THE MORNING EVENT
by JACK TORKAS
he clock radio starts playing loudly. An oldie rock 'n' roll song. 6: 45 a.m. Chuck Berry is shouting “Good loving woman'” on the radio.
My eyes are already wide open. I stare at the ceiling for a few seconds.
It happens to me every day, as if there were an electronic device attached to my brain, buzzing off just seconds before the usual time the clock radio is set to wake me up.
I find myself barefoot in the bathroom, in front of our cozy mirror, trying to convince myself that I am still young and attractive, that my loving husband is a hard-working businessman struggling to secure our future away from home and that a brand new day has arrived.
I am still young and attractive. My loving husband is a hard-working businessman struggling to secure our future away from home. Don’t you worry; a brand new day has arrived!
I wash my mouth, brushing my teeth thoroughly, I take off my nightdress and I check myself in the mirror.
I'm still young, I'm still beautiful.
I put my nightdress on. I take it off again.
My silhouette is just a couple of inches from being perfect. In fact, I’m gorgeous.
I put it on again.
I walk firmly towards the espresso maker, grab the water tank and fill it with water at the kitchen sink. I switch the espresso maker on. I'm still barefoot and the marbled floor is cold, my feet, my spine, my hands are getting cold. I’m shaking.
Summertime in Greece is very hot, but I'm feeling cold right now. The coffee will make me feel better. I cannot think straight right now.
My coffee is ready. I pour the beverage into a mug and add two sugar cubes. I take a sip of steamy espresso and I get this burning sensation on my palate. I stand still for a couple of seconds. I take another sip. It's not that bad right now.
I still feel cold, my hands are cold!
I can hear the angry voice of the bloke on the radio calling most of our politicians traitors.
Indeed, once again, our country is subdued. A spiraling debt crisis, massive poverty and a total lack of trust in our own economy, our own people are the legacy of our enlightened ‘democratically elected’ rulers. I don’t feel it is their fault, though. I believe that the entire Greek masculine population bears collective responsibility for this disaster.
Is there anything good about Greek men? I mean, look at our German powerful “friends” or better said, masters. They have entrusted the fate of their country to a woman as a chancellor for the first time in modern history and she has managed not only to subdue our tiny country once more but also made a fool of most male leaders in Europe. Men are no good, they are pigs, and Greek men are the filthiest pigs of all. Even my loving husband is a pig, and this is so, so, so sad…. Why does he have to travel so often in order to make a living? Why on earth isn't he capable of delivering results. For heaven's sake- we're still living in a flat that my mother bought for us using her savings! In fact, I’m glad he’s gone. Thank God I'm not a man, I'm not a pig, men are so disgusting!
Amy Winehouse's song, “What is it about men”, can be heard from the radio.
I don't feel cold anymore, I'm fine, I feel much better, actually. I'm awake and I know what I am, I'm a strong girl, a bright and beautiful young lady.
I go to the bathroom, take off my nightdress once more and brush my dyed blonde hair.
My hair is fabulous, the amazing hairdresser has achieved the perfect shade and she's worth every cent I’ve spent on her.
I put on my nightdress.
I walk out of the bathroom and step into my baby girl's room.
Yes, it is my baby girl. Thank God it's a beautiful, healthy and clever little girl. Her skin is so soft, her face is so unspoilt, and her eyes are big and blue, just like mine. And she's so classy; she'll become a perfect lady when she grows up. It's just the two of us today, me and my little baby girl. I need to wake her up, she has to do her homework, prioritize her tasks, I'll help her through.
Suddenly my mother's figure comes to my mind.
Oh, my mother…she was so strict; I remember that I hated her so much when I was young. And she always despised men; she still doesn’t like them today, she hasn’t forgiven even my long gone father. She was so right, I realized how right she was much later. My once loving daddy died of heart attack in the bed of his mistress three years after he divorced my mother. He changed his will and left all his savings and his business to his mistress. We were lucky he left us his estate as he bought it when he was still married to my mother. We were able to lease it and survive on this income for years.
I am standing before my baby-girl’s bed. I’m dumbfounded. Instantly, I step out of the room.
What the fuck is this?!! There' is a boy sleeping in my baby girl's bed!!! I can't believe it!
I'm not just angry, I feel sick as the view was almost obscene. This half-man is sleeping in my baby's bed. A boy is half-man and a half-man is half-pig. Therefore, he is a piglet!
How can this be?!
As I sit on my knees, I bend forward and place my ear on the door.
Suddenly, I get anxious.
The window was shut, secured, and no one came through that door, the alarm is still on. My baby girl couldn't just vanish. Am I dreaming, or what? This must be devil's work.
I stand up and bite my hand. I’m not dreaming. A few minutes later, the clouds of ignorance, anger and despair begin to clear out. I feel confident and even dare to smile as I understand what is going on.
“It is a test, a demonic test,” I mumble.
The pigsty demon snatched my baby and keeps it locked in his dimension, tempting me to accept the piglet as my baby in order to keep my precious baby for his pleasure. No, I will not give in, I will not succumb to his will, I must act!! But what can I do, what can I do?
Soon I find myself walking in circles in the living-room.
I need to break the spell and void the evil contract that the demon is trying to lure me into. I will pray, I will call upon Her, our Good Lady will answer me.
I bend on my knees and start praying the Lady’s Prayer.
Our Mother in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
I pray once, I pray twice and still going. Suddenly, on my eighth “Amen” I hear a distant voice.
I stop and listen.
Yes, my Lady, yes I am listening. Oh Lady, please do enlighten me for I am ignorant to the nasty ways of the Beast! Please help me, I need my little angel back. I repent of my sins and place my trust in you! Help me out, Lady!
I raise both hands and listen carefully. The Lady’s voice is clear, it sounds just like my mother’s.
Lady is almighty, Lady is wise, and Lady is powerful. Good Lady is a woman, or Good Lady is the Woman.
I can smile now as She has told me to do exactly what I had thought would have been the proper course of action.
I will take decisive action. Yes, I will reject this abject reality proposed by the demon and break his spell by erasing the piglet from the world of the living and by making a symbolic gesture that will send its soul back to eternal damnation: I will become the Devourer of the Dead. Then, the demon will have no alternative; he'll have to release my baby girl. And then I will be able to enfold her and I swear I will never, ever let her go again. I will protect her no matter what. No demon, pig or piglet may ever disrupt our love. Thank you, my Lady.
The song “Why Kill Time” (Cabaret Voltaire) is playing on the radio now.
I move fast inside the living-room and grab the Katana sword from its stand. It was a very expensive gift to my father from a Japanese businessman and mom left it with me. Its blade is incredibly sharp; some say it has one of the sharpest blades ever produced.
I’m totally opposed to cruelty against animals. When animals have to be sacrificed, it has to be done fast, in the most humane, painless way possible.
I move fast and silently. I open the bedroom’s door. The piglet is right there, sleeping on my baby’s bed, face down. It is wearing an undervest and underwear, while the blanket is covering its hooves. I swing the Katana sword twice in the air, and then I do it. With a single blow I manage to severe the head of the little beast. A little fountain of blood is spurting from its neck.
I need to move fast, before its spirit tries to escape.
I tear the undervest of the headless beast and use my sword to penetrate the creature’s ribcage. I leave the sword and press my hand under its cracked rib cage. The skin is elastic; I go deeper and deeper up to my elbow. Then, I reach the heart. I hook my hand firmly and yank the heart out. I’m happy, I start laughing.
Thank the Lady I took anatomy classes as a teenager. Oh, and of course, thank the Lady that I didn’t treat myself anything for breakfast. I wouldn’t want to compromise my dreamy silhouette. Now I’m going to have a hearty breakfast!
I walk into the kitchen, holding the creature’s heart in my hands. I place the bloodied heart on a dish and prepare myself for the ritual. I take a fork, a knife and add salt to my treat.
The radio is playing “Charlotte Sometimes” (The Cure).
Demon, I’m so hungry right now that I will eat your creature’s heart for breakfast! That’s how I deal with your tricks, you devil!
Piece by piece, I swallow the piglet’s heart. Raw, it resembles a sort of bloody sashimi dish. It’s not that bad. I just need a bit of our homemade wine in order to make the food go down a little easier. I stand up and treat myself with a glass of red wine. I swig off the first glass. Then I treat myself with another one. Then, another one. Then, another one. There’s no more bloodied food on the table. I drink the final glass of wine before heading to the living-room couch.
‘I will take a nap and in the meantime my baby girl will be back. When I wake up, everything will be over’.
I smile, take my bloodstained nightdress off, take my panties off, walk into my bedroom, switch off the alarm radio, return to the living-room and lay down on my friendly couch for some much needed beauty rest....
Jack Torkas is in his mid-thirties and currently lives in Athens, Greece. He has received two bachelor degrees, one master degree and has a daytime job. As a student, he received a prestigious marketing communications award. His greatest passion is mountain hiking, altitude inspires him. He has published a novel and a short theatrical play (online) in Greek. Contact: email@example.com
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