|The Story||The Authors|
|He thought recklessly about his antics last night. How could she have left him when he was down? "Aren't people supposed to stay together through thick and thin?", he thought to himself. "Ah fuck it.", he said as he drew out a cigarette, put it to his lips and lit the end drawing in deeply.|
|He'd only been smoking for a few months. He didn't seem to notice that people around him kept further away during conversations. He didn't notice that she complained when he mixed her clothes with hers because she didn't want her clothes to smell like smoke. He hadn't noticed how she used to complain about smokers, but within the last 6 months she hadn't complained about smokers anymore. And then it hit him. Maybe I should stop smoking. That's it! She left me because my breath stank and I smell like smoke all the damn time. He took another look at the cigarette, picked up the phone and began to dial her number.|
|His breath was so bad, not just from smoking, but from the things he ate. Onions, he loved onions, he loved them raw, he loved them yellow, red, green and white. He loved to suck on garlic cloves. When he breathed into the phone you'd think it would melt and leave hot plastic dripping down his arms. When it came to him that his breath might be a problem his mind began to race. Perhaps he could gargle with cologne? He tried eating flowers. He'd seen people put them on their salads. He tested his progress by leaning into people inadvertently while speaking with them, and measuring their reaction. If they recoiled with a supressed frown he knew it wasn't working. It hadn't been working. He decided to try "Mentos-The Freshmaker!" He had bought a case of the the candies at his local wholesaler the last time he went shopping. Unfortunately he had popped too many of the candies down his throat and it left him feeling sick.|
Even though he felt sick, Russell knew he should try to make the call again.
He found a pay phone and dialed the number. He was ready to repent.
To give up smoking for good. He was ready to make amends for the things
he had done previously. He was determined, and struck with a goofy
do-gooder air about himself. The phone began to ring. A mans voice
Russells heart pounded in his chest. Who was this strange man at her house answereing the phone?
"Uhm . . . er, uh . . ."
"Hello again," came that rich baritone, sounding perhaps too patient, too knowing. Russell's heart, did something not unlike knotting up on top of its pounding, making him feel as if his feet were leaving themselves, swirling to switch places but now facing the wrong direction. Finally, words formed, but nearly caught in his throat, and escaped only as a strangled whisper, "Is C-Cath-Cathy . . . there?"
|Noooo said a ghostly voice. W-who w-was that.|
|A man came out of the shadows. He had large hands and a big rectum.|
|This definitely was not his day. Could but the sudden pounding in his skull cease for even a couple moments, he might be able to think a clear thought. He paused one moment, and saw that the big fellow meant no harm. "Stipulate away, big man," he said, and, for good measure, added "I'm at your service." "Also, perhaps . . . has anyone told you, that, uh . . . you seem not to be wearing trousers of any sort. Is that, er, hmmm, uh, intentional?"|
|The big man nodded, then stopped nodding quite suddenly, reminding Russell of a habit of his grandmother's, and said, "You must forget about Cathy?" His voice was much higher pitched than Russell expected from one his size. The other unexpected element of the man's speech, which baffled him to the point of paralyzing response, or even acknowledgment of it even happening, was that the man's voice left not his mouth, but that gaping, pinkish-purple rectum.|
|When Russell was finally awakened by his mistress, Heidi, he realized that the recurring dream must be discussed with his psychiatrist. He had always had a fascination with the colors pink and purple but never in relation to rectums. He swore not to let it get the best of him.|