tagRomanceEat, Prey, Lust

Eat, Prey, Lust

byBotur©

She rides, she shudders. She sucks air into her throat, says Ooh as it cools her. She squeezes your knees with fingers so tense the knuckles have turned white. She swishes her head down and you wrap your fingers around black and yellow hair. Regrowth is coming through, fresh, happy hair pushing the sad hair away. She's facing away, twisting and shimmying on your lap. You count the vertebrae of her spine. She's short and plump. They're all misshapen in some way, these women, but they all have passion in their pink flesh. Your take off the brown and olive clothes and baggy track pants and reading glasses, strip the skin and fat off their skeletons, get inside them, feed on the raw woman.

She shudders, bends over, putting her face near her own feet. You withdraw your cock from her insides. It makes a sticky, plopping sound. Your lap is slick and shiny. Your thighs are white where her weight pressed on you. You unwind the hair from your hands, which have turned white too.

She lies on her back on the couch, legs open, inviting you in once again. You want to prise her open with your fingers, stroke her legs, ride the slippery waterslide of sweat back into her body, just to show her what you can do.

'Oh my GAWD,' she says, and laughs. 'No one's fucked me like that since... GAWD.'

'Since you were 39?'

'Try 29.'

'Kids'll be up soon,' you go. 'No sleep for you, huh.'

Positioned on her back, naked, one hand hiding her nipples, she strokes your chin with her big toe. 'I may not sleep, but I can tell people we slept together,' she giggles.

'What time you meeting your lawyer? Making it official – the divorce, I mean?'

'Baby, we don't need to talk about that. Snuggle me.'

'Cuddling's an extra ten bucks an hour,' you tell her, shifting along the couch. 'I'm real sorry.'

*

New week; new woman. Her name's Kathleen, but no one ever calls her that - people call her Kay, 'kay? She laughs at the little pun and takes off her glasses and flutters her lashes. Fine. Whatever. God, you just want one of the smokes you can see throbbing in her handbag, radiating temptation. You scratch your arms; your stomach screams. You've been eating once a day, showering twice a week, sleeping on couches with foam spilling out of tears. You look down at your tablet, seeing you've completed 50 minutes of work in the four hours you've been in class. Your student loan's piling up, and if you don't score some work off ladies on campus... It's not even worth thinking about. Four red bank accounts is enough. 60% of campus is women, women who need people like you to hold open doors when their arms are full of library books.

Kay has kids; she doesn't boast about any talent or point of distinction, just her beautiful little girls. Kay seems otherwise defined by Lotto tickets and novels with candles on the cover and photos of beaches on her Instagram, all spectacles and fish and chips and big fatty breasts and hairdressing qualifications. Her body says Kids, Couches and Chocolate. She's doing this course because she thinks the life she's driven off the road can be restored by 40. Maybe, Kay. Maybe. What she really is is a potential client.

God those smokes look good. Everything about Kay is warm and well-fed and abundant. She gets paid good solo parent support money by the government, you guarantee it. There's warmth and comfort between her legs. You sneak glances at the tight, damp valley, the cleft, the secret hibernation spot. Nothing bothers you when you're making women feel good. No one interrupts or taps you on your shoulder, tells you to do something else with your life.

Maybe women are what you'll do with your life. You'll always be 10 years younger than someone out there.

How old are they, anyway, the kids? Five and six, she goes, rolling her eyes. Little terrors, she laughs, You don't want to meet them.

Kids are alright, you shrug. My mum wants me to have kids, she keeps nagging my ass.

What about your dad?

Never had one.

You'll probably have a real hot wife by the time you're 30, she goes, licking her finger and wiping a spot of glue off the sleeve of your Misfits t-shirt.

I'll never be 30.

If you say so. I used to be like you.

You were my age, I'd'a totally asked you out, you tell her. I would've sucked your neck in the movies. I would've bit your jugular vein open.

Five and six'll mean the kids are pretty big, you want to say, How old's that make you? 35? When did a man last take your weight in his arms and guide you as you collapse onto an unmade bed and listen to your belt buckle tinkle as you kick your jeans into a pile of laundr–

You put down your tablet, act interested in the photos on her phone. You may as well exchange numbers, now, you say. You've cornered the quarry.

Sure you love kids, you tell her – don't look so surprised. She gets warm, she gets wet, she takes off her glasses, makes some joke about getting back to work. Teacher tells you off for talking, asks if you're certain you're making the best use of your time here, and you giggle like school kids and then it's Let's do coffee, then right on through til lunch, then she breaks it off, slaps herself, curses, apologises for relaxing. She has to pick up the kids, has to drop the magazine cover she's designing and go and tuck pyjamas into drawers and hang out laundry and scrub the peanut butter out of lunchboxes. She has to go back to unhappiness. This has all been a mistake, but it's too late, someone's paying attention to Kay, Kay's taking the offer, Kay's smoking nervously in the car, the smoke's blowing back into the girls' faces as they watch YouTube on their iPads, Kay's asking you to dinner, sneaking glances at your triceps, your shoulders, Kay's anticipating your muscular thrusts, hoping she's earned your company. She can't imagine you're desperate for shelter, for a fridge with cold ham and milk, for money for crushed ecstasy tablets and Jägermeister tipped into bubbling beers.

Kids, eh? Not usually your bag but fuck it, why not. They're part of the job. Take some photos of you holding the little squirmers, pxt your mum. Tell mum you're a builder of families instead of a wrecking ball.

Kay cooks and serves you cans of Czech beer she says she was saving for a special occasion, and you tickle the girls and channel-surf. The girls crawl on your lap, mash your crotch with their knees. They're so trusting, you want to tear the lying organ out of your mouth and confess all the holiday homes you've raided, the medicine cabinets you've left empty, the Lego sets you've swapped for tiny little bags of crystallised happiness– but all you tell the girls is corny answers to the corny jokes they read from the TV Guide.

They pour piles of tomato sauce on the fritters Kay apologetically makes for tea, 'cause she bought only wine, forgot to get food. They play with your earrings. They stroke the patterns of your tribal tattoos. You lift them toward the ceiling fan. You're the strongest person in the house. Kay slips in these comments about your "build," a term which sounds old-world to you. You don't have muscles, really, it's just you're so starving that your skin clings to your muscles. There was the Finnish globetrotter with the Western accent you proposed to in the mud under the bridge. You went through three Facebook identities and two phones and four Instagram accounts before you shook her off your shin. You enrolled on the easiest course you could get into. You borrowed some stranger's designs off Deviant Art. You're a spy. You're a James Bond with a backpack full of underwear, pursuing sad women. You must be compensated for keeping these women company.

The girls crush pepper into your drink. They lift your gums up, tap your teeth. They squirt soy sauce in a glass of wine Kay's told you she tossed between her hands for 20 minutes in the supermarket aisle before paying thirty bucks for it. The girls force you to drink the soy-wine. You say a wine-baby is growing in your belly. They cackle. They're amazed someone so old can be so immature.

The girls go to bed 90 minutes late. You recite a story for each girl. The stories are plots of movies you've seen, Gladiator, Master & Commander. Kay recites 30-second stories for each girl, slams their bedroom door, puts her back against it, rolls her eyes up at God, calls his name, laughs. You move to the couch. She pours wines, puts her right knee over her left, then the left over the right, takes her glasses off, moves her hair behind her ear as if it's competing with her.

Kay's trying to upskill herself with a two-year diploma so she can break the $20 an hour barrier, she says. You tell her she could model, if she wanted. She tells you to stop, swats your shoulder.

"Out of interest," you go, swallowing merlot, "How much you making? Y'got much saved?"

Kay gasps and stares. Tracey's out of bed, standing in the door frame. "Are you gonna be my daddy?"

You carry the girl like a load of laundry into her room, tip her into her bed. "Course I will, sweetie."

Kay's in the hallway, hands behind her back, brushing the wall with her shoulders. "It's only nine o'clock," Kay says, pushing the glass of wine to your mouth, pinching the back of your head. "What are we gonna do now?"

You press one hand against the wall on either side of her. The short woman in the trackpants and Kmart shirt with her name embroidered on the breast closes her eyes, tips her head down. She's waiting for approval. She has no idea how much approval her Mastercard gets her. You exhale into her ear. Your lips brush the skin on her neck. She's sprayed perfume and put on dangly earrings. You bite the throat, she claws your chest, squeezes your shirt.

"I need something."

"Anything," she goes.

"Listen very carefully: I need cash – or vouchers. We can't go any further unless... y'know. I'm really sorry."

She clears her throat, keeps her eyes down. "No worries," she says. She will shatter if not handled gently. "Not ayyy problem. Can I give you the stuff... after?"

You pull your shirt over your head. She pools herself for you, little waves raising her hips. She strokes her rippling breasts. You add her nipples to the photo album you store inside your skull. You mash and roll and tease your body until part of it emerges, a blade you stick her with, you bite her chin, squeeze yourself inside her and she pulls her feet away from her ears, stretching one foot toward each side of the room, and you hold one twitching pectoral over each of her eyes and grunt and use your pelvis to push her against the wall, counting the thrusts until you've hit 200. Tears leave her face shiny. She reaches for her inhaler and cigarettes. You roll onto your elbow, your coughing, shivering penis leaving a glaze on her hip.

"I need a couple hundred by tomorrow," you go. "I'm real sorry to ask."

*

Mara wears heavy glasses that she has to tilt her head back to hold up, so her line of vision almost doesn't meet your head. On an hourly basis she checks the spreadsheet you're adjusting for the Economics Department, punches your arm if you've done something wrong. Each time she comes, you have a new joke you've stolen from some website. Each time she walks away, you plan the next joke. On your lunch break, you pound yourself in the university toilet until a party popper explodes in the palm of your hand and you can concentrate again. You try to walk off your obsession, press your nose against the window of FramesDirect in the arcade downtown. You go to McDonalds, get your thickshake upsized to large, insist on drinking it from an Ice Age 3D cup. The cup has dark sides, covered in cartoons. Back to the FramesDirect store full posters of bespectacled models with no chinks in their armour. You ask the girl with the moisturised fingers sitting behind the cash register if your grandma's glasses are ready. Mrs Smythe. Nothin for her? Check again. Not Smith, S-M-Y-T-H-E, darling – check carefully, my lady. That's an amazing necklace. That's Saharan opal, am I right? Don't ask how I know that. 'Sbeautiful. Your eyes are green, aren't they? With inflections of hazel, I'm gonna say. You're so rare. We should party sometime. To Be Continued. Just check if there's some glasses for a Smith or a Smythe or anyone starting with S, okay? They're paid for already. 'Sall good.

You get back on campus early with $400 glasses stashed in your milkshake cup, and you stall, walk in circles, smoke two Chinese cigarettes in ten minutes, take the elevator up all ten floors. Incredible view, like the view you admired when you were fingering that realtor against the huge panels of penthouse glass overlooking the river. You'd read in the paper her divorce was a seven-figure thing, seen a sorrow printed in her eyes. She'd pay five figures to feel loved again. You tugged her to the edge with two fingers stiff enough to pop eyeballs. She drooled onto your shoulder, gasping. You sucked the loose skin under her chin. You loved how short she was, how short all women are, beneath you, below, looking up, stroking the muscles beneath your collar bone with perfectly-painted fingertips. You sniffed her silver scalp, looked down your nose at the whirlpool of hairs on the crown of her head. Your forearm rashed her soft belly as you tickled the magic triangle where her belly met her legs. You found short black hairs embedded under your fingernails as you counted your cash.

You wash the glasses you stole for Mara in a men's room handbasin then blast them in the hand-dryer and they shine, and the red titanium-composite frames glow. They're drop-proof, you tell her, handing them over in the case the malleable girl gave you, Plus they've got a ten year warranty. Or you can take 'em back to the store, if you don't want 'em. It's okay if you break my heart. I don't have one anyway.

She laughs, folds her arms, unfolds them, tickles her hair behind her ear, but takes her clunky glasses off and slides the new glasses on and bites her red bottom lip til it's white. "I really shouldn't, university policy's not to– "

"Have you even put 'em on yet? They must be invisible."

She giggles and strokes your chest. Cheers. You reach out and squeeze her shoulder. It's an off switch, and her forcefield folds away. You step forward, pull the glasses off her face.

"You don't like 'em, I can tell... ."

"No, retard, I mean – they're amazing. Aren't these worth, like, half a grand?"

You shrug. "You're worth more."

You've hypnotised this woman with admirable speed. It's not a new record or anything – hell, you melted a woman in eleven minutes, at this Narcaholics meeting one time – but – what's her name again? Martha? – Mara, that's it – this one is pouring out everything in just one afternoon. You think of Morlocks in The Time Machine, seizing those happier and higher than them, pulling them below. Martha – no, Mara –spends 17 minutes at afternoon tea instead of the regulated 10. You're tapping the sap and she's pouring out stories of the boy with learning difficulties making the beautiful woman sad and giving the sad woman something to design herself against. Mara was a massage therapist for three years, she had anorexia when she was 15, she chews her fingers til they're pink, she loves horses, she teaches literacy to prisoners on public holidays, she has a barbell through her labia. She can't believe she just told you that. She lashes out at Tae-Bo so she's too drained to lash out at her son. She knows he's not a curse, but he makes things so hard.

"I'm not a special case, though, so don't... you know."

"But you are special."

She shakes her head, stares out the window. "Guess you'll have to come over," she says, "See that purple rock salt I was telling you about."

Her kitchen has arranged itself around her body, with just enough space outside each elbow. She works hard to sweep up each shred of ginger and onion skin and speck of gluten-free flour. She cleans tins, wipes surfaces. There are knee-high boots in a corner, tucked under an umbrella. They look hardly-used. Because her son is fragile and everything could be taken away at any time, Mara takes care of things. Her son's disease makes him unable to digest anything that isn't mushy and wet. She must be responsible – after all, he came out of her. She has a machine to hose the compacted shit out of his intestines. She operates it still wearing her high-heels and nice white shirt. Her chest is flat, fit, muscular, taut, and she never treats herself to anything sugary or fatty. She stirs her gazpacho and sups it as if she doesn't deserve it. Her fiancée left her. He couldn't handle Benjamin.

After dinner, you wrestle the boy in front of the TV, carry him to bed, put a Bob The Builder video on his iPad, turn the light out, tell him yes, of course you'll marry mummy.

"Promise you'll be here in the morning?"

"Depends if I've got enough money. I get sick without money. I need it to be happy. Let your mama know. Attaboy."

You turn off each light switch you pass, find Mara scraping food into the sink, legs together, elbows in, head bowed. You seize her ponytail, bite the back of her neck, swallow her gasp as it leaves her mouth. "Mate," she tries to say, "Let's, stoooop, shouldn't we go watch... Ahhh." You tip her into your arms, catch her, put your knee between hers. Half-pushing, half-dragging, you urge her into the bedroom, where the bedsheets have been tucked in so harshly the bed's become flat and hard. The panties you pull from her thighs to her toes used to be white, now they're faded grey. You slurp the juice out of Mara as if she's an oyster. She thumps your back and pulls your hair and her ankles drum your butt. There's electricity flowing through her body. Her fingertips flicker. There's blood on her chin. She's bitten her lip. You reach under her, flip her body over, make some joke about her new position, about the value for money you're gonna give her, extend your middle finger, spread her knees. Your chest presses against her shoulders. Your belly fits into the cavity in her lower back. Her head thumps the wall with each thrust. It sounds like she's sobbing. You think of payday and squirt inside the condom, and think of money again, and keep thrusting.

She snores; you scheme. You sit up so slowly the bed doesn't creak, find a brand new packet of Marlboros in her handbag, the ones you asked her to buy. She's failed to get you a lighter. There's a fee for that. You borrow Mara's car, drive to the store, get a lighter and pancake mix, come back as the sun's rising, make Benjamin chocolate chip pancakes, clear the table so Mara can't see anything other than your masterpiece when she gets up.

She comes out blinking in those new glasses of hers with leg warmers and Nikes on.

"I'm broke now, after these," you say, sliding a plate of pancakes in front of Mara.

"Oh. Okay... My bag's in the car, I think...How much do I owe you?"

"He's the best!" Benyamin shrieks, slurping his banana flavoured milk with the curly fun straw you've bought him. "You gotta let him stay another night, mum!"

"Hold still," you tell the boy, sliding his banana milk to the left, positioning your phone in front of his face, getting a photograph good enough for Ma.

*

Can't walk down her street, can't be seen by her on Facebook with that name. Can't Tweet that one, can't go to the gym where the other ones goes. All you can do without changing your routines is wait until everyone has healed, smoke all the cash in all your bank accounts and pick up this Dutch girl who says she's 19 and let her buttcheeks slam against your waist on the bottom bunk of a dorm full of backpackers using cellphones and even with your eyes closed, picturing the girl 20 years from now, desperate to have you, begging and clutching so she won't be alone, you can't climax –

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