In His Own Image by Alyssa Morris


Alyssa Morris loves veggie burgers and strawberry Jell-o. She loves good music and bad television. She has a cat named Goose. In 2006, she was nominated for the GCACWT (Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers) award for undergraduate fiction; her selected short story won first place. This is her first publication. She is now a reader for Carve under the name Alyssa Cooper.

Somebody is fucking with his dreams. A dark-haired temptress, a beautiful cliché. She is fucking with his deepest thoughts, and she is playing with his reality. Sometimes he can’t tell if he is awake.


I am going to find my maker, my faker. This can’t be real, don’t you see? You and me. The stars and sea. All the bullshit in between. It can’t be real.


Avery dreams of vomit. Chunks of bread turned to dough again. Orange splatters of soup, pumpkin disintegrating. Creation in reverse. Wads of opaque mucus, almost nothing left. Avery dreams of a lover catching her vomit. She wants to know that kind of love. She fucks and she fucks. But Avery only dreams of vomit.


Can’t you help me? Can’t you save me? There’s more than this. Out there beyond the blue sea that separates you and me. The sea and the stars are bullshit, can’t you see? The sea is drowning me and the stars are going to burn me. Can’t you save me?


He fucks the girl from behind. Pulls her long dark hair, wrapping it around his fingers. Tugging with each thrust. One. Thrust. Pull. Hard. Two. Thrust. Pull. Harder. Three. Thrust. Pull. Cum on me. Cum in her dark hair. Cum on the small of her back. Cum on her round ass, sliding into the crack. Cum everywhere.

She turns and laughs at him. Cum all you want, big boy. You still can’t save us.

He wakes in the morning alone. Plaid boxers and tourist t-shirt. No dark-haired temptress. No beautiful cliché at his side. No smell of sex, pumpkins burning with grass.


You did this. You did this and I’m going to find you. Do you understand that, faker? Maker, I’m going to end you. Fuck me. Fuck how you want. Fuck me differently than you are.


Avery is bored by the dinner. Another man, another fuck later. She eats as little as possible. She worries of the vomit later. Medium rare steak choking her. Glazed carrot weighs her stomach. Yellow bile before she can be done. Pounding red heart.


Do this to yourself. Feel the pain you gave me. I’m giving the pain back. You refuse to save me. Please save me. You could. Give me the happy ending. I want the sunset not the sea. You won’t though. I’m going to find you.


He walks as in sleep. Every woman in front of him—the temptress. Girl beside him—temptress. Unknown female—temptress. She is thin. Hips and spine define her body. It is her dark hair, though. He feels it between his fingertips. White cum in dark locks. Cum she allows to dry. He searches for her as he walks, but he knows she was never there.


Can you feel my temptation? Can you feel the beauty you hide? Can you feel your demise? You will. Wait and you will. I will make you feel. You are going to share in my betrayal. I’m tired of your dreams. I want to fuck your reality.


Avery dreams of the vomit. She always dreams of vomit during fucking. She wants it from behind. Avery can feel the vomit landing in her hand. The hard chunks of steak. The orange pumpkin insides of the carrot. The thick yellow bile. When Avery dreams while fucking, she dreams of the reach around. She dreams of her fuck understanding the reality of her spine. The reasoning of her hips. She dreams of the love that will catch the vomit. Fuck her from behind and reach around for the vomit.


Such foolishness. Did you think you could fuck with me? I asked you to save me. I tried to be merciful. But I am you. The dark parts you want purged from your body. But I am going to purge your soul.


The dark-haired temptress. His beautiful cliché. She is all he can see now. Therapy and medication provide no aid. Almost as if she is part of him, only broken. Her face is always broken in his mind. He dreams of running his hand down her spine. He dreams of the hardness of her hips against his own. He dreams of her dark hair between his fingers. He knows not where to turn.


I know just where to find you. I know where there is no escape. I know where you will go. Because I am your shame. I am your victim. I am your end. This I know, and I know where to go.


Avery enters the cathedral. She is not Catholic, but she feels the guilt he has given her. The saints stare. Mary glares. The crucified Jesus rolls his eyes. Avery sticks one finger into the holy water. It is clear yet sticky like pumpkin guts. Avery runs a hand through her long dark hair. Strands stick together from the holy water.

Avery walks to the third pew where a man is seated waiting for confessional. She sits close enough for intimacy, far enough for recognition. The man glances up. He does not see her lips. She has no eyes. There is only the darkness of her hair. It is me. She takes his hand. Her fingers intertwine loosely, seeming in disgust.

Avery stands and he follows. Past the condemning saints to the restroom in back. Avery leads him into a stall, and he locks the door behind him. She is naked now. The clothing disappeared as the door locked. She bends over the toilet. Her hands on the side of the lid, her pussy swelling and exposed. He unzips his pants and enters her, beginning with his hands on the sides of the stall. Is this a dream? She sighs, sorrow dripping from the sound. There was never sound in his dreams. He thrusts three times before wrapping his hand around her hair. Avery begins to vomit in the toilet. He does not notice. She is only bones and pussy and hair. She is nothing. He pulls tighter at her hair. He wants strands when it is finished.

Avery turns, her hair still imprisoned by his hand. She vomits onto his face, the pumpkin insides dripping from his eyes and nose. He releases the hair to wipe it away. Avery grabs him and forces his head into the vomit-filled toilet. He struggles, but she remains in control. Avery has control. She holds him until his body goes limp, vomit suffocating him.


You thought you could control me. You thought you could abuse me. But you gave me your dirty desires, and I won. Those dirty desires were meant to be killed. Now I’m your maker, your faker. I’m no longer fucking with your dreams. I fucked your eternity.