You Or Someone Like You, from The Rumpus
Raymond did not say much. He wrote several stories about dead things. Every living thing that could die and had EVER died on earth, it seemed: bugs, raccoons, zebras and bunnies and people–they all became an undead version of themselves. And pissed off and blood-thirsty versions at that. They would come alive (or become undead, as the case might be) and kill living things (again, all living things). But/and the NEWLY killed things would stay dead.
When we workshopped one of his stories, I asked (I was trying, after all, to help) why the newly-killed people and rats and warthogs and kittens and Lhasa apsos (and so on) did not then become part of the dead/undead menace of killing machines that walked, crawled, slithered, flew or undulated the earth of his stories. It seemed like a valid logic question.
He looked really angry and shook his head like I was a moron and he spoke in a quiet voice that made it sound like he was fighting tremendous rage. Like Billy Jack talked before he kicked the living shit out of a group of yokels. “That’s not how this world works.”
And every one of Karl’s stories were first-person narratives about a guy who was from, at various times, several cities in Europe. He was a coke-dealing bartender in Copenhagen who had logged, yes, a Mick Jagger-esque number of sexual conquests over the years. He was later a coke-dealer/bartender in a hip joint in Paris, and, well…you get the idea.
This main Karl-esque narrator, though, had another character trait that showed up in every single story he did: He wanted to fuck his brother’s daughter. That would be his niece, who was fourteen years old. Every story had the narrator finding ways to visit his brother in Paris and finding creepy ways of being around his niece and, when his niece (thank goodness, for her sake) was not around, he would–again, in every story–slink into her room and go through her things and sniff her panties.