It appeared one morning
Right in the middle of the living room
As if it had always been there
Tall and silver
With a million unblinking lights
Buried down underneath
An iced and shiny surface
A surface which went on for far too long and
Gave up not a single reflection
Each light an eye
Cold and ravenous and tightly slitted.

She came into the living room
In her robe and slippers
And there it was
Simply waiting beside the coffee table
Which they had inherited from Ralph’s aunt
She started to scream but
In that instant
It had stepped inside her head
Stepped with no feet
Instead moving the world around it
Stepped into the very center of her head
It filled a hole and after that it
Told her what to do
Told her what to say
Told her when to feel
Told her when to think
She didn’t scream
She couldn’t scream.

At first she thought she had gone mad
For Ralph and the children didn’t see it
When they came into the living room
Not at all
Not even little Sarah who usually saw so much
They didn’t hear it inside their heads
Telling them
What to do and say
What to think and feel
Making them do
Awful things
Disgusting things
Terrible things
Orgasmic things
All alone in the night
Out in the backyard
Or right there on the carpet
By the coffee table
In the moonlight.

But then a couple days later
Fiona came by for her weekly visit
Coffee and cake and gossip
And she saw it standing there
And she blinked in surprise
And terror and joy
One has you, too?
Down under the silver
The eyes were not scared or happy
Such things were quite beyond them
But they were surprised
They hadn’t heard about the others
The others
One in the living room
Of every single house and mansion
And apartment and mobile home
Within the city limits
Where there was a woman
A woman of roughly a certain age
With two gold rings wrapped around the proper finger.

After it had finished playing
With her and Fiona
Right there on the carpet
In the bright sunlight
What fun
Word quickly spread
They found a way to communicate
Without words
Silver wires
Spreading silently in the darkness
Eyes slitted but huge and growing wider
They began swapping their toys
Sharing them
So generous
Getting them together in little groups
When the husbands and the children
Were not there
What fun.

But not enough
Not nearly enough
So other things were done
Furtive trips to far-off places
Ads placed in newspapers with
Ugly type and worse pictures
Purchases feverishly made
With many types of coin
Officers Williams and Tollter
Pulled people off the Interstate
A steady stream spirited away
Bad things
Sick things
Deliciously naughty
Were done under the dead grinning moon
Which never seemed to wane
Growing fatter and fatter
Empty eyes opening wider and wider
In the special clearing
Up in the black woods on the east side of town
In the filth and the slime
In basements and in back rooms
What fun
What joy
What bliss
Afterwards wiped clean and sent away
Or not
Depending on the need and the mood.

And finally one night
Amidst the small twisted piles and the gooey splatters
Hidden carefully positioned
In basements and back rooms
and abandoned lots and in alleyways
The eyes opened all the way
The last of the wires slotted into place
A glittering net in the darkness
Holding them trapped
And there was nothing there
Absolutely nothing at all
What fun.

It was gone the next morning
Moved on as they always do
Leaving an empty hole
In the carpet next to the coffee table
As rank and slimy as the hole
In the center of her head
She knelt in her robe and her slippers
And she silently wailed
Then she got up
Wiped clean and sent on her way
She made breakfast and
Life went on as it always had.

But only for nine more months.

What fun.

Return to the

story page

All contents © Voyer, 2001