Scabrous brown patches of rust ate into the cheek of the axe like a lupus and small teeth marks had bitten into the blade giving it a serrated edge that twinkled like an old boxer’s smile as she held it aloft in the dusty sunlight and brought it swiftly down upon my head, cleaving it in two.
Like a folk tale from the Brothers Grimm squeezed from the bloated screen of a David Cronenberg VHS, Cleave is the first volume in the Chapelkill Book Club, a series of twisted shorts to be released periodically over the coming seasons. It is a deliciously dark fairy tale of sacrifice and obsession where death is not always any guarantee of relief.
1. to chop or break apart
2. to stick fast, adhere
They dragged my body from the oily darkness beneath platform two. It is still zipped inside a black bag at the Chapelkill mortuary, waiting to be identified. My head was never found.
She was always saying,
It’s your skull Abe;
that jaw and those teeth.
It’s your skull that I love Abe.
I should have paid greater heed to this veiled warning but I had become too reliant on her praise to see the truth of it. It was only through her vision of me that my life held any meaning. I hated my job, I hated my family, I hated my friends; I hated art, music, literature, film. The only thing I liked was my skull, because she did. She didn’t like my hair or my skin or my flesh and nor did I. But my skull, that was something different, something else entirely. And so when she tore off my head, scalped it and stripped the rest of the tissue from the bone I didn’t mind; to be honest I didn’t even notice.