Published in Overland Issue 228 Spring 2017 Uncategorized Girlish Roadkill | Runner-up, VU Short Story Prize Judyth Emanuel Do you hate how life moulds you and them? How you adore big breasted women. Possessed like these retarded emotions, a pixie and a dimple. Gave them both a tumble. Their scent sticks to your fingers. You slam into Your very own imagination. Electric dusk. Sewer overflowing. Streets of muck. The cleansing rain. Balls, you say. Why the hell are you smiling? There ain’t no happy endings You know how Pixie keeps sappy shit to herself. Bit feisty. But secret neurosis sobs self-pity tears. Buck up it’s not that bad you remember her as. Pointy-winged and toey creature. You discover her sprite prankster tricks soon. And for now The woman fibs her age of thirty-eight bleached, Does. Right. The Desperate Affirmations. Pixie naked stands in front of the mirror built-in custom made Scandinavian closets. She cannot bear to look at her bare. Body lost pretty perk. Faint streak veins a few stretch lines train tracks leading down. Straggled pubes downy to wiry the stories each hair could tell. The early sag things. Droop. The corners of her mouth. One hand on her heart. Pixie affirms, ‘I am getting more beautiful each day from inside out.’ But she is not. How to sustain. Beauty. Blind to her insides. Might rankle wrestle of brazen. Burn them damn melons. Puts boobs in small bra to flatten. Pixie despises bras but must. Has mega. Takes bra off. Breasts poke like torpedoes as she lies on the carpet and fingers herself, cream, she decides peaches and cream for dessert. Stan’s favourite. Stan enjoys two occupations. Food and fornication. Pixie stretches arches her spine rack of lamb thirty minutes in the oven. You remember Dimple perfectionist woman no dosh. Her hypocrite batteries fully charged brought up on sauerkraut, liverwurst, yak and blood sausage. A mixed-race heritage English-speaking Hungarian Tibetan with dumpling cheeks and her chin like a baby’s testicle. Silky sloe eyes observe everything sideways and sometimes hormone driven sex crazy. You dream of her barbiedoll thighs. The smoke rings blowing from her arse. You overhear Dimple talking monotone as soon as you come back to earth. Her engine whining without taking a breath gives Pixie an ear battering. ‘I live on solid ground Pixie are you listening I’m honoured to live without wisdom or acquaintances awesome In The City I engage with the City I am The City boundless but with transparent boundaries keeping track of mindfulness awareness I whip my sobriety I make my friends closer focus on how we can treat each other respectfully I allow myself endless days to be mind-numbing what I mean numb the bad thoughts but I am incapable of those I hang out with real men be strong positive turn the wheel of happiness the right way clockwise not anti-clockwise I am thankful for an incredible life of solitude have a nice day my deepest love to you all especially you my dearest Pixie tolerating a horrible husband oh he has good points but give her a medal ladies and gentleman helloo Pixie are you there we must have got disconnected weird what was I saying I am a strong woman which makes it difficult to accept sincere protection from any bloke I worry for myself the damage to my precious emotions I relate this to all men I become involved with the potential of the destruction of me.’ You understand why Trifle Pixie wife watches from the kitchen window. Him creeping. Stan furtive sneaks, time-out taking a dump in his precious outhouse smack in the middle of five hundred square meters of unmown buffalo grass. When it reaches me knees I’ll cut it darlin. Stan carries a couple of passionfruit tucked in his underpants. Old now and withered with obscene wrinkles. He texts the nymph girlfriend. Oh, poopy how’s that candy cunt of yours. Pixie aware of his crab picking whore. Pixie dreams of inserting bugs bats bullfrogs up his rectum if only he knew don’t you tell. But love proves greater in the face of betrayal. Pixie calls, ‘I hear you groaning Stan. Are you hurt?’ ‘Nah.’ Stan refuses to admit masturbation or constipation. Always him romantic like that. The man sighs. Some days grunt the relief. Until Pixie appears with a carving knife. Pixie buys fireworks to cure Stan’s constipation. In a fun way. They look like teardrops with tails. These trick noisemakers, bang snaps, throwdowns, whip’n’pops. Each firecracker contains tiny amounts of silver fulminate high explosive wrapped inside cigarette paper. The friction-sensitive explosive detonates under pressure. Like a gun shot. Pixie researches common toilet habits of highly effective yet unsuccessful men. One third of the male population flushes while sitting on the toilet. She places bang snaps under the toilet seat. She reckons piddling bomb might make Stan go. The sudden bang bang. Her father-in-law ex-army visiting. Poor dear man. Nervous and frail and innocent and bat shit loony. He goes into the toilet of explosion abrupt calls cease fire gets heart attacked. After shopping for a casket in the dent and scratch aisle but plush inside pillow for his head Stan bitching about the expense. After the acolytes, the pallbearers, the hymns the prayers for the dead, the funeral Pixie redoubles her efforts. To. Be. A. Caring. Wife and unblock her husband. Pixie resorts to lacing his whiskey with whole packets of laxatives. Mission accomplished midstream. Spit out that out of your mouth. Dimple’s favourite word. Filthy. You wonder what ails her. And you peepingtom at her petticoats spread in a kind of delirium, burning the eager red light bulb, sex toys hidden in a box of Coco Pops under the bed of blind date. Are you willing to die Rather than listen to her nonstop blithering ‘A fabulous day don’t take this the wrong but you are inadequate I take delight in expressing my profound emotions exposing myself to the world you might disagree but an argument your prerogative mine creates perfection to enjoy the simplicity of raindrops the solace of mornings minus distracting emails posts twitterings in my beautiful apartment interior designed by moi and doze without ambition alongside my miniature pooch Bleat curled on a special cushion embroidered puppylove whimpering in her sleep content dreaming of fresh meat as I keep reiterating I am a strong woman not in the sense of physical strength though I workout weights yoga mediation whatever no I mean resilient as in digging deep into myself for a certain potency igniting passion and I relish a carpenter with an in-my-face six pack and calves of steel waving a tremendous erection heavy as a ticking bomb promising to supply me with hand-built wooden furniture and a million symphonic orgasms with fins and gills and hot air steaming up through the grills in the streets how fabulous I am.’ Blushes. Are you wet yet? Are you shitting yourself? You the smitten wretch. Admit it. The night you got pinned under her and fainted. Wait! There the Pixie passionate, generous and caring and The greatest gift-giver. She gives Stan a handcrafted vagina, complete with a clitoris silver bell and a tapestry vulva ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. Cheer festive glorious deck the halls embroidered and stuffed furry with her love. But does she. Really tough to let the man go. Maybe the idea to brighten Stan up, grow good intentions. First tan his skin. Restore the genetic imbalance. Pixie unscrews the shower head and fills it with orange liquid dye. But Stan’s entire body turns a hideous golden colour. He screams, ‘What the fuck. ‘The pipes’, Pixie tells him. ‘Are rusty.’ It takes hours to wash rust off a sexy smooth talking passive-aggressive, ace defensive, guilt-tripping dick jabber ratbastard swearing nonstop about the unusual colour of his skin. What with change unbelievably difficult to adjust to. And later she catches him Dressed as a topless headmistress for a costume party, Stan reading Pixies diary marked PRIVATE skull and crossbones records a list of imaginary stripper names based on what she eats and the colour of her underpants. Down on all fours, Stan fondles his fake boobs and wanks to commando beef jerky, purple spring rolls, stripy banana, black butter pecan, nude hash browns, leopard print trout, crimson fudge, blue cheezels. Pixie opens the bedroom door and shrieks, ‘Stan! You nosy sonofabitch how dare you.’ Stan gets hot and hungry and strangely, a lot hairier. Pixie decides the time has come to release him into the wild. Like a true hairless girlish Dimple rises out of a sea of self-help books. Velvet and marble in her blood. You wish your semen sent her mad wiping between her Himalayan legs. Her voice steady and ready sicking you. A bubble of bile does gurgle in your throat at the sound of I am I am I am ‘I am a decent compassionate person no longer controlled by cravings for love and kisses and cakes I redirect my taste buds to wheat grass and kale and wild rice creating invulnerability to body and soul I am juicy now stewing in my own juices developing such excellent traits as self-sacrificing nurturing supportive To Myself as a first step towards unselfishness bending an ear truly listening to the beat of my heart and avoiding a long-term relationship consisting of mechanical fucking as in eight o’clock every night reeking of stale bitterness and no washing the sheets did not help you say I am a secret narcissus sounds hugely exotic mental note add it to my goals to avoid whiny hateful people oblivious to another’s sensitivity and pain.’ You tear out your hair. You eat your own face moustache and all. You stumble. You steal hairs from her comb. You turn off the water supply. You throw yourself in a tiger’s cage and anticipate the mangling. Don’t you? Of course, Dimple on the loose, indulges in pacing and obsessing her role in the breakup. ‘I mean I am shocked the recent split I told Pixie I thought she looked pretty and that’s all that matters we are both cute me in a classic I like to think Grecian urn I urged her start dating again dating such a crapshoot I set my standards right at the beginning if a guy acts like an arsehole hardly identifying with me I can foresee a future of worse pig behaviour who needs this shit I enrolled in lessons to carry a concealed weapon I mean I’m no fan of guns now the chuffed owner of a Lady Smith & Wesson beware don’t mess with me you can find me down at the range firing at a dickless wonder why men label me a “full balcony” braless a no go for me I mean it’s no fun breaking out in a prickly itchy heat rash under my boobs and scratching oooh I think no-one watching caught the postman only after he coughed ahem anyway embrace nature to the fullest I’ve grown wiser with an open mind and heart and an enormous capacity to love brings me a richer fuller way of existing in the moment love the one you’re with that’s what I say.’ Hey that’s what you say. Don’t deny it. It’s a line. Does it work? Ah women they take you over like a sting ray. They give you indigestion. You see a man step on a fresh dog turd. Christ. Are you dying yet. You don’t appreciate how Pixie never miss the bastard. He can whistle Dixie ha ha the unstable man his ape eyes groping college girls. But love what is love Pixie yearns like crazy what Stan was. Bloke she fell for at her friend’s dinner party twenty minutes in she had her fingers inside his fly. Bushy delight revved his bike. Boozy breath. She kept his belly full and his cock limp. They say. Three in five people marry the first love. But. Pixie need to love herself as just much she loves Stan. But wonder if anxious true. Or load of shit. Start to no can’t believe. The single biggest predictor of love is proximity. Must be. A lie. You write her a note. Sorry for my alter ego. For living vicarious. For biting your nipple. For the devil men labelling you ‘cunts’. For being a hopeless friend. For prowling. For death. You are A peeper a spy a voyeur what is she doing now? Quick undo your fancy buttons Confidence gets you nowhere Dimple kicks off her stilettoes sits on the settee puts on her mona lisa face her flesh quivers liver on her last breath. ‘How are you sweetie kick me again darling yes I am a marvellous sport I have spent my whole life teasing people and laughter just crying with giggles it’s so good to be real sometimes I think I’m really disturbed ha ha I don’t give a damn heck humour the great win win I love threesomes hysteria perversion cocks twisting dicks I have loads of friends I love you all I always give people a chance to prove themselves before I drop them I enjoy intelligent conversation oh and a foot massage I am a sensitive creature sex does not define who I am arguments are healthy I speak my truth.’ Ah satisfaction truth words you mention rarely. True. You come undone. You try hard to comprehend. The Women. You Love. Do you call this living? Pixie sad alone now forty her secret years of dim lights same age sex parties. Her provocative shimmer outfits crotchless lingerie maybe temptress topless. She shivering afraid. Ears secrete copious amounts of earwax from fear as she dances for a warm touch. She opens her eyes as other women kiss her petal as soft. Thinks various statistics some. Sixty per cent of people close their eyes while kissing. Average person lifetime spends twenty thousand and one hundred and sixty minutes kissing. Or could that be hours. No must be minutes. A jiving man invites her touchy touchy nibble nibble little mouse. The slippery waxed chests. Dark red nipples perk oh many erect. Sometimes Pixie pole dances. Her spun clumsy. Not good fell off hurt. She sticks with Go Go in a bamboo cage. All her friends find out. About her hobby. What Pixie does with those spare nights. Friends horrible rude bitch at her. Say slut. And lock up all the hubbies. You’d rather live alone. You’ve had enough of meat on legs. You abhor honesty and the positive approach. The tears, the nail biting, how they called you a louse, an arsehole romeo, crap casanova castrating you a million different ways Laughingly You watchdog old Dimple don her wimple blink pretence whopping fibber I’m so happy happy happy hides a few wrinklies in her guts crying it’s got to end soon. ‘I’m feeling quite hurt with no-one in my life I am all alone the last bloke gambled all my money hostility breeds poison I wept such a rare pastime for me and he ignored me I gave him the shove just like Pixie we have a great deal in common let me sit here with my feelings I need to acknowledge this moment of grief on my linen Chesterfield I’m in pretty bad shape I might reach out when I am able to articulate myself and develop tougher skin and drink some gin that’s better Hehe as I grow and I really mean growth (we all get them) I improve fantastically in intelligence and beauty with all the intensity of a gorilla Rock On baby I find even the most trivial topics interesting as a woman in the past I acted furious as fuck but now I am mellow developing an empathetic approach to the human race and what a pace the race ah poet and I don’t know it today I plan to buy some sexy knickers as a pre-emptive in the search for Love.’ The last time you see them you run down the narrow road in the rain. Your tooth aches. A pixie and a dimple dwindle tiny in slicks and wellies searching for love. Someone tickles you running and sliding. Your agony of cry who is tickling me? The tickle rain wet shiny road. Them defenceless standing in the middle. Your earphones play a symphony crescendo but still you hear skidding. Read the rest of Overland 228 If you enjoyed this story, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four outstanding issues for a year Judyth Emanuel Judyth Emanuel has had stories published in Overland, Electric Literature, Literary Orphans, Verity Lane, Fanzine, STORGY and has others forthcoming in Jellyfish Review and Malevolent Soap. Her work was shortlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Prize. In 2016, she was awarded a Residential Fellowship at Varuna. Judyth is currently working on a novel. More by Judyth Emanuel Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 29 March 2023 Aboriginal Australia Standing in the dawn’s new light: truth-telling for settlers Anthony Kelly There’s a paradox about being a settler in a stolen country. No matter when we arrived, we inherited the bounty of genocidal violence. Many of us are the beneficiaries of the intergenerational wealth-building that saw English, Irish and Scottish settler families grow rich on the sheep, timber, wheat and resources provided by stolen land. We have a profound responsibility to dismantle the ‘lie-telling’ because it shores up this legacy and the systems of colonial violence that continue in our lifetimes. 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