Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Howl: Tired Eyes

"Have you been paying attention to me at all?" Leigh snapped her fingers at the tip of Eric's nose. 

He gave her a disinterested sideways glance, more annoyed than anything else, and through his lips uttered: "Hm?"

"You haven't! I should have known." Leigh crossed her arms and stared, equally cross. "You know, it's pretty rude to just zone out like that. Some of us are interested in being friendly."

Eric sighed and pulled his chin off his palm. He turned slowly and faced her from across the table. Thin lines sagged beneath his eyes, and he fought the urge to drop his head. "Sorry, didn't get much sleep."

"Why do you stay up so late? What were you doing all night?" She squinted so tight her eyes disappeared behind a curtain of thick lashes. It was the face she made when forced to look at someone or something incredibly, insufferably stupid.

"Oh, y'know. Just insomnia and stuff," Eric muttered, giving in and letting his cheek rest on the lunch table.

"Insomnia sounded an awful lot like Star Savior." Isaac clapped down a tray, launching echoes through Eric's face. They were twins, and despite being identical, looked nothing alike. Isaac beamed as he chomped into his sub. He always ate with gusto, cramming and mashing food into his face as much and as quickly as possible. Eschewing common utensils aided his quest to hastily and thoroughly abolish any crumb that lived on his plate. Yet when he was done there was never any slivers or sauce to be found on his face or clothes, or the table, or the tray. His shirts, always blinding bleached white and pressed to a crisp, looked exactly as they did when he pulled them from the closet.

Eric, on the other hand, always seemed to be glaring, even when he smiled. Even though they were equally pale, Eric seemed sickly while Isaac was angelic. It always looked as though Eric was going to fall into coma at any second, like the entire world had dumped a diseased burden on his shoulders at birth. His body always ached, his joints were always heavy. And, worst of all, no matter how often he did his laundry, no matter how neatly he folded and pressed, his dark wardrobe always came out ratty and ruffled. Naturally, they also became stained throughout the day. It might take Eric an entire lunch period to finish a meatball sub, but every ounce of sauce in that sandwich would find its way to his sleeves or his collar, without a doubt.

"Zero sympathy for playing video games all night," Leigh snapped. She shoved a sliced peach down her throat. It bubbled as it slid away, eventually dropping into deeper organs and out of sight.

"I didn't ask for any." Eric closed his eyes. For a few moments it was silent, except for the murmur of the other hundred students in the room. Just when a lovely lady clad in green descended from glistening golden clouds to guide him gently to sleep, a sharp pain on his forehead sent her away. He swore as Leigh pulled her fingers away.

"No sleeping. You don't get to sleep."

"What? Why not?"

"You should have done that at night."

"I have insomnia!"

"No, you don't. If you'd just stay awake here, you'd be able to sleep later." Leigh cocked her eye. They were dashed with flecks of blue and green, but full of crazy. At least, that's what Eric always thought. "Crazy eyes" he'd call them, and most were quick to agree.

"Screw that, you're not my boss." Eric flipped his head down into folded arms, making certain to cover up any fleshy bits with hair or the peaks of his jacket sleeves. He felt a few pokes, which he assumed were probably flicks, but his hard head served him well. Until the textbook was brought into play.

"Augh, what the fuck!" He groaned and held his head. A storm of pins and needles stabbed his skull.

"Who's not your boss?" Leigh laughed loudly, tossing her head back and letting her face turn pink.

Isaac watched silently, stuffing down more sub. In the beginning he protected Eric from Leigh's abuse, but day after day he went back begging for more. He knew his brother hated it, but it became a routine he grew weary of fighting. The only reasonable option was to hope Eric eventually grew tired of it all.

It seemed that moment might have come. Eric leered from behind blond bangs. His lips twisted at the corners, showing more than a hint of tightly clenched teeth. A bit of dribble slipped away, and a low, short growl, more like a pant, rumbled out. All over his body began to tremble, and he grasped his head so hard Isaac could hear the nails digging through the scalp.

Leigh laughed on, oblivious to the festering rage just a foot away.

That was when thunder shot like a cannon. Mighty winds forced open the front doors, at the end of the cafeteria. Rain rushed in, drowning the lunches of a few unfortunate students. Then, just as quickly as it had happened, it stopped. The rain washed away, the thunder rumbled into silence. Then the lights went out.

No comments:

Post a Comment