ENOUGH: Revenge and Other Fantasies


ENOUGH is a Rumpus series devoted to creating a dedicated space for essays, poetry, fiction, comics, and artwork by women, trans, and nonbinary people that engage with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence.

The series runs weekly, most often on Tuesday afternoons. Each week, we will highlight different voices and stories.


Revenge and Other Fantasies
Lia Dun


I was born with a garbage disposal instead of a cunt. I was born with a line of people waiting to fuck me. When they tried, I ground their bodies into hamburger meat. By the age of ten, I was locally famous for my hamburger and lemonade stand. My best friend, who lived a few blocks away, had a hamburger and boba stand. For years, we had a rivalry, which we pretended was playful but was really full of tension and clashing egos. In middle school, I was teasing my friend about how they put too much ketchup on their burgers: “Do you want it look like a pad you haven’t changed in a few days to save money?” They punched me. I punched them. When we were done, we lay bloodied on the sidewalk.

“This isn’t working,” I said through gritted teeth because I didn’t want to be the first one to cry.

“No.” They also didn’t cry. “We need a plan.”

A couple years later, we had saved up enough to open our own hamburger/lemonade/boba restaurant. We decorated it with sleek minimalist furniture to attract the hipster crowd, who already loved our ethically sourced meat. Within three years, we expanded to open ten new restaurants. We were disgustingly rich for the rest of our lives.



I am a walled city in the middle of swampland. According to legend, within my fortress are treasures that are splendid beyond human imagining. It’s true. I won’t share the details, and of course, no one else has lived to confirm this. Most drown in the swamp before they can even see me glimmering in the distance. Others are devoured by alligators and fish with fanged teeth. Those who by some miracle make it to my walls find that they are impossible to scale. As soon as they make it near the top, they fall back to the base again. These people climb for years before they choosing to plunge themselves into the swamp in exhaustion and despair.

Every few millennia, some fool will make it inside. For a moment they will stare, stunned by the glory of the city shining endless before them. They will reach out to touch and realize the skin is melting off their arms. They will try to scream and realize their mouths have melted off, too. Despite the speed at which they are melting, I will make their death slow out of spite. The fumes of their bodies will leave the air noxious for centuries, but no matter. I can survive that.



Angels swoop down with scythes and smite anyone with plans to procreate. Seraphim perform vasectomies on all the young before they reach puberty. Those who still manage to produce biological children are hooked up to a heavenly IV that transfers every ounce of joy in their veins to their offspring. Reparations for existence without consent.

I should be envisioning a world where harm has been transformed. At a trans justice meeting, I said that art can be a way for trans folks to imagine our futures, a future where everyone is free. I even got someone to snap for me, though admittedly that was the community organizer who has the thankless job of helping me feel empowered. I didn’t mention that my own imagination is stunted. Or maybe I’m just lazy. When I write, I am not thinking of some liberated future. I am not thinking of the collective good. Mostly, I am just thinking of fancy ways to say fuck you. I am thinking of revenge. This is the best I can do.



I am both china doll and ugly, man-hating dyke. I am, are you a guy or a girl? I am Hello Kitty and bloodied corpse, that fantasy you should be embarrassed to tell me about but are not. I approach you at a bar. I could tell you were looking at me. I wore my sluttiest cheongsam with the slit up to my ass so I could meet someone like you. You compliment my English. I compliment your bicep, which is really just flab. You buy me a drink, and I laugh at all your bad jokes while we lean in closer and closer.

Aren’t you excited to have me in your bed? My pussy is Hot Pocket tight. Or wait—that’s not the metaphor you wanted! My metaphor is tight like a greasy eggroll. The grease is your semen! Or the lube on your fist! Or just my blood! The point is it’s super tight, and that’s why it hurts to be inside.

What do you mean, “What are you doing with that knife?” Why shouldn’t I have a knife? And this severed dick/forearm/penetrating limb isn’t yours! You’re inside my tight Asian pussy, silly!



Nowadays, I spend a lot of time with people who use words like “community” and “healing,” people who have survived much worse than me. I tell myself to stop being such an asshole. But I still think unhelpful things: Would two garbage disposal cunts be able to form a healthy friendship? What do you do with two walled cities, one in the swamp and one in the mountains? What do we do if we are all hiding in the shadows with knives, and none of us want to procreate anyway?

I think we are trying to suck the poison out of each other’s wounds with no lips. How are we supposed to be friends if you’re too depressed to get out of bed and my back keeps going out? How are we supposed to fuck with these garbage disposals and cleavers and food processors and stoves that don’t turn even?

I’m sure someone will quote me something about trans and queer people being good at reimagining how to be in relationship with each other and the world. That’s great for other trans and queer people, I guess. Right now, I don’t think I can reinvent anything. There is only all my feelings, on loop, these same old stories, personal and small. Maybe one day, this anger will have a point. Maybe one day, I will conjure something more liberating than a revenge fantasy. I think I will spend the rest of my life trying to reach this point.

But a revenge fantasy is freeing, in its own small way. After all, we don’t avenge people we don’t care about. We avenge people we love. We avenge people who deserve to be loved.

Deep down, I believe I deserve to be loved.


This Is Not
Sandra Flear

This is not a happy story where you will find your insides warmed by the image of a grandfather in bed with his four-year-old granddaughter. This is not how he is loving her. This is not how he sees who she is. This is not how he is an adult taking care of a child. This is not how he will help her grow strong. This is not how he will help her feel loved by men. This is not how he helps provide an anchor for her in the world. This is not how he protects her. This is not how her parents and her grandmother protect her against grievous harm—because she is a little girl, their little girl.

This is a story about a little girl who has no clue. This is a story about a little girl who has no clue that the universe includes such things. This is a story of a little girl who is very deeply surprised, so surprised that something in her stops, motionless, transfixed, for a very, very long time. This is the story of a little girl who slides off the bed, breath held, listening intently, moving slowly. This is the story of how a captured animal escapes. This is how she moves slowly to avoid re-capture. This is how she moves slowly to break it to him gently that she cannot give him, doesn’t even know what it is, that he needs.

This is the story of a four-year-old girl who will be glad to turn five, so she is never four again.


Something to Never Say Again

Here is something to never say again. A woman is telling you about her relationship, her husband, she’s unhappy, she has small children, she’s trapped, she feels financially dependent on him. You say: But you’re not in any danger, are you? You feel safe, right?

You asshole. Her only possible answer is yes.

I have come to see the question as a form of silencing. Nobody likes to listen to an unhappily married woman with small children. Married people don’t like it because they’re probably unhappy, too, but convincing themselves they’re not. Pretending that being married doesn’t suck is a central tenant of marriage. The older generation doesn’t like it, for the sake of the children; they’ve seen that divorces are ugly for kids. Single friends don’t like it because everybody single needs to prove it’s not their fault. Your single friend just loves marriage, and you should, too. The couples therapist will listen, but I’ve yet to find a therapist who doesn’t see being unhappily married as an inner flaw to be corrected. The only person willing to be sympathetic to an unhappily married woman is a friend who has just fallen in love, a person who understands happiness and has enough to share. And even she’ll ask: Are you safe?

So, I say Yes, I’m safe, and my listener closes their ears.

I don’t say: My husband gropes me. He squeezes my ass when I’m carrying something or grabs my tits while I’m washing dishes. He fake-accidentally elbow-feels my breast whenever he gets the chance. He hugs me or kisses me and won’t let go when he’s told to stop.

All men do that, right? It’s cute, right? Only a bitch would object to that. It’s not unsafe.

I don’t say: My husband throws a pillow at me every night before we turn out the lights. It’s a joke but I’ve said I don’t like it. It’s an oversized decorative pillow, so his excuse is that he’s removing it from the bed. Throwing it at me is funny to him, but not to me. I would never tell anyone this, because it’s weird and humiliating, and it’s just a pillow. The question was, Are you safe?

I don’t say: My husband tickles me. I’ve googled this and even the search results, which usually magnify every issue, made it nothing. He is much larger than I am, much stronger, and he jumps on me when I’m lying down, watching television or reading, and holds me down and tickles me until I scream, until it hurts, until I physically fight him off. I’ve punched him in the ear. I’ve hit him with a laptop. I’ve told him, very clearly and many times, that I don’t like it. If I say so aggressively enough that he hears it, he sulks. He gets angry. If I say so nicely, he doesn’t take me seriously. I did tell this to the couples therapist once, and she said, “That’s odd; we’ll have to get back to that.” I never brought it up again.

I don’t say: My husband likes to hurt me during sex. I hate having sex with him. (But yes, I do it voluntarily, and yes, I come. It feels like a form of self-rape.) I think he knows I hate it, but I’ll admit I have not communicated clearly on that, for reasons of needing whatever civility and affection we can manage to keep this child-raising ship afloat. He touches me in ways that hurt, and I say “ouch”… and when I say that he stops, but then he does it again. The more I move him away or try to adjust a position, the more attached to it he seems to become. He likes to fuck me at awkward angles. He likes to straddle my face, to force me to lick his balls. (Does it count as forced if I eventually do it? I try to evade his balls in my face, and he corners me and eventually I give in.) He likes to pin down my hands and come on my face. He quick-slips a finger in my ass every chance he gets, despite knowing that every single time he’s touched me there I’ve moved his hand away—I’ve told him to stop, clearly, many times.

I have no proof but I believe that he knows I don’t enjoy any of it, and that he enjoys it more because I don’t. I’m often sore inside. It often hurts to pee for days after sex. This is the worst thing in my life, and no, I haven’t told anyone.

He doesn’t hit me.

I’ve wished he would. Then, I’d have something I could say for people to sympathize with. But even then, it’s probably never clear cut. Even if he did put himself indelibly in the wrong by hitting me, it would still be humiliating, and I’d probably still feel complicit. I’d still be afraid of all the same things I’m afraid of now.

No, I’m not in any physical danger. Thanks for asking.

Author’s Note: In the several-years interim between the writing of this essay and its publication the author has separated from her husband.


Rumpus original logo art by Luna Adler.


ENOUGH is a Rumpus original series devoted to creating a dedicated space for work by women, trans, and nonbinary people that engages with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We believe that while this subject matter is especially timely now, it is also timeless. We want to make sure that this conversation doesn’t stop—not until our laws and societal norms reflect real change. You can submit to ENOUGH here.

Many names appearing in these stories have been changed.

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