Here is the finale. Hope you all enjoyed. Click this link for the beginning of the story: Betty…the beginning.
Have a great day!
Itsy Bitsy Betty
I left my backpack and my books in the dirt and holding what was left of Betty in the palm of my hand I trudged home. My hand throbbed with every step. I could move my fingers and figured my hand wasn’t broken, just very, very battered. I couldn’t afford for it to be broken. I had work to do.
I went in through the back door and seeing my mom’s feet resting on the footstool in the living room, I tiptoed past her to my room. I didn’t want to be seen and the way it worked for my mom if I was out of her sight I was out of mind. She might remember to make dinner and she might not. She might drink herself into a coma and at that moment, I couldn’t give a crap if she did.
Closing the door to my room, I put Betty down on my dresser with care. I filled a shoebox with Kleenex, making it as fluffy and soft as a cloud. On this pillow I placed Betty. Then I laid on my bed, hands crossed over my stomach and staring at the ceiling I waited for night. I didn’t sleep. The sunlight changed on the ceiling, turning a brilliant orange before the silver light of the night moon shined on my wall. I waited until the sound of cars on the road ceased. When the house slept, my mother passed out on the couch and my dad nowhere to be found, I grabbed my knife and jammed it into my pocket and left through the back door.
I knew where Alex lived. In order to avoid him, one must know where the enemy lived. My feet slapped the sidewalk. The white tips of my shoes flashed in the moonlight. The night clung warm to me but I shivered. Quick electric pops raised the hairs on my arms. I didn’t see anyone on the long walk over.
Alex’s house was a single level bungalow. I circled it, peering in the windows and found him asleep with the covers off, mouth hanging open wearing white briefs that glowed in the night. Anger burned in my guts. I stepped to his window and cut the screen with my knife. I made a very big hole so all my friends could enter. They had followed behind me on the way here, knowing I would need them for the night’s dark work.
They crowded into his room, filling every space, the dark come alive and moving. They covered a Nirvana poster on the wall, the dressers, trophies, bedside lamp, a baseball glove on the floor, clothes, toys, Lego, everything crawled, a seething mass of darkness covering everything except for Alex. Stark white against the dark backdrop, he snored on, oblivious to my friends. He slept, content with his day’s work of murdering the only friend of a lonely boy. I visualized Betty reaching out to me as the fluids drooled out of her and my chest hitched. I choked down a sob and swallowed. Not the time for tears.
Standing outside the window, I said, “Alex! You piece of SHIT! Wake up!”
He turned his head and closed his mouth.
A little louder, I said, “Hey fucker! Open your stupid eyes!”
He jerked, surprised and with squinted tired eyes registered me outside his window. He sat up, and as he moved the spiders cleared a space around him, confusion a drawn line across his brow. He hadn’t noticed them.
“What the fuck? You didn’t get enough today? Get the fuck out of here you weirdo!”
“You killed her!”
“So. Now I’m gonna kill you.”
“Oh yeah? How you gonna do that you little pansy.”
I don’t know how he didn’t notice the darkness of his room or his bed. The moonlight slanted across his bed in a rectangle of light. Only on his bed, there was no light. Maybe he was too focused on the strangeness of me being there in the night. I don’t know. When he did notice, a savage glee tingled in my body. Pointing into his room, I said, “My friends.”
When his eyes took in the living darkness around him, he curled into a seated ball on his bed pulling his knees into his chest, trying to be as small as possible. His eyes roved around the room, the floor, and every available space. Drool spilled out of his mouth. Around his lap, the spiders moved back from a growing puddle of urine on the bed. I laughed.
I said, “Cover him.”
As one, the spiders surged over Alex, covering every bit of skin. Alex pinched his nostrils and clamped his mouth closed. Within seconds the only part of him visible were his eyes, pinballing in his head. With every part of me, I hated him. All I had to do was say, take him and they would. They would fill his mouth, scurry into his nose and up into his brain. They would dig into his anus and fill his guts from the outside in. He would suffocate from the masses inside him. It would be so easy. I saw him shaking, absolutely terrified and I pitied him. And then the spell broke and my stomach surged and I spat bile over the grass. I couldn’t kill him. I shook with dumping adrenaline, shocked and sickened by how close I came. I spit the nasty taste out of my mouth, straightened and looked in at my petrified prisoner.
“After you killed my friend you told me not to hide from you anymore. Well, from now on, you better hide from me! I don’t want to see your stupid face. If I see it, I might remember how angry I am and send my friends on a night errand. You get me? You goddamn piece of shit. You listening?”
Afraid to move, he blinked tears at me.
“Stay the fuck away from me. Don’t look at me. Don’t be in the same hallway I am in at school. Do those things and I might let you live.”
He closed his eyes, afraid to look at me.
“C’mon, guys.” With that, the spiders crawled off Alex and marched out of the window to disappear in the grass. It took awhile. There were so many. When the room emptied, I stared at Alex, holding his knees to his chest on the bed, leaking eyes closed, the bed vibrating with his shaking body.
I said, “You fucker. You’re so lucky I’m not like you.”
I left him, crawled into my bed at home with the box Betty rested in beside my pillow. Goddamn. Even now, I still miss her.
Incredible huh? It wasn’t until puberty or a short time after that my friends somehow lost interest in me. Slowly and over time, I had no more visits through my window, no more rides around the racetrack and like all memories, they faded like a photo exposed to too much sunlight. The details became sketchy and things that used to be so clear now blurred. Sometimes, for brief moments, I even doubted it, thinking maybe I was just a lonely kid with no friends and so I had to invent some.
And then I would see Alex and he would flee from the room, making sure to keep his eyes glued to the ground, a big hulking lad terrified of little me. Even now, when I would see Alex at the Wal-Mart, he would push his half-full cart into an aisle and leave the store as though the devil were poking him in the ass with a pitchfork. It had to be real right?
It makes me sad to think whatever had been special about me disappeared with the onset of pubic hair. I wished I could’ve held onto the magic. Even if, as an adult, we’re not supposed to believe in it. I wish I could talk to someone about it. Funny, the only one who would believe me is terrified of me. My mom has cirrhosis of the liver and has been hospitalized. She might have believed me if she were drunk. My dad? I don’t know where he is right now. Probably with a new family in a new town, starting over. I guess writing it down will have to do. Too bad there weren’t iPhones back then. I could have recorded Betty and uploaded her to YouTube. She would be famous. I wish I had at least taken a picture of her. I’m glad I didn’t kill Alex. I have to admit though, even after all this time, I’m still mad at the fucker.