Mind Caviar Fiction

Isabelle Carruthers  resides in New Orleans where she works semi-diligently in the field of immigration law. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Zoetrope All-Story Extra, Clean Sheets, Physik Garden, Moondance, Mind Caviar and WordSalad.  She is on the editorial staff of Mind Caviar, Clean Sheets, and MindKites, a literary webzine for freethinkers.

Calendar Girl
by Isabelle Carruthers

"Will you at least look at me, please? We never talk. You never talk to me unless we're fucking." As always, Barry doesn't respond, but munches his buttered toast with the bland countenance of a grazing cow, a golden smear of egg yolk staining his chin. His indiscreet blast of flatulence punctuates her plea. He doesn't have the decency to look embarrassed.

April is at odds with the man in her life. He seems like two different people. When she comes to him at night, he is the perfect lover. He never has a soft erection, never ejaculates too soon. She sings his praises in moans that echo from the four corners of the bed, with multiple orgasms, always. But then, by morning, he has regressed to a rough semblance of Early Man, stumbling around with pee-stained boxers and breath that smells like a dirty bathroom. She doesn't remember how she came to be here. She finds this disconcerting. As always, he is dismissive.

"Barry, I love you. But we just don't speak the same language," she tells him. He rises with a sigh, leaving his dishes on the table. A healthy belch lifts him slightly on his toes. She is still trying in vain to have a conversation as Barry tosses down the dregs of his coffee and heads to the shower. Soon a cloud of steam drifts from the bathroom. She sits on the bed, listening, waiting for him to call her as he often does. Her fingers, tipped with impossibly long nails, comb through the mane of blonde hair that tumbles over impossibly perfect breasts.

His hands are slippery with soap yet strong. She knows he will not drop her. He lifts her effortlessly and presses her back against the cool tile, holding her legs apart. Her animal cries of pleasure resound in the small space. A muffled roar signals his release, and his hands slip from her. Alone, she sinks to her knees as the water drains away. Barry dresses quickly and leaves for work.

Hours pass and April is dormant in his absence. She waits for him to return and wonders if there's something else she should be doing. But she never does anything else. On some nights Barry gets drunk and passes out, uncaring of her needy presence, unaware that she lies beside him and watches as he sleeps. She dare not leave, afraid that he might wake up and want her. She knows that if she isn't there, he'll find someone else to take her place. Some nights she comes to his bed only to find it already occupied. Tonight will be one of those nights.

A woman with auburn curls bends over his hips, wet lips coaxing his arousal. The lines of her face are indistinct but her form is beyond compare, creamy breasts that overflow his open hands. The redhead does whatever he desires without hesitation. April watches the scene in quiet misery until Barry pulls her down into the bed of flesh, guiding her mouth and fingers to create his newest fantasy. It doesn't matter who she touches, as long as he is with her. He whispers his approval and no longer needs to ask, for April knows his mind as well as her own. Later she sleeps on the warm expanse of his chest, secure in his devotion, certain that when morning comes they will be alone again. The woman with auburn hair will return, but not often. Like June, she will be only a momentary distraction as summer wanes.

Autumn arrives and April is part of the darkness more often than she would like. Her existence feels as thin as paper. She cannot stay. She cannot leave. Sound drifts through the walls to the place where she waits. She knows that Barry is somewhere nearby, but she doesn't see him. He doesn't answer her calls. She plucks at the grey veil of obscurity that surrounds her, crying at times and raging at others. There are voices of other women, too. She covers her ears so that she won't have to listen.

Resigned to the empty void of discarded things, April is almost beyond caring when Barry's hand at last slips under the darkness. He peels away the nothing that covers her, touching her breasts and thighs until she comes alive for him. He makes love to her with infinite slowness, his touch at once familiar and new. Resurrected by his desire, she weeps gratefully. Crouched at the foot of his bed, for the moment unseen, Miss October watches and awaits her own triumphant return.

Copyright © 2000 Isabelle Carruthers. All rights reserved.

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