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The International Writers Magazine: New York Fiction- Extract - From our Archives

La Creta Returns
Dean Borok

Like Satan, she was known by many names, all of which related to that most alluring and reviled aspect of the female physiognomy. They called her: La Concha, La Zorra, La Cajeta, La Almeja, La Panocha, La Pepa, La Chocha, La Cuca, La Chucha etc. But most workers referred to her as “La Creta.”

Like all petty tyrants, La Creta was also an ardent moralist, and enforcing morality has always been a potent tool in enforcing repressive regimes, though the brutal nature of industrial bakery work, with the heat, humidity and ambient flour in the air was hardly conducive to sexual activity even among the most hot-blooded Latin Americans.

Nevertheless, she made what she could out of it, and if she detected even the faintest hint of scandal, she instructed her agents to widely diffuse the details to all interested parties. Though most of her meddling hardly rose above the level of schoolyard mischief it nevertheless had a corrosive affect on an illiterate, half-wit workforce most of which spoke not a word of English and lived in a permanent state of culture shock, having fled the jungles of Peru or the depressed villages of Bulgaria to suddenly find themselves navigating the complex, dangerous maze of working-class New York barrios.

The Spanish and Bulgarian workers, neither of whom spoke English and having no lingua franca of communication, communicated by a primitive system of monkey-see, monkey-do which led to a lot of expensive misunderstandings and had a broad comedy aspect right out of the most ridiculous Abbott and Costello movies from the 1940s, where foreigners were either depicted as imbecile fruit peddlers or slightly sinister dudes with moustaches. The reality of the situation was a melding of the stereotypes - slightly sinister imbeciles.

Stupidity breeds conservatism, because people feel more comfortable sticking with what they know, and if they know nothing they never get off the dime. This innate social conservative environment among the workers aided La Creta in her mission of riding herd over them. The women were afraid for their virtuous reputations and the men lived in fear of being exposed as philanderers, so La Creta was plowing fertile terrain when she diffused innuendos of sexual indiscretion. In this she was aided by the occasional real instances when a Spanish woman, having given herself to a low-end lothario and thereafter considering him to be her real property, went berserk in the factory and assaulted him after he had done with her and associated himself with one of the other women. This happened only occasionally, but with enough regularity to make it a credible possibility and it lived as such in everybody’s mind. For this reason intimations of scandal were received with solemnity.

La Creta had no pangs of conscience about shattering other people’s domestic arrangements, reasoning that she herself had been forced to endure it, and it had all turned out for the best – it was all well and good that fornicators and people of unsound moral persuasion be obliged to sample the bitter harvest that they had sowed in the crooked rows of their perversity. In the infinite and vacant Hall of Mirrors that existed behind her delicately fragile doors of perception resided the ephemeral illusion that by enforcing morality in the workplace, she was setting things right and that her interests as a manager and those of society at large were fortuitously commingled like a pure source of virtue emptying into a placid, crystal lake of harmony and order.

Some women, she knew, were whores by nature, unclean vessels willing to destroy everything around them to satisfy their bestial carnal desires, inviting strangers into their marriage bed, corrupting their innocent young children who were forced to witness their vile behavior, while their husbands unwittingly toiled at bone-crushing jobs to sustain them. Their men came home utterly devastated from their labor, to a dinner prepared by a stinking, soiled vixen still reeking with the odor of the man who had lain on top of her, his seed leaking out of her and soiling her undergarments.

La Creta crossed herself and prayed The Virgin’s forgiveness for even contemplating such horror. Satan was everywhere, ever ready to sneak into the mind of the most sanctified. Like a rodent he would tear through walls of concrete with his vicious fangs to infect the unguarded consciousness.

But if she disdained that poor, vulnerable class of woman who could not tap the wellspring of virtue that would enable her to resist the temptations of the flesh, her most virulent loathing was reserved for the male, with his arrogant, macho preening and wholly animal appetites. Hers was a fury so total and all-consuming that she wished she were a titan who could stamp her foot to crumble and destroy all of man’s creation, everything, leaving nothing but dust and ashes.

El Hombre! The most accursed word in human creation. He who had dominated and humiliated her, violated every part of her, deceived her and robbed her of her last shred of humanity. This, this mindless and soulless butcher of humanity, creep, chiseler, dictator, liar and begetter of bastards! All her life she had chafed under the rule of men. Her mind sparked with indignation at how, as a child, she had been forced to serve her father and brothers back in Ecuador. And they were the best of the lot! The men she had met in the larger world, rough men with their tight jeans, moustaches and gold chains, and controlling all the money! They had treated women like their personal chattel! How many men had she run to in order to escape her father and brothers, only to have to flee back to her family once she had discovered these men’s true nature. On all sides humiliation!

It was not the penis she disdained, that tedious little nozzle that men followed blindly like the deluded desert wanderer mindlessly putting his faith in a worthless divining rod. That insignificant joke of nature dwelt beneath her contempt like a child’s party favor that you pulled apart and it gave an insignificant snapping noise (it never would occur to her that in the utter ordinariness of her mediocrity she had never inspired a gleaming, rocklike erection deserving of admiration).

No, she reserved the unbounded depth of her contempt for the sheer size and bulk of men’s muscles and their physical strength. All men were imbeciles! She had never met one yet who would challenge the intelligence, resourcefulness, determination and endurance of the woman, who provided the social cohesiveness that enabled continued survival of the race against all odds. The evidence of female superiority was anywhere you cared to look: in the legions of women such as she who toiled endlessly like insects to raise children and maintain families while the men, unable to hold jobs, loafed at home or languished in jail smoking cigarettes and playing dominos. Men! Take your eye off them for one minute and they were sure to cause trouble like children.

The only thing that kept men in control was their relative physical size and strength. This was an insurmountable obstacle, men’s physical bulk (though the trend was gradually shifting, with men getting softer and women overtaking them in some areas. Even so, the balance would not shift in her lifetime). It was as though an alien race had landed and was dominating the female through sheer bullying and oppression, appropriating all the resources and physically subjecting the female to endure endless intrusion of the penis to boot. Like an immense Nazi concentration camp without fences.

In her unguarded moments La Creta would daydream about the mating habits of spiders, wherein the female was immensely more huge than the male, and after she had absorbed his seed necessary to make babies, she would simply kill and eat him.
Problem solved!
© Dean Borok March 2008

The San Juan Bagels Parking Lot
Dean Borok
La Creta dwelt in perpetual fear of the parking lot, separated from the factory by the Taliban shish-kebob garage where resided the The Forty Thieves of the spicy halal chicken and rice wagons

The Passion of Nino De Jesus
Dean Borok
Niño de Jesus frequently had marveled at the fork lift truck on his way to work and one day, when the proprietor had left the gate unlocked, he snuck in for a closer look. Climbing up the ladder on the side and peering into the control booth, he noticed that they had left the key in the ignition. After all, one might reason, who would steal such a monster? Only a crazy man!

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