Welcome to #FutureLitDarlings, a series dedicated to authors I (in my personal opinion) feel are writing amazing, unique stuff. How it works: I call out a handful of authors, ones that might not get as much attention in and around various lit circles as they should, be it because they are new or simply underrepresented; the authors named are given a week to send me some writing to feature in subsequent posts here, on ENCLAVE. Simple and encouraging–as is my hope. The end result, ideally, is for this to be a continual showcase championing the depth and vibrancy of our community.
The first callout consisted of Matthew Bookin, Lauren Hilger, Frankie Zelnick, Elle Nash, Len Kuntz, Jordaan Mason, and Nadia de Vries.
The fourth author to reply was Elle Nash, and therefore, this post is dedicated to Nash and her brutally honest and captivating prose. Have a look, you’ll see that she’s onto something exciting. We’re coping. –Michael J Seidlinger
Anatomy of a Mouth
Black magic booze in my body. His hot yeast breath on my neck. His eyes. Bloodshot and blue and I feel like a void. I mean inescapable. He touches me now and everything stops. The heart, the legs, the hands, the breath. My body, it doesn’t feel like a living thing anymore.
I try not to cry. His dick stops feeling like a dick inside me. My asshole burns from come leaking out between us and he goes on his second round, but I don’t feel anything. I feel so little that I almost wonder if his moans are being faked, if he’s just fucking me to fuck me.
He says things over and over like “I love you” and “this feels so good” and I feel so guilty. The sadness makes its way through my veins and there are tingles down to the end of my fingertips, which happens when I’m trying not to cry. His body pumps up against mine. My body knows there is emotion going on somewhere and it needs to get out, it tries to shoot out the end of my fingers.
Even with his come, I start to get dry. Crumbs at the bottom of the sheet, dried up pieces of my insides from the friction. The sex begins to hurt. On set at work, they always use lube. I wanted to think this wouldn’t affect us, that the sex I had off-screen would be different.
He moves and I lay still, eyes at the ceiling. What my mother taught me was that we could do a lot of nothing. We could take a lot of distance, close our mouths, our legs, our hearts and men like my father might stick around for 26 years. 26 years before they decide that what they miss most is a woman who fights for it. Maybe a man like Gavin would stick around, too.
Gavin sticks his fingers in my mouth and I roll my tongue across his fingerskin, pushing them to the roof of my mouth. I think about being on set. I think about my film body, digital body, as it writhes across computer screens. How that body doesn’t breathe on TV. When I grab Gavin’s wrist, he pulls his fingers out but I push his hand further back, let my jaw open wide. My cheeks fill with spit. The pads of his fingers caress the mealy bumps of my far-back tongue. His palm is humid and full of salt.
I look up again and my brain goes numb, dizzy. Sometimes I forget I am woman and think I am human. Or perhaps a bird. Feathers sprout from the wrists and I spread my wings to escape this salted earth and suddenly and out of nowhere the crack of my neck against a ceiling startles me awake again. I realize more and more that I’ve created carefully constructed boxes of how a person should live their life and I’m so scared to step out of them.
Eagerly, his hand pushes back further into my mouth, as far as it can go. The thin membrane of my lip gets caught between the bone of his knuckles and my top teeth and I suck all the saliva into a pool in the middle of my tongue. His first two fingers grasp and curl towards the back of my mouth and into my throat. I keep my jaw open, my neck relaxed. The whole of his hand reaches deep for my insides, but he won’t reach it. Gavin pushes his hand harder into my mouth until I feel something sharp break against my lip. There is a snap that feels like pressure and then a wet warm release like peeing in a hot tub feels. It trickles from my mouth and down my chin. Gavin pulls his hand out quick and threads of gummy spit string between my lips and his fingertips.
I tongue the place where I felt the snap, where my incisor is supposed to be. My mouth jolts to life and tingling pain shoots through my upper jaw and into my nose. Half a tooth falls into my hand, this broken ivory shard without roots. A gnarled nerve inside the pulp sticks out and a slow marching throb pulses through my head. Spit and blood and ivory shine in my palm like a jewel. The soft gummy spot where it used to be gives way from the tip of my tongue and my mouth tastes like a penny. I wipe the spit, the warmth from my chin and blood streaks the back of my hand. I grab the broken tooth between my two fingers and try to put it back in its space, but it won’t go. More blood comes, more shooting pain. I have always had bad teeth anyway, and I’m already missing two. I did not feel so panicked, but perhaps I should have been.
I touch the tiny wet maw with my finger, feel the empty space, the broken tooth. Other teeth dislodge around it like they were waiting to be pulled. Each tooth around the broken one collapses one by one into my hands like a breaking bridge. A mouth full of broken shit. Sharp teeth and glass. The pulsing march of pain continues. I rustle them around in my palms, my teeth like golden nuggets. This bloodied mouth pit in their place.
My hands make tiny fists, all my incisors and molars with their sharp roots poking out. The teeth stick into the flesh of my palms, sharp beads eating me alive. I look at Gavin and he looks at me, looks at his hand with streaks of spit. Then he looks away. The flutter of panic, the rush through my body down to my fingertips. The heart, the hands, the legs. This is when I try to scream. My mouth opens, but it is a place of silence.
Elle Nash is a writer in Denver, Colorado living with her husband, her cat and their weird roommate. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Offing, Hobart Pulp, Nailed Magazine, and others. She also edits at Witch Craft Magazine and reads tarot. You can find her on the net at yourgirlelle.com