Blood Relations | Althea Dessa Abesamis

The dining table and its chairs are situated in the garage. Mother beckons me to sit at her right as she serves me the silverware. I feel the utensils with my tongue. For dessert we have freshly sliced fingers. Mother’s innards are so thick I have to inhale large before I swallow. Still, I choke. Mother hands me a glass of cooking oil to wash it down, my tongue slithering out afterwards to save the drop trickling down my chin. I can feel the nails scratching the insides of my throat, tracing the length of the esophagus and piercing organs along the way. These are the lungs. And this is the liver. This here is the heart. In moments, I’m gurgling blood non-stop. My tongue slithers out again but the blood is already flowing past my navel. Mother looks on so I stand up and excuse myself from the dining table and its chairs .

 

The blood I wear like a dress by the time I arrive at the party. It’s not a house I recognize but I know it’s mine. Mr. Li is chugging a bottle down on the hallway while the albino is poking electric plugs with a fork. Only the Muslim says hi to me. I go around for a while accepting drinks and swapping war secrets. I was on my way to the bathroom when a man approached me. Says that I look good in my dress. Says that I look better without it. I smile and tease. He grins and pulls out his weapon, a .32 caliber pistol. He shoots between my eyes.

Everybody went out after that. I am left to scrub the bathroom rug, my blood soiling the pale wool.

I only dab the stain with a mixture of stain solution and detergent because I remember Mother telling me that if I rub hard, the blood will only seep deeper. After hours of rubbing, the blood did, as she has warned me, seep deeper into the carpet. I finally decide to use flint. The stain remains but I now have reason to leave.

 

The moment I step out of the house I realize I am carrying a person. Her legs are mapped by blue and green veins that go all the way from her calves to the upper thighs. It is fascinating for a while, looking up and down her legs and tracing veins like cracks on a wall, until frail fingers wrap around my neck and someone whispers go. I stand up and run. The place is a maze drawn entirely in crayons: first, to a flooded pink basement, then to a turquoise tree house, down the rusty fire ladder, and finally up the magenta shrine steps. Only upon reaching the top have I realized that I am carrying a person. I would’ve known who it is but the legs on my hands and the fingers on my neck start melting. The blood flows easily between my legs, mapping out my own veins.

First published in 2011 in Blinds: PANTAS Tomo IX

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