Photo by Ilona Panych on Unsplash




Eduardas Pečiulis

A wrinkled man with a broken nose started shouting at the woman. His eyes were clouded and stale from long usage of alcohol. He sneered at her, showing his brown, uneven teeth. About the government and their ways, about injustice and corruption, and how all of it made him become who he is. And that it is so like-them to offer their bribes to the poor people, buy their admiration and trust. After exclaiming his last words, he gurgled deep in his mouth and spit viscous phlegm directly at the woman’s face. He stormed away, as the spittle dribbled from her eyebrow. She did not raise her eyes from the spot. A few minutes later, another man with a miner’s outfit touched her with his blackened hands, leaving coal marks on her white clothing. He scoffed to everyone that even the rich can get dirty. A couple of women, dressed in old and patched up, yet colorful dresses, started throwing coins at her, yelling that they don’t need freely given money. One of them, a girl who had just reached her adolescent, took a razor and started shaving the woman’s head with household soap. Afterward, slapping the hastily shaven head in rhythm, she sang one of the popular songs, while others joined. A drop of blood followed the phlegm trail on the woman’s eyebrow. They joked that as the big girl tasted ways of their living, now was the time to taste the work. A middle-aged man with fisherman shoes and curled facial hair thrust a number of small fishing hooks into the woman’s fingernails. Another man, with squared glasses, blew a handful of gravel into her eyes. A teenager with blisters all over his face from chickenpox lighted a match alongside her arm until the skin charred and twisted. Despite the pain caused to the woman, only the lines of her strongly clenched jaw appeared during the violation. People flattered that she is doing great and after a hard day’s work she should allow herself to relax. They stuffed her mouth with leftover curd cheese bits and wine from the table making it run all over her body. Then they started to undress her, they even took off her intimate clothes. She was sat on the chair completely naked. Locals laughed at her thin body, they made fun of her small chest and pubic hair. Someone suggested that it was a wonder how people like her bred with a body like that. One young man with stained hair and protruding upper teeth started to touch her. At that point, all achievements and virtues of mankind started to crumb away, as the people became the herd. When it seemed it was over, new people appeared and the cycle continued until there was not much left of the woman, who still kept her eyes locked with the spot on the tablecloth. The stand, during the chaos, was smashed down to the ground face up to the sky. In uppercase characters, there was written: “Everything you see before you is an object, you are free to handle it as you wish”.

The bright vehicle returned to the place after sunset. The woman was found on the ground. She was covered with a colorful bedsheet. A small linen pillow was placed underneath her head. When xenon lights illuminated the place, a hunched figure beside the woman was seen. It shifted towards the light and looked bravely at it. It was a child. A little girl dressed in oversized cotton clothes. A spark of reflected light in overwhelming darkness. With a clay bowl filled with river water and a wet napkin, she was taking care of woman’s scars. The vehicle’s lights continued to glare at her. The same men in black robes exited the car, one of them was wearing a handgun. They pushed the girl aside and took a woman’s body, but the girl kept holding a woman’s hand. They yelled at her to let it go, but she did not listen. She was looking at the woman’s eyes, which were still unmoving. The man kicked the child into her abdomen and she rolled away screaming in pain, yet her eyes were still locked with the woman’s. Until the woman vanished into a vehicle.

The woman survived, but she never recovered from the desecration. Even when all her wounds were healed and her hair grew back, her look was still frozen. Once she was one of the greatest students in her university with a promising career and long life ahead. Now she was just a husk, gossiped by society. People speculated and taught others about this example, about how one can fall. The woman became a speck in always developing, clean society, which glorified one’s success. Some thought it was drugs, others – insanity. In truth, the woman belonged to one of the richest families in the region. The family, which controlled the city, amassed the hugest amount of wealth, built skyscrapers, and created slums around their cities for workers to live in. The family was run by wealthy men and men only, but the woman wanted to change that. Eventually, an offer was made for her. A task, to prove her will. To prove that she would be capable to overcome all the threats opposed to her. Only then she could become a significant part of the business. And so, her task was to become an object. A tool.


Contact the Author @ gardunytis@gmail.com or https://www.fiverr.com/pugnatabula

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