Those women and his wife entered the coffee house and sat down. The girls’ day out shopping always ended at Yeoli’s. It was a gentrified coffee house on Banks Ave. It used to be a rundown storage facility. This was a smallish city, an old town. Pete sat outside Yeoli’s in his pickup truck, not directly in front, but down a short distance a little past the red brick trim. His wife couldn’t see him through the front glass.
He knew she was in there yakking it up with her girls, laughing and gossiping. He knew she talked about him with these women. She told them their secrets. He had heard hints of it. She talks to them about how he can’t get it up and about how he can’t get her to orgasm. Ever. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
Goddamit I try! Pete smacked the pickup’s steering wheel with his fist. It held solid, a tough truck. Hanging tough matters. Trying matters.
He confronted her about this gaggle once, this moon-addled group and the talks they had. He asked her straight up to divulge her conversations with her circle of women. She refused! Kim had crossed her arms under her breasts, lifted her chin and told him “No!” She said he was paranoid. He could accept that. He knew he could be paranoid and right at the same time. And he was right.
A plan formulated, and he rummage through his truck. He looked behind the seat of his pickup. Grinning about his good luck, he dragged out his old high school letter jacket. Further rummaging through his hunting stuff turned up his old ball cap. He got out, shook the dust and debris off the old jacket, and donned the cap. He went to Yeoli’s side entrance, sneaky as he could, and slid onto a stool at the bar close to his wife and her friends’ table.
“He’s making the rounds,” Clarice said. She was a tall brunette older than Kim by a couple years. “An evening after our Wicca moon circle in March at our place, he came to my door. After Mark was asleep that night, it all went down in the spare room. We couldn’t wake up Mark!” They laughed. “I’m telling you…,” she said and leaned over. Clarice whispered. She talked to the others, looking from one to the other bent over the table for a long two minutes. Pete couldn’t hear. The girls gasped. The girls laughed. They leaned back red-faced and mouths agape.
He stared straight ahead content with the bits and pieces. He did not want any of them to see his face, but he did risk a glance from time to time.
“For two hours?” Kim, his wife, asked. Pete heard just fine. She was the reason he was there. He ordered coffee and pie. Pete thought his Kim was the prettiest of them all. She had short, raven black hair and it hung to the front of her chin when she angled her face down. He loved her hair.
Clarice leaned in again. “I never had it as good with Mark,” she said. Pete heard her, too. “Mark is good for one little snap,” she said snapping her finger, “but Cernunnos, oh my God!” Clarice rolled her eyes.
“God is right,” Sherry said. “Being Wiccan has opened me up, I mean opened me up! I couldn’t orgasm before our circle meditations, and before Cernunnos.” They laughed. Sherry was a short red-haired woman, curvy. Her face was freckled. Sherry leaned in and whispered. The girls laughed out loud. Sherry held up her hand to let them know how long he was. Kim raised her eyebrows. Sherry leaned in again and whispered. They howled. Pete picked out the words, “pussy, ass, everywhere, such a fantasy, such a turn-on.”
The girls sat in silence. Kim fanned herself. She asked, “Leona, when can I expect him?”
“Ah! When does The Great God Cernunnos come your way?” Leona asked. She turned to Clarice. “I must meditate and check the proper channels. Patience! He is in great demand.”
Leona motioned for them to join hands.
The girls joined hands and bowed their heads. “Hail Cernunnos,” they said low. They raised their heads and laughed.
Leona, the High Priestess or whatever, talked about another circle with the all-men’s Pagan group under the stars in the forest.
Pete had heard enough. He slid from his stool and slipped out the side door.
Later, Pete and Kim had the fight to end all fights. Pete accused her of everything from kissing the devil’s ass to fucking all the men in the woods. Kim told him he was fucking crazy. He ranted and threw things. He did not raise a hand to her. He broke things, but he did not hit her.
Still, it was violence and she threatened to call the police. He calmed down and she opened the front door and pointed. He gathered clothes and shaving gear in a suitcase and threw them in his pickup. They both cried. She told him he needed counseling.
A week later Pete sat in his pickup down the street from the house. Pete worked the wipers every so often because of the misting rain. The lights were off. He sat in the dark. He had talked to Mark, Clarice’s husband. Mark didn’t want to involve himself in anything as foul as spying, but he did tell Pete the girls were going out this weekend. It had to do with the Wicca and the moon cycle, Mark said. He remembered the conversation.
“C’mon, Pete. The girls do crafts and light candles. They sit in a circle and meditate, you know, back to nature stuff. They’re always moon this and moon that. What’s the harm?”
Pete didn’t give a hearty shit about the moon. He did give a shit about his wife frolicking around in a circle with half-naked men in the woods. He watched the house for an hour, but the garage door never opened. The house was dark. He dozed off.
He jerked awake. The house was still dark. His head was on the driver side window. He stretched and checked his watch. It was one a.m. “Fuck it,” he said, giving up. He reached for the key in the ignition.
A dim soft yellow light came on in their upstairs bedroom. He knew the light. It was her tiny reading light on the headboard. But it was odd. The light shook. He knew what it was about. The base of the light had a touch sensor. Often when they made love, a hand touched it and it lit. As the bed shook, so did the light. The light shook right now! The God, or whatever phony posed as a God, was up there fucking Kim!
He got out, fumbled with keys, found his house key, and trotted down the damp asphalt street.
The seal around the front door tore with its familiar soft ripping sound. Inside the foyer, the house was dark and the chill from the central air enveloped him. The house was cool and dark, but it was not quiet. His wife screamed in the throes of orgasm. The bed bounced.
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP it pounded on the living room ceiling.
He whispered. “Not her. You can’t have her, too.” He clenched his fist. He ran to the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife from the wooden cutlery rack on the counter. He ran back to the foyer and up the stairs. If this God or whatever can achieve a hard-on, then it has a heart.
He turned the bedroom door knob and rushed in with the knife thrust out in front of him. “You are…”
Kim lay on the bed with earbuds in her ears, and she bit her lower lip as she thrust her chin toward the ceiling. Her hips were off the bed as she thrust to the beat. She had three fingers sunk deep into her well-waxed vagina. She synced the beat with her left hand, thrusting a dildo deep in her ass.
“…masturbating,” Pete said still jutting out the knife, dumfounded.
Her order had arrived. There was a long box about four inches by four inches square, and over a foot long on the carpet beside the bed. It was open on one end. The top of the long box was transparent plastic, and along the bottom in broad white letters were the words, THE GREAT GOD CERNUNNOS.
Kim jerked her head toward him, snatched off her earbuds, and slipped out the black dildo. It slipped out and slipped out and slipped out. It shook when the penis head popped out of her asshole.
“Get out of here you sick, twisted paranoid fuck!” She threw it. The long, thick black dildo swapped ends as it flew and smacked Pete longways across the mouth.
He jerked his head to the side. “AAAGH! It’s shit! I got your shit on my lips!”
“Get the FUCK OUT!”
Pete dropped the knife and ran. He left the room and the house at a full-out run and didn’t stop until he was back at his small apartment.
The police came to his apartment an hour later. Reporters got wind of his attempt to knife his wife and turned it into a big story. A couple days later Kim dropped the charges and he was set free.
Pete and Kim didn’t speak afterwards. Pete went to counseling and anger management classes without telling anyone, even Kim. A year later, the divorce was final. He gave her the things she wanted, the house and alimony. One morning his carpool stopped in front of his apartment and he was gone. All his things were still in there, but Pete and his pickup had vanished.
No one blamed Pete for looking for a fresh start. When you go a little bit crazy in a smallish city, when your mugshot hits the paper, the road back never ends. Women come in from shopping and sit around at Yeoli’s. They drink coffee and often talk about Pete. For real.
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