Sub Terrestrial – June Caldwell

Sub Terrestrial – June Caldwell

Plugger comes to me in the prick of night on the foot sodden memory foam. He waits until I’m gawky bent about to take the proper dream chop chewing the upside corner of the duck down punch pillow that has taken a stretch towards silk spinnerets drifting ominous back in eye film spidery protection on a slip buzzard whim inside a tiny breeze because I can’t be fucked to haul the hoover down this hole, and to be brash, it looks like Miss Havisham’s mangy fanny above my head.

Oh yeah, baby. Take it easy. Gentle does it. Tickle wickle sluice suck. What are you doing here? He starts to feel me up. How did you get here? You know me, clearly, I don’t know you. He starts to touch my sleep sludge like he wants to know me better, really know me. He starts to touch my skin and knead me up. He’s touching my skin. Fuck, damn, yeah, nice. Do it, do it, do it nice ‘n slow take it handy there’s no real rush is there no real need to run the gauntlet here? Push your fingers along the fear pickle, clear warm line. Those tiny hairs on my arm, it’s true, they stand on a slant, tiny poise, pose. The room feels lurid and lonely. Hairs on his arms, crosswinds dark and smashing. He bends over me. Horrenergy. Blue ink energy cock. My ink blue. My blue true you. Fucking nice. I am scared my face is crushed in the pillow beneath the earth. He’s rubbing my shoulders and on into the dolmen of my back. Little incubus of varmint faces shouting back up to me I should’ve gone to Specsavers when it comes to the likes of him.

I have no idea what he’s doing here, what business he might want with me. Blue ink laser doodle me. Now that you’re really here fucking doodle me all over and be done. My eyes open under the grime and he’s still feeling me up. Giddy spinhead clocks a shudder of disapproval. I turn over onto my back. Pull the wacke off. Naked white baby fuckfat eyes wide open it’s here for you. Don’t be cross, please don’t be cross. I’m good for you, yeah. Baby bitch do. I can feel his oh so sarcastic self. He is not happy with me. His dark stark shity self looking on, dismal self, touching my skin and kneading me up. He’s touching my skin. Baby don’t be cross, look, watch, I’m touching me for you. I’m all matted there. What do you expect rolling tumbling sublunary sweat down here on a summer’s day beneath the rapeseed fields?

Stupid sicky knickers of course it’s going to get icky sticky sweaty smelly. Par for the course. Can’t be having showers every few hours, no handy hosepipes here. But look. I’ll pull it apart with my fingers like this, look. Reef myself apart, sore assent, and heaven’s scent. There. Now I’m doing it for you. Small circles of unmingled effort. Getting moist, c’mon, I’m making a proper effort here. Watch. Don’t be annoyed. I’m doing it for you. Who are you? I’m doing it to please you. Just watch me do. It isn’t leather he’s got on. It’s black plastic dripshit. The stuff of ship leak. Stuff of horror. Liquid squid ink shiny shitleak. He’s covered in it, rolling in it, oiled in it, his body is draped in it, in the glossy blue black slick of it.

At the end of the bed now. Glaring. His blue robin egg eyes. His seagull-in-flight upper lip. His nasty fucking demeanor. His Satanic fucking odious octopus nasty fucking psycho self. What a shithead. Fucking hit me I dare you. Fucking cunt. Hit me just the once. Sharp smack to the face but keep your eyes hasped in mine. Watch yourself doing it. Watch me. Hit me. Hit me hard I can take it. One big slap and keep your eyes there, right there. Where desire enters the body. Enters me, enters you and me. I want to see you when you do it to me. What have I done to deserve this? To deserve you? Hit me, please, I want you to hit me. Afterwards you can hold me. I hold you. We are close and I am upset. Holding onto you. Warmth of you. I love this. I want you. Your hot face in my neck; my hot face in your neck. Now look at that! We are closer than we could ever hope to be. But this is not love. This is searing satisfaction. Get the fuck out. Out of here. Out of me. Fucking creep.

About the author

June Caldwell

June’s debut short story collection is due in 2017 with New Island Books. SOMAT is published in the award-winning The Long Gaze Back – An Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson and was chosen as a ‘favourite’ by The Sunday Times. She’s a prizewinner of The Moth International Short Story Prize (‘Charged language and a ferocious imagination; mad as a bag of spiders and genuine talent’ – judge Mike McCormack). Shortlisted and/or Highly Commended for: The Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award; Lorian Hemingway (USA); Sunday Business Post/Penguin Ireland Short Story Prize; RTÉ Guide/Penguin Ireland short story competition; Over The Edge New Writer of the Year. She is a recipient of a John Hewitt bursary and an Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) literature award after completing an MA in Creative Writing at Queens’ University, Belfast. Her work has featured at the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange in Verona (May 2012), Read For The World & Telmetale at the Irish Writers Centre (June 2012/2013), Galway Pro Choice (Aug 2013), Over the Edge Galway (Dec 2013), Stinging Fly launch (Mar 2014), At The Edge, Cavan (May 2014), The Winding Stair (Sep 2014), DLR Lexicon Barrytown Trilogy readings (Apr 2015), Circle of Misse (June 2015), Hodges Figgis Book Festival (Sep 2015), Bring Your Own Stories with Liberties Press (Oct 2015), The Bogman’s Cannon Fiction Disco (Nov 2015 & April 2016), Staccato (Nov 2015), Doolin Writers’ Weekend (March 2016), Five Lamps Arts Festival (March 2016) and at the National Concert Hall (April 2016). Published in The Moth, The Stinging Fly, Literary Orphans, RTÉ Ten, The Bogman’s Cannon, North West Words, Woven Tale Press, and Popshot Magazine, as well as a biography of a Trouble’s moll. You can listen to June talking about writing short stories on Hen House with further mention of her writing on CBC Sunday Edition (Canada).

One Response to Sub Terrestrial – June Caldwell

  • Blue | Sixteen Magazine

    […] June Caldwell is the Featured Prose Writer with Sub Terrestrial, a short, punchy and aggressive piece where the colour blue is the colour of fear. We often see blood as red, but before it comes to the surface, it is supposed to be blue. The image of blue comes up several times and June’s style of writing keeps the reader holding their breath, almost to the point of turning blue. Read the story here. […]

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