Alexandra Piplikatsi: Salt




Alexandra Piplikatsi




T-[Tay]-SomataHEY WALK DOWN THE DARK CORRIDOR. The woman will switch on the light. The man will switch it off. Don’t be conceited, he tells her and then lets her unlock and open the door to the appartment. He will close and lock it again, turning the key – I can hear the same sound as mine – one, two… three times, so as not to get out.

       Behind the closed door, the man will sit on the couch. The woman will move near him. She takes his shoes off. Don’t go, she will tell him and she will hide them away. I am staying, he will tell her and opens her shirt. Her breast pops out and he says, I’m hungry. She picks his head and places it there. His mouth is sucking. First the one nipple, then the other. She is caressing his hair.

       Your milk is sweet, he will tell her and pokes her. I am bored, he is shouting. She will hurry to smear her nipples with salt. Here, she will tell him. He will taste them. He is biting them. He is ripping them off. He is chewing. He is swallowing. They are nice, he says and he will add more salt. She says nothing. She is holding his head and crying.

       Stop, he will say. Now there is too much salt. It will do me no good. She is wiping herself. Her milk runs dry. He will turn his head. There is no more milk, he will tell her. What will I eat now? I will find something, she replies, don’t worry. Hurry up, he tells her and falls asleep on the couch.

       The woman will tuck him in. She will wait for him to wake up. I will find something for him to eat. Still nothing? he asks. How do you know, she is wondering. Don’t worry and I know you, he will tell her. Cut your finger and boil it. This will ease my appetite. By myself? By yourself. You need help for that? Yes, she will reply.

       The man takes the knife. Give me your hand. The woman is hesitating. Give it to me. The woman holds it up. He will stretch her fingers. This one, he will say and will cut it. Boil it now, and she will do it. She will put it on a porcelain plate and offer it to him. He will eat it at once. I am still hungry, he tells her. Cut off another one.

       The woman does and gives it to him. Do you think that two fingers will quench my appetite? he tells her. She cuts off another one and then another one, I am counting ten in a row. Now? He throws the plate in the sink. You are ugly, he will say and lies back down on the couch. She will look at the door. She will go there. The keys are hanging on the lock. She wants to unlock it. She can’t. She has no fingers. She goes back to the sink. She rinses off what is left.

       And where do you think you will go? You can’t leave, he tells her. She agrees. But you can leave. Do you want to? The man gets up. He goes near her. He takes her in his arms. He turns her around. He bites her ear. It tastes nice, I will eat you, he whispers and she will put some water in a pan.

       She will cut off her hands, I am counting… one, two, and she will offer them to him. He eats them. More, he will say. She will cut off her legs, I see them… one, two, and will offer them to him. He tastes them. I am bored, they have the same taste. I will add some salt, she will tell him. Do you like them now? More. More. There is no more. Can I cry? Don’t you dare.

       The woman will sit across him. Everything is over, she says to herself. What am I going to do now? Go to our neighbour to ask for salt, he will tell her. I can’t, I have no legs, she replies. Then cut your head off, I will suck your brain, he tells her. I can’t, I have no hands, she replies. I’ve got hands, he will tell her. Do you have a heart? she will ask and she will watch him eat. Do you still have brains? she is wondering.

       And then, she will get up. She will go near him. I am hungry too, she will say. The man ignores her. She insists. I am hungry too. He looks at her puzzled. Did you get up? Do you want to eat your own flesh? He is laughing. And what’s left for you? She knows. She opens her mouth. Teeth appear. She will bite him. He will be torn into pieces. Ten fingers, I am counting, two hands, I hear, two legs, I see, one head, I feel and then another one. She throws his pieces into the boiling water and unlocks the door.

       She walks down the dark corridor. She will switch on the light. She will knock on the neighbour’s door. The key is unlocking. The sound is the same as hers. I open the door. Do you have any salt? she asks me. She will smile. Yes. I will smile back at her. I also have pepper, if you’re interested, I will tell her.




Alexandra Piplikatsi (Edessa, 1966). She studied Pedagogics in Thessaloniki and Athens. She works on the education of people with special needs. She attended seminars of Creative Writing. Her first short stories were published in the collective volume Creative Writing Street, No 2.

Ttranslated by Vassilis Manoussakis

Vassilis Manoussakis (Athens, 1972). Poet, short-story writer, translator. He studied English Language and Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Peloponnese in Kalamata.