Friday, 27 May 2016

In the Mirror

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The street was bathed in a bluish hue; that summer night light that never gets black-dark. Mia breathed out, a cloud of smoke circling above her. Her right hand moved from her cheek to her mouth. She took another long drag of her cigarette as she watched the street down below. The tobacco crackled, and she could feel the heat as the tip grew closer to the the filter. The city before her seemed frozen in time; suspended in night time animation.
She heard him come into the bright room, her body tensed as she took another drag. His steps sounded heavy on the parquet floor, but she knew he was tiptoeing across the room.  She closed her eyes and listened to his lustful breathing. She knew what he wanted, what he’d come to claim. His hands rested on her shoulders. His strong thumbs massaging the knotty muscles in her neck. He could rub all he wanted there was no way he’d untangle that weave of sinew that he’d help to create. His kissed the top of her head as he continued exploring her neck and shoulder with his hands.
Where was his wife? Blissfully asleep, unaware of this intrusion. Or only pretending to be unconscious; crying gently as her husband snuck out of bed to impose himself on the nanny. Did she think Mia was complicit in the arrangement? Or was the wife complicit herself? Did she know that Marcus took what he wanted with threats of violence or unemployment or both?
Mia lit another cigarette and inhaled. She heard the zip of her dress being undone. Marcus ran a finger down her spine. Why the pretence of seduction? Why this game of foreplay? Did it help him convince himself that this was consensual? He was groaning now, moaning gently as he breathed in her young body. She took another drag. The night below her was the only witness to the crime and it seemed to be wilfully looking away. A stray cat strutted across the road nonchalantly. The blue dress fell to the floor so that her near naked form was exposed to the light. She tried not to notice Marcus’s smell, his coarse stubble on her soft skin. His hands beginning to explore areas they had no right to.
She watched that cat, proud and straight.  Her lungs were full of smoke. She held her breath and turned around to face her master. He smiled and moved a strand of hair from her face; it was almost a loving gesture. He went to kiss her lips. She breathed out, blowing a thick plume of smoke into Marcus’s eyes. In the split second that he was blinded she stabbed her cigarette into his cheek.
Lights went on around the block, as Marcus’s scream woke people from their nightmares. But still she didn’t come. Still Marcus’s wife left them to their little game. His little game.

Marcus was no longer interested in her. It was over for tonight at least. She’d hit him where it would hurt him the most – in the mirror.

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