Life and Death and Laughing and Stopping


Nathan Pettigrew

Nathan is a featured author and editor at Solarcide—A Writer’s Hideout. His stories have appeared in print and online though, Six Minute Magazine, and SNM Horror Magazine among other great places. Nathan is also set to appear in the upcoming anthology, Psychosis: A Journal of Mental Illness.

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Laughing, my wife tells me, is what happens when people are alive, and death, she says, is what happens when people stop. But laughing for me is what happens when I fuck another man’s wife. My boss, in fact. CarrieAnn. Her hair is the purest black and most beautiful to be born. And long. Never curly.

I fuck her all the time, only my wife doesn’t know. After four years of marriage, she thinks she keeps me busy enough—every weekend on average when she’s not on her period. She slides in on one side of the bed, and I slide in from the other.

But like today, we’re not laughing. We’re only fucking. So we must be dead.

Takes a miracle to come back from the dead, and so many pray for one when all you have to do is search the online drugstores. Risk your credit history or someone else’s. Complete the questionnaire pertaining to your medical history, past drug use, allergies and illnesses.
Quantity and strength can vary depending on the site, but a prescription bottle of blue pills will cost around two hundred. A dirt cheap price to pay for raising the dead.

Here in our bedroom, my wife is a witness to the miracle, her eyes so blue and bulging at how much larger than life I’ve become. Hard and unbendable, the same as stone, I slide into her now and forever, same as our wedding night. Nothing’s changed except for the fact that I’m inside her and still the farthest away from her as I can be. My mind won’t allow me to stay with her. Every time her chestnut curls whip into my face, my mind reaches for my boss’s black hair. And I love it. I would burn forever if it meant holding on to CarrieAnn’s black hair while doing so.

She’s the reason I suck at work. My distraction. She destroys my productivity, and I owe her one for every performance warning she spanks me with.

So, when my wife buries her head into my shoulders or looks off to the side somewhere, I close my eyes, and I get my revenge on CarrieAnn. I show her productivity, and I show her performance. I don’t stop. I drive up and right through her like a heart attack does the arm.
And then I laugh out loud.

“What are you laughing at?” my wife asks me.

“Nothing. Keep fucking.”

She does, but I’m no longer alone in my head, waiting for my wife to get off. I’m fucking my boss, and at the place where it would be a sin for our bodies to collide, I meet CarrieAnn halfway. We push up. Fall back. Come forward. We move and together we’re free while locked in each other’s arms. No longer separated, we breathe in, breathe out. In. Out. And Goddamn.

She’s reason enough to exist. She pushes you to keep going. And going. Keep going.

Hitting the wall is that ultimate feeling and rarity when a woman comes apart while under you, CarrieAnn tightening her grip and doing everything she can to keep me inside. She digs her calves into the backs of my knees and sinks her teeth into my collarbone. I slide my hands along her thighs while bringing reality to my fantasy, her reign no more and now a memory. I have that power. The kind that makes me better at this than any star. I don’t waste time wishing for this to come true. I come true.

“Oh God,” she says, and then she shivers, pushing up faster. Our bodies turn into a rung out washcloth, the sheets soaked and our hair stuck together and moist. We don’t move. We don’t dare move. We just lie here breathing, CarrieAnn bathing the backs of my legs with her calves. She slides her hands along my spine, coming up, back down. Up. Down.

Then she spreads her legs for me to leave her.

“I’ll be right back,” I tell her, and I go, closing the bedroom door behind me.

I should release the pinch from the sting and the tingle between my legs, but there between my legs, stone still prevails, and I need to satisfy my addiction first.

On the balcony there isn’t a stale drag. Long swills of smoke are harsh against the throat, and welcome. The neck is thick. Nostrils are coarse. For a lot of people it’s like this, where if you smoke, you can’t smell. Your keen sense of what’s foul and what’s not becomes lost, and unless your nose is shoved down in it, you couldn’t sniff the difference between fish and vaginal juice.

The trashcans below are uncovered and full, the bags stretched out and torn in certain places where maggots will feed before turning into flies.

It isn’t soaring above and away that I envy. It’s the fact that flies are so hard to kill, and fast. They don’t flee when you try, either. They stick around, dancing all about from one place to another close by while you swat at them, almost like they’re rubbing it in your face, and laughing at you.

A burn swells between my index and middle fingers. I ash the butt down to the filter, the sting between my legs now spreads up to my stomach.

There’s a throne to enjoy. And then hands to wash.

At the sink my reflection has brown eyes, the absolute beauties of a newborn. Intense eyebrows. Muscles for cheeks.

And a grin to die for.

“Honey? Are you coming back to bed?”

My wife’s voice, it leads me to our bedroom, where I open the door and find her alone. CarrieAnn is nowhere in sight. She’s not here. Only my wife. Sideways on our bed, she keeps her hand between her thighs, and her eyes closed.

“I’m crazy for your love,” she says, smiling.

But her smile remains; it does not fall into anything deeper or harder for her to control.

She’s not laughing, and neither am I.

© Nathan Pettigrew

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