The Aphrodisiac

by Peter Wild

"All men," Martin, her boss, told her, "feel, in their innermost innermosts, that they are put-upon and undervalued and neglected by their nearest and dearest. What’s more, this feeling only intensifies as the years go by." Louise squirmed in her seat. The last thing she wanted was to be having a conversation about her personal life with her odious boss, a man who smelled of cigarettes and coffee and who, furthermore, had about him the dispiriting air of a man on the cusp of some dramatic and showy display of failure. "Take it from me," he said, perching on the edge of her desk thereby assuming the role of confidante, "if you were to go home this evening and say to your other half something along the lines of I’m horrible to you sometimes, aren’t I?, I guarantee: you will make his day." Martin drew closer (Louise could feel her shoulders bunching the closer his mouth drew to her ear) and whispered, "I guarantee it will be the best aphrodisiac your hubby has ever known;" in response, Louise involuntarily shuddered, the thought of sex and her boss conjoined nauseously in her mind with the notion of many men toiling, bare-chested and sweaty, amid a phalanx of subterranean machinery.


Peter Wild, whose full catalog is here, is the editor of The Flash & Perverted by Language: Fiction inspired by The Fall. You can read more here.