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The Paragon of Animals by Marco Sparks

At the end of their day they came home, showered, ate, watched a little TV, and went into their bedroom and undressed. She brushed her teeth. He didn’t. They climbed into bed. She read a little and he fucked around on his phone while she did. Then they turned off the lights and snuggled. Darkness fell on them like a net. In less than ten minutes he was biting her neck and shoulder. She whimpered, moaned. She rubbed her ass against him a little until she felt hardness. She smiled there into her pillow and the complicated tangles of her own hair. She felt relaxed. Her body eased. She farted.
     “Hey,” he said, pulling his teeth from her skin, then laughed.
     She smiled. “I am a skunk,” she said.
     He bit her again, gently. Her skin was soft and delicious. “I am a wolf,” he whispered into her hair.
     She tilted her head back and did her best roar. “I am a bear,” she announced, and roared again.
     They laughed together and there was a brief silence between them.
     His clothes for the next day were laid out on the chair in the corner of the room, lit by the light from the bathroom that she had left on. She looked at those clothes as he kissed her, tasted her, and continued touching her. A wildness built up within her and she adored it.
     Moments later he was wrapping his arms around her, telling her about his job in the wintertime. “Every day,” he whispered into her ear, “I’d get out of my car and walk to the door of my bland little office building and look at all the snow and ice. There were always animal tracks there in the snow but I never saw any of the animals that made them. They were big tracks and it always made me wonder.”
     “That’s interesting,” she said. Her fingers moved over the sheet in front of her, moving from her body towards the edge of the bed. She could barely see them in the little bit of light coming from the bathroom, but they looked like tiny creatures, something separate from herself. “When I was sixteen, a friend of mine showed me the coolest thing ever on the internet.”
     “What was it?” he asked, interested genuinely.
     She burst out laughing. “A donkey show!” she cackled.
     He laughed. She laughed harder. A tickle fight broke out. They rolled around, rubbing against each other. Combined their bodies felt alive and electric, like downed power lines hidden in the forest, just waiting to be stepped on. Together they wanted to make sparks and coin new euphemisms for fucking.
     Minutes later they were laying together, catching their breath, assessing how their whimsy had been altered, mixed with something else, primal, or primordial.
     She got up, standing there on the bed. She flapped her arms around in a slow, fluid motion. “I am an eagle,” she informed him. She looked regal as she said it. “I am soaring in the sky.”
     He started writhing around in the bed, keeping his arms at his sides and his legs together. “I am a snake,” he said and attempted a hissing sound. “Ssssss,” he said, but it wasn’t impressive. “Ssssslithering.”
     She jumped down onto the floor, trying not to laugh. Not with him, at him. She flew herself to the bathroom door, reached in and flipped off the light, plunging them into total darkness, ceasing their physical expression of being. They were only voices and imagination now.
     “What am I saying?” she heard his voice floating there in the void that was once their bedroom. “I’m not a snake. I have arms and legs. Clearly I am a crocodile. Or an alligator. I don’t know the difference.”
     “You’re a very smart guy,” she said. “I would think that you’d know the difference.”
     “You’d think I would, yeah, sure,” he responded. “But I do not.”
     She was a creature of the night, she decided. She considered transmogrifying into a owl, but she did not want to be an owl.
     “I am a bat,” she said. “I am shooting out sonar waves.” She continued flapping her arms around in the dark. She knew she would not be held in captivity.
     He got on all fours there on the bed. He bared his teeth, mock growling, shooting out waves of psuedo-ferociousness into the dark, aimed at the spot where he thought she was standing. Eventually he stopped feeling silly. He fully surrendered to the transmogrification that had broken out in their bedroom. His fingers turned into claws. “I’m a wolf,” he said. He started to roar, stopped himself. “No,” he said, “No, not a wolf. I’m, I’m a lion! Yes! And I’m hunting you.”
     But he was hunting in the wrong spot. She wasn’t standing where he thought she was anymore. Instead she was on the other side of the room and squatting there on the floor. “I am a kitty cat,” she said in a soft lilt, and she meowed. She was fierce. She was all claws and “fuck you” sass. He had no idea what she was becoming there in the dark, but then, he never really did. Nor did he know that she was peeing on the shoes he was going to wear to work tomorrow.
Marco Sparks is the kind of person who is always running and never looking back. He’s written for This Recording, Thought Catalog, New Wave Vomit, and elsewhere, both online and in print. Maybe you can find him at his blog or maybe you can’t.