Main

Fiction, Or Is IT? Archives

April 14, 2005

Story Crossing

Story Crossing

Lucretia over at Life As A Carrot started the ball rolling with this, and then Ten Miles Beyond The City snatched up the baton and ran with it for a good pace.

At the request of Anne at Something Under The Bed, I am going to take a flying leap at the story-crossing. If you would like to do the same, Please, give credit where credit is due and link to all of those involved in the development of this story, starting with Lucretia of course. Thank you.

Without further ado…


It was hot and sticky inside the club, the air hung thick with smoke. Overhead lights threw a sickly, seedy pink hue over everything. Mike was stoned. Way too stoned. And now he was drunk. Very drunk. He leant heavily against the grimy bar counter, the stench of stale urine from the nearby public toilet hung in the air and clung to the walls, insidiously working its way into his nostrils. He grimaced and attempted to focus on anything in his immediate vicinity, anything that wasn’t moving. It was hard. People crushed and crowded against him, all trying to catch the barmaid’s attention. Faces became distorted and stupid looking. He sniggered to himself at the grotesque images around him, he hated it here, he loved it here. The noise and heat engulfed him and for a few moments he felt almost happy, blanketed in the common bond he shared with all the other restless, lonely, souls. Then he remembered where he was and almost immediately, the blackness came rushing back into his head.

He gave up trying to focus on the people and stared instead at the brown bottle in his hand. Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” throbbed suggestively from somewhere deeper in the club and a bunch of Goth chicks began gyrating in time to the beat, behind him. They were all drunk as skunks and teetering crazily all over the place. One of them lost her balance and crashed into the bulk of Mike’s slouching body, half rolling off his leather jacket. He wasn’t sure if it was deliberate on her part, he was past caring. He turned slowly and gave her an icy stare.

“Oops, sorry!” She blurted, giggling at herself. “My mistake.”
She stopped abruptly, taking in his violent gaze.
“Chill, dude.” She said casually.

She looked about eighteen, so Mike reckoned she was probably fourteen or younger. Her face was plastered with thick white makeup; her eyes, heavily black from the Kohl eyeliner, looked like piss holes in the snow. She was wearing a black mesh top and no bra, her nipples poked through the strands of black string. He sneered at her.

“Fuck off.” He said in a menacing tone. He was so sick of adolescent girls. They were all so full of shit. Cock teasers and sluts. The last thing he needed tonight was a potential statutory rape probability

“Fuck you too, shit head!” she spat at him and swaggered off unsteadily back to her mates. Her friends gasped in unison when she told them what he’d said to her. A chorus of “arsehole!” and “dickface!” assaulted his ears; they made gestures with their middle fingers.

He shrugged and went back to his beer, glowering at the faces around him. The place was starting to close in, he felt claustrophobic. ‘Fucking bitches,’ he seethed inside. ‘I fucking hate them all. Only good for one thing.’ He continued to drink heavily and ordered another beer from the frazzled bar lady.

“Geez, Mike,” she said, eyeing him warily. “You’re sure as hell putting them away tonight, hey? Slow down, dude.”
She was fond of Mike, he was a regular patron at the club but she hadn’t ever seen him this tanked up, or as surly before.

“Just give me a goddam beer, Claire and leave me the fuck alone with the lectures, okay?!” His voice was heavy with booze, yet even in his inebriated state, he managed to speak clearly.

“I’m not lecturing you, Mike.” Claire said, uncapping the beer and slamming it down hard on the counter next to his outstretched hand.
“Just take it easy, okay?”
She tossed his loose change close to the beer bottle.
“Give me any shit and I’ll get Bruce to throw you out.”
She glared at him threateningly and then spun around, before he could say anything abusive. A crowd of people on the opposite side of the bar were clamoring for refills. She didn’t have time for arguments.

Fatigue pulled at Mike, dragging him down. He tried to shake it off with a few gulps of the fresh, cold beer but it wasn’t helping. Bruce, the massive bouncer, had always been friendly but Mike knew that it wouldn’t be impossible to overstretch the boundaries and get turfed out into the street. Bruce didn’t take crap from anyone – friend or otherwise.

Mike was getting sick of the place, sick of the babies, the endless parade of schoolgirls.
‘Why the fuck do I come here?’ He mulled to himself. ‘It’s not like I even enjoy it anymore. Always the same bunch of losers and wannabees. They all think they are so cool but they’re just a load of posers, trendies.’
Vivid images erupted in his head – he was striding through the crowded club, gun in hand, taking pot shots at whoever put a face in front of him. Graphic pictures of bloodied bodies and screaming teenagers, flooded through his mind. He was enjoying this day dream; a deep secret smile in his eyes, when he saw her standing across from him. His heart almost stopped beating.

She'd been dead all of three years, but it was still a breathless fall to sobriety every time he saw her. Well, not dead three years, but died three years ago........shit, he couldn't even wrap his head around it in the cold, clear light of day, let alone with the fog that was currently loitering in his mind.

He watched her walk toward the bar, a clinical stride that didn't seem to belong to her; or maybe it did, maybe the warmth he had always associated with that movement was the real illusion. As always, she was dressed plainly in a black garment that shifted unnaturally, almost as if the touch of her skin would leave some dread taint.

"Michael."

How could he bear to hear that voice speak his name, that as it had been stripped of any notion of intimacy, so was he stripped of the last vestiges of sanity every time he heard it.

"You're looking well." She could have at least made an effort at candidness, but Mike reckoned once you'd been to the other side, sincerity was an expendable commodity.

Who would have guessed that science would beat Christ to the resurrection? When they successfully brought that boy back 10 years ago, Mike had not an inkling of the impact it would have on his life.
Why had she just not told him? He could understand the right of every individual to request the procedure, if it were possible, yet it angered him that she'd concealed her decision. She should've been mangled by a train, not that fucking pussy of an aneurysm that left her in such 'pristine' condition.

R.E.S.C.O.R. He couldn't even think the word without feeling the bile rising in the back of his throat. You thinking of donating your organs when you kick it? Fuck that! Resurrection is the way to go, provided you have enough cash and have managed to keep yourself from splattering all over the pavement. Why no-one seemed to be bothered about the secrecy surrounding the procedure was beyond him. Could the joy of being re-united with a loved one truly blind you for so long? Surely they could see that what came back was like an image in a mirror, that something was lost in the transition?
Perhaps that was why he hung out at the club so often; it was as close as he could get to the sheer desolation, the intoxicating loneliness of death. Here, he could worship at the feet of his beloved Mistress. He was sure that She would whisper to him Her design for vengeance against those who would dare defy Her will and encroach on Her domain.
For a moment he again saw himself, gun in hand, blowing away these pathetic freaks. Rescor would have a bloody field day.

He tried to straighten up, to stare the true freak in the eyes.

"Kira, my darling wife." The sarcasm peeled from his voice like burnt skin. "What do you need this time?"

Kira slid onto the barstool next to him like it was a well worn saddle. She was totally comfortable in her surroundings whatever they may be, a characteristic that was completely foreign to Mike, in his own life and in the life of the woman he once knew as his own. Once she was brought back, it seemed she was made into some sort of chameleon as well.

As she edged closer to him he noticed the pleasant effects of his alcohol induced haze retreating into a mild numbness of his senses. However, his eyesight was on alert and he noticed the standard Rescor barcode tattooed on the inside of her right wrist when she reached for his bottle of beer.

“I’m just a bit parched my love, mind if I have a sip?” She said as she took his beer and downed what was left in one fluid motion. Kira motioned for Claire to bring Mike another bottle. Claire stepped over to the pair, aware of their history and of the potential for disaster whenever the two were together after Kira’s transformation. They were both as volatile as gun powder next to a grease fire and Claire wanted no part of the fireworks.

Claire set Mike’s new bottle of beer down in front of him and retreated quickly as Kira swiped it and took a long pull, placing it back in front of Mike with a teeth-jarring thud.

To think of putting his mouth to the same place this thing beside him had just touched her lips to, made the acid in Mike’s gut rise. He eyed Kira warily and said with great disdain, “Keep it sweetie.”

He couldn’t stand this back and forth banter she insisted on every time they were in the same zip code. It was almost like she had some sort of tracking device on him and she knew when he was vulnerable and when his soul was raw from life.

She found him. She taunted him. She made his life hell showing him that he could never have it the way it used to be.

It tore Mike’s heart out to think of the love he once knew with Kira and that it all was boiled away when the mad scientist bastards at R.E.S.C.O.R. woke her from what should have been death.

Kira swung towards him on her barstool, seeming to almost float in her supernatural way of moving, and Mike; lost in his thoughts; inadvertently flinched. She laughed low and throaty and sprung from her perch, rabbit punching Mike in the back of the head and leapt away to taunt, tease and harass a group of burly bikers in a darkened corner.

‘Those guys have no idea what they are getting into.’ Mike thought to himself as he rubbed the back of his head. Claire stepped over to him to ask if he was ok. “I’m fine Claire, thanks for asking.”

Claire thrust out her chin determinedly and said, “Mike, I don’t know why you let her do that to you. It is like she hurts you on purpose every time she sees you. Either she hurts your feelings or hurts you physically or both. She is just a cruel woman, no… scratch that… She’s a Monster! I don’t know why you don’t turn her into that group of Blade Runners that have popped up over in Dallas. I mean, man… I know she used to be your wife and all… but dude… that thing ain’t nobody’s wife!”

Mike thought for a second and then replied, “I guess I just feel a little responsible for her Claire.” He shook his head sadly and walked out of the bar.

If only he had read the fine print on the medical release form at the hospital.

April 20, 2005

Update on the Story Crossing.

Several more hip cats have taken the literary ball and run with it.

What started off with Lucretia at Life As A Carrot, sprouted wings with ForgottenMachine with his post here at Ten Mile Beyond the City… I took up the gauntlet thrown down by Miss Anne with my go at it then lovely Miss Anne at Something Under the Bed grabbed the story by the horns and wrestled it to the ground here…… then the lovely and talented Fence over at Firefly smacked the story and made it cry here… and the latest player to the ring to give the story wings is my partner in crime, gatsby… please follow the link to engorge your literary tummy on the turn of phrase that he has posted right over here clickity click click.

Fun, ain’t it?

July 11, 2005

The Road to Baton Rouge - Part One

As she drove to work fighting back the tears she tried not to go over their fight in her mind. She never knew how a benign little phrase like, “How was your evening?” could shatter her. She thought that he understood her feelings on the matter. It didn’t seem like he did at all. Either that or he just went against her wishes to keep hurting her. Couldn’t he talk to her about it first? No, he would just nonchalantly mention sleeping around on her after the fact like it was nothing more than a few scattered leaves on the porch.

Her heart was breaking. How could he? So callus, so cold, treating her like her heart or their bond didn’t mean a thing.

Like she was stupid.

That was what really got her. Even though it sounded cliché in her own mind, she was no stranger to heartache. She had a constant reel of Bonnie Raitt songs playing in her mind, and she had the wall around her heart for comfort. “Maybe that is why he’s going outside the marriage…”, her mind chided her. No. She wouldn’t listen. She was not going to let him get off that easy making herself the easy target for self-doubt.

But she did not want to feel like she had been taken for granted. She was not stupid. That thought made her blood boil.

She could deal with anger better than heartache any day. Anger was familiar. Anger was a constant companion for a long time.

Almost at work, Toni Braxton’s How Could an Angel Break My Heart came through the speakers of her car radio. An angel? Please. She refused to let another man break her heart.

She would get even. She didn’t know how as revenge wasn’t a strong suit of hers. And she didn’t know how far she should push this. The man was her husband after all. She would have to live with her consequences, even if he refused to acknowledge his.

She thought of her oldest friend CC. His face floated up through her tortured mind like a life raft and she grabbed on. With the memories of his face and gentle nature for company she pulled into the parking lot at work and began going through the morning routines of getting the office ready for a busy day.

The day was a scorcher as most summer days in Texas can be but the office was buzzing with activity and she didn’t have much time to ponder the newest bruises to her heart and deflated ego. She kept busy and was only reminded of her life outside the office doors when her husband would call or page her after he woke up. She dismissed each call and each page with the truthful, “I can’t talk now, I’m busy.”

Putting him off did not make her feel any better and she knew that she was going to have to deal with him when she got home from work. It was Friday and he had a few days off. Days to… she didn’t want to think about it.

She decided to make some plans of her own.

CC answered on the second ring and hearing his voice, she immediately started crying. She felt like a fool for crying, she had never been the girly crying type… not that anyone on the outside knew about anyways, but CC had been a friend since the 7th grade. He knew almost everything about her. He could read her so well, so there was no need to hide her feelings from him.

CC said the words she needed to hear. The conversation lasted all of 30 seconds.

Her: CC? (starts crying)
CC: Hi sweetheart, are you ok?
Her: ::sniffle sniffle:: N-n-n-nooo (still with the crying and apparently… the stuttering)
CC: Come to Baton Rouge.
Her: Now?
CC: Yes, now.
Her: I get off at 4 o’clock, I have to go home and pack then I’ll be on my way.
CC: I’ll be waiting for you. And it’s going to be ok baby.

He didn’t ask for or demand any explanations. He just asked her if she was ok. She knew CC would take care of her, and to be in his presence would be a balm to her battered heart and ego. The choice to go was instantaneous as soon as he said, “Come to Baton Rouge” she knew she would go.

The only question in her mind would be if she would tell her husband.

July 12, 2005

The Road to Baton Rouge - Part Two

The rest of the day at work passed at a snail’s pace. She pulled all of the contracts that she could think of to work on. She rearranged her desk. She rearranged her boss’ desk. She did the work orders for the service log. She called the manufactures about the upcoming inventory to make sure things were on track. She started in on the sales guys around 3pm and they called for mercy.

Sales Guy#1: Bossman!!!!
Bossman: (gruffly) What?!
Sales Guy#1: She’s riding us about our contacts and contracts…
Sales Guy#2: … and my work orders…
Sales Guy#3: and my closing coming up on Tuesday…
Bossman: (gruffly) That’s my girl.
Sales Guy#1: Man, it’s Friday and it is dead out there. The heat ran everyone off after 11 am.
Sales Guy#2: And she’s really cranky.
Bossman: (gruffly) Ma’am?
Her: Yes sir?
Bossman: (gruffly) May I see you in my office please?
Her: Yes sir…

She followed her boss down the hallway to his office and when she went inside, he closed the door behind her. Her eyes got huge immediately.

Bossman: (not gruffly at all) You ok doll?
Her: Yes sir??
Bossman: Bullshit. I heard you on the phone. Do you need to leave a bit early?
Her: ::sniff:: yes, sir.
Bossman: Now… if you needed anything… would you tell me?
Her: …yes…?
Bossman: I didn’t think so either. ::sigh:: Just know the offer stands.
Her: Yes sir…
Bossman: Ok, now, get out of here. And be careful.
Her: thank you…

She packed up her stuff, shut down her desk and went out the door while the salesmen were in their respective offices, as not to get any friendly ribbing about her leaving so early. She headed home and wished for a mental tick board. Pros and Cons as a list was a big part of her decision making process. And whether or not she was going to tell her husband about leaving for a weekend trip to Baton Rouge was weighing on her and she could physically feel the pressure building.

Her mind went in circles.

Her thought process almost verbatim: “Should I tell him? He never tells me a damn thing. He waits for me to find out then says, ‘Oh, that?… I was going to tell you…’ Gah. My biggest harping point about this relationship, this marriage, is communication. Two wrongs don’t make a right… or is that a left? (bah dum chhh) Shit. No time for jokes. I always promised I would tell him if someone even flirted with me or whatever. He promised the same. So much for his promise. It has been broken way too many times, it is basically shattered. Why does this have to be so hard? The righteous indignation martyr part of me is screaming for me to tell him so I can say with a small snort and a look down my nose at him, ‘I always told you EVERYTHING. But nooo, you never told me ANYTHING!’ Yeah, throw those blanket statements around. ::eyeroll:: Maybe this underhanded shit is the only language he speaks. We have been over this for years. Years. It is not like he is mentally disabled… and hears everything else I say except, ‘Please do not mess around on me and make me look like a fool. This town is minuscule, everyone knows everyone else’s business, if you must be a whore, be discreet, but for the Love of PETE, tell me FIRST!’ Gah. Not too much to ask? No?.. That settles it. I’ll tell him that I am leaving for the weekend, he is not to know where I am going… and I’ll discuss it with him when I get back on Sunday evening.”

After making up her mind, she felt so much better.

She took a deep breath and pressed her foot down on the accelerator, she wanted to get home, pack and let her husband know that she was leaving for an impromptu mini vacation. He would only be privy to that information. No other. He had lost that right when he had broken his promise to her again.

She reached the county road and slowed down, itching to fly along the blacktop and have the canopy of pine trees be a blur. She crested a hill and saw a log truck in front of her and was glad for her foresight to slow down.

She turned into the property drive and went down to the house, all sand flying and dogs chasing her car. She stopped the car in front of the house, noted that her husband was home and, after pausing briefly to greet the dogs, she went inside.

She did not call out for him as she normally did when she entered the house, she went straight to the bedroom and grabbed a bag and started packing. With the noise of the closet door opening, her husband appeared in the doorway.

Him: Hey, you’re home early…
Her: Yes, I am.
Him: Can we talk about this morning?
Her: I’d really rather not.
Him: Really? Why not? And what are you packing for?
Her: I don’t want to keep rehashing things that we’ve said so many times over,
Him: ...
Her: and I’m going away for the weekend.
Him: Where?
Her: I don’t think I’ll tell you until I get home on Sunday.
Him: But…
Her: …(talking over him) BUT I will check in with you and let you know I am safe when I get there, and when I leave for the trip home Sunday afternoon.
Him: Why won’t you tell me?
Her: I don’t think you want to push me on this. I’m going to leave now and I hope you have a nice weekend.

And with that, she walked out the door.

July 13, 2005

The Road to Baton Rouge - Part Three

She got into her little green car and headed towards Baton Rouge. She had her cd case with her with all of her favorites, but she kept coming back to that Toni Braxton cd that she had loved so much just a few weeks before. She was so mad at her husband about so many things and on so many levels. She wanted to lose herself in the music, Bonnie Raitt wouldn’t do, too much pain in that woman’s voice. She couldn’t listen to country, no crying, cheatin and drivin songs would do. She couldn’t listen to Metallica, she would likely get a ticket for speeding. So, she popped in the cd Secrets.

Before she knew it she was crossing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and the sun had long since set.

She was nervous about seeing CC. What was she going to say? What the hell was she doing anyway? Driving across Texas and into Louisiana just because she was hardheaded? Showing up on an old friend’s doorstep at 10 pm on a Friday night?

Oh Lord, she was going to hurl.

This was a mistake.

No.

Wait.

It wasn’t a mistake. CC wanted her here. She was wanted here. He said everything was going to be ok and she believed him. He had never lied to her.

She made the turn into his subdivision, parked on the street and quietly walked up to the door and knocked.

She took a deep breath.

CC answered the door with the largest smile she had ever seen; he enveloped her in a hug and said, “Wow, girl. Are you ever a sight for sore eyes.” She fit into his hug and after a few moments noticed a small excited puppy dancing around their feet. CC introduced her to Lucy and then asked her inside. She scooped Lucy up as she stepped inside the door and laughed as Lucy gave her little wet kisses on the nose.

CC and Lucy gave her the grand tour of the house and then CC perched her on a bar stool in the kitchen. He then put a turkey sandwich, some chips and a cold beer in front of her and asked for her keys. She handed them over and watched him as he went to unpack her things with a warning not to feed Lucy any chips, “No matter how cute she is.”

She sat on the barstool with Lucy sniffing around her feet. She nibbled at her sandwich and sipped on her beer amazed that she was even in CC’s kitchen. She felt so drained. The trip was refreshing, sure. Driving always allowed her to collect her thoughts and put her priorities in order. She was just drained emotionally. Not being upfront with her husband about where she was going and the fight from that morning was bearing down on her.

CC came in from getting her stuff out of the car, put everything in his room and then grabbed a cold beer from the icebox. He leaned a hip on the counter, and crossing his long legs he took a pull of his beer. He asked her, “So, how was your drive?”

She looked at this kind man standing in front of her, a man who she’s known for over a decade. And she broke down into her sandwich. Twice in one day a simple kind word from him had brought her to tears.

He gathered her up into his arms, smoothing her unruly hair away from her face and wiping the tears away from her eyes with the rough pads of his thumbs and rocked her. He rocked her and shushed her in soothing tones, rubbing her back and squeezing her when her sobs broke. She wept until she had nothing left and then he offered her the hem of his t-shirt and wiped her nose.

She gave a small weak laugh and he led her quietly into the bathroom and sat her on the closed toilet lid.

He ran her a bath and then undressed her as if she were a child, with such care and tenderness. He helped her into the bath and then he gently washed her face and her hair and then left her to soak and relax. He came back in a little while and heated up the water for her so she wouldn’t get cold. And when she was done with her bath, CC carefully dried her off and combed out her hair. He dressed her in his t-shirt and a pair of shorts and they sat on the bed together and he, occasionally touching her damp hair to move it out of her face, waited for her to say something, anything.

Her: Thank you so much for taking care of me tonight.
CC: You’re welcome, is there anything you need?
Her: I’m not sure, I’m just sorry for being such a mess.
CC: It is ok, and you don’t have to talk about it… know that ok?
Her: Really?
CC: Really… I just want to take care of you.
Her: It is just so nice to be here…
CC: I’m glad that you are.

They watched movies and caught up on his family and hers. Since they had known each other for so long, their lives were intertwined like grapevines… that is, until a few years ago when his parents left Texas. She missed him so badly. The hour long conversations at all hours of the night didn’t make up for the face time that they once had.

In the subtle shift of the hours past midnight and dawn, finally relaxed and happy to be near her friend she decided to tell CC what happened with her husband. But he stopped her. With a kiss.

“I’ve wanted you for fourteen years, let me love you.”

And she did.

July 14, 2005

The Road to Baton Rouge - Part Four

They made love for the rest of the night. And in the bright sunlight of the early afternoon, driven by the need for food, they finally left the comfort of each others arms and the warm cocoon of his bedroom and got ready for the day.

He took her to lunch at a little Cajun restaurant and they had po’boys and cold beer. They acted like young lovers without a care in the world, cuddling and stealing kisses from one another and enjoying each other’s company.

They toured the college campus and he showed her sights of places that were important to him.

He asked her to go dancing with him later that night. She almost squealed at the prospect of having her own dance partner for a date. She dressed with care that evening and when she emerged from the bedroom after applying her makeup and doing her hair CC whistled low told her she was beautiful. And for the first time in a long while she felt beautiful.

The date was wonderful and the following romance found at CC’s home after they returned was even more so.

CC asked her to find a cd that was right for the moment and she put in Secrets and cued up You’re Makin’ Me High. CC’s eyes lit up when he heard the erotic strains of the song and after it ended he hit repeat. Then he hit repeat again. Again, and again… and again.

The next morning after showering together and a large breakfast, CC turned to her and said, “I know that you aren’t happy in your situation honey. And for that, I’m sorry. I wish I could help. You know my door is always open. I know you have to leave today, I wish you didn’t. Just let me know when you get home safe, ok?” She nodded, numbly aware that reality was about to crash back in.

They packed her belongings together, Lucy acted as the comic relief.

She walked to the door. He hugged her, she swore in her head she wouldn’t cry. She didn’t. The wall around her heart; that steady, constant companion; was already bricking up and getting ready for the trip home.

On the way home she called her husband and alerted him to the fact that she was on the road. He teased and goaded her asking her what seemed like a million times, “So… where were you this weekend?” She didn’t tell him. She said, “I’ll talk to you about it when I get home.”

She knew that she was going to have to tell him about where she was and also about her infidelity. She was going to have to tell him about CC. The knowledge that her husband had been wearing the shoes of the adulterer longer than she had was of no comfort to her in those six long hours on the road. She still had the hot, heavy weight of guilt riding in the pit of her stomach.

She rehearsed what she would say when she got to the house. How the conversation would go, what her husband would say when she told him she had been in Baton Rouge. Would she wait for a while and let him relax in the fact that she had just gone to another town to blow off steam before she told him she had slept with CC? Or would she give him all of the information at once?

She never knew how her brain would let the information flow. Quiet and controlled like an agent for some secret company sent to deliver only a few bulleted points? Or a rush of a verbal flood with no secrets left standing, all cards on the table?

She pulled into the drive and sat at the top of the hill. For a few moments she gripped the steering wheel tightly; hating the town and the land and her decisions that had brought her to this place and everything that she was tied to. She wanted to fly, she wanted to run, she wanted to be young again and revel in the knowledge that she had no responsibility to anyone but to herself.

Too late for that now.

She sighed and drove slowly down the driveway, parked, grabbed her bag and went inside.

Her husband was watching TV when she walked in. She put her bags in the bedroom and he came to greet her. He hugged her and she allowed it. Still mad at him even though she was just as guilty, he chuckled a little at his own little private joke and then asked her if she had fun.

Him: So, did you have a good time on your little weekend away?
Her: It was ok.
Him: Did you get over your mad?
Her: Did I what?!

She couldn’t believe he was going to try and joke his way out of this.

Him: I thought you were going away to get over being angry at me.
Her: Actually, I went away to try and prove a point.
Him: And what was that?
Her: That not being up front and communicating with your spouse can have terrible ramifications.
Him: Just because I slept with that girl and didn’t tell you about it first you thought you could go out of town and teach me a lesson?
Her: Always the gentleman. Good Lord. (trying to keep her composure) No, you dick just because you put my reputation and your reputation and possibly your health and my health on the line and … Good God man! You are a police officer! And you are Married!
Him: (hand up in defensive gesture) Sorry, sorry, sorry. So. Where did you go? Hmmm?
Her: Baton Rouge.
Him: Oh. Did you see CC?
Her: Actually, I stayed with him.
Him: Awesome. How is he doing?
Her: He is doing very well… he took very good care of me.
Him: Good, good.
Her: …...
Him: What are you not telling me?
Her: I… I slept with him.
Him: Hey, that’s cool… I slept with Leann W. last night.
Her: ::sigh:: …. I wouldn’t have expected anything less my dear.

The brick wall around her heart was almost complete before that night. By the end of that conversation nothing could penetrate it.

May 12, 2006

Scratch Fiction: Frank

Scratch fiction gauntlet thrown down by monkey0. Several others have had a go as well. Links on Monkey0’s page. Also, ya’ll go ahead and click on “the monkey is always watching”… awesome photos housed within.

Sarah pulled the pictures from their safe-keeping spot within the yellowed pages of the cookbook her mother had handed down to her. The pictures were safe within its confines as no one ever ventured into the kitchen, much less the cookbook. She had been cooking and cleaning for the man of this house for almost fifteen years. Maybe more, definitely since she was old enough to remember the recipe for cats head biscuits. She made sure that the bacon was on the table wrapped in a few layers of cheese cloth to soak up any extra grease and then she flipped to the cookbook’s hidden pictures again.
Frank. A strong name. A man’s name. This man was to be her salvation.
A yell came from the living room where the man of the house was listening to the morning weather report on the radio. “Where’s my breakfast, girl?” “It will be ready in five minutes, Mr. Jackson.” She replied as she turned to the wood burning stove to check on the gravy. Her biscuits were slowly browning from the heat. When she opened the heavy cast iron door to damper the coals the heat struck her full in the face and beads of perspiration popped out on her forehead just below her hair line.
She removed the biscuits from the heat and stirred her gravy one last time before taking a rag mitt and placing them both on the heavy table against the window where Mr. Jackson preferred to have his meals.
“Your breakfast is ready sir,” she called to Mr. Jackson softly.
Mr. Jackson stomped into the room and began to eat as though she hadn’t served him a meal in weeks. He shoveled down two gravy soaked biscuits and took a handful of bacon in his large hand, grunted and walked out the front door. His large workman’s boots echoing loudly on the wooden porch beyond the door. She heard him call up his dogs and then start up his old truck. A moment later he pulled out of the dirt yard heading to the cotton fields.
Sarah only had a few hours before Mr. Jackson returned to his modest homestead for the required afternoon meal. She quickly extinguished the flames in the stove, cleaned out the skillet and wrapped up the remaining biscuits and bacon in a rag that she knew Mr. Jackson wouldn’t miss. She went to the wash basin to wash her face and slick her hair back from her head. In the morning humidity her hair had become an unruly mess. Sarah packed up her meager belongings and left Mr. Jackson a note:

“Dear Mr. Jackson,
I have worked for you for fifteen years. My father’s debt has been paid to you three times over. Although you have never been a mean man, you have never spoken a kind word to me or to my sister, may she rest in peace.
Thank you for the roof over my head and the clothes on my back.
May God bless you and keep you.
Wishing you well,
Sarah”

She wrapped the note around Mr. Jackson’s favorite pipe so she was sure he would find it when he came home for lunch, she gingerly put the biscuits and bacon parcel into her bag and stepped out the front door.
Sarah couldn’t believe she was going to be married. “Missus Frank Abernathy,” she said aloud just to see how it sounded to her ears. “Missus Sarah Abernathy pleased to make your acquaintance.” She curtsied to a willow tree imagining that it was a very important person, maybe the local parson or the mayor. She had never been out of Mr. Jackson’s house except to attend church on Sundays. When her father handed her and her sister over to Mr. Jackson to pay his debt as a share cropper he insisted that Sarah was a hard worker and did not speak unless spoken to… but it was a must that she attend church every Sunday. Mr. Jackson agreed only to punish Sarah in small ways when she did go into town to attend church. He would let the dogs in and they would ravage the tidy little kitchen that was her life. He would accidentally let the mules loose in her garden and they would stomp on her lettuce and eat all the corn. He would walk directly through her freshly hung laundry after being covered in red dust from the cotton fields all day. She would never miss Mr. Jackson acting worse than a child and making awkward advances at her even though he had never said one kind thing to her since she started working for him.
It was these things she was happy to be rid of.
She was going to meet Frank at the end of the fence over near the church. She walked happily along swinging her little basket of belongings and introducing herself to cows and crows and trees along the fence as she went, “Well hello there Missus Brown Cow. Why yes, I did make that Apple Brown Betty for the church function… My name is Missus Sarah Abernathy, I am Frank’s wife. I am so pleased to meet you.” “And you, Mr. Crow… how do you do? Yes, yes, I am the new bride of Frank Abernathy. Yes, he is the most handsome and intelligent accountant in town. Oh, don’t be silly Mr. Crow. I know he is the only accountant in town and my, isn’t his business booming?”
Shortly after 9 am Sarah spotted the church up ahead and picked up her pace. Frank was waiting. Frank was going to make her his bride. Frank was going to make everything new.

June 29, 2007

Pinky Swear - Part I

The hum of silence was loud in her ears. She knew she shouldn’t hold her breath for very much longer or the exhale that followed may be loud enough to give her position away.

She closed her eyes for a while hoping that when she opened them she would be more accustomed to the darkness and would be able to see in what seemed like an ink black environment.

She let a breath out through her nose, softly and controlled. She opened her eyes and slowly put her right hand in front of her face. She could see the outline of her pale skin even in the darkness.

Eyesight, check.

She still didn’t know if she was deaf or if the silence was just so loud that it was a void that refused to let noise in. She raised her right hand to her right ear and swiped the pad of her forefinger against the pad of her thumb one time. The resulting ‘shhhh’ of skin on skin was a relief, it was also louder than she expected. She had been straining to hear a noise, any noise for so long that her ears were hypersensitive to even the slightest sound.

Hearing, check.

She could partially see in the dark and her ears were very alert. She pressed her right hand alongside the surface her back was resting against. She could feel wood paneling and the dampness that comes to a house, or building with age. She tried to move her feet and found her legs and what lay below them fast asleep. She took a breath and detected an unpleasant smell of neglect. Mold, rat droppings and an unpleasant chemical smell that she could not identify.

She closed her eyes and took a mental inventory of her body starting with her feet and her legs that were asleep; she shifted her weight and found that she was crouched in a very uncomfortable position. One that would make her almost invisible or a very small target, which would explain why her thighs were burning, her legs asleep and her feet were numb with cold and lack of circulation.

She concentrated on the rest of her body, ticking off each extremity. Feet cold, at least I have feet, she thought. Calves and thighs, cramping... must move soon or will have trouble standing... if I can stand. Back... sore but not broken, right arm and hand... good... left arm and hand... ow.

She lifted her left arm and tested the shoulder, making sure to make small movements, small sounds, small tests of her mobility or lack thereof. Her shoulder was fine. She lifted her left hand to her face and tried to see if the outline would tell her why her arm was throbbing. Oh, she thought to herself, would you look at that? I’m missing my pinky.

The loss of the digit on her hand didn’t concern her as she could also see that the wound had been dressed in gauze that stood out whiter than her skin in the dark. She ran her right hand over her head, face and neck looking for wounds. Five wound types, her brain told her as she gingerly felt her own clavicle and around to the back of her skull. Abrasion, puncture, laceration, crush, incision.

Her left shoulder may be a bit bruised but she didn’t have any wounds except the missing finger.

She lifted her right arm above her and felt for the top of whatever she was in. A room? A closet? An oven? An oven? Why would she think that she would find herself in an oven? She felt no clothes hanging down from above but did find a bar that clothes may once have hung upon.

I’m in a closet, she thought. This, I can handle.

She knew that standing up too quickly or exploring her space without a bit more information may be her ticket to fatality.

She inched up along the back of the wall and when her head softly touched the bar at the top of the closet a few wire hangers to her right softly chimed their presence.

Now that she was standing upright she began working her right hand along her thigh muscles to help alleviate the cramps she thought would come from being crouched down in a closet. For how long she had been in the closet, she did not know.

She didn’t know her name, she didn’t know why she was missing the pinky on her left hand and she didn’t know where she was or why she was crouched in a closet for that matter. She didn’t know why she had the foresight to be quiet or to take a mental catalog of her body, senses and her injuries or why she was in this predicament. She just knew that she needed to get out. It was instinct.

Running the tips of her fingers lightly along the door frame in front of her she saw the closet door in her mind. Standard door, it did not feel reinforced, no extra locks or heaviness. She longed to knock lightly on the door to test for thickness. She wanted to know if the door was locked, latched or otherwise secured and would not open for her from the inside if she would be able to brace herself against the moist paneling behind her and kick the door open. She hoped it wouldn’t come to that. Entering a blind room after making a loud racket by kicking a door down was something she knew not to do.

How did she know these things?

How was she so sure that she could even kick the door down? Where were these thoughts and decisions coming from? She didn’t know if she was a regular woman with a job, a cat and a boyfriend. She didn’t know if she was something that someone was looking for, for good reasons or bad. She didn’t know why it didn’t bother her that she was missing a finger. And the biggest question that she didn’t know the answer to was, where she was, and why.

She found the doorknob inside the closet and tested the give in the lock. It didn’t rock to the right or left, up or down. The door to the closet wasn’t as brittle as the paneling behind her, neither was the hardware for the doorknob. She lightly gripped the handle and turned it clockwise, it turned smoothly under her hand and a small ‘snick’ was all she heard when the lock was disengaged.

She took another deep breath and closed her eyes. She opened her mouth and let the breath out slow, as she exhaled she slowly pushed the door to the closet open. Just a crack at first, she put her eye to the crack and looked into the darkened room before her. No movements, no sense of another person or being waiting for her on the other side. She then closed her mouth and placed her nose close to the opening. She drew in a controlled breath, smelling the other room.

The room smelled like nothing.

There was a complete absence of smell. Was it just the closet that smelled like mildew, neglect and that unpleasant chemical smell? She could pick up on other peoples’ pheromones. Her sense of smell was very acute and from what she could remember, each person had their own signature scent. She didn’t smell any animals in the room. She didn’t even smell the lingering odors of clean laundry, dirty laundry, ozone, food from a kitchen, gun oil.

Gun oil? Why would she be testing the air for the scent of gun oil?

These questions kept popping into her head and she needed to stay focused if she wanted to stay alive. The reason she felt like her life was in danger and how or why she instinctively knew what she needed to do next shouldn’t be of any consequence. When she got to a safe place she would search her pockets and her memory for the answers to the millions of questions circling her brain like bees buzzing around a hive.

She shook her head once. Twice. Focused her gaze on the darkness in front of her, took a deep but silent breath and opened the door.

March 7, 2008

Pinky Swear: Part II

Running storyline. Fiction... and really bad fiction at that. If you are interested Part One is found here. Not sure if I will ever finish this thing. Vote in the comments section to keep this going or to kill her off.

Part II

She pushed the door open in front of her and it swung softly on its hinges until it settled against the wall to her left. She stayed where she was, letting her eyes adjust to the room. How could any space be so completely dark? Wouldn’t windows let in some ambient light from the moon, stars, passing cars, other houses or buildings, maybe even street lights?

The feeling was coming back into her legs and feet. She was relieved to find that each leg, each foot and all of her toes were still attached. She flexed her thigh muscles and wiggled her toes. She braced herself on either wall of the closet she was inside and raised up on her toes, laying her head on her right shoulder as not to hit the clothes bar above her. She wanted to stretch her calf muscles so she kept her palms braced against the walls and kept her heels planted on the floor as she lifted the toes of her feet. Each foot, raised and lowered three times. She wanted to rotate her feet on her ankles but she knew that whatever noise she was spared from her knees popping when she stood, she wouldn’t be so lucky with her ankles.

Each time she lifted her toes she thought of three things. Number one. No Noise. Number two. Ballet. And number three. What are my toes are brushing against?

She knelt again in her hiding place, keeping her eyes trained on the room in front of her. No motion, no sounds, no odor, no light, nothing that was living and breathing was waiting for her in the room beyond her closet door. She felt in front of her feet and found a large canvas bag. The bag had a shoulder strap and two heavy nylon stitched handles. She pressed down on the bag to see if she could discern what was inside of it. No luck, she would have to explore the bag when she found a safe quiet place with light. But she knew that she would have to take the bag with her.

She stepped lightly over the bag and into the room. She moved to the left and felt the inside of the closet door handle pressing up against her back. She kept moving until she could feel the wall behind the opened closet door. She slipped behind the opened door. It acted as minimal cover and let her try to get her bearings. She needed to find out the layout of the room. Where were the windows, where was the door, and if there were more than one, where was the other and how heavy was the canvas bag she that she found in the closet?

The wall was smooth behind her. She edged her way around the room clockwise until she came to a sharp right angle. She was breathing quick, shallow little breaths. She knew that she was still alone in the room, she just didn’t know for how long, or why. She crept along this new wall with her left hand trailing the wall and her right hand out in front of her so she wouldn’t bump into any furniture.

She found the ledge of a window. Her heart hammered in excitement.

She might need to leave in a hurry once she able to open the window; or a door if she came to one; so she returned to the closet, tested the heft of the canvas bag, found it comfortable in it’s weightiness but not heavy or awkward to carry. She slung the shoulder strap across her head so the bag hung diagonally across her narrow back and she returned to the window sill.

The room seemed to be empty but she wanted to be sure. She was certain that going out a window would be preferable to going deeper into rest of the building or the house. She felt if she could just get outside her current holding room, she would be able to see, and then find her way to wherever she needed to be.

She had not figured out where she needed to be, or where she needed to go, she just knew she had to get out, with as little difficulty as possible.

With the bag slung across the middle her back like a modern day quiver, she traversed the room finding another window, another wall and then another wall and then she came to a door. The room seemed to be empty and the door wasn’t the closet door, but a door that opened into the building. She hesitated.

The window? Or the door?

She still couldn’t see and she didn’t know if the windows had been blacked out or even worse, bricked over. She was already at the door, she decided to take her chances and find some light. At least, then she could see what was in the ruck sack she was carrying. There may be a clue inside of it to who she was and what sort of predicament she was in.

She crossed silently to the other side of the door, found the knob and turned it slowly. The knob turned like it had been freshly oiled and when she felt the lock disengage she let out a small breath of relief that she hadn’t heard the mechanism work, but only felt the smooth vibrations of the bolt inside the lock being withdrawn from the door frame.

Instinct kicked in and she took a deep breath through her nose, put her right eye up to the door jamb and pulled it open just enough to see that the hallway just on the other side was as dark as the room she was in.

She opened the door just a bit further and was able to see the outline of some stairs about twelve feet from the room she was in. If she could see the outline of the stair landing, there was bound to be a little bit of light filtering in from somewhere. She opened the door enough to slip through and stood just outside the door listening for noise within the building or house to help her find her way out or away from whomever put her in that closet.

No noise. It was silent as a tomb and she knew that it could very well be her own tomb if she didn’t get a move on. Her eyes were adjusting to the faint source of light as looked around the landing and saw three other doors and a longer hallway to the right. The stairs was where the brightest source of light was coming from and they only led up. She knew that light could mean other people, but she needed to see inside of her canvas bag. Something important was inside, it would help her... she just knew it.

She moved to the landing and looked up. The only thing at the top of the stairs was another door. Leaning forward into the stairwell, she looked up and saw where the light source was coming from. A sky light was about seven stories above her and a sliver of a moon and starry night looked back at her.

She headed up the stairs, keeping to the outside of the stairs and staying on the balls of her feet. The stairs seemed to be concrete. Office building? Was she downtown? If so, she could get out of the building and disappear into the night once she was outside. She looked forward to the night air like with eagerness akin to hunger.

She got to the first landing and saw several more doors leading off the main stair case and another set of stairs leading up to the next landing she took these stairs a little more confidently. Making sure to keep herself in check, she knew that being too cocky could get her killed. She reached the top of the landing in no time and this time, along with the doors to other rooms or offices, she saw a registration desk and a hallway that bisected the building.

One part of the hallway ran straight in front of her and deeper into the building and what she thought would be an emergency exit, and the other part ran to the front doors.

Which way to go? She flipped a mental coin, chose heads and turned to the back entrance hoping the power was off throughout the whole building so she wouldn’t set off the emergency alarm when she pushed the exit bar.

She walked lightly in her flexible shoes. Toe first as to remain silent.

She got halfway down the hall and heard noise coming from a closed door. There was the tell-tale sign of flickering light dancing along the crack between the floor and the door signaling a television. She hesitated for a split second to try and hear any voices other than those on the TV... with no luck so she hurried on to the back door.

At the back door she resettled the bag against her back and gently pushed the exit bar on the emergency door. Surprising her the door swung open on silent hinges. No sound. Nothing.... then a blaring siren signaling her exit. She ran out onto a concrete landing with stairs leading down. She knew she needed to move and move fast so she jumped the railing and landed on the damp asphalt of the alley, she straightened and leaned forward pumping her legs, running for her life.

March 14, 2008

Want to Go To Austin?: Part I

Sue met Jay at a rodeo.

She was working the Rodeo Club hospitality booth with Debra. It was one of the events at the Expo that March. The girls were there for the cowboys. Their job was to keep the cowboys fed and to make sure that they had something cool to drink in between the different events.

Sue and a friend of hers, Kelly, had already spotted Jay a few weeks before at a bar and dubbed him FMF. They thought that they were so clever and sophisticated. So funny with their little raunchy acronyms.

Jay walked up to the hospitality booth with another deputy that Sue and Debra knew. They greeted the known deputy and Sue saw Jay look down, she said, “Hi, I’m Sue, what is your name?” Jay looked up, surprised at being addressed, blushed crimson and spoke softly, “It is Jay. And it is very nice to meet you.” He extended his hand and gripped her outstretched hand with his.

With that Sue’s Southern side took over and she made sure that these law enforcement officers were treated just as kindly as the cowboys.

The sheriff’s deputies were on site at the rodeo to work security and they did not expect the full spread of food and drink that Debra and Sue set out for them. They were grateful as it had been a long day and offered their thanks and were well mannered.

Sue would see Jay out with her friends when they went dancing at some of the bars in town. He would pop up at her local midnight hang out when she was cramming for a test or just wanted to read, smoke and drink coffee until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes he would be in uniform but most often, not. It was as if he knew where she would be and when.

At the bars she never saw him dance. He would always stand on the sides by the tables with his friends surrounding him. But he would watch her. Every now and again a shy smile would creep over his blushing face if Sue waved at him from the dance floor. Women were drawn to him because he was extremely handsome but they didn’t stay around long as he was not very talkative and painfully bashful.

One evening Sue and Kelly were at the midnight hang out talking about the 4th of July. Kelly said she was going to Austin to see her new niece. She asked Sue what her plans were. “Well, I really don’t have any.” Sue replied. About that moment Kelly covered her mouth with her hand and whispered, “FMF seven o’clock.” Before Sue could turn around to look (he was soooo handsome) he slid into the booth next to her and asked, “So, what kind of trouble are you gals plotting?” Kelly responded, “Well, I was just telling Sue that she should come to Austin for the 4th of July... And... you should come too... okay... um bye!” And with that, Kelly scrambled to get out of the diner before Sue could kill her.

Jay slid around to the other side of the booth to look at Sue. He took a deep breath, looked at his watch, nervously ran his hand through his thick black hair and then leaned over the booth a bit and in a rush of words that came out too fast he said, “Okay. I’m game if you are. Would you like to go to Austin for the 4th of July?” Sue blinked, laughed a little nervous laugh and replied, “Really?” He nodded. “You’re serious?” Another nod. “Jay, I don’t even know you.” His face fell and then he brightened, “Yes you do, we’ve know each other since the 13th of March and the 4th of July is This coming weekend. I tell you what, you drive, I’ll buy. We’ll get the scoop from Kelly on what to do when we get there and we’ll just... go!”

And she agreed.

Back at her apartment Sue called Debra and told her the news. Debra shrieked, “You’re going to Austin with FMF!?” “Yep.” “How in the hell did that happen?” “Um, Kelly did it?” “Ah, ha....”

Sue called Kelly to verbally kill her, but also thank her. Kelly answered knowing it was Sue, “Girl, that man has had a crush on you since he saw you at the rodeo in March. What did you do? Put a spell on him or something?” “No, and how did you know about the rodeo thing... does he really have a crush?” Kelly replied, “Sue. Come ON. I work the door at the club, I hear EVERYTHING. Yes, he has had his eye on you for months.”

The next night Sue was back at the midnight hangout. She was supposed to be studying but instead she was looking at a 3”x5” note card that she was using as a bookmark in a book she was reading for pleasure. She was making a list. She started with listing every boy she had ever kissed, chronologically, because she was just that anal. Most of the boys on the list she knew their first and last names, where they were at that point in time, who their families were ect. Then she put a little star next to the men she had slept with. It was when she was counting up these men that Jay slid into the booth across from her. Sue quickly hid the bookmark inside the book and looked up at him... a completely guilty expression on her face.

Jay: Hey, whatcha doin?
Sue: Studying?
Jay: Bullshit.
Sue: Reading?
Jay: I’ll buy that one, you are always reading something. What was on that little note card?
Sue: Nothing, hey, how did you find me?
Jay: You are a creature of habit... and I figured if we were going on a road trip, we may as well get to know one another a little bit.
Sue: Alright. Do you have any questions?
Jay: Besides “what is on the note card?” No.
Sue: I was just making some notes. A list.
Jay: Like a things to do list?
Sue: Could have been called that, sure.
Jay: Could?
Sue: Moving on. So, what would you like to do in Austin? When do you want to leave? Where do you want to stay? Have you ever been?
Jay: Whoa. Well, let’s see. I have been to Austin, but not in a long time. Kelly is going to let us know about the fun stuff to do. Let’s leave Friday at noon or so and I have no idea where to stay, we can just figure that out when we get there.
Sue: Alright. What is your mother’s maiden name?
Jay: Why?
Sue: Well, I need to know something personal about you or your family before I just go on a trip with you.
Jay: Babcock. Her maiden name is Babcock. My middle name is Jason... can’t tell you my first name, it is way too embarrassing and I have a little sister and a big brother. They all live in Houston.
Sue: Much better. Do you need to know anything about me?
Jay: Can I see the list?
Sue: Are you going to let this go... ever?
Jay: Nope.
Sue: Fine.

Sue handed the list over, keeping her place in the book with her thumb. She didn’t explain it, she just watched his incredibly long eye lashes move as his eyes darted over the list. He looked it over twice and flipped the card over looking for more information. The back was blank.

Jay: Who are all of these men?
Sue: Boys I’ve kissed.
Jay: And the little stars?
Sue: Those are the ones I have had long relationships with.

She lied.

Jay: ... right.
Sue: [::blink::]
Jay: So, anything else?
Sue: Yep.
Jay: Ut oh.
Sue: How did you know or remember that we met on March 13th?
Jay: [::furiously blushing::] Because I was working security at the rodeo and you were so nice to me.
Sue: Hospitable... would you say?
Jay: Yes, I would definitely say you were hospitable.
Sue: Great, because after all... it was the hospitality booth.
Jay: Smart alleck.
Sue: Oh, where do you live? I have no idea where to pick you up on Friday. Um... and what am I supposed to pack?
Jay: You know that little white house across from the college?
Sue: Yep.
Jay: I live there with my roommates. And anything is fine for you to pack as long as you bring your hat and those red boots.
Sue: I thought you didn’t dance.
Jay: See you Friday!

And with that, he left.

The rest of the week Sue had tests and hung out with her friends at the normal spots. She went dancing and had some friends over for Tino’s pizza and a movie. When Thursday rolled around she made sure all of her laundry was done, she packed a small bag and left her toiletries out for getting dressed the next afternoon, and then she went to the bar with her friends.

Friday after she went to her first class she came home and went to the pool in her apartment complex. She lay in the sun thinking of Jay. Wondering about Jay. Wondering why she was such a sucker and had agreed to go to Austin with a complete stranger.

She pulled her float out of the pool and went home to shower. She thought about Jay some more as she shaved her legs. She called up his memory and in her mind she looked him over. Tall, about 6’1” or so, dark olive skin, thick and shiny black hair that he kept short and swept to the side, full lips, eyelashes and eyebrows any woman would commit a felony for and bright green eyes. Italian. Broad shoulders, pretty. Yum. She thought to herself, “Well, he’s a sheriff’s deputy and a full time college student. Ambitious and hot. Not bad.” She dressed in shorts, tennis shoes and a t-shirt. She pulled her hair back for the drive down to Austin and threw her stuff in the car.

She drove to the white house and pulled into the driveway. Jay was waiting for her in the yard, throwing a football back and forth with a roommate. He smiled when she pulled up and grabbed his bag. He waved to his buddy, threw his bag into the back and climbed into her little four door car.

Jay: I wasn’t entirely sure that you would actually show up.
Sue: Honestly? Neither was I.

They grinned at one another and headed out of town.


March 20, 2008

Want To Go To Austin?: Part II

Please click here to go to Part I.

They drove out Highway 7 West towards Crockett and talked the whole way. It was only a few hours to Austin and they filled up every moment with regaling each others with stories of travel, family, school life, work life, friends, bar life and anything else that came up.

Music was found on the radio and then mix tapes were played. Sue actually even sang along; loudly and off key; to Mariah’s Vanishing without a bit of embarrassment even when Jay broke down in a fit of laughter that was so contagious that Sue had to pull over, lest she wreck.

When they reached Crockett they stopped at a burger joint on the loop and went in for a late lunch. While Sue deconstructed and then reconstructed her sandwich to her liking she looked up shyly at Jay putting a perfect circle of ketchup on the wax paper in his fast food basket and said to him, “You know... I’ve never been on a trip with a boy before.” Jay looked up, surprised, took a paper napkin out of the dispenser, wiped his hands and then folded them on the table. He said, “Me neither.”

Sue: You’ve never been on a trip with a boy before?
Jay: No, I mean, yes... you know what I mean. I haven’t been on a trip with a girl before. Alone.
Sue: Exactly. The alone part makes it kind of exciting... but... sorta...
Jay: Do you....?
Sue: Do I what?
Jay: Feel guilty or anything?
Sue: Well, sort of... being my mother’s daughter I am not supposed to be alone with a strange boy on a road trip with no apparent reason.
Jay: She planned for this contingency? She literally brought up traveling alone with a boy?
Sue: Well, no. But I am sure it was implied somewhere down the line.
Jay: Of course.... under the whole, “Thou shall not slouch” commandment, a subparagraph.
Sue: Do you actually KNOW my mother?
Jay: No. [laughing] But your parents sound like good people.
Sue: And it’s not like we’re doing anything bad... or anything.
Jay: I know, we haven’t even held hands.

Sue cringed internally at her words, mentally smacking her forehead for sounding so inarticulate and immature. She rolled her eyes rehashing, “It’s not like we’re doing anything bad... or anything.” Gah. They finished their lunch with a smattering of conversation. Sue was mostly trying desperately to get over her “I carried a watermelon” moment. Jay’s apparent lack of knowledge that he was so hot was disconcerting. Add to that the fact that he seemed smitten and was turning into a friend as they chatted was throwing Sue off.

After throwing away their trash they used the washrooms and on the way out the door to Sue’s car Jay said her name quietly and then held out his hand. Sue looked at him and took it. They walked easily to her car, their hands clasped and swinging between them. As he held her car door open for her he said, “Well, at least now we’ve held hands.” It was Sue’s turn to blush crimson.

They drove southwest into Austin watching the sun drop low in the sky as they made their way into the hill country. They talked easily and discussed their plans for the weekend. They discussed the various pros and cons of living in a small college town. She asked about how he liked being in law enforcement and how he chose that profession. He asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered truthfully that she really had no idea. They told stories and laughed. Even though he didn’t smoke, he didn’t begrudge her that she did and he lit her cigarettes for her as she drove.

They made it into Austin just before dusk and decided to make a tour through downtown. Jay turned the radio to some bad rap, rolled down his window, leaned back in his seat, put his arm out the window and started bopping his head along to the music, Sue followed suit and they toured Austin’s downtown area and the college looking like white bread vatos, laughing and pointing out various areas of interest to one another.

Kelly had suggested three things for Sue and Jay to do in Austin while they were there. The first was to make it to a showing at Esther’s Follies, the second was get to Maggie Mae’s for a drink and the last was to go for a tour in the state capitol building. Sue and Jay agreed to all of the above. When the two of them finished their vato tour through the area they went in search of a hotel.

Sue drove down I-35 at Jay’s direction and then pulled into a little Stratford Inn and Jay got out and with a smile said, “Be right back!”

Sue began to get a little nervous. She was analyzing every possible outcome that could happen between now and when Jay brought the key(s) out from the hotel office. They could be sleeping in two separate rooms. Yes, that is the good girl thing to do... but why was she feeling a bit of disappointment at that choice? They could share a room with two double beds. They could share ONE room with ONE big bed. And of these choices, what did each one mean to him? He said, “You drive, I’ll buy.” If he chose the two separate bedrooms, did that mean he didn’t find her attractive orrrrrr was he just being respectful? One bedroom, was she a slut? Or was he just being frugal? Did she owe him anything for paying? She rolled her eyes at herself.

Jay popped out of the office and hopped into her car. “Just pull in right here.” Sue pulled into the parking spot Jay indicated and kept her mouth shut. Truthfully, her mouth felt like it was actually glued shut, it was so dry and she was wide eyed with excitement and the heaping spoonful of anxiety that she was trying to swallow but it wouldn’t go down.

They pulled their bags out of the car and Sue followed Jay up the stairs. He opened the door to one room, ONE ROOM. Sue immediately heard Dan Akroyd in her head saying, “Jane, you incompetent slut.”

But Jay was smiling, he stood back to let her look inside. Inside the room was a massive king sized bed, its’ front right corner listing sadly towards the floor. Jay looked at Sue and she looked right back at him. His mouth turned up at one corner and he took her bag from her and said the words that would forever cement a place for him in her heart.

“So, do you wanna jump on the bed or what?”

Sue squealed and ran into the room, leaping onto the bed and bouncing around, her hand above her head to make sure she didn’t knock herself out on the ceiling. Jumping up and down she asked him, “How did you know?” He looked at her and smiled, replying, “How did I know what?” “How did you know that I liked to jump on hotel room beds?” He gave her the perfect answer, “Well, if your mother was anything like mine, there was no jumping on the bed at home... if we were in a hotel it was a special treat, she said it was something we paid to have the honor to do.” Sue had heard her mother say almost the exact same thing and she told Jay, “I love your mom.”

Sue flopped down on the bed and pulled the phone book out from the dresser, looked up Esther’s Follies and made a call, asking the times of the shows for that evening and where to park. They had an 8pm and a 10pm show. If she and Jay hurried, they could make it to the 8pm show. They got dressed; each one taking turns in the teeny bathroom. When she came out in her little halter jumper Jay whistled at her, she (in turn) clapped approvingly at his handsome form.

They drove to the parking lot that the Esther’s Follies attendant had told Sue about on the phone, parked, walked across the street and into the theater. It was a two drink minimum so when Jay bought their tickets he flashed his id, they were both stamped “of age” even though Sue had barely turned 20 years old. Entering the theater they found a spot, sat down and Jay ordered them a beer a piece. When the show started Sue laughed along with the antics of the cast and Jay laughed along with Sue. She kept ordering Jay beer and he finally asked her if she was trying to get him drunk so she could take advantage of him.

Sue: NO! [she mocked offense]
Jay: Are you sure!?
Sue: Well, you are a little more talkative and relaxed when you’ve had a few.
Jay: Should I be worried about my reputation? You are trying to take advantage of me, I can tell. Oh dear, we should have brought a chaperone.
Sue: Oh hush. [laughing]

When the show had ended the MC said that their tickets were good for a free admission to the Velveeta Room, a comedy club a few doors down on 6th street. Sue brightened at the chance of more laughter and Jay let her pull him out to the bustling street and down to the Velveeta Room. The seats were almost all full and the crowd was heckling the comedian. Sue ordered two more beers and then sat down next to Jay. He pulled her little chair close to him and whispered in her ear, “You ARE trying to take advantage of me.” The small hairs on her arms stood on end when he whispered in her ear, she shivered and cheered on the comedian, fully ignoring Jay’s attempt to bait her into a “No I’m not.” “Yes, you are.” back and forth conversation.

When the comedian left the stage Jay suggested that they walk down the street and find something interesting. They had planned on going to Maggie Mae’s the next night so they walked out into the hot July night and strolled down 6th street. They passed trinket sellers and bar barkers asking them to come inside to hear the live music playing. Jay picked out a colorful necklace made of shells and asked Sue if she wanted it. She was still a little shy about the whole “You drive, I’ll buy” thing so she shook her head. They kept walking, holding hands and talking easily as if they had known each other since the dawn of time.

Sue heard the strains of blues being played in a club to her left, she looked at Jay and asked if he liked Blues and R&B. He nodded and asked, “Do you want to go in there?” He pointed to a place called Joe’s Generic Bar. Sue nodded enthusiastically and they walked inside.

The band was playing Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Riviera Paradise”.

Jay bought two more beers and found Sue standing along the left side of a chest high bar to the left of the main bar. There were two such bars running the length of the area, the rest of the floor had small round tables and several chairs set at each one. The band was at the back of the room on a small platform and they launched into one blues song after the next.

Sue swayed to the music, feeling the heat of Jay’s breath on her shoulder, seeing his arm laying on the bar protectively to her right. She was so happy, so wonderfully in tune with the music, so ecstatic to be on this spontaneous trip with this beautiful man, she had a great time at the show, a fantastic time at the comedy club and an even better time strolling thought the hot night air with Jay. She was joyful she had made a friend and secretly hoping that her new friend would kiss her.

The band launched into Screamin Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” and Sue whistled her approval. She danced a little to the music, raising her arms above her head and swinging her hips to the rhythm. Jay put his hands at Sue’s waist and ran his palms up the length of her arms then turned her towards him. As Sue turned around and faced Jay he brought her arms gently down to her sides and asked her to look him in the eye.

Jay: How many were on your list of boys you had kissed.
Sue: ... [::blink::]
Jay: Well, I’m going to be the next one, but I don’t want to just be some guy you add to your list.
Sue: ... [::blink::]
Jay: Where are we?
Sue: Austin, Texas.
Jay: What is the name of the bar in which we are currently standing and swaying to the music?
Sue: Joe’s Generic Bar.
Jay: What song is the band playing?
Sue: “I Put A Spell On You”... by....
Jay: [rushing] Who is the band?
Sue: I have no idea.
Jay: Fair enough. Now, can you remember all of this so I won’t be some random guy you kissed that one time, at that place?

At the “one time, at that place” he gave a ‘who gives a shit?’ hand motion. When he was done he brought his hand back to her arm, caressing the groove of her left elbow with the pad of his right thumb.

Sue: Absolutely. [nodding]
Jay: Now, again... where are we?
Sue: Austin, Texas.
Jay: What is the name of the bar?
Sue: Joe’s Generic Bar.
Jay: What song is the band playing?
Sue: “I Put A Spell On You”.

And then he kissed her, and for the first time in her short life, her knees went weak when a man kissed her. He kissed her gently and then with more passion and possession, he cupped her cheek then slid his right hand around to the back of her neck while moving his other hand to the small of her back, supporting her and pulling her closer to him as he felt her tremble.

When Jay finished his kiss with a little nibble at Sue’s lower lip he took her by the shoulders and held her at arms’ length, looking her up and down. She met his eyes and watched him looking her over. She didn’t feel like a possession or a piece of meat, she felt sexy and very warm from his kiss... and very pleased with herself for not falling on her ass during the most remarkable kiss of her life.

Sue met Jay’s gaze and when he said, “Do you wanna get out of here?” She nodded slowly. She didn’t want to seem too eager but she wanted to make sure he knew that she wasn’t just making rash decisions. They walked out of the bar holding hands, turning right and walking back up 6th to the parking lot on Red River.

By the time they got halfway up the street they had broken into a quick walk, laughing like giddy school kids. By the time they were two streets from Esther’s Follies they had moved into a jog, and by the time they rounded the corner at Red River they were flat out running for the car.

March 25, 2008

Want To Go To Austin?: Part III

Please click here to go to Part I. And click here to go to Part II.

They were laughing and running as they reached the car. Jay opened Sue’s door for her and then ran around to his side and got in. He turned to her and grinned. She had no idea how she got from downtown to the little inn on the highway as her mind was definitely not on the road. They arrived and jumped out of the car and ran upstairs.

When Jay opened the door to the room he asked Sue if she minded if he took a quick shower. With the heat and humidity of Austin in July they were both pretty sweaty. Sue said, “By all means, please do, I’ll do the same when you are done.”

Jay went into the small bathroom, left the door open a crack and turned on the water. He stripped and got in the shower and began to lather up trying to wash his hair and his body as quickly as possible.

Sue brushed her teeth then found herself pacing a small spot between the bedroom area and the vanity sink. She stopped in front of the mirror at the sink and looked at herself. She was a sweaty mess, her hair was curling up, her makeup had vacated and left a small smudging of mascara on her lashes and her face was flushed. She turned her back on the mirror, crossed her arms and her feet at the ankles to keep from pacing and made herself calm the hell down already.

She looked at the bathroom door where steam was coming out of the crack between the door and the doorjamb and heard a voice say, “Hey, do you mind if I join you?” When she heard Jay reply, “Not at all, come on in.” Sue realized that it was her mouth that had asked to join a naked man in the shower. A naked man that she hadn’t held hands with until that afternoon, a man who just kissed her not even an hour ago. Sue thought, “Holy shit. That was me! I said that! The gall, the nerve... no, no, it was a hallucination caused by the heat, the beer, the music and that kiss... Lord, that kiss.” Jay asked her, “Are you coming in?” Sue swallowed a lump in her throat and meekly replied, “Sure.”

She took off her shoes, her jumper, and her underwear and folded them neatly on her duffle bag. Sue then went to the bathroom door and pushed it open a little and stepped inside, the steam rose up around her. Jay pulled back the curtain and grinned at her, “Here, go ahead and get under the water, I’m almost done.” He offered her a hand and helped her step into the tub/shower combination. With the hot water pounding on her head and the grime of the road trip and the night downtown washing off of her body, Sue immediately felt so much better and she began to relax. She turned towards the shower head and turned her head up so her face got wet. Jay asked from behind her if he could wash her hair. She looked to the right and the left looking for someone, ANYONE to confirm what she just heard. Hot, naked, wet guy she was showering with asking her if he could wash her hair?

Seriously?

She answered, “Sure.” And waited for a pause that she could follow up with “....was a nice night.” If washing her hair was indeed not what he had asked. But he leaned around her right side and picked up the hotel issued shampoo bottle and asked her to tilt her head back a bit. She did and with that she felt the cool sensation of shampoo being poured onto the crown of her head, he washed her hair almost the exact same way she would, working up lather at her temples and crown and then pushing the suds into the length of her hair as not to tangle it. When he was done washing her hair he said, “Rinse.” She turned her back to the water and leaned her hair back into it, he then asked, “Conditioner?” She smiled and said, “Yes, please.” He gently turned her around by the shoulders and applied the conditioner to her hair.

She closed her eyes, secretly relieved because she was the curious type and wanted to look him over, but being pampered was better and more rewarding than satisfying her nosiness.

He asked if he could wash her, she nodded, eyes still closed then he surprised her with a command, “Arms up.” Sue could tell Jay was smiling when he said it so with her back still turned to him she raised her arms, bracing for what he would do next.

Why was she so nervous? She had been naked with a boy before, she wasn’t some ice queen but she wasn’t that experienced either.

Jay started at her shoulders and soaped Sue up along her back and then moved to soap up each arm, the right arm and then the left. He massaged around her collarbone and under her neck and then to the rest of her back. He asked her to turn around and he washed each leg, saying, “Right.” And “Left.” When said leg was needed. He never touched her breasts, her stomach, her bottom or her vagina. He just washed her tenderly and then stepped out to let her finish up.

She washed everything else and got out to towel off quickly. She ran a comb through her hair and slipped on a little tank and boxer combo (sexy.) then walked to the bed. Jay was under the covers and watching the television. She crawled in and said, “Thank you for washing my hair. That was pretty cool.” She thought she sounded like a complete moron, but Jay smiled at her and pulled her close. “Really?” he asked, sounding unsure of himself. She assured him and he kissed her softly. He clicked off the television but slipped out of bed to turn on the light above the sink.

When Jay came back to bed he crawled up beside Sue, leaned on his elbow and ran his fingers through her long, still damp hair. Sue almost purred. Jay rolled over on his hands and knees above Sue and bent down, grabbing the bottom of her tank with his teeth and gently pulling it over her head. She laughed at his antics until he did the same with her boxers.... he then removed his own

MISSING REEL*

In the morning Jay and Sue stopped for breakfast and got some film for Sue’s cheap camera, they went for a tour of downtown, walking along the river and taking goofy self portraits of each other in front of the capitol. They went to line up for the guided tour of the capitol but the line was too long and they had other things to do, so they asked if they could just walk around a bit. A very nice lady told them where they could find some beautiful art and the best place to take pictures. Jay talked about politics and how the criminal justice department at their college was incredible. He said he wanted to be a DPS officer when he graduated and thought his duties as a deputy would help him along in his career.

Sue listened to him talk and when they went to lunch she picked up the tab. After the sightseeing and lunch Sue and Jay went back to take a little nap before their next night on the town.

They planned to go to Maggie Mae’s for a drink or twelve that night and they had heard a few amazing bands would be playing and that the place would be packed so they wanted to be early. Well, relatively early, and they still required a quick bite for dinner before they parked downtown.

Sue took another shower and left her hair wild as she was planning on wearing the only thing that Jay requested that she bring. Her boots and her hat. Well, with some jeans and a top... but it was SO hot. It was unbearably muggy so Sue opted for some shorts, the same top she had planned on wearing and some light, comfortable shoes. Jay dressed in jeans, a golf shirt and some boots. They went and got a bite to eat and parked in the same parking lot as the night before.

They were on 6th street before 8pm on a Saturday night. The whole town was gearing up for the 4th of July celebration. The fireworks were supposed to go off that evening; the capitol was lit up with red, white and blue, the tower at University of Texas was dressed in patriotic colors and Sue and Jay wanted to be on the roof at Maggie Mae’s when the whole thing started.

Jay and Sue had laughed so easily together all afternoon. They were a compatible pair for traveling and hanging out, and in the bedroom... things were good. Sue wondered why Jay was quiet. He had started talking less and less after they left the hotel to come downtown. She asked if he felt alright.

Sue: Jay? How are you holding up? Can I get you anything?
Jay: No... I’m okay, why?
Sue: Well, you just seem a little quiet.
Jay: Well, I’m shy.
Sue: Sure as hell didn’t seem shy last night when....
Jay: [laughing] I know... I know... I’m sorry. I just can’t.
Sue: Just can’t what Jay?

By this time the two of them were sitting on the roof of Maggie Mae’s. They had been in several parts of the bar and had heard what seemed like every type of music there is to hear. The bands were amazing, and Sue even got Jay on the dance floor for a few moments. He kept bringing them beer and Sue got a cold feeling in her stomach that things were about to turn sour. Had she slept with him too soon? They had been having so much fun. Sue felt sick that something they had done, or that she had done was the cause of Jay’s discomfort.

Jay: I can’t tell you.
Sue: What if I get you a few more beers?
Jay: There you go again, trying to get me drunk to take advantage of me.

He laughed quietly and then met Sue’s gaze.

Jay: No, oh, no... no no no... it’s nothing like that.
Sue: Like what?
Jay: That look on your face... like someone just killed a puppy.
Sue: Well, you just seem sad, and quiet, and distant. I was afraid that I...
Jay: No, it’s not you. I’m just embarrassed.
Sue: Of... me?
Jay: Good heavens, no!
Sue: “Good heavens”...?
Jay: [laughing] You are teasing me... again. [smiling]
Sue: There’s that smile. So, what is this you are embarrassed about?
Jay: Seriously, I can’t tell you. But I want to.

Fireworks started going off overhead, the report of the blasts not as loud with three bands in the bar and all the music and people and noise on the street.

Sue: I’m going to get us a few more beers.
Jay: Thank you, maybe that will help.
Sue: Help what?
Jay: I’m going to tell you, I promise. I just need to get up the nerve.
Sue: Well, now... this sounds like a secret. Is it?
Jay: Yes ma’am.
Sue: And you’re going to share it with me?
Jay: Yes ma’am.
Sue: And this is why you are so quiet? Because you are brooding over this secret? This monstrously embarrassing secret?
Jay: Yes ma’am. But if you keep teasing me about it, I’m not going to tell you.
Sue: Two beers coming up.

Sue went to the closest bar, relieved that she was not the cause of his embarrassment or his silence... but a bit worried about what the secret might be. She was still young and she had no idea what others saw when they looked at her. Insecurity was high on her list of traits, that and joviality. Sometimes the two balanced each other out; sometimes it just came across as a forced bark of laughter and a look of terror on her face. She ordered two beers and paid for them and then went back to Jay... Jay who had in a matter of a few minutes she had been gone, had turned scarlet.

Sue approached the table, put Jay’s beer in front of him with a pile of napkins, sat down herself and looked over at him. He looked like he would rather crawl down the side of the building by the gutters than to be anywhere but there.

Jay: Thank you for the beer.

He took a napkin and wiped his face.

Sue: My pleasure.

Sue thought if she could remain still, calm and silent that he wouldn’t run off. She was treating him like a spooked horse. That thought occurred to her and she bit her cheek to keep from laughing. She sipped on her beer, kept from choking and then asked if he minded if she smoked.

Jay: Please do, may I light it for you?
Sue: Of course. Thank you.

He lit her smoke and then they both just looked around at the crowd, the fireworks, the drunk frat boys, the street performers and the other bar patrons. Jay took a deep breath and then looked at Sue. He had relaxed from scarlet to merely pink.

Jay: Are you sure you want to hear my secret?
Sue: No.
Jay: It’s nothing bad, I swear.
Sue: O... kay.
Jay: Really.
Sue: ... [nodding]
Jay: It’s just I have had this...
Sue: ... [eyebrow raise]
Jay: This....
Sue: ...
Jay: This... fantasy.

He spit out the word like it was a skunked beer.

Sue: A fantasy.
Jay: Yes.

He was positively purple.

Sue: About...?
Jay: This is the part where it gets embarrassing.
Sue: Fantasies are normal, no need to be embarrassed.
Jay: Says the woman who is the subject of mine...
Sue: ... [blink] Pardon me?
Jay: Okay, I’m only going to say this once, so if you want to hear it... pay attention.
Sue: ...
Jay: Since I met you... and yes, I have had this fantasy since March 13th... don’t look so surprised. But since I met you I have had this fantasy about you...
Sue: ...
Jay: You in your red boots with your cowboy hat on.
Sue: Sorry I didn’t wear them tonight, it is just so muggy and hot outside...
Jay: [waving away her apology] No, that’s not it...
Sue: What is it then?
Jay: In my fantasy, that is all you are wearing.
Sue: ...[eyes immediately get huge]
Jay: I’m so embarrassed... you probably think I am a total perv.
Sue: ...
Jay: Say something.
Sue: So, let me get this straight.
Jay: Oh, shit.
Sue: You... [pointing at him] have been having fantasies of me... [pointing at herself] for now on four months about me donning nothing but my cowboy hat... wait... straw or felt?
Jay: Straw.
Sue: Right... so, nothing but my straw cowboy hat and my red ropers?
Jay: Don’t hate me.
Sue: Oh, au contraire, dear sir. I find this rather... hot.
Jay: ... What?
Sue: You’ve been thinking about me.
Jay: Yes.
Sue: A lot?
Jay: You could say that.

Sue just grinned like the cat that ate the canary. Jay looked positively squeamish.

Jay: Okay, okay... Yes, a lot. Lord, this is so embarrassing.
Sue: I dare to disagree.
Jay: You aren’t the one spilling out your fantasies in front of some woman that you barely know...
Sue: Dude, you washed my hair, well that and a lot more... and I think that constitutes knowing...
Jay: ... and have had a crush on since the day you laid eyes on her.
Sue: ... Wait. What?
Jay: Are you going to make me repeat this too?
Sue: Yes, please.
Jay: Fine, but on one condition.
Sue: And that is?
Jay: You tell me what FMF means.
Sue: ...[laughing] How did you hear... oh, never mind... You got it.
Jay: Okay, fine. I have a crush on you.
Sue: ...
Jay: And I have since I saw you at that damn rodeo.
Sue: Fuck Me Fine.
Jay: Pardon me?
Sue: That’s what FMF means. Kelly made it up. Okay, I did too. We had to call you something as we didn’t know your name. We got a look at you LONG before that damned rodeo.
Jay: Oh, really?
Sue: Yep.
Jay: Hmmm.
Sue: And I’ll tell you something else.
Jay: Tell me.
Sue: I have those boots and that straw hat back at the room. And come to think of it, I have a little bit of nothing else to throw on with them.

Tune in Next Time (aka, when I get around to it... maybe) and I’ll tell you another way Jay cemented his place in Sue’s heart and it all started with a circus.

*This ain’t that kind of blog y’all. Pervs.


February 6, 2009

Shelby and Tom (Part 1?)


Shelby really couldn’t remember how she had met Tom, whether it was through mutual friends, through a club at school or on the dance floor. She just knew that he was there. It seemed that he had always been there. Shelby felt as if she had known Tom her whole life.

Tom was a comfortable presence to Shelby’s almost manic need to feel upbeat and cheerful. She felt at peace around Tom, she didn’t have to try and cheer him up for he was naturally jovial. She didn’t have to work to keep the conversation flowing because he was as good a listener as a story teller.

Shelby could just be. With Tom she experienced calmness where silence was tolerated and even welcome and she didn’t feel the need to fill it up with words.

Tom’s physical size made Shelby feel safe. He was built like he had grown up working hard. His shoulders were broad and his hands were large and warm. He dwarfed her and being on the taller side it was a feeling that was not altogether new to her, but one that she found to be pleasant.

When Tom would ask for Shelby’s hand and lead her onto the dance floor she knew that people would watch them as they glided by in an effortless two or three-step or cheer from the sidelines when a fast jitterbug would come on over the speakers. Shelby would find herself being tossed about in the air as if she weighed nothing. She and Tom would leave the dance floor red-faced, sweating and laughing with triumph to the back pats and exclamations of their fellow dance hall patrons.

Tom’s size belied his grace and agility. He was big and tall, built like a man who could bench press a horse but his hands were nothing but gentle and his feet were so light when the two of them danced that they soon became a favorite pair to watch.

Tom and Shelby were also asked by others at the bar to dance so they shared tips, tricks and their love for dance with those around them. The older patrons would give them lessons on different throws that they had seen or had done themselves when they were younger.

The jitterbugging was great, it was fun and during parents’ weekends Tom and Shelby would wow and amaze their families at the sheer athleticism that was part of their team work on the dance floor. Tom would tease Shelby on the dance floor, calling her chicken if she would balk at doing one of the tricks that was easy for them but looked difficult so it was a real crowd pleaser.

The two of them would talk to one another during the dance as if in the next second Tom wasn’t going to give Shelby a nod, a smirk and a word, push her out with his right hand holding her left, roll her in wrapped up tight against his big body, lock his left hand deep into her right and suicide dip her. Stepping out with his left leg, Shelby stiff and facing the floor one moment, then he would lift their arms over her body, causing her to twirl against him and dip to the floor with her right knee bent, her butt to the floor and her left leg out (toe pointed of course).

Tom and Shelby were friends first. They would help each other out with daily life and then if time allowed they would work on jitterbug moves and throws after class in the soft earth of Tom’s backyard during the week, and sometimes in the lake.

Shelby fell in love with the waltz. The beautiful 1-2-3 of the waltz was so comforting to her. The rise and fall of each partner within the dance, the turns, the spins, the intricate foot work. It was as if Shelby and Tom breathed as one being on the floor when they waltzed. It was in those moments that she could almost fool herself that they were not just friends.

Shelby wasn’t sure if she should acknowledge Tom and the quick kisses he gave her against the corner of her mouth, or the feel of his big warm hand at the small of her back. His thumb tracing small circles on her hand as they danced. Maybe he was just an affectionate guy.

Maybe she was deluded.

Tom and Shelby were out driving around one evening. It was a clear fall night, the stars were out and it was still warm. The leaves had not changed for the cooler season and so the wind sighed through the branches of the trees as they drove down an old dirt road with the windows open and the night silent around them.

Tom stopped the truck and looked at Shelby. She looked back and smiled at him. The silence was comfortable. He reached over and pushed a stray piece of hair behind her ear and that’s when she could feel it. The silence was heavy now, she had a desire to say something to fill up the void but she was afraid that the stillness would shatter like glass.

He reached over for her and pulled her towards him. Shelby slid across the front seat of Tom’s old truck like she weighed nothing, like she was small. His big hands on her thigh and her shoulder were hot where he touched her and when she was next to him, only then did he take his hand from her leg and gently turn her face up to his own.

Shelby felt his pulse beating along her shoulder as she was pressed shoulder to knee along Tom, his arm around her shoulders and his sweet hand cupped under her chin. She looked up into his blue eyes and saw that even in the dim light of the truck’s interior his lashes showed golden. He blinked slowly at her, a small smile pulling his mouth up at the corner and then he bent his head to her and brushed his lips upon hers in the softest of kisses.

Tom pulled back but only far enough so that a deep breath from Shelby or even a word would have brought them back together. She looked at him and for the first time, really saw him. She saw Tom in a million moments at once. She saw his grin when he saw her, she felt his strength supporting her when they danced together or in laughter, she smelled his warm scent around her and in her clothing and in her hair. She saw the smiles and jokes, the excuses he used to touch her. Tom opened himself to her and she saw him, she truly saw him and felt his emotions. He wanted, for so long, to kiss her as a man. Not as a friend. He wanted to possess her and taste her and make her warm and comfortable.

Shelby was kind of squeamish about the whole relationship thing or she would have been dating Tom already. Well, that is... if he had asked.

But since he knew her and knew how she felt about being someone’s girlfriend he hadn’t asked. To Shelby and her patchwork past of boyfriends and relationships she saw being that special someone in a person’s life almost as a jail cell. In her head she could even hear herself, “You don’t own me.” She looked into Tom’s eyes and she knew that he didn’t want to own her as a trophy or as some vacant pretty thing to have on his arm. He just wanted to love her, if even for a moment.

That moment of anxiety passed through her as quickly as it took for her to tense up and then relax into his full embrace. He saw her relax and raised his eyebrows in a very elegant question. His eyes asked, “May I?” and she surprised herself by leaning in a fraction of an inch and pressing her mouth to his.

He moved his warm hand from her right shoulder and cupped the back of her head, entwining his fingers into her hair. He turned his head to the right and deepened the kiss, pulling her forward and opening her mouth with his tongue.

Shelby felt warm all over, suddenly she didn’t care that this was her dance partner, that he was just her friend. She opened her mouth to him and let her tongue dance over the tip of his. She raised her hand and grabbed the neck of his t-shirt and pulled him even closer. He gave a little low laugh that was grumbly and all male.

Tom said, “We’re going to fog up the windows in here.” She replied, “But the windows are already down.” He pulled the handle for his door and stepped out into the night that was cooling down. He reached in and offered Shelby a hand. She turned towards him, using her calves over the outside edge of the truck’s bench and his big warm hand to pull her forward. When her hips were past the steering wheel Tom reached in, cupped her bottom, and parted her legs around his waist and pulled her out of the truck. She gave out a little yip of surprise and then settled her legs more firmly around his hips, her hands clasped around the back of his neck, her fingers interlaced to give her leverage.

He turned and kicked the truck door closed with his boot and then walked around the door mirror to the side of the truck. He placed Shelby’s behind on the edge of the still cooling motor, the hood still warm under her body. He was a tall man so she only had to bend her neck a little to kiss him as he wrapped his arms around her ribs and spread her legs a little wider as he settled his body to lean up against the truck.

Each little kiss was a release, a release of anxiety of sexual tension that had been building for over a year. Each little touch of Tom’s hands were familiar and yet alien to Shelby as his hands had not touched her with this much passion and eagerness. He pulled away from her embrace and pushed her unruly hair from around her face. He looked at her and smiled. The moon was high in the sky and his blonde hair shone silver. His eyelashes that, in the truck, had shone golden were like streaks of light around his blue eyes. He touched her shoulders then grabbed them and laughed as he pulled her in for another kiss.

She wanted to ask what was so funny, but in that moment, Shelby’s wry sense of humor and sarcastic tendencies quieted and she knew that Tom was just expressing joy and something else, she wasn’t sure, but she was not afraid of him telling her in his own time. He ran his hands over her arms, down to her hands. He pulled each one up to his mouth and kissed them. Shelby noticed that his mustache and goatee tickled her knuckles but before, when he kissed her mouth, she was completely unaware of his facial hair. She wanted to feel that on her face again, she bent down for a kiss and he put his hands on either side of her face turning her head to kiss her deeper.

She felt the softness of his mustache and his goatee but what threw her for a loop was the softness of his mouth. His lips were full and so soft that she nipped at his lower lip gently to feel the firmness and softness found there. His hands found her back and with one hand warm across the small expanse of her lower back his other hand wandered up to find the mass of curls that she called hair. He pulled on the ends of the hair, feeling the silky texture and delighting in the goose bumps that rose on her arms from him playing with her hair.

March 5, 2009

Shelby and Tom (Part 2)

Part One found right here.


Shelby shivered slightly at the goose bumps Tom had raised along her skin. She ran her fingers into the thickness of short cut silvery blonde hair along Tom’s skull and laughed into his mouth as he pulled her against him for another kiss.

The wind picked up and blew Shelby’s hair around them both for a moment as they breathed into one another. The sound of the fall leaves rattling along the country dirt road sounded cold to Shelby but the truck’s ticking motor against her bottom and Tom’s strong arms around her warmed her to the core.

Shelby pulled back to look into Tom’s eyes. She wanted to see laughter, she wanted to see joy and she wanted to see the sea-deep blue color reflect the moonlight above them. She was surprised to find that his eyes, darkened by passion also held a hint of sadness.

The moment Shelby asked the question of why he looked so sad, Tom bent forward and rested his head against Shelby’s lap with his arms wrapped around her hips. He gave a bittersweet chuckle and told her, “Shelby, I have wanted to kiss you like this for so long. But I know you, I KNOW you. You are going to turn around in a minute, in an hour, tomorrow morning or even two days from now and just treat me like a friend.”

Knowing that what Tom said was true didn’t help lessen the sting of his words. Shelby’s stomach tightened and she felt herself stiffen. Tom hugged her tighter, rubbing his head along her hipbone and the curve of her waist. He said, “See, you are already pulling away from me... please don’t Shelby. Please?”

Shelby wondered to herself what it would hurt to let someone in? She knew Tom; she knew his big heart, his soft hands, and the small smile lines at the corner of his bright blue eyes that crinkled when laughed. She knew his love for children, she knew his family, and she knew his history and what he dreamed of for the future.

She didn’t do casual, she joked that she was a serial monogamist. If she was not dating someone seriously she would just abstain. So why was she suddenly fine with making out with her friend, her dance partner on a dirt road close to midnight on a school night?

Their pasts didn’t match and they each held different dreams for the future but Shelby realized that with this simple thing, this small thing Tom was asking of her she did not need to plan out every moment. She could just take the moment that they were sharing and cherish it.

She rubbed her hands along Tom’s broad back and felt him relax against her thighs. She bent along his spine and hugged him back. In that moment she laid her heart bare to him by whispering the only thing that came to her mind, “Don’t hurt me.” Tom’s replying whisper was even softer than hers as he said, “Never.”

Shelby straightened up and lightly scratched Tom’s back as he untangled his long arms from her waist and untucked her t-shirt from the back of her jeans. He lifted the hem but only slightly, enough to slide a warm hand up to the small of her back. Shelby breathed in through her nose as Tom’s hand found the small cleft of her back and rubbed his callused fingers up along the spine. She leaned into his hand and let herself just feel.

Tom’s hard hands turned to velvet at the touch of Shelby’s skin and his smooth and rhythmic massage of her lower back felt so delicious. Shelby untucked her shirt all the way and leaned forward. Tucking her head under Tom’s chin and pulling her shirt up a bit further, she gave his warm hands access to most of her back.

Shelby smelled the familiar scent of Tom’s cologne and breathed deeper, lifting her chin to catch a small kiss along the collar of his undershirt. She bowed her back up to meet his hands as he rubbed along the muscles lining her back and sides. It felt so good to be petted and she told Tom so, he answered with making a little purring noise so his chest rumbled against Shelby’s chin.

“I wish I could make that sound” she said. Tom replied with, “I’ll purr for you.” He drew his hands from her back and gently lacing his fingers behind her neck and through her hair, his thumbs resting gently along the line of her jaw he lifted her head up and covered Shelby’s mouth with his own.

Tom was so unsure of what to do next. In one moment his dance partner had gone from someone he watched over, to someone he wanted to drink in, to taste, to touch and to love. He had kept his feelings about Shelby to himself mainly because he was aware of how skittish she was with being anything except for friends with men.

On more than one occasion Tom thought to himself that someone had sure done a number on Shelby for her to be this wary of casually dating someone within her circle. She was always friendly, always kind, she did not turn away from much of anything and she was quite scrappy. Tom puzzled over her contradictions for one brief moment before he got the nerve to do something he had wanted to do since she was first in his arms on the dance floor.

Tom kissed Shelby openly, exploring her mouth with his tongue. He unlaced his fingers from her hair and reached for her elbows and then guided her arms around his neck. He whispered, “Hold on a second.” Into her mouth and watched her puzzled expression as he straightened up for a moment, breaking their kiss.

Since they had been dance partners for almost a year Tom was painfully aware of Shelby’s form. He knew the swell of her hips, the small nip of her waist, the long legs and the long graceful neck. He was also aware of her small tight breasts that pressed against his chest when they were on the dance floor. He had just never seen as much of her skin as he wanted to.

Her arms around his neck felt soft and light. He met her eyes and smiled at her and then took the hem of her shirt into his hands and lifted it an inch or so, lifting his left eyebrow in a question at the same time.

“Would it be terribly forward of me to ask if I can remove your shirt?” Tom asked. He winced inwardly at the question. It sounded so bawdy and kind of sleezy. He never wanted Shelby to feel anything but comfortable around him so he waited and watched her face as she weighed the question in her mind. He could almost see her thoughts; “Sure why not? Why not... well, because I’m not some WHORE... that’s why! But it’s Tom.”

Shelby’s mind raced at the innocent, yet not so innocent request from Tom. He was reading her face and she was sure whatever he thought she was thinking was probably spot on. She cocked her head to the right and smiled sweetly at Tom and lifted her arms slowly in a move of supplication and awareness.

Tom let out a breath he wasn’t aware of holding. He gathered the t-shirt in his hands and raised it over her head and up along her outstretched arms. He watched as her waist came into view, then the swell of her ribs, her small white bra; blue in the moonlight; then the delicate collarbones, the long neck and then her face smiling out at him from under a tangle of her hair that had fallen over her eyes.

He partially folded Shelby’s t-shirt, she grabbed it out of his hands and flung it over the side mirror on the truck. They laughed for a moment and the tension eased. Tom said, “Look at you, just look at you.” Shelby smartly responded, “I can’t... tell me what you see.” She sounded so brave and sure of herself, Tom was surprised to find a small bit of insecurity in her voice. He told himself, “Do not screw this up. Do not screw this up.” And he began to tell her what he saw.

Tom told her that she was beautiful, but not to sound trite he gave her examples; how her skin was so soft to the touch, her eyes were such a deep green that they put the pine forest around them to shame, that her hair was wild and soft, just like her. He told her that he had wanted to put his hands on her just to feel what if the body heat she gave off on the dance floor was just a product of their activity or was she just that warm. She was just that warm. He told her of the delicate freckles dusted along her shoulders, dipping across her chest and sprinkled across her nose. He told her of her smile. He encircled his hands around her small waist and his middle fingers almost touched at the small of her back, he told her of how holding her in his hands, engulfing her with his large hands made him feel protective and so tender towards her. He ran his hands up along her sides, to her ribs and to the small bra caging her breasts.

He put his hands around her ribs and ran his thumbs over the material of her bra lightly, watching her eyes to see if he was crossing a boundary that was not okay with her. Shelby smiled at him and reached behind her and unhooked her bra. She threw the little white bra over the door mirror along with her t-shirt and watched Tom’s face.

Tom looked at her petite breasts, small rounded flesh with most of the fullness below, giving them a little upturn. Shelby took his hands and put them on her breasts.

She was aware that they were small in comparison to the rest of her, but she was also completely fine with not having to worry about undergarments when she went shopping. Never having to say, “What bra will I wear with this halter top?” Was a bonus because she was small enough that the answer to that would be, “Don’t have to even wear a bra.”

Tom’s hands engulfed her small breasts, cupping them he felt her nipples rub against his palms.

He looked at Shelby and she leaned into him, hooking her heels behind his thighs and bringing him even closer, she kissed Tom deeply and felt his hands roaming over her skin, in her hair and along her face and neck. The cool winds of fall making her shiver with pleasure.

January 12, 2010

Lucky Penny

Alexandria (Alex to her friends) gathered her new coat about her, her breath fogging in the frigid air and she shoved her hands deep into the pockets where she found an “inspected by #13” tag and a small pouch of silica. She stood outside the restaurant she was just about to enter and looked up into the sky. The sky was that dark winter blue just starting to fade to black. She was as new to town as the jacket was new to her body and she felt as fresh and as crisp as the air pressing to her face.

She wanted to savor the moment. Had it always been like this? This excitement that felt as if her stomach and heart had traded places for a few moments, it was intoxicating.

Alex looked at her car; it had been her steady companion over the long months to get where she was going. She didn’t know until today that she was already here. She had found a place to call her hometown. The word felt different in her head, like there was already more weight to it, knowing that she would stay. Knowing that this wouldn’t be just another place to rest her head and stay with friends while she worked at meaningless jobs and smiled over the dim roar of wherever fate was taking her.

In the past few months she had been in Dallas where she waited tables at an all night truck stop out on Interstate 20. She stayed with friends in their incomprehensible normal home with their perfect decorations, their perfect children, the perfect dog and the perfect lives they seemed to lead.

She had been in Las Cruces where the heat and long days working in a small retail shop off of the main town square made her feel boneless and weary. There she had rented a small one bedroom efficiency apartment above the garage of an older woman who seemed to collect things; cats, china tea cups, TV Guide magazines and Alex felt she needed to leave before the kind widow decided to collect her.

Alex moved north through Las Vegas where the bright lights and loud noises in the casino where she worked the second shift never seemed to lift the sad lifeless spirit of the town during the day. She had stayed with an old friend from college, Casey. Casey had sworn she would never grow up, never grow old, she would come skidding to a breathless stop at the end of her life never having regrets. Casey would never be like their friend in Dallas who had all of those responsibilities, a husband, kids, a home and a job. When Alex packed up her bags in to her trusty car Casey had just accepted an engagement ring from her long term boyfriend.

Through Denver and the fall perfect weather Alex stopped in Boulder and bartended at a low key (very environmentally friendly) pub near the college. She watched as the college kids seemed to get younger and younger before her very eyes. She stayed with one of her oldest friends from high school, Gary and his partner Kyle. They doted on her, they adored her, they tried to fix her. Alex packed her bags once again and started out as she always did, with a flip of a coin.

Right or left.
The same thumb worn penny that was normally in her right front pocket slipped between the gear shift and the floor matt sticking straight up on its’ end. North it is, Alex thought.

Alex travelled north through Colorado and at a gas side fill up in Cheyenne, she noticed the coin had come out of its’ perpendicular hiding spot and was resting on the floor mat, heads up. At the next major interstate she took a right and travelled across Interstate 80 heading east. She felt as though something was pulling her forward. She flew through Nebraska, couldn’t even remember the drive through Iowa and the only time she slowed down in Illinois was when she got pulled over for doing seventy-two in a fifty-five. She stopped in small motels, showered in teeny bathrooms the size of airplane restrooms, slept the sleep of the restless and kept moving toward where she thought she should be. When she finally hit Chicago and Lake Michigan, she thought to herself, “Well, is this it?” She couldn’t find her coin in her pocket so she stayed one night in Chicago and in the morning when she went to get in her car, there was her penny, in the middle of the driver seat. She rubbed the coin to get it warm then flipped it. Tails.

She turned left on Interstate 43 and headed north.

At a small intersection in Milwaukee she realized she needed a coat. Winter was coming and a winter coat was not included in her meager belongings. She eased her foot off the gas and pulled into the next shopping center she found. She bought a basic black wool pea coat. The coat was perfect. For the first time since she left Boulder she felt like she needed to stick around a while. She picked up a newspaper at the market, got a pint of milk, a trio of bananas, some cheese crackers and stopped at the next motel she saw. In the motel office was a sign, “Help Wanted”. Alex had been everything from a mechanic to a farmer, she figured she could do whatever needed to be done at the motel if she could barter for a room.

The manager, Marty, was leaving because his mother was ill and the owner of the hotel didn’t live in state. Marty jumped at Alex’s offer as the manager’s position came with a small apartment attached to the office. He took three days and gave her a run down on all the employees from housemaids to laundry service to the window washer. The manager gave her the number to the repairman, called and introduced Alex to the owner over the phone and the hurried to his mother’s side.

Alex took all of it in stride.

She worked the hotel like it was a home she never had. She made friends with the transient customers who used the hotel as a stopover and made sure that all of the rooms were tidy and clean. She stocked the small refrigerator inside her apartment with a few basics and was overjoyed to find a full sized washer and dryer that was hers to use whenever she wanted.

One evening a few of the employees from the restaurant adjacent to her little motel asked her to come over afterhours for a few drinks and to get to know everyone better. Alex finished her days’ work, turned off the vacancy sign for the motel and headed over to the little grill.

She walked into the greasy spoon with shouts of “Alex! Glad you made it!”, “Alex, over here!” “High five, girl!” And “Hey Alex, there is someone over here I want you to meet.” She pushed her way through the crowd to the head cook, Randy. Randy was standing at the edge of the bar next to someone she felt immediately drawn to. Randy said, “Hey, Alex, this is my old friend,” “Jeff.” Alex finished for him. Randy blinked then stood back and said, “Hey, you two know one another?” Jeff nodded with a glint to his mischievous eyes.

Jeff stepped away from leaning on the counter and reached out to shake Alex’s hand. She reached out and took his familiar hand in her own and said, “It’s nice to meet you Jeff.” Jeff grinned and asked her if she would step outside with her. She nodded and let him pull her gently out to the waiting night.

Standing in the parking lot, Jeff turned to her and said, “What took you so long?” She had so many questions. How did he find her, how did he know where she would end up when she didn’t even know herself and most importantly, did he still want her? She smiled up at him, his dark hair and dark eyes glittering in the night. He was really standing in front of her. She slipped her hands underneath the parting of his jacket and felt the warmth of him against her, as she stepped forward he cupped her back in his arms and rested his chin on top of her head.

The snow began to fall in beautiful fat flakes. It rested on her new coat and in her hair. Jeff cupped her chin in his hand and turned her face up so he could see her eyes. She answered his question, “The penny you gave me is very fickle.” He leaned his head down and kissed her gently at first then pressed his mouth to hers harshly then leaned his head back and laughed a full throated masculine laughter. She couldn’t help but laugh with him. He said, “Tag, you’re it,” then walked back into the restaurant.

She stood in the crisp winter air, with the snow falling on her shoulders and in her hair. She shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her new coat and found an “inspected by #13” tag and a small pouch of silica… she reached into the right pocket of her jeans, found the penny that had brought her this far and pitched it into the night.

She never heard it fall.

February 10, 2010

Promiscuous

Looking around her desk at the mementos she had collected over the years Catherine was satisfied that she was doing her job well. Known as Cat to her friends; and one special person who called her “Kitten”; she looked around at the cards from colleagues, notes of thanks from volunteers, drawings by coworkers, photos of family, friends and pets and her wall calendar covered almost every inch of her tiny, ill constructed cubicle. She had been with the company for ten years so she had letters of accommodations framed her five and ten year plaques mounted along with her odd collection of dictionaries that she loved to smell.

Opening one of the older dictionaries she fanned the pages and stuck her nose in the small breeze created and inhaled deeply. The scent was one she loved. She loved old book stores, second hand book stores, new book stores… and she absolutely cherished walking into an old library. The smell was unmistakable; paper, ink, care, her grandmother’s family Bible, age and the knowledge that with words a whole new world could be created from most any combination that someone could and can think of.

She fanned the pages again and let the book fall open on its own accord. Pages 682 and 683 of her Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary published in 1969 stared back at her. Starting with prolong and ending with proportion, the pages practically begged for her to grab a word, any word and start a story with just a little push in the right direction.

Cat started on the left page and passed prolongate, prolontherapy, prolusion, prom, promenade, Prometheus, ect and stopped on a word that set her head spinning with ideas, thoughts, recollections, wishes, fantasies and she decided to start writing.

pro⋅mis⋅cu⋅ous [pruh-mis-kyoo-uhs] – adjective
1. characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, esp. having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis.
2. consisting of parts, elements, or individuals of different kinds brought together without order.
3. indiscriminate; without discrimination.
4. casual; irregular; haphazard.

Cat had never really been the promiscuous type, but deep in her heart, she secretly longed to be. She longed to be anything but average. Being of average height, average weight, with average brown hair and an average wardrobe, Cat wished to match the only thing that stood out about her average countenance. Her eyes. Her eyes were the deep forest green of pine, where kudzu flourished and the smell was loamy and fertile. Cat’s eyes were exotic and she longed to match them, so she wrote stories of star crossed lovers, alien encounters, long voyages, lingering kisses and passionate embraces.

Secretly they would meet in back alleyways, in parking garages and even at the local mall. They tried to hide in plain sight but they figured that the naked lust that showed in their eyes for one another would belie their actions and ever so careful cultivated carefree attitudes towards one another around their spouses. It would never work.
No good, Cat thought to herself. Not promiscuous enough. Not clandestine enough. Not … it just doesn’t have… that something. It is just too safe. I need to throw caution to the wind. I need to step out on that branch, regardless of the danger. I am going to put this out there. I am going to be… promiscuous.
With a flourish Carol flicked open her phone to read a text that had come in while she was with a client, now in the elevator, there was no one to hear her deep inhalation at the words on the teeny LCD screen of her high tech phone. “I have been thinking about you all day long. I cannot stop. Please meet me again, and soon. The smell of you on my hands is driving me mad.”

She thought back to that morning. She had met with Chance at a tiny corner coffee shop to chat before work. Just to chat… right.

For the past three months she and Chance had been seeing one another on a regular basis. They had friends that were mutual and so they, all being single, got together at least two or three times a week for a happy hour downtown by their offices after work. She and Chance hit it off, but he was supposed to be a set up for one of her friends’ sister. Chance and the sister never had an opportunity because as soon as Carol and Chance saw one another from across the room. All others disappeared.

Carol wanted to pretend that she wasn’t interested in Chance and she knew that he had just gone through an ugly break up so she was sure he wasn’t looking for something long term. But they just couldn’t help it. Their eyes locked, and they both smiled.

From that first Happy Hour, they exchanged texts, friended one another on FaceBook, emailed and left each other questionable voice mails. The even had an arrangement. It would be casual. No questions, no pressure, no worries. But with each additional meeting, it was harder and harder not to give into pleasure, passion and all the trappings that lay within.

They kept their secrets from their friends, sure that if everyone knew that they would be happy for them, but push for more, and Carol and Chance never wanted to mess up the group dynamic. So they just kept their tête-à-tête on the side. They met in the evenings and on the weekends. Soon, Chance was asking her to meet him before work, or even to stay over and go to work from her place.

It was almost too much, but the sex was incredible. Carol couldn’t believe her good fortune. She had never been much into casual sex, but if this was what it was like, then she was beating herself up for not joining the party sooner.

The evening before, the whole group had gone to happy hour. Carol and Chance left separately, but before she could even get the key into her apartment door, Chance was texting her, “One more drink? A kiss for the day? Meet me for breakfast? Can I convince you that any of these are good ideas?” She laughed as she opened her door, kicked it shut behind her and called him back.

“Chance, you are going to get tired of me if we keep spending so much time with one another.” He replied with one of the longest replies she had ever heard from him. “To me,” Chance said, “you are incredibly fun, like the antidote for dull and boring. Life with you, even simple chat, is always exciting to me. I never ever get bored with you and can talk with you forever. You renew every day; you're not a habit or some mundane thing that leads to a rut. You, above anyone else I know, keep life fresh.” Carol was stunned. It was probably one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to her, so she agreed to coffee in the morning before they headed to work.

That morning they met at a small little mom and pop diner that was between their two jobs. They couldn’t go to Starbucks or Seattle’s Best because they would run into mutual friends and that would lead to too many questions. They settled into their little booth and as Chance slid an arm around her shoulders and pulled her in for a quick peck he tilted his head and laid a kiss under her jawbone, eliciting a small shiver from her.

They chatted for a bit and Chance called for the check thirty minutes before their agreed upon time to leave. Before the waitress could come over to deliver the check, Chance slid his hand under the table, pulled her business skirt up a little and played with the tops of her stockings. She tried to keep her chest from flushing, her breath from quickening and her face from turning red. All to no avail.

Chance put Carol’s skirt back in place, threw a twenty dollar bill on the table for their three dollar coffees and then drew her out the door and down the alley. He braced his hands on either side of her head and leaned in. He nibbled at her mouth, kissing and licking her lips. He nipped at first her top lip then the bottom while sliding a hand down her bottom and pulling her left leg up against his hip, exposing her stockings to his eyes only. He kept kissing her, pulling small moans from Carol’s mouth as she slid her hands around his waist, down his narrow hips to cup his buttocks.

He slid her panties aside and drew one finger against her and then licked his finger and kissed her one last time before putting everything right. Making sure they were both presentable and then walking her to the end of the alley so they could both go to work.

Cat reread the story and smiled. She thought that Carol and Chance would be seeing a lot more of one another.

October 21, 2010

Plane Delay

Eva knows that Nathan is off limits. It has been stamped on her brain. It has been shoved into her head and heart every time she sees his beautiful wedding band and the mention of his bride. Eva knows… but for some reason she doesn’t care. Sure, she respects the sanctity of marriage. Just not HIS.

He respected hers, while it lasted. Why can’t she share the same amount of respect for his? It’s wrong. She knows that her morals have been wrinkled ever since she and Nathan laid eyes on one another at the airport four years previous.

Four years ago Eva was traveling light and leaning up against the wall of the terminal gate when she felt eyes on her. She looked up and felt her mouth pull wide into a smile of pure joy when she saw Nathan across the dozens of people all waiting for their flight back to Atlanta. He gave a small wave, a wry smile… and before she knew it she was pulling her rolling briefcase along behind her. He met her in the middle and they laughed at such a wonderful surprise of seeing one another after so long.

Nathan opened his arms slightly and just like it had been yesterday, Eva stepped into them. She took a deep breath and with it came his familiar scent of sun, wind, expensive cigars, rich leather from his car and underneath all of that his personal smell of spice and an exotic musk that she swore she could taste on her tongue. Eva closed her eyes and stood back, lightly holding Nathan’s arm. “It is so incredibly good to see you!” she exclaimed. Eva’s right hand trailed down his arm, wrist, hand and that’s when she felt the band on his ring finger. She had completely forgotten that she was married for a moment and the realization of if made her stiffen her spine and let go of Nathan’s hand.

They caught up talking of their families, their spouses, their jobs, how long it had been since they had actually gotten a chance to really talk and both agreed that for the first time in a long time, they were happy that their plane was delayed.

She told him about her siblings, he did the same. They spoke of vacations taken with their families. She made him promise that when they got back to Atlanta that they would never go this long without catching up again. He promised, took her card, she took his… they took a self portrait of themselves, smiling into the lens of her camera phone. They boarded after an hour and a half delay and smiled shyly at one another as they took their seats in business class.

That was four years ago. Since their impromptu meeting in the airport they meet for lunch, they share emails, their spouses have met, they have vacationed together as a foursome and they used to plan monthly outings. It was comfortable sharing road trips and meals with Nathan and his wife with her husband. It seemed to take stress off of both she and Nathan because they could see one another and keep their relationship platonic… safe… secure… respectful when the four of them were together.

The tension between Eva and Nathan grew in leaps and bounds as she and her husband grew apart and then started resenting one another. There were no children to keep Eva and her husband together so they sold their small three story walk up in Buckhead and split amicably. Nathan was kind and yet respectfully distant during her divorce proceedings. Giving her time to get her head together and her sense of humor back; he kept his emails brief and his texts superficial. She moved into a small loft near Vinings and kept up her work schedule, traveling, seeing family, setting up lunch with Nathan or a dinner and movie with Nathan and his wife every once in a while.

When Nathan’s birthday rolled around this year they met up after work at a wine bar near her and Nathan’s old neighborhood in Buckhead. She asked him to park on the 2nd floor of the parking garage, the south side, forgetting to mention which parking garage and then meet her inside at a small booth just inside the front door. He came in a few minutes late, the legendary Atlanta traffic keeping him on the road longer than he expected. He was agitated and his cheeks were flushed and his eyes sparkled as he walked into the small wine bar. Eva’s breath caught in her throat when their eyes locked.

Nathan wove his way through the tables lightly to slide in next to her at the booth. She had already ordered him a thick hearty wine prior to his arrival to let it breathe. He had texted her about the state of traffic and when she asked if he would like something ordered he had said, “Yes, please, red, thick and jammy,” she had complied. He leaned forward brushing his lips across her temple as she squeezed his knee lightly in greeting.

Nathan picked up the glass, smelled the wine, took a sip and handed it to Eva. “Mmmm it’s good. Great choice!” “Happy Birthday,” Eva replied as she took a small sip of the offered glass.

The night went by in a blur of wine and champagne, cheeses and fruits, wonderful conversation and laughter. They lost track of time toasting to his birthday and to his good news, a promotion he had recently earned. They left a little later than expected and when she turned one way to go to the parking garage to retrieve her small compact car, he turned the other way. He stopped, spun around and asked her, “Where are you going?” “To my car,” she replied. “Didn’t you say 2nd floor of the garage? South side?” “Yes, I did.” And she pointed. Nathan pointed the opposite direction and then she realized her mistake. He laughed, “I wondered why I didn’t see your little car. Here, let me walk you to your automobile, madam.” He bowed deeply and offered his arm, she looped her wrist through his elbow and they walked to the garage, up the stairs and to her little car.

She offered, “Because you were so gallant and I told you the wrong place to park, let me drive you to your car.” Nathan accepted and slid into the passenger seat. They drove over to the adjacent parking lot, 2nd floor, south side and Eva pulled up behind Nathan’s car. He stepped out and she did too. He came around to the driver’s side to hug her goodnight and without a word from either of them; they came together with their heads tilted to the right, their lips parted, so close that a deep breath would have brought them together… then they closed the distance.

Years disappeared, all reality was gone, no responsibility, no jobs… nothing but the feel of lips touching, turning, parting and tongues caressing. Nathan kissed her truly and well, Eva responded and was rewarded with a small moan from him into her mouth. By the time they lifted their heads and pulled their mouths reluctantly away from one another traffic had backed up two floors down.

They laughed a little nervously. Nathan said, “Wow.” And Eva grabbed the frame of her car for balance. They hugged each other goodnight and tried to wave a “sorry!” to all of the people in the traffic jam behind Eva’s car. She had no idea how she got home as her mouth burned with the memory of Nathan’s kiss.

It still does.

December 17, 2010

Five O'Clock (Part I)

Flipping through a magazine she saw an advertisement for something that always made her heart jump and her stomach flutter.

She thought she was broken. A little “off”.

To give a little bit of background she had always thought that she was a strong girl and even grew into a stronger woman. She was independent and tough on the outside, but on the inside the things that she craved in her darkest corners, she was embarrassed to admit.

Working hard, living up to her potential, her extracurricular activities and things outside of the office were actions she pushed herself to excel at so she wouldn’t be tempted by the proverbial carrot on the string that was hanging right above her ID like some tangible but inappropriate goal.

Since she was a young woman coming into her own she was aware that she was hyper sensitive to men, women, beauty, but most of all, to the knowledge that she could read people’s wants and behaviors like they were written in their eyes. Conversations with people who trusted her could show her the true words written on their heart. She knew. She just knew. And she wanted to give them what they craved.

It was always physical in nature and since she was a good girl she tried not to hear, not to see, not to feel or sense. She kept the knowledge to herself then started to try to close off the ability to read people so well, because sometimes it was embarrassing… sometimes, you just did not want to know what your father’s boss or the pastor were truly thinking.

One man was a straight laced, by the book type, extremely dominant and very uptight. He was forever hanging around and until she took that veil away, let herself really see what he wanted. She looked at him one day and then slowly relaxed that internal clenched fist. Peaceful she looked at him again and actually saw him. She would have never guessed that he wanted someone to take away his control.

She understood that want. So she knew exactly what to give to him. He awkwardly approached her one day and she let opened up that string that was tied to his wants and needs. She gave herself over to his never verbalized fantasy. She took control. She molded him. She taught him to be submissive, that it was okay. That there was nothing wrong with what he truly desired. She showed him with words actions and tests that he could master himself and find the strength in letting go of that control.

He still calls her. She has been turning him down for over ten years. She showed him what he really wanted. She taught him how to find that pleasure, it was up to him to find his fantasy and be truthful with himself and his lovers by proxy.

Being tightly wound herself she knew how he felt. She wanted and craved for someone to come along and read her as she had done with others. To know what she wanted, to take her, to show her the quiet strength in submission. The mainstream language was that she wanted a Master, a Dom, but she was not comfortable with that. That would mean seeking out people of the same mindset and admitting what she wanted to a virtual stranger. There was also the danger of her mouth getting out of control and getting her in trouble with someone who really knew what to do. How to get her to submit, to quiet her control and to let her mind find that white space where the only sensations were pleasure and not an endless parade of “what if’s”, things to do, bills to pay, her mind crammed to the brim with things other than what was being done to her body.

She had never been married as she felt that a wedding ring was a sign of ownership and she didn’t want to be treated like chattel. She refused to subscribe to society’s version of what was “normal”. She wanted to be a partner with someone who was open to new ideas, not a judgmental type, someone who could have an open honest conversation about what they wanted and expected from a lover or a friend.

Not finding what she wanted in a partner, people who would let her free their fantasies but never do the same in turn for her she just had a series of lovers. A serial monogamist she would stay with someone, content to have physical affection and company when the situation suited both of them, she lived out her life uncomplicated and drama free.

She never knew that she would meet him while traveling.

She met him in a classroom where she was attending a convention. He sat next to her and the moment he did she could smell him. His close-set, glittering almost predatory eyes glanced over at her, she looked back and with unconscious ease gave him a smile to show that she was harmless. He did the same, she didn’t believe it for a minute. The full mouth under his closely trimmed mustache and goatee looked too wry to be harmless. She felt herself flush. Her chest warmed and turned pink, her cheeks warmed and turned pink and she actually flinched as he leaned over, his arm along the back of her classroom chair to ask the time.

She fumbled with her watch and gave him the time, he chuckled low and masculine and asked for her card. She lied, saying she didn’t have one with her, and he said, “That’s fine, here’s mine. Call me at 5.” She took the card, ran her fingers over the raised lettering and the scrawled cell number and got angry. Who the hell did he think he was? Telling her to “call me at five.”??!! She turned to give him back his card and to tell him to go fuck himself but when she turned he was closer and looking directly into her eyes, so intent, so interested as if he were reading her.

Her words died in her throat, she set the card on the table in front of her. She turned to face the front of the room and started bargaining with God to please not let her start sweating.

The class ended, he casually gripped her wrist, his strong fingers against her pulse and said, “Five o’clock and not a minute later.” And then he was gone.

*This is Part One of a series. If you are interested in having it continue, please leave a comment below. Or… you know, you’ll never ever know.

December 29, 2010

Five O'Clock (Part II)

Click here for Part I.

She gathered up her belongings, stuffed an unneeded scarf and sweater into her tote along with a small purse she carried and threw the tote over her shoulder. She smoothed her modest tank over her pants, rubbed imaginary lint off the thigh of her cuffed trousers, wiggled her toes in her sensible black sling back pumps and stood up.

Sliding the chair back behind her, she glared at the card. It was still sitting on the table in front of her.

She stepped around the chair, put it back under the table making sure it was just so, smoothed her tank over the waistline of her trousers again, settled the tote straps squarely on her shoulder, turned on her heel and walked away.

She took in a deep breath as she looked up to the doorway, she was almost there. But five feet from the door, with the other attendees filing out around her she stopped. She couldn’t move. With people brushing past her to get to a meeting or to grab a drink with a colleague she stood there until there until the class was empty but for the speaker and two people asking the speaker questions.

How much time had elapsed? Thirty seconds? Two minutes? She had no idea, she had just lost time. She turned against her will and walked back to where she was sitting, the card was still there. She was afraid to touch it. She told herself that she was being silly, that there was nothing sinister about the object, it was just a card. A business card with a number scrawled neatly with the digits leaning to the far right of the left handed.

She picked the card up and ran her fingers over the raised lettering of his name, sighed audibly then looked towards the ceiling to see if an answer to her unasked question was written there in the air above her. Nope. No luck. She put the card into the side pocket of her tote, located her hotel key and started the trek back to her room.

Pulling her phone from the opposite side pocket of the tote she checked her voicemails, her emails, FaceBook and her Twitter account. She wasn’t watching where she was going, looking at the lighted screen of her iPhone. Completely on autopilot she made her way through the convention center, through the hotel, back to her room where once inside she unceremoniously dumped her tote on the bed.

She kicked off her pumps, stepped into her slippers and fished the sweater and the lightweight scarf out of the tote to hang up, lest they wrinkle. She padded softly into the bathroom, gave herself a cursory glance in the mirror, pulled her hair back and brushed her teeth. With that completed she walked back into the room, pulled her schedule out of the tote to see what was in store for her that evening.

There was a charity event that wouldn’t be reimbursed by her company and it was quite expensive, so that was out. She had appointments with vendors and clients set up for the next two days but this evening she was free. Her shoulders slowly settled in their correct positions and away from her ears. She rolled her head on her neck and went to grab her iPhone out of the tote’s side pocket to plug it in so she could rest a little. She reached in and her hand closed around the business card… not her phone at all.

She could almost swear that it had a pulse to it. Some sort of vibration, heat or energy to it, so she felt an almost physical bite of an electric shock when she pulled it from the bag. Nothing had changed the card, it wasn’t dripping with blood like some omen and it hadn’t grown teeth with which to rend her flesh. It was just a business card. What was she afraid of?

Her eyes were pulled to the standard hotel issue alarm clock with green digital numbers. Four forty-five. She blinked slowly. FOUR FORTY-FIVE!? Her heart rate increased and her pupils dilated so that the room was suddenly too bright. Her eyes found the card. His name. She read it out loud. She followed that by saying, “Five o’clock and not a minute later.”

She heard her voice and it didn’t sound like her own. There was a dreamy almost disconnected quality to it so she tried again. His name and the demand that she call him at five. Her voice still sounded slightly detached so she made a quick mental sketch pad, a line down the middle, “Pro” on one side of the bisected page and “Con” on the other. She listed her pros to calling him and her cons. She had been using this method to make hard decisions for most of her life. The “Pros” won out, barely as she was extremely cynical. The race between to do or not to do was so close that she almost mentally discarded the list and the business card in the hotel trash can.

Being true to herself she went with the “Pro” list and sure she was completely out of time she turned to the clock again, so certain that it would be four fifty-nine. Four forty-eight. She was blown away that this intense inner turmoil had only taken a brief three minutes. Three minutes to decide if she was going to call him. Her ID knew what was going to happen, almost as if she could decipher the future, her body was ready, her brain was the only thing she had to fight against. The need to submit. That first step would be to call him at exactly five pm, and not a minute later.

*This is Part Two of a series. If you are interested in having it continue, please leave a comment below.

About Fiction, Or Is IT?

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Suzanna Danna in the Fiction, Or Is IT? category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Family is the previous category.

I called Jenny. is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35