Two-Fifty

 

Wendy Ashlee Coleman

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 119 in August, 2009.
 
 

She forcefully inhales the man’s hot, ashtray flavored breath; the only thing strong enough to cover up his vomit inducing body odor.

The music from the house party downstairs blares loudly causing the cheap flower pictures in the bedroom to vibrate crookedly on the wall. Beads of sweat drip off the man’s balding forehead and rain down on her chest as he un-rhythmically fucks her on an old waterbed. The wooden frame of the aqua filled mattress creaks with his every unfulfilling thrust, keeping her mind miles away from satisfaction. “Who the hell still sleeps on a waterbed?” the woman thinks to herself as she bites her bottom lip and involuntarily scrunches up her face in discomfort. A sense of relief comes across her as she feels his back muscles tense and his body become rigid. He picks up the pace, continuing to exhale his vile air up her nostrils while grabbing her hair aggressively, and finishing off with some dominatrix style bed talk, “That’s it bitch......you like that?...huh?... you like that, you fuckin’ little whore?”

“Yeah, . . . yeah baby,” she moans, her amateur acting performance well suited for a Razzie nomination.

“OHHH.... GOD!” he says aggressively, his voice sounding more like an angry dog growl than a man’s. He finally cums in the professionally applied, extra thick Trojan condom as he pulls hard on her hair, wrenching her head back, making her yelp in pain. He closes his eyes and snarls his lip giving her an intimate view of his brown teeth. Then it’s over faster than it started. The man rolls his sweaty body off hers and quickly begins dressing. The woman sits up from a sea of sweat-soaked, mangled bed sheets and rubs her damaged scalp.

“Maybe you should shave your head like the cage fighters do,” he chuckles.

“Yeah, . . . that’d be good for business,” she says, rolling her eyes in disgust as she hops out of bed.

“Business!?” he says with a ridiculing laugh.

“What?!”

“No offense or anything but, . . . I’ve just had a lot better.” The large redneck flashes a shitty smile and begins draping his large gut with an old flannel shirt.

The woman’s body language now becomes a bit more rigid as she slips completely back into her black blouse and assertive but indifferent attitude. “None taken. That’ll be two-fifty.”

“Maybe you should just consider this one practice. You know, since you seem like you need it.”

“Right after you consider deodorant. That’ll be two-fifty,” she repeats as she’s almost fully clothed.

Annoyed, he grabs his wallet out of his jeans and pulls out three one hundred dollar bills.

“You got change?”

“No,” she sighs, “I don’t.”

“Will you be fine with two hundred?”

“No, . . . I won’t. The price is two-fifty...like we agreed,” she says, slipping her shoes on.

"It’s just fifty bucks.”

“You’re right, so just give me three- hundred......... I’ll be gone and you’ll only be out fifty bucks.”

“Sweetheart… you weren’t worth $1.50.”

“Just give me the money,” she says, angrily clenching her jaw muscles.

“Oooh!” The man holds up his hands in a mock defensive position and laughs.

The woman changes her tone, “Usually I’m better at faking it. . . .but it’s just that you were so awful. . . . at fucking. I mean you were really, really bad. And you stink, too”

“You better watch your mouth!”

“I feel like I just got raped by a piece of hairy dog shit.” She says continuing to verbally batter him while throwing her purse over her shoulder.

“Keep talking like that and I’ll give you nothing.”

“You don’t want to try that.” She says with a stern face.

“Oh, really? Why?’

“You just don’t”

“What? You gonna fuck me again?” He quips.

“You couldn’t pay me enough to fuck your diseased, fat ass again. But what I will do is go downstairs and tell everyone that you’ve got the smallest, nastiest dick I’ve ever seen!!”

The man grits his teeth in anger as they silently stare at each other.

Realizing the man isn’t budging, she quickly snatches two of the bills out of his hand. “Fuck it, . .just fuck it!” she snaps. “Take some of that extra money and buy yourself a bar of soap. Trust me, . . .you need it!”

She turns her back and walks towards the door as the man continues to stare at her with pure rage.

As she grasps the doorknob to leave, an iron grip on her waist long hair surprises her as she is violently yanked back. She feels the tearing of her scalp as thousands of little strands get ripped out by the root. She becomes airborne, thrown back on the sloshy waterbed, hitting the headboard and being momentarily dazed.

“YOU THINK YOU CAN FUCKING TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, YOU FUCKING CUNT!!”

The man pulls the leather belt out from his old, stained Levi’s and prepares to thrash her.

“STOP! DON’T FUCKIN’ TOUCH ME!” she screams, turning her back and holding up her thin arms in defense.

With a demon snarl, he starts beating her mercilessly, thrashing her in the legs, arms and back. Her screams are smothered by the loud, thumping club mix preventing any hope that someone might hear her cries.

The lashing from the leather immediately raises big red and purple whelps on the back of her petite frame. The pain is so intense, her vision fades as she almost loses consciousness. He puts the belt down, rolls her over, positions himself between her legs, and begins to unzip his fly.

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO FAKE IT THIS TIME!” he says with a devilish smile, panting and wheezing in excitement.

Disoriented, she continues to resist by sinking her teeth deep into his hairy forearm. He grimaces in pain, grabs her bleach blonde hair and tries to peel her off of him. His skin stretches impossibly far from his arm as she remains latched on like a pit-bull. They both yell in pain as she pulls up her knees, digs her high heels in his gut and leg presses the big man off the bed forcing him to fall awkwardly onto the floor. Just as he begins to exhaustedly get back up, she jumps off the bed and charges him with a whirlwind of slaps across the face, neck and chest. After what is seemingly an ineffective attack, the man twists his body and delivers a crushing blow to the side of her face, hurling her off her feet and into the corner of the room. She is now only semi conscious. He begins to approach her but suddenly his sadistic smile quickly dissolves into a blank, shocked look. Within seconds his entire face gushes with blood from seemingly every pore. Long slashes along his forehead, chest and neck open up like a zipper, releasing rivers of the dark red, oxygenated liquid. He drops to his knees as one of his shaky hands reaches up to feel the deep four inch gash on the side of his neck. Just as his fingers touch the wound, it begins to funnel out copious amounts of blood down his arm, making his elbow look like a faucet. His eyes roll back into his head and he passes out with his face bouncing like a rubber ball off the wooden floor.

The woman remains on the cold floor, up against the wall, still dazed and bleeding from the blow to her left cheek. Out of breath and full of adrenaline, her chest rises and falls deeply. She slowly stumbles up, legs as shaky as a new born fawn, and steps over the man who is now resting on top of a pool of blood. She flips on the lights of the filthy bathroom and looks in the mirror, revealing a little compression cut under her left eye and a small patch of hair missing from her head. Her cheek continues to trickle blood adding to her already blood soaked mouth and teeth.

Leaning on the sink to remain upright, she turns on the faucet and splashes cold water on her face, painting the sink with red droplets. She quickly pokes her head out of the bathroom, checking to make sure the man is still on the floor, while dampening a rag and gently wiping her face. Light bruising is already begining to form on her high cheek bones as she looks down, scrubbing the blood off her still shaking hands. She turns her palms up revealing well positioned razor blades, super glued underneath the bright red, acrylic nails on all but the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Two of them are broken at the tip, making the Freddie Kruger-like weapons even more visible. Each one of the cheap blades is surrounded in gooey, coagulated blood and bits of flesh. She scrubs them off, turning the white sink rag into a pinkish color while slightly shredding it.

She hears gurgling sounds coming from the man and quickly sticks her head out of the bathroom again, confirming that her enemy is still down. She turns on the sink once more, dampens her hands and wets her hair, slicking it back and attempts to adjust her stretched out, torn black blouse. “Mother fucker,” she says out loud knowing that it’s ruined. She takes a deep breath and walks out of the bathroom, habitually turning off the light.

The man’s face rests in a pillow of blood and his throat continues to whistle, making blood bubbles as air tries to escape from the wound. She approaches him, picking up his Confederate flag-engraved, brown leather wallet from the floor, grabbing out all the cash and glancing at his driver’s license. “You owe me a new dress, . . . Jason”. She slings his redneck wallet back on his bloody body, puts her purse over her shoulder and begins to walk out.

She stops, inches away from the door, and turns around. She walks over to the dying man, lying on his stomach, flips up her skirt, squats slightly and pisses on his slashed up head. “I usually charge extra for this you stupid fuck,” she says, her lip quivering. She re-adjusts her outfit and walks out of the bedroom, turning off the lights and shutting the door behind her.

The bathtub faucet gushes steamy water, as the woman’s perfectly manicured, blood red painted toes grip the knobs, twisting them off. She sinks all the way in, up to her neck in the beige, fiberglass tub and closes her eyes, breathing in the rising steam, warming her cold lungs and letting the hot liquid relax her every muscle. The sound of the drippy sink next to the tub momentarily makes her open her eyes and turn her head to stare at every little droplet. She watches it slowly form and dangle on the rim of the sink faucet until it’s finally heavy enough to crash down against the stainless steel plug, making a distinct “ping” sound.

She’s hypnotized by the next expanding droplet as her eyelids become heavy and she begins to doze off. Suddenly a large crash prematurely shakes the droplet off. She bolts up in her tub. The crazed redneck slams open the bathroom door with black eyes and an evil snarl, “YOU’RE MINE, YOU FUCKING CUNT!!!” he says, rushing at her with his big leather belt.

She jumps awake from her nightmare, completely out of breath, still in her tub, surrounded by chilly, hours-old, stagnant bath water. The sink still drips. Her now bluish lips start to quiver as each move in the tub causes the cold liquid to stab her every muscle like a knife. She doesn’t move for a moment, her body conquered by terror and cold. She takes in a couple of deep breaths and quickly gets out of the tub, wrapping a white towel high around her chest. She looks into the mirror once more, closely examining her severely bruised and cut eye. She then slowly moves backwards, closes the lid on the toilet and sits down, bringing her knees up and hugging them with her arms. Leaning her head forward on her knees, she slowly regains her bearings.

Pop tarts shoot out of the toaster as the woman is letting her fingertips dry from what looks like a fresh manicure. She sits on a squishy sofa and sips on a hot cup of coffee, using her palms to lift the mug to her mouth while watching Bugs Bunny out-maneuver Elmer Fudd on an ancient, snowy television. She leans over a coffee table, with a clear package of cheap, red acrylic nails and a box of Exacto-knife blade replacements. A small super glue lid hides behind her big coffee mug as she carefully puts a small line of the adhesive on the inside of her left ring fingernail and then slowly sticks the blade vertically along the glue line. She blows on it a little, and sips on her coffee once more.

She walks to the bedroom and opens up her closet. Taking a beautiful dark, red dress from a hanger, she rips off the Macy’s price tag and drapes it on; slips on some strappy, silver high heels and finishes her make-up, expertly avoiding her armed fingernails. She then slings a black leather purse over her shoulder, looks in a full length mirror and makes small adjustments. The cut under her left eye now hides, barely noticeable under thick make-up. Taking a deep breath, she puts her shoulders back and walks out.

The woman is passionately making out with a clean cut, black man in the booth of a dimly lit, nightclub. The place is winding down as people in matching white aprons move around, cleaning and putting the chairs on the tables, wrapping up what is apparently the end of a private party. The man is growing more assertive with his kisses, moving down her neck and beginning to touch her breasts. She grabs his big hands and stops him.

“Hey, hey ... slowdown a little, baby.” She says softly, with a smile.

“I’m sorry,” he says, respectfully pulling back a bit. “I’m just., . . . I’m having a great time,” he says coming back to kiss her, his breath laden with alcohol.

“The party doesn’t have to stop,” she says kindly stuffing his advance once more. “We can go all night. But, . . .we need to talk business.”

The man’s love struck and teethy smile dissolves as he pulls his hand out of her grip. He begins to act a bit awkward, adjusting his posture, sitting up straight and creating some distance.

“Oh, . . Oh baby,” she says sensing his discomfort. “I thought you knew what this was about. I’m sorry,” she says with authentic sincerity.

“No, . . . Don’t apologize,” he says looking down acting a bit embarrassed. “I know exactly what this is about. You’re just, . . . really good. That’s all.” He flashes a shy but charming white smile, “You almost had me fooled.” He shakes his finger at her and swigs the last bit of his watered down scotch.

A bit of pity escapes her expression. “I’m really sorry, David. It was so nice meeting you,” she says with a respectful smile as she slowly starts to climb out of the booth. The man grabs her hand and pulls her back in the booth.

“Wait! . . . Don’t go,” he says with lonely eyes and a desperate voice. “What can I get for two-fifty?”