It was the most extreme working-over I had ever seen.
Both her eyes had been blackened; bruised purple-ebony circles framed the eyeballs. The whites were shot with vivid threads of red as her blood vessels rose in rebellion against the assault they had endured. Her lashes were thick with the dark after-crust of the attack, and her cornflower blue irises stood out in desperation amid the carnage.
Fuck, I thought. Whoever did this was no amateur. They knew what they were doing. You gotta admire them for that.
The skin on her face looked bloodless, drained. It was white and smooth; a porcelain death-mask. Except for the cheeks, where bright pink slaps of colour rose on the abused flesh. They swelled with pain, and my heart throbbed for her.
Her mouth…oh, God, that was where it had really gone down.
Nothing was left but a gaping crimson wound. The bloody slash cut across her face, her pointy little tongue and small white teeth sitting in moist horror behind it. Her lips were puffy, and they bulged like cushions of exquisite agony towards me. A certain part of me bulged back in response.
They had even terrorised her hair. The blonde strands had been tugged with such force that her scalp was inflamed in angry blotches. Patches where the hair had snapped under the pressure dotted her head; the broken strands littered her shoulders.
It looked like they had even torn out the fine hair that peppered the fragile flesh of her brow; yanked it out right at the roots.
Was that… Yes, dear God, it was. They had sliced into the soft, fuzzy tissue of her earlobes. Sharp steel had been thrust through with such power that it had erupted clean out the other side, on both lobes.
“What are you staring at?” she said.
I smiled at her, planting a kiss on her cheek.
“Just you, darling. You look beautiful; I was just drinking you in. You’re stunning.”
She beamed back at me, pleased.
“Thanks! It was a bargain; $50 for a full makeover, and they threw in hair straightening as well. I even lashed out and got my ears pierced. I wanted to look extra special for you tonight.”
“Well, you do. I’ll be the proudest guy in the room; I can’t wait to show you off.”
I held her hand as we walked to my car. I opened the door for her and waited until she was settled in the seat before I closed it and walked around to my side. I whistled as I stepped into the car and started the engine.
I love it when a woman takes pride in her appearance.
Felicity Dowker is a 28 year old Australian writer with a husband, two young children, and a not-so-hidden feminist and atheist critique nestled in much of her work--especially the flash pieces, for some reason. Quite a few people have been foolhardy enough to publish her short stories, and she has a limited edition chapbook due for release soon. For ramblings, news and a bibliography, go to http://holeinthepage.blogspot.com but enter, stranger, at your riske; here there be Tygers.