Monday, October 31, 2011

a flash of Halloween fiction

The master always wore gray.

The master would come into the room at no specific time. There was no way to predict when he would enter. No noise he made predicated his arrival in the room without windows before he placed his hand on the latch and turned the knob.

The master was always neat.

Never was he seen needing a shave. His teeth were always clean as if brushed directly before opening the door. Every hair on his head was in its place and his shirt tucked into his trouser waistband in such a way that it never came undone when he crouched before his servant.

The master was thorough.

At least once a week he would bring photographs. Well composed and colorful, the glossy paper images showed a child's life taking place. After the master showed them to the servant, he would hang them on the wall in neat organized rows and columns as a reminder of why the servant was there.

The master lacked certain skills.

After he showed the photographs to the servant, the master would inspect the wounds of the servant. Many were infected and covered with bandages, stained with the failed process of human healing. With makeshift ointments he would attempt to soothe the servants injuries. Too often his attempts yielded an unsavory result which attracted flies to place their offspring on the wounds to clear the rotted flesh.

The master was direct.

“Remember,” he would say to the servant, “your child depends on you. Without you staying right here, he will be deprived of all which you want for him. I see him every day and can perform acts more unspeakable than you can imagine. You are his hope and salvation.”

The master controlled the servant.

After showing the servant the pictures of the child, after tending to the servant's inflamed, red, weeping sores, after reminding the servant of his position of subservience, it was time to for the master to gain strength. From the master's vest pocket came an elegant silver fork, festooned with scroll work designs along the length of the handle and a utility knife, as dull in aesthetic detail as the fork was rich in design.

The master was patient.

“Just a little nibble,” the master would say as he looked over the body of the servant. When the master chose the spot, his eyes would open wide and his nostrils flare. Delicately he would apply the fork to the servant's skin, watching as the individual prongs dented the surface as they held the flesh in place. The razor edged knife followed closely, carving a crescent through the skin. As the edges of the incision drew away from each other revealing a pulsing stream of blood, the master would say to the servant in an appreciative tone, “Nice and rare, just as I like it.”