Follow the crumbs through the woods to find the muffin man. Only what you find isn’t the muffin man. What you find is tall as oaks and wide as your cottage. It’s an insect with wings the color of October and rust. It has a million eyes and they are all watching you. They’ve watched you since the time of your birth, waiting for you to step out of the safe bounds of society and come searching. You thought it was the hunger to rebel against the rules, the hunger of seeking truth that gave you courage to sneak past the snoring guardsman and into the forest beyond. But now you realize, it was its call.
Its slight wings beat. They hum. They tell a story how it birthed you. The way you broke from your shell, unfolded your wings, and breathed in the dewy air. The way it gnawed off your wings and gouged all but two of your eyes. How it sent you away so you’d never know… your mind stops listening because of its eyes.
You recognize the million eyes of the creature as your own. It is truth. But you don’t want that anymore. You realize the Muffin Man was a secret messenger for this creature, your birthparent. He’d been leaving crumbs for you to follow for years, a subliminal secret. He has lead you to your death.
You turn and run. You follow the moldy breadcrumbs back through the woods to where the snoring guardsman rests at the wall. The monster with a million eyes follows you, begs you to finish listening to its tale. But you don’t want to know.
You creep back into the society you are familiar with. You run into your cozy cottage home and snuggle into your bed with an old familiar quilt and the Thomas Kincaid poster on the wall. You live a dream. And it makes you feel better like a cup of warm tea. What you don’t realize is in that one moment of death, you were truly alive. You saw life the way it is: scars and beauty. But the moment is lost.
As you drift off to the flicker of a candle, you live again in the world were you were not birthed, but had grown to accept. You close your eyes and forget. You forget what you truly are: a monster in a skin of lies.
Exiled in deep southern Texas, Jodi is a Seattle author hoping to write her way back to the Pacific Northwest. She writes omnivorous fiction favoring fable, suburban punk, horror, and bizarro. She writes the pirate epic – The Wicked Woman’s Booty for PMM & blogs HERE!