Flimsy Things
from Orifice
by D.N. Stuefloten


    Lola lies supine on the steps.

    "Is she sick?"

    "She is so pale."

    "A worm ..."

    "Yes! What man would want her?"

    "Look, she has no breasts!"

    "There is no meat to her!"

    "Nothing for a man to get his hands on!"

    "As thin as a boy!"

    A confusion of scents: coconut oil, body secretions, crushed flowers, the thick miasma of fruit over-ripened and cooked by the sun. In the great forests, forever damp, insects stir underfoot. Fluorescent birds flit amongst the higher limbs. Predators in the shadows flatten to the ground. Each woman is adorned. I remember all of them: the feathers, the ochre daubs, the intricate tattoos on each cheek. They are themselves as dark as the shadows which surround Lola. The women flutter at her side. One hand pinches a cheek. Another slaps a rump. They are not gentle with her, not gentle at all with dear Lola. Her flanks are probed, poked. Her waist is spanned by outstretched hands. Her scorned breasts are twisted. Look at this! cries one woman plucking at Lola's pudendum. The women gasp. They have never seen such flimsy things. Unnatural creature! hisses a woman. Lola huddles in the center of their attention. Hands strike like beaks. Clawed fingers rake at her. The women are like birds scavenging around a fallen creature....