A Taste of Salt
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(This story is rated "R" for violence and language."
Staggering down the beach, I leave the row of nightclubs behind. For five hours, my senses had been assaulted: my ears by repetitive music, my nose by smoke and bad cologne, my eyes by fat people in tight clothing and my tongue by large amounts of alcohol. Certainly, these senses have earned their nightly reprieve.
The alcohol seems to be effecting me more now that I’m off the stool. However, blurry vision doesn’t prevent my from observing the half moon that lights a navy blue sky or the dark purple clouds that seem to be drawn toward the white crescent. The booze doesn’t prevent my nose from enjoying the sweet smell of salt water, or my skin from feeling the rolling tide’s gentle mist. Nor does it stop my ears from hearing the low, rumbling symphony caused by the wind against water.
Unfortunately, the liquor has effected my balance, which is very important while walking on beach sand that is far from level. Three times I fall before I decide I am close enough to the water. Or, to be more honest, enough alcohol has finally reached my bloodstream to keep me from standing. Either way, I am content to roll onto my side so I can see the moonlight reflect off the tide’s tiny waves. I am nearly as intoxicated with this nocturnal vision as I am by the cheap ale that bloats my belly.
Then, I hear the gentle bell-like sounds of two girls giggling. My eyelids are growing heavy, and I find myself fighting to stay conscious. Behind me, one of them says, “Are you sure you want to do this? I mean he’s awfully drunk.”
My pickled mind immediately turns her words into fantasies that are abruptly ended by the other girl’s bitter response, “He deserves it, the fucking pig.”
“Deserves what?” I question silently while I struggle to open my eyes and to turn in their direction. I wrongly assume I must see them to fully understand their intentions.
“Do you know him?” the first girl asks.
“Not him, personally, but men. They’re all the same. Did you see the way he looked at us in the bar? His fucking eyes never made it above our collar bones.” She pauses and I feel sand being kicked in my direction before she continues in a voice that is both low and angry, “We need to send this son of a bitch, and others just like him, a goddamned message that woman are more that just tits and ass. Come on, don’t weaken on me now?”
Timidly, the first girl responds, “I dunna know. Maybe we should start with a guy we’ve … ?”
Frustrated, the second girl cuts in, “He’s a man isn’t he? Then, we do know him. He’s just like the guy who hurt you and the one that hurt me. To dogs like this, we’re just a warm, wet place to cum. Let’s punish them by hurting HIM!”
I hear fluid splash inside a plastic container, and secretly I hope they brought booze. Then, the first girl says, “Alright, I’ll go first.”
I only have a few seconds to be afraid of their future actions before the thick liquid begins spilling onto my body. Its scent makes the gasoline easy to identify as it overwhelms the smell of salt-water air.
I manage to roll onto my back and open my eyes in time to see a small, thin girl strike a match. The fire colors her face orange, and deep shadows twist her smiling young face into something fiendish as she spits, “Die motherfucker!”
The glowing stick tumbles in my direction, and though I attempt to roll away, my inebriated body is not up to the task. The match hits me in the stomach and a patch of dancing flames are born. Quickly, they multiply and march the length of my body as I fail in every attempt to roll toward the sea. Oddly, I realize that it has been a long time since I desired a liquid, which would not taste of alcohol, but instead would be flavored with the bitter, taste of salt.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.