My Uncle Edna killed hogs. He came home from the slaughterhouse every day smelling of shit and pig blood, and if I didn't have his bath drawn with plenty of perfume and bubble stuff, he'd whup my ass until I felt his hard-on poking me in the leg.
Like I said, he killed hogs. At night, though, you'd never have known it to see him in his satin gown. He swished around the old farmhouse like some kind of fairy godmother, swigging from a bottle of J.D. and cussing the bitch who stole his man.
"Homewrecker!" he'd shriek, pounding his fist on the table and rattling the stack of rhinestone bracelets he wore on his skinny arm. "How could he want her when he had me? How could he do it, boy?"
And you had to wonder, because even with his lipstick smeared and his chest hair poking out of his gown, there was a certain tired glamour to Uncle Edna. Thing was, the bitch hadn't even wanted his man. Uncle Jude, who'd been with Uncle Edna since he was just plain old Ed Slopes, had all of a sudden turned het and gone slobbering off after a henna-headed barfly who called herself Tina. What Tina considered a night's amusement, Uncle Jude decided was the grand passion of his life. And that was the last we saw of him. We never could understand it.
Uncle Edna was thirty-six when Uncle Jude left. The years and the whiskey rode him hard after that, but the man knew how to do his makeup, and I thought Uncle Jude would fall back in love with him if they could just see each other again.
I couldn't do anything about it, though, and back then I was more interested in catching frogs and snakes than in the affairs of grown-ups' hearts. But a few years later, I heard Tina was back in town.
I knew I couldn't let Uncle Edna find out. He'd want to get out his shotgun and go after her, and then he'd get cornholed to death in jail and who'd take care of me? So I talked to a certain kid at school. He made me suck his dick out behind the cafeteria, but I came home with four Xanax. I ground them up and put them in Uncle Edna's bottle of J.D. that same night. Pretty soon he was snoring like a chainsaw and drooling on his party dress. I went out to look for Tina. I didn't especially want to see her, but I thought maybe I could find out where she'd last seen Uncle Jude.
I parked my bike across the street from the only bar in town, the Silky Q. Inside, the men stood or danced in pairs. A few wore drag, but most were in jeans and flannels; this was a working man's town.
Then I saw her. She'd slid her meaty ass into a booth and was cuddled up to one of the men in it. The other man sat glaring at her, nearly in tears. I recognized them as Bob and Jim Frenchette, a couple who'd been married as long as I could remember. Tina's red-nailed hand was on Bob's thigh, stroking the worn denim.
I walked up to the table.
Jim and Bob were too far gone to pay me any mind. Tina didn't seem to recognize me. I'd been a little kid when she saw me last, and she'd hardly noticed me then, bent as she was on sucking Uncle Jude's neck. I stared into her light blue eyes. Her lashes were clumped with black mascara, her lids frosted with turquoise shadow. Her mouth was a lipstick wound. Her lips twitched in a scornful smile, then parted.
"What you want, boy?"
I couldn't think of anything to say. I didn't know what I had meant to do. I stumbled away from the table. My hands were trembling and my cheeks flaming. I was outside, unchaining my bike from the lamppost, when Tina came out of the bar.
She crossed the deserted street, pinning me where I stood with those wolf-pale eyes. I wanted to jump on my bike and speed away, or just run, but I couldn't. I wanted to look away from those slippery red lips that glistened like hog grease. But I couldn't.
"Your uncle.,.'," she whispered. "Jules, wasn't it?"
I shook my head, but Tina kept smiling and bending closer until her lips were right against my ear.
"He was a lousy fuck," she said.
Her sharp red nails bit into my shoulder. She pushed me back against the lamppost and sank to her knees in front of me. I felt hot bile rising in my throat, but I couldn't move, even when her other hand undid my pants.
I tried to keep my dick from getting hard, I truly did. But it was like her mouth sucked the blood into it, right to the surface of the skin. I thought she might tear it out by the roots. Her tongue slithered over my balls, into my peehole. There came a sharp stinging at the base of my dick, unlike anything I'd felt when other boys sucked it. Then I was shooting my jizz into her mouth, much as I didn't want to, and she was swallowing it like she'd been starved.
Tina wiped her mouth and laughed. Then she stood, turned, and walked back to the bar like I wasn't even there. The door closed behind her, and I fell to my knees and puked until my throat was raw. But even as the rancid taste of half-digested food filled my mouth and nose, I could feel my dick getting hard again.
I had to whack off before I could get on my bike. As I came on the sidewalk, I imagined those fat shiny lips closing around me again, and I started to cry. I couldn't get the nasty thoughts out of my head, things I'd never thought about before: the smell of dank sea coves and fish markets, the soft squish of a body encased in a layer of fat, with big floppy globes of it stuck on the chest and rear like cancers. And the thoughts were like a cancer in me.
As fast as my feet could pedal, I rode home to Uncle Edna. But I had a feeling I could never really go home again.
Poppy Z. Brite is the author of five novels-Lost Souls, Drawing Blood, Exquisite Corpse, The Crow: The Lazarus Heart, and Plastic Jesus-as well as two short story collections, Wormwood and Are You Loathsome Tonight?, and a collection of nonfiction, Guilty but Insane.
She lives in New Orleans with her husband, Christopher. Find out more about her at
"Homewrecker," by Poppy Z. Brite, © 2000 by Poppy Z. Brite, first appeared in Embraces: Dar\ Erotica, edited by Paula Guran (Venus or Vixen Press, 2000). Reprinted by permission of the author.