Your Flesh

Andrew Henderson
Ashley stared at the fruit, so lost in amazement she didn’t comment on its size. The mango’s presence deeply implanted thoughts into Ashley’s brain. “I have everything you want. Take me away from here. We can go to a nice, quiet spot and fulfill each other’s deepest urges.”
“I want you inside of me,” Ashley whispered to herself.
The fruit vendor anxiously awaited her customer’s purchase, so lost in anticipation she could not bear Ashey’s loitering any longer. The vendor’s rage propelled her arms to flail about. Her voice gurgled at the base of her chest, coiled up her esophagus and projected ungodly sounds at Ashley.
Ashley’s face was covered in amusement as the fruit vendor unleashed her frustration. At this point the mango she had intended to buy was worth more currency than any fruit vendor would dare to haggle out of her. Appeasing them both, Ashley handed the vendor enough money to buy a crate of mangoes, but just walked away with the one.
Ashley navigated herself and her newly acquired fruit through the bustling market. Lingering cigarette smoke calmed the tantalizing desires of those who browsed and mingled about the market. Ashley’s presence demanded the attention of those around her. She towered over every person in the market by at least a foot with a contrasting skin tone and a gigantic backpack straddled across her back. Ashley’s presence interrupted nearby conversations as she passed. She was an alien to them. Adding to this alienation, she had not spoken her native tongue to anyone in months; she was gradually departing from the reality she had once known.

Tanzy Maf, The Bearded Ladyfinger

Tanzy Maf, The Bearded Ladyfinger

Ashley’s eyes surveyed the area outside the market in search of a nice spot to devour her mango. She ventured far from the market and gradually began to pick up her pace; accordingly her heart began to race. It was easy for her to get lost in her thoughts and emotions as there was rarely anyone close to keep them in check. All she could think about was the mango. She hustled through the streets, imagining undressing the mango’s skin with her teeth. She pictured the mango’s exuberant yellow flesh, exposed to the unnatural world.
“Is this real?”
Ashley had to look back at the mango in her hand as she raced through the streets. She began to sweat profusely. She had not showered in weeks and it did not help that her diet had steadily relied on cow byproducts for the same duration of time. Her body odor had an expired dairy base with a sharp vinegar accent. It was like a combination of old wooden chest pieces with yogurt past its due date.
People watched the strange woman dart through the streets, intrigued by her odd behavior and peculiar attachment to her piece of fruit.
“What do you think that lady is going to do with that mango?”
“I don’t know, her intent must be perverted.”
Silence spread as Ashley sped past the two men with her eyes fixated on her mango. Frustrated by her inability to find a place that suited her mango, Ashley’s frustration began to leak, making her produce a large grunt.
“What on earth could stray a person away from enjoying such innocence?”
Disgruntled by her pursuit, she settled for the nearest plaza. In only two motions Ashley unloaded her backpack and gracefully dropped to the ground. She sat, crisscrossing her legs, holding her beloved piece of fruit in the palm of her hands as nostalgia encompassed her reality.
She suddenly recalled being in the back of her grandfather’s car. All the windows were rolled down as her face fully embraced the wind that roared through the car. The wind rolled around the car, begging her full attention. “Oh please,” she mouthed.
Anthony James Bibal, Recycled Beauty

Anthony James Bibal, Recycled Beauty

Ashley’s grandfather’s music hummed along to the tune of the car and wind. Dvorak’s Scherzo: Poco Meno Mosso (III) tuned in and out of Ashley’s ears to the fluxing rhythms of the wind. As she and her grandfather raced along the interstate, Ashley stuck her torso out of the window. Her upper vertebral column hooked to the hood of her grandfather’s car while her upper thighs braced to the inside of the car. She lifted her head to the sky, feeling her nose sail through the air. Moved by her overwhelmed senses, she flailed her arms into the sky and projected ungodly songs into the wind.
“What the fuck, Ashley!” exclaimed her grandfather. In two motions Ashley slid herself back into the window and onto his hot leather cushion.
Her grandfather pivoted his torso towards his granddaughter to portray a dramatic concern for his blood, and just as immediately turned back to the road.
“What were you thinking?”
“I don’t know.”
“Of course, that’s because you weren’t thinking!”
“…..” Ashley stared at his eyes through the rearview mirror with her face covered in amusement.
Ashley held the fruit in front of her face with two hands, and gradually brought it to her mouth. She pierced its flesh with her front two teeth, catching its exterior skin with her bottom teeth. She undressed the mango strand by strand. The mango radiated attention. There lay her virgin fruit, begging for enjoyment, exposed for all to see.
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