The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 52

by Mark Figueroa aka Anthony Abyss | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen


Chapter 52: A Chris-head? 

A sick-looking, corpse-like man in a tank top and sweat pants shuffles into the room. He sniffles erratically. “Chris came through wit’ tha’ gewds!” His raspy voice makes me cringe: it’s dry and phlegmy, like an old man who smokes too many cigarettes. 

Chris is tall with pale skin and buzz cut dirty-blonde hair. There’s no doubt in my mind that he hasn’t bathed or eaten in days. His gray, stained sweatpants are worn at the knees and covered in holes. There are crusted-over yellow scabs on his face and lips. 

“I don’ ghewhd baby. Chris don’ re’ ghewhd. We gon’ get high! We kites!” He twitches. “Yeah! Ha! Ha!” He holds up a vial with white powder. “I wa’ on mah knees fuh’ ‘dis heh’ afta’ one taste. It’s pure! It’s pure! It’s pure! Mmm! It’s soh’ pure!”

Aysia’s still slumped against the bed. Drool rolls down the sides of her mouth. This time, her glossy eyes aren’t looking around. She’s still breathing.

“Up‘ere ah’redy, huh? Faded! Ooh!” Chris laughs anxiously. “Ma’ be li’e yewgh! Mmm! soon, baby girl! Ooooogh! Sogh! Sooghn!” He clears his throat and grabs the burnt, pen-shaped object. “Mm! D’n’t ‘a’to pay fa’ dis here! Hallelujah! Took a li’l bit’a jizzy-juice doe! All up! Straight up! Damn, dis good! I take it again fa’ this here! Mhmmm! Buddy and his boys take turns with Chris, but Chris geghts ‘da las’ laugh! Chris gets crack rock! Betta’ me than you! Mm! Buddy’s photo always watchin’! He jealous!” Chris rocks back and forth, frantically inhaling from the pipe.

Tears roll down Aysia’s incoherent face. “A boy sa’ed me.”

“I shol’ did, Aysia! Das right!” He blows thick white smoke in Aysia’s face before forcing his tongue into her drooling mouth. Chris drags his knee over the puddle vomit. 

Vomit drips from Aysia’s mouth as Chris helps her up. He looks like a zombie struggling to prop a doll on a bed. Aysia’s eyes are glossy and glazed. With a finger, she beckons him into bed. 

I hover through the floor. No combination of words in existence can describe what I’ve just seen. “I can feel the presence of the Nothing, but I know it isn’t here.” I probe Aysia’s family photos for a clue. 

A picture of Aysia’s father… He’s wearing a suit, with a name tag that reads, “Buddy.”


Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Like my content? Someone else does too. They just don’t know it, yet. Share it.

Read other chapters and related stories

The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 89

by Mark Figueroa aka Anthony Abyss | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen Chapter 89: Are you listening to yourself? Th’Rut, Kanti and I hover over the woods behind Eliza’s house.  Kanti sits, stoically perched on his thick purple haze. “I suppose it may be beneficial for Emery to train with you.” “Training? How … Continue reading The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 89

Heartlands: MartytraM

“Just imagine an American-based, Christian Organization planning to poison water supplies to bring the second-coming quicker.” – Lupe Fiasco, American Terrorist. Marty paced around his bedroom. His hands were raw from the frequent button-mashing, keyboard-clacking and furious masturbation. He was normal. Marty grew up in a good home. No screaming, no fighting, no arguing. They … Continue reading Heartlands: MartytraM

By the Lake

“You’re late, Lars!” Earnest slams a heavy potato sack into the still waters of the lake. His dry, sunken eyes are red at the edges. “I—I didn’t think—” “Aye, laddy, you don’t think at all, did’ya?” Lars removes his horned, iron helm and runs his gnomish hands through his mane. He takes a deep breath, … Continue reading By the Lake

The Fountain of Truth

by Mark Figueroa “So what happened next, dad?” The children asked in unison, clutching their sheets in anticipation. “Well, kids,” Antalaus said, resuming his story. “Lars nodded at me. ‘Then, we crush the heads an’ scoop the remainin’ soft meat from the bone,’ he said. His little eyes barely sticking out from underneath his large … Continue reading The Fountain of Truth

Idle Idols: Part 1

By Mark Figueroa It was Thursday. The last Thursday in February. It was cold, cloudy and windy. Fred sat in his car, watching Samantha. She held her son Robert and struggled to close the door behind her. Fred sighed. Samantha gave him the finger. She slapped the icy hood of the car and opened the … Continue reading Idle Idols: Part 1

Borrowed Time

Written by: Mark Figueroa Frank N. Cadence was stressed. His meter was running low. The liquid in the glass vial flickered. His heart skipped with each belch in the phial. He could hear the rhythm of his soul catching up to his age. Long ago, Frank Cadence was born a twin. He was teased, but … Continue reading Borrowed Time


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s