Oct 28, 2008

Bill, the Boy Who Thought He Could Fight Them All
a story from the Clapping Carnival Rasp project

A boy named Bill was bound-up by snakes, when he woke up one morning. One snake was wrapped tight around his feet. It was like a python. A second one was around his neck, squeezing and slithering, and a third snake’s face was in Bill’s face, its tongue tasting the inside of his nose.

Bill screamed, like anyone would scream, if they were startled awake by snakes. He tried to kick the one snake free, and tried to snatch the other away from his neck. He snatched and kicked but nothing happened. Then he noticed the giant spinning spider. Hanging above his bed, spinning and spinning a spider with empty eyes and saw legs was coming down from the ceiling, coming down at his head. The boy named Bill opened up his mouth to scream, to shout for his mother, but the snake was choking him and when he gulped at the air, all there was there was a dry, red-dye fog. It filled the room and his mouth. It tasted like milk and day-old dirt.

Bill beat back the snakes with a yelp. He rolled away from the descending spider, falling off of his bed. He landed on all fours, and then he felt crickets crunch under him. He felt hordes more attack him, eating away at his skin. He felt their feet, a million feet, and they were tearing at him. There was like an army of them, and they were singing. It was a weird song and they sang, “Munch munch. Munch munch. Bones and flesh and eyes to crunch. Munch munch. Munch munch. A bunch of boy to eat and tear, we eat him ‘til he isn’t there. Munch munch.”

A boy named Bill ran into his mother’s kitchen, yelling, “Don’t eat me.” His mother was in some other room and she said, “Bill? Did you eat you pill, Bill? You know you’re supposed to every night.” But Bill grabbed a rag and a box of matches, and rushed back in to fight them all.

He lit one edge of the rag catch fire and then swung it, flung it into the middle of the room, onto the bed and the pile of messed-up sheets. The flame flickered and then caught. The little bonfire burned and then started sucking everything into itself. There was like a whooshing inhale and the snakes were sucked into the fire, and the fire crackled. Then there was a burning inhale, and the bed sheets and the bed, the crickets and the crickets’ song, all of them were dragged into the fire by some invisible force of fire, and all of them burned with screaming. Bill laughed. Bill clapped his hands. Bill knew he could beat them all. But then the fire started pulling at the walls and pulling at Bill, so the boy ran to find and fight all the things he had to fight. He ran back into the kitchen and grabbed a big butcher knife, and then he ran outside.

He could beat them all. He yelled out, “Yeaaaaaah!” And he waved his knife around. He ran down a little hill, through a stand of small trees, and he attacked a farting car. The little green and yellow car went “pffftttt!” and Bill went, “Yeaaaah!” and stabbed both the back tires. He felt really good. All his life, he’d been scared. All his life, things had been attacking him and now, he knew he had to fight back. Know he knew he could win. He ran up to the gas station, on the corner, in the reflection of the window there was a man shouting swear words at him and calling him names and sticking out his tongue, so Bill bashed in the window. Then the man was gone. Inside the store a four-foot nest of eyes gave him a look. So Bill stabbed one eye and another eye and another, jabbing the knife in hard until the slit gushed purple eye juice and then the nest collapsed into a puddle of broken glass. The gas station owner, a tall man with a Buddha hat, said “Beeeel? What are you doing, Beeeel? Is there ah probleem here? Do not smash my wine display. Go. You bad boy. Go. You must go out of my store.”

A boy named Bill ran into a gas station parking lot, shouting like a maniac. He kicked over a shopping cart, and then kicked it three times and shouted three times. He waved his knife in the air and shouted like he’d never stop. He danced and laughed because now he knew he could win. He could fight back and fight them all and he could win.

He danced like Michael Jackson, and then he did an Irish jig. He ran in place like he’d made a super bowl touch down, waving his arms like Rocky on the stairs, and then he spun around and yelled "Whoooo!" Bill spun around, and then the deputies shot him.

One time, two times, three they shot him. The bullets slithered like snakes through the air and then they hit him, there and there and there, and then a boy named Bill was dead.