by Elan Hold
“Coo Coo” is original to Pseudopod.
ELAN HOLD is a 44-year-old visual artist who turned to writing because she couldn’t afford paint. She writes poetry, plays, screenplays, short stories, songs and is presently working on her first novel. She has 21 short stories, with plans to release these in a horror/fantasy/SF collection titled Underbelly Love. This piece is the first short story she ever wrote, and it’s the only one that makes her cry.
Your narrator – Caith Donovan – is an aspiring science-fiction and horror author and a voice actor who has appeared in a number of audio projects in recent years. Caith is currently appearing as Zacharias Cobb in CP Studio’s production of Dr. Who, several episodes which can be found at HERE. Some of his (much) older work can be heard in Feedback: A Hero’s Calling.
“She’s still here. Now that it’s over, it’s not as bad as I thought because she’s still physically present; they can’t bury her and they can’t ignore her, they have to deal with it.
They watch me with new eyes, tho. They’re waiting to see what will happen.
While she was dying I panicked and got really dizzy; now, I feel strangely calm, but I’m winded. She didn’t have much of a brain but she did do most of the breathing. Without her, I can’t take a good, deep breath. She made these funny little hiccuppy gulps that comforted me, and I’m having trouble sleeping without them.
She died three days ago.
Her head hangs far forward without her holding it up. It was stiff for a bit, but today it’s gone floppy and keeps bumping against my chin. I don’t want to think about the stench; it’s so thick I can almost feel it, but it doesn’t matter because I can barely smell. I got a sinus infection years ago and they didn’t treat it; I burned the poison out using a piece of wire I broke off the cage, and a lighter I stole from Godfrey. They watched that, too. They think I can’t see them thru the one-way glass, but I can always tell, even when they’re quiet. I can sense it, the vibrations. The hairs on my spine stand on end, tickling, tickling. When they’re watching, I like to sleep, or pick thru her hair for lice. But all the lice left her head when she went cold and now I’ve got twice the load on mine.
She would have laughed at that.”