The Hole in Her Soul
By K.Z. Morano
Every night, spirits visit her bed like an orgiastic parade of shadows… taking turns in penetrating the hole in her soul. She’s sad and vulnerable. She used to fake it in school, lying on the floor, rolling her eyeballs and mimicking an epileptic seizure. She would gibber in an alien tongue and spout sinister phrases like “worship me” or “I will kill you”… Unoriginal, but it gets them every time. She has a histrionic personality… an attention whore just like me.
Tonight, it’s my turn. I slip inside her hungry, hospitable hole and she fits perfectly like a skin glove. There’s just a kind of softness in the female body that I like. So I make her pick up the knife and start mutilating the most tender parts… her breasts, her nipples, the delicate inside of her thighs… She chews on the meat and it saddens me that there’s no one around to witness.
I try to think of her body as an easy-to-use rented vehicle. Eventually, I’m going to have to turn her over to the others. I don’t own her. But I want to. So I leave a mark. Her fingers tremble as she carves my name on her belly. We have fun for a little while. We do the things that she likes. Like going to church…
Everyone eyeballs the shabbily dressed lady as she walks down the aisle in the middle of ‘The Fraction’. She’s all skin and bones now. Cuts mar her arms and there are eggplant-colored bruises on her pallid skin. Cobwebs of saliva drip from her palsied mouth. She walks with a limp because I’ve kept her for myself for several days and we’ve been having so much fun together.
As the priest breaks the unleavened wafer of Christ, she grabs one of the small crucifixes and I make her pleasure herself with it. Horrified gasps leave every throat; the faithful’s faces whiten. People make a huge deal out of it. I love it. The last thing I want is to fade into anonymity. Prying hands start grabbing her arms and I fight them off with the strength of ten men. Incoherent prayers bounce off the church’s walls as the people mutter Hail Mary’s and the Lord’s Prayer as if their tongues are on fire. For once, they actually mean it.
The priest starts sprinkling holy water on us and it irritates me. I decide to put on a show and make her skin seethe into pink mist, exposing some skeleton. The praying stops only to be replaced by terrified cries. Some people hide, shaking behind the pews; the others start rushing towards the exit. It takes a lot of strength from me, but I seal the heavy wooden doors by sheer will. I want… no, I need an audience. When my laughter pours out from her mouth, the sound is like breaking mirrors. I want to do more things, to show them more tricks. I want them to tremble… to question their faith. But more than that, I just want to be noticed.
The other spirits use this body for small acts… unlike me, they refuse to go all-out. They’re more concerned about lingering in this world… using her physical form as a tool to exact their petty vengeance, to cling to earthy possessions and to relive the pleasures that they’ve missed. So they use her up little by little, masking themselves behind a diagnosis of psychosis. They carefully preserve her body, maintaining its undernourished yet active state. She deserves better than that. She deserves better than to live her life in between episodes of mania and depression and states of fugue. She deserves to be immortalized.
The racks of candles collapse and scarlet and tangerine tongues lick their way towards the altar. The life-size crucified Christ falls face down onto the ground. Soon, her physical body fails me. So I allow her to faint as several men pin us to ground. People try to put out the fire. The priest starts yelling for me to get out. As if he’s so clean… as if I couldn’t see his ugliness from within. He says a prayer and mimicking his voice, I recite it with him. His words are useless to me, though I can deceive him into believing that he had won.
But he’s not the only one attempting to evict me from my new dwelling. The wind screeches in my ears. The other spirits have arrived. They hover above us like a bunch of ectoplasmic hounds fighting over a bitch in heat. Their lugubrious moaning makes the air quiver. The room trembles with their collective rage and the windows start breaking, showering everyone with flying slivers of rainbow-colored glass. Blood patters into streaks on the walls. Like their fallen Christ, people lie face down on the floor. The so-called holy man assumes it’s all me and I can picture his bowels turning into liquid. He screams his abracadabra, mumbo jumbo louder and louder. They place the cross against her chest and squeal: “In the name of Jesus, depart!”
I hold onto her body for as long as I can. She’s more to me now than a breathing puppet to move around with my spectral strings. She’s my home. If I were to leave, I want to be remembered. And I can tell that’s what she wants too. So I gather myself for our final performance.
The people’s satisfying screams splinter the atmosphere, sounding like applause to my ears, as I use the last of my energy to unzip her flesh, slowly… I linger long enough to hear the men’s unholy shrieks as they realize their baptism in her blood while holding onto her crudely severed limbs.
Suddenly, I’m ectoplasm—buoyant, beautiful, as I float and fade into nothingness.
But I stare into the priest’s eyes and catch a glimpse of the abyss.
There is a hole in his soul…
and it’s waiting to be filled.
Copyright: © 2014 K.Z. Morano
Note: First appeared in Demonic Possession, JWK Fiction, July 2014, Editor’s Choice Award
Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGWQH1M