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By: Barrett Christopher Cart
Sitting on his bed naked, Shane feels even colder holding the jar of mayonnaise he had just retrieved from his buzzing refrigerator. He stares into the large mirror on top of his dresser humbled by the way that malnutrition stripped him of the slightest hint of muscle. Shane’s sun kissed clay hair seems to have lost its curls and his garden green eyes look like they need to be polished and shined.
Shane Taylor no longer leaves his murky little apartment. He watches the creeping shadows crawl through his Venetian blinds and cross his walls. Shane only distinguishes the difference from night to day by the color of the light pushing the shadows around his lonely bedroom. The white streetlight swarming with insects that refuse to give up the lost daylight outside Shane’s apartment slice the midnight blue of his room.
His bedroom was not always so lonely; Shane had only recently lost Samantha, his lover of three years, to a horrible auto accident exactly twenty-seven days ago and counting. Shane counts the days as if he were counting the number of lashes his back receives from a thorn whip as it tears his flesh off his spinal cord. The depression holds Shane to the solitary confines of his apartment like an anchor. Shane never went back to his welding job at Conrad Industries and is surprised that his money hungry landlord has not thrown him out yet. Nobody calls on him, Shane’s only family is his sister, Lindsey Taylor, and she is busy with her new teaching career. If Lindsey did call she would only tell him, that at twenty tears old he should be looking forward to an entire life ahead of him. Until he is forced to leave, Shane will remain in the remote apartment that was once filled with love because it is one of the only things he has left that he and Sam had once shared. The frigid jar of mayonnaise he is unscrewing the blue tin lid off of, I another priceless memento.
Shane can not just go through life wearing an asinine smile like nothing ever happened, after all he was driving that night. Digging himself into this sunless hole, Shane believes that he deserves all the pain that life can bury him in. He should have seen the old geezer running the red light.
Hot tears are balancing on Shane’s eyelids like over weight, tight rope walker as he summons the dark memories that are blacker than the night the memories themselves were born.
It was Shane’s stupid idea to leave Sam’s parent’s house in that late night storm. The Kramer family had offered for he and Sam to stay at their house overnight, but Shane’s bull headedness would not allow it. He was drowsy, but the convenience in the location of their apartment to Shane’s morning work at Conrad’s drowned his sensibility.
Sam offered to drive his Ford Ranger pickup but Shane refused. Not trusting Sam since last time she had scratched a petty sliver of blue paint off the truck’s door with a grocery basket last time she drove it. Sam’s parent’s paid for a new paint job, but with a welder’s helper’s income, Shane felt that he couldn’t take any risks.
As Shane shook hands with Mr. Kramer and Sam kissed her worried mom goodbye the black velvet sky released a rumbling moan as if it hurt to release the rain. When Sam’s parents offered the guest bedroom with a final attempt to caution, Sam looked to Shane with her deep, bayou brown eyes in a silent plead. Sam had hardly gotten over her childhood fear of the sky installed by her late Jehovah’s Witness, apocalyptic preaching grandmother; she will not live long enough to ever cease being unnerved when the blue vault of heaven leaks with the tears of mad angels. Slicking the beads of rain through Sam’s dark walnut hair, Shane promised her safety.
It was a ten-mile stretch of insipid highway with only two traffic lights between Sam’s parent’s house and Shane’s comfort zone. The thunder mumbled more threats and the crickets shut up to listen. As the light rain matured to heavy splattering drops the family’s parting hugs were cut abruptly short.
On the drive home Sam spoke regretfully about how little she gets to see her parents. Shane related the same feelings; the Kramer’s welcomed him in with open arms while all he had was an apathetic, drunk father that he does not even know and an ever-busy sister.
The dense sheets of rain were winning the race against Shane’s laboring windshield wipers. Sam unbuckled her seat belt to lay her head on Shane’s solid shoulder, finding more security within Shane’s muscular frame from the dreadful sky. Shane never being one to buckle his own seat belt, he had not even doubted Sam’s safety.
Before Shane reached the second intersection light, the yellow flashing early warning stoplights had gone off at least a quarter mile before the intersection. The puke green station wagon crossed, perfectly timed for a collision as Shane coasted into it at seventy miles per hour. Shane repeatedly smashing the brakes to the floorboard could not even slow them in time on the slippery rain flooded highway.
Shane and Sam both flew through the windshield with enough force to clear the station wagon that they had collided into. After a few seconds Shane felt something warm and thick clotting on his eyelids. With the help of the rain, he was able to wash his blood away. As Shane crawled, he pushed on a soft tingling spot on his fractured skull with the palm of his hand.
Shane dragged himself across the wet asphalt to Sam’s paralyzed body. She was covered in shattered glass that stood erect in her wounds like a hideous form of acupuncture for a masochist. Shane saw a stream of blood flowing from the side of her neck like a red river. He pinched the two pieces of Sam’s loose, neck skin together to shut the flow off when she suddenly opened her eyes.
Sam’s lips were trembling but her muddy eyes were as trusting as always when she would look at Shane. She stared without flinching as Shane’s blood dripped onto her face like tree sap.
“I know you’re cold, I - -” Shane started.
“I don’t care just hold me.” Sam cut him off.
“But I need to call for --”
“I don’t think I have much time left.”
Shane understood; letting go of her neck wound and reaching his arms around as his forearms picked up shards of glass beneath her. “I love you.”
“I love you.”
Sam’s verbal love was the last echo before a dark blanket covered Shane’s consciousness.
Now, sitting on his bed naked with a jar of mayonnaise, Shane will bring her back as he does every day. The mayonnaise was a commonly used ingredient of he and Sam’s steamy foreplay. They would douse any sensitive area with the creamy white condiment; then suck and lick it off eagerly like kittens bathing in their mother’s milk.
He is not sure of any kind of rational explanation, but when Shane masturbates with the mayonnaise it brings Sam back to him. She appears in his mirror, pleasing herself as Shale strokes himself. The only thing Shane has ever heard of similar to this mysterious magic is of the incubi and succubi. He had once read something about the fifth-century Catholic philosophy of St. Augustine. But Shane is sure that this cannot be the same case because the incubi is supposed to be violent, sexual male demons and the succubi are female demons. According to Judaic mysticism, Lilith was the first wife of Adam and she is the “queen of demons.” After separating with Adam she would steal cum from married could while having sex in the dark to make colonies of incubi and succubi.
Shane is positive that the apparition in his mirror is not a succubus. Succubi are demons and Sam is and angel.
By the day Same has appeared less angelic, decaying like she is still being held to the natural laws of Earth. It does not make the slightest bit of difference to Shane, Sam will always be the most beautiful girl in this world, or whatever other world she might be in, to him.
Coating his dick with their magical mayonnaise Sam appears slowly. Her skin weaves into the room’s reflection like fancy embroidery. Sam’s now stringy, coconut hair leaks into the mirror’s frame like marsh water. The rest of Sam’s body fills in like rolling swamp gasses with her only beauty on the inside, hidden behind her sagging yellowish, blue skin like a falling sky. The hollow, crusty sockets are directed at Shane. Fully nude, Sam’s body is mangled and bruised.
He can see Sam’s chapped colorless lips open and close as if she were trying to tell him something urgent, but Shane hears nothing. As Shane rubs his cock Sam slides her dead fingers inside her browning, liver stripped vagina lips.
As Shane blows his orgasmic load, Sam sees blood and cum spray from his cracked, dead blue blemished urethra. Looking into the flaking dead skin forming rough grains out of Shane’s eyelids, Sam can still see the beauty inside of him through his black hollowed sockets. No matter the decrepit state Shane’s vessel appeared to her in, Sam knows that he is not an incubus; Shane is make out of the hymns that angels sing light as flower petals.
Sam looks over her nude, wholesome body. Beautifully tanned, clear skinned and alive. Sam only wishes that Shane could be as vibrant as she is while looking at the ghastly image in her mirror. Sam restates the question that the ghostly reflection of Shane never seems to want to answer. It hurts her to ask every time but between sobs Sam manages to ask once again, “Shane, when will you realize that you didn’t make it?”