a tale for the really grown up – with thanks to Laurie Anderson


You expect cold, snow-laden winds, whistling through the pines, not a warm summer day with bees casting shadows the size of hornets on the blinds. And the itch comes. It comes sudden, unbidden – erotic, terrifying, perverse, immense. If it were tobacco craving, you could distract it with work or food; if it were junk withdrawal you could scream, go begging or thieving the money to score, but it’s more than these. Like a command that cannot be disobeyed, ‘Ten’shun!’ or ‘Hands up!’ or ‘Strip!’. You have to scratch. You HAVE to scratch. While the hair, once placid and flat, close to your skin, stands up and grows. It grows all over like a rash, longer and longer, filling your clothes, stifling, erupting until you have to expose it to the air, to feel it lift and move, cooling the fire on your skin. Your tongue catches on your teeth – bigger now, forcing your lips apart in a snarl. Then you howl, whether there’s a moon or not. You howl your need, your lust, your demand:

On a day like this, lost to convention, morals, decency, you go out to find some game. Others can’t see it, except for your gliding motion, your lupine smile. The rest is hidden from their simple eyes – your fangs, your claws, your appetite. There are possibilities everywhere, driving you crazy with hunger, making you drool with desire. Which one shall I take?

You see the one – sweet, round and full of life. Breathing softly. It looks at you with curiosity. Your eyes sparkle with interest. It smiles. You return the favour. You approach and circle dance, seeking to unravel it and find the soft spot … where to bite, when to move, how to pin it down, to rip and chew, swallow lumps whole, lick your lips with joy, sink your jaws right in and feast! Holding it close so you can smell and taste it all!

Oh, the smoothest skin! Oh, the hot body! And the meat. Oh, the meat!