By Edmond Caldwell
The Lord Will Provide
It wasn’t what we might have thought. I carried it with me wherever we went. At night, in the dark, it lit my way.
In those days a little devil informed many of my devices, but in this case it wasn’t so.
And yet, Carmen, you insisted. And Carmine, you too. So we jacked a car – a beat-up ‘69 Acéphale with serious blindspots – and went looking.
Not finding, we stopped for the night. We rented a room and went to bed.
Alas, not to sleep. You were insatiable, Carmen. And Carmine, you too. So many maraschino-stained sheets!
In the morning I asked, Are we good? I was not just making conversation.
Your breath smells like ass, said Carmen, pulling away. That was her all over.
You’re just holding him upside-down, laughed Carmine.
In the office we got the counter-girl stop begging for her life long enough to open the safe.
We drove all day, stopping only at Saqqara to behold the mummified lions.
There was a cleft in the hills where the road disappeared. For a long way it followed the dry creek bed, then it humped up under us and coiled in switchbacks.
By that time you both acted like I didn’t exist, even though I was doing all the driving. I pretended to be back at the motel watching it on cable.
It was really in the rear-view mirror. At first I thought it was just fucking. You were insatiable, Carmen. Carmine, you too.
The limbs shed their leaves but not the long, dried pods that make her think of witches’ fingers. It’s a bright morning and the window is wide but from this distance no one can see her masturbating, unless they’re in the tree itself or using binoculars from across the alley. The witches’ fingers sway and bob in a mild breeze; they sign that the day does not want to begin without her.
But of course it’s begun and Doug has already phoned twice, no doubt to wonder aloud on her voice-mail – the second time less philosophically, perhaps – where she might have spent the night. Not that it’s any of Doug’s business, but she spent the night in this very bed, with Brent. Brent didn’t spend the whole night, however, because he’d had to go home to his wife and kids in the large house they shared with his vintage motorcycle collection.
But ha ha on Brent: after he crawled into bed three razorback hogs in aviator goggles and black capes gunned his 1963 Triumph Bonneville back to her bedroom, where she lifted the red and white brush of her tail and they reenacted the gangbang scene from Harley Vixens 5.
She gave birth that very night, with her six cats for midwives. The litter was seven so they had equal portions to consume in celebration of the blessed event. Yet she wakes with an appetite.
On the roof of the auto-parts store across the alley Carl switches the binoculars to his left hand so that he can unzip his fly with his right.
Edmond Caldwell‘s work has appeared in West Wind Review, A cappella Zoo, Pear Noir!, Mad Hatters’ Review, Lamination Colony, and elsewhere, and his novel, Human Wishes / Enemy Combatant, will be published in the fall of 2011 by Say It With Stones. He was last seen in Boston.