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Still unsettled from the hot springs foursome with the overweight desert couple, Jim and Jane drove in uneasy silence.
“We shouldn’t have done that,” Jane whispered again.
“We shouldn’t have done that,” Jim agreed. He thought about the hairy maw between to the woman’s legs and the unfortunate glimpse he caught of the man stubby penis being awkwardly jabbed into Jane’s mouth as she cried.
“Stop the car,” Jane said. Jim grunted.
“STOP THE CAR!” Jane screamed.
Jim slammed on the brakes and the Subaru screeched to a halt. Jane scrambled out and began vomiting, bug parts and rank, yellowed semen spraying forcefully. Jim noticed dully that her heaving was oddly timed to the beeping the car was making for the door being ajar.
“Get it all out, baby,” he said. He ignored the rush of blood into his sore penis as he listened to her. He had hidden his emetophilia their entire marriage.
Jane stood up and spat and gagged and then spat again.
“Do we have any water?” she asked hoarsely. Jim rummaged behind her seat until he came up with a bottle.
“Sorry, it’s warm,” he said, leaning over to hand it to her.
With shaking hands, she got the top off and took a long drink. She turned to the side as the water came right back up.
“Just wash out your mouth, maybe,” Jim said. He rode out the glare she shot back at him with a weak smile.
Jane rinsed and spit and rinsed and spit. Jim ground the heel of his hand into his crotch, forcing his erection down the leg of his pants. She threw the empty bottle into the scrub by the side of the road and got back in.
“You OK?” Jim asked.
“No, but I’ll live,” she said. “Drive. Just drive.” She pulled the door shut and the dome light went off.
Jim took off too fast, the tires spinning in the loose gravel and dust of the road shoulder before the car jumped forward onto the road. They rode in a grim silence.
After a few miles, Jim ventured: “Scuba diving and falconry. Logrolling and bug sushi. Lots of new things we tried today.”
Jane coughed and shook in her seat.
“I know something you didn’t try,” Jane said laughing.
Jim laughed too.
“It tasted worse coming up than going down,” Jane said.
“Don’t try and tell me anything about something tasting worse,” Jim said. Jane howled with laughter.
“I’m going to brush my teeth for a week when we get home,” he said.
She waved at him to stop because she was laughing so hard and slapped playfully at his arm.
“Oh god,” she said, leaning over to hug his arm when she got her laughter under control, “I think peed a little.” She rubbed his thin chest through his shirt.
“It’s getting dark,” she said.
“The day of trying new things is over,” Jim said sadly.
She sat up and kissed his cheek. “It doesn’t have to be,” she said.
“It doesn’t?” he asked in mock innocence. He looked down at her, but her eyes were locked on the road ahead.
“Hold on,” she said and jerked the wheel to the left with her free hand. There was a meaty thump from the front bumper.
“What the fuck?” Jim shouted and hit the brakes. “What was that?”
“A coyote, I think,” she said. She ran her hand down his faded erection as the car stopped and then trailed it along him as she undid her seat belt and slipped out of the Subaru.
“Where are you going?” he yelled but she only laughed.
He put the car in park and looked ahead of them and behind them and didn’t see any lights of approaching cars. He got out and walked back to where she was standing in a pool of light from her cell phone.
“See? I told you it was a coyote,” she said. She sounded giddy.
Jim looked down at the mangled form in the road, bloody and twisted. Its back was bent the wrong way and its belly had burst. More intestines and organs were trailed out on the asphalt than he thought could have fit in the skinny little body. He bent over to get a look at the tongue hanging from mouth. An ear twitched and he jumped back.
“It’s not dead,” he said.
“Nope. He’s a tough little fucker.”
“How is he not dead?”
Jane began to circle the coyote, snapping pictures to get from every angle.
“I guess I should get a rock or something,” Jim said. The bug sushi was threatening to come back up on him as well.
“Don’t bother,” she said. She walked back toward the car and squatted down, trying to capture the trail of blood and viscera leading to the coyote.
“Step away, babe, you’re in the shot,” she said.
“The smell,” Jim said. He stumbled to the brush beside the road and swallowed hard a couple times.
“Go check on the car,” Jane said. “I just want to get a few more shots for Instagram.”
Jim walked away on stiff legs, his hands beginning to shake. He turned on the flashlight app on his phone and inspected the front of the Subaru. There was a streak of blood and half of one of the ears was stuck in the grill.
“Doesn’t look too bad,” Jane said right beside him and he had to stifle a scream. It came out eek eek eek, like rubbing a blown up balloon, and he sat down hard from his squat.
Jane laughed at him and helped him to stand. As he brushed himself off and tried to regain some dignity, she worried the half ear out of the grill.
“You ready?” she asked. He nodded.
After getting back in, he sat for a moment to let his hands stop shaking.
“You OK to drive?” she asked.
“The day of new things,” she said as he started driving. She fished around in a sack of trash from the back floorboard and came up with a hamburger wrapper. She folded it around the half ear tenderly and tucked it into her purse.
She snuggled up to him again and kissed his cheek. He could smell the vomit on her breath.
“Let’s find something bigger,” she whispered.