The Blue Night

“What are we going to do with him? ” * I looked in my heart and heard a nightmare singing. “Who are you?” I almost said but a voice said, “I’m …

Illustration by Rolli

“What are we going to do with him? ”

*

I looked in my heart and heard a nightmare singing.

“Who are you?” I almost said but a voice said, “I’m Mr. Gullifer.”

It was darkest in a corner of the room.

The man stepped out of the corner.

He got close to me.

He opened his jaw wide and . . . bit down on my head.

I heard a crack.

I closed my eyes.

It was still a long time till morning.

*

“Lamotrigine three times a day, fluoxetine once. Risperidone—you can give it to him at night if he gets drowsy. If he starts vomiting, call me.”

*

Every night.

I tried not to look at the corner.

I looked.

There was a chair. Mr. Gullifer . . .

He stood up. His hat just about touched the ceiling.

One step.

Two.

He opened his jaw.

I closed my eyes.

He crawled on top of me.

He bit my lips shut.

He bit down hard.

I swallowed hard.

I cried.

No one heard me.

*

“What are we going to do? ”

*

Mr. Gullifer was sitting on my chest. Digging his . . .

“Why do you like me? ” he said.

I was too scared.

“Hey? ”

He dug his fist into my heart.

“Hey? ”

I wanted to cry.

I was too scared.

“Hey? ”

I closed my eyes.

I had a lot of pain in my heart.

I closed my eyes tight.

*

“Doc? ”

“Ma’am? ”

“I’m eighty-four years old.”

“Mmm hmm.”

“I can’t live forever.”

“No.”

“Doc . . .”

“Yeah? ”

“I’m wondering . . .

“Can I donate . . .

“Am I too old . . .

“Is it possible . . .

“Can I give Aiden my brain?

“Doc?

“Doc? Are you alright? ”

*

I looked at the corner.

Mr. Gullifer.

He stood up. His hat touched the ceiling, this time.

One step.

I wanted—I didn’t stop looking.

Two steps.

Mr. Gullifer opened his jaw.

I swallowed the air. All of it.

I wanted to cry.

I didn’t.

I wanted to close my eyes, but . . . I kept looking.

When I looked at Mr. Gullifer’s face, it changed. It was—it didn’t look like anything. It looked like nothing. His hat was a shadow. It changed and changed back. It kept changing.

He covered his face.

One step back. Two.

He sat back down. He closed his jaw.

I blew the air back into the room. All of it.

*

“We love you. We love you. We love you. We love you.”

*

I couldn’t sleep.

I looked at the corner.

Nothing.

I got out of bed.

I looked behind me.

I looked out the window.

The blue night was beautiful.

I looked down. I saw a painted cart with a horse hooked up to it. Mr. Gullifer was getting into the cart. He was sitting down.

He turned his head. He looked up at me. A long time.

There was a pain in my heart.

It faded away.

Mr. Gullifer turned away.

Then he drove away.

Rolli
Rolli (rollistuff.com; @rolliwrites) is a writer and cartoonist from Regina. His most recent story collection, I Am Currently Working On a Novel, was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and short-listed for the High Plains Book Award. Rolli’s cartoons appear regularly in the Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Adbusters, and other popular outlets.

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