Some Of Us Had Been Sucking Our Friend Carrie

Jaclyn Watterson

Some of us had been sucking our friend Carrie. Not just her face and neck, but her arms, legs, hands, waist—even her ear lobes. Bruises purpled and blued, almost glowed, and Carrie looked like a demented anemone.


Finally one of us, Melissa or Nicole, chewed out Carrie’s palm, and she said we had all gone too far. We knew she was right because we had also sucked her left eyeball out of its socket the week before. She had stuffed the eye back in, but the optic nerve still hung out in a loop that outlined the grey half-circle under her eye.


We had gone too far, and as our friend, it was Carrie’s right to punish us. Carrie said she would have to think about how, and we didn’t hear from her for a week. Finally she called Tiffany and said she’d like to get together, and we knew she had a decision. So Tiffany told Carrie, Sure, to come on over to my place.


I bought two bottles of champagne for the event, but I was too nervous to bring them out when the girls arrived. Carrie came last and brought brownies. Her bruises and hickeys were yellowing, and now she looked haughty, like an anemone who had traveled.


None of us felt like chatting, but Carrie said we should pretend it was any other day. Sarah spoke up and said that if that were the case, we’d be sucking Carrie. Carrie said she meant any other day before we started sucking her, and Melissa said that even though it hadn’t been that long that we’d been sucking Carrie, she couldn’t remember before.


Carrie said this was exactly why we all needed to be punished. I reminded Carrie that none of us disagreed, that we had all gotten together to support her decision, and we were ready to hear it just as soon as she was ready to give it.


Carrie’s left eye trembled like an egg yolk and the dangling nerve shook, casting shadows all the way to her chin. She said she thought she’d have a drink before telling us, and did I have any scotch?


I told her I was dry but for the champagne, that I thought after Carrie’s pronouncement and our punishment we might feel like celebrating the end of the ordeal.


Then there was a lot of blinking and air puffing out of noses, and Nicole squeezed my shoulder in sympathy, but no one said anything. A celebration was out of the question.


Carrie poured herself a glass of water from the kitchen tap, and we all took a brownie to be polite. The brownies were a little chalky—Carrie had never gotten used to high altitude baking—but none of us criticized this batch because after all, it was Carrie’s big day and probably it was difficult to bake with only one palm and a compromised eye.


After we had eaten our brownies, sensitively trying to pretend it was any other day before, Carrie settled into my only armchair, and we lined up on the couch facing her. All week we had been speculating about how Carrie would punish us, and though Tiffany had some truly imaginative ideas, none of us guessed Carrie’s decision. I suppose that’s why we had started sucking her in the first place, and why we needed her punishment.


Jaclyn Watterson’s recent work appears in Birkensnake, failbetter, The Collagist, and Your Impossible Voice, among others. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Utah.