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Authors: Todd Russell

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BOOK: Mental Shrillness
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DON'T LEAVE ME, PLEASE! YOURRRR MYYY BESSSSSTTTT FRIIIEEENNND!

The phone rang and Wanda crawled to it, glass digging deeper into her flesh with each movement. She listened to "Anna" from Portland, Oregon on the answering machine tell Tim how much she loved him and couldn't wait for his touch tonight. She saw blackness closing in like a shroud in their bedroom closet door. Glass poked through her eyes.

 

* * *

 

 

Tim arrived home the following Monday, skipping up the driveway. He opened the door and smelled the stinking copper. Blood trails were everywhere. He looked in the bathroom and saw a tub of brown-red water. He walked into the bedroom and heard a crunching glass sound beneath his feet.

 

Dead Warmed Over

 

 

Six hours later, with dawn rising like temperature in a fever-ridden thermometer, Jackie was still dead.

Ben's wife, his beloved, Jackie.

Jackie for rides on hot summer days and cold, snowy nights. Jackie in the park swinging next each other. Jackie at the bowling alley, laughing and crying on those lousy 7-10 splits. Jackie when the day was dim making it bright. Oh, Jackie.

Jackie in the bedroom always so hot, inviting, sweet; the hotel in Heaven. Jackie extending her long open arms, her sensuous fingernails clipped perfectly. "Come to bed, Ben. Take me, please." Ben obediently followed. He licked her tears clean, massaged her sore spots. Jackie made the world not better, but best.

But Jackie wanted more from their sex life.

Jackie wanted experimentation. She wanted the toys. The games. The hot porn movies. The things that made Ben quiver with delight. Jackie loved the computer and finding couples on-line. Yes, Jackie loved them all. The private one-on-ones, the hot phone sex, you name it, and Jackie would indulge. A man's ultimate fantasy.

But Jackie's flesh reeked now.

Grew colder.

Ben shed a tear as he ran her favorite bath. He soaped her paling flesh. He washed her long, blonde hair, lathering jussssst right. That's how she said it, "jussssst right, Ben. Love the feel of your hands through my hair." And Ben's face was wet, droplets skidding from his brown eyes.

Ben had tried everything to revive her: CPR, ice bath, thumping her chest. He'd done everything but 911. Couldn't do that. They'd take her away. Then him. He'd never see her again. They'd race him to trial, convict him of murder, not accidental death.

Just having sex! How could Jackie know the suffocation thing would become too wild. Ben knew the plastic bag was taking things beyond pleasurable and into danger. He should have put a stop to the sex games. But he loved it. He loved Jackie. He loved every breath she blew, every wink she gave, every dream she dreamt. Jackie and he were fused at the inception of their relationship. Nothing, and nobody would wrench them apart.

Jackie needed body heat.

Ben turned up the bath as hot as the tap would go. Her flesh took on a yellowy-white tint and her body had begun to stiffen. "Jackie, don't go." Ben whispered, and kissed her firm, cold lips. "Please don't leave me this way."

The water steamed the bathroom windows and beads of sweat coursed down his forehead to race against his tears. "You just need a little more heat, Jackie." He went to the kitchen and filled up saucepan of water and boiled it. If he raised the temperature of Jackie's body just enough then maybe...maybe she would tell him what to do. Jackie always knew what to do, where to go, who to see, when to go. Always, he followed.

The water bubbled and steamed and he could faintly smell Jackie's spaghetti. It was jusssst right. Tasted so good. The meaty, garlic aroma. He longed for it almost as much as her hands stirring and her smile, oh, JACKIE. He kept going back and forth from the kitchen. Filling the tub and draining. Raising the temperature on Jackie's cool body. He could warm her up. As he poured the boiling water over her, the flesh on her skin reddened and sizzled softly. Warming up!

Back. Forth. Hotter. Backforthhotterbackforthhotter—

He brought in the space heater, set it on the toilet seat and cranked the heater until the coil eyes blinked angrily on. He turned the heat in the bathroom up to 80 degrees. Ben panted, dripping with sweat. BACK. FORTH. BACK. FORTH.

Ben stopped and kissed Jackie's warming lips and he saw it at last. A flicker! The eyelids. Her eyes opened. Her hands raising from the bath to wrap around his waist and pull him into the scorching tub. And then he frenched her icy tongue as his body bubbled and welted. She reached out once more. "Jussssst right," it whispered, and pulled the space heater into join them.

 

Falling the Bobbitt Way

 

 

(John and Tracy were married in the summer of 1994 at the Chapel of Love in Deer Park, Texas with a rather bizarre marriage vow. This is Tracy's diary of their wild expedition ...)

DAY 12: John made love to me 30 times since we wed and the last was the most exciting. We were in the bathroom and he took me from behind while soaping my breasts. My nipples hardened and wow, how we were floating. Maui is fantastic, I want to cum here again! Wish John never had to go back to that boring sales existence.

DAY 57: Happy and sad day. John closed a huge sale today and has money for a down payment on our first house. I found out from Dr. Sears that I can never have children. But we are all still going strong: last night I deep throated John for the first time. I haven't had multiple orgasms like this before! MARRIED LIFE IS WONDERFUL. I can smell his soapy skin and you know what? I love the taste of cum!

DAY 75: John came home tonight and said he was starting to feel sore on his penis. He showed me a small red spot above his testicles. I got out the Vaseline and before we knew it he was sticking that marvelous penis in my mouth—and more!

DAY 125: In our new house and we've done it in every room except the garage! John is still mildly complaining about the red spot on his penis. I told him if the redness persists we'll go see Dr. Sears—we cut our lovemaking down from multiple times per day to once in the morning and once at night.

DAY 365: One year and John got home tonight, walking a little funny and I asked him what was wrong. He pulled down his pants and showed me the blister. The size of a dime and raw, flaking skin. He said it hurt like a "sumbitch."

DAY 467: We only do it once a day, John limps a little. I have to remind him of our vow because the blister on his member is now the size of a quarter and bleeds sometimes.

DAY 621: No more oral sex, John is bleeding just too much—can't get that nastiness in my mouth. I told him I'm sorry but we'll double the Vaseline application. "A vow is a vow, sweetest!" I remind him repeatedly. He whimpers some days but I keep him happy!

DAY 799: John wants to go see Dr. Sears bad now, half of his penis is pink like raw meat. I told him he couldn't go because if he did then we would be breaking our vow. John moaned and to cheer him up we went out and got a cocker spaniel named Sal.

DAY 911: John started crying in the middle of our lovemaking, he never cried before. He loves me so much! This was the most passionate session we've ever had. I relented and gave him oral sex. I spat the blood out.

DAY 1010: We won the lotto! John decides (or maybe he doesn't have a choice) to stay home now. I take care of him. He can no longer walk without a cane. I laugh and try to make him feel better. We invested smartly so we'll never have to work again. John can't drive either. Flakes of flesh are starting to come off his penis and large red welts have grown on his testicles.

DAY 1203: Think there is something wrong with John. There is a weird odor when we make love and he bleeds constantly. He cries all the time now. Rarely does he have an orgasm any more. He screamed at me to please stop. I told him a
vow is a vow
. Can't break one.

DAY 1446: John can barely talk and slobbers a lot but I can still get him hard enough to ride on him! He pleaded with me to let him go see Dr. Sears but we can't break our vow. He is bedridden now and the raw, pink mess of flesh is hard to decipher...

DAY 1801: I have a friend at the book store that I now go to for sex. Shhh, don't tell John. A vow is a vow, but if you need to get some real sex then there's no harm! His name is James and wow he can really get me off. John? Yeah, I almost gag when I get near him. He bleeds too much and screams so loud that I had to have the windows boarded up. He hates the light...geez, crybaby. And his penis? Can't get what's left of it hard.

 

Dueling Eyes

 

 

Dance with me
.

The glass eye loved downtown Seattle. Down the alley where the drugs and sex flowed freely. The inhabitants would meet the glass eye and nervously avert its gaze.

The glass eye never blinked.

"Killroy? Killroy, oh my god!"

"Madison, my dear." The glass eye steered straight, out of Madison's view. The peppermint smell of Madison's breath and the tasteful aroma of her flesh tickled Killroy's nostrils.

"I'm so glad I finally found you! Where you been—?"

She connected with the glass eye and raised a trembling finger to her mouth.

"Don't be afraid, please."

"What happened?"

"I cut it out."

Madison stepped back once. The alley grew darker.

Dance with me
.

"It had a mind of its own, Madison. I had to stop it."

"Your . . . eye?"

"Yes. It still does."

The glass eye remained fixed; staring, searching, wanting.

"Come home with me, Killroy, we'll try to get you help. I promise."

"You don't understand, Madison. That's why I left. I was the only one who knew what must be done."

"Why are you down here? Why this-this place?"

Killroy pointed to the transients and prostitutes and unwitting trespassers. "They live here, it lives here, it must know why."

"You're a doctor, Killroy. Dr. Gaez! Don't you remember?"

Killroy pointed to his left eye. "It knows, yes."

"You've been down here for the last month?"

"Here and ... " he pointed down an alley which led to blackness, "there."

"Please come home, Killroy, I love you."

His left eye battled his right. Dance with me. Why did it always say that? Why did it always tempt the glass eye? The eyes struggled over tender optic nerves, constantly balancing the other's acts. The struggle moved on and on. The dance. There was a craving Killroy felt pulsing in his forehead; a violent struggle of two eyes feasting on eachother's weaknesses.

"I...can't."

"Killroy, please." her hands gripped his shoulder and bent his left eye into hers. They connected and he could view the depth of her kindness. Those warm green-blue waters. The Bahamas...a time together sunning and funning, honeymooning. Ah, ten years ago! The memory enveloped him, sealing and delivering his heart to hers.

A stranger suddenly lurched from the distance and yanked Madison away, holding a menancing blade at her throat. "Give up the dough, Doc. Common knowledge you're loaded."

"Don't hurt her, please." Killroy turned and the glass eye gripped the scoundrel. The scoundrel watched it for a moment and his hand started to shake. His forehead twitched unnaturally.

"You see it, my friend... yes...you see it, don't you?" Killroy nodded.

"Killroy!" Madison screamed.

"You're a freaking psycho, Doc! Only thing I see is your bankroll. You've been hanging around here looking to get the blade."

Killroy moved closer, his lips folding into a grin. The glass eye stole the warmth from the night air. The scoundrel started to pull the blade away from Madison's neck. Madison bit his hand, and then broke free.

"You freaks!" The scoundrel shook his bloodied hand and dropped the glinting blade. His legs and the wind carried him into the black hole inside the alley.

A tear raced down Killroy's left eye. A soft wind feathered his moist cheek. He asked the glass eye, what have I become?

The glass eye remained unchanged.

"Come home, Killroy, so many people love you and miss you. Please." Madison hugged him and he could feel her warmth spread through him. Another tear joined the first, another, another, another.

He slowly nodded, realizing what had broken him. Work, the pressure, the stress. It had driven him into the bowels of Seattle seeking the answer to the war raging beneath his forehead.
He chose.

Killroy and Madison started walking away together.

The glass eye fixed on it. Locking.

Dance with me!

The reason he'd left before was lucid. The scoundrel had delivered the brutal reminder. He couldn't help them. Couldn't stop their gushing wounds. They died at his hands and he couldn't —NO NO NO—wash their blood from his naked, weak eye.

DANCE WITH ME!

Guilt! Guilt lurked behind his eyes. The war raged over guilt. He'd finally found the answer at the hands of a lowly thief.

The glass eye beckoned. With a quick bend and swipe Killroy had the scoundrel's blade in his hand. He could make it right, this time. Deeper than the last time.

"I'm coming, Madison, but not with you."

DANCE!

(deeper)

WITH!

(deeper)

ME!

(deeper)

 

* * *

 

 

Killroy awoke in the hospital bed, his bandaged face was a clever facade. He reached into the black, grasping, grasping until they restrained him. Sometimes he screamed. Sometimes he cried. He never spoke anymore.

And the glass eyes never blinked.

 

The Illusion

 

 

It was his quest for the suspension of reality that held Damon Brooks captive.

He pressed another key on his laptop and wished that he could POOF! Disappear like the magician he'd always wanted to be. Life had become hideously normal. He was happily married, gainfully employed, overstocked with worldly belongings. He had everything but the daughter Linda's doctor said they'd never have without the aid of adoption.

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