She sat across the table, arms folded in anger. I looked down at the plates.

"These dishes aren't going to wash themselves," I said.

She stood up quickly, tears of rage forming in her eyes, grabbed the dishes, and walked into the kitchen. I could hear her banging around in there, cursing under her breath. I walked over to the typewriter and got started.

It was good. The words really flew. It's always good when it's like that: pure, the burning words setting fire to the page. Poetry.

She finished in the kitchen, came in and sat down on the sofa. She had a glass of wine in her hand; deep red wine, the color of old blood on a t-shirt. She looked at me over the glass.

"Writing a story, are you?"

"Yep," I said.

She took a sip of her red wine. She exhaled deeply, smacking her lips, and said, "That’s nice."

I stopped typing. "What's nice?"

She looked at me over the glass...She was running her fingers around the rim, and I could hear a faint hum rising up from the blood-red liquid. It made me feel uneasy, that sound. Like something was writhing around in my brain.

"What's nice?" I asked again.

"Oh," she said, "how you can write one of your stories, while I'm in there doing your dishes."

I was in no mood for that argument. I had had it many, many times before; knew all about it. It wasn't really about my writing, and it wasn't really about the dishes. No, it was about me wanting to do the dishes, about understanding how hard her day had been, etc. To which, I was supposed to say, "Why would anyone want to do the dishes?" and so on and on with that skeleton waltz.

Instead, I stood up, holding the typewriter.

"Here you go!" I shouted, and hurled the typewriter through the living room window. Glass rained down everywhere; it got in her hair, and in her wine. Little bits of crystal danced over the surface of the blood.

"Goddamn you!" She screamed.

She jumped off the couch, threw down her wine glass, and marched into the bedroom. When she came back into the living room, she was holding a long, thin stick in her hand. She walked over to where I was standing. I balled up my fists.


She raised the wand up to my lips, and I felt my throat go dry.

"Shh," she said, motioning towards the blood-red stain on the floor.
"Get down."

I tried to fight it, tried to resist, but my knees buckled and before I knew what hit me I was down on my knees in the wine, looking up at her.

It was the damndest thing.

She stuck her fingers into the corners of my mouth.
"Open," she said.

There was no use fighting, I realized. Something strange had happened, and all I could do was obey, do whatever she said. And the strange thing was I didn't want to fight anymore. It was like all my willpower was gone.

My mouth opened, and she reached her hand inside.

I felt her soft skin with my lips; felt her long, red fingernails slide passed my teeth, tongue, tonsils, and continue down the back of my throat.

"You used to be so sweet," she was saying. "Where did all that sweetness go?"

She was in up to the elbow now, and I could feel her hand going passed my heart. She stopped there for a moment, touched it.

"Tickle, tickle," she giggled, before continuing on to my gut. She felt around in there, and I felt her wrap her hand around something.

A horrible sensation, it about made me sick, and she started pulling her hand out.

Her hand came out of my mouth, and I looked at it.

"What the hell!" I shouted.

"There's some of that sweet stuff!" She smiled.

She was holding a little yellow bird in her hand. I looked and looked at the thing. The little bird ruffled up its feathers, trying to dry itself. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It had a little orange beak and everything!

She walked over to the window, opened it a few inches, and sat the bird on the sill.

"Don't let it get away!" I said. I was surprised at how high my voice sounded, high pitched, pleading; the voice of someone on the verge of tears. She walked over and rested her hand on my cheek.

"Oh, baby," she said, "it's okay! You gotta spread the love around! Now, open!"

I obediently opened my mouth, and she once again reached inside.

I wanted to see what else she could find in there, passed my lips, lungs, and tongue. Her hand busily reaching around, probing the dark recesses of my body, finding...what?

"Ah!" she said happily as her hand popped out. "Oh my, that is too cute!"

I looked.

A little Teddy bear holding a satin heart sat upright in her palm. The heart had white letters that said, "I WUV YOU!!!" I shook my head in disbelief.

"That came out of me?" I asked incredulously.

She nodded. "Yeah," she said. "Isn't it precious?!"

She sat the bear down and reached inside again. I looked at the bear as she dug around. I looked into its little brown eyes.

"I guess it is kind of cute," I thought.

"Aha!" she exclaimed joyously, pulling her hand up through my lower intestine. "I found another one!"

It had been a strange day.

She pulled her hand out and we looked at what she had found.

"The Pull Out Method"
Copyright: © 2010 Dustin Reade

Dustin Reade's work has been published in two small press anthologies, Nerve Cowboy literary journal, Encounters magazine, and the upcoming issue of Sideshow Fables.

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