When Jennifer goes hunting, she wants flesh. Meat packed in jeans and leather, with a gasoline taint. Jennifer's children stay with their grandmother, who plants anxious kisses on her daughter's cheek when she walks out of the door. Mother's eye tic and the bent line of her frown are measures of her silent disapproval. Jennifer is to collect the children on time, so she won't be late for Sunday matins. Jennifer stakes out her territory in mini-skirted obscurity. The corrosive acidity of one-too-many-a-drink and the unwanted attention of a predator with the wrong sort of eyes do nothing to slow her. The metallic drum of desire beats in her head, and Jennifer makes her choice. She stumbles into steel-cold air. The mist of her breath mixes with a beer-cloud dancing on the stranger's lips. He grapples with elastic as they fall into a taxi. They kiss in hungry gasps. The whale of desire threatens to swallow her whole. Cigarettes and forgotten vomit. Unwashed fever and the sausage tang of his breath. The driver clicks to Bollywood beats, unaffected by the gasps behind him. At Jennifer's house, the sheets are cold, but everything else is burning. They make it into the bed just in time. When it is over, Jennifer leaves him comatose in the unkempt bed. The linen is damp with sweat and disappointment. She tiptoes over discarded clothes and toys to fix a drink, to fix her life. Her fingers are slick with the essence of another human being. Jennifer's lips tremble as she lights a cigarette. The buzz of her laptop stirs the air, as she taps the keys. She updates her profile, states what she wants in a lover. She dreams of escape, and hopes.
Bio: Nod Ghosh's work features in anthologies: Love on the Road 2015 (Liberties Press), Landmarks (U.K. 2015 NFFD), Horizons 2 (Top of the South NZSA), Leaving the Red Zone (Clerestory Press, N.Z.), and in various other publications. Nod is associate editor for Flash Frontier, an Adventure in Short Fiction. Further details: http://www.nodghosh.com/about/