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Entry date: 3-9-2023 - Random thoughts (and Mary) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Today is my cousin Sage's birthday. He's an interesting cat and I wish I knew him better than I do. We live in the same town, but we rarely see each other. He's about nine years younger than me.


Looking back at last year, I didn't even mention his birthday. Maybe this is because he was a Jehovah's Witness for a while. Maybe he still is. I don't know. That is his business. I do know he does always send a text and wish the kids a happy birthday from him and he wished me one, too.


I was super resentful of Sage for a long time. As a kid, I didn't like having to share my granny and papa with him. I didn't mind sharing them with Ben, but Ben and I were always together so it didn't seem like he was an interloper in the relationship I had with my grandparents. Sage, on the other hand, was younger and cuter and I didn't like the way Granny seemed to forget that I was the golden child when Sage was around. He was a blonde, so he was actually golden, too.


One day I was out in the front of their house shooting baskets and he came out to see what I was doing. He was about 18 months, maybe, or two or so. He was often naked in those days, too, for whatever reason. Anyway, as he was standing there next to me, he took a nice, long piss on my leg. I was so angry at him. I think I may have given him a nice little shove off the driveway and into the grass.


This didn't go over well. The golden child gave me a golden shower and I was the one in trouble for it. I thought that was bullshit at the time. At least it is funny now.


Sage and his mom, my aunt Patty, moved up to Colorado Springs around the time I finished up middle school. My dad and I had moved out to the northwest valley and I wouldn't be going over to my grandparents house before school anymore as I was starting high school. My grandparents decided to move up to the Springs so they could do for Sage what they had done for me.


I was crushed. Even though I was a teenager, I needed them. My grandfather didn't want to move, but my grandmother was just not happy if she wasn't taking care of a child who needed her, so off they went. Sage got to grow up with them as I did. This I resented, too, and I wasn't always the best cousin. I probably gave him some pretty shitty advice every once in awhile and I regret that.


Anyway, as Sage got older, I started to appreciate him more and I definitely wish we were closer. Hopefully this day is a good one for him. I know he's enjoying getting to watch Kevin Durant play. (As of this writing, the game last night hasn't started...FYI)


Happy birthday, Sage America! I will tell more tales of misspent youth and adulting later.


*****


The color drained out of Mary's face when she heard Connie's words.


"Fucking hell. Is it the fan again?"


"It's your phone. Besides, I don't want to look. He knows I'm involved," Connie replied.


Mary took the phone from Connie and stared at the screen intently. She selected her text messages and sure enough, there was another message from her home phone. It was also a video. Mary did not want to hit play, but she did feel safe there in Connie's bedroom, so she lined her finger up with the button and pressed down.


The screen shifted to the video. It was Mary's kitchen. The lights were on and everything seemed normal, but Mary muttered to herself and Connie, "Who is filming these things and why are they fucking with me?"


As if on cue, the lights went out and the screen went dark. Mary could barely make out the shape of the island just off the kitchen door. There seemed to be movement on the top of the island. She and Connie leaned forward to try and get a better look.


The light snapped on again and the island was covered with a sea of small, brown-ish red spiders. The camera zoomed in on them and the iPhone screen was suddenly full of them, crawling all over each other and the tile countertop.


Some of the spiders were clearly eating other spiders and for a second, it seemed like one of them was peering directly into the camera as it ate the eyes of it's brother or sister. Mary put her free hand over her mouth to stifle a scream, but Connie wasn't so lucky. She let out a combination groan/scream that Mary not only heard, but she felt it, too.


The lights flickered again at the spiders were gone. The video ended a few seconds later and Mary and Connie sat there in silence for what seemed like an hour.


"Um. We need to get some sleep."


The fear and fatigue was obvious in Connie's voice. Mary didn't want to overwhelm her friend any further. She felt terrible for involving her in this, whatever it was.


"You're right, Con. I'm bunking with you, though, if that's okay. Let's sort this out in the morning."


"If we can. Right now, I don't know. I'm scared, Mary. That video was fucking weird."


"I know. Let's get some sleep ... and thank you. I'm sorry."


"Don't be. I love you. We'll get through this," Connie said, sounding even wearier than before.


Mary didn't believe the last statement, though. She looked up at the ceiling just before Connie turned out the light on her bedside table.


There was a tiny spider dangling from a web attached to the ceiling.


(to be continued)


*****


See you tomorrow.



Melvins!




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