Tom Ford, the Girl, and Rejection
by Gary Smothers
Part 1 appears|
in this issue.
They finished the toiling just as the sun crested into the sky above them, casting out sharpened, new shadows from the tree branches above them. Tom grabbed the bag of seed and sowed it into the turned soil. “I’ll water it, but I hope it’ll finally rain tonight,” Tom said convincingly, almost forgetting the reason he was out here turning the soil in the first place.
“Wait.” Her back to Tom, Dolly walked to the fresh smelling earth and straddled above it. She winked, unbuttoned her shorts and pulled them down, exposing her pale, heart-shaped ass. She crouched down to the dirt and released a stream of piss. “This is a secret of growing. Piss. You have to piss on what you’ve planted. It’s the nitrogen in your pee that helps the growth. Piss is good for a lot of things, actually.”
“Urine. I see,” Tom Ford replied, screwing his face up then softening his expression when she turned to him.
“I know,” she said, standing up and re-buttoning her shorts. “Seems odd don’t it? Trust me. I grow things. Be around tomorrow?”
“I have a class until 1:30, but...”
“Be home after that?”
“Yeah,” he replied knowing somehow that he shouldn’t be sharing such information. Something in all of this seemed wrong somehow. Sinful. Granted, all they’d done was mess around in the dirt. Her bold pissing removed, there was nothing wrong in it at all.
“Great! Maybe see you then.”
She turned to leave, her hip-rich strutting distracting Tom before he gathered the nerve to speak again. “Wait.” She turned to face him. “Dolly, have we, by chance, ever met before?”
“No, I don’t think so. You’re much older than me...”
“Thanks for noticing.”
“But handsome,” she added before walking on down the road.
That night, he showered, paying particular attention to his fingernails, the cold water stinging at his already blistering sunburned flesh. He thought of Hell. Was it a sin to kill Rejection? Had he upset some epic order of the universe?
After he’d written a short story, perhaps the best he’d ever spat out in a single evening, he tried again to call his wife and son. When they still didn’t answer he slammed the phone down and returned to the PC to write another story.
Writing into the dawn, this story was about a missing family and a mysterious beautiful woman who comes into the protagonist’s life. God, was it good. Later, he dreamt of Dolly, not a sexual dream, but a victory ridden experience in which she was there announcing success after success.
His son’s face kept appearing in the dream, sad hands pressed against an invisible barrier between them but to Tom Ford’s alarm, he didn’t care. In fact, he welcomed the separation; for sitting at his side was Dolly. When he awoke, his bed sheets and thighs were damp and sticky. Jesus, he reminded himself, he did miss his boy. Why would such an awful thought enter his mind?
The next day as he returned home from the college, he found himself looking for Dolly along the road. Much to his chagrin, she was nowhere to be seen. He was finishing up his novel submission packets when she arrived at the back door. She stood there on the deck, clad in the same clothing as the day before. This time, however, the bittersweet odor of cinnamon was absent to be replaced by the sharp odor of peppermint wafting in through the storm door screen. From behind her back she produced a 12-pack of beer.
“My favorite,” Tom exclaimed, opening the door and stepping out onto the deck.
“Mine too; seems we have a lot in common.”
“Let’s, uh, take it out here.” They sat in the deck chairs.
“This sun probably ain’t the best medicine for your sunburn.”
“Yeah, but still...” He took a healthy swig. “Burning feels good.”
“You’re wife probably wouldn’t appreciate another woman in the house. I guess.”
“Oh, she wouldn’t mind.”
“Okay?” She lipped the bottle and took a sip of the beer. “You’re story.”
“She’d kill me. We got a son to raise together. You know...” They laughed together, each in turn taking full drinks of the beer to accentuate the revelry. “Dolly, tell me about you. I did most of the talking yesterday.”
“My husband left me, I failed, repeatedly at show business. The end. Hey, let’s go check on your grass.”
“Dolly, it’s way, way too early for that.”
She walked past him, descended the deck and disappeared around the corner of the house. Grinning, Tom Ford arose and followed.
“God ain’t got nothing to do with it. It’s me.” Fresh, bright grass lay thick, purple-flowered weeds undulating lightly in a cool breeze which seemed to exist only here in the shade. “Trust me.”
When the beer was nearly gone and the sun began to set, Dolly asked, “Should I be going now?”
The cicadas sung. “No. Come inside.”
Looking off toward the river, Tom Ford held the door open for her. “It’s going to be warm in here. You may have noticed the air conditioner is busted.”
“Maybe we should take our shirts off then,” Dolly smiled. She grabbed the bottom of her shirt.
“No, Dolly!” Quickly, she placed her forearms over her enormous breasts.
“Okay, relax.” She turned and pulled her shirt back on. “Belief, it’s an aphrodisiac. And you,” she turned and adjusted her top over her breasts, “are sexy in every way. I believe in you.”
“Thank you, and wow!” Tom shook his head. “What’s the alcohol content? I feel drunk.” He placed the bottle down. “Dolly, it’s awfully sweet of you to believe in me. But you don’t even know me. And this shirt thing, don’t get me wrong, I mean, I really would—”
“Shhh... Those heartless editors don’t believe in you either. Or your wife! I know things about you. I told you.” She seemed to slide to him. This close, the peppermint — like the chewing gum grandmother used to give him on visits — was overwhelming.
“My God!” Tom took a theatrical swig of beer then placed the bottle back down. “I figured it out! I knew I recognized you! And this sounds crazy, but listen. My grandparents had this bureau and on the bottom shelf they kept kid stuff: cars, dolls, comic books, candy. Yeah! There was this red-headed doll, naked. And, I shouldn’t be sharing this at all, but I used to always secrete myself behind the couch with this doll and marvel at her curves. I think she jump-started my puberty.”
Dolly furrowed her brow then grinned. With a vamp, she grinned wider, “That’s really sweet. I think.” They shared a laugh, which was uncomfortable at first but then settled in like the genuine joy shared between friends. Or lovers.
“I have to pee. Where’s the bathroom?” she asked, already heading off down the hall.
“It’s... well, you’re there. That door.”
She went inside, her voice echoing through the opened doorway. “Come here. I can fix that sunburn of yours.”
Tom walked, floated into the bathroom. Suddenly, things seemed impossibly stranger.
“Take your clothes off and lie down in the bathtub.”
“I’m serious. Strip. Don’t worry, I won’t molest you.”
Tom glanced at his reflection: reddened head, balding, pink ears. He frowned at himself and, nodding, began undressing. He lay down in the bathtub and Dolly stepped in. Turning her back to Tom, she pulled her shorts off and straddled over him. Bending ever so slightly, she released a stream of hot piss, the golden urine splattering him with a gushing force. Dolly laughed, arching her ass for aim and nailing Tom Ford in the face.
Clenching his eyes shut, he spat and started to rise up. “Wait, Tom, I’m not finished.” Humiliated, he lay back down, allowing the piss to slow to a trickle. Covering herself, Dolly stepped from the tub and turned from him. She put her shorts back on. “I can’t let you see my kitty until you love me.”
“What the...?” Tom Ford yelled.
“You knew what I was going to do.”
“Yes, you did.”
“I... guess... I guess I did.” He pulled the shower on and ripped the curtain closed. “Get out of here.”
When he was finished showering he went to the bay window facing the road. A gathering darkness chasing away a burnt sky. No sign of Dolly to be seen, but he could feel her out there watching him. He thought of Colorado. With a huff, he shut the blinds.
In need of some serious grounding in reality, he was dialing his wife when he noticed his manuscripts missing. He hung the phone up and tore through the house in search of them, half expecting to find them stuffed in a corner and urine-soaked.
The next day Dolly was awaiting him as he pulled up. Again, she was dressed in her short cut-offs, her legs crossed, her raven hair shining, her wonderful smile painted on. “I’m sorry,” she offered child-like.
“Where’s my manuscripts!” He slammed the car door.
“Relax! I made a few contacts in Hollywood and just thought I’d save you the time and trouble and made some calls for you.” She smelled of cherry licorice.
Tom stopped in his tracks, hefted his briefcase. “You made some calls?”
“Good ones. How does three hits sound? I read each letter...”
“Yeah, three agents. Interested in you. I met them through friends of friends and, well, no one forgets me, so I called them and voila!”
He dropped his briefcase and ran to her, embracing her in a hug, reveling in the softness of her flesh against him, a new, rich scent of butterscotch about her. “I don’t understand.”
“You don’t understand what, love?”
“You look like a doll I once diddled myself to, you smell like a candy store, you’re into me. Just all that.”
“Look ahead, not back. Why does everything coming together get the down and out worried? Now, come inside. We need to get busy.”
They printed and organized neat, individualized novel packets. Two ink cartridges later, they were finished.
“Richard’s the agent I feel is the most promising,” Dolly boasted, patting one of the neat stacks. “We need to see him tomorrow, out by the airport in Saint Louis. As luck would have it, and you seem to have a lot of that going for you lately, he’s going to be in Saint Louis tomorrow for a Cardinals-Cubs game. Perhaps you could hand-deliver your novel?”
“Would he, I mean is that appropriate?”
“You’re with me, lover, everything is appropriate. Everything is possible. Go and grab an overnight bag and let’s get going.”
“But my wife, she may be on her way back.”
“Nonsense! Not seeing you here will give her the spook she needs. It’ll teach appreciation of you.”
Head swimming in possibilities, Tom jogged to the bedroom. He stripped out of his suit, grabbing more comfortable clothes for the ride. Curled lengths of dead skin lay at his feet as though shed from a snake. Sitting down on the bed, he peeled more of the wasted skin away, marveling at the rich tan beneath. “Dolly! I hate to admit this, but your pissing on me, it worked!”
He dressed and hurried toward the front of the house. Not seeing her there, he noticed the back door open. “Dolly?” He smelled it before he saw it, Dolly out on the deck, squatting her heart-shaped ass over a line of his family pictures plucked from the wall. “What are you doing?” The storm door clattered shut behind him.
“It’s fun. Try it.” Dolly moved to him. “Pissing on them. For growth.”
“What the hell are you talking about? That’s my family, you nutty bitch!”
“And, despite them, you’d sure like to screw me. Despite the anchor that is them, you’d sure like to make it as a writer. An anchor keeps things in place. Piss on them with me.” She took his zipper down, guiding him by his semi-erect member to the row of framed photos. “Aim and release. Symbolism is all this is. You should know that, writer. I’m sure you have doubles.”
“No. I shouldn’t. It’s wrong.”
“Success is wrong? Laying a beautiful woman is wrong?”
“No. This is really wrong...”
Clenching his eyes, Tom Ford released a stream of urine onto the photos. He saw Rejection rotting in a ditch somewhere, the seam of his split face crawling with maggots.
That night in the hotel, within the glow of the airport, Tom lay naked beneath the bed sheets. An airplane roared nearby on approach. Through the filthy window, Tom watched as it gunned the engines and roared away for another approach.
“Here I come, lover.” Tom Ford turned as Dolly stepped from the bathroom, nude and covering her ‘kitty.’
Tom knitted his brow, his anticipatory erection waning. “Your nipples, what the hell happened to them?”
“I never had them.” Dolly flicked her tongue at Tom. “Here’s my kitty.” Parting her hands like a toy barnyard’s doors, she revealed her crotch: a smooth, featureless patch of skin.
“What the hell, you’ve got no, no...”
“Meow.” Dolly smiled. “You were a dirty little tot, playing with dollies and your pecker.”
Tom jumped from the bed, grabbed his clothes from the table in mid-leap, and covered himself. Clumsily, he began pulling his jeans on just as a wash of light from the hallway flooded into the room. A door clicked shut, the rancid odor of death wafted into the room.
“That would be Richard.”
“Like hell. That’s Rejection!”
Deeply, Rejection laughed, grumbled, then choked.
“Come on in, dear,” Dolly sang.
Tom fastened his pants and looked about the room for any means of escape: a weapon, a clue warning that this was actually a dreamscape horror. The beast stepped into the room, its lantern jaw unhinging, horse teeth chomping, wild eyes staring, the flesh of its clumsily sewn-together face hanging loose, threatening to spill to the ground. Maggots dripped like drool.
“Tom Ford, meet my... companion.” Dolly sashayed towards Tom. She reached him and he jumped atop the bed, diving past Rejection’s impossibly long arms. He ran down the hall to the fire escape, clearing the steps in threes and fours.
Exiting the hotel into an alleyway, he turned to flee but chose the wrong direction to run, instead coming face-to-face with the hotel loading docks and a dead end. Turning back around, he saw Rejection, teeth chomping like a demented set of wind-up gag teeth.
He backed away, meeting a trash dumpster. Rejection bent to him, examining, as if trying to decipher this small man who wanted to be so much larger than he actually was. It placed a sharpened fingernail on Tom’s heart. Tom closed his eyes. Above him, Dolly giggled as a warm shower of urine fell atop his head, blinding his vision. Tom wiped his eyes. Rejection smiled, belched a rot and straightened.
“Silly,” Dolly footed him, “you can’t kill rejection. Grow up. You’ll need to; your wife’s divorcing you when she returns. Taking full custody.”
The beast heaving above bent back to Tom. Running its nails gently along Tom’s midsection, he smiled. It gazed into Tom Ford’s face a moment longer, smiled, and stood. Dolly, whoever she was, took Rejection’s hand in hers and, together, they walked on down the dark alley.
Copyright © 2012 by Gary Smothers