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Gifter
Writ Hate: Chapter 4
© 2022 James LaFond
DEC/31/22
Oxygen Thief Node East Prime: Peak Intake Valve
The ringing in his head was louder, deeper, keener. Yet he heard, among the screams and shouts and blubbering whines, “The corn is delicious this year…”
He shouldered past an Eater among the cars and opened his Wrangler and stood, momentarily looking at the wheel, at the leather seat he had covered himself and thought, ‘If I run—they catch me, they always catch the killer. It would be an admission of guilt.’
Men were standing around something in front of the cars, ‘Oh, the body of the Eater brother,’… a shout came, “He’s trying to run, block the street, block the street!”
A brick bounced off of the hard roof with a scraping rent. That would have angered him before his life had ended. But now, it just seemed that a clarity had settled upon the end of his life among people, before he was locked up to rot among two-legged animals.
‘Drive, drive up to the beach,’ he thought as he got in. ‘I’ll surrender to the cops up there.’
He looked behind him and saw a delivery truck driver listening to two Eaters and pulling his truck across the street to block his leaving. Landscaping stones rattles off of the jeep and one cracked a rear tail light. That made him laugh, ‘A tail light could get me pulled over. I’ll have to get that fixed.’
Yet other Eaters were behaving as if nothing happened, some across the street and next door, listening to 1970s classic rock music, as if the man who had been launched off the upper deck to his ruin was just some drunk lazing about in front of the parked cars on the sidewalk.
He started the Jeep up, which he had backed in earlier, to some comments about its illegality over head-in parking and eased it out without warming it up, which felt very strange. Not warming his jeep’s engine up and letting it idle for a few minutes, thus far, was the strangest feeling he had had this day. Even the feeling he had had over the three women in the mirror hallucination had not made him feel strange. Those mirror women were strange, not him. But this, not warming up his vehicle, that made him feel strange.
A stone broke a rear window above the spare tire. He oddly recalled the many decisions he had worked through to decide on the hard top option against the rag top, and as he eased off, the ringing in his ears keened like the bag pipes of hell.
People looked at him strangely as he eased up the road and others screamed from behind. He passed by two men who stood drinking beer, one waving to him and saying, “Rain, rain is coming, building over the inlet behind you—never seen no shit like this here, not in July.”
Brit nodded stupidly to him and asked, “Rain?” as sun beamed ahead of him down on the beach from the noon sky.
“Behind you, coming in strong. You’ll be fine if it floods. Nice rig, man!”
The other fellow nodded, saluted and drank from his beer as Brit eased the Wrangler up the road, careful not to run over any kids or bump into waddling fatties or bent old people with their beach chairs strapped to their backs. Music, TV shows, the peeps of children and the laughter of men haunted his progress like ghosts in a gallery as he rolled up towards the beach, these many people a mere two houses up seeming not even to notice the sorrow and death just a stone’s throw behind him, an Eater throw at that.
He had never liked the beach, had been dragged down to Ocean City twice as the boy of divorced parents, once to fish with Dad, who disappeared after that. The other time, Mom had dragged him down to the beach to relive his abandonment by Dad—who he never saw after that fishing trip. Mom had just hooked up with some Dominican baseball player and got railed in the back of the apartment while Brit watched TV in the main room. He recalled that the ball player had seemed to feel sorry for him, had treated him with a kind of apologetic deference, as if he too had once had his innocence snatched likewise away.
‘Well this is not innocent?’
As Brit nosed the jeep up towards the sand walk through the grassy dunes between the hideous hotels to the unseen beach above, only one figure occupied his field of vision, a tall, unlikely goddess among men who some older women and young men gawked at.
She was maybe six feet tall, was not tanned and not sun burned in her pink string bikini. Her hair was a yellow gold and flowed halfway down her back to brush her full round shoulders and cast a suggestion below to her fuller round hips. She walked in sandals with a string of pearls draped about her perfectly inset waist, an inward curve that made his eyes start and his head jut forward as he noted the upward and outward swell of her plush amplitude of breast.
Despite, or perhaps because of his impending arrest—and besides coming to the end of the street—Brit slowed down to take a good gander in profile. To this, he was pleased to find her face as beautiful and radiant as her body was lush and gradient.
She looked over her left shoulder, smiled at him, grinned, stopped, placed her hands on her perfect hips just below the string of pearls about her waist and said, “Don’t pass me by, Man.”
Brit kicked open the passenger side door and could not help but grin through the wailing siren song between his ears and admire the only perfect woman he had ever gazed upon as she climbed in with tall grace, smiled smugly and licked her full pink lips under her ghastly gray eyes, and said with sultry ease, “Thank you, Love.”
He stopped and stared, wondering if this was a hallucination like the women in the mirror. Her smile widened, she pulled his hand to her hip with one hand and his head to her lips with the other and kissed him, the best, most magical kiss he had ever experienced.
‘She tastes like milk and honey.’
She paused as he slid his hands up over her hips, in over her waist, and up under the cups of her bikini—and she snarled a snarl of approval and breathed into him like she was trying to reinflate his lungs, like a life guard would do to a drowning victim dragged out of the drink as he greedily caressed her breasts.
She pulled back and caressed his head with her two hands as he held her breasts and she smiled sadly and a tear wet her right eye, “You do not have long, My Pretty Man. Please, spend our breath with strokes and song.”
She kissed him again, breathing into him with more care and depth and less force. Not pulling back, but looking up ahead to the sun-soaked sand, She asked, with that grace that certain rare women have, who never tell, demand, or beg, but suggest of a man a certain action, “Can this thing get us over the sand hills?”
Brit had never thought he would take this backwoods bucket over dunes like a buggy. But he would do, he knew, anything that this woman asked.
The ringing in his head grew louder, keener and somehow softer as he managed to role the Wrangler up the path with its few walkers climbing and collapsing the wan wooden slat fence and wire fence as if he were burning up the path with a hungry beast sitting in the passenger seat rather than doing 5 MPH with the softest-faced beauty he had ever seen smiling wide and waving to the running, falling, cowering and crawling beach goers—a mere five of them—as if she were the queen of some fairy tale empire gracing her subjects with well wishes.
As they neared the beach and saw the massive spread of land whales before them, sunbathing like giant seals before the ocean surf and swell, she reached her hand between his legs and squeezed with a pleased and easy approval and soothed in a rich voice like a velvet drapery woven of song, “My Pretty Man, so very strong for a race that has wallowed this long.”
‘Pretty? Yes, she is a lot bigger then me—stronger even, I think.’
The jeep rolled onto the beach and stopped, and she sighed like he had once when he turned to see a rainbow over the river behind Mom’s crappy garden apartment and it faded away. She turned to him and winked and slid out of the jeep, “It’s a fine day for a swim, Brit.”
Leaving him stunned, she slid down to the sand with eyes only for the ocean,
‘I never even asked Her name—what is Her name?’
She was running to the surf a few hundred yards distance, full-figured and radiant under the sun, Her hair bouncing like the very shimmer of delight. The perplexing thing was that wherever she ran, and she seemed to joy in jogging half naked as close to the various sprawling people, that the men did did not stand in admiration or the women grouse about her brazen progress, but that one and all, the adult eaters panicked and fled from her objectively erotic jog across the sand.
Through the ringing in his ears he heard his own distant voice, sounding as if through a taut drum, “But She’s beautiful!”
An anger, a deep swell of it, over their fear of Her, hatched within his chest.
In the distance he saw Her standing before the surf, turning Her back to the ocean and spreading Her hands wide towards the sky behind him. Children stood about her in obvious wonder, while the adults cowered or swooned or fled. Then she handed her scanty garments to a little girl and unhitched her string of pearls and handed them to a boy. Then she turned, the sun glinting from Her hair and hips and walked into the sea.
Anger that she was gone swelled within, joined with the anger over these people rejecting Her, and the Wrangler came to life under his hand in just disgust.
Norning     ‹   writ hate   ›     Blunderer

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