The Handpire – Anthony Statham

In the deep hollows of night I wake with abrupt trepidation, feral beads of sweat accumulate in my hair and sponge my pillow damp. I can hear it, the beast, restless harbinger of the blackest shadows. I pull my exposed feet into the warm mass of blankets until comfortable notions of safety feign to be. Prolonging the inevitable blood feast, shadows climbs the wall and blends into the swarming insomnia, another night lost.

As day breaks I’m met with the sound, a crackled abrasion on my psyche. The beasts tongue laps at my flesh in grizzled pleasure. And as always, without warning the frenzy consumes us, those eyes like nightmare jack o lanterns burn with a tremor of something like death. Teeth and gums suckling my life force, the ravenous warlock dines on my flesh. Atrocities play out this way, day after day one drifts into uncertain dreams of security in the night. Hope is lost, for the beast roams and needs only enough sleep as to refrain from a perpetual existence of blood and chaos. I’ve seen the beast in its throes of mischievous lounging, and with ease unreal the eyes open and see me and give me chill, a knowing examination of the moment tells us each that he is the hunter and I the prey.

With no recourse I submit to the inevitable, my scarred hands by my side, tucked deep into the bosom of the blankets I use as armor as much as comfort. The beast strikes, a dance of death upon my sleeping being. And then wakefulness. Night and day slide into one, and though I confide in the beast, incontinent desire leads me to the sound – I am nothing more than a blood transfusion of an idea, somnambulism in life and in death. The eyes are always watching, and it’s in those moments that one understands his place in this world.

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