Welts of the Cane 

Entirety in Bits and Pieces

A Lesson in Pain

He said life is cruel and she had no reason to doubt him. She went through the catalogue of the last decades of her own life, then broadened her thoughts to a world of poverty, disaster and hatred.

Life is cruel. It can be cruel.

I’m not here to blow sunshine up your ass, I’m here to teach you to endure, he said.

Life is cruel, and so is a sadist.

Tell me if you like the cane, he said. No, she replied, I do not like the cane.

Wrong answer. Life is cruel, and consequently painful.

Shoo, the cane went through the air. Cutting like a whip, faking a blow, never landing on her skin. She flinched. Every muscle, tensed for the cruelty of life to hit. Her jaw, her buttocks, her fists, clenched. Toes curled, eyes scrunched, the anticipation of pain, the tightening of…

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