[EDITOR’S NOTE — This insane short story is taken from the Fungasm Press collection I AM GENGHIS CUM by Violet LeVoit. Reprinted here as part of the Indiegogo campaign, now in the last days of its triumphant run! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fungasm-press-official-pre-sale-launch-party]
(with apologies to William Vollmann)
I’m going to whore my way across the Arctic. This will be a complicated trip involving many logistical decisions but the only thing you need to know is that I chose lambskin, not latex condoms, and once I get there I’m going to gut seals and tear out their intestines and make my own sealskin condoms. That is really the most important thing about this journey.
I have high standards. It’s true Arctic pussy I want. I’m not going to squander myself on the way. I’m going to keep it in my pants in upstate, keep it in my pants when I cross the Canadian border, keep it in my pants across Ontario and Quebec and the Iqaluit archipelago. When I cross the Arctic Circle, Katie bar the door. I’ll fuck everything in sight. When I say everything, I mean people, and when I say people I mean women. I have high standards.
Everyone whores their way across Southeast Asia. That’s the cool thing to do. Everyone thinks they’re Hunter S. Thompson on a bender in Soi Cowboy, baptized in the se`ropositive cunt of some Myanmar 8th grader. No thanks. The Arctic is untouched. My dick will find hospitable cushion in velvety Inuit snatch, in slant-eyed tundra unspoiled beneath permafrost. Like a melted Klondike bar, crisp and icy on the inside and all vanilla butterfat in the middle. (They’re all the same gene pool as in Bangkok, anyway. Land bridge and all.) I have packed sticks of butter and mukluks and a carbine rifle. I will shoot caribou to feed the dogs, and I will chaw butter for energy. That’s what they eat in the Iditarod. Full of saturated fat.
I have just crossed into the Arctic circle. The dogs are yelping and hissing, huuuhhhh, white breath in the air. I start looking for women.
There’s this joke about this guy in the Arctic, this hermit. He’s all alone in a little lean-to shack, until one day there’s a knock at the door. Come on out, the stranger says. We’re going to a party. They trudge into the snow. Now, I gotta warn you, the stranger says, There’s gonna be drinking at this party. Fine by me, says the guy. And there’s gonna be fighting, warns the stranger. Bring it on, says the guy. And just to let you know, says the stranger, there’s gonna be sex. Wild Arctic sex . Hot damn, says the guy. So who else is going to be at this party? Oh, says the stranger, it’s just you and me.
No, seriously, people think that joke is funny because of its desperation. That men’s standards are constant and fluctuating and sink to rock bottom in hostile enough circumstances. My standards are unwavering. The need in my balls ticks along like an atomic clock. Other men fear me because I have standards. Other men fear me because I can wait. Men like me, we need a wilderness. Unspoiled by the pissing and wretching and posturing and groveling of other men. I need a wide Arctic like the blankest piece of paper.
I set up camp. I sleep. I don’t even allow myself a wet dream. The dogs whine outside and I purposely tease myself. I see the land bridge of fat gold flesh spread between the wet pink triangular corners of my beloved’s Mongoloid eyes. I see the plush mauve spread of her mouth and the tiny thorn fringe of black bee stinger eyelashes peeking out from the swollen hood of her eyelids. I see the black triangle and the owl eyes of her nipples. Then I go to sleep, undisturbed.
Come out, the stranger says. We’re going to a party. They trudge into the snow. Fuck your party, the guy says. I don’t want anything you can give me.
I pack up camp. I ride. I glide on the back of my sled as my dogs yip and strain and propel me through a flat white void that never changes. My thighs are not sore at the end of day. I set up camp. I sleep. The dogs won’t sleep. They’re hungry. They’re anxious and nippy in that anorectic way. I didn’t see caribou today. They eat tomorrow. I chaw my stick of butter and don’t let them have any of it. I am the lead dog and they need to see that.
I test myself again. This time the swell of her buttocks, the way her thick Eskimo cheeks smush into a sealskin pillow and the ouch-ouch-ouch look of pleasure on her face as I ram her from behind. I don’t even itch when I close my eyes. Gandhi tested his celibacy by sleeping next to nude virgins. I out-Gandhi Gandhi. Gandhi’s got nothing on me.
I pack up camp. I ride. No caribou today. The dogs are unruly. I take out my stick of butter and a dog butts into me below the knee, knocking me back a step. I drop the butter and five dogs crowd around it, ten dogs crowd around them, yowling and squealing. I take out my rifle. I smash the ringleader’s head. The butt slips. He dances away. I can’t kill them all. They already ate the butter. Even the greasy wax paper is gone. I zip up my tent and eat another stick in private. The dogs dance and bay around the outside, their bodies black and sharp like pine trees on the orange nylon. I got the kind of tent that has a bottom sewn in. They paw and dig at the seam. Their nails make a zuh zuh zuh zuh sound on the nylon. I listen all night. Zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh.
Zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh. Come out, the stranger says. Come out, come out, come out. I want your butter. Zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh.
I wake up. They tore the pack to bits, gobbled up my butter in the night. Knocked over all my supplies. Left my matches to leach red phosphorous in the snow. I could shoot one dog and feed them all. Would they eat their packmate, I wonder? Would I? Raw dog meat steaming in the cold. I ponder it. Then I remember caribou and seal and white lardy slabs of whale blubber. Full of omega-3s, I bet.
I can wait for the good stuff.
I pack up, tired. I harness the dogs. They nip at me. They growl at me. I kick them, hard, in the ribs. Their growls punch with the extra air like a bagpipe note, ggggRRggRRRghggRRR.
I ride. The white never changes. The mosquitos are a thick grey fog of needles. Nobody told me about the mosquitos. The whining is unbearable. The sled dog’s asses bob in a sea of fur in front of me. They pucker like a woman’s mouth. If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.
I’m very hungry. I actually don’t know how to hunt seals. Penguins are easy, I hear. Penguins walked right up to Admiral Perry, practically bowed down and presented their tuxedoed necks to be rung. Was it Admiral Perry? Is it penguins or polar bears here? I’m not stupid enough to think they’re in the same place. I’m not stupid enough for a lot of things. I’m still going to faint.
There’s a black smudge on the horizon.
My heart leaps. I steer the dogs.
It’s a woman. A native. Standing over a pile of bloody fish, that two-pronged kakivak fishing tool in her hands. I’m so hungry I can smell the fat in the air, smell the iron tang of the fish blood spilled on the snow, smell the punk musty stink of female skin oils rising from her unwashed furs. She looked like the goddess Nuliajuk. I bet she is hungry for a man like me and kills fish as some kind of hunter-gatherer sublimation for the sex she can’t have. I bet the juice in her pussy is full of omega-3s.
I have a plan. I will not call her an Eskimo because that’s considered pejorative. I would find out if she was Inuit or Yupik, and then I would address her properly. She’s probably a virgin, so I would show her how to tongue kiss, and then give her oral pleasure the likes of which she’d never had. This all before I introduce the concept of vaginal intercourse to her, which may take some explaining. I would explain push ups and jumping jacks to her. Then I would make her do pushups and jumping jacks until the piss inside her was superheated and she would piss on me and it would be the warmest water I had felt in months. My mouth waters. Oh my god, she is the great Whale, the Whale whose offal gives Vitamin A in its liver and Vitamin C in its adrenals and whose voluptuous carcass keeps on giving and giving and giving . . .
“Hi,” I say.
She lifts her kakivak and stabs me in the neck. The two bone barbs rip through my jugulars. One time when I was a kid I punched bottle opener holes in a big economy sized can of V-8 and the thick red juice shot out of the triangles in a solid tomato rainbow, all over the table. This is just like that V-8 can, I thought as I fell backwards and the red rainbow gushed and I couldn’t see or talk or think. It only hurt about 15 seconds later, once the wind kicked up in the cuts.
She took the sled dogs.
As I lay dying I remembered this one party I went to. It might have been at the first college I went to but I transferred out of there after only one semester so it was probably the second one. There were these three girls there and I was striking out with two of them but the third, the sandy blonde in the ice-blue shirt, the one with the tennis racket charm on the little gold chain and the parentheses slouch around the shoulder blades you sometimes see on tall girls with big breasts, the ones that are shy about both, and maybe she was shy about her big tennis arms too because she kept hugging her chest. She was sort of looking at me. I didn’t say anything. I thought she was too tall and I guessed that her breasts sagged and her girlfriends were Asian besides. I should have told her that joke, the one about the two guys in the Arctic and how it’s just you and me. She would have laughed, I bet. I should have said that. That would have worked.