Marcia’s birthday party

Her friend was a performance artist who gave Marcia a framed picture of her vagina, made with menstrual blood. At least that’s what she told everyone. Later, on the verandah, when everyone else was whacked out on weed and laughing at gay porn, she confessed she’d tried menstrual blood and it didn’t work, so she’d used pig’s blood mixed with maple syrup to make it sticky.

She claimed to hate men but like all ugly girls she just wanted attention. I fucked her to prove it, the bug zapper lighting us up in crackles of blue. I saw she was going to come so I faked my own and pulled out, left her hanging.

Back in the living room everyone’s gaping at some faggot actor sticking his whole fist up another faggot actor’s arse. Marcia clocked me coming in and winked but Derry’s arms and legs were wrapped around her. I kept walking.

Marcia’s bedroom door was ajar. It was a fucking mess, her writing desk the only tidy part. It smelled of her, musty and sour. I lay on the bed and inhaled, finished what I started with her friend, wiped my come on the sheets as a big fuck you to my brother, pocketed a pair of lacy knickers from the laundry pile for later.

I gave her one of those expensive notebooks she likes. Ate fucking pot noodles for a week to afford it. It was early, I had her to myself. All week I’d dreamed of her gratitude; her body against mine, a kiss of thanks. Morsels of hope. She laughed and asked if Derry got a discount for buying in bulk.

She and her friend were in the kitchen, whispers and giggles stopping when I walked through, laughter erupting as I closed the bathroom door. In the mirror I noticed my face was smeared with her friend’s red lipstick, a scarlet stain of shame. It made me want to punch the cunt.

 

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This story appeared on Nontrue in June 2011

10 thoughts on “Marcia’s birthday party

  1. Your narrator sounds charming – I’m sure I’ve met such dreamboats in my time but not having access to the inner monologues of others can be both a curse and a relief.
    It’s probably just me but I got confused with the different she”s and “her”s – it took a few reads to get that the “ugly girl” was the performance artist and that most of the other “she”s were Marcia (is that right?). I think the thing that confused me was that the “Her” that opened the first para referred to a different person from the “She” that opened the second. Initially I thought that the first couple of paras were going to list the main female’s attributes etc. So it became a bit of puzzle and that distracted me from the story itself. However, still very atmospheric and I found I actually enjoyed the truth of the bluntness of the narrator. No artifice, no subtext. Gruesome but it certainly paints a clear portrait of the character. ( …just not in faux menstrual blood)

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  2. Thanks for that. I’ve made a minor edit to make it clear who’s bedroom it is and who’s getting the gift, which I hope helps over all. I was going for an ugly character (although, weirdly, by the end I felt a bit sorry for him for being in love with someone who didn’t return the feelings, and being so angry and inarticulate about it) so I didn’t want to name the poor girl he used.

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    1. That makes a real difference – thought I don’t imagine other readers would have been quite as slow as me. I like the fact that you didn’t name anyone but the object of his affections … it emphasizes their level of importance to him, the fact that he barely sees them as people and more as devices to deal with his issues. Please don’t change that. The ruthlessness and desperation of being obsessed with someone who isn’t obsessed with him is raw and revealing. And the last line brings that home. I’ve gone from thinking he’s vile to feeling a bit sorry for him too. I didn’t quite get (slow again) that Marcia didn’t feel that much for him at first – I thought that she was having a fling with him but not necessarily one that was so trivial to her. After reading your comment and re-reading the story, it takes on quite a different tone. (I clearly should stick to chic lit at the moment with my level of perception!)

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  3. I felt sad for him and thought they were bitches. He was too obvious about her, perhaps (with the gift) and she didn’t care, or maybe she did a little but not on the same level as him. She was happy to humiliate him but was that because of her friend? I am a crap critic cos I don’t know what I’m talking about! Sorry……….

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    1. Hey Jan, You do so know what you’re talking about! I think you’re spot on about the girls in the kitchen. You picked up the different feelings etc. much better than I did. Don’t you dare apologise for not only having an opinion but actually feeling the vibe of piece perfectly. I’m sure Robyn is relieved that my slight confusion is just me and not everyone. And also that she is related to such an astute individual!

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    1. The Siren has spoken. And her word is law in this land of Cyber Literary Brixtonia.
      (So heed her message, Jan of Moon, and may only opinions and no apologies emanate from your keyboard in the future.)

      LONG LIVE THE SIREN! HURRAH!

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  4. This smacks you right in the face with every paragraph. Ugliness painted brilliantly, particularly the ugliness that manifests through rejection and the pain of unrequited love. I love how you’ve shown this reflecting through him, like a mirror.

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