January 27, 2010

W(h)ip Wednesday: Punishing Kate

I've been playing around with the piece for a few months—I tend to dip in and out of stories sometimes. When an editor is cracking a whip over me, I have a far easier time finishing my works-in-progress than when I have control of the whip and the WIP myself!

This is an excerpt from a story in progress called "Punishing Kate."

Patience is one of my only virtues. Maybe this strength comes with the fact that I have had to wait for nearly everything I’ve ever wanted. Nothing has ever come easy. Is this why I don’t like Sonia? Men fall into her lap. Instructors trip over themselves to hear what tidbit of wisdom she has to offer. But today, all I had to do was wait until she left for class.

Her diary was exactly where she always kept the book. Sonia would never think I'd snoop. She lives so much on the surface, she never stirs her toes in the water to see if there’s depth.

I sat on the edge of her bed, my hands shaking as I found the latest entry. Jules had taken her to dinner, but not to a restaurant, to his house. That was smart of him. Sonia has such restrictive eating habits. There are few decent vegan restaurants in the vicinity. He’d poured wine, which she accepted, even if she didn’t take a sip. Why had she gone to his place? From all the previous entries I’d read, Sonia had never gone home with a man.

Her own words answered the question for me:

“He was a gentleman, and so handsome, and I loved the way he spoke. His words were eloquent as he described the text we’re reading.”

So what had happened? Sonia bored me for two paragraphs as she described her own feelings about the motherfucking text, and then there it was. A word leapt out at me:


“He said I was so beautiful, but out of control. The way I had to move when I spoke, pacing, like an animal. He said he wanted to tie me down, so that I couldn’t move, and then he would see—we would see—what I had to say.”

I put the book down. I knew the ending already. She hadn’t let him tie her up. But I was trembling all over at the thought that this man was so attractive, so intelligent, so kinky, and so unable to read the fact that Sonia was not the type of girl he was after.

All year, I’d watched different men discover this fact for a variety of reasons. Sonia was like a coveted chocolate from the center of a heart-shaped box—but once you bit in, you found you’d made the wrong choice. Too much nougat. Too many nuts.

I re-read the part about being tied up again. And again. Then I put her book back, exactly where she kept the journal and went to my own room to touch myself. I'm good at this: a skill I rarely brag about. But then I thought of him. He wouldn’t want me to touch myself. He’d want my hands tied, so that I couldn’t move, so that we could see what would happen. Could I come without any touching at all?

I shut my eyes, I spread my legs. I thought of Jules.


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