s i h T d a Re
Uncensored VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
SHORT STORIES BY
MARIA ANN GREEN SABRINA AGUZZI
KATHRYN TRATTNER ANOOSHA LALANI MORIAH STENDEL SARAH FARIS INAM ANINA VANILLE DEBRAY and more
a paper’s edge publication
Read This, Dammit! Literary Journal Volume 3, Issue 1 a paperâ€™s edge publication
Read This, Dammit! Literary Journal Issue # is a collection of the editor and staffâ€™s favorite submissions. All rights are reserved by the respective authors of each poem or short story.! !
TABLE OF CONTENTS POETRY DESSERT by Kathryn Trattner.......................................................2 VINES OF SUFFOCATION by Anoosha Lalani…………………...2 THE POST-MODERN COFFEE SPOON by Sabrina Aguzzi……...3 SPIT by Moriah Stendel……………………………………………...4 RELAPSING BODIES by Moriah Stendel…………………………..5 LEMONADE by Moriah Stendel……………………………………6 AUTUMN IN MY MIND by Sarah Faris……………………………..7 ELEGY FOR A DEAD MAN by Inam Anina……………………….8 GUTS by Inam Anina………………………………………………...9 UNTITLED by Vanille Debray………………………………………..11
SHORT STORIES THE MASQUE OF ANNABEL by Maria Ann Green…………….12 WINE STAINS by by Sabrina Aguzzi………………………………20 !
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DESSERT! by Kathryn Trattner I held your heart in a cup, scooped out of your decayed chest. Your eyes eaten from spoons. Your hair slicked back with butter and consumed from a fork. No matter what you say, I canâ€™t stop eating you.
Vines of Suffocation By Anoosha Lalani In her skull grow flowers. Lilies and Roses and Carnations. Her throat is filled with soil. And roots wrap around her insides. Growing within her is a garden. And as she waters her dear plot, She chokes a little more. Bit by bit, sheâ€™s going.
The post-modern coffee spoon Response to Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by Sabrina Aguzzi I understood that old poet Only years after Studying his use of meter And rhyme and rhyme “There will be time, there will be time” Engraved that wasted bard Into my soft-shell mind Seducing me With the warmth of coffee That never came. Pen in hand. His words would translate, “Hurry up, hurry up” But I will never be much! “Hurry up, hurry up” Please, Michelangelo. Enough. I will procrastinate my life as I please (thank you kindly) Read%This,%Dammit!%Literary%Journal%%!
4! ! I will procrastinate this strife Though I bleed Merely biting The residue of ink In my teeth Uninviting As this stream of consciousness Proves to be. (I. am. trying.)
Spit by Moriah Stendel Spit, an expression of vexation, irritation. But saliva can be sugary if sweetened with apple juice. Spit is bittersweet. You can die if you eat too many appleseeds.
Relapsing bodies by Moriah Stendel we crash into each other like waves in the middle of the ocean our crests crossing. you drown me you are salt water choking down my throat you taste good but sting my wounds. i hate that i let you squeeze my brain between your hands my grey matter seeps through your finger-gaps as you steal my ability to think. now when I see you, I swallow a lump, that trudges through my heart and plunges into my stomach It leaves the taste of salt in my mouth.
lemonade by Moriah Stendel When our love was lemonade, and I slurped words from your collarbone cups my body half in the ocean, as you gave me mouth-to-mouth, neon water to your knees. Crispy skin frying in the sun and sand clumping in the creases of your eyelids, caught in the gaps between your eyelashes . Last night lanterns cast glowing shadows on our shoulders our beer bronze sticky skin sill warm to the touch from the honey sun. but then the earth spun, and our skin grew back with the colour sucked out of it.
Autumn in My Mind By: Sarah Faris
Some worn out sheets lay Crumpled in a dark corner behind a rocking chair And what else shall an inanimate object do, But wilt and yellow to pass the time? The mahogany floors sparkle with dust; The chandelier is decorated with intricate cobwebs; On the table, the ink in its dwelling lays dry, And the parchment succumbs to decay. It is autumn and the leaves outside Make a new carpet of colours Replacing the one before, and before and before To welcome a new beloved winter. A breeze through the broken glass Startles the parchment on the floor. The old chair rocks gently and creaks As if to break an eternal silence, momentarily. A key in the lock stirs, locks the front door A person treads a new path among the leaves Trailing some suitcases behind Towards new places.
Elegy for a Dead Mermaid By Inam Anina In your icecave, blind Mermaid, I’ve crafted a castle of weeds: a pyre for your death. Poor deaf Mermaid. In April, when the snow was see-through, we had called it gone. We thought your scales had gained a gleam. We did not mention that sickening yellowing hair. Poor blind Mermaid. I cut your tail into fifty fishy pieces, like on those good days, when we’d see the fish hop up and stack themselves inside this cave. (Now, when I enter our bower, the bay, I see splashes. The bycatch thrown back floats belly-up.) In this cave, I’ve stocked up my stashes of seasoned shells and gooey weeds. I’m building a city for this stack of gleaming fish and me. It’s almost ready. Tomorrow, I’ll move my suitcase.
Guts By Inam Anina ! They wanted to read my insides like a spectacle of verse, drawing out my innards through my eyes. They spotted me, reading in a shadowed shelf and walled by the airy castings of the wall, entered and asking Who? I would/could not speak like the politicians. I took off my habit. I put on my name; they took that off, instead, in place a familiar Dionysian hue. (It was brown.) My selves spidered into the shelf and brown crawled out. I AM!
Who? (is that what I do what I like what Iâ€™m thinking who I love
what I seek where I am when I slip why I came ?
10! ! I still am.)
I am still brown hungry asking love hungry singing. Who are YOU? The other night we saw a show about ourselves. It said: shank fear for flow eat fear for breakfast (twice a week) do not ask for flow do not ask who hates it (while you be and go). It said Bears in hibernation without their partners â€” and we think theyâ€™re asleep! Yes, YOU! Take off your pants and make love with , , , ,
yourself your God sticks of celery a can of paint Show them your innards. Receive theirs. Bathe in them together.
Untitled By Vanille Debray In rain and smiles And withering lies Wishes abashed on broken shores You're tossing work out coins in empty wishing wells And hoping that some god will hear your prayers I look up to your sunken eyes they're drowned they're dry they're overflown By places and faces and old things new These coins have overthrown the kings that ruled for a thousand years Your darkened soul And this ship has sailed On broken shores In the burning fire of the cold Your dreams are made on melting ice
the masque of annabel by Maria Ann Green The ache is what I thrive on. The pain, the permanence; I live to make mistakes and sit in them until my joints are stiff with regret and apathy. Until they ache. Sit stewing until I can’t remember what’s wrong and what’s guilt. I’ve never done much right, and there’s a line of people waiting to agree. Fuck them, and their judgment. I grind my teeth as the scratching continues, over and over the same spot. Then as fast as the buzzing started it ends. “That’s it, Annabel.” The gravel rubs against his vocal cords as he wipes the last of excess black away. “Go check it out.” So I stand, moving on tingling feet to the mirror. The room is brighter than before, and my breathing wades from my lungs to my mouth, slower than it should. I squint at the reflection with pursed lips and flared nostrils, like I’m breathing in the acidity of exhaled smoke. There it sits. And I must weep alone My lips soften, along with the rest of my features.
There is little I know to be truer. And now it’s branded, by an
overweight Spyder, down the sensitive skin of my triceps. One thin letter stacked on top of the other, like a pile of neglected books, threatening to topple at any wrong moment. A breath of indifference toward the words could send them scattering. That’s how fragile the quote is, teetering, even if it’s flawless. The dark words mark me in ink like they’ve marked my heart for years, only now they’re visible. And tender. The raised skin around each raven letter is crimson and fuming, heated from abuse. “I didn’t ask.” Spyder walks up behind me, snapping off his black gloves with a sound too sharp, and I cringe. “What’s the quote from?” Instead of answering I turn and pull two hundred dollar bills from my pocket, crumpled and warm. “The rest is tip.” My voice sounds like it’s coming from someone else. One of those times I’ve sat unspeaking for long enough that the tone is unfamiliar to my own ears. Or maybe it’s changed by the rush of relief. He hands me a sheet of after care instructions on my way out, but I don’t give him time to go over it. I dump the paper in the trash without looking, and I walk through the glass doors. The night is crisp, but I’m warm and push through it.
∴ Then I’m home, not sure of the steps that brought me here as I cross the threshold. I blinked and the scenery changed. “You here?” I call out. There’s a flash of silky skin, her back and thighs bare, for a moment in the hall. She moves, and her coffee curls, down to the bottom of her
shorts, hide everything except her five-foot shadow. But then she’s gone. No answer. “Baby?” Still silence. I know where she is. I watched her slink from the spare to our bedroom, her soft skin shining. It’s a game she loves to play, pretending that I’m alone in the dark, when she’s only feet away. A hollow feeling always seeps into me, filling my blood with echoes of past terror, lighting my cells with apprehension, until she finally speaks. Until then it’s as if I’ve imagined her, from the first time her lips met mine, as if I fabricated her spicy perfume, her too-loud laugh, and the way she trails kisses down my thighs in the dark under our sheets. As if I’ve made her up, and I really live alone. “Madolyn…” I try once more and I kick off my heels, toes thankful, walking through the curtain of beads into our room. And there she is. Real. Definitely there, and smiling, her bottom lip dipping just a bit lower on the left. Her green eyes sparkle, mischievous, in the candlelight. I know what’s coming. I have no interest in resisting, playing right into her; I give her what she wants. “What were you doing in the office babe?” Her hair falls and pools on the comforter as her head tips, the corner of her bottom lip sitting between crooked white teeth. The only thing giving away her excitement is the twitch of her fingers. She presses them between her knees, trying to hide it, so I don’t let my eyes linger. “I wasn’t.” No excuse, no elaboration. She lies, all the time. Tenacious lies, that start out, despite their best intentions, as vaguely true. Then each little comment twists in her hands, slipping between her long, slender fingers, until it morphs into complete
invention. And that’s how she fools everyone. She gets you believing while
it's still true, and then you’ve gone too far once she changes everything. You can’t turn back; you believe until it’s too late to say anything, too late to argue. And then some believe it still. She’s convincing. I've been too far gone since the very beginning. I let her lie; I let her lie to me all the time, both of us smiling. Always. Her lips fuller than mine, her cheekbones slightly more suited to the gesture, however genuine. “I have a surprise.” I move on; I let her lie. Because that’s how we work. With everyone who came before me, she was bored after the chase. When it wasn’t hard anymore she didn’t care. It didn’t matter how feminine a figure, what gifts they shower her with, the power they held in the world. She’s missing something inside, and I’ve been lucky enough to figure out how to give it to her. I’ve been the only one to make her whole, give her what she needs. She does the same for me. So I play along. I keep her chasing. It’s the only way we work. “Did you rob a bank? Plot a dangerous murder? Take up snake charming? Stumble on an adventure?” Her voice pulls me closer until my knees are perched on the edge of the bed, between hers. And then she really smiles, the full force of her charm washes over me in tingling waves, knotting heavy in my stomach. Her smile completely undoes me. When I see it, it’s all I need. Everything warms. “Not quite.” I swing my arm, just a fraction, touching her toes. She sees it, my surprise. The ink catches her eye, and she’s the one to reveal it, no time for me to say the word tattoo. Just like she wanted; just like I planned. Read%This,%Dammit!%Literary%Journal%%!
Her fingers twist through mine as she pulls my hand to her chest, a place that will always feel like home, and with the other hand she hovers above the still throbbing flesh. The air crackles between her skin and mine, but she doesn’t touch. She’s gentle. Then she leans forward and places her lips to the black. It’s not a kiss. There’s no pucker, no pressure, just a soothing, soft second of tenderness. “Nevermore.” She shakes her head. And finally the pads of her finger replace her lips. Then they’re gone. Something shifts in the air, in her face, and I can see her sharpening a knife in her mind. It’s just another game we play; another one I let her get away with. I make a mistake, I do something wrong, and it’s piled high on top of other offenses, never forgotten. Tucked away for a later use. Not maliciously, not in fights or to hurt me, but to get her way, to keep the chase going. That stack of sins I commit is always growing. This time I hid it. I lied, or I omitted. I planned the event, I went without her, and I changed my body without consulting. I see the cogs turn in her eyes, the corner of her mouth working up and down. In a few days, a few weeks, I’ll ask a question and her response will be unrelated, having to do with tonight. She’ll pout and whine, “Remember how you did that without telling me first?” Or she’ll use this as a defense for some sort of poor behavior, something she didn’t think through. “Now we’re even.”
∴ Will we ever stop playing our games?
I don’t think she’s capable of normal love. So I let her; I always let
her play. This is our brand of balance, unbalanced. This is how we work, dysfunctional. All of these fucked up tricks, it’s why I love her. Not in spite of it. Because of. But she keeps the knife sharpening, the sin collecting, all inside for now. The idea flits away, the sparkle in her eyes dances then hides, and she pulls me closer. Her warmth surrounds me, and she smells like paradise. She is my heaven. And then we’re tangled in each other. Her lips touch mine and I soar to a place I forget exists between trips. I see only her, hear, smell, know just her. Simple, singular. I’m wrapped up in her as if we are the same. It all comes crashing into me, heavier than bricks, more important than life. Her skin, the smell of her hair, the soft pink of her lips, the way she trails her fingers over me sending shivers everywhere. Every time is like the first time. All over again. Just as perfect. Just as soul changing. She makes me arch my back, eyes closed, fingers and toes tense, and this is where I’m meant to be. She tugs my hair and the ache burns from my scalp through every cell. If the scratches she leaves down my back are mistakes, I’ll happily make them for the rest of my life. This is why everything she does is allowed, welcomed. This. This is my church, my entire religion. She’s what I worship, where, the only thing I’ve found worth sanctifying in this fucked up world. She makes the horrible bearable. She
makes my body sing, keeps my mind guessing, and somehow she always comes back to me for more. Behind my eyes it’s only black. Hard to breathe. No brief white light, no stars, no fireworks. Just an encompassing, heavy blackness. It takes me over for a moment, maybe more, and then creeps away. It crashes, washes in over me, but lingers on the way out, sad to leave. It’s a while before I part my lashes. She already has a cigarette lit, exhaling smoke like an ad for sex, when I look at her. She is all sex, power, in control. She knows who she is. The gray exhaust twists and turns in unpredictable patterns as her lips part. She ashes on the floor, calm. But I’m not in the same position before. And if I don’t move in the next second I’m sure I’ll explode. The warmth, the feelings of wholeness, they’re gone. Sucked from me like gin and tonic through a straw, aiming for swift and maximum impact. I’m empty. Back to being broken, misshapen, missing parts. I look over as I stand, swaying on my feet. And she’s smiling, eyes closed. Humming even. She’s not in a dark place; she never goes to the dark side afterward. Somehow she’s always better for it. She’s better for everything. Sometimes there’s something wrong with me. “I love you, baby,” she mumbles. “So much.” And she curls onto her side, patting the comforter beside her, but I ignore it. I can’t be here right now. I can’t be anywhere. After a
high so close to the stars, this low could break me. Each step I take, in this
unusual backlash of runaway bliss, I feel more shattered. Instead I fake it. I answer, “Forever,” on autopilot, though I do mean it. With tears in the way, I try to sound normal on the way to the bathroom. Black fur rubs against me, with a purr near my feet, but I don’t have time or patience, and she hisses when I shove her aside. Behind a closed door I sink to the floor, sliding down the wall, my feet against the cold porcelain of the tub. The room fades until just a tiny dot across from me is visible, everything else black again. Then the dot blurs. I gasp, struggling on the lump crushing my throat, smothering the sound with my hand. Silence. After a few breaths my fingers twist into fists, fingernails digging crescent-moons into my palms. My hair falls into my lap as my chin sinks to my chest. In the mirror my arm bleeds just a drop, red from black. She’s still my heaven, but occasionally, rarely, I find myself in hell like this. Not every time. And only for a moment, I feel like a failure. I put myself here.
∴ And here I must cry alone. All alone. Aching.
WINE STAINS by Sabrina Aguzzi Happiness was for the ignorant, and Maria certainly was not. As she walked home from the bank, she contemplated jumping in front of each truck that sped by. Though the make and model did not matter to her, the colour did. If she were to commit to the act, the truck would have to be white. The idea of splattered blood across a freshly washed white vehicle was simple, yet emphatic. Such contrast, she thought. While this walk was supposed to mark a new start, Maria preferred a quick end. After quitting her job of five years, she felt more anxious than liberated. A twenty-six year old, unemployed ex-banker was not a title of status. ‘Wife of Tom Harper,’ on the other hand… Of course. She must continue walking, secrecy being her sole motivation. Thomas would agree. Instead of reminding her of life’s beauty, he would simply state that the timing for bloodshed is not opportune. No one would, or should, have the slightest insight into their discreet life or her borderline death. When Maria finally reached her apartment, a rush of relief washed over her. Thomas was working late, and although she could have used a compassionate hug, she needed her cigarettes more. In all sincerity, Tom !
was an arrogant capitalist, and this sickened Maria. It was also,
incidentally, the main reason she loved him. No, he was not the “ying to her yang” or any other ridiculous, quotable analogy to describe their unconventional togetherness. In fact, he did not have the patience to listen to her emotional problems and was up front about this many years ago. That’s why he hired Elaine, an emotionally draining therapist, used only to compensate for Tom’s own inability to cope with his wife. Maria often felt like a neglected child. On other days, she felt blessed for her good fortune. The honesty was refreshing, the dinners were grand, and the passion…palpable. Her sixth cigarette gradually crumbled into a pile of ashes. Having spent the afternoon scrubbing at her worn out navy nails, the stress of leisure became overwhelming. The smell of nail polish remover only worsened Maria’s depression in the same questionable way that most things did. She could not fathom why it triggered such an emotional response, other than the possibilities it presented her. The temptation of downing that pale, pink bottle prompted a daydream of damaged insides and a mourning Thomas Harper on the front page of every Canadian newspaper. Yet, if Maria were to commit the act, she wanted something messier or at least aesthetically alluring. Even gruesome. Something that Thomas could never be clean from. The loud rumbling of a Bentley interrupted these glorious thoughts. Tom was much earlier than anticipated and the pack of Marlboro Lights was not even half finished. Throwing the cigarettes into her underwear drawer, Maria panicked at the probability of getting caught again. Air freshener and a realistic alibi were not always enough to fool a top criminal lawyer. In all honesty, Maria simply did not have the energy to force tears and fake yet another relapse. Read%This,%Dammit!%Literary%Journal%%!
“How’s my new housewife doing?” Tom smiled as he shut the door behind him. Maria dodged a kiss. “An adjustment of sorts. So far, I’d say it’s – ” “That’s great, dear.”
∴ The following morning, Maria awoke alone to the sound of raindrops splashing against her bedroom window. As she watched the streaks of water race each other, she became tense. They always, inevitably joined together into one wet blob, sacrificing their chance at winning first place. In real races, no one actually teamed up. There were always winners and losers. The raindrops’ lack of realism forced her out of bed that day. That, and her appointment with Elaine. There was usually something that persuaded her to go. Here was a young lady who despised therapy, but adored her therapist. If Maria was a neglected child, Elaine was the nanny she desperately needed – a sort of youthful, rebellious nanny, with killer legs.
∴ “So, tell me. How are you feeling this week?” “Unchanged.” Maria loved to challenge her. It would only take a few minutes of the session for Elaine to loosen her sleek up-do and pop open a bottle of wine. In their drunken stupor, they would then try to fit together the jagged pieces of Maria Calida’s life. “How are things with Thomas?” Maria pursed her lips together, carefully containing a chorus of laughter. !
“That doesn’t sound good.” Her face softened, “It never is.” “Maybe try not to be so heavy around him. I know misery loves company, but if he’s in a good mood, don’t tear it down. Build on it together.” Misery loves company. Maria detested this expression and could not understand why someone as educated as Elaine would use it so profusely. It wasn’t even accurate. This brand of misery wanted no company whatsoever. In fact, she wanted to extract herself from every possible circumstance of company. “Have you been trying to implement change?” the therapist adjusted her glasses, “Or just waiting for it to happen?” Her tone was often seductive and no one could ever tell if it was intentional. This included the curious men she met at classy conferences and run-down bars. This did not exclude the source of the enchanting voice herself, Dr. Elaine Messing. Neither of them said anything for a minute or so. The silence was obnoxious and it certainly needed to be broken. Elaine’s eyes darted to the chipped blotches of red that made up Maria’s nails. Chanel Rouge should never be used that way by anyone. Mental illness shouldn’t always serve as a valid excuse to act like an angst-ridden teen, thought Elaine. “Okay, well, I can’t help but notice your nails are still chipped,” she continued. “Last week, you spent our entire session fixated on the importance of neat, elegant nails. Remember that tangent? It was all you could think about.” Maria shrugged, gazing ahead. “I couldn’t find the time.”
This frustrated Elaine. She wanted to explain that her patient’s recent unemployment should have given her the time, or at least some motivation, but instead settled for a deep breath. “Even after leaving the bank? I know women who paint their nails every day.” “Then I’m afraid the women you know have too much time on their hands.” The sides of Maria’s mouth curled up into a proud grin. Elaine could not help but respond in a similar manner. The pun was intended. “Fuck it. How do you feel about Merlot?”
∴ The buzz did not help Maria’s over-thinking. She did not over-think on occasion, but constantly. This habit was not something she learned to understand. It was an unstoppable force that pierced holes in her skull, tied her hands behind her back, and temporarily sped up her breathing. That was when Maria bravely tried to make sense of herself as an individual and society as a whole. She would quickly fail, of course, and then drink until unconscious – a routine that marked her twenties. In Maria’s mind, alcoholics had a good grip on the world. Life would be easier if she were a happy-go-lucky drunk, but in reality, she was an emotional, “existential-crisis” type. Back in the apartment, she studied herself in the intricate bathroom mirror, obtained from Murano during one of Tom’s European vacations. One in which an invitation was never extended to her. Maria gradually made notice of every imperfection on her tired face. Her hair was as dark as her thoughts and her eyes stung with indifference. Exhaustion extinguished her magnetism, grays and purples overshadowed her once glowing complexion. A wild yawn freed !
itself from her mouth, bored with the reflection. She did not yawn like a
human. In fact, she resembled an aging lioness. Hopelessly searching for her once familiar face, she could not fathom the undesirable reality. But inside, Maria knew that she was long gone, no matter how hard she squinted in that old mirror. No matter how many blissful orgasms she had or how many times her therapist claimed to witness her quote on quote, “improvement,” Maria was fairly certain that she was no longer there. And all she needed to do was get rid of the body.
∴ “Babe, just stay home with me today.” By some unfortunate miracle, Thomas had time off work. He spent half an hour disrupting breakfast with his childish groaning. “I’m sorry dear, but I need to do some Christmas shopping.” The excuse was weak. Christmas was two months away. But Maria reasoned that the weather would only worsen her mood as winter rolled in with its ridiculous impositions. She knew that Christmas was supposed to be about positivity and giving, but she despised the holiday. The cheerful decor could sometimes subtract spirit. Snow globes made her claustrophobic. She had no issue regarding the minimal physical space surrounding her every day life. Sharing a bed, a shower, a train, a road... But staring into a snow globe’s reflection made her muscles contract uncomfortably. The permanent, frosty cold would dictate her fashion choices and create disdainful barriers – acres away from possibility. It was as though she shrank herself so small that the fear of being trapped into this supposed winter wonderland was both plausible and physically possible. People in the outside world would then shake her up and literally turn her world upside down, reducing her to a pile of slush – one that Read%This,%Dammit!%Literary%Journal%%!
melted its way into being forgotten. Perhaps the lady’s hysterics were the product of too many lonely Québecois winters. She would not have been the first. After forcing herself out the door, she felt a pang of sympathy for Tom. Their memories were countless and all very real. Many of them were sentimental and flooded with her husband’s tears. Truthfully, Maria loved watching others cry. It reminded her that humanity was everywhere, hidden behind the robotic limbs and darkened eyes. Tom truly wanted her company that morning. The desperation in his voice was obvious, resonating with the hidden vulnerability of her beating heart. That was when she experienced a sudden eagerness she had forgotten. That extinct excitement of wanting to surprise someone. As she carefully made her way through antique bottles of wine, she purchased the priciest bottle of Chateau Margaux she could find. All she needed now was some fantastic lingerie and a good manicure, marking a relatively hectic day for a perpetually sleepy soul. When Maria arrived home, she noticed the front door was left unlocked. She crept in, the sound of her shower echoing from across the spacious apartment. The bathroom door was wide open and steam floated out toward the empty hallway. She contemplated making a surprise appearance, unbuttoning her burgundy blouse, when a voice called out. “You’re already back with lunch?” For a moment, Maria was confused. Were they expecting Elaine to visit that day? No. Certainly not. Maria’s agenda was organized impeccably and her shower was off-limits to guests. There were no more excuses to make. Sitting down on the antique chesterfield, Maria thought about Tom, who was evidently not running errands for her. Nowhere in her mind could she imagine sincerity in her
husband’s concern for her rehabilitation - her supposed journey back to
happiness, to herself…to him. The eerie stillness of the apartment made Maria’s stomach churn, while her glowing pink bottle of nail polish remover sat on the coffee table, as seductive as ever. She slowly, elegantly, began removing her freshly painted manicure, and then walked into the kitchen. The pricey red wine and bottle of nail polish remover would make an interesting mix. Maria loved home remedies. As she put the wine glass down and licked her lips, she felt awkward and dreamlike. She could hear Elaine stepping out of the shower, probably combing through her sex-tangled hair. The moment was slipping and it was time for requited action. Pouring the strange concoction all over the apartment’s floor and terribly flammable curtains, she reached for her cigarette lighter. And one last cigarette. The last thing she could remember was translucent pink blood, pouring out of her throat as slow as honey. No. No, the last thing she could remember was the apartment burning in flames. And the loud roar of her blow-dryer from down the hall. Perfect. The dramatic irony was perfect. Elaine was perfect. If Maria had to go down, she was coming with her. After all, misery loves company.
UNCESNSORED is the third volume and first issue of READ THIS DAMMIT's literary journal, which is located out of Montreal, Quebec.