The tube of yellow paint is in her left hand. The colour of it reminds her of butter, but not just butter. There’s butter in it for sure, but there’s also the shade of hair belonging to a girl she once sat next to in infant school. Charlene had been her name. She’d worn a pretty face with an infectious smile that made the boys go weak at the knees whenever she flashed it in their direction. Not that Gretchen cared much for these attributes. Her attention was drawn instead to how Charlene’s perfect, developing bones were adorned with ill-fitting hand-me-downs, and how she had the tell-tale signs of eczema on her fingers. While this may have been off-putting to some, to Gretchen, such deficiencies were delicious. Her hair tone was a bit like custard, but also like those little square sweets, Opal Fruits. Only they weren’t called that now. Now they went by the name of Starburst. As Gretchen holds the tube of paint in her hand, she sees the yellow sunshine of Charlene’s smile, and then she sees the blonde locks of her favourite pornstar—a Romanian woman by the name of Jasmine Rouge. Jasmine’s locks were as blonde as her body—a body tight in all the right places with every inch seemingly edible. Edible like cake. The cake her grandmother used to make; all spongey with a rich filling of strawberry jam. She thinks about Jasmine’s insides—of her menstrual blood—and how it must swirl within her perfect, porcelain body as if it were the swirling arms of a spiral galaxy—a galaxy host to enough lust and violence to give birth to a million tiny breaths whenever someone watches a video of her getting her brains fucked out. Gently squeezing the tube, the yellow paint seeps onto her fingers. With her mouth wide open, she stares at the runny liquid picturing the lips of Jasmine’s flowering pussy. They’re not yellow at all, and yet in her mind, they shine as bright as sunshine on a mysterious, sandy beach on some distant, sepia-tinged shore.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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