I was all marked up in his fingerprints, the berry hues blooming against the summer bronze of my skin. My lips had been painted with the same care and attention.
You’re okay, the plant told her, its voice comforting as a warm bath. Its gray-green flesh glowed in the light of her room. You’re safe here.
But no matter how fast the speedometer said he was going, he knew: nothing was faster than sins coming back for revenge.
We’d decided to try out Calf, the restaurant where the only thing on the menu was calf. Each set of diners was assigned their own room, called a “pen.” When we got there, the host walked us to our pen and latched the door.
With each atrocity Shoshi was forced to watch, she retreated into herself, creating bigger and stronger dolls to shield her, only her outermost layer visible to her tormentors.
When you finally reopen your eyes, the strobe lights have been replaced by soft overhead lighting and a maelstrom whirls on the dance floor – faces suspended in expressions of exhilaration that will only last until the bar closes. You see a familiar form moving among them. You let that thought go, sure it is a negroni-induced mirage. But you notice the way it taps its foot against the floor. Slowly. Out of time with the music.
People wanted to be debased. They wanted to debase others, their scent lingering as they walked by.
Oh home, you are nothing more than a sweet and exhausting illusion.