The moon was beginning to cast a bleached and wretched glow, tucking the gold rayed sun below the horizon with fingertips of bronze

The moon was beginning to cast a bleached and wretched glow, tucking the gold rayed sun below the horizon with fingertips of bronze. Clutching the last yellowing fractures of light in his pale and calloused hands, the moon whispered a broken melody that the wind carried unto the great heights of the eastern sky. Greasy entrails touched with a shining sickness of vermillion left the grave skyline bloodstained, crying with screams of thunder thousands of miles away. With a thick carroty tongue and eyes like an inferno's plague, the moon cussed the pale clouds back to their bloodless hideaways, veiling the terrain with the unfathomable breath of a summer's eve. The ascending stars were setting the night on fire with hopeful glimmers, like diamonds glistening in the reddened stomach of a whale.

The vigor and thrusts of the broadening darkness fell across a tired and white Beluga Air trailer, where a faded orange sprinkler clicked busily away, sitting happily on the small and square front lawn. The grass lay weeping in little piles of olive, overcome with illness and dried out from the sweaty flesh of August.

A small girl sat on the metal steps of the trailer, her bright red hair almost glowing like a fiery beacon against the blackened and singed clouds. A braided necklace with a single ashen shell was tied around her spindly neck, and she scratched heavily at an engorged pink mosquito bite she had accumulated that previous night. A sketchbook laid with its pages blanched to the night air on her lap, and her purple sparkly pencil was poised delicately over the page, leaving simple grey lines on the blank whiteness. It was not long before the page was quietly transformed, strangely but beautifully. The leaden lines were more than just lines; they were the premature age lines in a man's devilish face. The circles of shadow were more than just darkness; they were hollows of eyes that dared to peek out behind deep cheekbones. This face was the pale and rash face of a man who dared to straighten his fingers when thousands were afraid to move an inch. This face was hard to forget, this rugged and red headed man, with his blistering tattoos and sweet smell of stale marijuana on his coat sleeve.

A fantastic facade suddenly swallowed the night in brightly lit shadow as a pale blue truck pulled into the gravel drive. Its headlights were like the bruised eyes of a blackened monstrosity, shining with unholy yellow light into the puffy freckled face of the young girl. Her eyes were wide as the sun's medallion, and her pink chin twitched as she licked her cracked bottom lip. The brown freckles on her fingers seemed to crouch together in little groups now, with fear in their tiny eyes.

The truck's engine was black and grinding like a dog with red wooden eyes and a horrible and bloody case of fleas. The passenger's side swung open roughly, and a woman staggered out, grasping the rusted blue finish of the door for support. A crimson smile was painted upon her lips dumbly, and her long chestnut hair was curled at the ends, but some shorter pieces stuck to her forehead with fervent beads of sweat. She was fairly young, for youth glimmered in her porcelain cheekbones and innocence shone blatantly in her curved hips and ivory thighs.

The little girl snapped her sketchbook shut hastily, and pulled herself up. She hurried up the stairs, her bare feet slapping the cold metal steps. She shut the door softly behind her with a quiet click, hardly an echo or goodbye into the midnight air.

The kitchen area was tiny but brightly lit; the fluorescent reflection off of the whitewashed walls almost blinded the young girl when she burst hurriedly through the door. There was a clay painted bowl on the card table that held three peaches and one rotted apple; her mother was an artist on days when her throat was parched of pomegranate Skyy vodka and pale amber rum.

The refrigerator was rusted around the hinges, and had a few spots of grey and whitish mold by the handle. There were photos pinned up by colorful magnets, some chipped and detached from the plastic. The girl meandered over to the fridge, and touched a singled freckled finger to a photo that lay frayed at the edges. It depicted a man with long red hair that settled beyond his pale shoulders, sitting on a dock with his feet dangling in the water. His jaw was tight and sculpted, but his lips held smile bowed of God's bronze fist. His eyes held an ethereal fire and captured the eyes of the young girl, opening the charcoal doors of her mind and coiling around her strange sense of loneliness and longing. She loved this man dearly; her father, the man that had taken her to the ocean and shown her the cerulean depths of the waves and the boundless beauty of the sea. She touched the shell around her neck. Suddenly, the door crashed open. It was too late; too late.

In came her mother with a man she knew all too well; he was big like a mountain, and his eyes were too small for his steel jawed face. His grey teeth always seemed to be bared, like a roughed up animal with blood-soaked fangs. He had greasy dark hair that never seemed to be washed, and his clothes stunk faintly of urine and cheap beer.

Her mother was clutching at his shirt, laughing and looking up to his face, perhaps silently begging him for a kiss. The man's eyes rolled in his weathered sockets, surveying the kitchen, and a grunt erupted from his throat when his saw the little girl. She froze, pleading with her mother's eyes for mercy.

"You still got this piece of shit floatin' around?" he asked her mother gruffly. She laughed again, but it was feeble this time. "You remember Michelle, don't you?" she said, gesturing towards her. He nodded, his small eyes glinting like unfriendly rhinestones with an oncoming snigger. "She screamed Bloody Mary last time I spanked her," he chuckled darkly.

Michelle clasped her sketchbook to her chest with numb hands. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was sure the windows must be rattling.

He pulled out a chair from the card table. As he sat down, the chair seemed to squeak in protest of his unbearable girth. "Come ere', Michelle," he said, slapping his knee. "Come sit on my lap."

Michelle could not move; her breath came in short gasps, and her insides felt hot and uneven, as if they had been boiled in steamy water. Slimy yellow bile was rising in her throat, but she swallowed it quickly with a dry tongue. She begged her legs to move in the silence, to just follow his simple orders. But her legs would not obey; they seemed rooted to this spot in the floor.

"Sweetheart, just do as your told," her mother said in an utterly sweet voice. Something about her voice seemed off, as if a stranger had stolen her voice and had spoken in place.

Michelle's legs now trembled under the blinking bonds that held a swirl of flesh, raging in her mind, overtaking her conscious thoughts like a lion with vermillion streaks on his calloused mane.

The man's patience was very thin tonight. His eyes were little pits of hell, and his lids were painted black with abrupt sickness and rage. He got up viciously from the chair and kicked it, setting its paper masquerade up into flames. The man loomed over her, basking in his brute wickedness and dark triumph. "You better goddamn listen to me when I'm talkin'!" His arms were like rutted tree trunks, bleeding at the elbows and branching out into finely formed fingers that held hate in a balled fist. He slammed Michelle across the face so hard that she was knocked onto her back, sucking a fresh split lip. Blood was painted across his brow, now, as he glared through her bruised cheekbones. His temper rose up like a bloody sunrise, all dormancy lost to dead of the scarlet moon. He landed a kick to her side as she lay in a soft bed of red liquid bruises, stomping and screaming on her arms and legs gone rigid.

"Worthless shits like you don't deserve to live!" he screamed, his throat tearing open with ceaseless fury. Michelle felt a thickening pain in her left wrist, and then heard a sickening crack as he crushed it with his black heel once more. Her cheeks were a dried ocean; empty sea beds of parched coral and sun dried starfish. Her eyes were shallows of purple lids, for she had closed her blessed eyes to let her father paint them blind with his white paintbrush in the sky.

She heard a crack like a serpentine pistol gunshot as he broke a plastic chair leg off of a kitchen chair. He roughly bent down and ripped up her shirt so it revealed fresh pale skin, unmarred and bloodless. His smile was toothy and grey, and he laughed broadly as her face contorted and bled the fear out onto her forehead.

The beating didn't last long, but he did it hard enough for her back to sprout swollen cabbages of pus-filled marks. The chair leg was lined with oily red, and he threw it across the room at the wall. The walls were crying their blood-soaked dirge as he punched a hole in the plaster, created a second crater that week.

The door of the trailer slammed hard as he left, out to smoke in the yard. Evelyn hurried after him, her bleeding hands at her scarred up sides and her face hollows of love. Her doves' eyes were seething, and her flesh was wrinkled up with poison at the sound of his voice. The cry of her evenfall could be heard throughout the neighborhood; the strange shattering of breath, the infinite core that struck the sky with such vibrancy that the moon wrung his neck in jealousy.