Venus 1975: Isabel and M

Isabel drowned M last night; she locked eyes with him, and water began to fill up his lungs and his everything. A small trickle of water ran from the corner of his mouth. Isabel held his chin steady, so he wouldn't accidentally look away, or slip out of the comfortable art deco chair in her parent's living room they were sharing. Isabel was worried but not too worried. M was full of water and it was his idea.

Last month they were sparring and Isabel was losing. It's honest to fight with your hands, because it's fair, if fair means you're faster and stronger, which M technically is, and Isabel definitely is not. She couldn't hit him, which felt beyond unfair, he was taking so long fighting with his hands that she gave up and fought him through the eyes and he went down so fast no one else noticed and she won. She'd dreamed of dropping someone one like that for so long, looking into their eyes and inspiring the water in them express itself. There's more than enough water (TL note: lit; "deep," meaning ocean water or in the sense of "deep feelings") in a person to drown them. But it's considered quite gauche to use that against someone in match. Isabel was worried about what the other guys would think about her if she did that to them but against M it was less of a big deal. They had known each other for a long time and also M kinda deserved it. Not for anything specific but in a general sense. He wouldn't say anything about it.

They had a rematch, just the two of them, last weekend. And she did the exact same thing when he came in, so close she could feel his sweat. And he didn't relent either, he held on for the part where his stomach dropped deep and he lurched towards her through it, and she dug in and fought him through the eyes and beat him with the black stone pole that sinks into metal greedily and leaves bruises on skin that convey a heaviness that only slowly leaves and he dropped again.

He asked her to do it, because he's supposed to be the one that never drops no matter what, for her and for Sally and for Katie. She was surprised but also she wasn't. It seemed like the right thing to do. His own water was coming out of his eyes and mouth and nose. The way it works is, you can't just make something in someone else. Isabel works with what's already there.

"Are you okay," she asked, finally. She didn't have the sense he wouldn't know when to stop. But at this point it seemed polite to ask. He nodded.

"Do you want me to stop," she asked. And he nodded yes. So she did. The water stopped coming out of his nose and mouth but not his eyes, not for a while. She held his chin and touched his hair. They did this for a while and then he unpaused the video and they finished watching. He slept on the chair and she slept on the couch to the VHS static.

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Aevee Bee

Aevee Bee is a flannel vaporwave queer and the editor of ZEAL, an online micro zine with cool art and games coverage of overlooked games from exciting new writers and artists. She runs an extremely self-indulgent twitter account and tumblr, contributes regularly to Paste magazine, and freelances in the odd corners of the web. Mammon Machine is her horrifying aesthetic.