The first time I saw that ruffian he had his hands tied in front of him. He was clutching a little wooden crucifix. Even from that distance I could see he was shaking, but as a painter what interested me most was the contrast between his skin – they had stripped him to the waist – and the dark tunic and hood of the executioner. I remember thinking that if it weren’t for that trembling he would have made me a magnificent martyr – St. Lawrence lashed to his gridiron, or St. John in his pot of boiling oil.’
She unties him and tells him to lie on a small, dingy bed, just big enough for one person. He’s compliant by now and weakened enough to say their phrase, “Yes, Love.”
The hospital administrator’s door was open, I knocked anyway. “Come in, sit down,” she said. Marion hired me as a junior radiologist at Atlanta General Hospital almost twelve years ago. She'd been a guest at my wedding. About once a week, when the hospital cafeteria was too crowded, we walked across the street to the Fresh' n' Crisp and traded gossip from the hospital grapevine. I sat down and waited. When she looked up from her computer she wasn't smiling.
David didn’t really want to fuck him. Not that he wasn’t hot—one would go so far as to call him objectively and conventionally attractive. He seemed nice enough, polite if not charming. He’d opened the conversation with a friendly though tired one-liner, and had yet to send an unsolicited dick pic. And, if Grindr was to be trusted, he was only a ten minute walk away...
These faculty committees were of a piece: business (so-called), people, little speeches, gossip, results: none. Hours murdered, and neurons. Fenshaw did nothing but think of his office; who would be waiting. Mary Ellen, no bra, no panties, slight skirt, plush lips, and the will and skill to use the whole kit for his pleasure. She was short, voluptuous, twenty years old, and a junior, which meant she’d be around for another year. And she wanted nothing in return. Sure, she expected pleasure of her own, but such was her ferocious response to his ministrations that her pleasuring became his as well.
‘The shot blew out the lock and caught Herr Oberth in the bum before he had time to get his head out.’ ‘Get his head out from where, Fraulein?’ ‘From between Frau Hentner’s legs, sir.’ The younger of the two policemen flushed and looked up at the emperor’s portrait for reassurance; he could have sworn the old walrus raised his eyebrows. He heard Hauptmeister Brukenthal say, ‘This is a serious investigation, Fraulein Nicolescu. There were only three people in that room and you were not one of them.’
Rosewater, saffron, almonds and milk – the recipe sounded like the Song of Solomon. It sounded exactly what Patrick, with his seductively angst-ridden Catholicism would adore. As Katy only had the milk she would have to go out and buy the dozen other fragrant items the curry required. It would be an offering to Patrick, an offering of love. She liked shopping for spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, frankincense and cloves, nutmeg, mint, bay leaves and myrrh, turmeric, garam masala, gold...Spices were the precious stones of the food world. Poor man’s diamonds. The saffron came in a tiny plastic box engraved with gold curlicues like a jewel case. It cost £1.75. Katy liked the idea of a luxury that cost less than two pounds. The grocery round the corner had everything she needed. Carrying it all to the checkout, she buried her nose in the coriander and mint and sighed over their green scent. The man behind the counter, eyes glued to a Turkish soap opera on the TV in the corner, glanced at her and smiled. “Good?” “Good.”
‘What the fuck did he say?’ The Dean was used to speaking plainly to the Communications Director. ‘He said, The Min Ed wouldn’t know a rational argument if it knelt down in front of him and sucked him off.’ ‘And who all knows about this?’ ‘A reporter on the Traffic saw it. About 2,000 followers, ten of whom have already retweeted it.’ ‘And is the Traffic going to run something?’ ‘Looks like it. We could brief them off the record’, he suggested, ‘that the University has internal disciplinary proceedings. We’ll have to take time to see if they apply in this case. Or we could tell them to fuck off. And if they drag us into this their free pass to the graduation ceremony will get lost in the post.’ ‘What about the wee cunt himself?’
Joseph could not touch one so young. She was a child, a daughter. Wedding her, he was almost ashamed – an old man with grey in his beard and she a dark-crowned girl. Yet he trusted God, and he knew that to be ashamed would be a dishonour upon Him.
‘Mr. Mannheimer had to go and get the stepladder to tie my hands to the beam. He used rope because he said he didn’t have any chains, but that I was to try to imagine that’s what they were seeing as that’s what he’d paint. He said he’d just tie me loosely but I said no thanks, if I have to hold my arms up myself I’d be worn out in no time so please to tie me up proper so I can hang from the chains and not pretend. Afterwards he got down and off my plinth and looked at me tied up there. I liked it when he did that, better than when he’s looking at me from behind his easel. Then he frowns and says, “Please not to shave under the arms again.” Then he says: “You are a dromedary.”’