The week after vacation is always hard. All you can think about is how wonderful being away was! I definitely felt sluggish this week, but I was still able to submit three new stories to horror magazines and write up a storm!
It’s still been too cold for me to get some pictures outside, which has been kind of frustrating. I’m getting tired of trying to be creative and come up with new concepts in my small apartment. One day, far, far away, I’ll have to get some kind of studio space.
I picked up a bunch of new masks this week though! And hopefully that helps spark my creativity.
This week I’m going to give you the first section of the story “The Cockroaches Waltz at Midnight.” I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for reading.
With Screams and Axes,
THE COCKROACHES WALTZ AT MIDNIGHT
Art felt a tickle on his arm and saw a large cockroach scurrying down his bicep. He brushed it off and watched it fall to the floor and scamper away. He didn’t even bother trying to kill them anymore, there were just too many. Having lived his entire life in a large, professionally cleaned home, the shock and awe of seeing his first cockroach had filled him with disgust. Now he saw them every day, and their presence was merely a nuisance and only subtly distasteful.
Art lived in the attic of Mr. and Mrs. Steven’s house, and gave them 100 dollars for rent a month. The Steven’s were old and the house was even older, but he tried to remind himself that there were worse places he could live, and at least this roach-infested attic was affordable. He sat at his desk trying to tune his guitar, listening to the wooden creaks and groans of the house, and watching the roaches scamper. Art’s guitar always seemed to stir up the cockroaches in the attic. He didn’t imagine cockroaches were music lovers. He strummed the strings gently, trying not to be too loud for Mr. and Mrs. Stevens. He wondered how good their hearing was at their age. Art figured they certainly couldn’t see very well, considering the shape they allowed their house to be in.
Having just graduated high school, Art had chosen to move out of his parents’ house, and try to make a go out of being a musician on his own. His parents had wanted him to attend college at Duke like Arthur Sr. had, but Art had no interest in going to college. When Art asked his parents how they felt about him attending a school for music, they laughed and said studying music wasn’t a career. So Art had moved out and started working part time at a gas station. He told himself that all this would make a great story to tell once he was a successful and his talent was recognized.
The only thing that Art really missed was his girlfriend, Marta. Well, now his ex-girlfriend. They had started dating last summer. Art remembered sitting in the grass in his back yard, gently strumming his guitar while the sun played on the purple streaks in Marta’s hair. She was a painter and a sculptor. She wore colorful clothes that were always spotted with drips of paint, and she wrote him poems and drew him cards covered in crazy cartoons and sketches. Right before graduation, Marta had explained to Art that she felt their lives were going in different directions. She was going to art school states away and he was going to be here, in an attic, playing his guitar. Art understood her reasons, but he couldn’t help feel the sting at the loss of her.
Art had celebrated his 18th birthday alone in the attic room. To mark the occasion, he had received a plain, printed card in the mail from Marta, and a phone call from his parents that turned into a lecture about college. “There’s still time to reapply!” They shouted. But they couldn’t change his mind. He ended his birthday by hanging up on them.