Monday, January 30, 2012

Malcom by Beau Johnson

Perhaps he was always meant to do this; destiny being the reason he ends up doing what he does. He is a cliché, yes, but the culmination is at least a truism he feels he can embrace. Now that he thinks about it, he’s pretty sure it is the only reason he has gotten as far as he has.
One by one they will die---their screams to become the clarity I divide.
That was Bellick, a soldier he’d served with overseas. Loud, Bellick had been the type of person who attracted attention, wanted or otherwise, and for it he didn’t last long. He felt he should be able to recall this man, his face and eyes and height, but found that he could not---the images brought forth a mess and abrupt blur. However, it wasn’t the man’s appearance that was important---this which haunts him still.
On his badge his name reads Malcolm, but not that you would look. His thighs and knees now one, he stops and takes a seat. He watches you as you walk; your children and wife as well. It is here he bears witness to what you truly are; that he and you are more alike that you would ever care to know---that the darkness found in you is the darkness found in him. He watches. He waits. And as he slowly counts backwards from ten he sees you eye-fuck everything you can. Cleavage is your vice, but rump, as your ego, is far from second best.
Never caught, you make him smile. Justification, he thinks, and rubs his gut that’s grown. He over-eats because he’s compulsive, the thoughts he creates as dark as planted seed. One chip, two chip, three chip, four.
“Malcolm. You about ready?” He says yes, put his glasses back on and follows Marty back and to their post. He’s in the kitchen now, there within the bottom floor of Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street in the Magic Kingdom of this, the Evil Empire. He is a cook here, just as he was in Iraq. Two years of clean up duty on the grounds of Epcot and Hollywood Studios it took to achieve this, but by tomorrow morning-noon, it will well be worth the wait. Besides cooking, war has taught Malcolm a great many things.
Flipping burgers, he thinks of his father and the storm that was the man; envisions knuckles, bare, each as thick as sausage, each one covered in hair; breathes in phantom breath, the kind made sour by beer. There is not a day goes by that these are not the things which make up the black behind his eyes. The shrinks, they tell him that it’s normal, but he has come to disagree. No one listens when he protests this though, and soon they will find out why. He is the cliché, remember; the son, the hour, and day.
From the corner, softly, the spider descends and glides. Malcolm watches, enrapt, his father’s voice coming from inside as it tells him how to bend. He does this to his sister as well, and they are never given time; no slide into their bedroom; no keep your fool mouth shut. I will take you and I will be you and this is what’s to be. He believes him, he does, and only because of his age and fear. Outweighing flight, it holds him, pins him, but time is on his side; the rage that builds his bones more than proving key. It is then he takes his father; a knife through throat asleep. Weeping, screaming, his sister is who falls next---what this is to be. Student becoming teacher, Malcolm unleashes everything he’d learned; all that he’d been shown. He remembers thinking: if mother were alive, it is now she would be proud.
His record sealed, he is released the day he turns eighteen. After that it was the army, with cooking and shooting by day. It gave him structure, it did, and more than therapy or the drugs. He was a murderer though, there to cook for free. Like the spider, his web had just begun.
“Anytime, Malcolm.” He agrees and removes the burgers from the flame. It dances; it does, and licks and heats and claims.
Above, half-way up, the castle becomes hollow, but space is there to be made. He has made some room already, on the days he can sneak away. It is loaded with weapons that wait and armour he’s yet to plate. He will make it hard, he will, a fortress for them to storm. Before, however, he believes he will be given and come to take what’s owed; from you, from them---the forty-six thousand people that come to graze here every day. They are deluded, he thinks, and only prolonging what the One Percent decree: before is only prologue; it is after which feeds the need.
He believes this, he does, and only because the spider sits up and agrees. He spins, spins, his web a thing of waste. Always it falls apart, there where the middle should hold. Gossamer or not, the lines they have been drawn and he will not be left again.
For you, father, for me---I will do what you could not.
One bullet, two bullet, three bullet, four.

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