Friday, September 25, 2009

"Ten Gallons of Infected Saliva, or, The Cuckold, Avenged" by Scott Phillips

From: Uncage Me ed. Jen Jordan. Bleak House Books, 2009.

Leading off an anthology on the many forms of transgression, this story follows Amos, a college kid willing to work at a porno theater to accumulate the hours he needs to join the projectionist's union. Amos's wry narration reminded me of Lawrence Block's Chip Harrison, his voice so engaging as to almost make smut palatable.

One of Amos's friends, Tad, works at a funeral parlor and carries on an affair with his boss's wife, Beth. One night, Tad takes Beth to the theater, followed shortly by a man with a gun. Flustered, Amos lets the armed man into the theater, and he proceeds to shoot himself. Though the man's name is never mentioned, it's implied he is Beth's husband, Tad's boss. That this shooting is the only act I considered a crime in this story testifies to the persuasive power of Phillips's writing.

You can also hear Phillips read this story at Seth Harwood's CrimeWAV.

No comments: