of childhood. But there is no innocence. Not in Peterson. Not in little Cindy.

Not in anyone.

“Maybe we can sort it out together. Just the two of us.”

Peterson spots his  cane leaning against the worn porch railing. In his mind,  he leaps from his chair like a panther, scooping up the walking stick in one swift motion, then swinging it with all his might into the skull of the impish intruder. Peterson  releases a lascivious sigh, watching the eruption of red, gray and white through the backs of her eyes. Blood, brain matter and tiny flecks of skull spray from the fresh wound on the child’s head, landing like droplets of spring rain on the ground beneath her. The crunching sound of shattered bone echoes in Peterson’s  ears.

‘I could do it, you know,’  Mr. . Peterson says aloud, his gaze wandering. I have it in me.

The foul excuse of a human  has the ambition, but not the strength for such a forward attack.

Disturbing Peterson’s  stomach once again, the pang of hunger is firmer in its delivery, now demanding attention rather than encouraging it. Like a dog, saliva fills the old widower’s mouth, forcing him  to either swallow or drool.  “life’ Peterson thinks anticipating his dinner.

Cindy stands stiff, her arms straight, pushing soft pink hands to the limits of her coat pockets. She looks away from Mr Peterson, to stare at her shoes.

“I’ve got an idea.”  Peterson  uses his weak legs and frail arms in unison to lift himself up from the rocker. He  places one hand on the back of the chair for support;  he uses the other to wipe the spittle from his lips. Would you like to come inside for a cookie?”

You, child, were meant for me.

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