Name’s Ted. Can I Help You With Your Baggage?

He’d wanted her since he first saw her, in the grocery store produce aisle, examining the cucumbers. The way she turned them over and over again in her hands, the way she held them, and when she snuck one up to her mouth and licked it, he knew he had to have her. 
 He knew she had a secret. He had one too.
He’d worked in this store for about a year now. Saw tons of these highbrow bitches in their silky braless getups looking at the produce, wishing their husbands fucked them with cocks that big – wishing their husbands fucked them at all — but she was different. She wasn’t searching for something she’d lost somewhere under the fluorescent lights. She wasn’t desperate for anything like those other rich loose cunts. She knew what she wanted, and he was gonna help her get it.
He watched her for a few weeks, always the same thing — five or six cucumbers, a few zucchini — and she always bought the biggest thickest ones. Week number four, he left a note pinned to one them for her: Salad Dressing is in aisle five. See anything you like, then call me. He left his cell phone number on the back of a coupon for free douche. While he was writing it, he thought about lifting up that silk dress, ripping her lace undies off, and shoving one of those cucumbers into her on the checkout counter while everyone watched.
He knew he was a lot younger than she was, hoped she didn’t care, and was worried whether or not his apartment was clean when she came up behind him. She whispered, “Creamy Italian,” into his ear as she grabbed a bottle off the shelf. She was already half way back down the aisle before he got the guts up to turn around. She wasn’t exactly Miss Right, but with that wiggle, she could be Miss Right Now. Her silk dress swished around her bare legs like a whisper in the wind, and he could smell her musk mixed with the perfume she’d sprayed in her panties that morning.
He didn’t think she would call, but she did, and his apartment was clean.
A little licorice flavored sterno and a bit of makeshift chemistry relaxed her bitchy mouth enough that a scream wasn’t even remotely possible. An hour in and she could hardly breathe, couldn’t even moan as he punished her for wanting what she wanted, but it didn’t matter. He loved her, and it would hurt so good once he was inside her. He liked hurting her. He knew she wanted to cry out, wanted to bite at him but couldn’t. All she could do was reach for him; try to scratch at him, her nails running jagged frantic lines in the sweaty night air around them. He liked it rough, and so did she. He could feel the end coming, the violence building. She kept it hidden from everyone, but he knew she wanted him to feel it: her intestines shot through with fear. She’d wanted this from the start. 
She was a Dirty Bitch! He yelled it couple of times, not loud enough to rise above the music playing on the stereo, but loud enough he could feel it burn in his lungs. She liked it — when he called her names. She said she felt her heart explode every time, said she felt her blood rushing faster inside her. No one could hear her say these things, but she did — say them — with her mouth and with her wide white eyes. Fucking tell me again! she begged through a breath that was so distant, he thought she had evaporated into herself. It didn’t matter what he said in reply. Never did. Not to her, not to any of them. He could tell them he hated them their privilege, loved them their stupidity and their selfishness, but the words didn’t matter. Just his voice alone made them tremble. He’d draw blood … from anywhere he could feel skin, even if it was his own. He’d make that sacrifice for her, show her what they could be together in infinite particles of faith.
There was this yearning he had once, as a child. They were both children, both virgins, but she, his first, she had it too: this glistening impenetrable oil slick of a yearning that had soaked through his soul. He’d thought then that it was just a silly youthful yearning. A yearning for entrails, perfumed baubles, and wealth. Like a little girl’s wish for a wedding dress. Just a lavender scented daydream, blushed gently across a boy’s dimpled cheeks. He had felt ashamed after the first. What a mess he’d made of her. 
Now he laughed at the memory, laughed at how indecisive he had been then. “Nasty fucking slut! Fucking cock whore!” He had to stop loving her, just like he’d have to stop loving this one now, but his words just made him all the more insane for her meat, which he had always craved from the first time he had seen her roaming the produce aisle, desperate for a life different than the one she had. Now that she was empty, he could crawl inside her; fill the botoxed void between her flesh and her bones. She said she never wanted him to pull out, but he liked to pull it out. All the way out, and tease the burnished flesh with it until they all begged for more. He stabbed back into her. Once. Twice. Her liver slipped out, slapped against the rotted floorboards. When she cried More, he slowed down a little, and then he struck her, the sudden painful stinging sensation sent her bucking against the table.
He smiled.
And she screamed …
A wet gurgling scream before she went limp and silent. She was getting cold. Everything was getting cold. He brought his hands down on her again, waiting for the fire to burn through his palms, as if he had poured lighter fluid on her and lit her the fuck up. He’d tossed that idea around a few times — they get so cold so fast — but he knew it would be completely impossible for him to endure. Besides, all those damn burn marks would never go away. He had such a gorgeous face, and women loved to kiss it. He’d never get any more dates like this if he looked like a leper. He tried once, ended up burning his pecker off. He didn’t mind so much though; it was small, an imperfection. Useless. They all have imperfections, and there was more than one way to satisfy the unsatisfied, so he put the flames out of his mind and resumed the cutting and thrusting. She was close to being ready for him, so close he wanted to get naked and slip into her right then, hoping she would swallow him up.
Not yet! Not yet, not yet, not yet …
He grabbed her hair and pulled hard, her head yanking back, her mouth hanging open in a silent shriek of orgasmic fury. He felt her violent lust for him outside and in, steel on bone, smashing deep into her soul. She had wanted him, couldn’t get enough of him, his lips on her mouth, his fingers around her throat, the cherry red glow of seduction glistening on her pubic hair in the streetlight coming through the window. She had wanted him to take her, take her so deep and so dark that she would never dream of another. She wanted to be his. “Fucking whore!” She was his. His knees went weak at the thought.
“This one’s a keeper,” squawked Esmeralda, the grey crested parrot, from off in a shadowed corner of the room. But was she? he asked in reply. She did have pretty eyes. Pretty Eyes, Pretty Eyes, Squawk! Not fake, like all the bits he’d cut out of her and tossed to the floor.
Maybe he would keep her. He stopped cutting and thrusting and tearing, held his hands in her hot flesh as deep as he could, touched her heart. It was still throbbing against her warm wet flesh. Yes. Maybe he would keep her.
She was his red-hot bitch, and she’d done everything — JUST — RIGHT —just like she’d said she would when she was pleading for her life.

By Cheryl Anne Gardner

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