Across the street lives a woman with snakes in her hair. She watches me from between the rotting drapes that keep the sun from melting her living room furniture. Her eyes glow in the dark, and she thinks I can’t see her, but I am not as stupid as she thinks.
It was snowing out. In the living room, Jake was sitting on the edge of the worn leather armchair, lacing his boots. Nicky was still asleep in their bed. He had tried to rouse her (or should that be arouse her? He had hinted at having a little early morning fun, but that had gone down like a lead balloon), and had failed miserably.
I didn’t want anything to do with it. I swear, it was all him. He chased it down, he cornered it, and he took the first swing. We were in the clearing, panting. He stared at me, his eyes all big and black-like. When he spoke, his words vibrated through my sneakers, up my leg-bones and roared in my chest.
It was waiting for me, behind the blue curtain. I should explain. It wasn’t always like this. For most of my life, I shared a room upstairs with my younger brother. But when our older brother Eric moved out, I pleaded with my parents to let me have the room. My parents did the rare thing and listened.