A Fragment

by John Humpal

A man, exhausted, lies upon his stomach, lies upon a bed. The bed lacks head and footboards; it sways at the slightest movement, like a scaffold in the wind. See the infant beside him? She spasms in her drowse, a conflict of desires: sleep? or eat? or something else, something more complicated? For now, sleep, or at least repose, has the upper hand. The infant jerks as the bed sways.

A man, thin and not overly long, only half dressed, rolls his hips, pushes against the mattress. He thinks Why not? and slides a hand down his shorts. His fingers close around a limp cock and, still hip rolling, squeezes. Lightly at first, fingers varying the pressure, he squeezes and kneads until hard and his movements grow rhythmic (the infant coos, fists flail, drop, breath leaves through the nose, enters through the nose). Behind the man's tight eyes flash pictures of heavy-breasted women, apple shine of buttocks, blue of the vein in a white arm. He can almost feel the hand around his throat, the taste of metal between his teeth. Bearing down now -- almost finished -- bearing down, bringing out chirps and squeaks from the old mattress springs, almost done, won't be long now. The infant beside him -- mewling, pewling -- begins to awaken (Not yet! the man, never stopping). His hand around his cock tires as he pulls and squeezes faster, insistently. His hips press hard against the bed and the infant flings arms out to break a fall that is not coming, but the man doesn't notice this. He pushes and squeezes and pushes until -- ah! and ah! again. Jism pools in his shorts and he makes no more sound than steam escaping from a pressure valve. But the child beside him has sharp senses. Her nostrils widen; he knows she smells him, his burning. Her eyes, now, are on his hissing mouth. She lets out a cry, sudden and loud, and the man, spent, his hand and wrist hot and weak, rolls over and off the bed. He pulls his shorts off and uses them to wipe himself (licks cum from his palm), then, grinning, scoops the baby up and brings her to his chest. What, awake already? He carries her to the kitchen and, while the sink fills with tepid water, pushes the nipple of a bottle between her lips.

A man, nearly naked, slides an infant into a sinkful of water. With one soft, smooth hand, he laves her with tepid water: her fat belly, plastic legs, her round shoulders and doughy neck. Water rivers down from the crown of her head and she sputters, winces and squeezes shut her eyes. Must she cry now? She must. The man, humming or maybe even singing, cups more water in his hand, rains it over her face. Slowly, gently, he lowers the infant through the water's surface, feeling only a little resistance.

Copyright 1995
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