Night Swimming
Len Kuntz

I tell him he has to be the first one to take his clothes off. 
He smirks while staring at my chest.  It's chilly and I know my nipples have puckered, so I cross my arms over my breasts.
I keep my eyes on his jaw, study the long line of it, feeling frightened and thinking how much I'd like to break his face.  There are heavy rocks around us.  I could pick up a boulder and crush him.  He's wrong about me.  Not every girl plays.
He's tight and corded, so cocky that I get a picture of a cobra in my head and a taste of acid in the back of my throat. 
The wind kicks up broken blades of grass and they cling to his thighs like my sister's blonde hair.  He did it with her the summer before, only they went night swimming afterward.
"You're not going to comment?" he asks, hands on hips, tilting his nakedness, movement happening around his groin.
I shake my head.
"You're so shy.  It's cute."
He's got bags of words.  My sister fell hard.  When he got tired of her, he didn't even use a cliché.  Instead he said she smelled like cheese and made him feel greasy. 
Sisters don't always tell each other everything, but twins do.  We did.
She gave me the details, then drove off the cliff the next night, plunging into the black sea, trying to make a statement of course, but he didn't even come to the funeral. 
Now he wants me.  It's incredible.
"Your turn," he says, grinning double sixes.
"Can you maybe just not look while I undress?"
He laughs a little chugging sound.  "I'm going to see it all anyway."
"Just, please turn around.  Sit on the edge of the rock."
"Are you going to give me a backrub before we jump in?"
It takes an invisible fist punching me to be able to say, "I might."
He likes this.  His pupils swirl and he actually tongues his lips before turning and crouching.
I've brought two.  I need to be sure.
"If you want, you can leave your underwear on," he says, facing the ebony lake.
I'm not scared.  I expected to be.  Maybe it's all the times I saw this happening in my mind. 
I raise them over his head, my head, and in one conjoined motion plunge the knives.  There's a tug, then a convulsion that sends him tumbling.  It's beautiful really.  His skull hits the edge of a rock, then his back does and the dagger sinks deeper.
I watch the final drop.  There's a spool of air, of messy flight.
But I want to be the one to dismiss him, so I turn and walk.  When I hear it, I feel my skin flush. 
The water explodes, violent and violated.  Even it doesn't want him.

Len Kuntz

is a writer living in Washington State.  His work appears widely in print and online at such places as The Legendary, Word Riot, The Literary Burlesque and also at

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