James Armstrong

Savasana: Cálido y tenue reposo
Photo Credit: Bindhi Mehndi

Let’s play a game called Dead. Here’s how you play:

I lie here absolutely still and pretend to be dead. I won’t move a muscle, just lie here, hardly even breathing, like I’m dead, you see, but you don’t have to worry, because it’s only pretend.

Now you get to do anything you want to me, because I’m dead after all, and I won’t feel it, even if you do it a million times.

See, here’s the hard part. I have to lie completely still no matter what you do to me. You can pinch me or bite me, kiss my lips or caress my thighs, but you’ll always get the same reaction, because I’m dead, you know.

If you want, you can even walk away, leaving me completely alone, and I’ll just lie here, waiting for you to come back, only I’m not really waiting for anything, just lying here in silence, dead.

But you get to have complete power. You can beat me or embrace me, abandon me or stay at my side. Go ahead. Kiss me. Touch me. Stick your hand down my crotch. You can even make love to me if you want—I won’t mind.

Because I’m dead, you see. Isn’t this a fun game? I can’t wait to start. I’ll lie here and be dead, and you’ll be sad at first, and you’ll cry over my body, and then holding me in your arms, you’ll softly kiss my neck, and then my chest, and then your hands will roam down to my ass, and you’ll give it a squeeze, and then kiss me hard, but then you’ll be angry when I don’t kiss you back, and you’ll storm out of the room, and I won’t know where you’ve gone, and when you come back you’ll have alcohol on your breath, and you’ll start ranting and raving, only I won’t hear you because I’m dead, and you’ll kneel down by the bed, and you’ll kiss my hair and stroke my cheek, but then you’ll get mad again, and you’ll hit me—hard—like you mean it—even though we both know it’s only a game—and then I’ll pretend like it doesn’t hurt, and if I’m really good I won’t cry or call out, but just lie here like I’m dead, because that’s how you play, you see, and then you’ll feel sorry for me, and hold my limp body, and apologize for what you’ve done, and then it will start all over again.

Won’t that be a fun game? Only now, we can’t possibly begin to play, because, you see, we’ve been playing all along.

James Armstrong’s stories have appeared in 34th Parallel, Literary House Review, Midwest Literary Magazine, The Main Street Rag, Iconoclast, and The Rockford Review. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Email: jstanleyarmstrong[at]

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