The box of Eponyms

Short stories that will all be based off a different name. Will be about love, lost and understanding.

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2. Jezebel



Jezebel



9:00

It was snowing. It was always snowing. She was used to the icy touch of winter against her bare legs. The soft kisses of snow against her silky flesh. It was winter, winter in the city.

She slinked down the barren streets, face occasionally illuminated by the lampposts. Maybe she should call her mother. It was a fleeting thought brought on by years of habit. Her mother liked it when she called. Her mother liked to hear her voice ooze through the phone line strangled, wheezing, aching to please her. The conversation would quickly escalate, the girl knew that, to the point where she would near tears from her mother's bitter tone and disregard for her.

Hi mom. No mom. Yes. I'm not. Yes. Yes. Christmas? At home? Sure. Yes. No. I'll pay. No. I'm fine. Sick? No. Tired? No. I'm fine. No. There is no one. Don't worry I won't die an old maid yet. Bye? Yes. I've really got to go. Bye.

She wasn't her mother's favorite or her father's. But they at least had to pretend to dote on their youngest, oldest and only child.

They'd ask to visit and then throw a lavish party. The guests coming and saying how beautiful she was or how she looked exactly like her mother. Then after the compliments came the begging and pleading. Just one meeting with her father was all they needed, just one. If the girl, since she was such a sweetheart, could tell her parents about their business they would be grateful they would be. Then they'd laugh and kiss her cheeks or pat her hands, like a baby, hoping for the best.

The girl never would talk to her parents about the desperate people. She knew that her parents would look at her, through her, and showering her in compliments like the guests and leave the room.

She stood partially illuminated. She looked mysterious, but had an air of femininity, easy prey. In the end she decided to not call her mother.

10:00

He had clammy hands, his skin slightly sticky like molasses. He was tripping over his tongue, stuttering for words, stumbling, and slightly revolting. A disgusting beast of a man...she closed her eyes and breathed deep.

He gripped her hand tightly, as if she was a fleeting thought bound to disappear. Dragging her up the stairs and to the room on the sixth floor (or had the women said the seventh?) of the inconspicuous hotel. The girl knew how they looked, him cutting off the circulation in her wrist and her following behind submissively. The pounding of his feet on the stairs, like ants heading towards the queen bee, carrying the prize, the fruit of their labor, that wasn't putting up a fight.

She wasn't desperate, no, but as much as his skin revolted her it was human contact and that had to count for something.

10:30

It began with a pressure, it always did. It reminded her of when she was a child (before she understood) and the neighborhood boys would ask her to wrestle. The crushing feeling of their bodies on top of her, on her chest, suffocating, on her neck, choking, overpowering her. At first she fought and struggled screaming for her mother. Her mother who would sit by idly with the other parents and giggling and whispering and exclaiming how nice it was for the children to play together. And she would sip from her glass bright red embers. Her face cast into the shadows by her hat and she'd laugh. Her mother would laugh. And laugh.

After a while she gave up, letting the boys lay on top of her. Letting them crush her, she would lay there idly waiting for them to finish.

Some days the feeling of those limbs; arms, legs, hands, torsos, mouths, teeth would be the only comfort she felt for days. So she cherished it.

11:30

He looked back, the man with the clammy hands the golden beacon on his left hand gleaming, at piles of fabric and tangled sheets, a bird's nest.

She moved and the sheets pooled around her midsection, hair falling limply. She looked so broken, her back so small, shoulder blades quivering. From laughing? From tears?

He couldn't handle this, the guilt and the satisfaction, he ran towards the shower tripping over discarded mementos and high heels.

He entered the bathroom, briefly looking over his shoulder, unable to resist a glance; she looked beautiful, but truculent. Beautiful but broken...a fallen angel, the epitome of the downfall of man. And if there was ever a reason for him to pray, he had just found one.

He tried to then, closing his eyes...

He gave up, and went into the shower.

11:55

The window ledge was cold and smooth against the back of her thighs. The winter breeze caressing the nape of her neck, shoulder blades and bare back.

He looked at her, the firefly between her fingertips winked. The smoke slithered around her; green eyes gleamed in the darkness. He shuddered out questions: would she like to take a shower? Should he call for room service? Was it too hot? Should he turn down the...?

Her silence was answer enough. He stumbled over to his slacks rummaging through the pockets of the crumbled heap on the floor. He fingered through the bills and shuffled towards her. Her face was still obscured by smoke, had he even gotten more than a fleeting glance all night? She was like a dream, but what he could make out had been beautiful. As he got closer he could see her freshly applied lipstick. Her lips were curled into a smile (or was that a grimace?) it almost seemed like she would laugh. Laugh at him and his desperation and how he had begged her. Or cry. For herself? For him? For the world?

Nervously he held out the dulling paper, some falling to the floor from his shaky hands.

The girl smiled sweetly this time and slinked off the ledge. She meandered to the door picking up her clothes as she went. Passing his outstretched hand, ignoring the money his open palm. Flicking her cigarette butt into the carpet when her back was facing the man, the smoke following after it, trying to capture something just out of reach.

She got to the door; clothes in hand, jacket on, covering her but barely buttoned. She put her hand on the knob; he put his hand on her shoulder. The rough dark fabric bunching beneath his fingertips and the money crushed in the opposing fist.

12:00

He opened his mouth and closed it again unsure of what to say. Why had he grabbed her? She didn't want the money? That was fine, he would live with that. He couldn't find a reason to keep his grip on her and slowly began to loosen his hold. She tightened her's on the doorknob.

"What's your name?"

The question hung in the air and for a second he wasn't even sure who had said it. Had those words really left his lips? It was a hot whisper against her skin. She bit her lip and tasted blood.

Tentatively, as if handling fine china, she parted her lips. The redness splitting apart, most likely to tell a lie, and sobs spilled out
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