Ghoul maneuvered the grimy surface of his phone, thumbs listing like two drunken slugs. He swiped, back and forth, back and forth. I felt that a good hour zipped by before I asked, “What are you doing?”
His chuckled is a throaty gargle that launched a soaking clump of grey matter from a hole in his rotting neck. I leaned to left and a wet smack comes from behind my head, at the window. I turned, watching the gob tumbled down the glass and onto the carpet. Whatever was inside Ghoul was monstrous, acidic, and mean. Carpet fibers singed, the floor boards withered to ash and I peered to the bubbling concrete below.
I mumbled, “This is unbelievable,” and fearfully careened towards him.
“Can’t hear you,” he said.
My gaze was entrapped by his macabre glee. None of this makes sense, what are you?
“Oh, I’m only doing a little of this, a little of that. Just trying to line up a little something for tonight. A little… take-out.”
“That statement makes no sense. And we just ate. Seriously, what are you doing?”
“Slide over, I’ll show you.”
The wicker chair quivered as he pushed himself up. His legs buckled, crackled a bit. Ghoul stumbled into this perverse saunter, rich with spasms. I offered to get him a walker when he moved in; a gesture taken as patronizing, gifted from my heart. Ghoul whispered motivational blurbs as he inched closer, and closer. He’s in a need of a sword-cane, and bad, I thought, or maybe, a wooden leg… then he’d be a pirate!
I snapped my fingers at him and asked, “If you were a pirate, what would your name be?”
“Emanuel. I like that, sure,” he said.
“Yeah. Is there suppose to be something else?”
“Actually, yes, yes there is, or there should be at least. Emanuel is an absurd name for a pirate, you need something… vile, or dangerous.”
“You’re right, it’s too long. Let’s go with Manny,”
Ghoul stopped a few feet from the couch. There was a crunching noise, sudden and fierce emitting from underneath his corduroys.
“You okay, man?”
A sudden Ghoul buckled, strained, leaned hard to the right and I knew right then that it was his hip bone. I sat upright and stood, offering my hand.
But Ghoul shooed it away.
“I need to learn how to deal with this on my own. I’m undead, not useless.”
Such determination. I took my seat and marveled as he pivoted his waist like a belly dancer’s, snapping and popping, swiveling until his midsection realigned to a flabby rest. I realized that Ghoul wasn’t falling apart, just living whatever questionable and macabre existence to the fullest. His lust for life was greater than mine could ever be.
“Can I ask you a favor?”
“Depends,” said Ghoul.
“Humor me, please.”
“This is starting to make me feel uncomfortable, but okay, whatcha’ need?”
“Just… it’s fine to ask for help once and awhile. I can try to fix you along the way, but you need to speak up when it matters. Can you do that for me?”
He huffed, then motioned me to move aside with a curt thrusting of his head; that was his answer. I slid over, giving Ghoul ample space. He plopped next to me, and the force of his descent puffed putrid gas caught between his remaining vertebrae to the world. The stench was like rotting trash in a scented menthol bag and I retched, lunging away in gastrointestinal fear.
“He who smelt it dealt it, slick,” Ghoul said.
I held my ground, and surely, but slowly, turned back to him.
“So check this out,” Ghoul presented the smudged screen. “I can use this handy-dandy program to find food whenever I want.”
He swiped, three times. A local woman, one who appeared to be of the whorish variety filled the screen. I peered closer, noticing a name below her enormous (probably fake) breasts. Her name, was Trish, and tagged next to her orange-tanned face are two words.
“Midnight snack? Ghoul, that’s a dating app, not a take-out menu.”
“You don’t say.”
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017. All rights reserved.