March 24, 2014 Comments Off on Sathington v. Willoughby By Saul Lemerond
Part of me wishes Willoughby wasn’t so handsome and filled with azure, because I like this shade of blue. It’s fetching, almost cerulean, really. It’s hard to assault a man so striking, as color flies from him in beautiful and iridescent gouts that sparkle and glow under hot lights and vibrate in reaction to the screams of the crowd. There’s a sense of wrongness in walloping such a handsome blue out of such a handsome man. Something about the feeling of it is off, but then again, there is the money I’ve been promised.
The crowd loves me because they love seeing the beauty in my violence. They think Willoughby deserves this viciousness because of his insults, and not because of the hefty payment I’ve been promised.
It’s the other way around, really. Certainly, I’d say he shouldn’t have said the things he said because they were spiteful and unwarranted, but that’s got nothing to do with his current pummeling. It’s about my purse. My money. Words are words and azure is azure but money is money, and this purse is mine.
What Willoughby said was daft, and there’s a part of me that would like him to admit that, but I suppose his loss of blue is admission enough.
He said I was a ‘lazy brute,’ and it wasn’t just that he said it, it was that he said it like it was true, and not like it was just something he thought would make me cross. No, he said “Sathington is a lazy brute” in front of a large crowd like he was sure of its veracity.
I don’t understand how anyone could say that while believing it. If he’d denounced me for my avarice, there would have been some distinction there, but his current accusation is baseless and petty. It’s fine, though, Willoughby can inspect my eyes for brutishness as I’m beating the blue from him in glowing spouts, like the emancipated water from some broken and alien dam.
My elbow meets Willoughby’s temple and there’s a sharp crack and there’s a great deal more blue that’s a shade lighter than cerulean and more glow and more cheers from the crowd, and it doesn’t matter because what matters, of course, is my purse.
And it turns out that Willoughby, for me, is hardly as challenging as a morning’s exercise. It’s fascinating; I’ll beat this man until the entire arena’s drowning in the beauty of it, and folks will all leave satisfied thinking they know the score. But doesn’t money always tell the truer tale? Isn’t it honest in ways beauty can’t be.
I keep punching and wonder if anybody watching can tell us apart anymore because Willoughby’s blue has saturated us both. I blink it out of my eyes and wonder how much he’s got left. I move my head in close to his, so he can be sure what color this lazy brute’s eyes are.
© 2013 Saul Lemerond
Saul Lemerond currently teaches creative writing at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College. His work has appeared in Dunesteef, Temenos, Waterhouse Review, and elsewhere. His book Kayfabe and Other Stories is available through the One Wet Shoe Press. He lives in Michigan where he writes ham-fisted satires while giggling to himself. His hands get cold in the winter.