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Sweat on his hands. Sweat in his hair. Bludgeoning heart. Body rocking with tension and arousal. His mouth was agape, dry, and he licked his lips with his tongue like a limp fish, dried on the sea shore. His breath encouraged his blood excitedly as he swiftly sifted his fingers through his stringy brown hair which flopped back over his eyes, the sweat dripping into them. His chair was weak, the wood fragile with age and the pressure of scores or hundreds of desperate men and some dripping women spanning years. There were five chairs all together spreading either side of him, each as pathetic as the next; its nails protruding spitefully around the rotten splinters. The ground beneath them was grey concrete, its many wounds and drawn markings invisible in the nightlight. The rectangular room had windows at either end, neither of which walls he sat against. The windows were painted black, but a little light came through to assist the dampened lamp across from him. Between the young man and the lamp was a desk, or a table. Perhaps it was a bed, a surgeon’s bed, or so he imagined the crude thing. A white cloth draped over it, screwed and stained.


He heard the sound like a beat in the back of his neck; it was the opening of the door to his right. It held true to the decrepit nature of the place, and creaked indiscreetly as the fellow burst through it holding a heavy, flopping object in his arms. The object had arms and legs like the young man who watched it, but the limbs swung like a doll’s, and the mouth was agape. He noticed the brown hair hanging from the scalp and distracted himself with it during the seconds between the sound of the door and the creased hole in the man’s face.


The old man with the body in his arms grunted when he looked at the boy as if to convey disappointment, and, rolling his eyes, moved over to place the corpse on the table. He turned and looked at the boy, half grinning at the frightful excitement in his eyes. His grey hair swung again in time with his long, lanky old arms and legs as he made for the door again. “Come on, you,” he said, waving his hand toward a lady on the other side of it. He looked once more at the nervous thing in the chair as the dark hair passed into and from his vision. The kid’s hands were in his lap, all his muscles clenched. The old man shook his head and moved to close the door. Just before he shut it, however, he took a glance at the woman who systematically climbed and sat upon the hips of the corpse, pressing herself against it with a forced whimper. The old man barely felt a twinge of his loins, his mouth hung open bored.


He pulled on the greasy handle, closing the door with a distasteful amount of exerted energy. He made his way down the hall, past the familiar tears of wallpaper and dim lights, and toward a series of five doors twenty foot away. He cleared his throat and tasted mucus for a moment, then he sniffed and wiped his large, boney finger delicately across his nostrils. He entered into the first room he came to, moving instinctively to the basin beneath the mirror after shutting the door. He looked into his own eyes. His mouth was open, not unusually, and he could see his red tongue sitting like a dead thing. A light shined off his balding scalp through a small window above, behind, and to the left. The bags under his eyes had started to sag to a point where he could see the curve of his eyeballs into the red jelly beneath. His great big nose hovered far before his cheeks, and he noticed how of all the lines and creases in his face, that feature remained solid and no more than a tad lumpy over the years. Of course the grey hairs protruded from his nostrils, but he kept them clean, as he kept his face clean. He was kind to his cheeks and chin, and shaved daily, forgetting an age when he hadn’t. Around the lines that entered his mouth was the vague grey shadow that could always be seen no matter when he shaved, but in this darkness it blended nicely with the shadows formed from the mirror’s reflection of the window’s light. He raised a corpse-like finger to his nostril and tugged at the hair gently. As he did this he bared his teeth ever so slightly and looked upon the perfect white dentures. Tired of this face, he shut his jaw and pursed his lips. He took another deep gaze into his eyes, the eyelids drooping into them, and he gave himself a look of disgust.


“You feeble old thing,” he said. “If only you knew how much I hate you. Every day…you are pathetic. People look at you and vomit, you sack of shit. You feel that, in your throat?” (He stuck his fingers deep, past his tongue, and filled the hole of his esophagus, then removed it, saliva dragging.) “That’s the taste of your face. The smell of your hair and body. It’s the sweat of your groin, you dirty old bastard.” He took the drool-ridden hand and shoved it into his underwear, then wiped it onto his reflection.


“Filthy fuck,” he spat.


The door was pushed open, and the small woman appeared, now pulling a black dress over her torso.


“The boy’s out, can I go home, d’you mind?”


The old man parted his sticky lips and sighed. He grumbled a moment, then dismissed her with a hand gesture and grunt. He stood there in the silence of the toilet and stared past a wall. He sniffed with a loud noise like and engine, then moved to leave. He walked back up the hall with his long legs flopping before him, and opened the door. The boy, Thomas was his name, was passed out on the floor, doubled over. The old man rolled his eyes and grabbed the boy by the collar. He dragged him down the hall and up a flight of stairs through the door at the very end. When he was ground level he went to the front door and looked out of it. There was no one on the streets, but he seemed to have a change of mind and dragged the boy through the house and to the back door. He eventually decided to pick the thing up and carry it into the overgrown garden and through a fence door. He dropped it after moving through a series of back alleys and to a black wall. He quickly made his way back through the suddenly brightening night. His back gave him a pang of ache and he put his huge hand uselessly to it. His hunched spine was stiff. He retraced himself down to the floor from which he’d come, and into the room at the end of the hall. He lifted the body and removed it to another one of the rooms in the hall to the left. He left it making a final trip up the stairs and up a second flight onto the floor above ground. There was only room for two windows at the front of his attached house and he sat in the room containing both on a bed. It was a great effort, he found, to lay himself down into a sleeping pose and he hurt himself in doing so. But he barely muttered from his parted lips, and laid his head upon a thin pillow to try and sleep. And just before the sun rose, he did. And the sun came dully as a pale yellow and similar blue over and behind the attached rooftops, but he didn’t see a thing of it as his eyelashes distinguished the only true line of his lids.



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The following comments are for "Uncultured"
by ThwanCondu





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