Posted on November 13, 2009


(I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. See also my weekly blog entries at Virtual Writers, Inc. This is an excerpt of an in vitro novel “Bloody Management” only. Unfettered, unedited, but not dispirited. From chapter 10, “Flu”.)

Ms Barebones was implicated in Nicholas’ earliest conscious oedipal fantasies and longings for touching a fully grown woman’s everything everywhere: the small, vulnerable place between her breasts, the less vulnerable but highly arousing tiny yard around her nipples, her slighly rounded neck where the black hair ended and before her dresses, which seemed endlessly transparent, caleidoscopically so, and, of course, the forbidden but ever so sweet space between her legs where he assumed her bush to be just as black as the hair on her head. Alas, Ms Barebones, who wore heavy perfume, which infused and poisoned the air in the classroom exactly where Nicholas was sitting, staring up at her, for example when he dropped a pen to get a peek at her legs and the shirt, on the off chance that said shirt was riding up her legs in that very moment, was married, married to a brutish-looking man about three times the size of Nicholas, whose physique instigated envy as pure as sunlight. The teacher was picked up by her husband unusually right after class so that there was never even an opportunity for Nicholas to speak to her with some excuse in hand. The man’s name was Elmer and he waited outside the classroom looking like a half-god, in summer wearing as little as possible to show off his broad, hairy chest. When Ms Barebones flew from the room, he opened his arms wide, engulfed and led her away instantly, not without pinching her bottom as Nicholas observed on more than one occasion.

Why was it that public school teachers such as this goddess were not also instructed to instruct students, excellent students like him, hungry for knowledge of any sort, in taking the first steps towards becoming men, towards embracing their masculine selves? Nicholas felt that the world, society, state and school were depriving him of a great opportunity.

The other students responded to the charms and attraction of Ms Barebones with hostility. Only Nicholas had the bravado to speak up for her and speak of his adoration for her body, for her flowing movements…and was made fun of in return. And one day, everyone except Nicholas was filing out of class very quickly and the last boy locked the room right in front of Mr Barebones eyes and took it with him, disappearing into the crowd on the corridor. Mr Barebones outside, but Ms Barebones with Nicholas inside.

“Well, what do you know”, Ms Barebones said and sighed. “They locked us in. Rascals.”

Nicholas’ legs were jelly-filled tubes. He was still sitting down but if he got up, he surely would simply fall over, perhaps even fall on his teacher and he’d have to hold her thighs or pull her down to him on the floor, the hard stone floor…

“Darling”, they heard Mr Barebones’ muffled voice from outside. “These bastards have locked you in and there’s no key here. I’m going to go and get a spare from reception!”

“You do that, Jim”, she purred, and Nicholas died inside at the sound of her voice, which, in this moment, seemed reserved for him, only for him. The presence of her husband standing outside fuming, was immaterial. She was his! The boys had undoubtedly meant to embarrass him – they’d no idea how much he enjoyed himself despite the pain of feeling like a giant carrot. There was another reason now why he couldnt get up even if he’d wanted to.

“Listen, Nicholas”, she said, “isn’t there another key somewhere here?”

Nicholas knew where the other key was. “I don’t think so, Ms Barebones”, he lied. “But I’m sure your husband will be back in no time.” He sincerely hoped this wouldn’t be the case. Various scenarios flashed through his head, all involving a sudden panic in the school and the necessity for him to rescue Ms Barebones, who’d then end up in his arms outside, holding on to him, whispering ‘oh – Nicholas – dear’ while her husband stood by, helplessly, the older one clearly defeated by a younger, stronger stag.

Ms Barebones interrupted his daydreaming by coming closer and sitting in the chair across. She crossed her long legs and let her skirt ride up freely, obviously feeling relaxed because of the absence of a room full of drooling boys. She felt, Nicholas was glad and also sorry to notice, safe with him. And why not. He was the bookish type with glasses and a sunken chest to which he mostly kept books huddled. He shot glances, he did not look straight at people. Ms Barebones, on the other hand, felt pity with Nicholas. She thought him a nice, calm boy with a good foundation for the study of language if not the application of it. She liked his writing style: it was a little contrived and overheated, but what else could you expect from this age. Ms Barebones, whose first names were Iris and Maria, had sailed through the years of her female awakening with closed eyes and legs firmly pressed together, opening them only at the behest of her now-husband, Elmer Barebones, who had made his wishes known to her most forcefully and without giving her too much choice in the matter. She had, in a way, flowed from her own childhood to her own womanhood without stopping along the way for a good, holy scare, a shake through and through, a shared shake, something you can build on for the rest of your lives…so that, in these minutes with the adoring, and adorable, teenage Nicholas Herbert (yes!) Dart, she was unconsciously breathing some of the heart poison she had avoided half-willingly because she had been just too cute and adorable herself and because Elmer was around at the right time.

Elmer! He didn’t have that first name by accident. Elmer didn’t run to get a key in that moment, he calmly walked and on his way, he flirted with every girl that he saw. He’d reached the age where he was beginning to get unsure about his effect on women, and he’d always bolstered his ego by a victorious, over-effigious attitude towards women. When he found Iris locked in her classroom, some small hidden-away part of his heart, made of a common sort of stone found commonly only on a group of islands near the Scottish coast, jubileed and leapt. Not only did he not go straight to reception, he went out first to light a cigarette, wanting for snow, light snow to cover his tracks. There was no depth in his story so far, but who knew what lay ahead.

Meanwhile, Nicholas was having the chat of his life with Ms Barebones. They sat too close, school was over, appointments were looming, but both held the same piece of fateful string in their hand and were spinning it merrily. Iris, for now she was Iris, sixteen again, was laughing at Nicholas’ silliness and even admiring his cool a little bit: here he was talking to his woman teacher like a young man! And here she was, not running from it (that the door was locked and that she couldn’t run was a minor detail) but letting herself have a little pleasure. Nicholas was spooning her while sitting on his swollen balls. He wasn’t thinking of sex, he was actually having it, having it off with Ms Barebones, and though nothing ever happened after this time, fifteen, twenty minutes tops, he always remembered it as the moment when he’d lost his virginity.

Right now, right here, however, he was still sick as a dog and wondering if he should see a doctor. That would’ve been easy: a doctor from Rumania had her practice right below his flat. He’d met her in the hallway. She was small and shapely, with thick brown hair, large eyes and straight set, bad teeth. Eastern European teeth, the kind you cannot buy but have to be born to have, the kind that these women wear with pride, and no American commercial or product can deter them, because the light reflects on those teeth in a wicked way, or at least that’s how it appeared to men in the West. Nicholas thought this doctor, Ravenna, had her eye on him. She’d offered him vitamin shots, amino acid cocktails, anything homeopathic “to boost your immunity”, she said.

He’d written a short, short story about this woman Ravenna. About her filthy, poor beginnings in the Carpathian mountains, her flight to the West, followed by vampires, because she’d been promised to a vampire prince but preferred to live a true life. She’d become a doctor but, because of her heritage, she was addicted to letting blood. Her blood testing records were legend in London. But it was all in the name of science.

Nicholas put some clothes on, sweat pants, polo shirt, trainers, threw a scarf round his neck to top off the cool that was oozing from his demeanour, and went downstairs. He looked through the glass and saw, out in the road, looking up at his appartement, the old tramp from the park. He shrank back, fled upstairs, followed by that uncanny smell of lavender and unwashed feet, slammed the door, ran into the bedroom, threw himself on the bed and pulled the duvet up over his face. Then he fell almost instantaneously into a deep sleep ridden by nightmares, pursued by merrymaking ghosts.