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Leland Gaunt

by Kaci Skiles Laws

an homage to Stephen King’s Needful Things

Days after celebrating the dead; string of silk
and spiders linger as we gather for our
Thanksgiving dinner, the four of us
— plus one.

Slithers as he speaks,
grabs her, no head nod,
but a flick of his tongue.

The dog cowers.
Surrounding air settles.
A moldy thick paste stays.

Beady black back into mine,
his eyes, craters,
a refusal to break contact.

Sneers something, retreating,
fumes jealousy for a woman
barely ripe for biting.

Gnaws into gristle
as he salivates her way,
inhaling vulnerability.

He grips the knife by his plate,
I am wavering to pass warning.

Adrenaline bolt,
her heart in my throat,
our gazes cast, crashed into tile.

Revelation, months of entrapment,
the clutches of a demon being.
A threat consisting of cutting
my brother’s legs off.

Pinned her by the throat,
his jugular bulged hollow,
a protrusion of uncanny rage.

Upon winter’s entry, we disposed of him.
A cockroach scurrying under
the emptying of a pistol.

A new year, a mugshot made the headlines —
Man Charged with Aggravated Kidnapping —
broad daylight. Assault and battery,
a victim held captive by a man-imal.

I gawked at the shadow man remembering
his coal eye glow, the psychopath
that sat at our kitchen table.

Copyright © 2018 by Kaci Skiles Laws

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