Lions for Lovebugs

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
"Your heart can't save you in a world where the heartless will kill you." This work of prose examines the social dynamics that exists between the lines of love and lust. Within the main character lies the universal yet primal instinct of lust, one that yearns for more than it should which may ultimately lead to its destruction. The piece has the tone of a horror story as the main characters views its lovers as “victims” yet at its heart is a tale of the supremacy of love. The relationships presented will reveal a much greater truth; sometimes one must sacrifice who they are for what they must become.

Submitted: April 03, 2008

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Submitted: April 03, 2008

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Lions for Love Bugs
Fear, Anger, and Sexual Arousal, 3 diverse emotions usually evoke equally diverse effects. Yet these 3 produce the exact same physiological responses. In each case, the muscles constrict, breathing deepens, skin tightens, heart rate hastens so on and so forth. The human body honestly can’t tell the difference. Amazing? Not really. I know these explicit details because I often encounter all 3. I’m a monster in true fashion. No I don’t greet you in nightmares, nor do I dine on flesh. See my appetite is a little harder to please than the typical beasts, I feast upon hearts. Let me explain. I am human…only in the sense that I share the same biological structure as you and everyone else, and it’s not that I lack reason cause I have plenty of that too. But it’s all taken just as it’s given, for surface value. I’m a constant contradiction in my dealings. I can’t…well don’t function like you and yours. I’ve tried it, and it confuses me. Conversation is meant solely for communication, favors are merely generous deeds spawned out of the endless kindness of the human heart, we play dress up in hopes of pleasing only ourselves, and a smile is just a smile right? Well that’s the fable you choose to believe and live in, (if you’re one of the many that do, you deserve every ravenous fiend you attract) and I’ll pretend to play by your rules while I thrive on the socially blind and emotionally inept, those at the bottom of the food chain who can’t see me for what I am. And if you’re expecting me to apologize for being a wolf in wolf’s clothing, or expecting me to make a sincere attempt at provoking any form of sympathy for me or my prey, you’re dead wrong. I am what I am, and I make no apologies for it. I have no feelings of remorse for the so called victims, nor do I expect you to. It’s simply in my nature to do what I do, pure instinct, and to act or pretend it’s not would be more disgusting than the deeds it contradicts. I digress; no I’m not a vampire, werewolf, demon, or any other supernatural incarnation, I am human like you. But what lies behind the layers of bright smiles, and soft flesh is a monster. My appearance doesn’t justify my true intentions, and if I haven’t hinted at my true intentions enough already, I apologize, let me clarify.
Though I’ve never literally torn into one’s chest cavity, ripped the warm beating organ from its space only to deliver it to the depths of my stomach, some could say my technique in a way parallels these visuals. Let’s say the chest cavity (equipped with muscles, and the protective rib cage attached) I split into serves not as a physical barrier, but as an emotional defense mechanism, guarding that which is supposed to be ones most prized possession, the heart. But the hearts I devour, while still very alive and beating like their physical counterparts, doesn’t trickle with warm blood or bits of hanging tissue, but passion, intimacy, and love. Now the one thing I will defend about my ways is that I do NOT smash into one’s being, stripping them of the most prominent ability that separates the humans from my kind, the ability to love. It’s simply offered to me, for lack of a better term, on a platter. Because they mistake my growl for my smile, lust for trust, venom for words of romance, and bites for kisses, they openly prepare themselves as a full course meal (their minds for an appetizer, hearty hearts for the main course, and of course their sugary bodies for dessert!). I would be a fool to turn down their propositions, especially with a hunger such as mine. And it’s from this hunger I’ve begun to spiral out of control. I can’t help myself. It’s beginning to consume every facet of my masquerading existence. I fear my increasingly grotesque appetite will swallow me whole.
Last night as I began to feed, I felt a cold sharp pain from inside. It called to me, screams echoing from deep within, begging pleading for more. I had already exhausted my victim enough for one night, but those damn screams were deafening my surroundings. I had to depart from feeding to collect my breath. The poor soul at my side questioned my well being as if I were the one in danger!
“What…what’s wrong? Did I do something wrong?”
The shrieks from within were growing. How could the damn fool not hear them?! It commanded me to continue, though I felt my belly had been filled nearly bursting at its seams. I attempted to escape, but couldn’t resist. The pain had dulled my senses. And there in that dimly lit cave of a room, my gorgeous body riddled with sweat painted golden from the bedside lamp became completely and utterly numb. I could feel nothing. To both my victim and my gluttonous pain I replied “No, nothings wrong. I’m sorry it’s just that…you…took my breath away.” The bear trap shut closed and the eyes of the meal that lay before me eased. I switched on the lights of the room exposing us both, I wanted to witness every emotion this poor soul was about to express. The bright hot bulbs bathed us in an intense white sterile light. I made my victim watch every movement, every motion as I ravished its body against the sterile white cave. I felt its heart beat with ecstasy as it found its way into the acidic depths of my stomach. The pain subsided. I could feel again.

But rejoice dear friend, I’ve found an antidote. And if you’re thinking conformity, well dear friend I fucking reject it. Like an addict taking drugs as a protest against reality, or a murderous psychopath killing in order to keep what ever little sanity is left, I fucking reject it. This creature shall not conform, but rather transform. A hybrid, the mind of a monster with the heart of a human, you will witness evolution first hand. Indeed there must be one whom I can love without actually falling victim to love. Understand it’s imperative I succeed, you all should be praying for my success. It’s necessary I find this balance within myself, cause it means the balance of the world. If we continue our gluttonous ways, they’ll be no more loving souls to feast upon which will undoubtedly bring the death of me and my kind. I suppose by now you must be eager to know, who is this brave soul willing to shoulder the fates of humanity and monstrosities alike? You may have noticed I’ve made no reference to my race, past, appearance, or even gender. You most likely have assumed a certain face and frame to this evil, but that says more about you than it does about me. I could verily be described as anyone. Why couldn’t I be the thin bodied Asian girl lurking around the corners of the library? Or why not the elderly postman whose deliveries are never as pleasant as his relaxing smile? You’ve certainly run into me or my kind before, or maybe you’re a creature yourself. Either way it’s not important. I’m not much in terms of beauty (inner or outer), nor do I stand out in a crowd. I’m not supposed to. All one needs to know is that I’m gorgeous in all of my ways and brilliant in every one of my dealings. Who I am isn’t as important as what I am. What I am isn’t as important as what I’ve done. And what I’ve done can’t compare to what I will do. Observe.

Gripping my head, I rose from the damp sand stumbling. My brain expanding and contracting attempting to escape my skull, no doubt a punishment for the excess of cheap wine. FUCK! It’s 11:00 am I’m going to be late. I’ll have to leave this fast. I glanced down at last nights’ meal rising slowly greeting me with,
“So where do we go from here?”
“No good morning?” How rude I thought. This one wasn’t a bad catch, but I’ve done better. “We need to go our separate ways; I have class in an hour.” I said.
I really didn’t have class for another 2 hours at least, but still there was another appointment. Still rising, clumps of sand fell from places sand should never see. Her legs began to tremble, probably from discomfort in the hips.

“I know I know, but that’s not what I meant. What’s this between you and me?” she whispered. Now at this point I noticed the soreness of her jaws slurred her speech. Amusing at first, but now it’s annoying. I continued to swipe the debris from my raw chest and thighs as I replied, “Look, I can’t do this right now, can we talk later?” “That’s fine. See…I don’t usually do this and…I just need to know you were serious about last night.” I shot her an unfamiliar look. “You know, about what you told me?” she said. Oh FUCK I thought to myself, no more wine from Walgreen’s I swear. What did I tell this poor girl? My brain was swollen, feels like its going to give birth any second and this talk of nonsense isn’t helping either. The dense mass of green waters at our side crept around our feet. Dreary clouds above us collided as the water began to twinkle from the collision of rain drops against the surface. Just the break I needed, God through me a life line. “It’s beginning to drizzle, and I really have to go, we’ll talk later.” She struggled to speak but I placed my index finger over her lips silencing her. My thin lips reached her cold skin as I released her with a softly placed kiss on the forehead. There was blank silence about her which transferred into the atmosphere. Even the frothy waves froze their crashing against the shore, if but a second or two. The water droplets from above landed on my throbbing skull snapping me and the waves out of her trance. I began walking from the shore to my car. As I turned to wave, a solid tear rolled from her right eye, over the peak of her cheek, then settling at the corner of her spectacular smile. I was tickled, this time not at her inherent suffering, but the silly expression she gave. Her face contradicted itself, each section literally challenging the other. Her rose tinted skin turned a violent bright red and her nostrils flared open. That lovely smile of her’s twisted to a half crescent moon while she bit her lips. But the eyes gave it away. Ohh the eyes never lie do they? Something brewed behind those eyes of hers. I’m not sure if it was me or herself she was trying to convince. I returned the favor with a reassuring smile. She wasn’t a bad catch, but I’ve done better. I eventually found my car parked along the beach road. Inside I adjusted my hair and appearance in the mirrors. No time to waste, I was already late and judging by the weather traffic would be horrible.

The florescent blue numbers on the radio blinked 11:41 as the car tires rolled to a stop. I was parked along the curb of a humble 2 bedroom house. It was the smallest house on the street in a quiet suburban neighborhood, Oak Grove, though there wasn’t an oak tree in sight. The area reeked of freshly cut lawns and blooming flowers, each house lavish yet uniform, quite boring. I honked the horn twice then yelled out the window through the broken picket fence. “HEY! HURRY THE FUCK UP! WE’RE LATE!”
The front door swings open and introduces an attractive 6’3, coco skinned male with broad shoulders. His $16 hair cut was edged with surgical precision forming acute angles its points, dress shirt tucked into his khaki slacks with a matching brown tie. Everything about his appearance was fine tuned to perfection. Handsome? Yes, but not as gorgeous as I.
He yelled back in an intense voice about two levels above a whisper, “Don’t do that!” “Mike we’re not in a movie theater, why are you talking like that?”
“Cause this is a nice neighborhood, I like living here and I want my neighbors to like me living here too!” He reached back inside and grabbed a black umbrella, a leather brief case, and his daily copy of the wall street journal. Then proceeding down the stone path through the front yard, I could see he was disturbed by my arrival. “Why must you do that?” he said opening the passenger door.
“Because you react like that” I laughingly replied though Mike didn’t find it funny. He shrugged it off and pointed through the windshield signaling to leave.
“So why were you late? Mike said nodding at the clock.
“Nothin serious, business as usual” Excess sand falls from my ankles to the car floor, Mike notices.
“You know that’s going to get old someday.” I take notice of the sand.
“What? Going to the beach?”
“No, you know what I mean?”
I stayed silent for a moment paying more attention to the rain drops scattering across the road. “Look I don’t mean pry, but these sexcapades have to stop some time”
I said nothing choosing only to smile at him intensely.
“Forget it why do I even try, one day you’ll grow up.” Mike quickly folds his newspaper then puts it away. He takes out a ledger and an accounting book from his briefcase and begins to shuffle through papers.
“For what?” I strike back “I guess I could get a stable career, find that special someone, move into that droning graveyard you call a neighborhood, raise the kids to be upstanding citizens, only to grow old with my loving companion while we deteriorate watching our potential lives fade into obscurity…right?”
He continues to shuffle through papers then responds, “There’s nothing wrong with desiring stability; a nice home and loving family to come home to.”
“Well thanks…but no thanks. Look at you—“
“Look at me; I’m an intelligent black male with a CPA license at the young age of 21. I have good credit, in a few years I’ll be a home owner, and I’m—”
“A VIRGIN!!” I scream childishly. “Geez Louise, I’d probably let you fuck me if you weren’t so pathetic.”
“Oh thanks I guess, I think I’ll pass.”
“I bet.”
Mike strikes me on the shoulder then smiles. “I look for other qualities than just physical from the women I meet.”
“And that’s why you’re a virgin.”
“Because I want to know there’s something more to the flesh I’m swapping bodily fluids with? That’s fine for a brute like you, but I prefer intellect sex.”
“Intellect sex? Is that like mind fucking someone?”

“Wha…no this doesn’t involve anything like that.”

“So what is it?”

“It’s the exchanging of ideas, particularly the ones that stimulate the brain.”

“Ahh stimulation of the brain eh? Sounds like foreplay for virgins.

“You should try it sometime.”

“And you do this often?”

"When I find someone worthy of my time, yea."

I bit my lips struggling not to burst with laughter. “So give me the juicy details behind

these mental intercourse sessions of yours.”

No…that’s personal”

I explode with laughter causing my abdominal muscles to ache. “No but really what do you do?”

“I don’t kiss and tell.”

“Ok one; you don’t kiss anybody so there’s usually nothing to tell. And two; I never

hesitate to tell you my stories.”

“Yea but that’s cause I never ask. You just go on and on-”

“But you never stop me.”

“Ok if it’ll shut you up I’ll tell you this.”

“I’m listening.”

Mike began to open up as I turned the corner to our destination, Mr Chan’s Chow. Due to my late arrival our sit down brunch was canceled. Deciding to grab our meals to go, I pulled into the parking lot settling behind 5 cars in the drive thru line.

“You know that girl I’ve been telling you about?”

“Uhh yea the actor with the body ink?”

“Her name is Olive. But yea, we’ve been talking for a minute now and I think it’s starting

to get serious.”

“How so?”

“Well a few nights ago we were exchanging ideas on love-” as he speaks I can’t help but

roll my eyes.

“And she not only opened my eyes but confirmed my beliefs on the subject as well.”

“Wow, you actually found another person who feels wasting your life for someone else is

the way to go huh?”

“Yea I know! But we don’t see it as wasting anything.”

“Ok so where do you see this going between you two?”

“I can really see myself sharing a future with her.”

“Whoa now kiddo, don’t you think you’re jumping a little ahead?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean you’ve only known this girl for like 3 weeks.”

“3 months.”

“Ok so in 3 months what do you really know about her? Have you ever been to her

home?”

“No she’s not comfortable with bringing men she just met to her home.”

“It’s been 3 months!” I exclaim while Mike looks confused.

“Ok, so have you met her friends?”

“No.”

“Family?”

“No”

“Does she have a job?”

“Yea she’s a stage actor.”

“Have you seen any of her plays?”

“No she’s been out of work for awhile.”

“So how does she make money? And what does she do when she’s not with you?”

“Well she takes classes at the university. And she writes reviews of different theaters for

some website. Oh and she has to travel a lot because of it.”

“Let me guess, that’s why you don’t see her that much, cause she’s out of town right?”

“Right.”

I shake my head in sympathy. We pull up to the drive through menu, order the usual and pull around to pick it up. The rain steadily increases to nearly zero visibility. I decide to skip class today but of course Mike still needs to go so I decide I’ll drop him off. We sit stuck in traffic and I begin to eat my bourbon chicken. Mike takes out his fortune cookie and reads it.

“Hmmm….tell me what you make of this.

“What’s up?”

Mike reads “Why is the lion strong?”

“Don’t know, why?” I preply

He reads, “The lion is strong, because it was born that way. What do you think that

means?”
I pause for a moment of self reflection. The question echoed behind the corners of my mind before I decide to let it go.

“No idea Mike.”

We finally make it on campus and I let him out.

As he steps outside onto the soaked curb I ask “So are we on for tonight? Promise I won’t be late.”

“Sorry I have a date.”

“Con artist girl?”

“Yea we’re supposed to catch a play late tonight.”

“Sounds fun, I guess I’ll catch you later.” I say cringing at the thought of a lonely night. “You need a ride home?”

“No thanks I’ll catch a cab.” He says as he shuts the door and goes on his way.

As he disappears into the admin building I flip open my cell phone and scroll to the name “Lioness.” I send her a text saying “We need to talk….asap.” I sat in the campus parking lot drifting away. Staring at the name in my phone, my God awful hunger pains forced me to reminisce on the potential victim. It never ceases to amaze me how I find these souls. The slightest of coincidences can ensnare a human, changing their future in a moment. If but a second or two early or late we’d never cross paths and they might’ve escaped the grasp of fate.

In class about 3 weeks ago, I over heard a side conversation during another mindless lecture. My head was resting on my desk when the young woman seated to my left spoke to her idiot friend. “I think I’m starting to like him, I mean he makes me feel…I don’t know, human?” I sat up now listening attentively but the professor signaled the girls to stop talking. What the hell was she referring to? Does she know the identities of humans and monsters? That one comment of hers had drawn her into my focus for the rest of the class period. Sometimes that’s all it takes to spark an interests. Now I had never noticed this woman before, but the more I observed the more I assumed. And the more I assumed the more I desired. For that one statement I wanted to destroy her. Everything she had loved and everything she could ever love I wanted to bludgeon to a gory pulp, a mixture of sappy thoughts, sultry love songs and all that I abhorred about the humans. Disgust would become her anchor weighing down any positive thoughts from surfacing at the sight of intimacy. I wanted it to be because of me. And more so than my God awful desires, I envied this one. That blinding innocence coated underneath cold concrete cynicism of what she’d probably swore she “knew.” I had to break it. As I recall it was pouring the same earth cleansing rain as it is today. As the weather intensified outside, the classroom windows clouded and so did my mind. She would be the one I had been searching for, my test, my prey, my cure. Eyes fixated upon her frame scanning every flaw and perfection, I began to salivate. My appetite screamed for her increasing my heart rate at an alarming pace. Hunger pains deadened every sense except for one, common sense. There’s no way I’d fall victim to anyone, including myself! I needed to save this one; she’d be my way out, salvation from a self designed hell. She was a colorful thing. Her peach highlights oddly matched the hazel hair that flowed pass her shoulders. The colors complimented her honey dipped skin tone. Curvaceous and soft, I imagined she smelled of fresh strawberries, possibly tasting that way too. Her bold blood red lips were full and thick and looked as if they were exploding from her face, a good catch no doubt. Beads of sweat formed on my temples lightly streaming their way across the cheeks. The ice cool demeanor I’d dressed myself in began to melt. Sounds of the teacher’s lecture were now non existent. Only the rhythmic tapping of my new found glory’s pen against her notebook resonated back and forth between my eardrums. Was she anxious or nervous? Annoyed or bored? I’d march through Hell to find out. She had a tattoo on her lower back, a tramp stamp as I liked to call it. The vivid ink stood out like a bull’s eye, but I couldn’t make out what the figure was? When she turned to speak to her friend I strategically swiped her rainbow umbrella from beneath the desk. At the end of class she walked into the hallway and I followed.

“Hey I think you forgot something?” I said waving the umbrella.
“Oh wow, yea I might need that today, thanks I owe you one.” I handed her the object noticing another tat on her hand, some type of insect maybe a ladybug? She turns to walk away, but not before I reply.
“Hey you know what, you wanna make it up to me?” She squints her eyes skeptically but I interrupt her thoughts. “Seeing as though I don’t have an umbrella and you do, can you walk me to class, it’d be much appreciated.” I gave her my most heart warming smile to which she couldn’t resist.
“Sure I guess that’s fair.” As she turned I gained a small glimpse of the back tattoo, the head of a roaring lion preparing to strike. Her name was Olive, but to me she was the Lioness.
The annoying beep of my phone snapped me out of my day dream. It was text from the Lioness saying “Come over at 8”

The florescent blue numbers on the radio blinked 8:09 as I pulled into the apartment complex parking lot. The weather had ceased for about two hours but began again as soon as my foot hit the blackened pavement. Standing under the light post I stared above into the blackened clouds. The silver imprint of the moon poked through the charcoal drenched sky, a lovely night yes it was. I began to walk along the wet path illuminated by the light post directing me up the stairs to her door, apartment 304. I’ve never seen this place before as she supposedly never invites anyone over. A pinch of guilt stuck my side as I realized I was invited over before Mike, but I knocked anyway and she quickly opened. With her peach locks tied back, she was dressed in striped pajama pants and an extra small wife beater.

“Hey come in.” She proceeded to the kitchen to which I followed taking a seat at the bar counter. Scanning my surroundings I noticed the apartment was eerily vacant, devoid of any color except that which the streetlights provided shining through the kiwi curtains on to the floor. The plush carpet held a soft oatmeal tint, but that was it. There was no furniture, vases, flower pots, not even pictures of family or her younger self in sight. I peeked my head down the hallway leading to her bed room, but the door was barely cracked open. I could see nothing. Attempting to make conversation with the lack of conversation pieces I spoke
“Sooo, what is it you do around here?”
Smirking with that damn twinkle in her eyes she says, “Oh I find ways to keep myself busy, but I’m usually not here.”
“Where are you?”
“Out and about, hey you hungry?”
“I could eat.”
She reaches into the refrigerator and pulls out a fresh bag of purple seedless grapes. Her nimble fingers pick the largest grape I’ve ever seen in my life and places the moist plump object onto the curves of her lips. She presses her teeth through the grape causing an explosion of juice. The liquid drips from her mouth, down her chin, then falls on to the rise of her breast.
Glancing at me she asks “Wanna bite?”
Though my cool was methodically melted away, I froze. “Umm.. uhh no that’s ok”
“Suite yourself” she replies as she unclips her phone from her hips and places both the bag and the cell phone onto the polished countertop. Feeling my blood cells increasing their momentum as they coursed through the veins; I decided to get her talking about herself. We haven’t really had the chance to get “close” over the pass few weeks, both of us not wanting to give any grounds for attachment, just all small talk with hints of sexual innuendo here and there. But what someone says about themselves speaks volumes even if they’re lying…as a matter of fact, especially if they’re lying.
“Tell me about your tattoos particularly that lion on your back.”
“Hmmm, I’d rather talk about the love bug.”
“Huh?”
“The love bug” she says wiggling her cute hand flashing me the tattoo.
“So tell me about the love bug tattoo.”
“Do you believe in love?”
Why the fuck does she keep dodging my questions?! Shaken for a second, I calmly replied “What kind of question is that?”
“It’s a simple question.”
“No it’s not, you’re talking as if love is something that either exists or doesn’t exist. That’s like asking if you believe in ghosts or vampires or aliens-“
“Exactly” She says.
My eyes squint peering into her expressionless face.
“It’s pretty much the same principle. Love is a concept. One that you can either believe in or not, better yet accept or not-“
“Do you accept it?” I shoot back.
“I….” She pauses for a moment and looks around as if she’s searching the air for her answer then happily replies “I accept love bugs.”
“Umm, I didn’t know that was an option…care to explain?”
“Do you like love bugs?”
“I suppose? What does this have to do with- “
“Did you know love bugs have no natural enemies?”
“Natural enemies? Oh you mean they don’t get eaten?”
“Yes, but do you know why they don’t get eaten?”
“Umm, probably because they don’t taste good.”
She chuckles then merrily continues her string of perplexing questions “Have you eaten love bugs before?”
“I’ve eaten many things before, but love bugs? No.”
“Well you’re partially right as to why they aren’t eaten. Love bugs are not a favored food of most insectivores but not because of their taste. They are harmless, pose a threat to no one and thus, do not get eaten.”
“Oh really, so how does nature keep them under control, you know from overpopulating?”
“I mean besides being spread across the windsheilds of every passing vehicle on a country highway, basically they kill themselves…using love.”
I lean in closer hanging onto every word.
“See upon reaching maturity the love bug spends the entirety of its life coexisting with its mate, hence its romantic nickname. The male and female attatch themselves and remain that way at all times.”
“How lovely.”
“Yes, but here’s the catch. After mating the male dies and is then dragged around by the female until she lays her eggs, who shortly after dies herself. And it’s in this observation of the not-so-simple love bug we learn the true meaning of love.”
“Don’t have kids or else you’ll die?”
“Close, but not quite sweetheart.” She says as she winks her glossy amber toned eye.
“They surrender themselves over to their mates all the while knowing what will follow… DEATH!” she slams her fists on the porcelien countertop which is met with the sudden clasps of thunder causing the bag of grapes to fall over. I jump at the sound and she takes notice.
“Most people would find that depressing.” I say trying to find humor.
She lowers her voice to a sultry tone, leans over the bar counter and closes in on my face. Only 2 inches of air separate our frames.
“Honey if you haven’t noticed already…” She moves in for a kiss, I brace myself. Then in a split second before our lips touch she whips her head around and whispers into my ear…
“I’m not most people.” She tilts back and laughs while popping another grape into her mouth. I laugh convincingly though not amused.
“Do you find it depressing?” She asks
“Not at all. I see it more of as a fact of life, just the way things are. I mean you don’t have observe love bugs to notice. Take my friend for example, he would gladly forfiet his own happiness for the sake of a so called loved one.”
“And you wouldn’t?” she asks
“Should I?”
“That’s not for me to answer, but I will say this. I think it’s beautiful. Love has to exist in order for the species to go on. But upon finding that special soul or in the love bugs’ case, mate, one must sacrifice who they are for what they must become. Love without sacrifice is…”
As she struggles to find a suitable expression I can’t help but feel giddy inside. MY GOD, I’ve found her. She understands me without understanding who I am. She brings me back to our moment as she speaks.
“I don’t know, there’s just no point to all this without the love bugs.”
“And what about lions?” I ask pointing to her back.
Her demeanor shifts as if she wants to crack my skull against the counter tops, then gives me an ill-mannered look and stares me square in the eye.
“Did you come hear to talk about my tattoos all night?”
“No.”
“So why are you here?”
“I-“ as I begin to answer her phone vibrates and I twitch at the sound. She doesn’t take her eyes off of me and sweeps the phone into her tattooed hand. Giving the phone a quick glance, she reads the message, smirks then ignores the text.
“So you were saying?”
But before I can answer she interrupts me again, “I’m sorry that was rude of me. I’ll be right back.” She wipes her grape soaked hands against her thin pants and walks into the back hallway rambling on about God knows what. As she’s gone I grip my forehead straining whatever thoughts I can that may clue me into why is it exactly I decided come over? My eyes scan the surroundings looking for clues but I was genuinely clueless. My stomach held a certain uneasiness, snickering at the chance to erupt with hysterical hunger at any moment or the calm before the storm as I liked to call it. I searched the countertop eyeing her upside down phone. I read the backwards words. “On…my way…in about 73…no 37 mins…you see, wait no see you soon…from…Mike.” MIKE! That’s right Mike is why …oh Christ Mike. Just at the revelation drenched me in panic I look up noticing steam rising from the hallway accompanied with the sound of…a shower? The Lioness prowled back into sight this time wearing only a cotton bath robe.
“Umm, Olive what the fuck is going on?”
“You tell me” she replied while swinging her hair loose. She slowly motioned toward me. Her gorgeous clear coated toe nails clawed into the plush carpet, slowly stalking me as I backed away. With each foot print left in the oatmeal floor, cold sharp pains from deep within increased in volume. Paralyzed I could feel nothing.
“Look I know about Mike.”
“And?”
“And I know it’s starting to get serious between you two.”
Chuckling she replies, “You believe that?”
“Is it true?”
“Does it matter? I mean come on consider the source, it’s Mike!”
She continued stomping, no marching to me while the twisting of my gut turned from numbing to agonizing. But there wasn’t much time left, just like Mike to be so fucking exact, 37 instead of 40 or even 45 mins. I struggled to speak I really did.
“We can’t do this.”
“Do what?”
Her lips connected with mine. I blinked my eyes close, once opened we we’re in her bed room. I noticed she had devoured my shirt and began moving across my flesh.
At my pains and to the beast before me I hungrily shouted “It’s….it’s not right!”
“Right is only three lefts, no more no less.” She whispers into my ear as she kisses me goodbye with her sensual touch.
I could sense myself parting. Risen from the soul, coursing between the tangled and mangled mess of beating veins and capillaries, forging forward through the decrepit openings of the heart, traversing the now overexerted synapses of the mind, escaping through the pores of my now frozen skin, I was dying fighting to sacrifice what I am, for what I may become.

That night I slipped into an endless nightmare (imagine that, a monster having nightmares??) You know the myth that in dreams when you die you automatically awake? Definitely not true. I swam with a school of angels among vast gray clouds. Soaring to and fro dodging thunderous strikes of lighting, tempting and teasing death as bolts sifted pass my body and through my hair, it was euphoric, the feeling of invincibility. Blackened clouds thickened and my movements stiffened slowing my soar to sluggish crawl. But the angels begged me to continue, and I fought with every damn muscle to keep pace. My crawl eventually halted and the waves of blackness pulled me under. Drowning in the ocean of electrified clouds, the lighting danced around my exasperated body eventually striking my core. My organs shifted violently. OH CHRIST that horrifying feeling! My fingernails became as lead rods attracting the wrath of Zeus upon my quivering frame. Jolts traveled through every cell of my soul, all exploding and imploding simultaneously. A million watts of energy traveled my bones sapping up the marrow inside. I…I couldn’t breathe; my lunges were exhaling blacked blood soaked ash from deep within. And through all this pain I was amazed…astonished at how such gorgeous golden rays hand crafted by God could cause pain that should never be felt by monsters or humans alike. With every strike I couldn’t resist its gracefully painted dance through my being. Christ’s golden swords sliced my body, each one razor thin loud as battleship cannons bursting my eardrums, evoking thousands of clean tiny incisions through muscles which stung like fucking paper cuts. But I was so dulled by the stunning beauty of it all…heavenly hell…a sight worthy only for the eyes of angels. Funny I should say that because it’s at this point I noticed those bitches laughing hysterically at my agonizing situation. DAMN THOSE ANGELS with their divine sick laughs! Maybe it was them controlling the rhythmic strikes? They knew I’d be captivated and tortured by their splendor? But no, it was I who chose to swim after them. Both mind and body failed me and I fell softly. My discolored carcass finally found its way through the blackened abyss landing on a king’s plush bed below. And there I lay for an eternity, tear soaked pupils fixated on dreams of soaring through the clouds above. Yes I laid there, brittle body bathed in my own blood and sins. The holy angels stopped their laughing and flown to me. Not saying a word, they comforted me, soothed me, pressingly kissing me all over. Their sweet honey dipped lips were softly placed over every wound. Syrupy sweet, gentle passionate kisses planted on my gushing remains lulled me to sleep. I felt remorse for my foolish dreams. And more so than I, the angels felt remorse. Their toy was broken. They kissed me farewell as I drifted away…A defeated Roman warrior, who lost a battle of wits of epic proportions….a Goliath slain by his own ambitions. A scene right out of Shakespeare! Glorious and graceful, if monsters are subject to human death this is how I wish to die.


© Copyright 2017 Darren Wallace. All rights reserved.

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