A Season in Hell VIII

by Elizabeth Kirschner

Suddenly—how does this happen?—I’m out of the black body sack and oh my God, husband is driving nails into the back of my head. His face looks chalky, grey stubble on his cheeks and he is way taller than me. Has he had a growth spurt since I moved away? He’s got bulging muscles, like a boxer’s, and his once sweet hazel eyes have turned into broken crystals that stare hard while he drives in those very long and rusty nails to kill my rusty brains, turn them into brain dust. He’s using my pretty hammer with the flowers on it and my skull is cracking—I can hear it—booming like a crack in an iceberg. Now I’m howling with pain, the very real pain from those very real nails. It’s riveting me while my head is being studded with nails. He’s really got me this time and he’s been trying to get me for years. There’s a lot of blood. Ugly black blood clotted with my hair. I’m in a pool of it, am sinking into to. Surely I’ll drown in my own blood, in my very own bloodbath.

Is this my baptism? The last sacrament for the dead? When did Dr. Robert Wolff become a priest? He’s Jewish, I know he’s Jewish, it’s a well-known fact that he is Jewish, so how can he be a priest? I used to go to priests, tell my sins. That’s it—I committed a sin by running away from him and this is my punishment. I’m getting nailed, getting hammered with the pain.
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