• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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Et in Arcadia Ego

I grew up on this tiny little island. Mom wouldn't let any of us out of the house except for the worst traumas requiring trips to the hospital. Loss of limb or life. That was about the only way you got past that solid oak front door. So the hospital took on a magical quality. For us, brothers and sisters, inmates all, it was like visiting a mall at Christmas. They had televisions there and people of all different sorts that talked to you like a friend. Oh, we children were in our glory in the hospital. We raced up and down the halls devouring life! But soon it was back to that house, that island. We took to calling it The Spaceship after a certain number of years had passed. Because it wasn't really of the earth. She didn't believe in the earth. She didn't tell outside people everything she taught us in our home schooling. All the strange ideas of the ghost world that lay beyond our front door. She had us so convinced of the danger that lurked on every sidewalk in the city or even our suburb. They could take you at any moment. They waited only for that. She taught us things not on those curricula she handed in for the State to approve. The importance of sacred mummification, for example. We did as we were told. Even the youngest of us assisted in the procedure. We had already gone over the process many times, in fantasy and in dry runs. Mother had lain upon her back on that long table in the basement. We had each described and demonstrated our tasks. She had graded us on it. It's amazing that she found everything she needed for the ritual on EBAY. I don't know why she went to all that bother. She didn't rise from the dead. She's down there anyway, despite all her huffing and puffing. Her Pyramid Power and levitations. Still with that same sour look on her face. Like maybe there's too much lemon in death.


Et in Arcadia Ego

Trust me, if she had any chance of resurrecting on us, she would have been up here when we got the television. We kept looking at the basement door that night. All of us, nervously tittering. Our eyes spooked. But we were feeling the island grow beyond the front door with each new program. Each flickering ghost calling to us. We weren't sure yet whether we would be devoured. Maybe that part of the prophecy or whatever was right. One of my sisters howling in the backyard like an animal brought the first police to the door. We explained the moon ritual to the nice lady and she smiled. But when we told them the rest of the story, their smiles changed into something else that reminded us of someone and let us know that we were probably in for some new, arbitrary form of captivity.