not ticks, but tiny gems with knobby black legs. not lyme disease but something psychological, something unimaginable to the unbitten. the sparkle in their fur not for fingers or necks but for your blood. once bitten, victims may start to glow; they may shake uncontrollably; they may keen and cry out for their ancestors. they may go to the kitchen. they may come back with a knife.
Author Archives: Cassandra de Alba
The What’s Happening To My Body Book For Deer There are many things your parents may be too shy or embarrassed to talk to you about. We are here to reassure you that it is perfectly normal to be confused or upset about your changing physical form. After a life spent in the absence of antlers, it can be quite alarming when they begin to bud and then sprout from the soft fur of your head. Antlers come in all shapes and sizes, none better than any other. However, all deer begin to grow antlers on the hundredth day of their lives. If there is no sign of your antlers on this date, not even a portentous cloud, something is seriously wrong with you – this book cannot help. You may notice some growing pains in your legs as they begin to lengthen, and in your eyes as they begin to show you the inevitable cracks forming in the very foundations of your reality. This happens to most young deer and should decrease in intensity around the time your fur starts to form itself into small barbed spikes around your hooves. Your parents may be most reluctant to discuss with you your newfound taste for blood. To them, it represents your transition into adulthood, away from the innocent fawn who once only fed on grasses and bark. We are here to advise you that your first bloodmeal may be awkward or messy, but what is important is that you want it – what is important is that as your jaws clench around that first morsel of flesh and your teeth dig in, everything feels right, from the warm blood pooling in your cheeks to the sudden absence of a small creature’s shrieks or squeals, the silence you created in your own throat. Continue reading
Sideshow We are a dangerous place and we move towns every night. These thrills are not so cheap for us. All of our days repeat like this one, set up, performed and torn down again while you go to a home that just stays there. You watch high-wire acts because you believe in the distance to the ground, the chance of an accident. The girl in the tiger cage is prettier the closer she gets to teeth and claws. You come to the freak show because you want to stare at something you can feel better than and we are so reassuring here. And in Louisville, Bedford, Bloomington— we are home in the moment of the drawn curtain, the gasp of surprise. We love your shocked faces. You put on such a show for us Continue reading
The only living girl in America Nine years old and my favorite daydream is the one where everyone’s vanished. I’m old enough for a license and I drive across abandoned America: ignore speed limits, break into houses, rummage drawers and sleep in the queen-sized beds of strangers. This is what I thought about while the well-adjusted girls planned their weddings. I never imagined myself with a faceless groom and a white dress but I remember the woman I did not grow up to be: long light-colored hair, muscular arms and either a dusty red pickup or one of those low, squared-off cars the old movie stars emerged from at premieres— only I am at a filling station in the desert, watching the sun set, secure in the selfish knowledge that the whole country is mine. Continue reading