A Twisted Tale by Steve Sibra
I awaken and I sleep and I do not know the difference between the two. In one realm my wife and children have been brutalized and left to die; they have been sewn up, stitched into leather tubes while still alive. I hear the screams. But do I hear them in reality, or in a dream? I pray it is the dream. But I cannot tell.
The rhythm of Amber’s screaming lulls me into sleep. Or am I already there? I dream that I have gone to the kitchen for some applesauce, only to find that a naughty puppy has eaten all of it. Or is this real, and the other a dream?
I sleep and I awaken, over and over again. Some monster is sewing up my wife, just as he sewed up my son and daughter. They were alive; the heavy leather cords bound them tight as their horrible screams were muffled and finally silenced. I was asleep through all of it. I know I was. And yet I heard it. I heard the monster doing his work. I heard him eating my baby’s limbs. I heard the slobber, the lips smacking.
I awaken to find my wife, my Amber. At least I think it is her. It is a dark twisted tube of leather. It is so thick, so dry. How is it possible? I hear footsteps in another room. I hear a man whistling! He whistles a tune that I used to enjoy when I worked in my garden, with my tools. I hear him sawing. He is using a saw of some sort. The rhythm of it could put a person to sleep.
I will fall asleep again and when I awaken Amber will be gone. Then the only one left is me. Somehow I am making this happen. There is no one else, there cannot be. I am turning out leather and it is my wife, my children. I am sewing buttons over their eyes, using an elaborate stitch that I learned somewhere. But where? When? I fall asleep again and dream of applesauce. And when I awaken next time . . . I have been made into leather. I have done it to myself. I know that I have. There is no one else. There is no one else. I must find out what is happening. I know what I must do, as soon as I am awake.
I am going to find that naughty puppy. And I am going to sew him up. I am going to make him into a tight ball of leather. I am hungry and I really would like some applesauce.
Steve Sibra grew up on a farm in eastern Montana near a town of about 800 people. He made his own set of encyclopedias in fourth grade. After dropping out of law school he opened a comic book store and has made his living buying and selling old comic books for over 30 years. Steve’s poetry chapbook, “The Turtle Is Not A Metaphor”, was published this year by Three Frogs Swimming Press, and his work has appeared in numerous literary journals including Jersey Devil Press and Jawline Review. He lives in Seattle.