Hooked – Inspired by Nam Le ‘The Boat’

Then he saw her. Trying to light a cigarette, her face caught in the brief flare of a struck match. Her clothes clung to her frame like tight webbing, dancing flames flecking her soft curves with amber light, the golden skin of her legs melting into the darkness. The warmth of the fire oozed into Jamie’s skin to meet that of the alcohol, and his cheeks were red as he watched her. Her top showed off her breasts. He thought back to their kiss; how strange it was that the same mouth belonged to the girl who laughed nonchalantly within speaking distance from his lonely cove. Her skirt was hitched up to show too much of her legs, and he found himself on his feet wobbling towards them. Her friends whispered to her and looked at him with knowing eyes, then sashayed away as she sucked him in. She waited, but it was impossible to speak: his head filled with the unsteady sloshing of choppy seas as his brain throbbed. Her skin glistened and shimmered under the moonlight, translucent and quivering like the cool sea on a calm day.

Hips pressed sharply against the stretched fabric of her skirt. “Hey” he drawled, his voice issuing from his mouth like the slow and seductive smoke that formed a hazy screen between them. Her eyes held him fixed him to the ground. Jesus. He tried not to stare at her mouth; he wanted to taste her again, run his lips over the smooth skin of her neck, kiss the slight ridges of her shoulder blades. The animal in him responded in its own primitive way, and his body tensed. But the boy in him was different: he wanted to roll with her under covers, laugh with her as the salty ozone of the sea sunk into their lungs, tickle her and make her smile, protect her. Did she laugh and smile with Dory? Her cheap perfume ensconced him in its noxious sweetness as he leant into her. The scent of her skin and hair made his spine tingle. “Wanna go somewhere?” she said coolly. “Somewhere, just you and I?” He grinned widely, his lips inches from the soft skin of her neck. His brain screamed no, but his mouth said “Yes”.


Her hand felt good in his. A perfect fit, he thought. He could barely see as she led him down some winding track away from the music and smoke. The image of a boy Dory had put in hospital reared up from within the swirling mess of his head. She wasn’t worth that; nothing was worth that. But that was easy to say in the dark, when he couldn’t feel her body pressed to his, couldn’t see her big eyes, couldn’t hear the silky chords of her whisper in his ear. It pierced him to the core and lodged there, unable to be removed; wounding him like his hook had once done to a gull. Would he put up as much of a fight as the bird had? She was dangerous in a different way. He wondered if he too would be paralysed as her weapons of choice caressed him, easing in their delirious and intoxicating barbs.

“You’re awfully quiet back there.” Her voice hovered in the blackness. The steps had stopped. He moved towards the sound of her breathing, confused and excited. Suddenly her hand was lost, slipping from his like water. He froze. Where were they? Where was she? Had she set him up? They were all watching him: all laughing, snickering and watching. Was Dory here? He braced himself for a punch, some huge fist rocketing out of the silence towards him. His senses screamed as he squinted hopelessly into the night. He needed to yell and thrash with nervous energy. It was sick. How could she do this? Out of nowhere, hands clasped his midriff, arms wrapping around him from behind. Thin fingers scratched at his chest, and he felt warm lips brush the side of his neck. Then, like some wispy apparition, they were gone again. Jesus Christ, she was playing with him. “Fuck” he said, his voice splitting the silence and violating the unspoken rules of their game.

He took a step forward, into her domain. There was no way he could catch her if she didn’t let him. A note of her fake, flowery fragrance teased him. She came from nowhere again, her hands on his back this time, the smell of beer in his face. She ground herself into him, and he could feel her warmth. His hands itched to pull her even closer, but he couldn’t. It was wrong. Wasn’t it? She pulled back off him with frustration. She leapt and pirouetted as a matador would court a bull before resting a blade between its ribs, obscured by a cloak of darkness. What a bizarre sport, he thought. The only clues to her position were a glimpse of moonlit flesh or the light, suspended for a brief moment, in floating puddles of hot breath. “Carn” she said from behind him. How had she gotten behind him? “Don’t you want to play…?” she said slowly, dragging the last syllable out. Was that what he wanted? To be led in the dark for a few clumsy and lustful moments of haste? “Jamie..?” She spoke with a slight waver. He turned to her, and she ran a single, claw-like fingernail over his chest as she moaned unsurely. Her perfume now assaulted him. This wasn’t a game anymore. He felt his body react, but his mind was repulsed. This wasn’t about a relationship at all.

He felt acid rise in his throat. She sensed his hesitance, and pushed him back so that he tripped. The earth felt cool and soft beneath him. His limbs were heavy and she was on him before he knew it. He was stunned as she straddled him and leant in for a kiss. Her lips were flush against his, desperate and pleading. She needed him; she fed off his lust. Pictures of swollen and bruised bodies swum above her head in the darkness as her lips trailed onto his chest. It wasn’t Dory who had done that to them, it was her. She was the dangerous one. Her lips brushed against his stomach. Fuck. “What are you doing?” He said roughly, sitting up. “What? You know…” She said, confused, her eyes skipping over his body. “Oh. Don’t worry, just lie back” She said, her lips curling up at the sides. She went to move, but he stopped her. “No, I mean really. Stop” he said, a bit more harshly than he intended. “I think I better go”. She knelt before him. “What do you mean? Don’t you want to…?” she said slowly. She wasn’t used to refusal. “Alison, you’re dating Dory. This is so fucked up.” He tapered off to a whisper towards the end.

He only realised she was crying when he saw her body shaking. “Jesus, I’m sorry. I didn’t…” he backtracked. Making her cry was horrible: all guilt and confusion and helplessness. She wrapped her arms round her hollow frame. “You don’t want me” She whispered, as much to herself as to him. “I do. But I don’t want that. Not like this.” She stood and took a few steps away from him; he followed her once more. Even crying, she was still beautiful, but now twice as deadly. What was the saying? Crocodile tears, that’s it. Waiting to take him under. But was this the same girl who had, moments ago, stared up hungrily at him as she kissed his midriff? He spun her round to face him and pulled her in for a hug. She nuzzled her head into his neck, and he felt immediately disarmed. “Alison…” The name came out in a sigh. Her sobbing slowed, and her hands travelled up his back. She let out a purr, and he softened in her arms. Rushing blood warmed his limbs as she tongued his neck, rough but nice. Her nails came out again, making him arch his back and gasp involuntarily. Maybe he could just lie down and let her have him. It would be so easy. But when he looked down it was the same ravenous expression. As if she would consume him whole and never look back.

“No!” He almost yelled, pushing her off. Her tears hadn’t changed anything. But still he was sorry for her. He still wanted to be with her. She had awakened something within him that he didn’t understand. His head told him to run; to get away, crawl on his hands and knees from the girl whose lips and deep irises he saw in his dreams. He turned before her sweet features caught his eye, and managed to take three steps before she spoke, her voice a line tugging at the hook she had buried so deeply within him.

“Don’t go” she said.

And he couldn’t.

By YouthfulParaphernalia.wordpress.com

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