Kevin Tosca

Free Love

                Ingrid laughed.
                Then cried.
                Ingrid laughed and then cried because she hadn’t done a thing with the squirming, drunken slut in the movie theater, not with her and not with any other woman or man she had ever sat next to in any movie theater or theater theater they had ever attended together.
                But she had fucked Philippe on multiple occasions, sucked Juan Carlos’s cock once, ate Astrid’s pussy again and again and again, enjoying it all, but she loved—she WORSHIPPED—Eluard, desperately wanted to tell him about these experiences, share them and these men and these women with him, in loyalty and in love, but now, more than ever, she knew she never could.


                Eluard had confessed how he felt the last time they went to the movies—how he felt every time they went to the movies—what the darkness and strangers did to him, how the hands terrorized his imagination, how they grazed the thighs and pinched the nipples of his mind, created the electricity and complicity, one bold, sly, horny finger more egregious and traitorous and humiliating than the last.
                He had gone on to confess how he longed to turn, stare, scowl, and explode, make unforgettable—LEGENDARY—scenes, but how he suffered silently instead, his eye corners creating the heartbreaking images, his masochistic neurons churning out the preposterous and cretinous feeling-thoughts he could neither kill nor outmaneuver, not even with his principles, not even with his beloved words.
                Theoretically, it’s true, Ingrid’s laughter and tears could have expressed so many things: guilt, remorse, righteous indignation, soul-shaking frustration, the fear that he would leave her.
                Realistically, they could’ve produced more jealous, paranoiac, disgracefully intricate and diabolical scripts in Eluard’s head.
                But theory was for sucker pimps and the reality was this: women’s laughter and tears always reassured Eluard’s heart.
                So, pleased with himself, his confession, and his woman’s laughter and tears, Eluard made sure, from that day forward, to pick obscure films playing at bizarro times in out-of-the-way theaters. He chose neglected seats with cockamamie views so he could concentrate on the art and on Ingrid’s Scandinavian vagina, like he liked to, like he needed to.
                She was one of his first significant enigmas, after all, and despite being forced to take these adolescent and emasculating countermeasures, his faith in Truth and Honesty and Love—L’AMOUR LIBRE, as the harebrained hippies would soon say—did not diminish.

This Is Not a Joke

                My father abused me.
                My mother abused me.
                My uncles, all six of them, abused all six of my aunts who, in turn, abused me when they could find the time.
                My sisters abused me.
                My brothers, even the youngest of them, abused me.
                My friends and enemies abused me.
                My peers and elders abused me.
                My teachers and coaches and priests abused me.
                My grandparents, each of them (time havers, indeed), abused me.
                I’m sure my great-grandparents and the rest of my ancestors would have abused me too, but they were all dead.
                And then there was my town.
                My town abused me.
                And my city.
                My city abused me.
                And my country and my culture and my government—the worst, most depraved abusers of the bunch—abused me.
                I should be pretty screwed up after all that abuse.
                But I’m not.
                Like Jesus, I forgive and I forget because the abuse, promiscuous, is an elementary transfer of energy that makes brooding and blame-gaming futile.
                Such futility doesn’t interest me.
                My interests lie elsewhere.
                I have, in fact, two major interests now. My first major interest is nuclear warfare. I am actively trying to purchase parts from a contact in Delhi. It’s easier than you think.
                My second major interest is bees.
                Killer bees.
                And I will conquer this world with my bees (if not with my nuclear weapons) because I know its secret. The secret of the world was embedded in my unforgettable education, the one swimming in those first sentences up there.
                Within their shores is everything I’ll ever need to know about man and nature.
                Take another look.
                It’s quite amusing, which is to say funny, and I mean funny strange, funny sad, funny ironic, and funny ha-ha.
                It’s fucking hilarious.
                Like the rest of you, I’ll be laughing my way to kingdom come.

Kevin Tosca’s stories have appeared in Bateau, The Frogmore Papers, decomP, Paper Darts, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and elsewhere. Poetry in Motion, a fiction chapbook, is forthcoming from Červená Barva Press later this year. The same press will publish Ploieşti, a story collection set in Romania, in 2019. He lives in Paris. Find him at kevintosca.com.
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