I had a neighbor once. She was never quite right. Often, on random days of any given month, she duct-taped raw meat to her front door. Nobody, including me, bothered her about that. Live and let live, I guessed. Until she did the same to me.
She never left anything I would consider prime cuts. It was always some kind of offal. Kidneys. Livers. Brains. Guess I wasn’t good enough for prime rib.
We kept an unspoken peace. She duct-taped meat. I threw it away before the other neighbors started asking uncomfortable questions. This surreal daily routine continued for months. Then the October incident happened.
I remembered the day as clearly as I remembered the smell. I struggled to push my door open, and saw the Meat Lady’s masterpiece. A pig’s head, pink, raw, and chopped to gory bits decorated my door.
After taking it down with copious amounts of panicked pulling, I absolutely lost it. I stormed over to her house, and banged on the door. Thank God it was near Halloween. Nobody was the wiser.
She wore a black sweater with a long black skirt. She was a frail little thing with hair like dying Spanish moss. Her pitiful appearance didn’t stop my rage. I said a lot of things. Especially regretful things. By the time my ranting was done, several of the other neighbors enjoyed my freak-out. The lady silently cried. In my heart of hearts, I knew I fucked up, but didn’t care.
In between soft sobs, she hitched up her skirt. Ragged lines and patches of dense, scarred skin riddled her legs and thighs. She murmured, “I was only trying to help.” repeatedly until someone called the police and I backed off, terrified. The cops took her away. She ended up in a psych ward. Those hollow corpse eyes haunted me for a long time.
To my bitter delight, the meat deliveries stopped only to be replaced with another disturbing phenomenon. I kept waking up with random, jagged cuts somewhere random on my body. Last Friday morning, it was my stomach. This Tuesday morning, it was on my right thigh. Some are deeper than others are. Some bleed more than others do. They all stung like hell. Still, this was a lot more manageable than that lady.
Some real demons were eating her up.
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