Theme Parks and Obstacle Courses – a Novel

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Rita’s building reminded Pat of the extra-terrestrial hotel room at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

The light in the foyer rebounded off every surface with an intensity that hurt his eyes. He followed her through the sliding glass doors and a janitor got into the lift with them. He stood discreetly closest to the door, sensing the tension.

Rita scratched one acrylic nail up along the leg seam of Pat’s jeans. All three listened to the thread crackling in the silence, just under the hum of the lift as it climbed.

Rita’s floor lit up; she exited as the doors slid open. Pat followed. She reached into her overcoat pocket and took out her keys, sliding one into the lock. Pat seized her extended arm and twisted it, slamming her bodily into the wall.

He had neglected to account for the possibility of thin plaster and the whole wall resonated like a drumskin. Rita giggled.

He seized her by the hair and pulled her head back to kiss her mouth. She put her arms around him and extended her long tongue like a tentacle. He put a hand up her skirt and felt the top of her nylon stockings, splayed his fingers across the damp heat of her crotch. He yanked her g aside and she abruptly brought her leg down.

“Come on,” she said. She opened the door and he closed it behind them. He tried to grab her again, but she backed away. One wall of the apartment was entirely glass. She moved toward a doorway.

He followed her, into the bedroom. She opened her arms to receive him. Of all the complaints he could make about Rita, she loved sex. The rougher he was, the better she liked it.

“I like your nylons.”

“All the boys do.”

“You dirty slut!” he said, and threw her onto the bed.

“Oh yeah!” she replied, laughing and rolling over, fossicking on the nightstand. He lifted her skirt and broke her G. She undid his belt, pulling down his pants, taking his cock in her hands.

He hardened and as she rolled on a condom, he remembered what had happened with Nat. He faltered. Rita slapped him across the face.

“Come on; be a man and fuck me,” she demanded. Her bottom row of teeth glinted in the half-light. His cock hardened and he paused briefly before he sank his body into hers.

She grunted, locked her legs around his pelvis and ground herself onto him. They fell into the rhythm of their long-established style. He moved and she rode, working against his body. He listed to the shortening of her breath and surely as ever, she came.

The particular note and cadence of her orgasm sank into his gut like a depth charge and he felt his own long, pent-up orgasm unfolding into her, leaking into her body in time with the beating of his heart.

He almost confessed he hadn’t had an orgasm like that in a decade, but stopped himself. Too much credit would swell her ego and then she would be entirely unmanageable. She drew him down into her embrace and kissed his cheek.

She laughed again, the laugh of a winner. As the pleasure eddied away, he felt the sweat crawling between his shirt and his skin.

“Let me up,” he said, “I’m just going to get out of these clothes.” He took off his coat and threw it in the corner. “You got more condoms?”

“A whole box of ‘em,” she said.

**

“You want a cigarette?” she asked, propping herself up on her elbows. Her hair was huge, matted into clumps from where he had gathered it up in his sweaty fists.

“I don’t smoke.” She poked his chest with a finger.

“And you’ve been working out.”

She lit her cigarette and his pupils smarted against the lighter flame. When she blew the smoke gently upward it arranged itself into a grey filigree, as if the dark was two-dimensional and the smoke was printed across it.

“Have you seen your family since you got back?” she asked. From the angle of her head, he could tell that she was looking towards him.

“I haven’t. I flew straight from London to Melbourne.”

“How’s your brother?” The question should have punched a hole in the elaborate reality he had constructed over the course of the evening. It glanced off and away into the darkness.

“He’s alright, I suppose.” He sensed Rita doubting him for the first time. Her silence began to act on his headspace like an enzyme, dissolving the connections he had spent the evening putting into place.

“I heard… I’ve been back and forward visiting my folks in Brisbane occasionally. My brother, he saw your mum…” Pat got abruptly out of bed and reached for his pile of clothes.

The first thing to hand was his jeans. He put a leg into them and pulled them half-on, but had to stop when he realised he was standing on the other leg. “What… are you going?”

“I’m opening reception tomorrow and…” The hole in his story was getting bigger and he felt her suspicion pouring into it like sand.

“I’m sorry,” said Rita, sitting up. “I’ve said the wrong thing.”

“Shit happens – don’t worry about it.” The only way he could salvage the situation would be to lie and instinctively knew that he didn’t have whatever was needed for that.

“When will I see you again?”

“Come on Rita, don’t be ridiculous. We hate each other.”

“We can still fuck though, can’t we?” her eyes twinkled mischievously. Her dark, pendulous breasts stared at him like eyes.

“I’ll give you a call.”

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