by Alex Aro
The fork plunged into her arm, and as I raised the knife to cut out a piece of flesh, she moaned with desire. With the delicacy of a newborn I slowly lifted the fork to my mouth and began chewing as she watched with a ravenous stare. With each bite her hands slid down her chest to her panties and a feverous groping fiesta erupted; masturbation and mastication.
With the skin swallowed I raised my eyes and spoke in a lustful hush, “Your turn.”
Her hand remained on her panties for another minute before she stood, her face harboring a horny smile and she tiptoed over to me and snatched the fork and knife. With gentle caress she ran the fork up and down my face before stopping at my cheek. Her arm darted back and then forward, the fork pierced my cheek and I leaned forward to kiss her. We held lips for a brief moment and she lessened her grip on the fork, lost in the translation of love and lust contorting throughout the room and radiating from our wounds. Our lips separated and her eyes rolled into the back of her head, but she returned and brought the knife to the lonely fork stuck in the side of my face.
The knife danced around the fork as though some bizarre ritual to entice it, and a circle of skin separated as she pulled it from my cheek and to her mouth. The sensation was tantalizing and I shut my eyes and imagined us as skeletons on a hill enjoying the city skyline. The fork escaped from under her lips and emerged bare. Her smile exposed blood tainted teeth and I chuckled, “Oh, you devil.”
I tugged her violently onto the couch and we lay side by side facing one another, my gaping cheek staining a crimson circle onto the cushion. The lustful intentions calmed and my eyes pierced hers and vice-versa, fork versus fork, and our noses embraced like Eskimo knives.
“You're beautiful,” she said.
I answered with a barrage of kisses on her neck and her body shivered. Like a cunning snake my kisses slithered down across her breasts to fill her chest, which I still had yet to taste. I only knew the deliciousness of her arms and a slight taste of her thigh. We were still getting to know one another.
With force beyond her own she grabbed my head and shoved it between her legs. The antique clock across the room struck midnight and sirens echoed from the city streets but the sounds never truly reached our ears. Blood still leaked from my cheek as I came back up her body, bloody kisses marked my route. She blinked when I kissed her between the eyes. Her arms wrapped around me and she whispered into my ear, “Devour me.”
We made love until the final lights of the city faded and as we collapsed beside one another we only heard the symphony of night and felt the electricity jolting between our hands, which were so close yet so far. Our bodies touched, our legs conjoined scissors and our eyes returned to utensil uniform. She turned slightly onto her back and I mimicked. We stared at the ebony décor night had veiled over the ceiling and for a long while we said nothing. Our eyes darted and spoke the words we weren't speaking, moving frantically as if there were some hidden picture in the darkness above.
I turned my body to face her as her head rolled over until her chin rested on her shoulder, and I admired her. I could trace the shadows of her mouth, her thin and defined lips, raised to show off their liveliness. I followed a bridge of black that connected her top lip to her nose and my eyes darted slowly upward where her eyes should be, but were now nothing but gaping holes of endless midnight wonder.
I smiled a smile she could not see.
The next morning I woke first. The sun was bright through the window, bathing her naked beauty in light. I got up quietly and went to put some coffee on. She woke a few minutes later, rubbing her eyes and walking in small strides, shaking off the last bits of dreariness.
“Good morning sunshine,” I greeted.
She smiled. “Good morning to you too.”
I sat at the kitchen table and sipped coffee and felt drops run down my chin onto the marble top. She sat down across from me, her breasts rising with each small breath and her arms stretched above her head, her knuckles cracked together.
“Care for some coffee?”
She shook her head no and nodded towards the bathroom. I set the coffee down and walked across the room to turn on the light while she started the shower.
With early eyes we climbed into the shower together. The water splashed down over my head and cascaded down her slender body. She danced when she put shampoo in her hair and seductively washed it out, making swift motions that made her breasts jiggle. She watched me while I washed myself, scrubbing the soap over my chest, legs and arms and as I began to wash it off I felt a wondrous bite in my shoulder.
I turned to see a thin line of blood dripping from her lower lip, she stood chewing.
“What a beautiful animal you are.”
She backed up against the wall of the shower and slowly slid down, until she was lying down with her legs bent. She uncurled her finger and I too lay with her under the rushing hot waters.
I pressed my face against her left thigh, turned and bit into it. She screamed with passion, her eyes darted wildly and her hands were clenched so tight she could pull the tiles right from the walls. The blood dripped from her thigh and leaked across the shower bottom.
I finished chewing and we made love with the hot rain on our backs. There were no words to be said, and we often found ourselves locked in silent staring contests. The motion became faster and faster and yet, our eyes never parted gaze. The only sound the cascade of water and even that grew inaudible after some time.
We climaxed, turned off the water and began to dry off. She whipped me with the towel and laughed. I picked her up and she kicked and screamed until I tossed her onto the bed. We got dressed and while she put on her makeup I finished my cup of coffee at the kitchen table. She came over, her eyes lined in a thick black and her hair was pulled up and burst out like a fountain, little tentacles of hair sprouted everywhere. Her lips were a thin pink and a baby doll dress colored with abstract flowers adorned her like Picasso's garden.
The car was on and I fiddled with the radio while she locked the door. The sun was high in the air, petting the trees and taking the obscurity away from the bird's songs. She hopped in and off we went.
We ended up at a small sidewalk café. We sat down at a table and a waitress came over to take our order. I looked around at the people surrounding us, as the couples sipped their drinks and stroked one another's arms.
It was so beautiful to see so much love. Over to my right a young girl laughed and I saw her tongue lash in and out through her open cheeks. The girl reached her arm up, chunks of flesh missing with her elbow bone peeping out, and her man kissed her palm.
“Look at them,” I said, pointing.
“Such young love,” she said. “I hope it works for them.”
The waitress brought our teas and as she bent to place the cups on the table, I noticed her arm was still bare and intact.
“Haven't found the right one yet?” I asked.
The waitress' smile slanted to a crooked crack in her face and she shook her head. I thanked her for bringing the tea as she made her way to other tables of wounded lovers.
“Let's be them,” she said, her eyes alerted to the table behind me.
Two gray haired skeletons sat hunched over cups of tea and shared a pastry. The sun shone off their bones and illuminated them like the opening of Pandora's Box. The only flesh that remained was their lips, which they kissed each other upon before I turned my head away.
“What a rare sight that is,” I said, her hands grasped in mine.
She nodded and then added, “And this tea is delicious.”
Behind me I could hear the skeleton couple getting ready to leave. As they began to pass our table, I stopped them.
The skeleton man turned first, his wife still slightly oblivious as to where the voice had come from. He guided her around to face me, her jaw bone open.
“That's just so nice,” I said, “the two of you.”
The man nodded, “Thank you son.”
“I was just telling her,” I pointed to my lover, “how rare it is to see people such as yourselves, so in love.”
The man chucked a skinless laugh, “Sixty years strong.”
How we met was one of those moments that really made me ponder the idea of destiny and fate. I was boarding the bus en route to some downtown club to waste the night away. Carnival was in session, where once a year the whole city hallucinates for two days and nights. The bus was crowded with people in costume and drag, people becoming things they would never normally be and waiting to do things they would never normally do. My eyes scanned for an empty seat anywhere.
And there she was, the only rider on the bus without a companion.
I shuffled past and sat next to her. She looked me over and then turned her head back toward the window. The bus rolled forward and for a long while I said nothing and stared at my knees. Outside people screamed and hollered, and brilliant lights paraded through the bus windows and illuminated the seats and riders. I looked up and people became blue and red, the seats glowed green and yellow and at times a slight rainbow could be seen haunting above all of our heads.
“Where are you headed?”
A soft knife through the carnival chaos struck me; the girl had broken our bond of silence.
“Downtown,” I said, unsure.
“That's obvious,” she replied. “Don't you just adore Carnival?”
“Not particularly.” The bus came to a stop and as people shuffled off into the night, more piled on, eager to continue the party somewhere else. The bus moved once again, blurring across scenes of smiling midnight clowns and lines of drunk dancing.
“That's a shame,” she said.
“Why do you say that?”
“It's the one time of year you can be someone else. You can be whoever and whatever you want and there is no one to call you out on it, because you know what? Everyone else is pretending to be someone else too.”
“What about Halloween?”
She laughed. “Oh come on! Halloween is fun but it's so false. You don't actually believe in any of it. I can put on devil horns but no one really thinks I'm a devil. Halloween is all about the outside. But here at Carnival, you'll do things you never thought you could, you'll learn about yourself. Here, it's about the inside.”
I thought about it for a minute as the bus screeched to a halt. “So who are you pretending to be?”
She put her lips close to my ear and whispered, “You tell me.”
We soon found ourselves slumped over a table in some smoky bar. A drunken aroma melted into our skin while hysterics flew from our mouths as alcohol glided down our throats. She kept smiling at me in an odd way and her eyes conducted me. I felt suddenly powerless, overcome by the chaos of Carnival, in awe of her beauty, whoever she was or wasn't.
Someone across the bar began yelling “Carnival! Carnival!” and everyone raised their glasses in rejoice. I raised mine to the false cause as did she; our glasses clinked together and downed what was left. She motioned for the exit and I reached for my wallet. She grabbed it before I could get out cash, placed it back into my pocket and then ushered me off past the occupied waitress, laughing the whole time.
The streets were crowded, staggering drunks abounded, and wild screams shot out from crowds illuminated by glowing sticks and trashcan bonfires. As she held her composure, my walk had transformed into a slight limp and my body rocked back and forth trying to keep up with her. We entered a dark club, lit only by the pulse of multi-colored strobes.
She grabbed my hand and pulled me past couples pinned against the wall, stabbing one another with knives and pulling apart flesh. In the corner an orgy was beginning to erupt, bodies upon bodies, bleeding love, licking wounds. Everyone was pulling everyone else apart, taking pieces of someone else and putting it inside themselves.
She was still pulling me, moving faster than I could, to the center of the club where a miasma of heads and arms danced outside of their bodies. We danced under the flashing lights, her face stared back at me in split second motions, a smile, then blackness, a smile, then nothing. I moved unaware of my actions and allowed the music to take hold of me while her eyes composed.
We awoke that morning on a park bench. She was cradled in my arms with her head slumped up against my shoulder. It felt sore there and when she lifted her head I saw that my shirt was stained with blood. There was dried blood on the edges of her lips too. She leaned in and kissed me on the cheek and then looked at my shoulder and apologized.
I looked around and heard the stillness of the air, the slight and soft song of the early birds and the rolling driftwood remnants of Carnival. There was no one in sight, the park completely empty and beyond that I heard not a sound from the city. Carnival was over and bleak and mundane shadows had crept back to claim their stake on life.
“We're all alone,” I said.
“We are all we need,” she replied.
The lights were out and we were surrounded by candles. I was on the couch without my shirt on and she tiptoed towards me. She wore black lingerie that I'd never seen before. Her arms sported my inflictions of love and I had the desire to rip her cheeks off.
Her eyes were focused in a way that could have been lunacy or love. She straddled me, her arms wrapped around my neck and I looked down to see a fork and knife tucked into her panties.
She brought her mouth right next to my ear, her chin against the hole in my cheek, just like she had when we met. Her tongue tickled my ear lightly and she whispered, “Happy anniversary.”
“You too baby.”
We kissed and each time felt like the first time. Each time I felt like a child again, back in the eighth grade under the bleachers at the school dance. Her hair done up, twisted into a tall poof with strands falling onto her cheeks. Our hands quiver inside each other's and I stand on the edge of my childhood waiting to leap off. As teachers patrol the gymnasium and other kids frolic to the music and huddle around the punch table, we sit with our legs crossed under the abyss of the bleachers while small beams of light cut through the cracks in the seats and give life to our eyes. Her mouth was a time machine.
Her kisses paraded down my chest while she removed her lingerie. The silverware clattered to the floor as she stood naked in front of me. The candles cast their flicker across her body and made her skin dance. I stood up and took off my pants and we both took our own ends of the room, staring and bare. The candles licked the black air and slowly, with the ease of a hunting lion, I stepped forward and upon seeing my action, she did the same.
The game continued, step and stare, step and stare, my turn, her turn, my turn, and hers, until we met and our noses bent together, her chest melted into mine and our hands became a piece of each other's bodies. There was a tangible energy between us that filtered through our veins and absorbed into the nooks of the room.
She knelt gently and retrieved the fork and knife. “Oh, lover!” she cried.
I lay down on my back while she hovered over me with surgeon's eyes. Up and down, her pervious eyes searching for the most tender piece of my flesh. Her gaze stopped.
“I want a piece of your heart,” she said.
“It's all yours,” I replied with a smile.
Her eyes lit up, her thin lips widened and her cheeks puffed out slightly. My hands reached up to graze her gentle skin as her breathing sped up and her chest pulsed in and out rapidly. The candles watched from all around us, small flares of fiery passion encircling the darkness in the room. She raised the fork above her head and her porcelain grin morphed into an animalistic sneer.
The fork pierced my chest and my heartbeats radiated against the cold metal. She was fierce in her approach and the knife cut voraciously into my skin, such bloody delight. Further and further the thin fork traveled and I stared at the ceiling and my chest became my eyes, her face casting a sinisterly loving mug over me.
She held a piece of my heart in her hand, drenched and dripping and I could see her legs tingling while her other hand groped between them. I sat up and looked over at her as she held up the piece of me. “This,” she said, “This is our love.”
I grabbed the fork from the floor, “My turn.”
We were dressed in our finest for what she claimed was the party of the year. She sported a silk dress that stopped just above her knees, black and crunchy with a belt to accentuate her waist. I was in a suit far too fancy for my taste, white shirt and black tie and as I adjusted it around my neck, she stood with her elbow slumped against the doorway and waited.
I could sense her excitement and impatience as it radiated from her and washed over my shoulders. Every part of her complained and whined to me as I slipped on my shoes. Her elbows moaned against the doorway, her fingers dangled with tears and when her feet sighed her heels would click against the floor.
“Alright, alright I'm ready.”
She raised her elbow and praised the air. Her fingers dried their tears immediately and sat against her sides and her feet jumped for joy while her toes wriggled with delight. Her mouth widened like a crescent moon fallen on its back, bright and gleaming.
I followed her down the stairs as she seemed to hurry from some invisible predator. The car was on before I had made the corner of the driveway and she began to beep hysterically.
“I'm right here damnit!”
Her fingers were ravenous, curling and uncurling as they tapped against the wheel and groped the stick shift. I barely had time to slam the door shut as the car sped off. Her feet became bricks tied down onto the gas pedal, and I clung to the door handle with all my might. There was a sense of ruthlessness about her that I had never sensed before, as if Death were sitting in the middle seat caressing and kissing her neck. She drove with one hand while her other flailed excitedly about in the air, almost smacking me in the face.
The scenery outside flew by like shattered glass, fragments passed before my eyes could adjust, blurs in time. Birds were long black lines and trees assembled themselves from a watercolor palette, houses collided into one another and the pedestrians were decapitated by chain link fences and street signs.
“What's the hurry?” I asked. “I'd like to get there alive.”
“We can't arrive late.”
“Who the hell is Walter?”
“He's a good friend of mine. It's his party. It would be rude to be late.”
“Rude? How is it rude? And how come you've never mentioned Walter before?”
She shrugged and took a hard right that sent me slamming into the door of the car. Then she said “really though, you'll have a great time. Walter throws the most wonderful parties. You'll totally lose yourself. Tonight we can both be someone else.”
“What the hell is wrong with who we are? With us?”
Her eyes remained straight ahead on the pavement as it thundered below and the stop signs melted past us.. She was madder than she had ever been, more crazed than anytime we had made love and I'd never seen the stare she inhibited now, not even when she gnawed on my flesh in her piranha-like prowess.
We arrived at the party, thankfully in one piece. The mansion was bustling with life. Vines suffocated the stone pillars that outlined the gardens and picayune fish swam through the endless maze of streams and ponds. Over every corner women whisked about in frenzy as though their imaginative dresses would turn to rags at the stroke of midnight, while suitors scurried to find the perfect damsel in distress. There were punch bowls and drunk dancing to music that seemed to sprout from the wind and the moon peered over the roof like the uninvited guest.
She led me to him, holding my hand fragilely. He stood there so smug and kissed her hand when she extended it in greeting. He reached out to shake my hand and shed a smile of egotistical pearls.
“Good to meet you, I'm Walter.”
I went to get some punch while she remained next to Walter as he offered her drinks and as her voice carried in the wind I heard her say “Oh Walter, you must excuse him. He's been such a party pooper all night. But this wine, this wine is fantastic!” The falseness fell from her flesh, the flush in her cheeks were nothing but red lies. I watched her from under the solitude of a large willow tree as she removed the person from my own body and replaced it within Walter's; I became a part of the tree shade.
Finally she left him and walked over towards me, peering in through the opening in the weeping foliage. Her face wasn't her own, but a variation of someone I once knew, continually stacking layers upon her as the night wore on like a matryoshka doll.
“What are you doing under here?” she asked.
I grabbed her and pulled her close, the stench of intoxication heavy on her lips. I stroked her arms and tried to pull off the cloaks she had placed over herself, the endless shades of woman. Outside the tree the party raged on. Spotlights moved across the lawn and lifted the gardens into a phosphorescent fire, while screams and shouts seemed to echo around us and we were the lonely couple under the tree.
I kissed her cheek, lightly at first and then clenched my teeth down hard. She pushed me back as I ripped a small piece of flesh away and she stared at me wide eyed while thin lines of blood raced down my chin and splattered onto my suit.
“What are you doing?”
I looked at her hard and hoped I had succeeded in ripping away one of her artificial layers. She reached up to cover the hole in her cheek and rubbed it, only smearing blood instead of repairing the wound.
“I want your heart,” I said.
“I'm not hungry right now,” she replied.
As she stepped back she tripped over a rock and landed flat on her back. Shadows consumed her body and I pulled her in closer to me.
“What did you say?”
Her eyes were not hers, her lips were not hers and even her dress had seemed to change color. My hands were tight around her waist and I got drunk from her breath, but the closer I looked into her new eyes I saw someone else inside of them. I could see Walter in his over the top glory, showering her with champagne and skimpy lingerie. I could see them exchanging false kisses, his hands piercing forks and knives into the cuts I'd already made, determined to make them deeper, fiercer.
I dug my teeth into her shoulder in a fit and ripped the skin all the way down to her knuckle. She screamed as my head swayed side to side, tearing and tearing. I could hear Walter laughing at me. I could see that stupid grin of his, his perfect teeth, his endless suave parade.
I'm not hungry anymore!” she yelled.
I moved past her skinless arm and began chewing on her eyeball. She continued to scream but the sound was lost somewhere between the hugging arms of the tree and the ruckus of the night outside. Every muscle within me tightened and I snapped with every ounce of love I had until her eye hung down from a string of sinews against her mouth. I couldn't hear Walter's laugh anymore.
“I'm just not hungry anymore,” she whimpered. I stood up and she ran from the tree, waving her arms and coloring the evening in a blotchy burgundy as her eye swung like a pendulum trying to hypnotize the party guests. I laughed as she ran and so many people stared at the gaping holes in her body, the skin hanging and her falling eye and remarked, “Now if that's not love I don't know what is!”
When I trace my fingers around the scabbed formations all over my skin, she is there lying on top of them. She is running down my leg every time I bleed and she darts in and out of me every time I breathe. She is in my refrigerator every morning and she still sleeps in my bed at night, tossing her eye up into the air and trying to put it back in its socket.
One night I'm walking outside and there are no sounds to be heard. The city is dead and the last lights fade in honor of the stars in the sky. She might be in the house, or maybe she is out for a drive, but I'm alone on the sidewalk.
There is a stir and in the distance I see a homogenous blackness running towards me. Under a smiling moon the blob takes shape and the infinite pack of coyotes run past me. Snarling, their keen eyes never move anywhere except forward and their noses twitch with a killing instinct.
I watch them run past me but their bodies don't seem to have an end. And wherever she is, she will never see my face again. Whether she is tucked under my sheets or at a stop sign, she will come home to an empty house. I want to see nothing but scars on my arms and legs; I don't want to see her tongue in the hole of my cheek.
I rip off my shirt, shredding it as easily as her skin and I run into the pack. There I am running with the coyotes into the concrete jungle of night. I feel their instinctual gaze accept me and the moon and stars applaud. We run past darkened homes and abandoned buildings and I am one with the beasts.
By the time she comes home I'll be a million miles away.
All rights reserved.
This is one my older pieces, previously titled "Devour". It was published in the 2008 edition of Parnassus. You can check that out here: http://www.parnassuslitmag.com/09contrib.html
This is a newly revised version. I've sat on this piece for a few years now, never quite satisfied with it. I'm happier with it now. Would love to hear your opinion.
And once again, I'd like to thank anyone that takes the time to read this and my other pieces. I realize longer stories aren't really the "norm" here at Fictionaut and I appreciate the people that take time out of their day to read my stories. Most of my stories are longer pieces. So if you read this or leave a comment, I thank you.