Bedlam II: k-u-n-t


A continuation of Bedlam: FAGGIT

Her nipples grew erect, rubbing against the soaked cotton shirt which was dry when she opted to wear it that morning. Droplets of water slipping from the sky felt as though they were being hurled by an angered God, colliding onto her bare arms and thighs, clinging before forming diminutive rivers trickling down flesh-made banks of elbows, hips, and shoulders. A faded and worn out denim jacket played the role of umbrella, hovering overhead, shifting heedlessly in attempts to protect her from nature’s hostility.

In the near distance was that familiar wooden sign painted white with red lettering: Old Farmhouse Market. I can wait inside until the storm lets up. The idea of remaining even semi-dry crumbled just as quickly as she wrapped jacket sleeves around her waist and knotted them loosely. Her sprint became a jog, her head tilted back and the rain consumed her.

Parked outside was the usual prehistoric grey lump; a 1980 Ford Granada, its paint chipping and donut wheel for a front right tire causing the car to tilt. A black car took up space right next to it and as she neared the door her pace began to slow, staring in a mix of intrigue and fear she found herself at a standstill. The pronounced hood stretched out, wide and long, as if it were reaching to touch, and with menacing eyes for headlights the tremors carving into her could no longer be denied.

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, middle

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, middle

Ringing of a bell as the door closed. Eye contact with one of the male teenagers standing behind the registers. She recognized him from school but couldn’t recall which class. Trevor?…Tyler? Tay, Tay, Taylor? Yeah, that’s probably right. Taylor. His smile was instant as was her scowl.

Their gazes fused into her body while she walked by as if these boys were as alive as the cash registers or loose pennies around their feet. Her body was saturated, sopping wet; exposed. Every curve and dip that weaved together to make her shape was pronounced. The curvature of her backside and bust were screaming beneath drenched fabric and eager eyes feasted on every sway and movement; devouring her, tasting with their lascivious imaginations, their hard-ons rubbing violently against tightening denim jeans.

“Hey.” One called.

Her response was a hair flip, beads of moisture sprayed like bullets into oil slick faces of longing. Peering down the nearest aisle she glanced over her shoulder; they were talking to one another excitedly. Moving out of sight, browsing glossy, multicolored packages lining the shelves, fingertips poked at plastic tubes and bags half filled with potato chips.

She grabbed a few Slim Jims and bent them in half before wedging the jerky snacks into her right front pocket. Stopping, her hearing strained in search of any nearby footsteps or low volume voices. None. Meticulous hands tore into the wrapper of a honey bun and brought the sticky, sweet contents to salivating lips.

Aimless were her eyes as they continued to scan, fluorescent lights, sleek packaging, tarnished refrigerators mostly empty of the beverages that should have been, all before she noticed him.

Standing by a shelf of baking products, a specimen that piqued her curiosity. His dampened hair had been bleached with no remorse and she could tell by the patches of short, brassy, brittle hairs on the nape of his neck. His taut, milky skin was reminiscent of the lumpy buttermilk her mother used to mix with mayonnaise, sour cream, and paprika in failed attempts of making salad dressing.

Something about the width of his shoulders and broadness of back stirred a heat within; something she had left discarded for quite some time because as it rose from forgotten chambers she found herself startled. He had to be at least six feet tall, and all that covered his torso was a worn out tank top one size too small, and wet from the rain. The jeans he wore draped over his lower half as if tailored specifically for him and there were rows of horizontal tears starting right beneath his backside and trailing to his knee pits. Upon further inspection, they looked as though they had been cut by hand.

She edged nearer, noticing he was speaking with someone. Someone smaller than him. A girl with wild, red hair and a face that was unusual but not new. No, not a girl, a boy. She had seen him somewhere before but struggled to remember. Focusing in, the blond was grinning, his body relaxed as he leaned onto one of the shelves and continued to talk. In complete contrast, the redhead read uncomfortable; clutching several rolls of aluminum foil, eyes shifting from side to side as his mouth moved so slightly she was uncertain if he was actually speaking.

Moments later those auburn locks were bouncing by her and she twisted her neck, watching him squeeze by and scurry towards the front of the market. Before he turned and made his way out of the aisle he threw a glance in her direction and for a moment their eyes connected. Then he was out of sight. She shoved the rest of her snack cake passed her lips. Swallowing hard, the faint scent of lilies trailed from him and she couldn’t help but notice that he was bone dry, as if God’s downpour had spared him, peculiar cat ears sprouting from tousled curls and all.

Yes, that’s where I saw him and those ears.

“Hey,” a thick tone swept her from the thoughts she had been tinkering with.

Crumpling the honey bun wrapper she tossed it behind an organized row of Chips Ahoy! cookies before turning, and there he was. Colossal he stood before her, little droplets of water collected along the brim of his collarbone and bends of eyebrows. Eyes dark, deep-set, and demanding. Demanding of response. Demanding of attention.

“The rain caught you too?”

She shook her head “Barely. I was about a half mile away when it got bad.”

“Looks like barely didn’t keep you dry,” his pink lips curled upward.

He was handsome in the way a brute was. Everything about him was strong; The build of his frame, features shaping that intriguing face, his presence.

“Hm,” she smiled “Barely. Sort of like you’re barely wearing anything?”

A smirk as he looked away “Nobody’s telling you to look.”

Rolling her eyes she couldn’t stop the chuckle that eased out of her.

“You think the rain let up?”

“Doesn’t matter. I drive.”

“…That’s your car out front?”

“The black one, yeah.”

“It looks like a hearse.”

“It’s a 78′ Eldorado.”

“But it looks like a hearse.”

“Want to feel like a corpse?”

The intrigue of orange and lavender hues strewn across the sky morphed simple glances into deep fixation. Clouds like cotton candy stretched from one corner of the heavens to the other. The afternoon thunderstorm blew through with ire but left a path of ease and serenity. Those mysterious sounds that only approaching nightfall could make swirled into an eerie lullaby so she basked in it for as long as it would allow.

“Mia!”

Heaving the sigh that crowded her lungs she rolled her eyes, slouched further back into the rusting patio swing.

The screen door swung open before slamming against the house, releasing a high pitched squeak of hushed agony as it slowly retreated back to the doorway. There her sister stood, nose high and hovering overhead, wide set pelvis and protruding, round stomach blocking her view of the heavens.

“You’re just getting in?”

Arms folded, vision shifted to the side before up to the plump, pale face staring downward.

“Girl, answer me when I’m talking to you.”

“Maybe.”

“Where you been?”

“Out.”

“Out where?”

“Out where you’d know had you been invited.”

“I’m not doing this shit with you today, Mia. Now this morning there was money missing out of JJ’s wallet.”

“So?”

So?…So Mia, did you take the money?”

Another strategic eye roll was given.

“Mia, where’s the money?…Girl, I am not,” She reached out and grabbed her shoulder, yanking with thinly veiled frustration “Playing with you!”

Pulling away violently, Mia was on her feet and inches away before shoving the woman into the patio railing.

“The hell is wrong with you!” She screamed, regaining her balance “I’m pregnant you asshole!”

“Keep your fucking hands in your husbands pants.”

“Where’s the money, you little shit? I know you took it!”

Glares were exchanged and briefly after, Mia turned her back and made her way inside. The angered woman wasted little time following.

“Mia, I’m talking to you,” She gripped her arm “Hey!”

Spinning around, the ends of long locks tickled the pregnant woman’s forehead before they swooped back, hanging languid. Tearing away, she stopped moving and looked at her sister like she wanted her dead.

“Mia, I told you, I love you but I’m not doing this with you again.”

“Good…because I don’t even want to be here.”

“Oh? And where do you want to be?”

Mia bit her lip, burrowed her brows.

“Hm? Other than here with me being a k-u-n-t.”

Heavy was the hand of disbelief that flung across her face. It wasn’t the actual vulgarity of the term that made her eyes bulge or her mouth snicker. She was more offended by the poor spelling if anything and the facade of ignorance in regards to where she wanted to be.

“With mom! I’m just staying here till she comes back for me.”

The woman stepped back. The corners of her mouth pulling up as her eyelids tightened, tiny crows feet crinkling in the corners. She then released a throaty noise. It started as a hesitant chuckle before blooming into something greater and eventually erupted in a gut-wrenching cackle that slowly dwindled as she wiped teardrops from round cheeks. Face rose red, flushed from the absurdity of it all.

“Mia, mom isn’t coming back for you.”

“Mama!” A small child called from the living room.

“Hush up, Jude! You’ll wake the baby!”

Snarling “You don’t know that, Daphne…she is, she said so.”

“She said that last time…last time and the time before. And you’re stupid as a box of rocks if you believe it.”

“Me, stupid? Said the 8th grade dropout…Fuck you, Daphne.”

“No, fuck you, ya’ ungrateful little bitch,” She retorted under her breath “Now go change Jude to some clean clothes. Make yourself useful.”

“Make yourself useful. That boy’s seven and he still shits on himself. You’re at home all day doing what? Too busy watching Sally and Geraldo? It takes a lot of energy heating up three Lean Cuisine’s and parking your ass on the sofa all day, doesn’t it?”

You don’t know what I do and don’t, don’t tell me how to take care of my kids, you hear me?” Daphne’s voice raised “I swear, girl. You’re gonna end up just like your mama.”

Brushing by, Mia walked back towards the flimsy front door before pausing.

“Hey! Where you going?”

The door was pushed open and she darted out, leapt over the five front steps onto the dewey grass and broke into a run around the house to the backyard.

Thick air slipped in and out of her, sticky and warm against her skin. Loose strands of hair clung to her temples and she wiped them away as she slowed down. A few yards ahead was her little sanctuary, tucked beneath umbrage and the darkening sky.

Closing the shed door behind her she flicked the lights on. One bulb had burnt out so half of the small space was consumed by black while the other was dimly lit with the glow of a dust covered bulb. She latched the lock shut and made her way to an old desk against the wall on the brighter side.

Bending onto her knees she pulled the bottom drawer open. Inside there was a music box. Made of wood, on the top was the picture of a young girl with a cherub-like face, blowing a dandelion. In her hands, she gripped it tightly.

She had been promised a boombox on her thirteenth birthday. Mia’s mother had been working extra shifts at the diner and the pre-teen just knew it was so she could get her that boombox. The rectangular electronic was all she could think about. Its sleek black body pulsating beneath her as she’d sing along with Ian McCulloch and Siouxsie Sioux, the melodies and rhythms twisting and swaying through her veins.

April had finally arrived and the twenty-seven days leading up to Mia’s birthday staggered. That morning arrived and she awoke in her self-made pallet in the tiny room she had once shared with her older sister before she got married and moved out. Wiping sleep from her eyes she felt her heart fluttering but remained as composed as possible. After all, she still had to make herself breakfast, go to school, come back, make dinner, and her mother probably wouldn’t be off of work until well after 10pm. Rolling over, she grabbed her pocket knife before climbing to her feet.

Tip-toeing towards the kitchen she was stopped by that same dark, raspy voice she’d spend so much time avoiding.

“Well someone’s up early.”

He lay sprawled out on the sofa in nothing but boxers, right arm dangling to the ground, left arm twisted behind his head.

“Morning.” She said before continuing with her routine.

There was little in the refrigerator which was nothing new; milk on the verge of expiration, leftover fried corned beef hash from a week or so ago, maple syrup, and some cottage cheese that had gone bad months ago; so she grabbed a few packets of butter and jelly her mother would bring home from the diner and smeared it on a slice of white bread.

“Gonna make me some too?”

Standing in the entrance of the kitchen, his figure was imposing while he looked down at her leaning onto the countertop.

“No.” Was sharp as she bit into her breakfast.

“Oh, now Mia, you’re too sweet to act so salty.”

Shoveling the rest of the condiment slathered bread into her mouth she opened the cupboard and reached for one of the small emptied jam jars they used for drinking. His arm shot out over her and snatched the intended before she could. Thin, pursed lips stretched and bent into an ugly smile as he handed it to her.

“Here ya’ are.”

She turned, walked out of the kitchen.

Johnny was a phenomenal pain in the ass. He was there more than at his own place but never pitched in for food or electricity. He was loud when he was fucking her mother, louder than any other man Mia had heard screwing in her home. He was proving to be far more obnoxious than the others.

Harold had been a two-timing slut, Larry possessed an abusive streak, Donald was lazy as a sack of cow shit, but Johnny was what Mia imagined Harold, Larry, and Donald would’ve created if they got together, fucked, and had some science fiction baby that was raised by ravenous perverts.

She’d never shower when it was just her and Johnny at home. The only reason she felt moderately comfortable being left alone with him is because someone was usually in the downstairs neighbors’ place in the split level house.

Quickly grabbing handfuls of water she slid eager fingers through matted hair, trying to smooth out the tangles as best she could. While brushing her teeth she captured him in the corner of her eye, again, hovering in the doorway.

“I wanted to wish you a happy birthday.”

She spit “Thanks.”

“Is it exciting?”

“Is what exciting?”

“Discovering womanhood.”

Shrugging, she spit again “Was it exciting?”

“Was what exciting?”

“Discovering fire.”

Rinsing her mouth out she was rough as she wedged by him and walked back towards her bedroom. The muttering of little brat slipped as easily out of her awareness as it had slid in.

Changing her underwear and bra she saw something brown on the bedroom wall. She knew what it was before she even looked. Instinctively she grabbed an old tennis shoe from the floor and slammed it with force onto the creature. Dropping the shoe, its smeared remains stuck to the wall and she took a moment to wonder what that had felt like for the roach. How it feels within that instant where life meets death.

Mia rummaged through the crowded closet, eyes eager to fall upon the saffron colored fabric used to make her favorite dress. She slipped into it like a second skin and glided her hands down the front before angst began suffocating her. It had to be zipped up from the back. Mama wasn’t home.

“Fuck it,” She mumbled while twirling, eyeing the ruffles as the folds spread, reminding her of daisy petals blossoming in springtime.

Squeezing into her jacket that she had outgrown in the seventh grade all Mia had was hope that she looked presentable. The only mirror in their home hung high above the toilet and wasn’t big enough to give a view of her entire body. She’d usually sneak into the girls restroom before first period class and make any necessary adjustments to herself.

“Have a nice day at school, snotty bitch.”

Turning to Johnny she looked him up and down, slow, intense. From the enormity of his feet to the baby-beer belly starting to form, to the hair spreading across his chest, to the aging face she had grown to despise.

“Johnny…just go. Go home to your knocked up wife. Go to hell. Go back into the womb you came from, come back out, and try again. Go crazy. Go fly a fucking kite. Go anywhere. But please, Johnny Wright…just go.”

Opening the music box, there was no cylinder or spring motors, all inner workings had been removed. The current contents were an empty Visine bottle and crumbled ball of aluminum foil. Taking the bottle, she untwisted the cap before placing it down on the desktop.

The foil in her hand, she took time unwrapping. Inside were several small, black, pebble-like chunks. She dropped all three of them into the bottle before unlocking the shed door and entering outside.

Nearing the back of the house she made her way to the water hose and carefully unraveled it before turning on the water, just enough that it dripped out in a thin stream. Holding the hose steady she slipped the neck of the bottle beneath it and watched it fill to the brim. Biting her lip, Mia turned the water off, carelessly dropped the hose, and walked nimbly back to the shed.

Propped up on the desk, she shook the little bottle and waited until the liquid inside was a deep brown, the small pebbles dissolving completely. Eyelids slid downward and did not open as she titled her head a bit and slid the squirter into her right nostril. She pinched the Visine bottle and sent the liquid up her nasal passage, inhaling slowly and holding it there, making sure it did not slide down her throat. She repeated this act four more times until bare was the recycled bottle.

Heat soaked into the skin on her face and she slouched back into the wall, monitoring this intense sensation while it spread across her cheeks into her neck, down her breasts, wrapping around her areolas, seeping into her belly and dripping down her listless legs draping over the edge of that old desk.

Fingers through hair lips softness dark black reds into purple the air is heavy pressing down grin tongue birthday cake party hats laughter mama staring into eyes stroking hair please hold me mama why don’t you let me stay alone beneath blankets thinking about rainbow sprinkles I never got to taste balloons polka dots clowns with doofy grins I sing and sing and sing and I can’t stop if I stop I’ll explode and I talk but nobody listens prayers unanswered fuck God why won’t you love me

 A knock on the door. The room was a blur and it took her a moment to focus her vision.

“Whaaaat?” was drawn out and breathy as it sagged from her tingling lips.

“S’me. Open up.” A familiar husky baritone.

Hoisting herself off, she stumbled, regained her balance quickly, and walked to the door. She cracked it open slightly, peeked outside. Night was upon them and she was surprised to see how dark everything was. When did that happen?

“Come on now, move.” He said as he pushed the door open and closed it behind him.

“J,J,Johnny…Johnny what?”

“How long you been out here?”

Hearing the question, she was having trouble formulating a response. Partly due to the fact that her tongue felt fuzzy, mostly due to the fact that the concept of time seemed foreign to her. One hour? Three hours? So she poked her lips out and gave the most nonchalant of shrugs as her final answer.

“Important question, old man. W, where’s my stash? And not… this cheap, black …Mexican shit. I want the powder like you normally get me.”

“Money’s tight right now. I couldn’t get it today. That’s what I was coming to tell you. Can you wait till Friday?”

Squinting her eyes she looked over her shoulder then back at him “Are…are you talking to me? You think I can wait that long? I just finished off what, what I had…not to mention, you’re interrupting my high.”

“Listen, money’s a little tight right now and Daphne’s been on my ass about new stuff for the baby.”

“F, fuck that…and fuck Daphne too. You know Daphne was, was a nymph of fountains…and, and streams and springs in mythology. But my sister Daphne is too big to fit in a fountain or a stream so…because…um…”

“Mia, how much did you have?”

Turning her back to him she took her time walking back to the desk and climbing onto it. She leaned her head back against the wall and let her legs dangle over the edge as they had been before, her legs spread, eyes closed.

Not a moment had passed before she could feel his calloused hand on her thigh. It seemed heavy, as though it would leave a bruise or fracture a bone but her reaction was delayed as it moved upward. She sprung up and her arm flail was instantaneous, a wild hand slamming into his right eye.

“Ahh, God damnit, Mia!”

“What the hell is wrong with…?” She yelled, anger festering from her eyes, her chest rising and falling with intensity.

He held his eye, looked at her with befuddlement all over his fourty-five year old face.

“You know what…you’re one grade A piece of shit, Johnny. You ruined my life. You did. You’re fucking selfish. Because I wouldn’t fuck you and your old man dick, you made sure my mama didn’t buy me that boombox.”

“Again with the boombox, Mia?” He shouted

Yessssssss, again with the boombox, Johnny! That’s all I wanted…instead, I got this cheap piece of shit music box,” She hurled it at him and he twisted his body out of the way so that it sailed by his head, slamming forcefully into the wooden wall “because you convinced her to buy your drugssss for you. What, what kind of fucked up person does that to a thirteen year old? Huh?” Her voice was sharp as she catapulted her words his way.

Silence consumed the quaint shed and she slid down off of the desk-turned-perch.

“I wasn’t dumb enough to fuck you when I was twelve, so why do you think I’d do it when I’m seventeen?”

“Because you’re high as a fucking kite.”

“And you’re lower than a fucking snake…you’ve got until tomorrow to get me more, you geezer.”

Daphne’s voice carried from the front of the house and the two stood within that small space, within that hostile moment, staring at one another while her words penetrated.

“JJ! JJ, baby, I need you to fix this damned handrail! It’s loose again!”

“…You hear me, JJ? Tomorrow.”

She could see the resentment bubbling beneath his collected exterior and as he began to leave she said “Oh yeah, and if you go crying to your wife again, about how I took money from your wallet, I’ll have to cry to her about how you were fucking our–”

“I didn’t tell her anything, damnit,” He spat “She’s money hungry and monitors every dollar I make.”

“Whatever, Johnny. Tomorrow.”

Once more Mia was in complete solitude but this was nothing out of the ordinary. She was always alone whether by herself or in a space filled with people. The music box did not break and as she dusted it off a part of her wished it had.   Returning her Visine bottle inside she crumpled the foil and tossed both it and the box back into the bottom drawer of the desk before kicking it closed.

Her body was still burning from the inside and she wished it could last the rest of her days. Slumping to the ground she rolled onto her back and stared upward at the bulbs on the ceiling. Digging into her pocket she pulled out one of the jerky snacks she had stolen earlier and bit into the wrapper, ripping it open and chewing on the salty meat inside. A gentle feeling on her chest, she placed her hand near her collarbone and felt a wrinkled piece of paper.

Holding it up to the light it dawned on her what she was looking at. It read: 603-624-1950 Alexander

 The boy from the market she thought, remembering his dark eyes and toned body. Chewing vigorously she took another bite as she closed her eyes and wondered how big his cock was. A giggle slipped out of her after the thought came and went and she shook her head, embarrassed that she even had allowed it to cross her mind. Smiling to herself she clasped the paper in her hand and stuck it back into her pocket.

Finishing her food she threw the wrapper aside and started to scratch her ribs. There was trembling that trailed her limbs and her stomach was beginning to feel peculiar. Running her tongue across chapped lips she was succumbing to feelings and delusions that began to flood her and she could feel her mind slipping back into a dreamlike state.

“Under blue moon I saw you…so soon you’ll take me up in your arms,” her voice was soft, hushed while she sang to herself “Too late to beg you or cancel it…though I know it must be the killing time, unwillingly mine.”

Nestled between consciousness and fantasy, for a moment, Mia swore she could hear mama telling her to pack up her belongings and come back home. Visions of ruffles on that pretty saffron dress lingered though she lost it somewhere within the confusion. The violent chaos that strung together eight moves, petty theft, stints in foster care she had made since she turned twelve. That’s when the pillar of mental anguish melted from her eyes and stained her flushed face.

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