Fiction 2017 / Spring 2017 / Uncategorized / Volume 47

The Wallaby & The Python—Alexis Kale

I must look like a zombie, she says, wiping underneath her eyes. It’s this new organic eyeliner. I don’t know what it does to my face.

Organic eyeliner? I ask. My hand shifts on her bare back.

She stops to answer, but she doesn’t know what makes eyeliner organic. She says: It’s not tested on animals. She says: It’s made here. She adds: Et cetera, et cetera. And then she rolls her eyes, embarrassed by how pretentious she sounds. I roll her over onto her back, and place my body on top of hers, my mouth against her neck: Tell me more about your eyeliner. And then: It turns me on.

She laughs, that melodious, cascading waterfall of a laugh, pouring out of her mouth. I love it, but it makes me nervous. Laughs always match the person they are attached to, and hers is light and simple and (usually) carefree. Like she is.

I kiss her collar bones, rolling my fingers over her breasts, spilled out like pancake batter, and marvel at the visibility of a piercing, lavender vein. She runs her fingers through the coarse hair that spouts from my head in unpredictable patterns, paying attention to the exact shape my head makes in her hands. A moment of silence, and then: I don’t know why you hang out with me.

From her.

I glance up from my perch, just above her navel, and notice her long, slender neck. How it cranes out of her strong shoulders. The sharp jut of the jawbone, and a little smile, maybe half of a whole, and I know she is kidding.

Of course she is. She always is.

I rise, and kiss her square on the mouth. Noses pressing together for a moment, and then I pull away.

It’s because you tell me all about those articles you read on the internet, I say, smiling, and she laughs and remembers last week. How they had laid much like this, after several glasses of wine, and she had wrapped herself around him, arms and legs, while he busied himself with other parts of her. She suddenly erupted into laughter, the kind that comes from too much alcohol, almost as if it was still coating her throat, almost as if it had something to say.

What? I ask, drawing out the “a” and rising from my post.

The open grin on her face was palpable with the ridiculous connection she had made.

She begins: So. She traces my jawline with her first finger. She continues: I read an article today –

And I groan, closing my eyes, toppling over to her right. The mattress billows on my impact.

Wait wait wait, her finger moves over my lips, pressing for a second before she continues. Legs still wrapped around my middle, because she has a point to be made.

She says: It was about a wallaby and a python, and this motherfucking python eats the entire wallaby. Whole.

It was totally disturbing, but fascinating. You know, the way disturbing things are.

I nod.

She goes on: So the python suffocates the wallaby –

She gives my middle a gentle squeeze.

And just wraps itself around the thing –

She wraps her arms around my shoulders.

And then the snake opens its jaws –

She opens her own wide, and I can make out the outline of her tongue and teeth, glistening in the darkness.

And swallows the wallaby.

She snaps her mouth shut and moves in, kissing me fast on the mouth.

I laugh and she smiles as we pull apart.

You, I say, are the weirdest person I know. I roll her to her back to regain my perch overhead. She laughs again, and this time her back arches so her lungs can expand, and I kiss what has been presented to me, kissing her all over, unabashedly, without apprehension.

And then I stop and catch her eye. So I’m the wallaby then? A question.

She nods: But you’re my wallaby.

A very cheesy thing to say, but again, she has had a lot of wine.

I scoop my hands under the small of her back, running them up to her defined shoulders and hold her there. We spend a moment like that, allowing a certain degree of humanness to sink in, and then she proceeds:

If it makes you feel any better, it will take me five to seven days to digest you completely, and then I will go and hide for about a month.

I mean, yeah, that makes me feel a little better. I laugh and my eyes roll.

She takes her hands behind my neck and pulls me to her mouth: Good, she whispers.

She bit my lip.

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