Caitlin Siegle - Short Story

Caitlin Siegle has been writing for some time and recently began sharing her work publicly. Her writing stretches from inner narrative to experiential dissection. Caitlin has participated in Retrograde Collective's Art Salons and is a member of the Red Museum




By Caitlin Siegle


"Compressed aggression misdirected. I'm the instigator and I'm on the outside. 

So many knuckles you can't tell which hand they belong to. Piled together, jabbing, kicking; this is a brawl. Where flesh meets flesh and they all become one. Grinding into each other like an orgy, not caring as long as someone gets fucked. This is brutality and this is beautiful.

“Hey, miss, you might want to back up a bit. No sense in you getting mixed up in this.” The bouncer warns me.

The irony tastes almost as good as my beer.

“Oh yeah, of course not. Wouldn't want to mess up my pretty little face, right?”

Please. If only the face matched the interiors. Better it doesn't, this facade has gotten me in and gotten me out of sticky situations. I use it to my advantage.

But I decide the bouncer is probably right. The fight is dying down and I've never been the kind to stick around and cuddle before. Stepping out onto the sidewalk wakes me up from the dream inside the bar. The dark, muggy, ridiculous scene with me playing director. Good dreams are where you realize you're asleep and manipulate it. The best are when you aren't dreaming at all.

I chuckle and sigh and get a look from a homeless man. Not the 'give­me­some-money' look. A look of recognition. Crazy knows crazy.

But crazy isn't created equal. Glancing at my watch I realize my alarm will be telling me to wake up in 5 hours. 

In the morning my eyes roll around my desk as if trying to remember what everything does. What do I do? What was I supposed to do?

My stupor is interrupted by the scent of sugar and cologne.

“Good morning, Maddy. Want a donut?”

Steve alone makes my stomach turn, Steve with a mouthful of fried dough sends it into a 360.

“Yeah, uh, no thanks.” I hate it when they call me 'Maddy’.

“Oh…. well okay. Didja have a rough night or something?”

Shit, I let my facade down. “No, just need to get some coffee.” I smile as I grab a donut to repair the damage. Steve's a sweetheart but I've never had much of a sweet tooth. 

“Maddy, do you have your piece?” Mr. Monkton came out of nowhere, as bosses do.

Fuck. “Madd. Could you call me Madd, please? And yeah, I'm just going over it one more time. I'll email it right over.”

“But you're such a cute girl, 'Madd' just doesn't fit you. Well, alright, but I need it A-SAP.”

“Yes, Mr. Monkton, of course.” Mr. Monkton treats me like a daughter while simultaneously thinking about fucking me. Thank god he went into the news business instead of the church like his brothers.


I write political synopsis. Summarizing recent events in congress and bills voted in and voted down. Sounds like a lot of work and research but I usually do it all in about an hour or so. CSPAN has all the meetings logged on their website. All I have to do is read some passages and skip to how it ended. Then I write what I remember. That's it. My daily routine. I thought political journalism would be dirty vicious work, fighting for your story, fighting for the truth. Then I realized there is no truth. Everyone believes they are right, and no one agrees. Truth is what you decide works best for you. Searching for it is a waste of time.

“Excellent piece, Maddy.”Once again Mr. Monkton appeared and scared the shit out of me. Had I turned in my article? Is he being sarcastic? ..... I pressed send on something. Turning, I gave him a blank stare hoping he would continue.

“Always making it right under the wire. 'Ya know if you were a little more punctual I could see about getting you a raise or a bigger column...?” Mr. Monkton trailed off while leaning his elbow on my stockade.

“I'm satisfied with the column I have now, and don't really need more money. Give it to Steve over there, he does buy us donuts three times a week.” A bigger column would mean I might have to do some actual work. No thanks.

“Don't need more money? What kind of capitalist are you?” The incredulity was steaming from his pores. Seems I'd struck a nerve. He'd probably stroke out if I went into my views on 'capitalism'. I shrugged and smiled just enough to show my dimples.

“You are something else, Maddy.” Mr. Monkton shook his head as he walked away.

9AM, the highlight of my day. Coffee boy. My eyes follow him indirectly all over the workroom. My thoughts are not romantic, they are not pretty. I want to pour the hot coffee all over him and watch him squirm. To hear him scream when I bit into his chest. “You looked like such a nice girl” he would say. I'd just tell him to shut up as I took off his pants.

“Black as usual?”

“Yes please.” I wonder what he tastes like as he hands me the cup; hoping it'd be bitter. As soon as he's gone I've forgotten all about him. My attention span isn't very big. But my nostalgia is rampant...

Last night. The madness and chaos, the hurricane of bodies. Utterly senseless to all who were watching. Except me. It was completely rational. People are predictable. Men are easier than 

women, and drunk men are simplest of all creatures: piss, fuck, and fight. There are few other 

options available in their testosterone saturated mind. The last to are the easiest to control­  they pretty much go hand in hand. If it's not one, it's the other. So when a guy sends me a drink as a Trojan horse to his arrival I know which of the three his brain is on. But when one male sex drive is pitted against another the gears switch to fight  I'd call it science but it's way too simple for that. I told a table of guys that Trojan man was harassing me and I couldn't get him to leave me alone. Then watched as Greece invaded.

Dolls and toys never interested me much. I always preferred the real thing."