Day 12: His Whispers

Prompt:

Read something and write the first thing that pops into your mind.

His Whispers:

He whispered this thing in his sleep and I ground my teeth. I can’t remember what the word was now, thinking back. Angelina or Jasmine, maybe; probably. It had the curl and frill that bitches’ names had. Francine possibly. I didn’t know who she was, but it didn’t matter; we weren’t dating or married or anything really, he and I.

He grinned slow, lazy and rolled onto my side of the bed. His fingers knit in the pillow case under his face. I sat on the chair across from him biting the inside of my cheek, trying not to think. I didn’t want to cry or maybe I just wanted to break that vase over his head—end it all. That particular vase was a gift from him and it sat on my night stand, mocking me. The faint glow from the sun coming through my curtains made the white vase glow orange. Recently picked flowers, jagged and plucked by hand from wherever, casted a long shadow over the dresser. He probably stole it out of someone else’s garden, staggering through decorated lawns to my home. He brought it to impress me. Or maybe to apologize. His green, droopy eyes opened in that idle way it did after he’d been awake a while but didn’t want to get out of bed.

“Come here.” He demanded.

He never asked for anything; he mandated it. I followed along behind him when it was harmless, but yesterday, he got drunk and climbed into my bed. He felt me up under the pajama top that my mother bought me. It had little cartoon pineapples on it.

“How’d you get in?” He smiled and rolled over to give me his back, when I asked. I reached over and tugged on his ear. Instead of jolting he grabbed my arm, “Why are you still here?”

I yanked back, and he didn’t resist. The spot where he’d touched me was warm with sleep. This was probably how he liked to ensnare women. He probably liked to hold—I had to do something with my hands to stop myself from thinking. I looked to the vase and past it, to keep myself from throwing the vase out of the window and screaming at him. I picked up his jeans, crumpled up next to the night stand, then his keys and wallet and I tossed them into the bed. He turned onto his back.

“If you have a hangover y–”

“I don’t have a hangover–”

You can take the medicine in the kitchen as you get out.”

I folded my arms at the foot of the bed, and he looked up at me the way he did when he thought someone would see it his way. He swung his feet off the bed and started to put on his jeans

“You don’t make any sense, Elma.” He was taking his sweet time putting his feet into the pant legs. I already had my back to him. I was picking up the same item and putting it down in another place, pretending to clean, to keep from thinking. Does the candle go on the dresser or in the bathroom?

“He was a loser, wasn’t he? Only a loser would—”

“Fuck off, Jack.” I said over my shoulder, slamming the candle on the dresser, “Give the fucking key to me.” He rolled his eyes, sighed, and made a huge production out of removing the key from the link. He tossed it to me and I flipped it over in my hand

“That’s my key so now we’re even.” I looked at it for a moment. If he wanted to give me this then why—I clamped my eyes closed. This is just what he does: entraps. I threw it across the room to the pile of laundry.

“Why do you ever come around with these stupid stunts to get my attention? You obviously couldn’t care less about me.”

He shrugged his shoulders at first. With hands heavy on his knees, he stood up like an old man might. He turned to me as he tugged his pants up over his grey boxers and buttoned them. I looked at the ground on my right and fiddled with the hem of the pineapple pajama. I could feel him standing close to me. I could stare him down forever, but I knew I shouldn’t.

“Believe it or not I might actually love you.”

And then we both laughed. I looked up at the crinkles at the ends of his eyes instead of at his mouth. He was young somehow with lines like that one his face. Maybe he smiled too much or used his mouth to please too much. Maybe he was too full of shit. I turned out of the room and into the kitchen. He followed. The kitchen was painted blue because he thought orange was too gaudy. I went along with it because it seemed innocent enough at the time. When I see it now—when I dwell too much on things that have been long gone—I remember he shouldn’t get to make decisions in a home that doesn’t belong to him. I poured a glass of juice and put an aspirin next to it.

“Not hung-over.”

“Then get out.”

His lazy eyes were on my back, as I put the juice back into the fridge and the air got heavy with silence.

“May, the Jewish girl.” That was the word. That’s right. I did know her, “She saw me at the party and she was hot believe you me.” I smiled thinking back to when May used to be called Vivian. She had brown hair and was always in the pleated kinds of skirts. See, at the time I had a thing for pleated skirts so we got to second base at one of her friend’s birthday parties, “Goin on and on about some guy so I did what any gentleman would do.” He was talking and as usual I didn’t understand why he ever told me any of these things. I could guess, but I didn’t want to, “I pulled her hair back like this—oh by the way she dyed black.” His step sister, Joanne, had black hair. She pulled it back like that, “Eyebrows and puss too! Just the way I like it—and then I just—”

“Please, Jack. Get out.” I knew a thousand things I could say to him to hurt him, and they crossed my mind, but I didn’t say them, “One of those guys at the police station owes me a favor.” I traced the wood lines on the counter with my finger

“Because you sucked his blue uniformed dick?”

He was mad now. Something about being okay without him made him volatile. I was mad too. Livid, even. Something about him talking about me having sex with other people made me crazy.

“Yes and he fucked like a firefighter. He might have wanted to be a firefighter once, but he’s a cop now.”

That made him smile, but he didn’t put on his shoes. They were neatly placed under the coffee table. I stared at them and counted the ridges on the side.

“You’ve got to admit what this is sooner or later, Elma.”

I stopped talking. He never listened when I—whenever I bring up anyone he would—I focused on counting again. He eventually left. His ego could only endure being ignored for so long. I called the lock smith for my building and they said they’d change them by Tuesday. He likely wouldn’t be back for a week.

I needed a shower. The water slid through my hair and onto my scalp and I tried not to dwell, but there was nothing to distract me. There was only me, naked in there, with the white walls and white tiles. I had counted the tiles before so I knew how many there were. I tried tracing them with the tip of my nose, but it had already started, rough and coughing like. I curled over and slammed my fist on the porcelain, choking and dribbling into the shower head. I hated him so much. So much.

“I think about you all day, Elma.” He whispered into my ear when he climbed into my bed. His arm were strangley warm as they slid over my stomach to grab hold of my chest. I knew it was him. He had broken in before. He rubbed his briefs hard into my back. It woke me up properly. I turned around, head now niched in the crook of his arm. The room was dim and only street lights from way off lit the room through the curtains. He smelled like whiskey and lemon juice. Our breaths were mingling. He always had this way of staring into my eyes without saying anything. He pulled his hand back from under my shirt and just stared at me. He inched in a bit closer.

“If you kiss me, you bastard, you better marry me.” The words came out. I almost took them back, but his eyes searched my lips and then back up to my eyes. He kissed his teeth.

“Don’t be so stingy.” He shook playfully and I rolled my eyes.

“Stop fucking around then.”

“I’ll marry you if you say you love me.” He stopped shaking, speaking suddenly. He was serious now. This was the game we played. Let’s make the other do something they hate.

“I’ll say it if you are honest to me for once.”

“I don’t love you, Elma.” Our noses were touching now.

“Then why are you here?” I knew this, but I needed him to—he was making this so hard on me.

“If you know the answer to your question, why do you need me to say it to marry you to kiss you?” And then he kissed me soft and innocent like a child just learning.

“I want a winter wedding.” I said, taking his arm to wrap it around me.

He called me later, after my shower. I dried my hair and my face, swollen now from crying. I crouched in my chair, biting my cheek. Blood flowed into my mouth. The phone vibrated and I knew it was him calling to say something awful. He would say something that will make me count the drops of water plopping from hair. I answered.

“I’d marry May before I ever marry you.” were the first words out of his mouth.

I laughed to myself. He was right.

“Why don’t you crawl back up into Joanne’s vagina?” And then I hung up and regretted it.

He was back at my place the next week. When he knocked on the door I knew he’d tried his key and that made me feel dark, smile, and count my steps to the door. He looked like he’d gotten into a fight. His once straight cropped, black hair was matted and covered in sweat. His knuckles were bruised or bleeding and his shirt color was stained from yellow to orange. I couldn’t stop myself quickly enough so I looked concerned and he smirked.

“You changed the locks.” He shoved his way inside.

“You knew I would.” I locked the door and turned around and he was right at my back. I jumped, “Jesus, Jack! What is wro—” He took hold of my face and kissed me. My brain ran off the tracks. Why—why—has he finally—One two three pecks and 4 loooong and hard—He was crazy, but I was laughing and pushing him back to look in his eyes properly. I wanted to be sure.

“I’ve decided that we should get married.” He spoke before I could see, turning on his heels away from me. He was pacing the floor like a man waiting for his wife in the hospital and—I hadn’t seen him this excited in a long time.

“What happened to you?” And he stared at me for a moment too long before he continued

“So I slept this man at a bar.” He started, grinning like he had a big secret.

“Bullshit. You did not sleep with a guy. What’s going on?” My arms hung dumbly to my sides and I balled my fists.

“Slaaappped! I slept him.” He drew out the words and then giggled. He rushed up to me and squeezed my tits like some 8 year old with a toy, “It was these. You were so bitter then the—the fight, and I was being wheeled back to the hospital, but then it dawned on me!”

Oh.

I watched him as he paced away from me, blood dribbling out of the back of his head. Bruises and scuffs all over. I had to realize this silly man had gotten my hopes up. My eyes stung. I picked up my phone and dialed. When I gave them my address he stopped and turned at me

“What is wrong with you, Elma? Can’t you just accept what I’m saying and marry me goddammit?!” He raised his voice to new heights and his face grew wrinkles. I could feel the neighbors dialing the police. I crossed my arms and tried not to—not to in front of him—in front of anyone except this…man, “Henry has been dead for 11 years, Elma. We aren’t young anymore. Why won’t you let me—” I grabbed his shirt in my hand. It was quite the sight: a man, nearly two heads taller than me and a hell of a lot stronger, being pulled down to face me.

“Did you know that 15 years ago Henry had an asthma attack when I asked him when you’d be getting there?” I was angry, heartbroken, “We waited at that restaurant for hours, Jack. I thought I was waiting for you. He thought that you had given me to him!” I was crying. He saw, “Henry and I dated because you forced us like you force everything! I thought I was—I thought you’d be—I was fucking wrong.”

And I let him go. And for a long moment Jack stared at me without saying a single thing. I wasn’t looking at him anymore. I was looking at my palms.

“Don’t even pretend you didn’t love him.” He said it so softly that it didn’t even sound like it came out of him

“I didn’t love him!” I screamed louder than I wanted. And I could hear the neighbors dialing faster. I breathed hard and lowered my voice, “But at least I didn’t hate him.”

We heard the sirens. Lucky for the paramedics, I had taken the fight right out of him.

He stayed at the hospital for a while. They said it wasn’t serious, but I don’t believe them. I’d never seen him like how he was when he was pacing and kissing me in front of my door.  I sat in the chair across from him. The wrinkles were on his face when he didn’t think I could see him. They were gone now.

“I slept with Joanne on the Friday before my parent’s wedding to stop it. They waited forever to tie the knot. I hated the idea of them being together and happy.” I knew this story and he knew I knew it, “Sometimes I think about how shitty a person I must be to do that. They didn’t get married because of me and I was actually proud of that. I think of how scummy I am to be proud of something so awful and now—and now that’s when I think of you. You make me feel scummy, Elma. Every time I see you face. Every single time.” I nodded and took his hand. He grabbed hold tight, and looked away

“About Henry—” He started, “It was us wasn’t it?” His shoulders shook gently

“Jack—”

“It was us and you and I shouldn’t be here together, Elma.” I could just catch a glimpse of the wrinkles on his cheeks, “We should be miserable and—”

“Henry was selfish!” I screamed over him, clenching his hand and my eyes, “He did that to hurt us! You said it yourself! He was a—” I was ashamed of the words I said, “And we are—we are getting married this winter.”

He didn’t turn around but he laid down tightly holding my hand. He fell asleep muttering about Angelicas and Vivian’s and I ground my teeth.

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Day 11: Mannikin

Prompt:

Then, write a 250- to 500-word fictional scene that includes this line: That changes everything. (Note: you can’t do this wrong… use it as a prompt. Wherever it takes you (even to other characters that aren’t related to Alpert’s story is fine or a story that doesn’t include the prompt)

Mannikin:

They don’t hide, which is what confused me. They let us dress them up and paint their faces. We make them pose, smile, and frown in plaid and khakis. I felt ashamed putting the taller, wide shouldered, man in the small green polo, khaki, and slippers.

“I’m sorry.” I pulled his collar and rested my hands on his chest, “I wouldn’t do this to you if I had a choice.”

“Please.” He started, relaxing his stiff body for a moment. Color came to his cheeks, bluish and light under the pasty white. My eyes met his with cold, hard seriousness. He stiffened again, “Plea—”

“Don’t give them a reason.” I glanced around the room. No one seemed to be around in the summer section this early in the morning. The aisles were waxed nearly transparent and the racks were aligned and quiet, “I didn’t know you all could actually speak our language.” I turned my back to the hind camera, adjusting his belt buckle and hushing my voice.

His eye trailed onto mine, but he didn’t speak. He just watched me, tug on his pants and lower it a bit to make it urban. He swallowed hard. It wasn’t until then I’d realized how their eyes moved around so freely. Maybe if I’d noticed that maybe I would have thought that was how they spoke to each other.

Later that night, I rolled a piece of clay in my hand trying to remember how his face looked. He was very straight nosed and had this long sloping jaw—European jock looking but obviously not. The clay rolled in my palm and I decided what I wanted was to talk to him. I didn’t want to be stupid about it so I waited until the summer was over and they were replacing the display with the more childish, festive young ones. They looked great in coats and stockings.

“Don’t panic.” I said stacking his light body in the back storage locker with the rest of them. They had changed him into a button down in blue and black plait at this point and he looked almost cool. I pulled the door behind me and turned on a flashlight. He grabbed me and slammed my back against the rusty lining of the metal box.

“Please!” His voice came through again, this time lower and pained. I pointed the flashlight at his white face, blue veins traveling to his eyes and green globs streaks coming from his eyes. I wanted to scream, but if I did they’d know I locked myself in here with them. I’d more than lose my job, “Please.” His smooth, plastic hands clenched mine.

For a long moment we stood there and he whispered the word over and again and I felt my heart break; I didn’t know why. I was sure this was why they never let us talk to them. I made a mistake coming there. (493)

Day 5: Red

Prompt:

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Red: 

His eyes were red, fixated on the door handle. When he’d said it blood filled his face and nearly exploding out. He stared at the man next to him in he car, Eddie. His eyes were widened with fear again. Dan wasn’t looking forward to the rest of the goddamn drive, but he wasn’t about to listen Eddie whine anymore

“I’m trying to protect you, you stupid little fuck!” Dan’s head ached, he hadnt brought his migraine medicine and this drive wasn’t even halfway through, “why do you have to make it so hard for me?!” Eddie stared back almost blankly, the fear creeping up in his eyes as he scanned Dan subtly

“you aren’t going to be able to help me….you should it’s let me go already! You’re barely holding yourself together!”

Day 4: Boom

A/N: I am so sorry about my lapse in the last few days. Finals has been me writing literally 6 essays. I’m mostly finished with them. In return i will be writing an especially long piece today. I know it doesn’t make up for it…but still here.

Prompt:

Song Inspiration: Super Bass

Boom:

It started with the light rapping in the back. It wasn’t coming from under the stack of papers on her desk. The chair creaked back as Allison peered down the aisle from in her cubicle. It’s was surprising that she could hear the sound at all; the office was a loud and busy place. The phone was pressed against her ear and an older woman was muttering about maybe wax sculptures. The rapping wasn’t coming from the receiver. The beat was familiar but it slipped around her head. The chair jerked back suddenly and Allison’s heart was in her throat and she yelped and threw the phone. Hand on her chest, she breathed and regained herself. Mike, the guy across the aisle, was gawking at her but like most things he sighed about it and went back to tap tap taping on his calculator. How old had that calculator had to be to tap tap tap like that. Better yet, why was he using a physical calculator? It wasn’t the 80s.

The rap-a-tat-tat came again and Allison was standing up and peering over her cubicle’s shared wall with Wally. Wally was creaking back in her chair, head hanging back, long black hair a river to the ground. Their eyes met but neither said a thing for a long time.

“Is there a weird sound.” Allison finally said, her phantom hair tickling her face. She swiped hair that wasn’t there.

“You yelped.” Wally smirked her alluring smirk. She had a way of hitting on everyone that was both charming and scary. She was very good at making the lady workers giggle nervously and cover their mouths and cheeks.

“I mean something like a-a tap tap like someone on a book with their um hands.” Allison swiped the phantom hair again, “Forget it. It-it was stupid. Forget it.”

“Nah. Sorry Alli, no secret book band hiding over here.” Then she smiled and her olive skin glowed, “But i have a serious question for you.” She folded her arms in front of her chest, the buttons on her oxford  stretching. Allison could see that Wally’s bra was black. Wally smiled, “Are you busy later today after work?”

Allison wasn’t busy. She had things to do, but that didn’t mean she had to busy

“I’m not particularly busy, what’s up?” Allison was trying to sound aloof and “cool”

Wally laughed, “What is up is that i was wondering if you wanted to get dinner. i know this pretty average Japanese restaurant that i’m dying to hate.” Then Wally flipped the hair behind her ear and Allison smiled. She nodded and slipped back over onto her side of her cubicle. She picked up her receiver and the old woman was still going on about some man named Sam Jinks. Allison was grinning like a fool and caught sight of Mike looking over at her. He sighed and tapped again.

“Alli.” Wally’s voice came from above her head. Wally’s black hair flowed down the shared wall, “My number.” Allison took it with a nod and a point to her receiver, “Have fun.”and Wally’s hair slid back over to her side.

Allison gets out of work at exactly 7 pm every day. She usually has to turn her forms to her boss ten minutes early, punch out, gather her files and things, before she could actually get out. Allison has got the perfect cocktail for leaving precisely at 7. She didn’t know if  she should wait at her desk for Wally to finished or at the door or at her cubicle.

“Meet you at the exit in twenty.” The text came in on Allison’s phone as she finished putting her coat on. Allison smiled and headed towards the exit.

It was colder than the weather channel had told Allison. She kicked her feet on the concrete, the tap tap taping coming back to her. Oh that’s right. She found herself thinking. She shuffled through her bag and her pockets. It had to be something she was carrying around. The question was from–

“Sorry, Ellen thinks that my–you lost something?” Wally had materialized suddenly next to Allison and she jumped, “Okaaay?”

“No. I mean. I haven’t lost anything. What were you saying about Ellen?”

Wally put her hands in her pockets slowly, a sly smile on her lips. She didn’t say anything. She just started walking and Allison followed along.

“We’ll take my car. It’s not too far.” And Wally slipped into the front seat.

When Allison sat down in the car next to this cool woman she suddenly realized she was confused. This was Wally and they had only spoken a few times and about work stuff. She had no idea how to even begin speaking to such a woman. Allison kept stealing glances and rubbing her palms on her pants. Wally seemed like an elite working a job much below her. The car was clean and new smelling and expensive. Her clothes were probably expensive too. Allison didn’t know anything about cars or clothes, but she knew that elites had expensive versions of the things she had bought at bargain places. Allison sighed and fiddled with her fingers then she was wiping her sweat into her pants again. Hard to breathe suddenly. She had to be at least 30 and–

“What are you thinking about?”

“Oh-um just um Japanese food. Haven’t ever had it.” Allison laughed.

Wally looked Allison in the eyes for a moment, smiling. Allison couldn’t break herself away from the dark eyeliner sweeping under her slim brown eyes.

“Well this place is probably going to change your life.” And they were seated in the restaurant, cheap seats and men rushing around in aprons. The ground was bare and un-tiled and the staff were squeezing through the tiny spaces in between the tables. Allison couldn’t help but notice that Wally seemed so out of place.

“Alright. What do you want, staring at me like that?” The way Wally eyes curled when she said that meant that she meant it.

“I-i wanted to know…it’s not–i don’t know how to say it.” Sweaty palms.

“I’m an only child. MY parents are married. I’m left handed. I just saved up my checks for 3 years and bought that car you were in.” She listed off a few things and flicked back her black hair, “Stop me when i hit the answer to the question”

“Oookay.” Allison didn’t know what to do.

“I live in a small apartment down the hall from you, but i’ve never come over and said hello. You are always gone in the morning before i get there and back home before i get off of work.” She leaned forward, her pink goat on her lap, making her face glow pink, Allison’s eyes widened, “Sometimes i hear you listening to soccer in your back yard, grilling hot dogs, yelling to your friend on the phone. Yelling pretty loudly too.” Allison is covering her cheeks and looking down

“It’s called football.” Allison found herself mumbling into her hands.

The waiter came suddenly and Allison was waving and saying she’d have the same as what she was having.

“Is that why you invited me to eat?” Allison started, fiddling now with the forks in the tight napkin.

“No. I just hate coming to restaurants alone.”

The tap tap taping suddenly started up again. Where in the world–Allison started shuffling through her purse.

Day 3: Balls

Prompt: 

JIngle Balls (As the french call them)

Jingle

He didn’t like the way his father twisted and tinkered with the ornaments. It made him uncomfortable sitting across from his younger sister dressed in pink and red frilled dress. She looked so very upset, arms cross, and cheeks red from pouting so furiously. She had this absent look in her eyes like she’d forgotten why she’d gotten so cross but was too committed to her frown to stop now. His father twisted the green striped on over and again, the tree shaking and flaking. His mother walked over every so often in her black high heels sweeping the shedding under under the fake snow. She looked very sophisticated in her black dress, but his father always got so cross when mother looked so curvy.

The second ball ornament slid down the string and collided with the green stripped one, crushing a popcorn in the middle.

“Juan-Carlos!” His father’s voice came suddenly almost like he’d turned around and rushed at him with both arms. He was standing facing the tree his green sweater facing the boy. Juan-Carlos lept up and rushed, palms up to help, “Hold these!”

Juan-Carlos cradled the two balls in one hand and his cheeks grew red. Two red balls in his hands. He wanted to giggle. Make a snide comment the frills on his sister dress, the black heels on his mother, and the sweater on his father kept his kravatte tie tighten like a noose around his neck. Sweat globbed up on his hand and is father glared at him for a moment looked at his red face.

“Help your mother.” And he snatched the balls, separating them into two separate hands

Day 2: Coming

Prompt:

A coming of Age about a boy with a beard

Scrubs:

The other guys couldn’t take pride in the stubble that Doug was admiring unknowingly with his fingers. The Middle School students had watched him wander around scratching and pulling at the little hairs, and they had too started rubbing red marks into their soft chins. Doug had a special gift. A gift that the college student peering into his bathroom mirror, groaning and shaving away the light soft patchy bits would die to to have been blessed with. Doug had a naturally scraggly beard. The matted, long, black hair, turning up and around. It tickled his nose durning P.E., face reddened and damp with sweat. He hated the hair. It made him sweat more than his friends. WHen he wiped his face it scratched his arm. The girls never liked to talk to him. They thought he was weird. Little did Doug know, It wasn’t nearly as hairy as it would get in high school. What he had now was stubble. In 4 years when he was lopping it off every weekend or every day when he got that managerial position at the local office supply warehouse it would be a beard.

Fightin

The first time I met Korbin he punched me right the mouth. It surprised me. I punch him right on back in the mouth, much harder. I had just finished telling him that I’d done some fighting in high school and one of his drunk, slutty looking friends dared him to punch me. He was there with his hand on his swollen mouth giggling like a fool. I started laughing too.

“I fucking hate this movie.” Korbin started, a few days ago.

Liz seems to think that this was the moment that everything had gone to hell. See, I love this movie and Korb knows that. He’s grinning on the couch, legs crossed, tryin’ to piss me off. I glance at him for a moment and keep on watchin until he gets uncomfortable and starts askin me what what what. Then I’m smiling cause I’m pissin him off.

I turn my attention back to the movie

“Why do you have to always watch this fucking trashy movie?” He put a bit of ichor in his words, tryin to hold back his smile to appear genuine–and part of him really is–but his half smile is comin through.

Because I love to make you angry.

I say it soft because the movie is getting to the point where people start crying. I love that part. He mutters bullshit.

After a little while of him being strangely quiet i glance over. He’s all frowns. This guy… I really meant what I said so I wasn’t going to apologize. Not that I ever apologized to Korbin.

“Fight me.” He says it low and upset. I don’t say anything even though I know he’s serious. He jumps up and takes off his jacket and throws it at Liz who’s sitting all silence on the chair next to the couch.

Lizzie was Korbin’s new squeeze. I’d say girlfriend, but when I think that way I want to kill him

“Come on!” He’s jumping around and socking the air wildly. I paused the movie and stood up. I was about a head taller than he was and wider. I pushed the table back and out of the way of the bedroom. He was all smiles again, now that my movie was paused.

“Liz, ref.” He said, eyes on me.

She got up and tucked her phone in her tight jeans. She was a beautiful girl and sexy as all hell on a platter, but Korbin and I didn’t notice. At least not that day.

As usual he rushed right in at the ding ding ding Liz made. Face face face, wide swing, body body body. I took a step back, absorbing a few shots and dodging others. He was laughing and

breathing hard already. He went in again and again until I swung in low and then crossed his face. He flopped over to my bed, for a moment, out of of it. Liz climbed up on the bed and he was grumbling about being fine. I sat down on the bed next to him

“Fucking fantastic.” Korbin said kicking the back of his legs on the base of my bed, “Liz, we’re breaking up.”

He looked at her right in face, completely serious when he said that. She watched him hard for a second and nodded. She hauled off and punched him right in the nose. Fucking fantastic. And then she smiled and said her goodbyes.

I led Liz to the door and stood on the steps leading down to my place. Liz turned around and kissed me right on the mouth. She frowned afterwards and left without saying anything. So it makes sense that she’d think that was when everything went to hell, but

When I walked back into my room Korbin was already down to his boxers, hugging my body pillow.

“Did she kiss you?” He murmured into the pillow. I played the movie and pulled off my shirt. I leaned back and continued to watch it. He groaned and climbed on top of me, blocking my vision, “Did she?”

He never wanted to know.

I flipped him over and loomed over; the bed creaked under my knees. At this point he always got silent, staring at me, waiting. I’d wait too. Soon enough it’d make sense what we were to each other.

Korbin thought that the day that everything went to shit was when we met.

The bar was empty and he’d had a cold beer on his mouth, lip bruised all up.

“Take one” He shoved a beer in front of me. He sat down in my right. I took it, “do you have a girlfriend?”

I paused, looked at him, and pushed the beer back over. He started laughing and slapping the table. He pushed it right on back.

“I want someone to teach me how to fight and I get jealous easy.” He paused, grinning. He was completely serious.

I took the beer, downed it, and got up from the table. I didn’t want anything to do with him.

He didn’t see me again until a week later at Angie’s party. Angie and I grew up together and I was sweet on her. You’d have to be an moron not to see the way I looked at her. I thought she felt the same until I watched her giggle her way up to her room with Korbin. I drank. And drank. And drank. When I woke up Korbin was crouched over me grinning.

“you gonna punch me now?” And i hauled off and smacked him, very drunk. I hit him in the throat by mistake. I picked my self up and threw myself on top of him. I punched his face twice before I heard him laughing. I watched his bloody nose and mouth drip. He touched my chin, soft, with one hand and said

“I own you now, don’t forget. We’re friends.”

Then Angie was quackin about not fighting. Then someone was draggin me onto the lawn, probably throwing me out. Then I was laughin’ because he really was jealous. Maybe I was cryin.

I think that everything went to fucking at the New Years Party.

Angie had invited me over to her place to make up for what happened. Korbin had dumped her at this point. Sorry sorry sorry. There was nothing to forgive, but I forgave her. She smiled and her chocolate hair shook on her shoulders. She was beautiful and sexy as hell but Korbin and I didn’t notice. At least not that day.

Korbin was invited. No bad blood and amends are words she used. He looked like he’d gotten the shit kicked out of him recently. When he saw me he grinned and stood next to me. He didn’t say anything at first.

“I told you I got jealous easy.” He started at me. I turned to him for a long time. He looked right on back. I grabbed the girl standing next to me, very drunk. I met her eyes and moved in real slow and then I kissed her. I kissed her for a minute or so. Then I turned to the girl next to her and did the same. After I’d kissed 8 or so women I came back and looked him in the eyes real slow. I cupped his chin and kissed him. His lips were much softer than I’d guessed. I pulled away and stared him down. He was pissed, his shirt still clumped in my hand.

I guess you’ll have to fuck them and then go fuck yourself.

He burst into ha ha and hee hee. He doubled over laughing. I stood there and soon I was laughing too. I was curled up sitting next to him on the floor beside the hunch punch.

“fucking kiss me again and I’ll kill you.” I dont know if he was serious

Then I remember him sayin something about fresh air and grass. We walked outside of the party.

“lets race to the pool.” And then he took off running. I was running behind him. My lungs felt tight. I had only recently stopped smoking. He got there before I did and had already stripped down to his boxers.

It was 12 degrees outside.

Then he started the chicken dance. Bawk bawk bawk. I was pulling off my shirt and my pants and I was too far gone to see how he looked at me.

While I was taking off my socks he ran us both into the water. He held me down and shouted HA. I could barely see him under the water. I pushed up to the top and looked at him. His hair was brown and slick to to his head now, making his ears stick out. His eyes were brown too. My face was freezing

“They heat this pool every New Years Eve.” He said, wading poorly in the water.

I asked him if he knew how to swim. He nodded, but I still swam over to him.

“I want you to teach me how to fight.”

Someone needs to teach you how to swim.

He frowned and swam to the edge of the pool. I followed. Then there were big fireworks. And counting. We counted. 10. His face was blue. Bruised and cold. 5. He dipped into the water for a second. 1. And then all the noise and cheering and bottles bursting. And Korbin pressed against the pool and my hands were freezing in his hair. We shivered from the neck up and his hands were on my waistband. And then I grabbed my clothes and ran back to Angie’s place. She was drunk and in the lap of one guy. She smiled at me. I got right into her shower. I was freezing.

When I came out and put on clothes everyone was at their lowest point. Some people were asleep there. Some had already left. I sat on the couch, waiting.

He eventually rushed in, breathing hard. He walked by me and into the shower. When he came back in I stood up and got my coat, sobered up. He pushed the door closed as I opened it.

You going to kill me now?

He didn’t say anything; he just held the door shut, his eyes on the knob.

“Do you think about fucking me?” He was being serious even though he couldn’t help but to smile a bit.

Yes.

“How do you imagine yourself doing it?”

I try to open the door again but he pushed his back against it to shut it

“Tell me, you fucker!”

I drop my jacket on the ground. I take his cheeks into my hands, and his skin is still damp. And I kiss him. I trail my kisses to his neck and then right behind his ear and he shoves me back

“just tell me!”

We get into a fight. And when I win I climb on top of you and fuck you into nothing.

He looks at me and laughs

“That is the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard!” And he’s laughing so hard and I’m chuckling. I’m pissed. He locks the door and walks to the kitchen. He pours himself some whiskey

“fight me” he says after a moment and laughs. He’s serious

He throws back the drink and starts jabbing. Face face, gut, wild left, wild uppercut. And I absorb all his hits.

“you’re not going to get laid with that attitude.” He says, punching me right in the mouth. I let him hit me. Let him beat me up a little. I cross his face and he crashes into the frig. He’s breathing hard and looking up at me

“what are you waiting on?”

I’m on top of him, hand sliding up under his shirt. He jolts when his skin touches the cold tile. He keeps his eyes away from mine as I slip my hand into his waistband. I’m touching and stroking him and he doesn’t make a sound, doesn’t react.

Look at me.

He doesn’t. He looks pained. I pull my hand out and look at him. He looks back.

Why

“I dunno. When you said it I was really turned on. I thought it would be enough.” He wasn’t smiling at all

He sat up and pulled down his shirt. He looked at me still. He offered to give me his hand but I didn’t want it. He leaned against me on the frig and started talking. Something about erections. When I glanced over I saw his hand in his pants.

“when I think about us fucking. I imagine you’re a policeman or a doctor. You’re checking for drugs or prostate cancer.” Then he laughed. I did too. I reach my hand into his pants and wrap around his hand. He nuzzles his head into my neck

“I won’t apologize to you.”

I didn’t expect you to

“you still have to teach me how to fight.”

Bathroom

Bathroom

So you have to put your bag somewhere when you get in that tiny stall. They give you a hook, but as you look at it you notice it looks precarious and rusted. You’re having visions of the construction of that stall, sparkling and new, and a man, probably in his late forties, sweating and hammering the nail into that not yet faded blue door. Naturally, it shakes the life right out of him. Heart attack, aneurism, stroke. You can pick anything you want really. It doesn’t really matter. He’s pretty dead.

They–being management– leave his work half done because they have more pressing issues: the man in his late forties is pretty fucking dead and clutching his hammer and the stall in that post mortem body spasm. They sweep the death under the rug and there is that hook, half finished, rusted, and looking back at your for some pity or mercy.

Definitely Not.

Then you glance at the ground and realize that your in a public restroom. And you are pretty sure now that that’s not how post mortem works in a body or anywhere else for that matter. So you’re gonna take your chances on the rusted hook. It squeaks and teeters but for a moment it looks okay and you pull down your pants and squat above the toilet bowl (careful not to touch it with your skin, but fully allow your nether regions to breathe).

You can’t stop glaring at the hook and your bag as if you being able to see it will convince it into staying up there. Gravity seems more convincing though. Okay so you can’t pee because you’re anxious. Even though you’ve resigned to your inability to charm the gravity out of things, you’ve got your 400 dollar laptop in there and its not on warranty. You grab it off the hook and cradle of in your lap and you squat again and like that you can pee.

Step two: Operation Wipe. You maneuver your body so that you can reach the 1 ply toilet paper and try to hoist your backpack into an obviously more dangerous position than on the hook, but its above your head and pride pushes you to things like this. Then you’re free to finish up but your shorts are only being held in place by your legs. If you move now they might fall on the ground. You remind yourself where you are. You are in a germ-a-phobe’s personal pocket of hell that involves fire pokers and clowns. I don’t know why clowns, but definitely them.

So you grab hold of your pants with your freehand and then you realize you can’t quite get ’em on. You tug until you feel like you’re decently dressed. Then when you kick the flusher it juts for a second and your yellow and toilet paper filled bowl stares back at you. You kick it again and already you have created a religion that is only applicable when you need a God to let you flush a toilet and leave a bathroom embarrassment free and social status intact. You pray to him furiously, foot press down on the leaver. The slow flusher continues on its lazy way gurgling like a small boy drowning until eventual it is all gone. At which point you are stumbling out of the bathroom, pants undone and hanging a little low on your ass, clutching your backpack like a terrorist, and hands wet because you washed them as fast as possible be as far as possible from there as fast as possible.

And you bump into your professor outside, and he’s struggling to decide whether or not to pretend he doesn’t see you as you lock eyes from about 2 feet away or to say hello to you and make up an excuse to not go into the bathroom or to ever talk to you again ever. You just walk away. Good on you

The Victim Part 7 – End

“We need to talk about what he did to you.” I asked, directly. The boy never responded to anything but directness. He thought very little of me, and feigned desire for pity.

“You know this already. He raped me.” He said it simply, as if nothing had happened to him.

That wasn’t the point of the treatment. We’d made sex and violence nauseating. We gave him confusion and pain. But if I didn’t force the issue he would never feel what we want him to feel.

“I know. We all know, but I think it would be easier for you if you walked through it.”

When he looked over at the glass table I found myself watching it as well, sudden nausea washing over me.

“Jared, i’m going to need you to look at me.” I spoke calmly, keeping my eyes from the table, “Let’s start with something easy. What were you doing that day?”

and he sat there, lost in his thoughts. I saw the distress building inside him and I wanted it. I wanted that distress for myself. I wanted to hear it

“Out loud.” I snapped. He looked me in the eyes and he thought I didn’t see how that tickled him.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, he had been smiling but didn’t stop. He uncrossed his legs.

“It was the knife that hit my neck first. Big blade right against here and before saying a word he just ran his tongue nice and sloooooooow against my face like I was some big ice cream cone.” I could seem him smiling at me in the midst of the shock of the incident, and I felt aroused. To my peak of arousal, “I probably tasted like cream or strawberries because he pushed me back into the room and onto the nearest couch and started licking me all over.”

He looked like he was going to be sick, and I smiled all over. This is what I wanted. We wanted.

“Some times I imagine that he has my face. That I enjoyed doing that to myself.” He didn’t even know that he was the rapist…oh the feeling of knowing so much more than him. Of being in control of him felt so good.

“It’s actually quite common to have sexual arousal from your rape.”

There was a knock at the door and in came my secretary, “Are you ready for your first appointment of the day?” He asked, his pale skin reddened now, by my gaze. He looked so vulnerable.

The Victim Part 6

These two men were just grinning at me like something was funny. One of them was a thin man that was almost thin enough to stop existing any time now. His features were stretched, stringy, like a person who’d been squished into a long stick. The other was of a more muscular build, taller than the thin man. The muscular one had buzzed hair, and old man lines above his brow.

Maybe it was somehow cynically funny that i got caught. Maybe funny that The Doctor had called the police before i could even try to get away…and now that i think about it i don’t know if i would have tried…guess i didnd’t have enough time to think about itb efore it was already over.

“This is my favorite part.” The thin man started, standing up instead of sitting like his partner

“The part where I go to jail?” I laughed at them, “I don’t care.”

“Oh no, little pretty boy.” the thin man smiled wider, but it looked like the ends of his lips would sooner curl around his head then curl up further, “We’re not sending you to jail.” And his smile did in fact curl around his head.

I was puzzled, wringing my hand around in the cuffs.

“A psychiatric home? You think i’m crazy?” Then I chuckled even louder, “OH man, then, yeah. Do whatever you gotta do.”

Then the big one grinned very widely, his muscles suddenly rippling at the thought of something. I found myself disgusted by the two of them, but it wasn’t because of their horrible stature, and horrible complexions, it was the simple way they looked down at me, grinning like they knew something that I didn’t.

“We intend to do what we have to, little Jared. Or…What should we call him now, Evan?” The thin one spoke over his shoulder to the muscular one but didn’t once take his eyes off of me.

“William, Sam.” The voice that came out of the bigger man sounded like a bass being plucked and a giant belching

“Ah yes, he’ll be Billy boy now, I guess.”

“Alright, do you two need a room to suck each other off or something? I feel like i’m interrupting some kind of pre sex role play.” I said, growing a bit impatient with their game.

They both laughed hard at that, but then they stopped.

“You used to be a man named Eric Huxley.” Sam, I believe, began, “You raped and killed a man named Jared Young. And strangled a woman named Danielle Figueroa.” Then he looked at me, suddenly stern like. I laughed at that, loudly, slamming my hand on the table. He was a very good liar. I couldn’t even tell exactly that he was lying. Well apart from the sheer stupidity of the lie, it was a pretty flawless delivery

“Oh man, wow. You really think i’m going to believe that?!” I clapped my hands lightly, “You caught me after I killed Danielle in that room. Did you two even really think this out?”

Evan looked at Sam, and away from me for the first time, but Sam kept his thin stretched beady eyes on me.

“You are being tried for the murder of William Burke, alone.”

I glanced between the two men, trying to find the joke in this, but before I could start again I heard someone knock at the door. I watched it and waited. They kept knocking and knocking and the two “officers” didn’t even look over.

“Can you two answer that fucking door?” I paused, “If this is torture you two are out of your league.”

The door opened and in walked a pale and pasty looking Danielle. Her clothes hadn’t been changed and she looked very tired, bags under her eyes. She did have a blanket around her body, probably for the shock. My heart dropped for a moment, then it started the beat violently. I was excited to see her. Unfinished business.

“Oh…I guess i wasn’t as thorough as I thought.” I muttered, watching her, “So are you going to have her testify against me?”

“Danielle?” Sam asks, Evan glancing between the door and back to me.

“Yes, who else?”

“Well unless she’s rising from the dead, no we aren’t.”

I looked at Danielle again and laughed. They weren’t giving up their little story. They were very persistent. I’d give them that.

“Is this the game you’re playing? Trying to make me look insane? Okay. Fine, so why is it that if I “killed” Danielle, she is standing behind you two?” They both turned around as I said it. When they turned back to look at me though, Sam’s smile was wrapped around his head, and Evan’s was gaping like a shark eating something whole. The bugs scurried around the back of my skull.

“When you used to be Eric we wiped you memory, son. We erased everything and replaced everything you knew with that of –”

“Jared Young!” The gargling giant interrupted, beaming with excitement. Sam looked at his partner hard for a moment, smile still wrapped around his head. This was a good show. They were funny and were trying so hard to make this seem real. I was impressed.

“This was to be your punishment.” The hulk said his first full sentence

“You were supposed to live out your life feeling their pain become your own. You have the body and muscle memory of a murderer but with the weakness, pain, and memories of the victim.” Sam frowned.

I could play they’re game

“Well I killed again.” I smirked, “You let a murderer free and now he’s killed again. Beautiful story you got here, boys.” I leaned forward in the chair, “The story of two incompetent cops trying to punish a true killer. Sounds very funny, when all is said and done.”

“We thought a psychiatrist would help–” Evan grumbled.

“Well you were wrong. Anything else gentlemen? Do you want to wipe my mind and put someone else in here? I wonder how many it’s been; was “Eric” even the first?” Then I laughed and watched their faces lighten up.

“Yes. Yes. And No.” Sam said.

His face became grave. The joke was sucked right out of it. Evan still smirked at me. But suddenly my heart was thumping and I was perplexed that I couldn’t tell that either of them …were lying. The dumb one is gullible enough to believe anything, but…Sam. What was Sam? A monster like me…who lied as easily as he told the truth?

I looked up at them and Danielle stood at the back of them, smiling.