Wite Out for the Brain

Wite Out is a registered trademark of Bic Corporation. I own neither the patent for the life-saving liquid nor the characters of this story.

There is a particularly sickening sound when thin joints and ligaments and meet tissue-covered bone in a near epiphany of impromptu violence. It's not the pain, but the sharp echo in a room formerly silence that disturbs. A palm speeds with impulsive forward motion toward an unsuspecting cheekbone and the resulting clap of fleshly thunder stuns the participants. Defying time and space through a stoppage of both, one hand drops while another is raised. One registers the sting of having committed the strike, the other tests the targeted area's new tenderness.

It doesn't hurt much. But it kills all the same.

Like all unplanned events, consequences hadn't been entirely measured. In truth, no evidence existed that actual thinking had occurred whatsoever. But now he thinks fully and it all revolves around curses turning swiftly inward. Some of the vilest profanity is reserved for future leveling at Powell. The now-doomed man had planted that infinitesimal seed, the one that landed in far too fertile soil. The one he'd had no intention of watering. The one he'd spent all day trying to dislodge from his brain.

'Just kiss her and get it over with.'

So went the disgruntled man's muttering after yet another exercise in vicious vocabulary. That they had sparred over the partial remains of something currently indefinable should have shamed them. Doctors lacking respect for the deceased was unacceptable even by Kate's standards. Even if it was only bits of the dead; fragments laying in sterile trays seemed grateful that none of them were ears. Had there been anything in the compilation of an optical nature, they'd have gotten a veritable eyeful.

A woman surprised by romance is a dangerous creature.

Her expression is the embodiment of negative adjectives. Fury at once unleashed is just as quickly reigned in. It is impressive how the fire sparked and then extinguished in the span of a breath. That breath is too short to permit him to slide out of range, however. The slap vibrated the medical instruments beside them. Her hand now shakes int he aftermath, as though having punched the relative of a wall, something he'd been compared to in increasing repetition. The assessment had merit; he feels as thick as one.

Why would he expect this would go well?

A mild throb settles into his face as he considers blaming her for the deed. The darker shade of lipstick, a foreign addition to those lips, could be cited as mistaken invitation. Not that he cataloged her coloring choices. Often. And was it his fault that someone snuck through his gate and buried a seed in his clearly-marked, sign-posted, off-limits mental garden? He certainly hadn't given permission for his fantasies to serve as Miracle Gro. Still, she hasn't yelled. Hasn't uttered a syllable and it is possible this wasn't a good sign. The best killers suffer no compulsion to lecture before the bloodletting. It is possible that he will soon join those unidentifiable fragments.

They should make Wite Out for memories.

But those lips aren't terribly far away and their texture is now a known component. Fearful that he might repeat the mistake if given a chance, he opted for a shrug. Her reaction wasted no time in formation; a conglomeration of disbelief and contemplation of a follow-up smack. Lacking options and nursing a desire to save the other cheek, he uttered perhaps the worst excuse ever pulled out of pitifully thin air for a stolen and unwelcome kiss.

"It's Thursday."