Short Works + Satire
The Evolution of Elsa, a series.
A series of satirical short stories written out of the frustration of having no effective way to respond to real- life harassment. They are a darkly comedic fantasy that uses the harasser's own words and tactics against them.
While walking my dog, a 12 year old on a skateboard shouted after me, “Do you do squats?” I can only assume to make his friends laugh. When I didn’t respond and kept walking, he shouted, “I like your butt. Can I lick it? Because it looks sweeeeeet."
I turned immediately and marched over to teach him a lesson about modern feminism and respect for women. But I didn’t want to seem unappreciative (hey, I still got it!) or shrill (ew), so I struck compromise and made him look me dead in the eye while I gave him a dry handy in front of his friends.
I think he learned his lesson.
I was crossing the street in Burbank, in the middle of the day, a man pulled his car over, leapt from it, and quickly approached me.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“What is your name? You are so beautiful.”
He kept walking toward me and all the red flags when up and it reminded me of a fear book my mother made me read when I was an adolescent. “Trust your fear, Elisabeth.” She would say.
“None of your business.”
“What?” He chuckled. Clearly I was being coy.
“None of your business.”
“Oh, come on, now.” He kept coming toward me. QUICKLY. I had almost reached my car but I didn’t want to stop and look for my keys, so I kept walking as quickly as I could.
“Can I get a phone number? I’d like to make your toes curl.”
Obviously you guys know where this is headed.
Excuz typoz I’m bloiin him now i wuz be coy
Cruisin' for a...
Taking my dog for a walk at 10 am. Guy parks his blue mustang and gets out.
I keep walking because I don’t know the guy and presume he’s talking to someone else, or on the phone.
“Hey. Behind you. Hey.”
I turn, again, presuming he needs directions or something.
“What are you doing? What’s up?” He’s grinning and wearing a pink button up and I hate him.
Without a word, I turn and keep walking, and hear him get in his car again. It’s only then I realize he’d just stopped to talk to me.
Then he pulls up in his mustang and creeps along side me.
“Hey. What are you up to? Why don’t you want to talk to me?”
“Because I don’t know you.”
“So? Let’s talk. You should talk to me.”
You guys know me. Normally when a guy gets all sweet to me like this, I soften up like a lonely kitten and lap up whatever he’s offering. But today it was making my blood boil. I couldn’t help myself. I asked, “What gives you the right to do this? Behave in this way? To follow me when I’m clearly not interested?”
I stopped. Stared. And realized I had no choice but to hate-f*ck him right there on the street in broad daylight.
But don’t ask me where he is now, I left him on the sidewalk bleeding out.
C'est La Vie
One beautiful day last summer, I was walking along cobblestones in a small town south of Paris. Later, I was planning on meeting up with newly-minted friends for a glass of vino, and, alright, a cigarette or two.
An approaching silver Volvo slowed, the passenger window open. I immediately began composing in French how to give directions to the super-marchét, or, je suis désole, I did not know where the nearest pharmacy hung it’s shingle.
The car stopped. I smiled and looked inside. There was a man, about my age, in a blue sweater, an open trench coat (why would I kid?), and nothing else. His left hand was on the wheel. The right he was using to masturbate. He displayed a crackled grin that at once looked sociopathic and comical. He was looking for my discomfort. And to his credit (and apparent delight), my smile vanished.
But I didn’t leave. Instead I got inside and put the car in park. Told him my name. He wouldn’t tell me his. Keep going, I said. You’re doing a good job. Pardon my accent, I am Canadian (more easily forgiven than being American).
He stopped. Is it me, I asked? But you’re doing so well! I love watching you. You look a little bit like my brother Fred. Do you mind if I call you Fred? No, no, it’s a reference to one of my favorite films, but don’t worry about it. Can I help?
Fred was getting frustrated. He tried to open my door, but I locked it. He tried to drive away, but I kept my hand on the gear shift, firmly in park. Finish here, I instructed. Don’t you know how dangerous it is to text and drive? The risk here is much greater. I’m sure you have someone who would miss you very much.
I helped him along by guiding his lost left hand to his testicles. He tried to look away, but I held his head by his hair, twisted it towards me. He shut his eyes tight, so I slapped him. Something about that worked. So we kept on until the quietest whisper dribbled out of him. But Fred seemed preoccupied.
I took him for a kir and he told me all about his mother. How he had once had a pet grasshopper. How he had dreamed of being a tight-rope walker, but was thrown out of circus school for statutory rape. She was a precocious acrobat of 14, it was unavoidable. Poor baby, I cooed. An hour later, I dropped him back at his Volvo, and he tried to kiss me goodbye.
No, no, I giggled, and grabbed him for a hug instead. That’s when I slipped the metal nail file from my purse and into his neck. He yelped. Shh, Fred. Shh. Nothing more can hurt you now. I helped him back to his car and stayed with him while he bled out. There was almost something grateful in his eyes.
After, I trotted to the cafe for that cigarette.
“Sorry I’m late. I had to help a stranger cross to the other side.”
Puppies + Puppets
My dog stopped at a light to meet a poodle on our walk.
A man approached. “Excuse me, I just have to say I’ve been following you for the last couple blocks, and you made the walk so much better.”
Off my confusion, he clarified by nodding to my ass. “Well done. I could have stopped back there but I wanted to keep going. Good motivation.”
I blinked. “Okay?” I looked to the owner of the poodle, also a male. He looked uncomfortable but did nothing. We all just stood there for a moment.
Then I sighed. “Alright, let’s do this.” I tied my dog to a bicycle post and forced them to tag team me from behind- why would I make them uneasy by reminding them I have a face? At some point they both started to weep.
Afterward I made them wrestle each other naked, with splints on their dicks to keep them erect. They were still weeping. I named them “Older Dude” and “Curly Hair”, and my dog, the poodle and I laughed and played “Fuck Marry Kill”, except that we just wanted to kill everyone.
He rode past me from behind with salt and pepper hair and spandex bike shorts, gaze following me instead of the road. He circled his road bike, pulled his sunglasses down and nodded. Then gave me a thumbs up.
“Nice work,” he grinned, lasciviously. He was my father’s age.
“Easy, girl,” I told myself. I’d just finished a round of antibiotics following an encounter with a surfer who told me I’d dropped my smile, so I immediately dropped my pants, not thinking of the consequences of screwing like sea lions on a part of Venice Beach that was particularly full of needles. “Control yourself.”
But he continued. “Sometimes it only looks good from the front or the back. Good job.”
I smiled. “Come here.” I led him to an alley, hopped on a dumpster and spread my legs. There was, it should be noted, a rusty nail protruding from the dumpster, near his thigh. But he was determined. Admirable.
As he got “close, baby”, I whispered in his ear.
“What?” He seemed startled.
“This is going to scar you more than me.”
He tried to stop but I grabbed his hips and yanked him in, hard. He yelped. The nail had pierced his thigh. He tried to pull away again but I locked my legs around him. All my equestrian years weren’t going to fail me now.
“Finish.” I cooed, driving the nail deeper.
I left him slumped and bleeding, with a note to whomever found him that a tetanus shot was probably in order.
This wasn’t my first rodeo, after all.
Doe See Doe
I was walking along Santa Monica Blvd, on the phone with my parents, deeply absorbed in a debate about tires. A guy parked nearby in a car with tires nearby leaned his head out the window. “Hey, Sexy, you look sexy in those tights. Real good.” I kept walking, agreeing with my father that perhaps I didn’t need the all-terrain tires, not in Californ-I-A. Again, I heard, “I SAID YOU LOOK SEXY IN THOSE TIGHTS. DON’T YOU HEAR ME?”
My mother inquired where I was. I apologized for the noise; it was a busy road. “YO, BITCH. I SAID YOU’RE FUCKING SEXY. I LIKE THOSE GODDAMN TIGHTS. LISTEN UP, BITCH.”
Suddenly I realized he was speaking to me. To me. I blinked, lashes suddenly lush and sparkling. My eyes twinkled like a doe out of a goddamn Disney film. I turned, and in the yellow halo of a streetlamp, finally caught the glorious visage of my admirer. “Mom, Dad," I said, "let me call you back.” I flagged down my new friend, hopped inside his 1992 steel-grey Corolla, strip-teased to The 1975 playing through a tinny radio, and used my goddamn sexy tights to bind him to his head rest. Then I straddled him, arched my back, stretched my arms overhead and smiled… Then I punched him in the throat, crack, to fracture his larynx... since I couldn't get to his ego. Too fragile for daylight. Too fragile for nightlight. Too fragile for this life. He gasped and squeaked, and his eyes bulged so wide, so alive... not unlike a doe's eyes. Were we, for a moment, the same? Doe see Doe?
Sometimes people think I’m angry, but there wasn’t an ounce of rage in my body as I watched him try to convulse or spit, all the while sounding like a wounded Chihuahua.
“Oh,” I cooed. “I hear you now. This is much better. What was it you wanted to say?”
I was standing outside a locked theater, texting a friend to let me in.
Two men walked by. I could feel their gaze without looking up. “I’d love me some of that,” piped the one with the sideburns, “with some CREAM on top. You know what I mean? I’d put my cream all over that. Bury my face in it for a while. Goddamn. Just lather her up for playtime. You know what I mean?” His buddy howled in laughter. Apparently he knew what Sideburns meant. I ignored them, ignored my insides burning, and they finally moved along.
Minutes passed. My friend wasn’t answering. I was about to leave when the loquacious Sideburns returned, without his friend. I didn’t look up, but stared instead at the brass cobra-shaped belt buckle at his waist.
“Hey, I’m sorry.” He said. I took a breath and forced myself to remember that he was a child too, once. “I’m sorry I said all those things about you. It wasn’t right. I shouldn’t have done that.”
I softened. “It’s okay.” Then he stepped closer than necessary.
“It’s just, I couldn’t walk by that body and not say something. What do you DO? I mean, mmmh. And that face.” He balled his left hand into a fist and hit his right palm several times, as if it were a baseball mitt.
I returned to my phone. “It’s okay,” I said again, willing him to move along. Where was my goddamn friend?
“I know I shouldn’t have said anything, and I’m sorry, but now I see those eyes, shit, girl, maybe I’m not sorry. Not at all.”
I lifted my gaze once more and stared deeply into the muddy brown, bloodshot eyes that had already fucked me in their imagination. Then I stepped forward and kissed him. He had been a child once, after all, there must be something human here. As we kissed I took off his belt and gently looped it around his neck.
“What’s this for?” He asked with a yellowing grin.
“Playtime.” I tied the belt to the metal gate next to the theater door. The cobra buckle glinted in the afternoon sun. Then I took off my own belt and bound his hands behind him.
“This is some kinky shit,” he laughed, as I knelt down to blow him. I was just far away enough that he had to lean against the belt on his neck to get close enough. The combination of the belt and the blood rushing toward his pelvis was making him light-headed, and, as planned, he passed out just after he came.
When he awoke on the sidewalk a short time later, the cobra buckle lay beside him, bright brass covered in red. He was missing one of his muddy, bloodshot eyes. It was nowhere to be seen, no pun intended. As realization struck, that which remained in his skull expressed fear. Deep, terrified fear.
“You see?” I said to my friend, who’d finally arrived. “Something human after all. Shall we?”