Horror

Peas Please, Louise

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

First of all, my name is Marshanda.

But he insisted on calling me Louise after a star of the silent movies whom, he told me, he admired. And so it was Louise

a wounded quarry

hunched against the force

he exerted, the wind

and rush

of his person

his words,

his….fists

**

Our love began on a cruise through the Indonesian islands. I worked as a tour guide pointing out the loveliness of Sumatera and Java and Flores, and tiny, little islands that have never quite made it to the cartographers’ tables. He asked me what my name meant and I said bold girl. He shook his head, “No. I want you to be Louise”.

Oh the beautiful, brutal wickedness of it all.

He taught me how to cook – mainly by telling me what he didn’t like about my cooking. If the peanut sauce was not ‘savagely spicy’, then the flat bread was hard enough to be a weapon of assault. My accent was wrong, my legs too short and my eyes too narrow. “You could really do with a little more height.” He also taught me how to walk, talk and dress. I was a hopeless pupil, by all accounts.

But he was giving me a life, “You ought to be grateful, you know. What would you be? They’d have no more use for the thirty-year-old that you are now on their cruise ships with lovely, young women tripping along all the time…”

His assignment in the Far East was completed, and we returned to England in the middle of a winter that slouched over the lonely farmlands like an implacable foe.

“What are you?” he asked me as I sat huddled by the hearth, “you have about as much colour in you as …”

a mote of dust

a swirling brown,

writing itself

an epitaph

with a pencil of winter sunlight

**

The girl at the village store spooned peppermint chews into a brown paper bag. She was dressed in black and white and chattered like a nesting magpie, “You’re new around here, I gather?”

“Yes. We’ve just moved into ‘Tall Trees’….”

“You the au pair?”

“No…the wife.”

“Oh! The Masons’ place? How ever did I get the impression that George Mason’s wife was leggy and blonde? Oops, must be mistaken! Here”, she pushed the bag towards me, “that’s for free. No, please don’t. Really, it’s for free.”

**

That night, for the first time, I suggested the massages with my native oils and liniments of which I had brought a store back with me in a chest. It was also the first time he liked something I did. He actually approved.

Then he asked for one, again: for his hands and feet and readily agreed when I suggested his head, neck, and shoulders. He liked them. He loved them.  In time, he

raved about them

demanded,

craved a massage

for fingers

that turned from pearl and

pink to peeling

yellow to a stiff

and ancient bitumen

He stopped carping about my cooking, my hair and eyes and accent. There were no more long calls; no interminable evenings away with clients; no late, late business dinners which he’d attended alone.

Only the massages.

It was a night in January: nothing for miles around but snow and stuttering moonlight He held his bowl in his palms. (In the wooden chest there were ten withered fingers. I’d harvested them off the carpet, the bedclothes and the lawn outside over the weeks: one, two, three, four….)

Now he said, meek as milk, “I’d like the peas please, Louise.”

I got up and walked into the kitchen behind him. I returned.

My ancestors, the headhunters of Sarawak, would have more than approved of the Final Trophy!

 

 

 

 

 

Geralyn Pinto (INDIA)

Geralyn Pinto serves as Associate Professor in the Post-Graduate Department of English at St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangalore, India. She is a creative writer who has been published and won prizes, nationally and internationally. She is an overseas member of ‘Alibi’, a British writers group which hosts monthly online creative writing workshops in which she enthusiastically participates.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Terse, poetic and chilling. The conclusion is brilliant. Narrative moves fast and keeps the reader on tenter hooks. Great story Gerry. Congratulations.

  2. Avatar

    You’ll be able to go to your job, hit the gym, or
    even just sit round and watch Tv while you pull in profits.
    This data is then used by the system to let the traders earn maximum profit whereas providing limited danger to them.

    Bitcoin Loophole system has already been confirmed in over 1,342
    trading sessions with only 1 shedding day!
    It’s often known as Bitcoin secret loophole and is a fully automated trading system.
    Today we’re exposing a new Scam system for making money on-line.
    Bitcoin Loophole is a scam trading software to avoid at all
    value. Bitcoin Loophole is the model new Cryptocurrency software program that helps you to earn via trading on the digital currency.
    Apparently, the gifting loophole in the rules makes
    it possible for buyers to keep away from paying taxes on their virtual forex features.
    It’s an algorithm buying and selling system created by skilled foreign money
    buyers.

Write A Comment