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News & Features » October 2017 » “Monsoon Kiss” by Don West

“Monsoon Kiss” by Don West

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.

This week, a man’s weakness for women reaches a bloody culmination.

Monsoon Kiss
by Don West
Tucson, AZ

I knew the precise moment our relationship went sour; I always did. Tucson was hot. We’d been eating strawberries and chocolate, drinking champagne to celebrate our six month anniversary and deciding whether to purchase a pair of love birds as a token of our enduring relationship. I was on my knees in her living room, hugging her legs to my chest and impetuously ravishing the tattoo below her belly button ring with my lips. As she struggled to push me away, I popped open the first two buttons of her denim short-shorts and basted her smooth, slender belly with my tongue, clear down to the lacy top of her panties. I couldn’t resist the luscious little red heart tattoo that floated there, like a valentine sugar cookie, on her firm flat torso. Her thong was black against the ivory skin of her Irish ancestors. And I could see, revealed through the mesh, her soft, waxed, amber exclamation mark beneath it. The scar tracing on her appendix side only epitomized her true Zen perfection.

Back when we first met in the bookstore coffee shop—she was reading her Bazaar, drinking espresso and eating biscotti—I had foreseen the future. Oh yes, I knew what was coming. It was always the same. Her relentless energy and fervent smile overwhelmed me. And then that face—was there ever such a face?—so cherubic, cocky, ethereal. In the end, it was that body of hers that had sucked me in. I didn’t complain. My perennial expectations aside, our first few months together were non pareil.

I was not perfect and had revealed my basic flaw. I was defenseless where women were concerned. They always had their way with me. There were four failed marriages, several aborted engagements and a half-dozen collapsed relationships attributed to this particular quirk. I was a rug, a pussy, pure and simple. The damage was done. From the moment I dropped to my knees, our relationship went terminal. I’d lowered myself in her eyes.

She grew more powerful day by day. Eventually, she came to regard me with total impudence. I lost weight, while she grew fat—well—not fat, to be precise—plumper, healthier, rounder, larger than she appeared before. When she allowed me access to her body, which wasn’t often toward the end, I noticed that she’d increased her cup size from a perky and respectable C, to a rather ominously pendulant D. She grew more strident with her size, tossing her weight around.

I, on the other hand, wasted away in quiet worry and capitulation and couldn’t stop thinking about what to do to make her content. As usual, I got migraines and went off chocolate, cheese and my medication. I developed a rash on my scrotum; my scalp began to flake rather more than usual. I’d worshipped this goddess with more zeal than all the others combined, forsaking them without reservation. Did she care? The more I tried, the less satisfied she became, especially during monsoon. Tucson monsoon can make you crazy; and this year the city’s hotter and wetter than normal.

I’d wanted a child by her, but she denied me this. We had harsh words on that subject. I wasn’t given to outbursts of petulance or neediness, but she ignored demands and begging alike. Not long ago, when she arrived late one night from an aerobics class, I was sitting alone in the dark. She didn’t see me as she passed through and went up to bed. I smelled another man on her; it was a stifling, repulsive odor.

In that moment, I felt genuine, unblemished, heart-bursting rage. Oh, I’d known anger black as midnight. But until then, I’d never known such crimson desire to murder. I wanted to take an ax and decapitate the beast, spike her head on a pole at the gates of the city for all my enemies to see. I liked things that felt like the first time, gave me strength, supremacy and made me powerful. It was unfortunate, depressing and humiliating that this fury, so invigorating and potent when I was alone, withered like a spent penis in her presence.

But that would change. It had to. When I realized how I truly despised the emasculating bitch, I began to contemplate how serene this world would be without her. As you can see, under the circumstances, there was nothing else for me to do. Oh yes, without a doubt, the time had come—to kiss her sweet ass goodbye.


DON WEST was born in Murray, Kentucky but grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated with a BA from Michigan State University and received his MFA from The Ohio University in Theater Direction, Poetry and Art. He studied the twentieth century novel with Northrup Frye and poetry with Stan Plumly and Richard Shelton. He studied prose with Lydia Millet at the U of A Poetry Center. He has written and published three novels, a collection of short stories and a picture book of his paintings. He has also written an unpublished sheaf of poetry.


Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Oct 2, 2017

Category: Original Fiction, Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , ,