Stories No. 21 – Matthew Dexter

That Night We Juggled Lava and Semen
by Matthew Dexter

We were chugging frozen eggnog margaritas—hypnotized by Mohamed Atta’s cockpit recording blasting from our daughter’s bedroom window—when three eggs cracked my noggin till blood poured from my dome piece.

“Nobody move please,” Atta shouted through static. “We have some planes…we are returning to the airport.”

Yolk dripped down my forehead—burnt my eyes.

“Nobody move please,” Atta repeated.

The ambush continued, camouflaged in cumulonimbus, eggs raining through scrambled branches. Illuminated ovals splattered acorns and bird-shit-strewn sidewalk. We nestled into the wrinkled leather of my Suburban, sunroof open.

“Squirrels singing suicide eulogies,” I said.

Our daughter climbed down the dragon blood tree.

“You a terrorist now?” asked my wife, while triple-fisting blenders.

Holly nodded. I inhaled an atavistic whiff of dissipating sex and coconut shampoo and petrichor—converted it into oxygen. There was a diamond ring piercing the cartilage dividing Holly’s nostrils.

“Who did that to your septum?” asked my wife.

“Asiatic tribal initiation?”

“It happened at the mall,” Holly said.

The neighbors were leaning out their windows and creeping across their lawns. We couldn’t hear their voices beyond cherry gapping orifices because Atta was calming the cabin.

“Nice pajamas Mr. Wilson, you adulterous bastard-maker,” I said. ¨We’ll bomb the shit out of your dentist office soon.”

It was weird hollering obscenities, something I had never done. I felt free—in absolute control. Vulgarities fluttered into the void; terrorist talking made my cock hard, entranced my sense of propriety. Hijack the cul-de-sac. Atta was soothing. Static waves cresting beneath an ocean of rhododendrons and inertial momentum.

The pigs pulled pistols in their bacon-colored cruiser as if it were a drive-thru robbery—ordered us to lower the volume.

“It’s a terrorist chant,” I said.

One of the officers grabbed his hips and milked the goat between bellybutton and scrotum. Glaring through yolky eyelashes, he aimed his flashlight at yellow incisors.

“Turn that shit off or we search the crib with canines,” he said.

He holstered his pistol.

“We aren’t freakin’ criminals,” said my wife. “Here wet Pussy, hey o sweet Pussy.”

She summoned her arms upward and the officers aimed their beams through the dust and the orange hairs that curled from her armpits.

“Who dyes that?” asked a pig.

My wife blew a snot rocket toward his boots. Andrew Jackson purred from the dragon blood tree, pounced upon the windshield of rusty cruiser before snuggling into the warm rubber of the tire swing. Holly swaggered toward the house.

“What’s your name?” asked one of the officers.

“Our daughter is an atavistic savage,” said my wife, “and we are yolk iguanas selling pulpy pink lemonade.”

Neighbors were standing with hands on hips, posing on their perfect lawns.

“What’s your deal?” asked the cop.

“Pterocarpus draco,” said my wife.

“Who stabs a hole through their septum?” I asked.

Holly stuck her shimmering nostrils out her bedroom window as the terrorist hijacker fell silent into a cavernous crash of static.

“An Amazon tribe,” said the cop.

“It’s an engagement ring,” I said.

Dogs were barking. Babies were crying. Neighbors were hobbling into their cribs. My wife polished off the blender. The pigs squeezed into their cruiser, sucking bellies inward—they squealed into the monsoon. She wiped coagulated yolk from my forehead. Her armpit hair brushed the blood and drizzle turned to downpour. There was nothing to prepare for our forthcoming eviction, the perpetual plummet to poverty beyond squalor.

“Do you like it Daddy?” Holly asked.

She glowed from the window where moths made love to her silhouette. I watched my reflection dissipate in a puddle of rainwater and caterpillar aura and her piercing, fearing the worst.

“It’s fine baby,” I said. ¨Everything is fine.”

My wife screamed. Blood gushed into bubbling raindrops. Owls dove from falling branches. Karate chopped spouses sunk into sweaty cotton pillows. Feathers stained amber through decades of sweating noggins and nightmares.

“Gonna go into the bush and chop off your clit next week?” my wife asked.

Holly slammed her window shut. I stabbed the watermarked eviction notice from our front door with an orange box cutter. I jogged around the block nineteen times. A percussion of blenders roared inside the house: chopped ice echoing through falling moisture. I tied the tire swing rope to the titanium flagpole; it vibrated above the brass eagle with its wings wide as fuselage. Old glory—her stripes and stars swallowing waning moonshine. My ears were ringing from the drone of a jet engine. I chewed an acorn and tied the noose around my neck, straddled the porch railing with the top of my toes on the shaved plywood as if it were a balance beam. I waited for the first collages of dawn.

“Everything is perfect,” I said.

I tiptoed till my legs went numb with pins-and-needles and warm urine drifted through peeling mildew. I danced between blurred tears till leaves were illuminated orange and robins were defecating turquoise treasures upon evaporating raindrops, and there was nothing more to know.



Matthew Dexter is an American author living in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Like nomadic Pericú natives before him, he survives on a hunter-gatherer subsistence diet of shrimp tacos, smoked marlin, cold beer, and warm sunshine. His stories have been published in hundreds of literary journals and dozens of anthologies. He writes abhorrent freelance pieces for exorbitant amounts of pesos to pay the bills while drinking cervezas in paradise with tourists. He is the author of the novel, THE RITALIN ORGY (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing 2013), among hundreds of short stories. He is memoir editor for Split Lip Magazine and reads for PANK.


Stories @ Digging Through the Fat: Volume 2, Issue 2
February 18, 2015
Photography by: Gessy Alvarez