Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Walls of Flesh by Lily Childs

They are dark but I can clearly make out the striated slashes in the deepest of red. How you ever came to decorate this palace with the freshest of corpses I can never know. But it matters not.

Your obsession with my skins seems the baddest of fanhood. Your adoration of the dances that my girls perform before and after death – it is indeed perfectly justified. Yes, I receive your letters – daily. Yes, I sometimes read them, coarse as they are with poor grammar and despicable spelling but I confess I appreciate the scent and how you vary it with odours emitted from various orifices – yours and others.

Your invitation was most welcome. Is your name truly ‘Vidal’? It has connotations, you know. I’m a sucker for film and fashion, which of course you do know.

How did you do it? How many did it take? It’s a frenzy the like of which I have never seen; or at least, not for many years. It is something of which I thought only I was capable.

The crusted, sunburnt flakes - blemishes and hair intact within the box at my door – an inspired tease; you knew I would bite. The Classifieds in the NY Times – over the top. I ignored them you know. It meant waiting; I nearly gave up.

But this morning’s gift was a bliss of obscene design and forethought. I bow to your genius. An invitation to my own funeral wrapped in a membranous envelope, tied and knotted with lengths of my hair. I awaited the promised carriage with disinterest and desire, lest you couldn’t deliver and I would have to scratch my own itch.

Who is she, hanging here on the left beside the Modigliani? I saw her once, I think, on the silver screen. The eyes so intricately repositioned within the slits in the ribs beneath her breasts suggest a four-eyed monster. Delicious. I commend you. Take her down, before the flesh gives out. 

Dinner? I don’t feed, surely you know that. But oh! What a masterpiece. Guests at your feast; it must be so easy for you. The minions flock to your every appearance, hang on your slightest word. You are politics, religion and ethics in one single man. The world applauds you – as do I. In this your banqueting hall – an altar to Old Money and Holy Sanctuary – I am truly spent. Bodies lie plaited and overlapped the full length of the oak table, each gut split and stuffed with basted animal offal which spills onto the cloth. I cannot eat but I can embrace. I mount the parade, fingering and sucking at the corporeal repast as I slide through its treasures. Until here we are; face to face.

Do I know you? You offer me a goblet inscribed with my name; the blood inside is hot and I know it is yours, spilled freshly from your wrists. I won’t drink of you. You can dedicate your life to me for as long as you can bear. I don’t want that life; I need only your death. Not a sacrifice, not a willing soul.

I am home, Vidal. Evanesced. For all of your dedication, you will be mine at the time of my choosing – if I choose you. I confess you impress, but my tastes - you must surely understand are not for the willing and the desperate but for those who are blind to my art and my craft and are innocent of darkness.

Wipe your monastery clean of death and decay, Vidal. Invite instead those seeking God, as your vestments declare. For then I will take my unwilling disciples. What better prey than those who pray?

Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.