Kelby Losack is the author of HEATHENISH (Broken River Books) and TOXIC GARBAGE (self-published). His stories have been published by Broken River,...read more Pantheon Magazine, Red Fez, and Oddville Press. He raps and produces music under the alias Heathenish Maverick. Builds cabinets and does various construction work to pay the bills. He lives with his soul mate in the Third Coast.
The night she came home covered in blood, dragging the severed head of a stranger across the garage floor, I stopped kidding myself.
Our relationship’s origin story was the typical ‘meet online, drive across the country to see each other, move in together within a week’ tragedy. I’d conjured up fantasies since seeing her picture on Craigslist and meeting her IRL didn’t shake me out of that dreamer’s delusion.
I posted selfies of the two of us doing the most menial shit—#TacoTuesday, #BeachBums, #GettingTheOilChanged—yeah, I was that guy.
But, could you blame me?
I mean, I had the figure one gets from a disciplined diet of pizza and takeout, and my ten years at the chemical plant had aged me twenty. #crowsfeet #sleepapnea
But she—she had that classic kind of beauty. And, the way she moved when she let me inside of her—it was a rush of new life, like being hooked up to jumper cables. Each time made my legs shake, made me tighten my grip around her.
There were those nights, though, I’d wake up to headlights illuminating the curtains, rush to the window to see her creeping down the street. And then, when she was out of sight, I’d hear that roar, and my eyes would roll back and I could feel phantom vibrations up my spine.
I never questioned where she went. As long as she kept coming home, it didn’t matter. I’d help her wash the blood off, kissing every inch of her body as it was washed clean, and my own suspicions and judgements would simultaneously be washed away.
So, no, I never called the cops.
They showed up on their own, though, that night she made an appearance on the live action news. Headline: Xmas Parade Massacre.
They asked to see my car and I said, “Um, yeah, sure thing, officers,” and when the garage door rolled up, I fake-gasped, acted like I was so fucking shocked to see an empty garage. I guess they bought it. I filed a report about my car being stolen, said “thank you so, so much” and “please, bring my baby home.”
I knew she’d be back, though.
Soon as I saw the head bouncing between the concrete and her undercarriage, with the Santa hat and face full of white scruff, I knew the cops would be back, too.
So I did the whole throw-your-hands-in-the-air-and-scream-WHAT-HAVE-YOU-DONE routine, threatened to pull my hair out as I paced around the garage. #DramaKing
She just idled there in silence with broken teeth and brain matter on her windshield.
If this was going to be the end, it was going to be the absolute fucking end, so I grabbed the lighter fluid and she revved up, blinked a couple times to show approval. I covered us both, getting high off the fumes.
I popped her gas tank and said, “One last time, baby?” and she purred.