WHAT NAME DO I GIVE HER? • by Kevin Shamel

I met her on a go-fast night at Will’s house. She was an old friend of Will’s. She slouched on the couch. I put myself on the floor in front of her after we were introduced. Her eyes were eclipsed green suns behind dangerous black hole pupils. She didn’t talk to me.

She wore a red Lycra bodysuit — like Cat Woman gone druggie stripper. Her mask was not making eye-contact and talking about the past with the two people in the room who’d known her. I ate her with my eyes.

Every compulsive wave of chemical energy made her body roll in a long, slow shimmy. She spasmed as the drug strummed her nervous system, rising slowly off the couch toward me in tiny seizures. I was taken. Her body shook, straining against that second red skin. Every single line, crevice, and bump was electrically loud. I couldn’t stop grazing over her as she slowly convulsed — her legs parted and so hot beside me.

She was barefoot.

Corvette toenails dragged the carpet beside my hand. The tight, bright fabric clinging to her legs led between her thighs and over her shaking stomach to the abrupt rise of her breasts and ended at her bare neck, tensing with her clenching jaws and strawberry-insides tongue pushing between cherry lips.

Not long after I picked my spot on the floor, most of the party left the house and moved on to their own crazy rides under the wavy moon.

When she found out who I was, when Will let her know that his supply came from me, she finally met my gaze. From that moment I knew I’d be running more than my eyes across her body. Soon enough, she was closer to me.

We spent the next few days staying awake together, mostly at Will’s. But she and I ended up at my apartment.  We did lines of coke so that we could sleep. She curled up beside me in bed. A few days later she showed up at my place. We went camping with my friends that weekend at some hot springs a few hours outside the city.

That began our summer of it.

Naked under the wild, full sky. Stretched out in steamy pools. We talked a thousand miles an hour. We shared bottles of Mezcal. I spent days and nights memorizing her constantly delightful body. We stayed in. We went out. Sometimes in the dark morning, seeing the dawn reflected in our favorite hot pool was what we needed to end that night, and we’d race the sun to the mountains. We spent time together.

On meth, your days are long moments filled with millions of shattered pieces of time. You pay attention to too much. You live for going fast. You strive to catch up with your brain as it burns itself out like a fast-forward fuse. Life is too long but it’s high speed.

We shot my gun to break the night. We whooped. Danced. Ran.

Months were ours.

My day began when she arrived, no matter what the time.

And I told her in a note that I loved her.

She was supposed to come and pick me up for a weekend all to ourselves. I sat outside waiting for way too long. She didn’t answer when I called her.

Will told me the next day that he’d talked to her. That I’d freaked her out by telling her how I felt. He said she wasn’t going to talk to me about it. She said it was too soon. That we went too fast. Too fast.

I didn’t see her for a few months.

Three feet of snow covered the ground when she showed up at a party at a friend’s farm. I was wrapped in a tight-knit sweater of girls — it being the season of giving. I shucked them when she looked at me with that secret smile.

I met her outside.

“It’s been a long time,” she said. She was thin, like crumpled paper against dirty snow.

I nodded with a frown.

I followed her into a metal shed beside the barn, to talk about it.

She wanted me to shoot her up — had her own kit.

She hoisted herself up on a workbench, shoving greasy tools and bits of sandpaper aside. I put myself on a low stool in front of her, once she was settled. Her eyes were eclipsed moons behind zombie inkblot pupils.

She wore white yoga pants and a tight white jacket. Like a snow bunny call girl. Soon the jacket was draped over a toolbox on the bench. Beneath it she wore only a white bra. Her ribs showed. She met my eyes.

I cooked up some crystal and fixed her. Good.

She kissed me as I pulled the needle out. She said, “I love you.”

Then she gasped.

The rushing wave of my heavy mix made her body roll in a long, slow shimmy. She spasmed as the drug stunned her nervous system, rising slowly off the bench toward me in tiny seizures. She was taken. Her body shook, wracked with weird, frightened sobs. Every single shout and sputter was echoingly loud. I couldn’t help standing over her as she slowly convulsed — arms and legs twitching and flailing around me.

She wore boots.

Her feet kicked the air beside my head. The tight, bright fabric clinging to her legs led between her thighs and ended at her knotted stomach. An abrupt rise of bile spilled onto her lacy breasts. She went rigid — clenching her jaws and trapping her tomato-bloated tongue between foamy lips.

Her eyes rolled white and she began choking.

Not long after, I slid out the shed door — back to the party in the house — and left her cold and blue under the winter moon.

I wasn’t going to talk to her about it. It was too soon.

She went too fast.

Too fast.

Kevin Shamel writes weird stories and he does it on purpose. You can find his first book, Rotten Little Animals, at Amazon. People seem to like it. There’s a bit of his flash at Every Day Fiction. Other magazines have printed his stories. More and more of his weirdness is showing up. Check out his website to find out where. And please accept his third-person thanks for reading!

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