By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
I made a kind of involuntary squeak.
At first he didn't notice her in the room, then she made a noise and he did, but he didn't stop what he was doing.
She opened her mouth to shout, then her face changed color as she saw what he was doing to me with his hands, and the shout ratcheted up into a scream like a siren. Her body flew across the room, arms and legs splayed out, leaping on him like a cat.
The bed made a huge dip as she landed on him, screaming and clawing and crying. I thought she was jealous, but it wasn't that. She thought he was committing a murder, and she was trying to pull him off me. She was trying to save my life. At that moment, she was all mine.
He just kept going, fucking me harder and ignoring her even when she tore a chunk off his ear with her acrylic nails. So this is what it's about, I thought. We're doing it to her.
His hands on my neck grew tighter and tighter, just right, while she screamed and clawed and bit and sobbed, and drew blood. He found a rhythm in the mayhem. I could hear and see the wife in my peripheral vision. My god, I thought, what did this woman want?
I kept my eyes on his until I started to come. He squeezed my throat until I saw stars, and felt the rush, and then he came, and it was over. I remember her sobbing on the floor, then him trying to touch her shoulder, her flinching, then looking at me, not knowing what I was. Whatever she saw in my face made her gulp down a big sob and run out of the room.
He rolled onto his back, threw his arm over his forehead, and sighed, a man both sated and defeated. I picked up my clothes, put them half-on in a hurry, and got the hell out of their house.
I crashed in a back yard down the street, curling up on the puffy vinyl cushion of a lawn chair and smelling the eucalyptus trees.
Crack of dawn, only a couple of hours later, I woke up sore and headachy. I'd got blood on me, too, all up my arm, which the dew against the vinyl had turned into a watermark. I knelt by the swimming pool and washed the blood off, splashing my face and rubbing under my eyes in case they were raccoon-ringed with mascara. Then I crept down the side yard and into the street. I chose downhill instead of up, as it seemed more likely to lead out of this enclave. The asphalt was very dark, very rough, oily and new, not meant to be walked on in Sabrina-heeled mules.
I remembered getting dressed to "go out" the previous evening, already a little lit from a glass of wine, taking off the dress I'd squeezed into and putting on my polka-dot satin capris and a tight striped sailor tee, and the little green satin heels that are sexier dressed down than with a tight dress. Now, I smelled like the barn at a horse-breeding farm, like boozy sweat, semen, blood and reactivated dry-cleaning fluid. Jammed into my wobbly shoes on the downhill trudge, the knuckles of my toes hurt, and my thigh muscles were starting to twitch up and down like needles in a sewing machine. The pain was the only thing that kept me from rising up in a beam of light and floating away through the upper atmosphere to heavenly paradise, and I had silly, burgeoning feelings of love for the ivy and the marigolds and the bumpers of late-model cars parked in the driveways along my path.
I came to a fork and bore right. I was starting to feel a wave rise up under my lungs, over and over. Dry heaves. My shoulders followed, with an involuntary rolling motion. Down the block, I saw a nurse get out of a beige Cadillac Eldorado parked in the driveway of a low, brick-fronted ranch house. Her white uniform gleamed in the morning sun, and a garden hose curled at her feet like a snake. She was stocky and middle-aged, and -- I saw as I staggered toward her shouting, "Excuse me! Excuse me!" -- of a hostile nature.
"Yes?" she said, meaning the exact opposite.
"I wonder if you could call me a cab? I've had some trouble and I can't get . . ."
"I think you'd better find someone else," she said, turning toward the house. She was carrying a white prescription bag.
"There isn't anyone else," I said. "I just need a cab, that's all."
She stopped to bar me from the front stoop and looked at my satin pants. "No cab is going to pick you up in this neighborhood."
Just then the front door opened, and a frail, elderly lady stood there. She was dressed in a smooth black skirt and a cream-colored twinset, pearls at her neck and ears, hair in a set do. "What's this?" she said.