Otherness

I am not one or the other.

 Names are petty and mine never fit no how. Profound and profane is good enough for me.

I am perfect in my otherness, believe that.

 Such a simple truth that dogged my steps from the time I was born. Can’t say my parents loved me, you understand. On the outside I resembled every little girl all decked out in barrettes and bows. Under my skirts… well that was another story entirely. Never thought anything was right or wrong with me until the games started with Daddy.

I won’t bore you with the particulars. Spare me the tears and the guilt that passes for sympathy. All you need to know is that by my twelfth birthday Daddy was in the ground and I put him there. Planted him better than any undertaker or gardener. You don’t get to know how I finished him neither. All you need to know is that he died screaming. Made damned sure of that. I even joined him at one point… in screaming that is.

Laughed a little too.

Mamma married again and you’d think she’d trade up. Hearing the grunts and groans and the occasional gag before she bolted to the bathroom served as a marker. What she couldn’t abide, and more or less let slide I was assigned to.

To keep the peace…. Hell, maybe to take her place on account of the new baby on the way. Out with the old and in with the new, I guess.  Hoped it wasn’t true. Prayed it wasn’t , but then I heard the floor creak and my doorknob turn.  You know how the story goes.

 Can’t stay anywhere for free.

Frying pan to the fire. Rolled out with the clothes on my back and a sweaty, crumpled five in my pocket. Won’t tell you how I earned that or about my first night’s peace. You see my otherness had its perks and buyers. Some meaner than others, but it was business; nothing personal.

Snuffling back blood and spitting out a tooth or two makes you humble or mean. I chose the latter and had a good run until I didn’t.

That was where she found me. Hair like flames; green eyes like hellfire. Never said a word. Just sat there in an alley that reeked of piss, vomit and my own fear. Sat there as fine as you please on a wooden milk crate next to the pile of garbage I’d been thrown in.

Followed her I don’t remember how many city blocks.. It was almost daylight before we got to where she was going. She unlocked the door to an apartment and went in leaving the choice to me.

It is one I will never regret.

It’s why I’m here with grey eyes, sagging breasts and a silver beard to match. Filed my teeth down to points and forked my tongue. Can lick many things in many directions and I often do. People think me a monster, and I am. I live, lie and fuck all in equal measure.

 Male…female or something else on the menu, I ain’t particular and I don’t discriminate.

I run it all; buy and sell it all. It’s what I am, who I am and what I do.

And I’m good at it.

 With a shot glass in one hand and a blunt dangling from the corner of my mouth I am the one your Mamma couldn’t conjure in her worse night terror.

But to her…. Not Mamma, you dumb shit. The one that saved my life and straightened my crown of bones. To her I am Blood.  I’d kill or die for her and that’s even after I betrayed her.

Now mind you she ain’t no saint. She rocks her sins like a Sable, and we, the ones she saved worship her for it.

 Which is what make our history with this child between us so sweet and strange. Neither of us birthed her, but that little girl is ours just the same. Imagine… two demons raising a little girl. She grown now. Her hands are worth 2 million apiece if you can believe that.

To save her life she gonna have to let one of us go.

But which one… which one?

Not much time left.

Sins be like chickens coming home to roost and them sumbitches have teeth.

Hell, more like a season of the blood; a fine season of sacrifice.

Excerpt from Season of the Blood: necessary Evil Part III

Copyright© 2020 by Stephanie Freeman

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portion thereof in any form whatsoever.

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