Story 7 – Evil Without Malice

Sometimes a person can get so hungry that they’ll do anything to ease it. With food, this is mostly easy. Not always easy to get it, but the pain in your tummy is addressed directly and then, you are full. There are so many other hungers, my love. They don’t really operate on a one to one ratio and people can never fill them with the things they suppose. Your mum isn’t bad, she’s just hungry. I suppose I could say that about anybody, really. But we can’t see her for a while, okay? Because right now she can only feel full by giving trouble and making us cry. And it’s not just that it hurts us, love, I know. I know it hurts and we have to protect ourselves now before there’s too much erosion, it’s not just that. It’s hurting her too. She’s got a notion that this is a good thing because it makes her feel better, relieved, at peace, for a couple of days. She can’t see she’s just making that hunger a stronger, louder kind of storm in her. The wanting won’t ever stop wanting, because that’s it’s job. That’s what it is. It’s not a wrong thing. You don’t tell a horse not to be a horse. But you don’t let the horse trample your garden. Do you understand?

Drink this, there’s lots of honey in it.

Oh my poor girl. Of course she loves you. Of course she does. She just forgot how to bridle that horse. She forgot that she even can. She doesn’t remember bridles exist.

I don’t know. People can start remembering in all kinds of funny ways. Sometimes they remember if they see a horse on tv or if a kid in a grocery store goes galloping past. Sometimes they can only remember if they’ve lost every single other thing.

Yes, alright, I’ll leave the metaphor. You don’t have to be persnickety.

Did you lock the windows in your bedroom? It’s five thirty, we better get to it. Can you do the whole upstairs? Okay, bring your stuff down when you’re done and we’ll get ready.


You got em? Okay, sling em around your neck, honey.

No, they look fine. I always liked those earmuffs. They’re festive.

Take both necklaces tonight, I think.

No, baby, I’m fine, she can’t do a goddamn thing to me.

I’ll have you know I was a swearing woman when your mother was a twinkle in my eye and I won’t be dictated to by a baby, even if you are my very favorite baby. Don’t be a prig at me, Ella.

Alright, well, I’m sorry too. I know it bothers you. I’ll only save it for very special occasions. But your mom is always a special occasion. And she’s here almost every night. So…well.

Agree to disagree. Gimme kiss. I love you too, girl, let’s get the pizza.

Sun’s down.

Which movie? Fellowship again? Let’s watch Watership Down! You have not either, and if you did you were so young you won’t remember it. Well, there’s a lot about what a person (a rabbit, I guess) looks like when wanting things metastasizes. It means spreads. No, doctors use it. It means when cancer goes from being in just one part to being in the whole body.

Alright, alright, Fellowship again.

Hey, Ella?

Ella, did you lock the front?

I know I was supposed to do the downstairs, I was just asking.

I’ll be right back, angel, you just sit. Pop those earmuffs on, okay?   

Mara, you get off of my fucking porch right now. Did you open this door? Or did one of your friends do it for you?

I don’t care if you need her. You need a lot of things, seems to me. I need you to not be this person. I guess we’re both out of luck.

Mara, you stop this. I don’t know if you can stop hurting people. It might be because I’m old or because I’m tired, but I don’t really care. All I care is that you stop hurting Ella. You can start by bringing this goddamn wind down so I can close the door!

Of course you hurt too. You won’t take a single fucking step back from your pain and your self. Yeah, tears used to work on me. But your tears haven’t run clear in a long time, my girl.

NO! Ella will NEVER NEVER come home again with marks on her. That’s all. You can’t control yourself? You can’t prioritize her? Well, you for Christ sure can’t come in this house and we don’t particularly need to go out at night for the rest of our fucking lives as far as I can see, so you can cry blood til kingdom come, it’s not going to get you anything. 

Oh Ella, baby, go back in the living room.

Ella, don’t listen.

She can’t come in, we don’t have to stand here and let ourselves soak up any of her nastiness. Pull out your necklaces, they’re stuck in the cardigan.

There she goes. I got you, I got you. I got you, my love, my own. I’m here. It’s okay. Might be time to buff up those crosses, though. Let me feed you some pizza, my heart.

I know you’re big, but when things are bad, anybody can sit in anybody’s lap. Normal rules don’t apply. When you’re big enough I’m gonna sit right down in your lap and you can sing me to sleep.

Yeah, Bram Stoker got it all wrong, huh? It’s just a mess.

Strigoi was the name before. They always come back home first.

Well, maybe some part of them misses their family but the other parts don’t know what to do with that. Maybe they feel missing someone and think it’s being hungry for someone. They can’t pull back and look at their feelings.

I think she’s still your mom. But someone can be evil without being malicious, do you see that? Selfishness and fear make evil just as easily, more easily, than wanting to hurt people.

It might be time to take some steps.

I love you too, Ella.

Press play on the goddamn thing.

Story 7 – Evil Without Malice

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