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by Tim Wright 7 months ago in psychological

The last straw.

Rustling...the leaves are being disturbed, but who is it?

Footsteps...ah, Master! Have you come back to visit after such a short time?

No...multiple footsteps stomp through the fallen foliage. Master, have you at last returned my kin to their shelter?

Voices...voices that I have heard before, but are still unfamiliar to me. Why have they returned? Perhaps to present their offerings, but this cannot be, for they are not my Master.

These outsiders...their strange odor fills my home. Cigarette smoke, tobacco, exhaust, soap, and paper. I have smelled these scents before, from a time that I can no longer see nor remember. Behold! Now they enter into my hold without invitation. Unless, Master, are you present? I cannot see you for these intrusive beings obscure your presence from my senses.

See how they disturb my home! My timeworn beds of composting straw; see how they heedlessly sweep out the damp, blackened mats of bug infestation and thriving mold. Their piercing, golden lights banish every dark hiding place as they climb and fish through my home. This is an outrage! Cobwebs whose strands I have counted a hundred times over are swept aside as years of growth is ruined in an instant. Piles of dusty planks, a home to many a wood beetle and roach are being sorted through and tossed out like unwanted debris.

Agh! One of their rude, blinding lights shines directly in my face! What is the meaning of this trespass?! Master! Come quickly!

"Look at the span of those horns. Whattaya think? Texas longhorn?"

"Nah. That right there is a Watusi type of cow from Africa or somethin'."

"Thing looks doggone prehistoric. Bet that bull would've seriously mess up even the toughest of bull riders."

The light moved off of my face as the trespassers continued to disrespectfully clean out my peaceful home. And look! They even brought a ladder to ascend into the loft. The man on the ladder with pearly skinned hands cautiously tries to enter the small loft. The boards crack and shower a cloud of dust and droppings below. He hesitates. He will not enter. His cleanliness and his fragrant smell tell me he has never done a hard day's work in the field. He is soft. As expected, he retreats down the ladder warning the others of the loft's hazardous floor. They now gather under my gaze as the lot of them deliberate on what desecrating action to take next against my home.


"Nothin'. No sign of a cellar, loft's empty, and nothing's hidden under this mess. Think he's right?"

"That's not objective, but if it gives this poor family some closure, then go ahead and let them do it. We've got nothing here to see. Father!"

A new face enters. He smells of water and incense and his clothing is different. "Yes? Have you uncovered any evidence?"

"No. This place is a dead end. You can continue with your ritual."

"Expulsion, detective."

"Yeah, whatever. The fire department will be nearby. I'm going home to get some much needed rest from this God forsaken case. Sheriff, I'll be at the office tomorrow for the paperwork."

At last, they are leaving. Please, Master, come soon for my home has been ravaged by these invaders. Wait, there is a voice, a scent, that I have seen before. There he is! He enters the doorway to speak to the badged man and the one smelling of incense.

The badged man motions to me, "What of that?"

"That is the cause of all of this, sir. I'll take care of it if you'll begin the cleansing, Father."

The sharp smell of salt enters my nostrils as the one called Father begins to spread the delectable mineral around the outside walls of my home. Familiar visitor, can you spare some of this meal for me? My Master is not here, but it has been many cycles since I've tasted such a delightful substance. Please spare some for my tongue, less the entirety of it be wasted on earth.

What is this, now? A pungent odor, yet also bearing a pleasing sweet aroma, is dominating the air. Every breath now draws the reeking scent, its strength pulling the essence from my spirit. Many strangers I see, dousing the barn with liquid emitting the intoxicating smell. What's this? The familiar face approaches me as I gag on the fumes. His face carries more intent than before. His face is full of judgement, but am I the one to be punished? He reaches for me, hate flickering in his eyes, tugging at my restraints. What are you doing?! Leave me at my post or my Master may never find me. I try to resist, but his strength overpowers my own. If my Master were here, none would be able to withstand my force, but they are not and I am removed from my vantage and laid in the center of the wet floor.

"Finally, you will be laid to rest once and for all, you cursed thing. Now, cease this malice and go back to hell from where you came."

With his words, my only acquaintance emptied a red container of the odorous liquid upon me, the tainted concoction permeating every crack and cavity of my weathered face. Why?! Why- Master! MASTER!

"Everyone, get out of the barn! Get behind the salt line!" they called as the walls shuttered and buckled from my cries. "Hurry, burn it down!"

The fiends! All lined outside of my home with the Father gesturing and chanting with a symbol in hand before them. He will perish first! My bones cracked as I rose high from the ground, my form covered in wet earth and decay. A roar of defiance shook the foundation of my dwelling once more as I stomped towards the terrified group. The Father stood his ground, continuing his chanting. He is valiant. He will die first. My sweeping horns scraped the top of the doorway as I charged forward. Forgive me, Mast-Master?! She was here, standing quietly in the background! Her presence filled me with overwhelming vigor, but as I stepped forward, she softly raised her hand and gently shook her head. Her command was clear.

Flames of the orange inferno began to engulf my surroundings. She refused me...then it is time. Obeying her wishes, I relinquished my form, my bones meeting the earth in a sudden collapse. As the holy fire overtook me, I looked at her, tears caressing her cheeks as she nodded with sorrowful gratitude, as all turned to ash.


Tim Wright

Just a full time massage therapist, husband, dad, and game master trying his hand out with this thing called writing :)

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