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Authors: Kate Crash

Plush (4 page)

BOOK: Plush
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There is a flattened stalk I can feel under the blanket in my back. I kiss him back. I believe in it – my tongue is a serpent set free on his body. I hear a zipper. And his pants are off. And he’s thrusting mine down my legs. It’s just my underwear keeping him from my virginity.

“Wait,” I say.

The night was getting cold.

“Shhhhhhh,” he whispers while licking my ear, “It’s gonna be alright… “ I don’t know if it is though.

I don’t know if I ever will be. Alright. He brushes the bangs from my eyes and falls in deep, sweet, big eyes.

Me: “but I’ve never…” I’ve never said no to Jack. I’ve never fully let myself tell myself the truth. I never did whatever I wanted to do. Everybody controls me but me.

He kisses my lips: “Your first time?… This is the best place for it. Stars. Me. Everything is perfect.” But it’s not and I don’t care. And his hand is over my underwear rubbing. Electricity shoots through my body. Back arches. He pushes my hand on top of his bulge coming through the boxers. And I stroke it and he moans and fuck being in love because I’m not; I just want to feel something good for once, and he’s rubbing faster – “you’re so fucking wet” – and his mouth is on my nipple and it’s hard and he pushes my underwear to the side without taking it off and his cock is out and so hard and pale like the moon behind his head like a halo. And he pushes it in. And I scream. My underwear on my thigh. Wet. Bleeding.

It hurts. But I can’t stop myself. And he’s riding me up and down. And I like pain. I like the pain. I grab his hair. I whisper, “Jack,” in my head. His body stiffens, goes deeper, then shakes. And in thirty seconds of eternity, it’s all over. He rolls over, holds my hand, and I’m back in myself. Feeling dirty. Feeling happy. Confusion melts me.

Stars swirling. Blood between my legs. Pull my panties over.

Tomorrow’s a new day.


Everyday in my life up until now has led me to this. Me, 17, pacing in my garage. My big shot. My chance at escape on her way in the car to this garage. Annie. I don’t pray but I’m praying now. Jack will somehow come back and make it in time for our audition. I know he will. He’s been gone for a few days, and I’ve left him like 20 million messages until his voicemail overflowed and wouldn’t take anymore of me pleading for a breakthrough. And in all my endless river of texts, he hasn’t texted me once back, which hurts bad.

But I have faith. He loves me too much to let us down like this, loves the music.

I’m in an old ripped shirt of Jack’s with safety pins in it, green fake leather shorts I cut up from pants at a thrift store, a purple glitter scarf with dangling bones on it – I found it in the wild and hot glue gunned on – and my magic combat boots. I haven’t washed my hair in a week to make sure it’s perfect.

I see a big cloud of dust roaring in the drive way, high and big swarming like a volcano of bees going up and out, and there’s a load motors of pops and bangs. Please be Jack. Please be Jack. Please. I run up to the window and press my face against the glass – glass always between me and the outside world. My nose is smushed. Out of the cloud of dust a tall, all-in-black, lanky shadow of a blurred out figure emerges, and then his long hair whips out of a helmet, hair too long for it to be Jack.

Donnie walks in. Shirtless. Tight black jeans. I feel a little awkward after last night’s whole losing-my-virginity-to-him thing. I don’t know what to say or what to do with my hands, but he does. He lifts me and kisses me then pokes me in my ribs until I laugh. “Alright little wild doll, we’re gonna kick some ass! My dad didn’t knock up some Korean hottie and get exiled by his racist family for me not to be the hottest drummer on the planet on the cover of every magazine…” – his lips are soft and I feel alright again – Donnie continues, “I did not get sent to this shithole of a town for nothing. We’re gonna kill it!…”

Me: “Not if I don’t kill Jack first!”

Him: “He’s still not here?” Donnie sits at his green glitter kit and takes a hard hit. “AHHHHHK!” he yells.

“Nope. But I know he’ll show. I just know it. All roads lead back to Rome.”

We hear a roar coming down the dirt road. Now we’re both looking out a small window in the garage. Faces pressed side by side, his cheek hitting mine, and the astral-like, nebula, dirt clouds exploding. There’s a car I think but the window is pebbly glass, and now the dust has covered the window. The world is brown and I can’t see who’s coming. A wobbly dream as far as I can see.

We step back and look at each other, both thinking the same thing. Please be Jack. Please be Jack. The clock strikes seven. Lucky for me, my dream of Dad getting lost with floozies at a bar came true, because when I left home I saw him at the El Dorado Desperado shit-hole bar with ladies a plenty. He won’t bother us. He may not ever come home. He won’t interrupt. I run to the door and fling it open.

A lady with long wavy hair – tall, thin, professional, stiletto black boots, tight pants, loosely-buttoned shirt with cleavage pimped out – thrusts her hand forward:

“I’m Annie Sanchez. You must be Hayley; I’ve heard a lot about you.”

She talks a million miles an hour. I feel slow. Very slow. I give her a bottle of water I bought after school and a bag of chips I stole from a classmate’s backpack. Jack would normally do the talking. What do I say?

“Urn… nice to meet you.” Her handshake is strong – mine, so soft.

Donnie to the rescue. He slides between us, puts his arm around Annie, and leads her over to a beat-up, plushed-out chair. “Hello future. Jack went to go grab something; he’ll be back soon.” Donnie’s head crow-necks around and checks out Annie’s ass. He’s got a Cheshire cat smile on.

They are laughing and making small talk. 30 minutes pass. I’m trying not to pace out of nervousness. Annie stares me down, half smile, all business: “So… When’s Jack coming?”

I’m freaking out. The clock’s tongue is licking away my big chance. In my head I go, “Universe, I don’t ask you for much… Look, my life kinda really sucks and please can you just do this one thing for me? Bring Jack NOW… I’m begging you. I won’t cut on myself all week. I’ll eat more. I’ll do anything. Please, just don’t let him blow this for me. For us.” My ears are like wolves. Twitching around ready to interpret any sound. But it’s silence out in that big, bad, misunderstand me world.

Please, please Jack.

I wait for a roar of a car, a chop chop chop of a helicopter, or even the wings of a great phoenix bringing him. Anything is possible when it comes to the magic of Jack. Or even just footsteps. But there’s nothing.

Nothing at all.

And then…


The garage mouth thrusts up. “OWWWWWWWWWW! Your miracle has arrived!” Jack is there with three girls I don’t know from Mexico. Behind him, the dust of our dirt road is like a sage’s mist from a story, appearing out of the black. He couldn’t have chosen a more dramatic entrance. His eyes are a bit twitchy, and he’s chewing his lip a little. His tongue thrashes like an alligator drowning its kill. He throws on his guitar: “HIT IT!”

The drums go. Jack goes. Guitar screams. I’m singing. I forget everything and forgive him for everything. I forget that I was once a mouse and now I am everything I’ve ever wanted. In this moment. This one moment. I am free. Jack jumps so high. On the second chorus, he’s singing with me into the mic, then his back is against mine. It’s like we had rehearsed this magic moment forever, but it was all just made up. And the three hussies he dragged in are dancing and clapping and moaning and shouting. Everything is magic – twirling lights, hearts out of my south Texas bird cage. I fly.

I wail my last note out and Jack’s guitar does the most wild growl I’ve ever heard.

Then silence.

“Where did that come from?” I say to Jack. “That guitar sound was apocalyptic!” Jack looks at his hands. “The voice said to go.”

Donnie’s mouth drops. My brother is his prophet. I am not just a shadow anymore. The three girlies scream.

Annie: “ORGASMIC! That was a panty wetter; I’m in.”

Jack runs up to her and lifts her in the air and spins her. She is caught up in the magic of the cult of Jack, as we all are. He plops her on her stilettos, straight up, makes out with a girl to the left for a few seconds, then tells them to hit it as it’s time to get down to business. They wander out mystified, hungry for more, and all pile into, I suppose, the car they brought Jack here in – a flashy new Mercedes in bright green. Dust swirls. Jack’s twitching a little.

“I got plans for you guys; We’re gonna make this happen; I know just what to do with you.” I’ve never heard anyone talk so fast as Annie. Her eyes shiny and confident and she’s so smart. “That was wild, sexual, everything! Haha! I’m gonna make us all rich! Here’s my card.” She hands it to Jack. “I’m your manager now. You’ll be coming up to Austin for SXSW and I’ll make sure all the right people are there.” This couldn’t have turned out any better

Jack lifts her up. She laughs, and gets put back down. I shake her hand as she leaves. “Here’s my card too, Hayley. We’ll be talking a lot.”

Jack leads Annie out with his hand on her ass and squeezes it hard. He turns to Donnie and winks. “I just got a few business things to wrap up with Annie.” Jack’s twitching mouth and bug eyed smile. I’ve never seen him so wild like that in the face.

I go over to Donnie and give him a hug. We chat about our set list, how many new songs we need. The clock arches and time keeps clicking. “Where’s Jack?” 25 minutes pass. Donnie stares at me for an answer, which I never have. The answer.

I go over to get tap water in the kitchen sink, and Jack comes into the living room, sweaty, face flushed, fly half-zipped; he shoves his head under the sink and howls:

“We’re gonna make it!!!!”


Click click click. Click click click
. My eyes are closed. I’m in my bed. I can feel the sun, and it’s is way too fucking blinding. But, I don’t want to get up. A beat-up, button-eyed, stitched-up green bear in my left hand. Underwear. Shirtless. Little socks. This is how I sleep.

Click click click
. What is that noise? I squint and open my eyes. Jack is above me with the TV remote control pointing at my face, pushing the buttons:


I throw my bear at Jack’s head and he jumps up on the bed and jumps over and over doing a wild monster dance. I grab his right leg and yank hard, and he falls next to me laughing and grabs me in his arms. Mornings like this keep me going. He rolls onto his back; our hands hold. We stare at the not-anymore-glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling, the only part that’s not a silver glitter streamer jungle. Is it weird that we’re still doing this? I wonder what Donnie would think.

“Where the fuck did the TV go? You have a crack habit I don’t know about?” I giggle through the tinge of pain.

“Mom came while you were gone and took it away. I wish you would have been here to save the day…”

Jack’s face turns away. I know he feels it – that sometimes the darkness we have inside lets the other down, that we can’t always be everything to each other though we try.

I start singing a new song we are working on – “Surrender to Me” – and he hums the guitar part. And then we get up and jump on the bed together, my stuffed animals flying off. And we dance until we hear a soft young woman’s voice right outside my door:


I throw a long shirt on. Jack and I look at each other both feeling suspicious, eyes squinting, hearts growling. Jack flings open my door almost hitting a five-foot-tall, caramel-skinned, D-cupped, size-2 woman. She has giant, red, paper-mache chili peppers with green stems on her ears; a white bikini with little, red, chili peppers on them; bright red stilettos; long, black, straight hair that goes straight to her waist; and a silk, white sash with red cursive lettering that re
ads: “Ms Fajita.”
She looks my age or a year older, and her half melted makeup clearly hasn’t been changed since yesterday. Dad is smiling like he won the fucking lottery. Reasonable is not in his vocabulary.

“WHO THE FUCK are YOU?” Jack woofs.

Miss Fajita’s head goes back like Jack’s voice was a 90 mph wind: “Que?” Dad’s arm speed slides in and moves Jack back. while his other arm caresses the woman like a baby bird. A delicacy. He’s never been so delicate with me.

“Jack. Calm down please” – Dad sounds so adult. He never sounds adult. What the fuck is happening? The world clearly has flipped upside down – “This is Miss Fajita. She’s staying with us for a while, and you will treat her with respect like you would your mother.” My mousey voice so soft squeaks, “But we DON’T respect our mother.” I build my strength and speak a little louder shaking a little with rage: “We hate our mother…” Jack finishes my sentence: “And we HATE her,” pointing at Miss Fajita’s big un-bounceable boobs.

“Now children,” Dad says as Miss Fajita grabs a silver handle with her long, yellow, clip-on nails and pulls her cherry red, shiny, vinyl, wheely suitcase down the hall into Dad’s room. The door shuts and locks. A play out of my own book. Dad continues, “She’s moving in and that’s that. Please. Be calm.”

“Is she even 18, DAD?” Jack is right in Dad’s face. Dad is shaking a bit as Jack, on his tippy toes, is looking down at his fat, hairy, bear body. “Yes, she turned 18 two weeks ago and…” Jack throws Dad against the wall and starts to strangle him. “FUCK you! THIS IS THE LAST TIME you DO THIS. IT’S HER OR US…” Dad can’t breathe. He’s choking, spitting, face turning into the color of Miss Fajita’s suitcase, shoes, and hat: chili-pepper red.

Jack has gone to that place where sounds, reason, love, and everything good just fade. I know he is in this crooked theater all alone, unable to stop the way he behaves. He’s an outsider in his own body, watching his life drift away on the big screen. I feel a twinge of uncertainty. What do I do next? How do I make everything ok? That’s all I want: things to be ok.

“Jack. let up,” I whisper.

Jack looks in my big eyes. I try to make him feel my sweetness and love. There’s sweat coming off his forehead and a storm that swirls from the depths of the ravine of the lost coming to surface in his eyes.

BOOK: Plush
2.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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