Enzo Stephens: Perfect Harmony

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Perfect Harmony

By Enzo Stephens 

His flesh slaps against mine rhythmically, and bone-jarringly putrid. His pasty, pale, sickly, coarsely-haired blubbery body pokes at me; rubs up against me and it is everything I can do to not puke all over him.

I force my eyes to remain closed, so I do not see him as he nears me to mash his slimy, swollen lips against mine, grinding them into my tender bits while his thick, black stubble rips the skin of my cheeks, chin, and neck with no regard whatsoever. 

I will bear the pain of brush-burns, though not as long as I bear the pain of yet another filthy violation.

His vile worm-of-a-tongue tries to plow through my pressed lips, but I seize on any small victory I can manage against this wretched brute and deny him passage. My mouth shall remain sacrosanct.

He has insisted time and time again that I service him with my mouth, but the threats of castration by my dentifrice earns me a constant, albeit painful, reprieve from that ignominy.

He is a big man; powerful; thickly furred. Reminiscent of a bear, sans the bear’s sensibilities and manners.

He flips me over so that I lie on my stomach. My fists clench in the bed-linens, counting the thrusts until he is finally done and removes himself from my body. My skin crawls at the feel of his perspiration dotting the small of my back, and I cannot wait to get myself into the washroom to… cleanse him from me.

It’s all about Him. His pleasure, and I’m just his toy. His vessel. 

His… concubine.

And I hate him. With every fiber of my being.

The second the fat slug steps away from me, I subject his person to the kinds of torture that perpetuate long past the loss of his vocal cords from screaming in agony.

Depositing fire ants in his rectum. Slathering him in bed bugs. Minute splashes of hydrochloric acid that occur at random times and in random locations, often strategically located.

I yearn to make the swine suffer. 

The water from the shower is hot; steam billows throughout the bright, tiled room as turgid jets of pulsing water thrum against my flesh. Yet, despite my efforts and the constant battering of water hot enough to scald, I am unable to fully cleanse myself, and once again my face is awash in tears.

My hatred is alive, visceral; yet it lies dormant. Cold, slithering throughout my soul, squirming unrequited rage deep into recesses of my plundered mind.

It leaves me weak so that I sink to the gleaming tiles in which the purifying water patters endlessly, curling into myself, my hair fanning across the floor of the shower, and whatever hope I have to escape this horror fades just a little more.

One day there will be no hope left, and I will not know it until that realization hammers me on every conceivable level of myself. And then what?

As that question plunders my heart, it forces more tears and barely muffled sobs.

I want to die.

But there is a small part of me… It is a part made of fire and steel and raw energy and power that will not let me cede this wretched life.

I may be the swine’s toy, his concubine, but I will never be HIS, and one day, when the time is perfect, the vile dog will know.

^^

My hair is a wet mess, bound up in a massive towel that redefines softness. My hair does not care, nor does my ravaged face and neck. The beard-burns on my skin look like a horribly painful yet extremely localized sunburn.

No way am I leaving the house like this.

I will not subject myself to the stares; the pitying looks; the sideways glances and furtive eyes that scream of his abuse of me to everyone I come in contact with; everyone I see and who sees me. No.

They will not hear me. They will not hear the songs in my heart that flow from my very essence. No. They will see a battered, frail little woman. A woman who has been run roughshod by the sheer brutality of…

Him.

And they will whisper; they will murmur. The pretty ladies in their finery will gasp to each other at the criminality of it as they gaze upon my face; upon my black, featureless hair; my colorless and utterly bland self, and they will mutter to each other with their pleasingly-scented breath about how I could be oh so pretty if I only tried.

Why would I try? The Monster would only batter the beauty from me.

The tears flow no more, finally. It is everything for me to simply lift my head. I have no strength in my limbs. My neck feels as if it is rubber; pliant; unable to support any weight.

My body sags lifelessly in the dining room chair; its high back providing no support for my torpor, and the need for rest, for sleep; blessed in its relief and escape, simply does not come to me.

It leaves me empty and longing. Self-pity washes over me, and a distant part of my mind wonders how utterly low I can fall…

But then I feel it; a gentle tug at the edge of my wallowing psyche; a tiny, dim candle burning in a vast and depthless pitch blackness. I open my eyes, seeing but not acknowledging the mammoth dining room with the deep rich mahogany table with places for twelve revelers, surrounded by matching (and just as massive) pieces and parts of furniture that are of absolutely no interest to me. Only one piece; a low, mahogany piece fashioned to resemble a Greek column once used to brace a portico, resting before west-facing floor-to-ceiling windows sheathed in diaphanous material that flutters on the whim of minute, indiscernible breezes.

Resting atop the column was my salvation.

Without awareness I crawl across the floor, my robes sprawling about me without a single concern as to my modesty. What point now?

My fingers close over the handle of the simple case and it drops and I am terrified of gravity’s malicious intent to make it suffer the mercy of the unforgiving floor. I pull it to my chest as I spin to lean my back against the curtained wall, my breath rushing in and out of me with tidal cacophony, and my heart threatens to leap from my bruised chest.

Gradually I hear the size of the room; the susurrations of my respiratory labors echo dimly from the high ceilings and the bare walls; and again I feel small, surrounded by the brute and all the brute’s trappings. So alien to me. 

So rough. So… hurtful.

My eyes cease wandering the empty walls and echoing ceiling and fall to the case clutched against my chest and calm begins to wash over me. Calm, with a distant, nudging urgency; the demand of a newly-born kitten mewling for touch; for a caress.

For loving.

The snaps of the case opening jolt me awake and I freeze, afraid that what I’ve done would be heard. By the brute. By Him. My breath freezes in my lungs.

But the silence pervades; the echoes of the opening snaps long faded. I sit cross legged, rest the case on the floor and lift the lid, slowly, reverently; my fingers twitching slightly as I anticipate gripping the instrument’s length.

The pain of before remains, yet the instrument speaks to it, and I am just a bystander in the drama that unfolds in my mind. My rage is a living thing; twisting and writhing; seeking to evade the wash of peace I feel rolling from my salvation; the instrument. And it is a war that can only have one outcome.

My left hand curls tenderly around the stem; the strings imprinting themselves upon my fingerprints like an old friend that offers up a warm greeting after far too much time has gone by, and my soul embraces those strings, wrapping itself around and around the stem.

Without warning my chin is resting upon it; reverence and wonder rushes through my very being; that this truly astonishing… thing can…

And the bow is there, in my hand, and I know not how it got there. It descends, gliding over the fibers, caressing the strings, and my fingers begin moving seemingly of their own volition and…

The raucous turmoil that floods my soul begins to seep out in the way of haunting strands of sound that feed back in on themselves and coax more from both the bow and my fingers, and what began as a mere seepage of musical notes, swells.

First within me. The Music is a burgeoning tsunami yearning for escape, and yet my very being convinces it to stay within while it strives to coerce me to believe that to keep it bound is to destroy it. The Music must be freed, but my soul knows to not let it run unbound, and so I hold it within my velvet grip, and I allow the drama; the warfare in my mind, to grace my ears with its outrageous pain and astounding exuberance, yet all in measured release.

It flows, and I am lost. I know not the tones, the melodies, the chords, the frets.

I know pain. I know hatred. I know a desire for my very own death; an end to the endless torture. And I know the Music, and there lies my unrelenting conundrum. The very brink of hatred-filled death against the unbridled ecstasy of the Music.

The Music spirals out of me and time means nothing to me. My fingers glide and roam, but not of my own sense. The bow strokes and slides, yet I know not how…

^^

The Bentley glides into the governor’s driveway, coming to a stop before the massive mahogany double doors, resplendent in their copious attempt to intimidate men of lesser stature and station.

A liveried driver snaps his door open and hurries around to the rear passenger side of the car, popping that open smartly and assuming a position of readiness to do his employer’s bidding.

The vehicle creaks on vastly expensive shocks as a behemoth of a man, wrapped in fine Italian silk, steps forth from the car and strides with confidence to the door of his manse. Several feet before the door, he stops, cocking his large, anvil-shaped head sideways.

“Herman?”

The driver stands three feet from the massive man’s left shoulder, as instructed. “Yes sir?” 

“What is that sound?”

Herman holds silent for a moment, then, “Sir, I believe it is music.”

The large man turns with a hint of surprise notching one corner of his mustachioed mouth downward into a partial frown. “From my house?”

“It appears so, sir.”

“Open it.”

Herman quickly taps a remote from his pocket and the locking mechanism on the mammoth doors springs with an audible click and several subsequent clacks; sounds of deadbolts opening. Caution and security were never far from the well-clad man’s mind. Herman swings the right side door wide and the large man strides into a gleaming front foyer. Herman backs away, softly clicking the heavy door closed upon his exit.

Music fills the manse. The large man stands, listens, absorbs, and is drawn toward it. His briefcase clunks to the floor, forgotten. He utters not a word, his mind filling with both surprise and wonder at the stunning sounds coming from…

He knows not. Nor do his feet and legs, but they push off in one direction moving at a measured pace as he strives to silence the sound of his clacking heels lest it impair the music in any way. In frustration he abruptly kicks his loafers off and continues on his unknown trek.

With each step, something within this monster of a man begins to feel as though it is… relenting, and that surprises him more than this sudden onslaught of glorious sound does. 

Words tumble over his tongue and remain unspoken. The music touches him, but unlike he has ever been touched before. His vision wobbles and wavers in shimmering liquid, yet he presses on, uncaring of his state or of his appearance. The music pulls him, teases him, provokes him, croons to him, caresses him. Moves him.

Through the kitchens with its myriad of arcane accoutrement; past a variety of rooms both right and left which elude his sight and his attention; moving as if in a trance, and yet the music tickles his very soul. It is inexorable and the big man vows to find it; find it, clutch it, possess it, own it and never let it go. He thinks this as his tears dampen his socks.

He comes to a place where he can no farther go; the dining room. And there, sitting on the floor before vast windows that cast her in silhouette she was, and he sees her as he’s never seen her; never imagined seeing her.

She was his toy. She was his vessel. She was his object of pleasure, and a trophy to parade around before his friends. And from her spins this incredible kaleidoscope of haunting music that causes him to draw near to her, now almost afraid to touch her. As if he would break her. As if by him touching her, he would shatter this astonishing, ethereal, fragile force that somehow, someway took hold of his home, his soul and his mind.

He sinks to his knees before her, eyes closed, the music flowing over him and through him and he is filled with an awareness of absolute beauty the likes of which he never conceived, and it washes over him, delivering a heart-wrenching joy that pulls audible sobs from deep within his breast.

And the peace; the sheer, stunning peace; it floods him, his raging hamster-wheel of thoughts is calmed, and for the first time in his brutal, coarse existence, all three elements of his very being flow together in perfect harmony. A soft sigh escapes him…

Just as the razor-thin blade of an Xacto Knife whips ear-to-ear through his throat.

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