Name’s Sue, or as by brother calls me “Little Invisible Sue.” Whenever our pa comes around stinkin’ of Wild Turkey whiskey and lookin’ to beat on one of us, he can never find me. I’m too quiet, too slippery as pa puts it. I reckon I got that from my ma. She was really pretty. That is until pa made her face all black and blue, then she got really quiet. She was so quiet pa even stopped payin’ her any mind. Then one day she up and disappeared. Pa says she’s just good at hidin’, just like me.
This story ain’t about me or ma though, it’s about Lazy Eyed Pete. Lazy Eyed Pete is this boy who goes to school with me, my brother Jeremy or Crazy Jeremy as his friends call him, and his best friend Bert, Bert the Beater. That’s what all the kids call him. You look at cross at Bert and Bert’ll give ya a black eye faster than you can say spit shine. Pete can’t help but look at ya cross on account of his lazy eye. Bert’s a mean one, but so’s my brother. One day before I got good at hidin’, Bert and my brother did somethin’ terrible. I don’t like to talk about it much. It was a really pretty day. Mamma was brushin’ my hair. She made me the prettiest little pigtails this side of the Mississippi! Then I went to school. Jeremy was especially cross that day. Some first grader got mud on his shoes so he slammed the poor kids head on a brick wall. He don’t talk right anymore. Well I was off to class when the bell rang, and all the other girls were smilin’ at me, and waivin’. I was smilin’ so much my face hurt. I took two steps towards my class the I stopped with a start. Bert had grabbed onto one of my pigtails. Before I knew it Jeremy moved out of the shadows and there was a shiny pair of scissors in his hand. I tried to scream no, but it was too late, snip. When I turned to go to class everyone started laughin’, everyone except Pete. He never laughed. Not once.
Now Pete’s a weird one. Everyone knows that. His eye wanders wherever it pleases, and he makes these strange clicking noises with his jaw when he’s bored or about to eat a sandwich. He lives by himself, I think. No one really knows where he lives. Somewhere in the woods is what I heard. Only place he could live since he always takes the same way home after school every day. Through those swampy woods by the old Celemet farmhouse.
He always gets picked on by everyone for his lazy eye, but especially by Crazy Jeremy, and Bert the Beater. They’s always announcin’ themselves when they about to do somethin’ mean. They’d say “make way ya little shits, here comes crazy Jeremy and Bert the Beater.” They’d shove the smaller kids out the way and surround Pete who was sittin’ at his school desk doodlin’. Jeremy would say somthin’ like “what’cha drawin’ retard?” Bert would just press poor Pete’s face down to the desk, and say “take a good long look and be careful what’cha say or I’ll beat ya bloody, retard.” Then they’d just end up flickin’ their fingers at Pete’s lazy eye until Ms. Parker our English teacher would come in and tell everyone to settle down, and for Bert and my brother to leave poor Pete alone. “He ain’t got no one to look after him no more, so leave em’ in peace boys” she’d say in hopes of gettin’ through their thick heads.
One day my pa beat Jeremy somethin’ fierce. Caught him sneakin’ a taste from his liquor cabinet. He wanted to knock some sense in him but I think he ended up doin’ somethin’ else. You see after that day Jeremy’s eyes went dead, like all the joy got sucked out of em. After that day Jeremy just got more mean. I became even more invisible. He’d call for me when he got bored killin’ neighborhood cats. Him and his buddy Bert would stalk around the house lookin’ for me when daddy was away at work. They’d call out “Oh little invisible Sue, don’t be scared little girl, we ain’t gonna hurt ya, much!” Ain’t no one ever gonna catch me. I am way too good at hidin’. Eventually they’d get tired of lookin’ for me, and they’d go lookin’ for someone else to mess with.
Pete was a quiet boy. Never hurt nobody. Actually he would stick up for the smaller kids by puttin’ himself between them and Jeremy or Bert. Mostly it’d just get him a black eye, but he didn’t seem to mind. He ain’t much to look at, but he seemed to be a nice boy. That’s why what happened next was so, well… so messed up.
As I said my brother and Bert were lookin’ for someone to mess with, and who would make an easier target than poor old Lazy Eyed Pete. It was a Tuesday so Pete would usually be fishin’ by the old train tracks.
The line didn’t run today so there’d be no trains on the track. At least none that were runnin’. Mostly they hauled stuff like coal or diesel fuel on that line. No passenger cars, so it weren’t so busy as most tracks would be. I decided to follow to make sure they didn’t hurt him too much. Pete’s a nice boy and he don’t deserve to be hurt any more than he’d already been by losin’ his folks.
Jeremy and Bert had grabbed a bat before leaving the house which made me really nervous. When they got to the creek Pete was right were they knew he’d be. Sitting on the edge of the bridge fishin’ for catfish. His lazy eye turned to greet my brother and his friend before Pete did. It was pretty creepy. My brother shouted at em’ sayin’ “Hey, freak, I know you saw me last week, I know you were spyin’ in the woods!” Pete didn’t say a word he just turned his head and looked at both of em at the same time! They were standin’ about ten feet apart to try and keep him from running in either direction. “I said I know you saw me with Jenny!” Jenny’s our cousin. Everyone calls her kissin’ cousin Jenny. Didn’t know what Jeremy was so mad about. Everyone knew he and Jenny were messin’ around in these woods, but he just kept on yellin’ at Pete. “I’m gonna beat ya really good if you tell a soul you lazy eyed freak!” Bert just snickered and would repeat the last thing Jeremy would say like a record player. “Lazy eyed freak!” Pete moved close to the center of the track and turned away from my brother and Bert, put his head down, and folded his arms all somber like. “Look at me when I’m talkin’ to you FREAK!!!” Bert had the bat. He walked toward Pete with real bad intentions. “I’m talkin’ to you freak” he repeated like a parrot, but Pete didn’t move. Bert swung the bat at Pete’s head and I closed my eyes tight.
When I opened em’ I was shocked to see Pete was still standin’. His lazy eye was lookin’ right at Bert even thought his head was facin’ the other way. Pete’s hand was holdin’ the end of the bat with a really tight grip. I can’t even believe what happened next. I mean if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would never have believed it in a million years! Pete’s lazy eye, it changed color. From a sickly green to pure red. Pete grabbed Bert by the collar and held him fast. Jeremy moved in to help his friend sayin’ “Hey, what do you think you’re doin’ you FREAK?!”
Pete paid no mind to em’. Pete’s whole head includin’ his other eye turned to meet Bert’s piss scared face. Jeremy stood their and just kept yellin’ for Pete to let go of his friend or else. Pete had this crazy kind of grin on his face which made my blood run cold. His smile went real wide. Too wide. His mouth started to open wider, and wider, and wider, and even wider! It wasn’t natural. Eventually Pete’s mouth was open so wide it made em’ look like a catfish, and from his shiny black gums grew tiny sharp teeth!
He kind of looked more like this stuffed tigerfish my uncle Marcus had hung over his den wall, teeth and all! Pete’s wide open mouth went around Bert’s shiverin’ head till I couldn’t see Bert’s face no more. Poor boy couldn’t even scream. Probably cause he was so scared, and so was I. I tried best I could not to shake as to not reveal where I was hiddin’. Pete looked over at my brother real slow like, and CHOMP, Bert’s head was bit clean off. Everything started spinnin’, and I had cold sweat pourin’ down my face. I felt sick. Jeremy tried to back away but Pete grabbed the bat out of Bert’s stiff hand and tossed it hard at my brother’s legs makin’ a loud sickenin’ crack sound.
Jeremy screamed and fell just as Bert’s body fell over with blood spirtin’ out his neck. I never saw my brother so scared in his life. He even peed himself! A large wet spot kept growin’ and growin’ in his overalls as Pete walked slowly toward em kickin’ leaves as he went. Pete was chewin’ his dinner real good. Even in the lunchroom he always chewed his food more than the other kids. Those teeth of his were all gooped up with red gook, and chunks of Bert.
I almost threw up, but I took small deep breaths and kept as cool as I could wipin’ the cold sweat from my brow. Jeremy on the other hand was loosin’ his mind. He kept making these little squeelin’ noises as his tiny brain tried to wrap around what was happenin’. He tried to squirm away but his leg was busted. The bone was stickin’ out around his ankle and he was bleedin’ pretty badly. The sight of it made my legs feel all weak and rubbery. Pete just squatted down slowly and with one finger he told Jeremy to hush. I was down by the bushes and I got really still since Jeremy had gone all quiet. Pete pointed his right index finger straight out, then moved his hand just under his lazy eye. I nearly lost it myself when I saw what happened next. His lazy eye, it was bulging out, little black things movin’ round the white part, then, then the red eye popped right out of the socket! What looked like little black legs unfolded, and it stood up on em! I must have blacked out for a second cause I woke up on the ground to Jeremy screamin’ like a little girl.
When I got back up and peeked out the bushes I saw the eyeball with little fangs stickin’ out of it crawlin’ from Pete’s hand over to my brother’s face. It moved just like a spider, fast and creepy like. It crawled all over Jeremy’s face, then down to his neck, and it bit him, hard! My brother made one last little squeak as these green veins popped out of his neck. Must of been some kind of poison mixing with his blood. He went all pale like and the eyeball made a chirping sound as it turned back to its normal green color. It looked very happy for a murderin’ little spider. I wanted to run but I felt glued in place. Pete picked up his spider eye and held it up. It continued to chirp loudly as Pete raised both arms like father Maple at church would on Sundays. When he did that all of the trees lit up with green little eyes of their own, and they all began to chirp joyously together like some kind of gospel. It was scary, but beautiful in a weird kind of way. You know what I mean?
I’m livin’ with my aunt Petunia now. She didn’t like it when my mamma went missin’. Not sure how I feel about my brother bein’ dead and all. You won’t tell anyone about my story will you Pretty Polly? You are the prettiest china doll I ever did lay my eyes on! I mean if lazy eyed Pete ever found out that I saw what he did, well you know what would happen next don’t you Pretty Polly. On the other hand Pete was a really nice boy, other than eatin’ Bert and my brother that is. Maybe I should introduce Pete to my pa. I’m sure pa and Pete would get along really nice like. Maybe Pete would even get em to tell us where mama went off to, or maybe he’d make pa disappear too!
Images by Immortal Alexander. Scissor Image by Jeanette Andromeda. Mouth and eye model Jeanette Andromeda. No animals were harmed in these photos. All props are 100% vegan. Even I’m vegan, but please don’t eat me.
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