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By Scott T. Hutchison

Something Juccee Appleyard possessed a necking talent for--

back seat, back in the day. I’d park my parents’ car in darkness,

and that’s where she began breaking me down: kisses, light

tongue-tip licks, gentle nibbling on my lobes. Years later, there’s |

rough-binding gentlemen surrounding me: they want money

from my pockets, believing that spring-loaded poultry shears

nipping off thin strips of auricle might encourage me

to deliver a monthly tribute from my store’s cash register.

But I’ve survived explorations of the helix, the concha, lobule

and intertragic notch—and that’s where I return to

when it all goes red, feeling Juccee’s electric tantalizements

boil and ferment me inside my own raging steam coils—

I have been hardened and cidered in the finest, most-teasing ways,

leading up to the whole apple yard. These punkass street-g’s

believe they’ll obtain--with threats, through force and pain--

some semblance of me shaking down in easy windfalls.

Juccee, in the car seat darkness, delighted the senses, proving

how flesh and temptation can sweetly render a man resistance,

down into places he need not defend. So when there’s a snip

of cartilage, a snick-snap of outer ear flap—I am

far away and smiling. They vow to further amuse themselves

once my head’s shorn clean. But Juccee played and tickled

beyond their dreams; I possess a divine knowledge:

I can survive and savor any bites taken out of me.


Scott T. Hutchison's previous work has appeared in Liquid Imagination, Reckoning, Weirdbook, and Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. New work is forthcoming in Illuminations, Steam Ticket, Fiction Southeast, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.


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