Search

"Face Faces"--short story excerpt

Wednesday 6/9/21

Two men dug up another man they had killed because a new road was going to be built and they didn’t want to be found out.

“What if he comes back and haunts us?” one of the men said. He thought about his own kid now which he hadn’t had before.

“What if I come back and haunt you?” the other replied.

“Why would you do that?”

“Why wouldn’t I? What would I have to lose?”

The man was going to say, “your soul,” but he thought “soul” was a stupid word. It made him think of fish and being insubstantial and flaky. Or not substantial enough.

“Do you think his kid will still have a face?”

“No,” the first man said. “I fucking scraped it off before you threw her in there. What the fuck kind of question is that?”

“I was just asking,” the other man said.


***


A man boiled some water and he dumped it on a girl’s head when she was asleep. The girl was in high school and she was beautiful and popular. The man went to jail and the mom said she was sorry about all of the bad choices she made and she would get clean for real this time, wouldn’t let anyone into their house that wasn’t perfect for both of them. She said the word “perfect” a lot. One of the boys on the football team said the girl’s face looked like pre-cum but she still had a ripping body. “You would know about pre-cum,” a teammate of the boy said in science class during lab when there was more talking. The girl couldn’t have been more than ten feet away at her lab table. She wondered if they thought she couldn’t hear because she looked so different. “Ignore them,” this kid across from her named Myron said. He smelled like yeast but had very well-developed calves.


***


A friend joked to his friend. “We should co-executive produce a docu-series called When Molestation Goes Wrong. Ha ha ha,” he texted. Later on the phone he said, “Don’t show my texts to anyone. I’m just being funny.” Then he added, “Wait, how about a campy, modern vaudeville revival/revue called If Molestation Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right!!!!!!!). Hilarious.”


***


A couple women who called themselves chicks were getting drunk. They were super into helping Black people but they weren’t so super into helping Black people a couple years back. But now they had signs and filters on Facebook and one of them had gotten back in touch with this Black chick she knew in college from down the hall her freshman year, though she wasn’t a chick kind of person and had a doctorate. “Do you ever think,” one of them said, “that the real perk of being a racist for racist people is you get to say fun things?” The other laughed. “No, no, wait, hear me out,” her friend continued. “Think about it. They get to say ‘nog,’ ‘niglet,’ ‘spear chucker,’ and ‘burn the coal, pay the toll,’ and good people are left with just ‘systemic racism.’ It’s no wonder Dr. Seuss is bad now. Guy like that couldn’t help himself.”


***


A woman got really angry because this guy in her neighborhood sent her a message on Facebook asking if she’d like him to ‘cum’ over and she cried to her husband. “Why would anyone say that to me?” The husband thought, “Gee, I don’t fucking know, because you strip to your underwear and take photos of yourself working out in the fucking living room and then put it all up on Instagram for fucking thirsty guys who build your confidence?” She was shaken. Unmoored. Rocked. “I don’t know,” he said. “Guys are fucking assholes.” He offered to confront the man but his wife said she didn’t want any drama.