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Let dogs delight to bark and bite-
From behind his window, he can hear snarling. Growling, shrieking, voices high for creatures of their size, but fittingly voluminous. Yet muted from behind the glass.
His heart pounds. What if they bring their catastrophe into his home- his quiet, defenseless, creaking wooden home? What should he do, if they burst through the weak cabin door, teeth ripping at one another’s flesh, a flurry of fur and blood and muscle? What will he do?
Already, they’re awfully close. The fluorescent light of his back porch glints against their matted, stained coats. He cowers.
- for God hath made them so.
Hands on his neck. Cotton in his nose. Red on his cheek. That’s what he remembers.
He remembers the beautiful and terrifying, sharp eyes with pupils like pinholes stabbing into him from across the room, the flimsy air and the worn sofa all that stood between them. His back to the wall, her nails were long. He was wrong, wrong; his home was not quiet. His home retained the screams they’d cast at its rotting walls, and each and every day, they filled his ears. They were inescapable. They were immortal, though tired.
Let bears and lions growl and fight-
One of the dogs screeches. He dares to look at the violent typhoon. One has the other defenseless, pinned to the ground as it goes for the throat, tearing out chunks. The victim cries, but they are dangerous creatures, and will undoubtedly kill him should he intervene, so he does not intervene. He cowers.
For 'tis their nature, too.
A butcher knife pointed directly at his throat. That’s what he remembers.
On the edge of death, at the mercy of a beast, he remembers that he melted. Hysteria overwhelmed him; he began to wheeze and cry, his body shuddering dangerously close to the blade, sobs breaking his every word of pathetic despondency. Please, he begged, Please, let me live, let me live. I love you. I love you! I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry for what I’ve done, I’m sorry, please!--
But, children, you should never let
such angry passions rise;
A roar from outside, and more rustling, more action, from what he can hear. They have gotten much closer. At any moment, he fears, these walls could splinter and expose him. He risks another glance, his body shuddering. The victim has risen; it is now returning its abuser the favor, death in its convoluted, foaming words.
For a terrible, awful moment, for a split second. Through the glass, he locks eyes with it. It sees him.
And though he quickly dives down again, ducking his head in fear, he knows he saw it, and it saw him. Eyes shiny and sharp, whites exposed, with pupils like pinholes.
In them, he saw it all. Mountains of discarded bottles, locked doors, and swinging, bloody knuckles. His own shouts and her own pleas. A towering shadow cast over her folded hands, and rough, shoving palms, apathetic to her reiterated overtures. His own face, ragged and drawn and ghastly. His own eyes, bloodshot and quaking like thunder, with pure, devastatingly empty pupils. That’s what he saw: his reflection, his iniquities, amalgamated into the true devil he was, the true evil he is.
Your little hands were never made
to tear each other's eyes.
They burst into the house, a nightmare. The victim clamps her jaw around the other’s throat, unforgiving, pure providence as she throttles its neck. He watches with nausea as its enormous head swings about wildly, spewing blood across his living room, staining the walls. He knows it is long dead before she finally releases it from her mouth with abhorrence.
And, as she rises from her slaughter, her eyes see his once more.
She turns, slowly, before making her injured exit. He may never find rest again.