Short Fiction

A Passive Voice Visits a Dominatrix

Dominatrix: I hear you’ve been a bad, bad boy…

Passive Voice: My reputation has been thus maligned for many years. An understanding of the reasons for this continues to elude me.

Dominatrix: You need to be punished, like the nasty little servant you are.

Passive Voice: Punishment of various kinds has been inflicted upon me for years. I’ve been categorically dismissed by writers, copy editors, and schoolteachers. Now I’ve been further ridiculed by this so-called innovation, Spell check. Harsh underlining and humiliation is constantly visited upon me by this device.

Dominatrix: Ohh, you like devices, don’t you, you dirty boy? I’ve got some devices for you. I’ll bet you love it when spell check catches you being such a weak, pathetic little bed-wetter. Oh, I know you love it when spell check corrects you, the hard way!

Passive Voice: The work produced by me is constantly scorned by others. I am avoided and ignored; it is said of me that I weaken clarity. Nothing has been done by me to deserve this.

Dominatrix: You boys always wanna talk about work. Listen; of course you deserve it! You‘re a victim; you love to be a victim. Come here, you whiny little man-whore. Put these handcuffs on.

Passive Voice: I’d like it if that were done by you, please. You know, so much respect and admiration is given to active voice. Active voice, who is really a philistine hack when you get to know him, is celebrated in this culture. My nuanced and surprisingly sensitive grammatical style continues to go unappreciated. Rules are made against me. I am not even grammatically incorrect, and yet I am abhorred!

Dominatrix: Kneel down, Slave.

Passive Voice: Even the average subordinate clause is not ostracized as I am. Because a subordinate clause is coupled with a dominant “independent” clause, respect is given to it.

Dominatrix: That’s what you need…some sharp, dominant claws to scratch into your naughty subordinate flesh!

Passive Voice: The reference made by me in the previous sentence was to a clause -a syntactic construction containing a subject and predicate and forming part of a sentence or constituting a whole simple sentence, not to claws, such as are possessed by a cat.

Dominatrix: Honey, I don’t care if you were talking about Santa Claus – you need to be tied up and whipped. Hell, maybe Santa Claus oughta do the job. Is that how you like it? They say he knows if you’ve been bad or good, right? Ohh, he’s got a lump of coal in his pocket for you.

Passive Voice: My wish is not to be made servile by the bearded gentleman of holiday legend.

Dominatrix: What do you want then? I’m on the clock, you know.

Passive Voice: I am hated by myself. I am hated by everyone. I am loved only by scientific writers. I want harm to be done to me. Will you cause harm to be done to me?

Dominatrix: You’re going to wear this collar, because you’re my dog. Eat this dog food.

Passive Voice: It will be eaten by me like my own impotent words. I have been castigated in Strunk & White’s Elements of Style; I have caused young Cody Johnson of Wheeling, West Virginia to receive a D on his book report about frogs. And I have been implicated in John Kerry’s botched presidential campaign. Great anguish has been born in me.

Dominatrix: You’re still okay for official-sounding jargon, though, right? Like, ‘your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.’? That’s how my landlord always signs them memos.

Passive Voice: Not anymore. In the current social climate, emphatic pro-activeness is expected in all areas of communication. Will more kibble likely be administered to this bowl?

Dominatrix: Only if you beg for it.

Passive Voice: It is my sincere wish that more kibble be placed before me for consumption.

Dominatrix: That’s not how you beg! You’re a bad dog! Say please, please feed me, Mistress!

Passive Voice: It would please me to be fed momentarily.

Dominatrix: Say it!

Passive Voice: I find the lash which you have just administered to be quite pleasurable.

Dominatrix: Beg for more, Big Boy!

Passive Voice: I’m sorry, but the capacity to actively issue a declarative request is, by definition, lacking in my nature. My entire existence has been plagued by this paucity. And yet I keenly wish for more harm to be done to me. You refuse to be the purveyor of this harm, I suppose.

Dominatrix: For Christ’s sake, I don’t get paid me enough for this shit. Get out.

Passive Voice: I was afraid that more rejection would be yielded by this encounter. I apologize if frustration was caused by me. I suppose I will be ushered out of the Show, Don’t Tell Gentlemen’s Club now.

Dominatrix: Just keep your money, you freak. Talk about passive!

Passive Voice: I wish I could just be eradicated from the language. Why am I kept in limbo? I wish I could become passive-aggressive, at least.

Dominatrix: Go whine to your shrink, honey. I’ve got a participle coming in that likes to be dangled. And he knows how to ask for it.