Author: Guede Mazaka
Elle bites and claws and kicks. When she's in a really shitty mood, she tries to knee as well, as if there's anything important down there for her to hurt. She should know that the surgeons carved out all that years ago, but then, she's a dressed-up ignorant bitch like that. Put her in fine clothes, spritz perfume on her and shoe her with pretty Italian leather, but she still has no class.
"You killed him. You killed him. You killed him."
It's a constant refrain of miserable shriveled rage, sprinkled into B's hair and rubbed into her skin and marked into her flesh like a penitent's ashes. The little bits of invisible gray itch, low and warm and irritating, and she wants to say, I know. I loved him.
Except she can't admit that to Elle. Vernita or O-ren or maybe even Sophie, that harridan accountant with the weak spot for blood-stained kimonos, but not Elle. Not the woman that's mirror-blind now, unable to see the world for what it is but perfectly capable of building up translations and reflections and reversals into a matching flawed mental reconstruction. She always was a little psychotic before, but now she's just plain crazy. Her nails are constantly going ragged bleeding, but B usually ends up with a sore jaw and deep long gouges down her back before she manages to get Elle into a manageable position for treatment. Her tongue's as sharp as glass, tracing dissection lines on B's skin that wait for days before blooming open and raw, and her hot mouth tastes exactly like rotten limes.
But she whimpers, too. When she's jerking her bound wrists, trying to wrench out the bedstead, when she's spreading her legs and cursing her pleas, when she's limp afterward and pressed always too close, tangling as best she can around B so it takes ages to leave. Elle throws back her head, shoves her throat at the ceiling and squeezes out this desperate small crying sound, and for a moment, B can see tears from those torn ducts leaking out. Revenge isn't cold; it's salty and runny and crusts to white crystals on parched lips.
And the name isn't Bill. No, they save him for the terrifying descents into hell-cat rage during the in-between times, for the flung recriminations that B keeps thinking stick out from her skin like darts. But when Elle has her bandage-blunted fingers moving caress-slow over B's face, the name is something else.
The Bride, B, Beatrix-they're all names for different people, and sometimes in the dark, with her baby girl sound asleep around a huge teddy in the next room and her godawful hellish blind bitch drowsily muttering poison into her throat, she feels her skin strain against all those pressures. One body, too many ghosts.
And someday, she fears that she will open up like a flower and let loose her box of evils on the world, and the first against the wall will be that little darling with Bill's sparkling eyes. So she keeps Elle close-closer than friends or enemies or anything-because Elle is hollowed out with death and Elle has room to take it. She can hold the grief like no one else, because she sees like no one else.
Or so B hopes. Once in a while, Elle will run a jagged nail around B's eye and coo: "Keep feeding off me, girl. Someday, you'll remember you like this. And I'm going to laugh."
B never has an answer for that. Instead, she rolls over and stops up that cruel mouth with her own, hoping that that will be enough.