***UPDATE – part of the LOVE ETC book.

(made available to read online for free once in a while or generally with a donation based password.)



[a short story]

She caught his eye right away, there was no doubt. He really liked the way how she looked, the way how she moved and her colours, the whole aura around her, was just lovely. It all made perfectly sense and although first signs of ageing on her face got a bit more uncompromising the closer she came to where he casually slouched, he could still see the unbroken girl-spirit underneath, the power, the determination to make it as a woman in this world – something most other females around forty had lost a long time ago. As she was further approaching, with all those silly pigeons flapping and purring around his bench, in the park, he dived-off far, far away, to a secret, recluse island with linen-clad angels hovering above. And then, coming back, he suddenly lashed out to shy the birds away, just in time for her to be close enough to look at him – perplexed, perhaps even frightened – but he just smiled and she chilled, finally noticing his handsomely inviting face. He said, “they’re so stupid, these pigeons”.
She smiled back and he waved for her to come over, which she did. She sat down right next to him.
“Hi, my name is Frank”, he said and that’s how they met.

Claire tried the potatoes which by now were almost ready. She then bent down to inspect the meat-loaf sizzling away in the oven. It was looking good. She was actually quite nervous. The last time she’s had a date, that must’ve been – what, almost ten years ago? The thought really frightened the shit out of her. She took a gulp of wine and then emptied the glass in one go. She had to destract her thoughts. One hand leaned on the rim of the kitchen-sink while the fingers of the other nervously tapped on the stem of her glass. She saw stars in the middle of the blackness as she glanced towards the window. New moon? She poured herself another drink and downed it again in one go.Slowly she began to feel reasonably tipsy. Well done. It was time to face her future destiny. She grabbed the plate with starters and scurried outside to where Frank was comfortably slouching in her sofa, all alone by himself. Amazing how he managed to be that relaxed all the time. It was certainly one of the reasons why she found him so attractive. Always chilled about everything. But the best thing was that he was simply very good-looking, like a prince from a fairy tale, only a tad older. Whenever she looked at him she straight away had to look away again.His appearance alone turned her on–pretty heavy.
She waved aslice of prosciutto above his mouth and he snapped-up the prey, grunting satisfiedly. It made her laugh, this guy was also so funny. She popped an olive straight after and then made her way back into the kitchen where she burst out into giggle which she initially tried to suppress but after failing, she simply poured herself another one.

What a crazy girl Claire was, Frank thought, while his eyes were roaming across her dvd collection. Most of it was rubbish. ‘Friends’, ‘Sex and the City’, the whole fucking collected series. She wasn’t quite the brightest person, no no, certainly not. But the more he looked at her, the more often he thought about her, the more he realised that he actually really cared about this woman and that also the idea of her fancying him felt tremendously flattering. He also really liked her looks. Behind a petite and sensual beauty, there laid dormant a deeply ingrained sadness which only around her eyes and her mouth subtly surfaced. He would’ve never thought, but this sadness, this gloomy self-deprecation, really touched him profoundly.
His whole body shook while he was suddenly shattered to pieces by a wave of black, far-fetching memories. His hands clawed into the sofa. Crouched over, he fell deep. His mother touched him, it was a strange, uncomfortable feeling. He smelled her breath as she bent down on him, a nauseating mixture between self-hatred and negligence. She beat him, her hand fiercely whacking across his face. He didn’t defend himself. He was naked, crawling aimlessly on hands and knees around the humiliatingly freezing, tiled floor.Something was stuck up his anus, his knees stung like needles and then came the beatings, the brutal thrashings with the stick and he screamed and whimpered but nobody could hear him. Something threw him hard on the floor. The bleakness of the tiles shot-up his spine like an icepick. Mortified, he noticed a huge erection on himself. She grabbed the organ and rubbed on it hard, like a machine. He screamed again, moaned, both his hands covering his eyes. He was paralysed. Waves of shudder throbbed through his body in irregular intervals.Then he felt something damp on his penis. She sucked on it, hot and wet and then he came and something in his head exploded.
It was a nuclear bomb.
He dropped back deep inside Claire’s sofa, breathing-out heavily like an inflatable rubber-doll somebody had suddenly pulled the plug on. The whole flat smelled of meatloaf by now.
He heard something crack and looked around but there was nothing. It cracked again and this time he noticed that it was something inside his head. A few switches were being pulled here and there and he felt like a complete stranger all-of-a-sudden, in this room, in this flat. Who was this woman in the kitchen? In any case he wasn’t the man anymore that he’d been until only a few moments ago.
Kkkch – another set of wounds cracked themselves open to unleash a blistering swarm of swirling insects. He was being pulled down deep into a gaping abyss.

The meat was now ready. She had meanwhile also skinned and mashed the potatoes and was stirring them with a bit of milk, salt and butter to create a delicious smooth puree. Fairly inebriated, she couldn’t find her own mouth anymore in order to taste her creation. When she heard Frank coming into the kitchen, from behind, she briefly flinched, sobering-up for a moment. But without turning round, she soon slid back into her drunkenness. She decided to pretend to not having heard him. Maybe he was ready in the end and finally showed some emotions. Her whole body warmly tickled in anticipation.

He saw her standing by the oven, drunkenly swaying from side-to-side and stirring the pot with the puree. She’d certainly heard him coming in. Adrenaline shot through his body. He snatched a knife from one of the tables and hid it behind his back beforec reeping-in on her.

This was it then. She very much enjoyed how wet she’d got by now. Never before in her life had she more wished to sleep with a guy than at this very moment. His breath was now distinctly there, at the nape of her neck, and it made her tantalisingly shiver. His smell flooded her nose. It was a sweet mixture of cedar-wood and the red wine they’d been drinking for the whole evening. She felt how he lowered his head towards her neck, one hand grasping her shoulder and again she flinched, stiff and in trembling anticipation. It was finally happening. All the abuses. All the reproaches and lies. All the bad memories, painful disasters, ridiculously destructive relationships. They were all extinguished in one go. She was free now, free like a bird – when she finally felt his mouth on her neck. A kiss, cold and dry but with devotion and her knees involuntarily bent …

… as the knife slit her throat open. Cinnabar-blood broke out of the wound like from a long-hidden well, instantaneously and in strangely erratic intervals, and it spurted into the mash which Claire still kept stirring – for a brief, on-the-brink-of-madness bordering moment. The bold red of her blood blended streakily into the yellow consistency of their dinner side-dish. Finally, she collapsed and he caught her in his arms, making sure that no blood would be spat on him. They both slithered down to the floor, in a surreal-grotesque dancing move, somewhat resembling the final death-scene in a classical ballet.
Her wide-open eyes stared up into his.
It was the first time they met.
Inside he saw disbelief, pain, fear and – traces of anger? But also something like peace. And while the croaking sounds of her blood-squirting throat slowly faded away, the light in those eyes vanished as well.

The mobile-phone was in her handbag and it was a piece of cake to erase any traces of him out of its memory. Also all other fingerprints in the flat. He’d never been here. He’d never entered the world of this woman. Who was she anyway?
Back in the kitchen, he could convince himself that this woman with the sliced-open throat was finally dead. The blood had eventually ceased pumping out of her and left an iridescent puddle on the tiled floor in which he could see himself mirrored. He wiped more fingerprints off the knife. Somehow he also managed to turn-off the heater before he could make it back outside, to the entrance. A quick glimpse through the spy-glass. There was no-one outside. He had never been here.
The sleeves of his jumper pulled over his hand, he engaged the doorknob. Then touched his way down the staircase, in complete darkness, towards the main, final exit.

When he hit the street, he was welcomed by a surprisingly chilly late-summer afternoon. He had to stick-up his collar and embrace himself crookedly, in order to feel enough comforting warmth to be able to step into the never-ending stream of people – all looking for something.
Money, sometimes.
But most of the time it was love.

london, july 2006 – march 2009
© 2006 – 2009, all rights reserved