Colten Yuzicapi

Big Lie project for Film 311, January 24, 2011
It was declared by father, “a significant moment.” So on the side of the road the family took position in front of the camera. If only he knew how right he was. Together they waited for the timer to end.

For the past two days the entire town unknowingly digested the remains of Caleb Dawson. He tasted a lot like Iodine. The desert was a strange place.

Caleb’s body- was for the most part – not important at least not to Aaron because Aaron was certain a siren had begun to call his name. She sang a twisted tune just for Aaron. Aaron was sick. And being in the heat did not help his state of mind. If anything the heat made the siren louder –more prominent in Aaron’s head.

His arms felt heavy. The tips of his fingers tingled and when balled his hand into a fist he believed they didn’t belong to him. He was a stranger in his own body.

Aaron just needed some water.

A year ago, in the summer, Aaron had- for some reason- jumped off the top of a two story building and fallen into a dumpster. When he emerged he discovered a large gash on the right side of his neck. The skin had just peeled off. The wound stemmed from the bottom of his ear lobe down to his collar. Rather than go to the hospital Aaron crafted a homemade bandage out of duct tape and toilet paper. He did not remove the bandage for fourteen days.

That was just Aaron. No one questioned what he did.

On the morning of the fifteenth day Aaron tore his bandage off. A layer of dirt and grime outlined the unexposed skin and in the centre- the focal point- a thin scab had formed.
The scab caused Aaron a lot of discomfort. It would easily break whenever Aaron moved his head to far to the right. It was itchy and dry. So Aaron would scratch the scab and then it would bleed. Fuzz would creep into the crevice of the wound. He would spend hours picking out the fuzz.

Aaron hated his fuzzy neck.

Over time Aaron’s scab had become tough. It was thick. The scab had caused the skin on his neck and shoulder blade to tighten. Out of fear of tearing the scab Aaron stopped moving his neck. He kept his head titled sideways. It was painful.

In his bedroom at his mirror Aaron looked at his slanted reflection. He imagined a siren singing his name. He thought his mouth was dry. It was at that moment Aaron decided he was through with his scab. He was done with it. He picked at the one end, slowly. It was stiff. It did not bend. It hurt. Aaron’s mouth watered from the stinging sensation. Finally he got to a point where he could stick the tip of his fingernail in between the scab and unformed flesh. So Aaron pulled. And pulled. Small strings of skin clung to the bottom of his scab. Aaron made no noise. He internalized the pain. The scab began to bleed. He kept pulling but the strings would not break. So Aaron ran down to the kitchen grabbed a knife and over the sink he cut them off one by one and. Still attached to his neck the skin lay limp like elastic bands.

And still the siren sang. He really needed some water.

When it was done-completed- the right side of his neck was pink. He held the scab in his hand. It reminded him of a locust. A small breeze brought a burning sensation to Aaron’s neck and for the first time in a long time Aaron cried. He felt worse than before. Aaron- the little bitch- couldn’t handle the heat.

Every month Aaron’s scab reformed and every month Aaron tore his scab off. It was his ritual- his secret. Eventually Aaron felt no pain. And over time Aaron moved his neck however he pleased.

Aaron told this to Caleb Dawson minutes before Caleb’s death as they climbed the water tower ladder. Caleb was alarmed by this revelation but Caleb told himself that was just Aaron being Aaron. Caleb never questioned what Aaron did.

Caleb promised Aaron that breaking into the water tower would be cool. That it was worth it. It would be fun.

Inside the water tower the two of them stood on steel grate which ran along the edge of the room. Below them black water splashed as it spun in a circle. The air swayed in the direction of the water. In the centre of the room a funnel of water formed. The room was humid. A few dead birds littered a section of the grate near the railing. They lay limp like elastic bands. Against the wall near the dead birds was a nest. Birds were living inside the water tower. Many of them escaped but the stupid ones did not.

They were being purged.

The most unfortunate birds were the ones who fell down the funnel of water. And for the second time in a short while Aaron cried again. Caleb laughed at Aaron. He called Aaron stupid.

Aaron did not give much thought to his actions when he pushed Caleb over the railing. He reacted on instinct. Caleb was just another scab- another locust.

The desert was a strange place. The hood of the car glared in the sun as it traveled down the dirt road. The siren became louder. A cloud of dirt followed the car. The cop’s lights flashed: red, blue, red, blue. The siren was singing Aaron’s name. The cops were coming for him.

Aaron’s head ached. It hurt because Aaron refused to drink water for two days. He could not bring himself to drink Caleb and the birds. He told himself it was gross but really he just felt guilty. Aaron had watched Caleb drown. He had heard him scream. And then Aaron walked home - alone. He had lost his only friend over a few dead birds.

Aaron wanted to cry -he really did. He didn’t want to leave his bed. He thought about confessing. He thought about his scab.

Aaron watched as the cops approached the family with caution. They waited for the picture to be taken. It was very polite of them. Afterwards Aaron confessed. He said it was wrong. So the two cops took Aaron away. His mother cried. She didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of having her eldest son arrested for murder.

So Father was right. It was a significant moment. The family was finally purged.