A Horrific Story by P.C. Newland
In my mind’s eye I’m smoking a cigarette. I’m sitting on a porch swing in rural Georgia, or someplace like it, where sun-ripe peaches sit in rosy rows on whitewashed railings. A place with sugary sweet tea, so much ice clinking in the glass it sounds like church bells. A place that smells like jasmine. Somewhere I can sit and watch kids play on a hand-me-down swingset or grab jacks off the cracked sidewalk; where the hot, damp air melts any impression of thought or wish or regret and all you do is just exist.
Somewhere not at all like this.
The room stinks of sweat and old sex and the smell of burnt metal. His thighs slap the back of my legs with every grunt and curse and thrust. My cheekbone presses harder into the wall, pushing bruises deeper into flesh, into bone. In some B movie he’d ask if I like it like this–if I’m a dirty bitch, if I want it harder–but really, he just pants. Makes some strange guttural sound and seethes more curses through his cracked, clenched teeth. His breath on my neck is hot and foul and smoky and his rough skin smells like sulpher. Every part of him is sharp and unsoftened, honed from too many hits or nights or too-long days. It should be over soon.
He grabs the hair at the back of my head, peeling my face off the wall. He looks me in the eye and pauses. I give him nothing. It’s enough for him to decide. He turns me around to try a different approach, draw it out, get the most for his money. He slams my back against the wall and pins me there, brings my legs up and around his waist. Each of my vertebrae dig into the flaking plaster and it hurts.
I think about my boy, Tyler, and wonder if he’s sleeping. I hope he’s doing better in school and had something nice to eat for supper. I pretend he called me earlier and told me all about his day and how he passed his math test, the timed one he was so worried about. He says he’s been practicing his multiplication tables and remembered all the answers for the problems with sevens and got the bonus question right even though it was a story problem and dealt with money which made it double hard. He says his foster mom is so proud he gets to have a sleepover with his best friend Devon on Friday and they are having pizza and watching cartoons. I tell him I’m so proud. I say I’ll be sending his birthday card as soon as I have some money to put in it, even though I know it’s a lie.
A weak light filters through nicotine-stained blinds, thin and watery and the color of bile. It makes the ruddy umber of the cigarette butts scattered on the floor seem to blaze from within; angelic little glowworms on the jungle floor. I scrutinize each one starting with the farthest and hope I haven’t plucked the white fluff from all of them. It doesn’t look promising and my heart sinks. I don’t want to go out, get more before my next fix, but I know better than using cotton. Cotton fever can kill you.
Caveman here is trying to hurt me. He tugs my shirt up and over my head, ripping it a little and I’m glad I quit wearing bras. Elastic, wire, and haste can end badly and I don’t need cut today. He grabs my breasts, pressing my back into the wall again, and rubs his thumbs over my nipples a few times before clamping down. He’s stronger than he looks, but it only really hurts when he starts twisting. He’s going for blood and more ambitious than I’d thought. I’m a little surprised. Still, I hate myself the instant a whimper escapes my lips. I know better with guys like these. Of course it’s this small cry which threatens to send him over the edge—I can feel him shiver now—his shoulders and back muscles tense in the last seconds of eager anticipation.
And then he does a funny thing.
He pulls away for the briefest of moments, so incredibly swift I don’t realize what he’s done until he’s done it.
Our cries commingle, his muffled in my hair and mine—uncertain—suspended in the drops of sweat which trail, now, down his back. For a few seconds more he holds us both against the wall and we quiver together.
When he steps back, he is zipping his fly and smiling. He is spitting on the floor. He is watching my face as I get the first glimpse of the black-handled thing he has thrust into my belly. It doesn’t look real, more like a movie prop, and yet moves with each of my uneven, unbelieving breaths.
Blood and cum snake down my thighs and I think about my boy. I wonder if he’s sleeping. I hope he’s doing better in school and had something nice to eat for supper.
P.C. Newland is a writer and rural Ohio native who loves nothing so much as a drink, a good book, and sometimes to find a little money on the sidewalk. A distant cousin of Mark Twain, P.C. unfortunately inherited none of his talent.