Horror Story

︎︎︎ Myles Zavelo
︎ OCT 28, 2021

Let’s start with the big ones.

My name is Peter Mike, and I want to talk about our lack of control, how we're all powerless.

You name it: murder, an ear infection, the freezing cold.

The month was January. The year was 1997. The city was New York City.

The sun was going down, my dorm room was home, only one I had, and I was walking home.

I was still sweating alcohol from the night before. I was still a fantastically and enormously insecure person. I was living my best life. I was dating a performance artist.

She was a violent offender. She was constantly threatening my castration. She had a job to do.

And, worst of all, I was sexually confused––like I said, it was 1997.

On an academic excellence scholarship, I was attending a prestigious university that, due to a tragic act of terrorism, doesn’t exist anymore. It’s just gone!

Now, at this moment, I was walking across an extra icy version of the Manhattan Bridge when, in my mind, a graveyard getting ravaged by grave robbers suddenly appeared.

These grave robbers were blasphemous surgeries of men. Their faces were faceless. Their selfishness was endless. They just took, took, took. They were robbing my grave, too.

Distracted, I slipped on deadly black ice, falling into a river of treacherous sharpness.

At the same minute, in Missouri, my mother’s live-in-boyfriend buried her body in the backyard.

He had a job to do. He needed the money. He never got rich.

Instead, he got a haunted backyard. But, that only lasted a moment.

Glued to my mother’s sofa, waiting for law enforcement to surround him, he ate candy.

His name was John Hardbridge.

Eventually, I fell back to the bridge, flat on my face, like an idiot.

But, yeah, I remember the courtroom.

I remember all the lawyers, their shoes and faces.

I was asked to help determine Hardbridge’s sentence.

I stared back at their infinitely stupid question, I asked for the death penalty.

I donated my mother’s body to science. I just want to forgive and forget.

Scary things are sometimes very violent, believe me.

Myles Zavelo’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the following publications: The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Harvard Advocate, New York Tyrant Magazine, The Southampton Review, Maudlin House, Queen Mob's Teahouse, and elsewhere. He lives and writes in London, England.