The clock’s stopped ticking. I’m not sure why. It worried me at first, but then I put it to the back of my mind because the promise of flesh reared its ugly head. There are bruises on her legs, but she looks as pretty as a peach, although it has to be noted she’s running on an empty stomach from not eating for fear of putting on weight. She hasn’t eaten in days, and although she says she’s not hungry, I can hear her belly rumbling. I’m sat perched on the edge of the bed smoking a cigarette while she’s curled up beside me watching The Exorcist. A teenage Linda Blair’s fucking herself with a crucifix. She tells me an ex-boyfriend once slid a sheathed knife into her pussy. My girl, not Linda. I tell her that sex is a form of time travel; it takes us to the realm of death and gives us a sneak peek at what the end will be like without getting too close. It’s the same reason why we drink, as drinking takes us out of this place only to return us safe and sound the morning after, allowing us to taste the void while at the same time giving us another chance at life. There are too many useless days and not enough magic; that’s what I say. Not enough beer shits and too many dreams where I’m trying to make my way around the underground to a house party where people make me feel as though I’m not a person but a ghost before my time.
“Don’t you think she has the prettiest lips?” she says.
I try not to look, but when I do, I see blood pumping over bedsheets.
“They’re so full of life.”
I, however, am not. I’m running out of time, and I suddenly realise that time is the only thing I have left.
“My favourite bit is where she comes down the stairs like a spider.”
It’s not my favourite bit, though. I don’t like spiders. They remind me of the womb—especially hers when she’s menstruating. Not that I’m afraid of the womb, as such. But it does remind me of spiders, and of the lack of time I have left. It always comes down to time, doesn’t it? Did I mention I have an impacted wisdom tooth? Did I forget to say how sometimes I get so low that yesterday is my only retreat? She wriggles around on the bed and brushes her red hair. It’s as red as her naughty bits, and her body guides my hands in ways I wish it wouldn’t.
“Come to me,” she says.
“Come and do what you want.”
And I do, but before I do, I glimpse the stopped clock on the wall and can’t help but feel as if I’ve been in this moment so many times before.
S.K. Nicholas is the creator of Myredabyss.com, as well as author of three collections of prose: A Journal for Damned Lovers Volumes 1, 2, & 3 (available on Amazon.) Additionally, Nicholas is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.