The mean sadness came strong for Gretsch today.
It hoped Father Cummer would come, and press play for the music.
The CIA found Gretsch in a small glass tube.
Some people called it Venus juice.
Gretsch didn't know.
Father Cummer said sodium pentathol.
Sodium pentathol is something called truth serum.
Father Cummer said this got mixed with black mold and Gretsch came alive.
Gretsch watched everyone else through the little holes in the blinds that the strings ran through.
It didn't like to move the shades.
Gretsch didn't like to scare people.
Father Cummer told it its name was Gretsch.
Gretsch is the only sound it makes.
Father Cummer told Gretsch when it was a baby it burned some people's fingers like acid.
Then Gretsch got bigger, and when bugs crawled and melted on to Gretsch, it got more bigger.
Father Cummer came a lot to Gretsch's shack.
Its shack was stuck on the side of a house that nobody lived in anymore.
That was Gretsch's fault.
It missed the people and the sounds they made.
Father Cummer was now the only person who wasn't scared of Gretsch.
The police weren't scared of it, but not because they didn't think Gretsch was bad. They knew how to kill it. They had what Father Cummer said was an electric water gun with the only thing that hurt it, the strong burning water called rubbing alcohol.
Ever since Gretsch did the accident that made the people next door go away, it was on something called house arrest.
Before house arrest, Gretsch couldn't go outside without Father Cummer but now it could never go outside at all, and if it did, the police would come and spray it.
Alcohol made Gretsch's slime melt. They sprayed Gretsch after he made the accident. The accident that made people call Gretsch evil. Made people want Gretsch to go away.
Father Cummer asked the cops, he asked them a lot to let Gretsch live, and they told Father Cummer, "Okay because of the science in it," they said about it, "But it can never leave."
Father Cummer was the only way Gretsch understood things. He was what people called priests and he knew about the thing that made everything, all the people and Gretsch. The thing called God.
Father Cummer said to Gretsch once, "God doesn't tell you what you can or can't do. Nobody's made good or evil. People are made to be free and do whatever they want and anything that tells you otherwise is not God."
Father Cummer always said things that made Gretsch feel good and it could never say them back besides, "gretsch..."
Father Cummer taught it some words it could make with what people called pencils. Gretsch knew some words and how to make the lines for them but since it couldn't hold pencils Gretsch made drops of it sizzle on the wood floor.
Enough drops made words.
It made CAT, DOG, CART, first and those were the hardest, now when Gretsch had time it could make any words. Sometimes it didn't mix the letters together right but Father Cummer wouldn't be mad and he understood it and told Gretsch to mind its spelling.
Any part of Gretsch could slime through the holes in the blinds and it could see out the window. It could see out all three windows if it wanted.
But it wasn't fair because it could only see what the three windows saw.
From two windows next to each other it saw across the street to a big house with funny, angry looking girls with shaved-off heads that Father Cummer called lesbos and from the side window Gretsch could see the house across the driveway.
A place where a family of quiet people with black hair and funny eyes lived and many other funny eyed, black haired people came by and left their kids there in the day. Father Cummer said the people were called Asians and he said their eyes were funny.
Gretsch didn't understand, because all those balls called eyes were funny.
Father Cummer told it that these Asian's job was something called daycare where people left their kids when they had to work. The daycare makes your kids safe.
Safe from bad accidents.
Gretsch wished Father Cummer were here so bad because its mind was in every part.
When Gretsch sat alone too long it saw mean pictures in its mind.
Gretsch looked out the side window to make the pictures leave.
It saw the one called cat.
The one that was covered in gray, fuzzy parts called fur.
Cat didn't talk like other people but instead made words that sounded like, "Meow meow rearr rearr."
Father Cummer said this was called cat, but Gretsch knew it was really called Brintz.
Brintz was the first thing Gretsch ever learned alone.
Sometimes Gretsch liked to watch Brintz as he made sleep on the windowsill and listened as Brintz made his special music at night.
Gretsch liked to look at Brintz because, on the hand he had with the curved nails in it, there was a shiny thing.
Something Gretsch saw before in a book of pictures called Vibe. On the hands of brown people.
Father Cummer told him this was called a "five-finger ring"
Brintz's five-finger ring had the word BRINTZ made on it with shiny glass rocks.
Gretsch knew the kids who the daycare protected stayed in the back room but they were too short for it to see. Gretsch always saw the grownups though because they stood over the windowsill and it knew since it didn't see them all the time that Brintz was alone with the kids sometimes.
Brintz protected them for the grownups when they weren't around even though he was small.
Cats were good.
Father Cummer said that when you rubbed on their bodies, and they loved you, their fur vibrated.
Father Cummer said it was a nice soft feeling. Gretsch wished he could touch Brintz and feel that. It hadn't felt nice or soft in so long.
Gretsch saw that Brintz was licking himself and his ring and it wondered what the ring felt like.
Brintz straightened up on his furry arms and legs and stretched out. He couldn't stretch out the way Gretsch could because people and cats had bones in their bodies, bones were what made it so they weren't blobbed out all over the place like Gretsch.
Brintz jumped off the windowsill and inside the room.
Gretsch wondered what the kids did with Brintz.
It slimed all the way up to the top of the blinds. Nobody was outside now to get scared if they saw Gretsch's purple body oozing around the edges of the window, and it missed kids.
The accident was the last time Gretsch was near one.
Gretsch pushed through the top hole and could see over the windowsill.
The daycare had pictures on the walls of things called horses, lollipops, and dragons.
Gretsch saw three Asian kids.
It saw Brintz on the floor with a boy that had glass over his eyes like the kind Father Cummer wore.
The boy looked sad.
Gretsch wished more than ever that Father Cummer were here because the way Brintz rubbed the boy with his paw and made white slime come out was bad.
It was the baddest thing Gretsch had seen.
Gretsch worked on the wood, letting each drop splash the board and sizzle away leaving a small, mushy, gray mark. It took so long it got dark outside and so much longer that the sun came.
When Father Cummer came, he would see it on the floor: Brintz Touch Kids.
Gretsch had watched Brintz take his furry paw, hold the boy down after making the white slime come out, and rub his swooshy tail back and forth across the thing in between the boy's legs that Father Cummer never told Gretsch about.
Gretsch knew that touching wasn't bad with other animals like it was with Gretsch. Other thing's touching didn't burn. But the way Brintz touched the boy and the way the boy's face was so sad, made Gretsch wonder if Brintz was doing a touching that was worse than burning.
It felt the floor vibrating under it and heard loud banging on the wooden steps outside.
There was knocking on the door and the goofy voice of Father Cummer, "Gretsch you in there?"
Father Cummer was silly because he knew Gretsch couldn't be anywhere else so why ask except to be funny?
"Can I come in?"
Gretsch heard many clicks to unstick the door and then Father Cummer came through with all this light from outside.
Father Cummer made the door close and stuck it.
The light went away.
The door wasn't stuck to trap Gretsch. Nothing could contain it. Gretsch could slip out through the cracks. The door was stuck to keep vigilantes away.
Vigilantes were what it heard from a radio once about the people who tried to burn Gretsch's shack one time and throw alcohol on it through the windows but they were stupid because the alcohol they threw wasn't rubbing, it was this stupid kind called beer.
Father Cummer said those people were mean. He said when he used to go to a place called Belgium in the summer that the beer was a lot stronger than here, that it probably would have killed Gretsch.
Gretsch hoped Father Cummer wasn't sad that he couldn't go to Belgium anymore because he had to watch Gretsch.
After the mean talking made him too sad, Gretsch wrote No Radio and Father Cummer took it away. He brought back only a CD player with a CD of songs he remembered Gretsch liked, except this time the songs didn't get broken up by the mean stuff that made Gretsch sad.
They said Gretsch was a baby killer.
"It's a long weekend," Father Cummer opened his mouth big and made a sound of blowing air as he stretched out his long giant body in the flowery chair.
Father Cummer told Gretsch he was so big because he played this game called football when he was smaller.
He wore these brown colored sheets of cloth and his hair was yellow and looked like the fur from birds and the hair floated around easily.
"No class till Tuesday."
Father Cummer made this class called Philosophy of God at a place called University. Many people called students sat around and listened to him say the same things he said to Gretsch and they made letters of everything he said.
Gretsch wrapped a circle of itself around the piece of floor marked with new words.
"Who's Brintz?" Father Cummer stood up to look closer at the spots, "you messing with me?"
He took the glass off his face and looked at it without them.
"You've made your first joke," Father Cummer made a big laugh and almost touched Gretsch with his flat hand and Gretsch tried to make itself smaller so his hand wouldn't touch but Father Cummer pulled it back.
Gretsch was stupid. It made mistake. How could it forget that Father Cummer didn't know that cat was called Brintz. It should have made the letters Cat Touch Kids. It would take so long now but it would have to make new letters for Father Cummer to see the next time.
Father Cummer sat down and put the glass on his eyes.
"Gretsch I have plans tonight," he said, "let's cut this visit short."
"Us fathers are going to the Quarter for Southern Decadence."
Gretsch didn't know what Southern Decadence was but it remembered the Quarter was the place that Father Cummer always came back from giggling.
"I have to get some papers graded."
"Remember I was telling you about penance? Like how some people have fake guilt, and they pray, and some people have real guilt and they hurt themselves."
Gretsch remembered the penance Father Cummer talked about but he always put so much in his speeches Gretsch couldn't let it all dissolve into itself.
"Father McCord was telling me about this longshoreman named Kit Latura. You don't need to know what that is," he said, "all that matters is that he was cheating on his wife."
Father Cummer shook his head at the floor.
"You would not believe how guilty Kit felt," he said, "according to Father McCord, Kit paid a doctor to take a loose piece of flesh hanging off his ass and make it into a butt pocket. You know what Kit did with that pocket?"
"He cut his dick off and stuck it in there."
Gretsch did not understand why this was so special a penance? It could make parts of itself come off all the time even bubble off in the heat.
Father Cummer sat and looked at Gretsch.
He stood up and walked to the CD player.
"Should I press play?"
It wanted music so bad.
Father Cummer pressed play.
Gretsch heard the scraping the CD makes and then the music.
Father Cummer waved to Gretsch and unstuck the door.
When the light from outside was gone, Gretsch made it so it only thought of music.
It was not sad that Father Cummer left.
Gretsch felt bad in a different way.
It didn't make Father Cummer know about the kids.
It didn't make Father Cummer stop Brintz.
Gretsch hurt on purpose by letting the pictures in its mind come out.
The music made it worse.
Songs make meaner pictures than anything else and the words inside this song were the meanest.
They talked about Gretsch's accident.
I was standing.
You were there.
Two worlds colliding.
They could never tear us apart...
Gretsch was outside with Father Cummer, sitting on this thing called grass.
Father Cummer said grass was nice.
Gretsch wished he could feel it but when he went on the grass it all melted.
Bunnings was outside too.
He was small like a cat.
He went around on his hands and legs.
He made his hands bang together and made laughs at everything.
His eyes were this color called brown that was so nice and soft.
Gretsch didn't understand why if everyone else was scared of it why this one called Bunnings wasn't.
Father Cummer carried Bunnings around and talked to him funny. The big people called his parents were scared of Gretsch but Father Cummer said Bunnings was safe with him while they went to a place called Wynn Dixie.
Gretsch watched Bunnings and bubbled up inside because it felt so good. It felt together with Father Cummer and Bunnings. It thought that being this thing called a monster wasn't always bad. When two people thought you were good, nobody else's thoughts mattered.
Father Cummer made Bunnings fly through the air, Bunnings made laughs, and smiles that were so much like the thing called sun.
Father Cummer put Bunnings on the grass.
Bunnings made his hands go in it, pulled up the green broken pieces, and smacked his hands together.
Gretsch oozed away.
Bunnings made his funny walk like a cat, went closer to Gretsch, and made a big smile.
Gretsch wished Father Cummer would take Bunnings away.
Father Cummer didn't look.
He poured into his mouth from a metal box. There was rum alcohol in it.
It made Father Cummer act happy.
But he needed to look at Gretsch.
Bunnings made his hand go out.
Smaller, Gretsch made himself smaller.
Bunnings was so close.
"gretsch gretsch gretsch..."
Bunnings made a bad sound then Father Cummer looked.
Gretsch couldn't help it; it rushed over Bunnings's body in waves. There was burning and steaming and Bunnings's mouth filled with Gretsch and he made no sounds and the soft parts of his face were all gone and the white hard part called skull dissolved.
Gretsch made the eating go faster, it made Bunnings melt so he wouldn't feel it.
Father Cummer pulled on the parts of Bunnings called feet.
They came away alone with red.
Father Cummer made the worst sounds.
Gretsch made new words, the most complicated and favorite mix of words he ever made. Gretsch knew they were words that would make Father Cummer understand.
Gretsch slimed over the blinds covering the front two windows.
It saw lesbos outside sucking on white sticks with smoke coming out of their mouths. Their mouths moved.
One of them had a thing stuck on their ear called a phone.
Gretsch thought, shut up Gretsch doesn't care what you say, that is what Father Cummer said when they made mean words at him.
Father Cummer said lesbos always made mean words at priests.
It left the front windows, letting the shades stay messed.
It wanted all the light in.
It didn't care if people were scared. They were always scared of Gretsch.
Gretsch was too scared to watch Brintz since it saw the bad thing but Gretsch knew that not looking didn't make bad things go away.
Gretsch slimed the side window and went to look in the room.
Brintz did bad things.
He made this thing called a dance.
The boy with the glass on his face sat on the floor with all his clothes off.
Brintz took the glass off the boy's face, put it on his own, and made more of his dance.
Gretsch could see the boy had red all between his legs and he had water on his eyes.
The other kids, called girls, looked sad with water in their eyes.
Gretsch wondered if Brintz touched all kids or just this boy.
Brintz took in his paw a bended piece of metal that opened and closed like a mouth and bitted it on to the boy's part between his legs.
The boy made high sounds and crumpled up.
Brintz made laughing sounds and made his paw twist back and forth. The light bounced off the glass rocks on the five-finger ring and onto the girls' eyes. They made their eyes close up and Brintz made more laughing sounds.
Gretsch was scared when Brintz took a thin purple stick and made the boy take his part out again.
Brintz took the metal mouth off the part and slid the purple stick inside the part's mouth. When the stick was half gone, Brintz took a blue box out and made fire in it. He stuck the box of fire against the tip of the purple stick and many sparks came out of it in a big ball.
Gretsch made the blinds shake so much and the boy made sounds louder and louder.
Gretsch made the blinds shake too loud.
Brintz puffed out his mouth and emptied it to make the sparks go away.
Then Brintz looked at the window.
He looked right at Gretsch and closed his eye into this thing called a wink and opened it again. Then he made his paw go up, stuck it in the air, and did what Father Cummer called pointing.
Brintz was stupid.
He thought it was okay to point at Gretsch.
Gretsch bubbled and felt a bad feeling that was meaner than sadness.
Something Father Cummer never told it about.
The lesbos made loud sounds as the first part of it slipped into the outside light.
Gretsch made itself flat because the space below the door was tiny.
It went slow.
Over each step, splatters of Gretsch burned steamy holes into the wood.
The lesbos voices were loud.
Gretsch saw one talking to her phone.
"That thing..." she said.
The person on the phone would only need to know that. Gretsch knew if she called the cops it would be good. It would be good for them to bring the alcohol.
It slipped off the steps and the grass sizzled under it.
Gretsch oozed over the grass and left a wide trail behind it.
The police came so fast when people screamed about Gretsch.
It finished the grass, touched the gravel, and heard a hiss sound come from the windowsill.
Brintz made his curved nails sticks out far from his paw and the fur on him moved far away from his body.
Brintz's eyes were mean.
Brintz made cat sounds.
Gretsch heard the screaming that the police cars made.
Gretsch slimed up the side of the house to Brintz but he was so high.
There was lots of banging and Gretsch looked away from Brintz.
Two cops in their blue shirts ran.
They held the red water gun that looked made from bubbles.
It said the word NOPD on it.
They came close to Gretsch.
"Get away from that cat!"
They didn't know how easy it was for Gretsch to eat them.
The alcohol wouldn't be fast enough to stop that.
They made it spray on Gretsch.
It stretched as much as it could before the alcohol made Gretsch like thin water.
Brintz stuck his paw at Gretsch and yelled in his cat words but Gretsch couldn't reach.
The police kept yelling and more alcohol came.
Gretsch was so small now.
Gretsch made a part shoot out like a rope and it only splashed some burning drops on Brintz.
It couldn't get Brintz.
Brintz scratched at Gretsch's rope.
He made screeches.
His fur turned purple, wet, and steaming.
It was easy for Gretsch to dissolve the paw and spread over the rest of the fur.
Brintz made all his cat talk and singing, louder than Gretsch ever heard.
The cops sprayed and sprayed until it was a puddle.
Gretsch was going away and it wasn't sad.
It had Brintz together with itself.
They could never tear it apart.