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Just One Kiss


Image by Nsey Benajah

     Most people would say that I’m beyond lucky. I call some of the most beautiful places my home on French Polynesia. Island paradises where I watch the eastern bright, blaring sunrises and purplish, golden western sunsets under the coconut palms’ swaying branches. 

     The golden rays of the bright star can’t seem to distract the longing I feel in my heart, the drive and unrelenting quest to touch another, to embrace all that they are in my kiss.

     That’s the thought that consumes my waking hours...Just one kiss, please. Just one taste...

     Coming from these islands means I’m smaller than most, often overlooked because I don’t carry the weight of my brethren’s deadliness. I don’t have the vibes of being a dominatrix. I don’t think my islands can bring that kind of response with the smell of vanilla and pineapple, rum, and coconut oil wafting through the ocean breezes. Maybe I just don’t see the point in coming out claws out and hissing, on guard all the time.

     Being an islander, a Pacific Islander at that, comes with its own sense of pride. I live on land created by fire and water, by the chaos of waves and time and death. Thousands have perished over the rocks and coral surrounding me, even from the fruits and branches that provide peace and shelter to those who call this place home. Our coconuts are just as deadly, if not more so than any shark that swims in our reefs. 

     Death is part of our lives at all times on islands. Death from the sun strikes its highest with illusions of warmth while draining you of the very life force you breathe. It crashes against the shores in a delicate pattern, calling upon our ancestors who did not make it beyond their time, lulling you to sleep as the hermit and coconut crabs come out to feast upon the sand built from dead coral. The cycle of life from death surrounds us at all times. It promises a reminder amongst the constants that nothing lasts.

     I wonder if times it’s why the hunger for connection, the bite, the danger of the chase comes to me more than other times. It ebbs and flows, depending on who I’ve come across. There are those who I instantly become bothered by, raising my defenses, my armor to stop them from trying to get closer to me. Others who bring out my own fears and insecurities, paralyzing me in place as my mind seems to just curl into a ball and play dead to avoid sparking their attention or interest. Some can say I’m too picky, waiting for the right one to come, but I’ve hungered for this all my life.

     Just one kiss... just one bite... they’re the same to me. That’s the rumor the people spread about me anyway as I’m the only black scorpion on these lands... and my bite feels just like a kiss they say.

     I promise, it won’t hurt that much...

Victory Witherkeigh is a female Filipino author originally from Los Angeles, CA, and is currently living in the Las Vegas area. Victory was a finalist for Killer Nashville’s 2020 Claymore Award, an Honoree for Cinnamon Press’s 2020 Literature Award, and Wingless Dreamer’s 2020 Overcoming Fear Short Story award. Her work has appeared in both online and print literary magazines and genre fiction publications of horror and dark fantasy. She has her print publications in a horror anthology, Supernatural Drabbles of Dread, and a literary short story in Overcoming Fear, through Macabre Ladies Publishing and Wingless Dreamers.

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