CW: Assault We were seventeen and sex was our weapon.  Seeping hormones and lust through our sweat glands under itchy Abercrombie and Fitch sweaters, fragrant with the smell of Secret. We wore clunky, rust-colored Doc Marten sandals. Militant. We were radicals rebelling against society, the status quo, our parents, Mrs. Duncan and her outdated Sex Ed curriculum with textbooks that told us to remain chaste, quiet. This is what we told each other. Sipping Bud Light from cans in Lily’s basement, beer spills pooling at our feet, shoulders shaking from each laugh we could not contain. Burnt hair from overused flatirons arcing through the air. Six c-curved spines in a huddle, lionesses asserting our dominance reveling in the details of our exploits from the night before. And the night before that. Sex in cars, and on the high school’s concrete tennis court. Sex on the hill by the bleachers, in the watchtower, and side by side in the hot tub where we locked eyes when the boys’ backs were turned. Wink. Adrenaline coursing through our teenage bodies, an endorphin cocktail of defiance, feminism, and surging energy exploding between our legs. Powerful. We rejoiced in our independence. We wanted this.   But not this. This I did not want at seventeen. Yet somehow, my mouth is around this man’s fully grown penis. His huge palm presses into the crown of my head while the other hand grips just below the shaft, six foot five frame fully erect, back arched like a conqueror. Kiwi strawberry lips barely touch the head. My limp arms dangle from a body that does not belong to me. Sharp nails dig into clenched fists to let me know I am still alive. We are in my dining room. All the lights are on but no one is home. Cole’s just coming over to finish up, my mom tells me that morning, eager to return home to a fresh coat of paint. I am standing, bent at the waist. The smell of paint is suffocating. Still drying, white smears on his faded navy blue pants, crusted white on the tarp below my feet, masking the oak floor . Maybe it was the white musk we used like honey to lure our conquests closer and closer until smack. I caught the wrong bee. A wasp, I am larvae. Did I perk up my ass when I walked by him like we did to the other boys? I don’t remember. My memory is a pile of blurred negatives and partially-developed rolls sprawled out over the paint-stained floor he forgot to clean up before he left. — Stacy N. Ross is originally from New York, has lived in Arizona, Italy and South Korea, and is currently living in northern California with her husband and young son. When she is not writing, you can find her teaching English to high school students in San Jose, traveling, hiking, and drinking coffee. Although she has been writing for most of her adult life, this is her first publication. You can find her online at, or tweet her @sn_rossitto. Artwork by: Todd Trapini

Hunter and Prey

by Stacy N. Ross

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