Undomesticated Violence

A little writing exercise in keeping the action going, inspired by Kiss With a Fist by Florence and the Machine.


 

“Don’t, Cherie. I’m warning you…” I could see her deliberating, weighing the consequences. Behind the storm in her eyes I thought I saw a lightning-flash of delight as I threw down the gauntlet. She picked it up, along with a heavy crystal ashtray which she hurled at my head. It passed close enough to my left ear that I could almost hear the death-cries of snuffed out smokes.

She yelled “Kiss my ass!” as it crashed into the glass of the china cabinet behind me. A shower of shards rained on the back of my head and neck.

“I warned you, dammit! You’re in for it now!” I lunged at the dining room chair standing in my way, tossed it aside and reached for her shoulder. She did a one-eighty and ran from me, and my hand clutched air. I came down hard on my knees, cursing, but was up the next second, right behind her. She slid on the polished wood floor into the back of the sofa, ricocheted off it right into me. I caught her by the wrist. She whimpered, let out a little cry like a snared fox, and slapped me in the face, hard. I smacked her back.

Blood trickled from her lip to her chin. She swiped at it with the back of her free hand, narrowed her eyes and spit in my face. Reflexively, I let go. “You little bitch…” I could feel my blood pressure rising.

She ran into the living room and snatched an empty wine bottle from the coffee table.

I stopped in my tracks. “Cherie, you crack my skull, you’ll go to jail and I’ll–”

“Go to hell!” Cherie let it fly. I ducked and the sucker stuck in the drywall behind me. We both stared at it a moment and I turned back to her.

“Oh, babe, you are so going to pay for that.”

“Bite me.”

“I intend to.”

She turned toward the hall. I grabbed a throw pillow from the sofa and threw it over her head. It landed in front of her, tripped her up, cushioned her shins as she fell on her face.

“Gotcha!” I threw myself at her, meant to tackle and pin her, but quick as a whip-lash, she was up and running as fast as I went down. She ran into the bedroom, slammed the door. I heard the lock click.

“You’re in trouble now, girl.” I leaned on the door to catch my breath, wondered what I might catch on the other side of it. Best not to let her have too much time to think. I backed up a couple feet and slammed my boot heel into the door by the knob. It flew open.

The moment I set foot in the room, something crashed down on my skull. There was a stupefying supernova of light followed by a swirling maelstrom of stars. I waited for them to fade. “Geezus, what the fuck was that?” I looked down at the shattered glass and heavy silver-plated frame of our wedding photo, then looked at Cherie. Her chin jutted out in a self-satisfied grin, challenge glinted in her eyes. Blood trickled into mine. I grabbed the hem of my t-shirt and wiped my face. Cherie stood there waiting for me to make a move.

I took a step in her direction and she threw out a punch. I caught her tiny fist in one hand and laughed. She tried to slap me with the other, and I fished the air until I hooked her wrist. With my head cocked back, looking down my nose at her, I danced her backwards to the bed. She tried to wrench herself from my grip, but I tightened my hold until she cursed and stopped jerking away. When the mattress was behind her, I gave her a shove. She bounced onto it.

She stared, momentarily frozen, like she could read my mind. There was blood smeared across her chin, and her hair was damp with sweat, sticking to her skin at her temples and brow. My bloodied t-shirt was clinging to me.

Suddenly she rolled, scrambled to the nightstand. I snatched her by one ankle and yanked her back. She twisted and flipped onto her back again, breaking my hold. She landed a heel in my crotch.

“Dammit!” It was enough of a blow to make me grab my junk, but not enough to double me over. She smiled, and again reached for the nightstand. She opened the drawer and shoved in a hand. I flipped her onto her back and threw myself on her, but she had the gun and smacked the side of my head with it.

I cursed and grabbed her wrist, shook it hard and the gun flew from her hand, knocking over the St. Jude votive candle she’d lit that morning. Cherie squirmed, looked up into my face.

“What now, Cherie?” I had my hands around her small wrists, my body heavy on hers, both of us breathing in the same cubic inches of heated air between us. A curl of smoke, an odor a bit like burning paper, a little like burning hair, rose from beside the bed. She thrashed beneath me, tried without success to get her teeth into my forearm.

She thought I was cheating on her. This time she claimed it was with my boss’ wife. It was bullshit, of course, but my boss apparently trusted his wife about as much as Cherie trusted me. I’d come back to the machine shop from lunch to find a new padlock on my locker and all my shit in a brown paper grocery sack. Cherie couldn’t keep a job for two weeks, so we’d likely be homeless if I couldn’t find another gig soon.

Tears welled up in her eyes. “I hate you!” she spat.

“Yeah, well I hate you, too, you insane bitch!”

The carpet was aflame, and we were rage-fucking like animals when the police and fire department broke in.

For skin

564

“Omigod!”

I don’t know what kind of reaction I was expecting. It wasn’t this. Apparently it was her first time seeing an uncircumcised penis.

“What’s wrong with it?” She was literally recoiling in horror. “Oh god…is it shrinking?”

I leaned back in the car seat, closed my eyes and sighed. “Yeah, I guess it is.”

It was the summer of my sophomore year at a new high school, and the closest I’d come to “getting some.” Ellen, being even less experienced than me, wasn’t really my first choice for lifting my virgin status, but she was cute, curvy and seemed to like me. In all honesty, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t her first choice either. Well, at this point I was very, very sure.

She was quiet for a time. I finally ventured to open one eye. She was still staring at my groin with a look of morbid fascination. Like the way someone might look at the wriggling halves of a severed earthworm. Okay, that was an unfortunate analogy, but there wasn’t much left of my pride or anything else at this point. I sighed again, tucked my shriveled manhood back into my pants and arched my back to zip up.

“I’m not circumcised, Ellen.”

“Which means…?”

“They usually do it to the baby boys at the hospital. My mother refused to let them do me. All boys are like this until they get cut.”

“No way!”

My blood having been first warmed by passion and then by humiliation, I was sweating like a draft horse in a sauna. The car windows were fogging. I rolled mine down a couple inches. “Can we just change the subject?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to–”

“Forget it. It’s okay.”

A pause. “So…what do you want to do now?”

“I dunno. Become a monk, I guess.”

“No, I mean right now.”

I looked over at her in the dim light. She looked so soft, no hard lines. And she smelled really nice, like shampoo and clean laundry.  I wanted to put my hands all over her, squish her body against mine. “Wanna grab a bite to eat?” It was the next best thing.

We ordered a couple burgers and Cokes at a drive-thru, then I parked by the basketball court, under the light, and we ate. Ellen pulled a long, limp French fry from the Styrofoam carton and observed it, wagged it back and forth like a metronome.

“Are you really disappointed?” she asked.

“About what?”

“You know.”

“Nah. It’s okay just hanging out with you. You’re not bad company.”

She smiled. “Thanks. Neither are you. Some guys might have taken me home right away.”

“Yeah, well, some guys are jerks.” Not to mention that I had an older brother who made it part of his daily routine to humiliate me. My ego was used to a bruising.

She dipped the fry in ketchup and held it out to me. I ate it from her fingers. No, she really wasn’t bad company.

We finished the food in silence and stuffed all the garbage into the empty cups. As I walked across the court to take it to the overflowing trash can, I thought about the ridiculousness of this rush to have sex. I mean, two and a half more years I’d be in college. There would be mature people there, right? People who wouldn’t give a shit one way or another whether I’d had sex or not. Experienced women who had seen an uncut dick. I could jack off for a couple more years, wondering what it actually felt like to…

Two years seemed to stretch out before me to a vanishing point on the horizon.

I slipped back into the car and took a deep breath. “Guess I better take you home.”

“In a little while.” Ellen scooted closer, close enough for me to smell the ketchup on her breath. She leaned her head on my shoulder, placed a hand on my thigh. A tremor passed from my chest to my crotch. I vowed to ignore it, but turned my head a little to inhale the scent of her hair. I saw that the buttons on her blouse were undone.

“My nipples don’t match,” she whispered.