Those Aren’t Air Kisses (Predator Alert)

Mixed media, 16”x 16” x 3”

K. Johnson Bowles

K. Johnson Bowles
Those Aren’t Air Kisses (Predator Alert)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Raluca Comanelea

Judy stopped smelling like a flower bud, fresh and young. That new blood stain on her cotton undies brought a metallic scent about her, of blood and bacteria, one that only she could smell. The rest of her in-laws, absorbed in their daily gambling and the eternal smell of potato borscht, didn’t pay much attention to the subtle feminine changes taking place in the girl.


Judy fell for tears. Tears became Judy’s drug of choice when everyone else fell for booze and cigarettes that left a sticky feeling on their lower lips. Engine lubricated, she kept on running. Full speed. One of her blue-eyed aunties, recalling her own monthly moon dance, the ripening of an egg, gently knocked on the bathroom door and extended her hand to Judy. The girl grabbed the wool wadding hanging from auntie’s fingertips and quickly figured out a way to break that soft, choppy block, wrap it in toilet paper, and sit it tightly in-between her thighs.


Years passed and periods became nothing but times of adjustments for young Judy. Soon, they caught a young boy in their spider webs. As an infant, his father would hold him out of the window in their third floor flat, throwing cuss words at his wife. The boy grew up to become a young boxer. His mother, taken by cancer at an early age, vomited so much that life itself began to resemble one of those annoying household chores. Once, the fiendish father grabbed his fancy trench coat from the hook and locked the door behind him, leaving her bent over the toilet to spill her insides out.


The young boy boxed at night. During the day, he cooked pizza at a local restaurant, voted best in town, one that Judy started frequenting once her stepfather’s roofing business began to flourish. The boy spat on his ex-girlfriend’s thin crust, together with the whole staff he did, but that didn't stop Judy from dating him.


She deserved it, Judy thought. That bitch. She tried to run Judy over at a pedestrian crossing once. She had no idea that Judy ran marathons in her dreams.

Raluca Comanelea

Raluca Comanelea is a woman writer born in Romania, residing in Las Vegas. She currently teaches English composition classes at UNLV. Raluca experiments with creative fiction and nonfiction, with a keen interest in the flash genre. Her work centers on the deconstruction of Western myths and the dominant cultural scene that pulls the average man into its vortex with an intensity hard to contain. You can connect with Raluca at www.ralucacomanelea.com.

K. Johnson Bowles

K. Johnson Bowles has exhibited in more than eighty solo and group exhibitions and more than thirty publications. She is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA Houston Center for Photography, Visual Studies Workshop, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She received her MFA from Ohio University and BFA from Boston University.

K. Johnson Bowles