There was an elasticity to Camilla’s arctic mouth that crunched and spit out anything anyone else said better than any icemaker I’d ever come across. Her biting insults cut across the teeth-gritting tundra of her lips into the bulls-eye of her numbed audience’s ears like frostbite.
“Really,” Camilla would say, after I’d just come up with a great joke to impress the girl next to me who was giving me the eye. “Amazing that you can even comment on any subject, Jack, when your lack of brain cells make up for your…wait what was it?” Then her wintry whites would show through, she’d laugh, “Oh, yeah, suck down another shot of that grain alcohol you love to drown in, so the girls can find out what else you lose besides brain cells. You know, a vertical construct to work with.” Camilla would point her index finger in the air, then roar like those piercing, insufferable winds that lock-jawed my face into some kind of remote, bleak desert and I’d sit there, next to what I imagined was a sultry, soon-to-be-yours-for-at-least-a-week date, who turned quickly from torrid to frosty, now staring through me.
“Don’t bother trying to get away,” Camilla would snicker as I tried to slip another girl past her and out the door, hoping again for some steamy action. The piercing nip of Camilla’s bulldozing blizzard blasted over me as I mumbled to myself, “Why the hell did I ever go out with that frigid beast?”
--Meg Tuite's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Berkeley Fiction Review, 34th Parallel, One, the Journal, Monkeybicycle and Boston Literary Magazine. She is the fiction editor of The Santa Fe Literary Review and Connotation Press. Her novel "Domestic Apparition" (2011) will soon be available through San Francisco Bay Press. She has a monthly column “Exquisite Quartet” for Used Furniture Review.