The Writer’s Corner features poetry, essays, short stories, satire and various fiction and non-fiction from SCAD Atlanta students. To submit your own work for the Writer’s Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life! by Sarah Bradley
There they are, bodies hot and slick as a heart. She rolls off of him, and makes a joke. He smirks because he isn’t a laughing kind of man. He runs a sturdy finger down her back. She has scars there.
“How’d you come by those?”
“Ex-boyfriend with a butcher knife. You?” She kicks the leg where he was shot, touched the side and hip that was rough with cicatrices.
She is silent for a moment, then says, “Then I guess that makes us two halves of a strange pair.” He lights a cigarette and hands it to her.
“Strange indeed,” says he. She takes a drag and it lights up her face. It’s a very nice face, he thinks.
They talked further about how they had gotten there. You know the path, the kind that starts in a bar, on a street, and ends in a warm bed and a confessions with a stranger. You might as well call it love.
The night wasted. The two keep talking, keep poking at each other’s scars.
“Did you kill him? The man that did this to you.”
“Oh yes. I smashed his head in with a rock.”
“You didn’t shoot him?”
“Couldn’t. I was tending my friend, when he came up behind me. He shot me twice. Not enough to kill me, just enough to keep me from running away. I told him if he’d have to shoot me, because I was not going to let him cut my f***ing head off with his friends. So I got him down, and I knew couldn’t let him get his feet under him. Afghanistan have strong legs, so I knew if I let him get his legs under him, he’d be able to take me. So before he could, I picked up a rock and…”
He mimes the act, his heavy hand stopping just short of her head. They rest there, and he strokes her hair. It is good, dark hair he thinks. He thinks she smells like smoke and wildflowers. She tastes like the sea.
“What about you? Did you kill your guy,” he asks.
“Yes … ”
“Toaster. I smashed him with a toaster, after he gave me this.”
She touches her small, sharp tongue to the side of her mouth. It was a real woman’s mouth: soft, red, hot.
“He said it was so no one else would find me beautiful again”.
He looks at her a minute, she was too good for that. “It doesn’t work”.
She laughs, and swings a leg over him, coming to sit on top. She thinks a moment, something she thinks often. It troubles her. She draws a finger though the sweat on his chest. It reminds her of dragging fingers through wet sand.
“Do you think this makes us different … different, from other people”
He grips the back of her hips. “We out witted death … ”
He leaned up, fist coming up to tighten tightening around all that long good hair. The light from under the window shade catches his hard cheekbones, makes him look devilish.
“We spilled blood to stay in this life … ”
She thinks of Lucifer: most beloved of all the angles. He whispers, hot in her ear, his free hand cupping her breast, stroking her nipple. She forgets to breathe.
“There’s no going back now.”
He kisses her then intense and hard, and she kisses him because he knows, what death tastes like. She touches him, and he tastes her, and their world is full of what hands can do.
The whole time in their hearts: I’m alive, I’m alive, and I’m alive.