When a Maenad…

by Allison Floyd

This is part four. Read the suite from the beginning.

When a Maenad Goes on a Date

She will order the most expensive item on the menu: prime rib, bloody in the middle, and many bottles of Cabernet. She’ll rip the hunks of meat with her bare hands and lick the blood from her fingers. The flowers you gave her will be scattered on the floor, a ruined pile of shredded petals. When dessert arrives, she’ll crawl across the white tablecloth and rake her talons through your hair.

At this point, the maître-d will intervene, and you will be asked to leave.

You’ll attempt to extricate your maenad’s claws from your hair. She is, it turns out, stronger than you, and snarls at your attempts.

“We have to leave,” you say. “People are looking.”

And they are. All eyes are on you, and they are not approving.

“Fuck them,” your maenad says. “And fuck me.”

You try to maintain your composure.

Your maenad drags you to the parking lot. You’re barely in the car before she attacks you, and soon your shirt is in tatters. She rakes her claws down your chest, and when you look down, rivulets of blood are streaming down your torso. She kisses you with such violence that it may as well be a punch. In spite of yourself, you find yourself kissing her back. Before you know it, you’ve blacked out.

When you come to, you’ll be in your own bed, with no idea how you got there. Every inch of you will hurt. You’ll wonder what has become of your maenad. As you sit up, a few errant leaves will fall from your hair. You’ll notice dirt beneath your fingernails. Memories of the forest will wash over you: the full moon, the animal howls, the teeming thrum of insect life. The smell of blood, desire, and terror—intoxicating.

You’ll stagger out of bed and get ready for work. You’ll think of all that life could be. Crawling along in gridlock traffic, you will remember the night you were wild. You will remember the night you were free.

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