The priest's starkly bleak and violently humorless abode is a grayscale of flighty neurosis. The masculine dread is potent with unsteady failure, lifeless. Blood evaporates slowly. Between the cold, stonewalls, a claustral pressure moves closer and closer. I turn a bend to an outside court.
With video camera in hand, I serendipitously find a friend's father succumbing to a filthy heroin addiction. I video him shooting up and turning pale, with fangs as bloody and lifeless as a vampire's.
In a kitchenette of sorts, a family sits around the table. The small home now mixes in an understated blur of unspoken silence. There is an inhumane heart, stifled and drowned, now turned to meat in our soup bowls, its former life surrounds us quietly.
With a forgiving imagination, I remember a small kibbutz home that I once visited. The kitchen table is cornered in a lonely room. The family is missing the father. I am seated without thought to the discomfort at knowing his whereabouts. He huddles nearby, lowered outside into the dark corners of our collective, impoverished will.
In the night, my room is ambushed by his figure, cloaked in staunch black robe. There is an air of over-religious prayer turned to a nightmarish cursing. He raises a black knife into the air above me. Motionless, I receive a monstrous gash beside my bellybutton. I howl and receive two more along my side and below my left shoulder. Blood streams mercilessly down my side.
A gun is raised to my shoulder, and I receive a fixing blow below my right shoulder. Nearly inert, my mind turns to shade, yet my adrenaline picks me up with full lungs, I worry for my wife, now mere animal and sister of humanity, to be slaughtered by the tortured weakness of an insane mind frothing at the brim of his asylum grave. This house of fleshless waste enslaves me to a pain unknown. I feel life struggling to stand with the rhythmic plan of my heartbeat, calling me to go forth. The beat is ever important as never before; if I falter I could miss a step and fall into the void of the stale, rock floor.
I finally find my wife, covered in the ash of wood burnt to its lowest ember, cursing through a throat densely saturated with blood overfull with pain. There is a spark of wonder at our meeting. “How are we still alive?” I ask her gently, mutually irate.
I am forced, embedded in this sick house, to confront the murderous wraith, balancing life and death on the numb foresight of his insidious night killings. I quickly examine our wounds, and though we are in critical condition, with flesh flayed visibly in touch with our vitals, a swarm of inner heat beckons us to kill the blind culprit. As from a sacrificial muse, I am sent forth into the blackest corner of the most lightless room to fulfill my fear's latent travails over my bloody path. Fated, I walk inside the heavy wooden doorway to flash an upraised knife, buckling down over loosened sinew and the butchered meat of such trivial nightmarish greed. I imagine my blood fall. In distress, shadow-cast over my would-be murderer, I paint the stone floor with our common need to overcome this body of suffering. Locked in deathless love, I flee together with my sister of humanity.
(C) Rusty Kjarvik