Through the Bed Clothes
She came to him for help, where he lived, in the round room with the bed in the center, an old cooker on one side, a writing desk with an oil lamp on the other. She sat on the wooden chair and laid her hand flat on the writing desk. Her nails - at first glance, painted blood red - on closer inspection were spiders that unfurled forty legs and scurried off the tips of her fingers and away through the crack between the table and wall. She closed her hand into a fist and pressed it to her sick stomach. She held her sides like a person who's run too much.
The four assistants, who'd been camouflaged against the walls, grabbed one limb each and lifted her kicking and screaming onto the bed. They ripped off her white skirt and cotton panties and dutifully held her down. He watched disinterestedly and waited until she exhausted herself and stopped struggling. This didn't take long.
Untwisting and bending, he fashioned a wire coat hanger into a long, flexible stick with a short, sharp hook at the end. Unceremoniously and without warning, he slid it into her. Slide. Twist. Scrape. Cry. She cried out a pigeon that warbled from the depths of her stomach and struggled gargling out through her throat.
When you think things are hard, they only get harder, he philosophized as he stood, softly but surely holding on to his end of the coat hanger, looking like a fisherman at a lake, holding his rod.
He reached into a vest pocket with one hand and took out a cigar and placed it in his mouth, then reached for a lighter, lit the cigar and puffed away unconcerned. A few minutes later he felt her wince and a tug on the hanger indicated a bite.
He tossed the cigar onto a nearby ashtray. Jiggle. Twist. Scratch. Cry. This time a couple of hens mistaken for roosters were thrown beak first into a cock fight in her chest; out of her mouth just in time to declare the brown one the winner.
The assistants at her legs looked up at her with pity. The assistants at her arms looked down on her with disgust. Her mouth and face were covered in feathers. Stop your hollering, you'll scare it away. He could now see a little orange fish head poking out from her hole.
Tears streamed down her cheeks, sticking the now soaked feathers to her face. Maybe I shouldn't … maybe I—
Maybe you what? Bit late for regret now, isn't it, darling? When things are hardest they get harder. He tugged at the wire hanger. Ploop.
She inhaled sharply. He exhaled slowly. The assistants sighed. Everyone looked up at the tip of the wire hanger he now held victoriously vertical at his side. A small, but plump goldfish dangled from its hooked mouth, its tail fin swaying to and fro, its scales glistening in the oily lamplight.
He gave it three quick taps on the would-be bum with his forefinger, inciting it to cry. Nothing. He unhooked it and tossed it into the hot pan on the cooker which began to sizzle and smoke.
The assistants let go and retreated towards the edges of the room with their backs against the walls and stood quietly as they had been. Two of them were smiling serenely. Two of them were weeping softly.
She curled onto her side and picked feathers off her face between sobs. A pool of blood had gathered beneath her hips. He continued to smoke his cigar and stare at her, beaming triumphant and magnanimous. She'd be all right, he knew. She continued to bleed through the bed clothes.