The Offering

“So, you like being a cock sucker?”

The words hang briefly in the air like autumn leaves.  Tumbling into my peripheral vision with flashes of red, yellow, and orange.  They crunch beneath my feet.

I’m slow to reply. “Evening.”

I say this without turning my head.  My pace steady.  The rainbow boa draped around my shoulders kicks up in the breeze.  Goosebumps on my arms.  Loud laughter from the bar I just left meanders its way to me and vanishes.  I cut down an alley.  He follows.

I don’t bother to look behind me.  I already know the face.  Sharp cheek bones.  Thin blond eyebrows below blond hair cut close to the scalp.  Eyes narrow and red and resonating.  The symmetrical transubstantiation of unfettered enmity.

“Hey!” he yells forcefully through clenched teeth.  The footfalls grow louder.  Increasing in frequency as they splash through puddles of water.  Animosity made flesh. “Where you going, cock holster?”

A flair for the dramatic.  He does this once a week.  Standing on the corner a block away from Sodom and Gomorra.  His version of foreplay.

I wait.  Preparing for the perfect moment.  Timing is crucial.

“You deaf or what?” I hear as I pass a dumpster that smells of rotting meat.  “Faggot.”

“No different from you,” I say over my shoulder with a smirk.  Each word evenly spaced like a metronome.

He halts at the dumpster.  “What the fuck did you just say?”

It’s almost too predictable.  A tinge of pity surfaces.  I squander it.  Drown it.  Push forward and turn down a street littered with a few derelict cars.  I focus on a tall church made of ancient cracked granite poised at the end of the street.   The cross of steel, made red with rust, perches overhead on a crumbling steeple.

“Say that again you fucking fudge packer!”  The words leap over my shoulders and land at my feet.  I step over them without tripping.

His hand lands hard on my shoulder.  My body turns.  He slams me against a brick wall.  The boa falls to the ground.  Jagged bricks cut into my back.  I smile.

“How about I cut another hole for your fuck buddy?”  A click.  He pulls up my shirt.  I feel the edge of the blade slip pass my belly. ”Or maybe slice off the source of your sin?”  The knife nestles itself between my legs, ready to penetrate.  A dog barks in the distance.

His other hand slowly wraps around my neck, choking me as he pushes up against my body.  His cracked lips linger near my ear.  His breath smells of cheap whiskey, that acrid smell of charred fur.  “God hates fags,” he says slowly.  The words warm my neck.

I push my hand down, wrapping my fingers around his wrist like a snake around a trembling branch.  I whisper the words do it.  I push into him.  His eyes widen.  The blade clatters at our feet.

I can feel his hard-on grinding into me.  His breath becomes shallow and rapid.  My back is now covered in scratches from the brick wall.  My tongue tempts the skin on his neck.  He closes his eyes.  I reach behind my back.

“Forgive them father,” I say softly into his ear, looking up at cloudless sky made black, “for they know not what they do.”

I shove him away.  He stumbles back.  The gut full of whiskey has slowed his reaction time.  He just stares at the barrel as I point the gun at his torso.  The slide on the pistol kicks back.  A single piece of hollow brass dances at our feet.  Rolling past the knife.  The limp boa.

He grabs his side.  Life trickling through interlocked fingers.  Eyes wide and white and static.

I aim at the wet spot on his neck left by my lips.  I pull the trigger.  He collapses, folding over himself into an inert pile of flesh-covered bones.  Blood seeps into the cracks of the sidewalk—communion for the empty street.

I tuck the gun into my waistband and pick up the boa.  Brush it clean of dirt.  Drape it over my shoulders.

A few colored feathers—red, yellow, and orange—land next to him without a sound.

I continue toward the church.  The rusted cross is now missing from the steeple.  It lies flat on the sidewalk at the base of the granite building.  I step over it without tripping.

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