Small Victories

In the drawers, untouched for months, one would make unexpected discoveries. ~Bruno Schulz

The woman calling herself Omphale holds her breath and slowly curls inward until she looks a little like a periwinkle. She can’t move, and she can’t hold this for more than an hour, but it’s useful when other options fail. She’d like to get up to twelve hours, though. Twelve’s a good number — a lot can happen in twelve hours.

“Where you hiding, you little bitch?” Six pairs of shoes pick-pack their way across the floor. “We know you’re in here. C’mon out and taaalk to us.” Their voices are syrupy sweet, mock-friendly. “Oh, what’s the matter? Is the little dyke scared of us?” Bang goes the first stall. They laugh, drawing it out, enjoying themselves. Bang goes the second stall. “We know you can’t keep your eyes off us, slut. We know you think about us when you touch yourself.”

Jesus, she thinks, what a rich fantasy life.

Bang goes the last stall, but she’s safe, tucked away behind the toilet. She tunes out their anger and confusion, lets it wash over her like so many waves on the beach. Yeah, twelve hours is a good goal. Maybe she’ll try to squeeze in some practice this weekend.