I had so much fun at An Evening with the Fake Authors this week, that I can’t wait for the next chance to do it.
In case you’re interested, this is the piece I read. It’s the intro to Beauregard Codeine (“Cody” to his friends) Jackson Johnson’s latest work, “Skeeters and Cooters.” Johnson is the nation’s premiere author of Southern Gothic Romantic Horror (RomHor).
I kind of wonder how the rest of his book is…
Skeeters and Cooters
Love Among the Swamp Creatures
Mother stepped out of her bedroom, onto the second floor balcony and into the heat of a Louisiana August that rivaled Hades itself in its raw brutality and the expert way it inflicted pain among those who without the means or inclination to escape it’s crutches. The silk of the Wal-Mart brand kimono parted as the unenthusiastic knot she’d tied opened itself up, much in the same way she’d opened herself up to the man strewn across her bed.
Toby? Keith? Todd?
His name, a piece of knowledge that had fled her mind as her last screams of it faded into the afternoon air, was unimportant. It wasn’t the piece of him she’d been interested in. That piece had served it’s function well, and she could still feel the byproduct of that love drying quickly inspite of the ever present bayou humidity that kept everything else as moist as possible.
Mother stood on that balcony like large breasted gargoyle keeping watch over her little strip of the French Quarter. Mother was shrewd, and always aware of how she posed. She purposefully stood on that balcony in a way that, through a trick of perspective, could lead a stranger standing idly on the roof of one of the buildings across the way, to believe that St. Philip Street began at the Mississippi River and ended at the her vulva.
In a way, that stranger could not have had a truer thought. How many men and women had walked onto the banks of that filthy river and made the trek to my mother’s down mattress, and decided nothing else in the world mattered. I had lost count. I tried to keep track of the names of those unfortunate enough to be captured in her thrall as I took the envelopes of money they gave her and paid for the education that allowed me to escape to the relatively less libidinous world of the dormitory and lecture halls of the Thibadeaux School for Extraordinary Boys in Baton Rouge. But those faceless strangers, and the screams of their passion, haunted me from the time I was hatched, through my adulthood.
Of the thousands of eggs mother protected, only four hatched and survived that dark metamorphoses from larva to our human form, and I was the only one who loved her enough to stay. My sacmates scattered across the south to Mississippi and Florida, but I remained.
When my proboscis emerged on my thirteenth birthday, and mother showed me how to properly use it to completely drain my prey, my love for her grew immensely. I remember standing perched on the corner of her bed, both of us in our true form, leaning over the still smiling corpse of the naked ship’s captain she’d ushered squirting and crying her name into the afterlife. She peeled back layer upon layer of his flesh, and showed me how to use this new appendage to slurp the at the pools of blood, and then she surprised me by sprinkling hot buttered grits into those pools, combining both the comfort of the cuisine of our adopted Louisiana home, and the sustenance our hell-dimension origins required of us.
It was that moment I fell in love with mother, and although watching her use the special blend of feminine musk and ancient glamour to bed the willing sacrifices that stocked our larder made it impossible for me to stay in the same house, I regularly made the flight from my home in the capital to this room in the quarter, landing on her roof under cover of moonlight. And I would sit until I knew she was alone, before coming down and wishing her well.
Today was different though. Today was the last day of mother’s life. Every Weremosquito is born knowing the exact number of days they have in this world, and as mother stood in front of me, her naked human form rivaling those imagined by ancient sculptures from an entirely different delta, I knelt before her in my natural form, weeping.
She place her hand gently on my wings and stroked them, cooing my name musically. She pulled a strip of flesh from the pocket of her robe and fed it to me.
“Don’t cry, my special boy,” she said. “We have all day to live the rest of our lives.