Cuddly

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Like clockwork, each month, my uterus went through a ritual of trying to turn itself inside-out. This made for some rather sleepless nights when the cramps were at their worst. I stumbled back from the bathroom, initially happy to get back to sleep until I saw him. Gerald had wrapped himself up on his side of the bed, stealing all the covers. As if to balance out his inconsiderate move, he’d left me a hot water bottle.

“I brought you a little something,” he said.

I wanted to comment that he’d also taken a little something by rolling himself up in the comforter, hogging it to the left side. Instead, I took notice of the bottle’s silhouette and replied, “How’d you know?”

“C’mon, babe,” he said, shifting a bit on his old pillow. “After all these years, you think I wouldn’t be aware of such a thing?”

“I guess you’re right.”

Oddly, I didn’t hear him head to the kitchen as I made my way to the restroom. I didn’t hear him stumbling about clumsily as he typically did, nor did I pick up the sound of running water. I wasn’t going to question how he’d done it. He wanted to impress me with the fact that he’d done it at all. I just wish he could’ve been as considerate when he was still…

“Come to bed,” he said, patting the right side of the mattress. “We can cuddle.”

With the blinds partially open, the pale moonlight formed stripes that contoured over the sheets, pillows…and my husband’s body, wrapped up in the blanket. This was a problem, because Gerald had been dead for over thirteen months and I’d paid good money to ensure he was. Yet, he always came back, more like cockroaches after an exterminator’s visit than undying love. I saw his presence as the former, his being there making the hairs levitate from the back of my neck; he saw never leaving me alone as an act of the latter: love everlasting.

I just wanted him gone.

“Come to bed,” he repeated, more demanding than asking this time. That’d been more like the tone I was used to, thinly veiled by feigned sweetness. The hand flipping back the covers and inviting me into his cocoon was gray and skeletal. Earthworms slithered through and beetles gnawed away at the dermis and tendons of his forearm. Graveyard dirt soiled the sheets and matched the dank, stolid smell hanging in the air. “We can cuddle.”

But I didn’t want to be near him, let alone make spoons so that his bony, dead fingertips could make my skin crawl. “I’m not feeling well, hon.”

“I know,” he said, his empty eye sockets ogling me. “But that’s why I’m here. The vow I took said ‘in sickness and in health.’ Remember that?”

“Yes. But I also recall something about ‘till death do us part.’”

He flashed a snaggletooth grin, his lips long devoured by insects, yet smiling, nonetheless. “That’s a minor hiccup, since I died before my time. I’m never going to leave you, Marjorie!”

I wished that he could’ve relented on that statement like his empty promises to stop drinking and to never hit me again. In death, there was no need to consume alcohol, he’d once told me, and with his muscles rotted away, he exerted no physical strength to worry me. It’s just that my husband’s constant nighttime visits ate away at my sanity like the spiders and maggots and stink bugs had done to his body.

The moonlight shifted and more of him was visible now. There was a garter snake inching along his pelvis where his penis should’ve been. He’d raped me the night he died, so anything phallic near him made me relive that horror.

Tears streamed down my cheeks and I forgot about the cramps and the hot water bottle which had been his gesture of kindness. And, though I wanted to run, my feet were cast in magnetized lead. I could move no way but toward him.

“That’s it,” he sang, his deteriorated vocal cords making his voice sound like fingernails across a chalkboard. “Come cuddle with your man, girl!”

With my sobs came the irrigation of snot and I didn’t care to wipe it away. All I could do was submit to his beckoning and climb back into the bondage of our marital bed.

© 2014, Don Miskel.

Cuckold’s Comeuppance

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“The day was non-descript and far from special when I found out you’d been cheating on me. The depth of sorrow I felt—a grief deeper than a well that led to the bowels of the earth—erased the bright sun and wispy puffs of clouds against a beautiful blue sky. My thought process was replaced with pain and all that beauty melted away to a dark reality.

“You thought you’d break me, didn’t you? I mean, the fact that you cheated on me with her—a woman who was nowhere near as pretty as I was before I’d begun pushing out your pups. Though you’d dug an emotional grave for me, that’s not how this is going to play out.

“No, don’t snivel! It’s unbecoming of the man you once were; the one I trusted in and with whom I’d exchanged vows. Now you sit here, gagged, hyperventilating, and utterly helpless, wondering what will happen next.

“I want to keep you guessing.

“Did you know that a woman comes closest to death when she’s bringing life into the world? Did you realize that I was your legitimate shot at immortality? That’s right. Your DNA strand will live on in the children you fathered with me, long before your lies.

“You hurt me in a way I never thought I could hurt. And, though through therapy I’m just about over it, there’s still some bitterness left that has to be dealt with.

“That’s why I’m holding this in my hand. Scary, isn’t it? I was always the one afraid of guns. But this is the only time I intend to ever shoot one. I picked a revolver because it won’t jam. Semiautomatics tend to do that if you use cheap ammunition or hold them wrong. Yeah, I did my research.

“I purchased the .357 Magnum because of its option to use smaller .38 Special rounds. However, for this occasion, I chose to use the larger load to make this as quick and painless as possible. Plus, I wanted to spare no expense in giving you nothing but the best.

“You’re shuddering and sniveling again, tossing your head to and fro. As if I’d miss at this close range. You look ridiculous with snot curving over that nasty mustache and over your top lip. I’ll bet I could take a sample of that hair and find some of her dried essence still in there, couldn’t I?

“And to think, you’d probably kissed me with those tainted lips after making a meal of her. Had me practicing in lesbianism without my knowing. Shit, I may have experimented that way in a threesome, if you’d asked me.

“But you never did.

“You just took matters into your own hands… And used those same hands to spread another woman’s legs.

“You thought your indiscretion and repeated unfaithfulness would be the end of me. But oh, how the tables have turned.

“Remember, in the old comic books, how the good guy would often hold the villain’s life in his hands, then relent at the last moment? He’d typically say something corny like, ‘You’re not even worth it,’ and heroically save his archenemy in the end.

“Well, I’m no superhero. I’m just a woman. And you, my dear, the love of my life, are very much worth it. Now stop all that crying and hold still. This will be over before you know it.”

© Don Miskel, 2014.

The Electric Spanking Machine

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Electric Spanking MachineDisciplining children can be quite a chore. I recently spoke to a friend of mine, who has a pair of teenaged boys. They are working overtime to turn their mother’s hair stark white with worry. Exasperated one day, she mentioned to me, “I wish I had a machine to keep them in line, because I get tired of chasing them around.”

Anyone who has reared teenagers of any gender can probably feel her pain. I know my own kids give me more than a fair share of headaches. Using my imagination, I have come up with a device that will relieve the nuisance of running around after those little bastards: The Electric Spanking Machine.

Great inventions begin with well-conceived ideas. I envision my machine to consist of a cartoonish contraption with five fake arms on a vertically-mounted wheel. In its simplest form, the culprit would be placed over a stool and the Electric Spanking Machine would go to work. With a mere push of the button, the wheel would begin to turn. The speed could be varied to deliver a few swats on the butt or, at full-speed, spin at a fever pitch to beat that wayward rascal into a coma. Of course, with everyone being so environmentally conscious nowadays, the buyer can utilize the “Go Green” option, which allows the wheel to be operated by manual hand crank.

What would such a gadget be without the ability to upgrade? With the latest advances in nanotechnology, my engineers would shrink the original model to something that can easily be carried around in Mom’s purse (miniaturized nuclear recharging station not included). Also available would be the ability for the machine to automatically activate at certain times of day or whenever the children perform specific actions. Have you got a teenager who likes to talk back? Completely customized to respond to a disrespectful tone or phrase, the Electric Spanking Machine would go into action, smacking your child’s lips clean off his ungrateful mug! There have even been reports of children who have been knocked into the middle of the next week!

There are already talks of major cities leasing these machines for use in playgrounds, schoolyards and shopping malls. I can neither confirm nor deny that General Motors is considering availing the option of the Electric Spanking Machine to its fleet of automobiles, rivaling orders for the OnStar navigation system.

Players and hustlers, seeing the advantage of such an invention, would lobby to have the device modified with a horizontal wheel assembly for keeping their hoes in check. Katt Williams and Bishop Don “Magic” Juan would rechristen this limited, customized, Pimp Slap Edition, complete with a pink shag or faux-leopard exterior. No longer would Sweet Daddy have to worry about getting carpal tunnel syndrome from putting his pimp hand down so many times in a single day (after all, as the saying goes, “Pimpin’ ain’t easy, but it’s a full-time gig”)! Adding the self-activated choke-out option, jive-ass tricks would suddenly fork over every plugged nickel of Sweet Daddy’s money with the enthusiasm of a church congregation in full swing at offering time!

Within a few short weeks, the Electric Spanking Machine Corporation would be publicly traded, allowing the average Joe B. Citizen to own a piece of the dream. Stocks are guaranteed to split and fly through the roof, making shareholders not only wealthy, but free of back-talking teenaged ingrates. The device makes an excellent Mothers Day gift! Be the first on your block to own one! Act now and receive one upgrade at no extra charge! Now, who wants to be first? Operators are standing by.

© Don Miskel