I had rented a cabin north of Billings on the edge of the Bull Mountains. My line of work gets slow in winter and I wanted the time out to do some writing. The snow started toward the end of October, kind of early but not unusual and nothing serious. There was something of a wind chill though. So as I drove down the dirt road from my cabin to the highway I was intrigued to see a figure trudging along. We arrived at my junction at the same time. The figure turned out to be a girl: stocky, round of face under her parka hood. She was carrying a long rifle. I recognised it as a buffalo rifle, and an old one at that. She had stopped to let me pass. I wound down my window. “I’m headed into town, can I give you a ride?"
It killed him to see her like that, spread across the bed like a gisant. He was twenty-four, and she, at forty-three, was supposed to be the mature one, the one with her ducks in a row. But he believed she needed him in all of the same ways and for all of the same reasons the twenty-somethings did. But her needing him stung in a unique way. It was the sting of a woman’s need and not a girl’s. You see, young women, they have their whole lives in front of them.
I’m always afraid just before I fuck you. While you wait, betraying no impatience, even though inside I know you’re needy—begging for it. It’s cliché but I’m sure it’s true. You’re empty in a way only I can fill. So you wait, watching me like you know exactly what you’re going to get. It makes my mouth go dry as much as it makes my clit throb. My pulse jumps. I move my hands slowly, adjusting the strap-on harness. I know it gets you impatient when I’m so deliberate, but I’m also buying time.
In every wardrobe hides an item of clothing that magically confers a gift on its owner: the exquisitely cut suit in which you are a warrior; a pair of heels that reconstruct your walk into a look-but-don’t-touch strut (with matching attitude); the softest mohair jumper whose feel on bare skin is a soothing balm that warms you both inside and out. These can transform your appearance and behaviour and so should be treated with circumspection and respect, for they can lead to unsettling… adventures.
My good friend Belle worked in the Book & Burger in a small town not far from Missoula. She was a sparky and good hearted woman – quite petite in a chunky way – with a mane of very blonde hair. She was well-liked locally but her real source of respect and fame was her way with cars. She fixed, drove and raced them with great skill. To be specific, she – and her family – were obsessed with the Dodge. By family, I mean parents, uncles, cousins. Her ex-husband was not so keen. The cars were her children so maybe that’s why he became an ex.
There was no siren, no news bulletin, our town just filled like a glass under the tap, before anyone could say the first word of alarm.
Jane wrinkled her nose, knowing that the bar’s smoke would stay on her skin even after she’d showered. Still, she wandered further into the bar, letting her eyes adjust to the shadows. The walls were a classic black; she wondered if it was due to a lack of imagination or a need to showcase a hard outer shell, to prove its authenticity. Some of the wallpaper was peeling and exposed a light brown paint. A scratched mirror hung near the hallway that lead to the bathrooms, and a pool table sat under one of the few lights, unoccupied. Budweiser flashed in red, seemingly timed with the alternative rock. She had heard of this place, but had never been, and she knew she was overdressed.
Fat Tanya was on duty the night the robbers came into the store. She shot dead the big one holding the knife with the old .38 revolver that was kept under the counter by the till. His companion, a small guy, fell to his knees and begged for mercy. Tanya sat on him until the deputy sheriff arrived from Baker.
The smell of onions reminded him of her. He made another teary-eyed slice to the thought of her hands, smelling of the morning’s cut, reaching down between his legs to make sure he was ready. To make sure he was alive. To make sure he was exactly as she wanted.
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.’