It was Nice to be Invited
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Upstairs, Kit knew, if he ripped out his small intestine, he could write, at the very least, ‘Happy X-Mas, fuck you all’ using the organ.

Experimentally, he ran his hands from his ribs to his hairless stomach to something someone once, long ago, called his ‘happy trail’. It was tinged with the occasional grey now, but it was hardly surprising, given the year Kit had just had.

Hands resting on the angled lumps of his hips, Kit let his head tilt back so he was staring at the ceiling, where he saw policemen screaming down on him, an insignia he never knew or cared to know, a baby reaching out with need and love, and Dawn before she was Dawn but she was still called Dawn.

A review of the year, in splotches, incomplete because one room is never space enough to tell a single person’s story, not even the driest, boringest person that you knew.

Kit turned his head away and, just for a moment, let himself think about the man he had found, gained, lost, found again, lost again. Just a moment of guilt of letting that into his brain, eyes squeezed tight. Maybe if he imagined it long enough, something would happen (it often did) but, when he opened his eyes, there was nothing to be seen in front of him.

‘Potato peelers,’ Kit thought, absently, ‘are so unimportant to the meal at hand. To any meal. It’s skin. Most people like skin. Most people have skin.’

Kit felt a kinship in its uselessness.

Arms spread out like a broken angel on dirty purple bedding, he reached across and, with only a moment of hesitation (‘please, Gabriel, please’) dragged the peeler across his arm. He felt every layer of skin and even pieces of yellow, lumped fat, come free with even the first dig and yank. If he could pull enough tendrils away, he knew he could free himself on the sentient umbilical cord that tied him to this world that no-one else could see. He could be, once more, normal.

Reaching his upper arm, Kit took a trained breath, and went back to start from the wrist, for as long as it could take.

Downstairs, the girl wrapped in a duvet waited. Her feet were cold, but her feet were always cold, so she could hardly complain. She could feel the shiver on her back as someone walked over her grave. It was never a magnificent time of year to be dead, and rarely a quiet one. On snatches of a sea breeze no-on else was privy too, she heard sobbing, and didn’t know if it was for her, but it hurt either way. And, of course, being incorporeal meant food would literally go right through her.

Even so, it was nice to be invited.

The skull with the black hair and the lonely eyes waited. Their invitation had, of course, been a text message. It had had plans today, rather pitiful plans that involved a one-man-show, very, very off Broadway, and based on the Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. Still, it had to think it had probably never celebrated Christmas before, and the occasion was all rather colourful, which was less to its liking.

Even so, it was nice to be invited.

The man with the torches for eyes waited. Away from his dim and dark alleyway, speaking slang that still went over Kit’s head, he could be a merry soul, and had changed his lights to match the room’s theme – purple and silver. With each waiting moment, however, they grew more towards their dull red tone.

Even so, it was nice to be invited.

The entity who had a thousand lips waited. It had none that could eat, no stomach to put food in, but still, it had cooked. Using the Magic 8 Ball it called its eye, it instantly dismissed help and had shuffled off into the kitchen as if it were second nature. It had gotten hot and the robe had to be dismissed, something the entity felt particularly unwillingly to sacrifice on many occasions much more important than this.

Even so, it was nice to be invited.

Upstairs, Kit waited for the faces on the ceiling to disappear, and for his dinner party guests to fade one by one, until it was only him, and reality.

'…It would be nice…. to be invited back …'


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