about the author

Jef Otte is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Copper Nickel, SPIN, Village Voice, and a lot more places you’ve never heard of. He can ride a unicycle. He’s a really nice guy if you get to know him. He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife and two sons.

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a housewife 

Jef Otte

A steed piloted his yacht right up on the public beach. The prow cleaved sand like a spring till. A housewife was adjusting her beach umbrella when he vaulted from the deck, crushing a child’s sandcastle, and conquested her with his gaze. His locks danced in a light zephyr. Sunbeams refracted, dazzling, from his pecs like the white-hot flares of a welding torch. “I glimpsed you from a distance, with the binoculars,” he said to her. “Come, I possess many lobsters.”

The tide raised the yacht from the public beach as the wind lifts a falcon. The housewife waved to her children, Nancy and little baby Doug, fat as a button on his dreamcoat beach towel, while her husband squinted into the sun like he might at a thing broke. That night, they lapped the succulent meat of shellfish with their tongues, and he with his tongue drew her to peaks of mind-boggling delight. She looked upon his turgid dingus. He gathered her hair in his hard hands and folded her like origami—the swan, the crane, the ibis, and many other species of graceful-legged bird—until they melted like ice sculptures into 800 threadcount.

Morning, he thirsted more. But her tender hamclam had bruised like a fruit, and it was also swollen, and she frankly had a hangover real bad. He confessed to her his secret: an obscure medical condition actually rendered his tumid dingus unquenchably tumid, and just if it wouldn’t bother her, could he gaze upon her bahama mamas and rub one out real quick?

At first she beheld with fervor his gleaming sweat, his spasming pecs, his bicep’s quiver. But as the days drifted by in the expanse of sea, under clouds like ambling monoliths, her hamclam never healed quite right and she tired of his ceaseless jerking off. His rippled physique became grotesque. She retreated below deck and snacked on lobsters; she enjoyed scooping them out of their tank and forcing them under the roiling water, the way they shrieked with fear and despair (the steed said it was only air whistling from their shells, but the housewife knew it didn’t matter); she’d crush their armor and shred the flesh of a living thing that, moments before, had lived. Meanwhile, the steed panted over his tumid bologna. Sometimes he called to her: “Come sate my passions!” She found an issue of Reader’s Digest and read it several times.

And when the season waned, he shored his yacht and lowered her to the public beach upon an 800 threadcount rope. The halo of dawn glowed over the dark sea. He sang her an aubade of parting. She waited until the tide rolled in and waved goodbye, and as the sun crested the horizon and the yacht drifted seaward she could see him in silhouette crouched like a gargoyle, still singing and beating the band.

She caught a Greyhound back to Pawtucket and made it home about ten. Nancy and little baby Doug were playing with the cat out back, her husband at the kitchen table working on a dollhouse. He dabbed a thin brush in red paint and fetched a curved line along the round head of a figurine—a smile—and placed it in the dollhouse’s parlor. She sat at the table, kissed his wrist. He picked up another figurine and painted it a raincoat.

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