Thursday, June 17, 2010

Forbidden Fruit

Warning: this piece contains adult content. If this is not up your alley, please do not proceed any further.


He wrenched his arm out from under the pillow and groped blindly for alarm clock on his bedside table, desperately trying to find the snooze button, which had already been broken and damaged several times to silence the infernal sound. He hated mornings. 6.00 was far too early for any sane human being to wake up and to hi, nothing worthwhile ever happened during the daytime. After his once-more unsuccessful routine search for the snooze button he gave up, instead opting to yank that blasted alarm clock from its’ socket, curl it into a ball and fling it across his room where it hit the wall, broke in half and fell into a pile of dirt-encrusted socks lying on the beige carpet. Satisfied, he slumped back into his fluffy white doona and enjoyed the silence of the morning, which didn’t last long when you had a mother who was punctual to the very last digit.

“Marshall!! Are you awake?”

The noise was so sharp and deafening that it made him jump up in his bed and bang his head on the bedpost in the process. He cursed under his breath and rubbed his temple, almost wishing he was listening to the relentless beeping of the deceased alarm clock instead. His door suddenly swung open.

“Marshall! What are you still doing in bed?? It’s 6:05 already!!”

He grudgingly pulled the doona off his body and swung his legs out to the side of his bed.

“Mum please, don’t scream so loudly. I haven’t even fully woken up yet.”

She walked across the room to open the window and let some light in and frowned at the broken alarm clock lying in a messy heap of wires and circuits.

“Oh Marshall. That’s the third alarm you’ve broken this month. How many times are you going to do this?” she said disapprovingly as she picked up the smashed pieces. “And these socks? Honestly, you’d think a barnyard animal lived in here!”

Marshall ran a hand through his messy blond hair and rubbed his eyes while his mother frantically tried to grab as many dirty socks as she could from the gigantic pile on the floor. She had a voice that was annoying enough to make dead people wish they could decay and turn to dust faster. Sometimes he wished she had a knob at the back of her head so he could turn down her volume whenever he wanted. Or a remote control so he could just switch her off completely.

“Marshall!!” Her voice cut through his thoughts like a machete. “Hurry up and get ready! You’ll be late for school.”

He watched her scurry out of the room, her hands full of dirty clothes, then shook his head and reluctantly threw off the comfortable doona so he could get out of his bed and go to the bathroom. He studied his impossibly freckled face in the mirror and scowled. He was going to be sixteen in a week but he looked like he was still twelve. There were so many beautiful girls in his school but all they ever did was pinch his cheeks and tell him how cute he was before they walked away. He’d much rather they slapped his butt cheeks and tell him how naughty he was. Preferably with a wooden spoon or their bare hands. The thought of it made him grin. That would make a great birthday present.

“Marshall! Come down for breakfast!!”

He scowled again as he fought with his school tie. He never ate breakfast, mainly because he didn’t like breakfast foods. Toast was hard and crunchy. Eggs were squishy and smelt funny. Cereal tasted like wet cardboard and he couldn’t stand fresh fruit ever since he found a giant worm in an apple he tried to eat once when he was little. There was only one breakfast food that could arouse his senses.

“We’re having pancakes!!”

He was dressed and downstairs in two minutes. He pulled out a plate from the shelf, grabbed three pancakes from the stack his mother had made and sat down at the table. He added a big chunk of butter, helped himself to a generous serving of syrup, then got a fork and began to devour his meal.

“Easy, Marshall! Leave some for us!”

“Oooohh pancakes!!” squealed Lucy, his older sister as she came skipping down the stairs in her uniform and school bag in hand. “You better make some extra Mum,” he quipped, looking pointedly at Marshall as she served herself two pancakes from the stack.

“Don’t bother Mum. She’s just gonna throw it up later anyway,” he shot back with a scowl. Lucy just giggled and started on her breakfast.

“Stop it, you two!” said their mother as she downed a large black coffee.

“Alright kids, I’m off. Please clean up after you finish. Don’t take too long or you’ll miss the bus.” She picked up her keys and briefcase, kissed them both goodbye and ran to her car.

“Hurry up, you weirdo,” Lucy teased as she put the dishes in the dishwasher. “The bus is in fifteen minutes.”

Both of them grabbed their bag packs, locked the door and headed to the bus stop down the road. They walked silently together, Lucy admiring her reflection in a compact mirror and Marshall admiring her. Ever since he hit puberty, he’d been having dreams about her almost every night. The kind of dreams that get you hard when you’re asleep and wet when you wake up. He would lie in bed and imagine Lucy was kneeling above him in a thin white nightgown with her curly brown hair loosely hanging around her beautiful angelic face. He imagined her slowly lifting the bottom of the nightgown and revealing her smooth, hairless clit, allowing him to insert his fingers into her lips and gently fondle her wetness. She’d then throw her head back and moan with pleasure, causing his cock to harden instantly.

He watched her take a step into the school bus and sit down next to her friend. He took a seat in the next in the next row so he could watch her. Every movement she made was so graceful and sensual. He always wondered what she looked like naked. He had so many questions about girls and sex and the disturbing yet highly erotic dreams he had every night, but there was nobody to ask. Ever since his father left them to pursue an affair with a woman nearly twenty years his junior, life had been difficult for his mother, who worked extra hours just to support him and his sister as well as all the expenses of the house. He never could talk to her about this sort of thing lest she pass out cold on the floor. He didn’t see any problem with lusting after his sister, but there was no way he’d ever have a chance with someone as gorgeous as her. He watched her skip off the bus and join her group of friends on the school courtyard. He stood in a corner and admired her for a few more minutes until the school bell rang. He sighed. Here goes another unproductive day in hell.


“Alright ladies and gentlemen! Please take the dodge balls and nets back to the storage room before you leave, thank you.”

Finally, he thought. He could get out of this hellhole and since he had no friends to hold him back, he could be the first one on the bus home. He hated a lot of things about school, but his most hated class was PE. He hated anything that required him to chase after a ball or sun with a stick or perform any other such unnecessary physical activity that caused great bodily strain. Thursday afternoon activities meant that the whole damn bus would be filled with body odour. He scurried down the aisle when he tripped over someone’s extended leg and fell flat on his face.

“Nice move, Snotface!” jeered a bunch of boys in football jerseys as they laughed maniacally at him.

“Fuck off Jim,” Marshall shot back as he grabbed his bag and sat at the back of the bus, his face red with humiliation. One day he was gonna get back at those boys. He jumped off the bus, got out his keys and opened the door to his house, where he dumped his bag on the floor and flopped down on the kitchen table. He helped himself to a glass of juice from the fridge and looked at the clock. 3.30. His mother wouldn’t be home for another three hours, which gave him enough time to play with his Xbox before starting on his homework. Just then, the door swung open and in breezed Lucy.

“Hey Marshall!” she greeted him warmly as she tossed her school bag near the stairs. “Wow, I am so beat! Coach really killed us in training today!”

Marshall shook his head. Lucy was the only athletic member in the family. She was on the school lacrosse team and she was really good at it too. Her team won the National Championships two years in a row, which would explain her lean athletic figure and constant energy levels. He watched her remove her scrunchie and shake her hair free, which clung to her sweaty, glistening neck. He could feel the goosebumps rising on his skin.

“Hey I’m just gonna grab a quick shower before Mum gets home, ok?” said Lucy before skipping up the stairs. He waited a few minutes, gulped down his juice, then quietly tiptoed upstairs and crouched just outside the bathroom door. He removed the hanging smiley face on the door to reveal a tiny hole drilled right through to the other side. Peering through the hole, he could see Lucy unbuttoning her school shirt and pulling it off her hot, sweaty body and admiring her perfect abs in the mirror. She then slowly removed her black lacy bra and caressed her smooth, white breasts while watching her reflection in the mirror. Marshall reached down to grab his erect organ in his hand and stroke it, matching the speed of his movements to hers. He could only imagine what it would feel like to take those perfectly erect nipples in his mouth and suck them hard, like a newborn hungry for its’ mothers milk. He watched her with a transfixed gaze as she pulled her blue shorts off and stood in just her sheer pink underwear with roses all over it. He quickened his pace, stroking himself rapidly as he watched her slowly pull her shiny pink panties down her perfectly sculpted legs and delicately toss them onto the tiled floor, his hand working at a thousand miles per second. He could feel the passion building rapidly inside him as he watched her part her legs slightly from behind, giving him a tiny rear view of her tiny pink clit and the fine hairs that adorned it. The sight of her gorgeous round peach-coloured ass was enough to make him squirt his juice all over his hand. He leant against the door to catch his breath for a minute before looking through the peephole again but she was already behind the shower door enjoying the warm water splashing on her skin. He dragged himself back over to his room to clean up, his hands trembling from all the excitement. He was gonna need a good two hours on the Xbox before he could really concentrate on his homework. He sighed as he picked up the controls to set up his favourite game. She was the only thing he ever wanted but could never ever dream of having. And that sucked.

Today was an important day for Marshall. He finally turned 16 but nothing about him had changed. He still looked like a freckled 12 year old, he still had a rotten day in school and he was still invisible to all the beautiful girls, especially Lucy. To top it all off, he had to sit through a painfully brutal birthday party consisting of his mother, his uncle, his father – who brought his seemingly underage girlfriend with him- and his grandmother. In other words, it made him feel more suicidal than joyful.

“Hey Marshall! You’re looking a little skinny there. What’re they feeding you?”

“Hey Marsh, you’re sixteen now! How about getting a girlfriend?”

“Why don’t you lend him yours, Gerald? They’re practically the same age!”

“Don’t start with me, Mum!”

This was always the main topic of conversation at every Christmas, Easter and birthday party for as long as he could remember. He gulped down his cannelloni and pretended to make small talk with his uncle while he watched Lucy help his mum in the kitchen. She was clad in a short, purple figure-hugging dress with a low neckline and her hair was tied up in a French twist. She looked so elegant and so poised yet there was something so dark and sensual about her.

“Alright everybody! Gather around for cake!”

He just stood there awkwardly and watched his family sing Happy Birthday to him in that clich├ęd, obnoxious, off-key manner, with a big fake smile plastered on his face. He stared at the big, spongy, caramel-and-cream atrocity that was his cake with sixteen candles sticking out of it. He didn’t think his family thought very much of him. They were probably pretending to praise him just to keep his spirits up, like he was this pitiful creature. He ate sparingly from the slice of cake on his plate while he watched everyone else gobble down theirs. His dad got bits of cream stuck in his moustache. What a pig he was. He then looked at Lucy, who had just popped a piece of cake into her mouth when her eyes met his. Smiling seductively, she scooped up a tiny bit of cream with her finger and licked it, letting her tongue run slowly around the cream before capturing it with her shiny pink lips. Marshall gulped. She was teasing him on purpose right in the middle of a family party. She then put her plate down and walked to the stairs, fixing him with a look before she sauntered upstairs. Marshall could feel his heart thudding in his chest. He excused himself brusquely and ran up the stairs to Lucy’s room, where the door was left slightly ajar. He pushed it open slowly and saw her sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for him. He gasped.

“What took you so long?” she asked him coyly.

Marshall just stood there speechless. He watched her remove her hairclip and shake her curly brown hair free. She then got up and walked over to Marshall, who promptly shut the door behind him with his foot, put her arms around him and kissed him, sensually and delicately. He put his hands on her round curvaceous ass and pulled her closer so as to rub his arousal against her. She moaned.

“Are you hard?” he whispered.

“Yes, very hard,” he replied.

She stuck her tongue into his mouth to caress his tongue.

“Did you enjoy watching me in the shower?”

He nibbled on her bottom lip. “Oh yes, very much.”

She chuckled quietly. “Let me help you with that.”

Marshall watched in awe as Lucy got down on her knees and unzipped his jeans. This was the moment he had been dreaming off all his life.

“Marshall!! Honey, are you upstairs?”

He just watched Lucy wrestle his hardness from his pants and gently caress it in her hands. She looked straight into his eyes as she ran her tongue smoothly around the tip of his hard cock, making him moan loudly. She slid her tongue further up and down his shaft before taking the whole thing into her mouth.

“Marshall!! Where are you?”

He moaned loudly as he watched her take his cock further down her throat. She was awfully good. She must have had plenty of experience, he thought. He could feel himself close to the edge. He was just about to come when Lucy pulled her mouth off his cock and covered it with her hand. “Not just yet,” she said quietly.

He watched her stand up and remove her tight purple dress and toss it to the ground, revealing her perfectly smooth breasts. She then slipped off her blue cotton panties and laid back on the edge of the bed. Then just like in his dream, her parted her legs open to reveal her glistening wet clit, which was adorned with a few brown curlies, but he didn’t care about that. It looked beautiful.

“Do you want me?” she whispered under her breath.

“Yes,” came his whispered reply.

He walked towards the bed and knelt down between her legs. He ran a finger down her wet labia and watched her shiver with passion while her nipples became erect. This was real. After years of dreaming and fantasizing, he was finally getting what he wanted. Nothing could ever ruin this night.


Not even his interfering mother.

His breathing became heavier and more intense. She spread her legs even wider to allow him better access to her goodies.
“Oh Marshall, I almost forgot.” She sat up and brought her face closer to his. “Happy Birthday,” she purred into his ear.

He grinned. This was going to be the best birthday present yet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Memory of That Moment

“Now if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For i shall have already forgotten you.”
-Pablo Neruda, “If You Forget Me”

She trudged hurriedly across the paved grounds, her gigantic bag pack shaking violently as she took step after step as quickly as she possibly could. It was 8.20 and the warning bell had just gone off. If she didn’t make it before the 8.30 bell she’d be marked late for the third time this week. She quickened her pace, huffing and puffing until she finally made it to her class. Just in time, since the second bell rang just as soon as her foot went across the threshold and the teacher has already started marking the roll.


“Here, miss.”



“Gisele? Gisele McDonald?”

She stood near the door and cleared her throat nervously, her foot shuffling the dull green carpet. Her eyes darted quickly across the room before resting on the teacher’s hardened gaze.

“Oh, I see you made it to class two minutes early today, Gisele. That’s a new record for you!”

She scurried to the desk at the back of the class, her eyes fixed to the carpet to drown out the sounds of laughter coming from her classmates. She slammed her bag on the floor and slunk deep into her chair as the teacher began the lesson of the day. Ever since she came to school one day with a rotten banana in her bag which she had forgotten about, all the kids started calling her “Smelly Giselly”, a nickname that followed her right through till high school even though she checked and cleaned her bag every night with military precision. She didn’t have any friends in school because of that day so she spent every lunchtime in a quiet corner of the courtyard with her face buried deep into a book while all the other children talked and laughed and ate their lunches noisily. She spent a lot of her time daydreaming about being a princess locked in a tall tower, or a knight going off to war, or a thief trying to cross the border with a bag of loot under his arm. Anything was getter than the reality that she was faced with every single day. How she longed to get away and find a far better place where she would be loved by everybody.

“If you think it long and mad,
The wind of banners
That pass through my life,
And you decide
To leave me at the shore
Of the heart where I have roots,
Remember that on that day
At that hour,
I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off
To another land.”

One day as she was reading while walking to her class, she felt something hit her in the back, causing her to trip and fall and her book to go sliding across the chunky gravel. Grumbling under her breath, she tried to lift herself off the ground when she felt a strong arm grab her from the back and help her to her feet.

“I’m so sorry about that! Are you alright?”

She felt her skin prickle up when she heard that the voice belonged to a young male, an attractive young male with beach blond hair and a bright, warm smile. She never saw herself as visible to the opposite sex with her frizzy black hair, thick glasses, acne and outdated fashion sense. She blinked her eyes, not quite knowing to say.


He studied her face for a few seconds. “Oh hang on, your book!”

He skipped across the gravel to pick up her book, his entire body moving gracefully as a Grecian god as he delicately handed the book back to her. “Here you go,” he said kindly. “I’m John. What’s your name?”

She continued to stare at him, her cheeks burning red.

“Uhh, G...G...Gisele,” she mumbled inaudibly.

“I’m sorry, what?”

She cleared her throat and spoke loudly this time. “My name is Gisele. Although most of the kids just call me Smelly Giselly.”

“You mean, that was you??” he said with a laugh. Normally, she would have fumed at the embarrassing reminder but she was so drawn in by his heavenly smile that she joined him in his laughter.

“Oh, please forgive my rudeness. You must be awfully tired of that story by now.”

“No it’s okay. I can finally see the humour in that situation.”

“What are you reading there?” he said, gesturing to the book in her hand.

“Oh, this?” She lifted her book to the light to admire its’ shiny cover. “It’s a book by my favourite poet Pablo Neruda.”

“Really?” His eyebrows shot up high into the air. “He’s my favourite poet too.”

They stood there for a while talking about poetry until the bell rang. John ran off to the football grounds for practice while Gisele walked to her next class, her head spinning with joy and disbelief over having a conversation with someone who was three years her senior and like poetry. They continued to have chance meetings on the school grounds whenever she managed to skip class or whenever he wasn’t in the company of his friends, which became some of her most cherished school memories. It was especially hard on her when it was time for him to graduate, as she felt she would never see him again.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Gisele. Remember that no matter how bad things are, you will always someone who cares for you,” he said warmly as he pressed a tiny envelope into her hand. She opened it eagerly and pulled out a tiny greeting card with a pink rose on the front. She opened the card and was overjoyed by what she saw.

“But if each day
Each hour,
You feel that you are destined for me
With implacable sweetness,
If each day a flower
Climbs up to your lips to seek me,
Ah my love, ah my own,
In me all that fire is repeated,
In me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
My love feeds on your love, beloved
And as long as you live it will be in your arms
Without leaving mine.

- Love, John.”

She never forgot that day, even though it had been years since she finished high school. She thought about him almost every day. She had gotten a substantial job and got along with a few people around her which kept her happy. With her perfectly smooth hair, impeccable dress sense and newfound confidence, she gained the attention of every male around her, but there was only one man whom she longed to see. She did in fact see him one day, walking down the road with a beautiful young woman on his arm. Her heart sank a little when he came closer and didn’t even know who she was, but she was not to be outdone. She stood firmly in her spot, trying her best to catch his eye as he walked by. He turned to look at her, his forehead crinkling with confusion, before suddenly recognising her face. He smiled that same warm smile that lit up her dark days at school, and she returned that smile a hundred fold. He looked at her one last time before passing her and walking away into the distance. She stood in her spot for a few minutes while she remembered all the moments that made her smile.

“My love feeds on your love, beloved
And as long as you live it will be in your arms
Without leaving mine.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shattered Heart

"Darius? I’m home.”

He glanced at the clock as he stirred the pan on the stove. 9.30pm. She was home late again. Ever since she was made a partner at her law firm, she had been coming home late every night. She dropped her black Gucci handbag and jacket on the coffee table and walked over to the kitchen to greet her husband.

“Hi honey. Sorry I’m late,” she said, smiling widely and kissing him on the cheek. She got out two plates and two forks and laid them on the counter. She then took out two wine glasses from the cabinet and a bottle of Cabernet Merlot from the pantry. He watched as she filled both the glasses with the shiny red liquid and immediately started drinking from one, taking big sips and swallowing them like they were the only source of water in a hot, dry, arid desert. He crinkled his forehead. She usually never drank red wine unless she was uncontrollably excited and needed something to calm her down.

“Erica, could you bring these plates a little closer please? This pan is a little heavy.”

“Oh, sure hun,” she replied, quickly grabbing the two dinner plates and bringing then closer to him like he asked. He spooned the steaming hot contents from the pan onto the plate, then he took the blue plastic dish next to him and emptied its’ contents onto the plates. He wiped up the splatter from the edge of the plates and took a minute to inspect his culinary creation, which was Moroccan chicken and couscous. He then picked up the two plates and set them on the dining table while his wife followed him with the wine glasses in hand. He waited till she was comfortable seated before picking his fork to start eating. The meal began quietly until he opened his mouth to speak.

“So, how was work today?”

“Oh it was good,” she replied through a mouthful of chicken. “So busy though. They just wouldn’t let me leave!”

“But I thought you said your last case for the day finished at seven,” he reminded her.

“Yes, yes it did,” she quickly added.

“Then what were you doing for the last two hours?”

She blinked and shook her head rapidly, as if suddenly remembering where she was. “Oh, um......uh......I had extra work to do. Sonja was off sick this week so I got stuck handling all her clients,” she quickly mumbled as she stuffed her mouth with more couscous and gulped down some more wine to wash it down. “Wow honey, this meal is absolutely delicious!” she said with a big, fake smile.

He smiled curiously at her before taking a sip of his wine. “That’s funny. Sonja was sick a week ago. She was sick for two weeks last month.”

“Yes she, uh.......she has, um, really bad asthma and needs to go to the hospital every now and then for uh, checkups.....” she trailed off, staring intently at the blue floral tablecloth as she spoke. He drained the last sip of her wine, hurriedly picked up both the empty plates and scurried to the kitchen with them. He noticed that she seemed a little wound up, a little nervous, almost like she was hiding something. Or maybe it was just the stress of her work, but he wasn’t too sure. She put the dishes in the dishwasher and closed it shut.

“Wow, I’m so tired!” she exclaimed as she yawned loudly and stretched her arms out wide, making a big show out of looking exhausted.

“I’m going upstairs. See you there, honey.” She started up the dishwasher and made her way upstairs to the bedroom. He got up, turned the tap on and proceeded to wash the pan. She did seem awfully distant tonight. Well truthfully she was distant every night, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was different about today. Or maybe that was just him overreacting. He wiped the kitchen counter, turned the lights off and went to the bedroom. Noticing that the shower was running, he changed from his day clothes and hung them in the closet. Once he was done, he turned around and spotted her work clothes, which were strewn all over the floor leading towards their massive, en suite bathroom. He chuckled to himself. As much as it annoyed him that she couldn’t pick up after herself, he couldn’t help but feel a little turned on every time he found her clothes lying on the floor, like he had just ripped them off her perfect, supermodel-like body and thrown them on the floor in a fit of passion. He went over to pick them up so he could hang them up in their huge walk-in wardrobe. He picked up her purple chiffon blouse and put it on a hanger before hanging it up with the rest of her clothes. He picked up her black silk skirt and gently shook the wrinkles out of it but before he could even reach for a hanger, a small white piece of paper came flying out of the pocket and landed on the floor just next to his foot. He picked it up to look at it and was alarmed by what he saw. It was a receipt for two drinks at the trendy Lime bar in the city, but what raised his suspicion the most was that the time on the bottom read 6.30 pm, when she said she was supposedly in the middle of a case. He gulped nervously. He stared at the crumpled piece of paper in his hand as he felt his skin crawling and a thousand thoughts running through his head. Just then, he heard a door swing open behind him.

“Phew, what a great shower! I feel so clean and refreshed now,” she exclaimed as she stepped out of the bathroom clad in just a blue silk nightgown, with her long, damp brown hair clinging to her shoulders. He looked at her with a wry smile. Long, hot showers were one of her biggest indulgences , even in summer, which often resulted in their unusually high water bills. He quickly folded the recept and placed it in the safe compartment of his wallet. He then lifted the plush quilts and got into his side of the bed. He watched as she briefly towel-dried her hair, tossing it from side to side and smiling at herself in the mirror like a supermodel in a shampoo commercial. True, she was incredibly beautiful and alluring and looked much younger than she actually was. She always had numerous men looking at her every time she walked into a room or on the street. She could have anyone she desired. He felt very lucky and very privileged that she chose him over all the younger, better looking men who wanted her, but he couldn’t help noticing that her beauty came with far more confidence than what was necessary with just a touch of arrogance. Sometimes he wasn’t sure if she chose him because she truly loved him or simply because he was easy prey who succumbed to her every whim and desire. This thought sometimes kept him up all night and now the mysterious receipt from her pocket didn’t help one bit. When she was finally done with her hair, she tossed her wet towel on the dressing table chair in her typical fashion, then got under the quilts and switched off the bedside lamp before settling herself into bed. He turned on his side to face her only to find himself staring at her back.

“Good night Erica,” he whispered as he arranged his head properly on the pillow.

“G’nite dear,” she replied, her voice barely a mumble as her face was buried deep into her pillow. Within minutes, she sank into a deep, heavy sleep. He sighed. It seemed they didn’t even take the time to look at each other anymore. He laid himself on his back before drifting into a deep but uneasy sleep.

It had been a rather rough week. Erica had been coming home late almost every other night with a case from some major client or another. On the bright side, it was holiday season for all the university students, but not for Darius, who was stuck with the tedious, unsatisfying task of correcting all their exam papers. He clenched his fists in silent frustration. Sure, it was clear these students had been paying attention in class, but their grammar and sentence structure were far too poor for their level. He remembered his days as a student teacher teaching ninth graders who had far better grammar skills than these second-year university students. He plonked his pen down on his impeccably cluttered work desk and rubbed his temples. He took a sip of his lukewarm coffee and looked at the clock on his table. 7.30 pm. Erica was probably still at work with her major client. If he left now, he’d probably have enough time to squeeze in a quick shower and rest before starting dinner. He picked up all the exam papers from his desk and shoved them into his red bagpack. He then got into his jacket, turned the lights off in his office and exited the room with his bagpack over his shoulder. He waved a quick goodbye to his fellow professor in the next room before heading down the stairs and out of the building to the car. Luckily, it was past rush-hour traffic so he was able to get home in a relatively short amount of time. He picked up the remote control of open the garage door but decided against it, instead opting to leave his car in the driveway as he had a meeting to attend early next morning. He got out his house keys, unlocked the door and stepped in, tossing his bag and jacket on the floor of the living room. He went to the kitchen, poured himself a glass of wine and slowly sipped it while standing next to the kitchen counter. He exhaled deeply as the rich, tangy red liquid flowed through his body, making him feel slightly better. Just as he picked up his glass for another sip, he suddenly heard what sounded like a tap dripping. He frowned. It looked like he’d have to call the plumber again. The last time it started dripping, half their bathroom was flooded before they even knew. Leaving his glass on the kitchen top, he climbed up the stairs to investigate, expecting to find a leaking tap in his master bathroom. What he didn’t expect to find was his wife lying in their luxurious bed, her partially naked body covered by the plush doona, as she stretched her arms and sighed to herself with satisfaction. She turned over on her left side to retrieve her glass of wine and was shocked to see her husband standing in the doorway with a surprised look on his face. She quickly sat up in bed with a start, knocking over her wine glass in the process, which spilt all over the fluffy cream carpets.

“Darius! Wha-wha-what are you doing home so early? I thought you said you had papers to correct!” she said nervously.

“Yes, I did, but I’d been in the office so long I needed a break, so I brought them home with me”, he replied, walking over to the side of the bed and picking up the fallen glass. By then, the wine had already left a bright red stain on the carpet. “I came up to check on the leaking tap in the bathroom.” He paused to look at her for a few minutes. “What are you doing in bed?”

She stared blankly at him as she pulled the quilt up to her chest, before suddenly realising what he was talking about. “Oh! The, it’s not leaking, dearest. It’s perfectly fine! I just forgot to turn it off, that’s all.” She glanced nervously at the bathroom door whilst clutching the doona cover so tightly her knuckles started to turn white. There were a few tiny beads of sweat that had formed on her forehead and were threatening to spill down her face at any minute.

He shook his head, grinning a little at her. “It’s alright. I’ll turn it off for you,” he said. He walked over to the bathroom and was just about to open the door when it swung open by itself. To his shock and horror, out of the door came a handsome young man of about ten years his junior, clad in nothing but blue boxers and one sock dangling off his left foot, casually wiping his face with one of their fluffy pink towels. He took one look at Darius and froze, the towel dropping from his hand onto the floor in a noiseless heap.

“Erica?” he questioned his wife. “Who is this? What is he doing in our bedroom?”

She gulped deeply as she struggled to find words. “Oh, him? He, uh.....he’s just the plumber,” she added nervously.

“But I thought you said the tap was fine.” His voice was as calm as the sky just before the storm clouds started rolling. He stared intensely, his eyes boring into her very brain as he waited for an explanation.

She drew in a sharp breath as her shoulders started to tremble. She knew it was no use lying now that he already figured out what was going on.

He glanced at the young man, who was pale white with fear and looked far too afraid to move a muscle, then back at his wife. He slowly started menacing towards her.

“So, how long has this been going on?” he asked her coolly.

“No honey, it’s not like that-“

“How long?!?”, he screamed. The anger in his voice was enough to send the walls shaking. He clenched his hands into tight fists while he waited for an answer.

Her bottom lip trembled. Her fingers continued to squeeze the doona cover as she fumbled for the right words.

“Um.....about a year now.”

He gulped as he felt what he thought was his heart shattering into a thousand little pieces. He thought about the mysterious receipt, her ‘major client’, her coming home last from work for weeks at a time and all the other veiled lies that he thought were nothing for him to worry about. He could feel the tears stinging the insides of his eyes before threatening to fall out, but he quickly blinked them away. This was not the time to become vulnerable.

“We met at a lawyer’s ball about a year and a half ago. I.......I told everyone he was the community case worker of a young family I was looking after,” she slowly added, her voice barely above a whisper. “I’m sorry, Darius.” She lowered her eyes towards the floor, too afraid to face her husband.

“Oh, sorry doesn’t even begin to cut it, my darling,” he replied with cool anger. He walked right up to the young man, who was still rooted to the spot, looked him right in the eye and said:

“I’m giving you ten seconds to leave my house. If you’re not gone by then, I will rip your lungs out of your chest and make you swallow them. Do you understand me?”

It didn’t even take five seconds before the young man grabbed his clothes and shoes, ran to his car and sped off into the night, his tyres screeching loudly enough to wake the entire neighbourhood.
Darius then took a deep breath and turned to his wife, who was now sobbing so much it started to wet the quilt. He started walking slowly towards her.

“As for you, my beautiful wife, I must figure out how to exactly how I should punish you.”

She scooted her body towards the other side of the bed as she tried to wipe away her tears.

“No Darius please, don’t do this! Please! I love you! Really I do!” she begged him as she cried fresh tears.

However, he was not the least bit swayed. He slowly reached into his cabinet drawer and pulled out a crisp new Swiss army knife, grinning creepily as he flicked open the sharpest attachment it had. Her face turned white with horror.

“Wh-wh-wh-what are you going to do to m-m-m-me?”

He sat on the edge of the bed and took both of her hands in his. “I am going to make sure that your beauty and your vanity never gets in the way of our marriage ever again.” With that, he grabbed her blue silk scarf from the floor and tied both her wrists securely to the bed post despite her whimpering. He then picked up his Swiss army knife, wiped it on his pants, then he proceeded to run the sharp blade over her perfectly smooth skin. He made a long cut from her left temple to her cheek and watched as a small trickle of blood slowly dripped down her face.

“What-why.....what are you doing?”

Quiet! I’m not finished yet!” he interrupted her. He then ran the knife down the other side of her face and watched with glee as more blood started ripping down her face, staining the fluffy doona that covered her naked form. He continued slicing up her beautiful face over and over, gracefully running his sharp blade all over the perfect skin that she spent every night cleansing and moisturising, going so far as down her neck and even past her collarbone until eventually, her glowing complexion was nothing more than a shredded, bloody mess.

She started to weep again, but changed her mind once realising how much the tears stung her fresh open wounds.

“I’m so sorry Darius,” she whispered again.

“I believe you, dearest. But I just want to make absolutely sure,” he replied cynically. “Now hold still.” He grabbed her long, shiny brown hair and admired its’ beauty and vitality before picking up his pocket knife and furiously cutting off every last bit of it until there was nothing more than a few brown tufts sticking out her now bald head. He watched her bleed some more from the cut marks on her head before her body started to go limp. He stepped back to admire his handiwork, smiling to himself with satisfaction as he did so.

“Perhaps this will teach you not to play with people’s hearts in the future,” he mumbled under his breath as a final warning as he left her to bleed profusely. He tossed his pocket knife on the doona cover, which was now completely soaked in blood. He went downstairs, got into his jacket and stepped out into the thick night air for a walk. He didn’t feel guilty for what he just did. Not one bit. After all the luxuries he gave her, she left him with nothing but a shattered heart. One that could never be fixed; not even with all the pocket knives in the world.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beauty is Truth

“An artist should create beautiful things but should put nothing of his own life into them,” The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde.

Five new buckets of paint today, each one a slightly different shade of blue. The old ones weren’t even finished and cost an absolute fortune. That was half the monthly rent gone. But Philippe Renaud wasn’t an accountant. He was an artist. All these buckets of paint were to feed his passion of painting. He could paint all day and all night if he wanted to. He spent more money on art supplies than on food, if that’s what you could call the few cuts of dried meat and stale bread that were in his pantry. Sometimes he went for days without eating only because he was in the middle of one of his artistic creations. But he didn’t care because he was an artist. That’s what artists did; they but creative passion before earthly needs.

He had been having some rather strange dreams lately. Dreams in which he saw himself in a vast but still lake, which was bright blur to contrast with the dull grey sky, right next to a small forest clearing. Then suddenly, the water would start churning like it was being stirred by a giant wooden spoon, slowly at first then faster and faster until there was a small eruption right in the middle of the circle. That eruption then subsided to reveal a beautiful woman who seemed to have come out of the water. She had long, silvery hair which seemed to have no end and her skin was a shimmery shade of ivory as if to compliment her unusual hair colour. But what was most astounding was her dress. It was the same blue shade as the ocean but the fabric was like nothing he’d ever seen before. It almost looked like she was clothed in the very same water from which she sprouted. She was a creature not from this world. She seemed to be some kind of water nymph, or an undine. She had a serene, peaceful, ethereal quality about her. He could see her smiling and beckoning him with her long, delicate fingers, causing the surface of the water to ripple slightly with each movement. He could feel himself wanting to follow her but he just could not bring himself to move. When he finally did, he saw everything around him fade to black. That was usually when he found himself waking up and realising it was all a dream, much to his disappointment. The fact that he’d been having this same dream for the last three years didn’t help either, so he finally decided to paint it in the hope that he’d be able to figure out what it meant.

He added a little black paint to his palette to darken his green, then mixed it together and carefully applied it to the tall trees that he drew on his canvas, making quick but soft strokes in order to achieve the appearance of leaves. He then took a sip of his Red Burgundy wine, a gift given to him by a wealthy businessman for painting a perfect portrait of his wife as an anniversary gift and therefore one of his few expensive treasures. Once he finished, he stopped to admire his brushwork, smiling to himself. He remembered growing up in a small village, playing under those kinds of trees when he was seven years old. He didn’t have the richest or most privileged upbringing, but he didn’t care as he already had all the things he needed – a good home, a loving family and home-cooked food. He didn’t understand why his father left home without even telling him. He grew up thinking it was because he wasn’t a good enough or smart enough child. His mother, whom he spent all of his time with and loved very much, passed away eight years later, forcing him to take up an apprenticeship with a talented but strict artist named Emilio Vittori. This is where he got his first taste of what it was to draw everything your heart desired out of some of the most fascinating tools ever made by man. He saw countless tins of red, yellow, blue, orange, black, white, grey, pink, green, purple, indigo, brown, ivory and many, many more colours as well as paintbrushes of every size – from those large enough to paint a wall, to those small enough to fit onto a grain of wheat – different sizes and densities of charcoals, twine strings, pieces of wood shaped like mini-rolling pins, blocks of wood cut for stencilling, brushes that looked like tiny brooms, different-sized easels and canvases......young Philippe felt like he had entered a whole new dimension of his mind. And he loved it. He spent many long hours with Emilio everyday learning all there was to know about colour, pattern and texture until he eventually became Emilio’s favourite apprentice and the bearer of all his knowledge of art. And now, it was all starting to pay off with his current masterpiece, which was going to be a replication of what he saw in his dreams every night.

Once Philippe was done painting the trees, he mixed together some pink, some orange and other such bright colours to add some flowers to his forest. Just as he was about to touch his brush to the canvas, heard a sudden bark followed by a whinny and a loud collapsing noise which startled him and caused his to drop his brush, which rolled to the corner of the room. He walked over to retrieve his brush, stealing a quick look outside window where he saw a tradesman berating a small rabid dog for barking at and scaring his horse, which caused it to jump and kick, making his carriage and all its’ contents to tumble onto the ground. He laughed quietly to himself. His mind went back to the day when he got his first pet. He was walking through the local marketplace to buy whatever food he could afford when he saw a gruff, chubby old man violently pulling a shaggy dog onto a carriage while the poor animal whimpered in protest. Disturbed by the cruelty shown to the dog, Philippe approached the man and questioned him on his actions.

“Excuse me sir, why are you pulling the dog like that?”

“Because he’s of no use to me!” grunted the chubby man as he stopped to breathe. “He used to help me in the warehouse but now that he has a broken leg he’s no good so I’m getting rid of him. No point keeping him around, is there?”

“Oh please sir, don’t do that!” cried Philippe. “Don’t send him away. Here, I’ll take him.”

The chubby man looked at him with an amused grin. “You wanna take him, eh? Well this is your lucky day, boy. Because he has a broken leg, you can have him for half the price! How much you got?”

Philippe took out the money he brought for his food and counted it. “Sorry sir, it’s not nearly as much as what you ask.”

“That’s alright boy. I’ll take it.” The old man took the money from Philippe’s hand and gave him the dog, his forcible tugging making the poor beast whimper painfully. “He’s your problem now.” And with that, he got into his carriage and was off.

Philippe took a minute to study his prize and was amazed at what he saw. It was a young Wirehaired Pointing Griffon of about two years old, grey with a brown head and nose and flat ears and thick, wiry fur. But his eyes shone with helplessness and gratitude upon being saved from his cruel master. Philippe smiled. Despite his starved, bruised appearance, he was a delightful-looking animal.

“Come,” said Philippe, gently scratching the dog behind his ears, who wagged his tail and affectionately licked his hand. “Let’s go to your new home.” He grabbed the dog’s lead and walked slowly while his new found friend followed him with a slight limp.

Two years had passed since then and his dog, now named Valmont, grew up to be a handsome and healthy animal who could run for miles without getting tired. He and Philippe became best friends, even refusing to eat until he made sure his master had eaten first. Some days he played the role of a watchdog, barking and howling wildly every time he heard a strange noise from outside. Even if it was just s stray cat or the clouds rolling heavily, he was sure to let his master know.

“Hush Valmont,” whispered Philippe as he gently patted his head. “It’s only the clouds. There’s no need to be afraid.” He then kissed his nose lightly, filled his bowl with fresh water and fluffed up his little rug on the floor. He then took a seat on the rickety old wooden chair, stared out the window at the rain and smiled to himself. Sure, he wasn’t as rich or as well-known as the aristocrats who lived in the city, but as long as he had his little cottage, his art supplies and Valmont, he was always happy. So you can only imagine how devastated he was when he came home one night after spending the whole day painting on the mountain range only to find that a fire had broken out in a neighbouring house and was now consuming his house. And from that house same the saddest, most pain-filled howl one could ever hear. The angry flames reached his house and licked the flimsy thatched roof, but all he cared about was saving Valmont. He dumped his satchel on the ground and ran into the cottage to save his dog, who was roped very securely and tried desperately to escape but could not. He watched helplessly as his dog gave out one last whimper before collapsing onto the front porch as the fire raged on. Philippe gently lifted his head, brushed the hair out of his eyes and checked desperately for any signs of life.

“Val? Valmont, can you hear me?”

He watched with horror at all the enormous burn marks that covered the poor animal’s body. He slowly licked his master’s soot-covered hand, and his once bright, lively eyes were closed for good. Philippe stared at him in silence, his mind struggling to accept the loss of his beloved dog, then burst into tears. The rain started to pour violently, putting out the flames that were tearing through his house and subduing the smoke that was filling up the night sky, but it came too late. He had lost everything he owned and held dear; his cottage and now his only friend. All he had left were his art supplies, which he took with him that day and so were spared. With that, he was forced to go to the city and start a new life, all by himself.

It was here that he resided for the last fifteen years, just painting his soul away while working on other odd jobs such as portrait painting at fairs and carnivals and an assistant to the local baker just to make ends meet. But unfortunately, he had developed some sort of viral illness recently, which forced him to give up his bakery job, thus making it harder for him to earn money just to get by. He had never had enough time or money to see a doctor because his art was far too important to him. He poured the five different shades of blue onto his palette and examined their hues. He mixed a little white into one shade, a little black into the next one, a little grey into the one after that and left the other two as they were. He dipped his brush into the first colour and began painting his undine. He painted her hair long and silvery like how he saw it in his dream, then added her body and then her dress, which was the same pure colour as the lake. When he was done with her body he came back to her face, which he left blank. He didn’t know what kind of face to give her since he didn’t see it very well in his dream. He sat down on the old wicker chair, sipped his wine and thought about the girl he saw at a fair many years ago when he was just sixteen. He had his easel and canvas set up and was painting a middle-aged lady who sat posed on a wooden stool with her pet Shi Tzu clutched tightly next to her when suddenly, he saw a fair young maiden strolling casually down the grassy path just behind the posed lady. She had long, curly chestnut-brown hair that was pulled back with a jewelled clasp, eyes as green as the forest during the evening and cheeks as smooth as cream with just a hint of rose. She wore a pretty Grecian-style blue dress with a delicate silk scarf to match. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Her eyes travelled across the whole fair as if to search for someone before they finally came to rest on Philippe’s. His heart began to thump a little faster than normal and suddenly, it seemed as if the whole world and all its objects stopped moving and faded to grey. They gazed at each other blissfully for a few minutes, a tiny smile daring to play upon her rosy lips, before she was suddenly whisked away by an older, wealthy-looking man in a fancy three-piece suit, presumably her father. His heart sank as he watched her twist her head around for one final look at him before she was forcibly dragged away from the fair and into a nearby waiting carriage, but her beautiful, heavenly face never ever left his memories. He looked at the picture of the undine, sighing over the memory of his first love. He got up from his chair, picked up his brush and started painting the girl’s face into the blank space. He painted her eyes to match the forest clearing and her lips as rosy as the apple of her cheeks. When he was done, he stepped back to admire his work. There was his beautiful undine, standing gracefully in the water which stretched out for miles across the horizon, her face as serene and as tranquil as the lake she stood in. He even had a name for her – Cordelia, jewel of the sea. She was his and his alone. He suddenly bent over and coughed violently, clutching his chest as he did so. He placed his hand on his neck to feel his body temperature, which felt higher than what was normal. Not having his illness checked out was starting to take its’ toll on him, but he was undisturbed. He poured himself another glass of wine and threw himself onto his flimsy old mattress as he thought about all the people he loved – his mother, his father, his dog Valmont, the girl at the fair - who all left went away and left him behind. He turned to look at his undine, desperately wishing he could join her in her ethereal paradise. He coughed violently again and he could feel his chest closing up and the entire spinning as fast he couldn’t tell the ceiling from the floor. He knew this was the end for him. He had put all his passion, soul and energy into this painting and it left him feeling nothing but weak and drained, but it was well worth all the pain. It was the most beautiful, most meaningful and most special painting he had ever created. And now here he was, all alone, with nothing but his painted water nymph to keep him company. He coughed again, his entire chest convulsing, until he collapsed onto his bed with a loud thud! He felt the breath slowly leave his body and his eyelids grow heavier and heavier until they finally closed shut, willing him into a deep sleep. The moon hung full and low in the starry sky as the cold wind rustled through the trees. The only thing lingering in the air was the sound of silence.

When he woke up, he realised that he wasn’t in his room. He wasn’t even in his own city. In fact, he woke up on a big black rock next to a vast blue lake, whose waters were rippling gently from the middle. In that water stood a beautiful young woman who looked like she came right out of the water. She had long silvery hair that seemed to have no end, skin as shimmery as ivory, and a dress that looked like she was clothed in the water itself. She looked delicate and ethereal, like a creature not from this world. She smiled warmly at him, beckoning to him with her perfect, delicate fingers. He got off from his rock and slowly waded through the water towards her. His heart started pounding.

“Where am I?” he asked nervously. “Who – who are you?”

“Don’t you recognise me?” she said huskily, her voice as smooth and as gentle as the wind at night. “You created me. You out your whole heart and self into giving me life, even though you lost yours while doing so. I am your Cordelia, your jewel of the sea.” She took his cold, trembling hand in hers and squeezing it gently. “Your last wish was to be with me. Do you remember?”

He blinked his eyes in disbelief. “But if I’m here, then......what’s happened to me? Have I lost my mind?”

“No, of course not,” she said with a small chuckle. “Look behind you.”

He turned himself right around, looked past all the water and black rocks and saw the most shocking thing in all creation. His thin, lifeless body lay on the mattress with the empty wine glass still clutched tightly in his stiffly cold fingers. His bony chest was not rising and falling with every breath the way it should have, but his face seemed to have the most peaceful, most serene expression it had ever had in all its’ years. He turned back to face his Cordelia and smiled.

“That’s right,” she told him, as if reading his mind. “You’re home now.”

“No,” he replied. “I’m in heaven.”

He took her hand in his and gently kissed her perfect fingers. She smiled back at him and squeezed his hand again gently. They then turned around and walked away together into the distance. He didn’t know exactly where they were going but he didn’t care. He had this pure, tranquil lake next to his beautiful forest clearing. He had the full moon hanging low in the sky. And he had his Cordelia.

At last, he was finally at peace.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The One

“So Daniel, tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

She sat on the edge of the couch with both of her arms resting on the armrests and her legs crossed, left over right. She fixed him with a grilling, almost hypnotic gaze, her right eyebrow slightly cocked, waiting for an answer.

“How have you been coping”

He stared vaguely in her direction, his eyes refusing to meet hers. He clutched tightly at the protruding edge of the kitchen counter to keep his balance as he stood awkwardly on one foot.

“Lucia no. I really don’t want to talk about this.”

“Daniel please! I’m your friend! And I’m really worried about you. You haven’t been the same since that horrible day.”

He shifted his gaze to the floor as his hands twitched nervously. She got up and walked towards him to study his expression but found nothing.

“Come, sit next to me,” she said as she took his arm, led him to the couch and gently sat him down before taking the seat next to him. His eyes were still fixed to the floor while this happened. She took his hand in hers and gently squeezed it. “Talk to me. Tell me what’s bothering you.”

He gulped. “Jane and I.....we were so happy together. We laughed, we talked, we had fun. We were just like two peas in a pod. I just couldn’t believe we would drift apart like that. She told me that I wasn’t a good enough boyfriend and I didn’t respond to her needs. After all I did for her!!” He curled himself into a ball and hugged his knees as he spoke. “So she took off. Just like that,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

“Aww there now. It’s okay,” she said soothingly as she held him close and allowed him to rest his head on her shoulder. “I’m here for you”, she reminded him as she gently rubbed his back. “You don’t need a girl like her anyway after what she’s done to you.”

“But I loved her!” he chortled out through his tears. “She’s the only girl who ever wanted to be with me.” He held onto her for dear life as he sobbed quietly. “What am I gonna do now?”

“You’re gonna forget all about her, dust yourself off, get out there and find another girl. One who will love you and treat you with respect and dignity.” She reassured him in a warm and almost motherly way. “Because that’s what you deserve. Someone who is always there for you and who will always be devoted to you in good times and in bad.” She gently lifted his face so he could look at her and wiped the tears off his face. “You need someone who will always love you for who you are inside.”

His breathing got heavier as he listened to her every word, his tears long forgotten.

“Perhaps, I could be that someone” she added, her voice dropping to a whisper.

He gazed at her, suddenly taken by her beautiful, radiant complexion and her glistening rosy lips, which parted for only a few seconds before they were covered by his. She opened her mouth a bit wider, moaning loudly when she felt his tongue rubbing against hers. She reached down with one hand and undid the buttons on her dress and with her other hand, separated his mouth from hers and guided him down to her left breast, where he promptly began licking and sucking at the arm, supple flesh. She took this opportunity to strip off her dress and toss it on the floor, leaning forward so as to give him better access. Just as he began to enjoy his little activity, she detached his lips from her breast and brought them back to her own lips. As their tongues danced together to the tunes of heat and passion, she reached down and undid the zipper on his jeans, which he willingly helped to remove. She placed her hands on his shoulders and prompted him to lie back along the length of the couch, after which she positioned herself on top of his groin. He took this moment to gaze at her beautiful, sensuous body, the way the light bounced off her skin, her wavy hair clinging to her shoulders. He looked deep into her eyes, which were dark with lust and hunger and power, as he felt his organ stiffen up and press itself against the soft inside of her thigh. She looked at him and took his arousal in her hands, rubbing it up and down while a playful grin spread across her lips. He threw his head back, groaning as he savoured the sensation of her hand stimulating his organ. When it had become absolutely rock-hard, she lifted her body slightly and brought it down on his arousal. Both of them moaned loudly with pleasure as their bodies slowly came together. She then took both of his hands and placed them on her breasts and rested both of her hands flat on his strong chest, so as to position herself properly on him as they moved together. He watched her tilt her head back, moaning louder and louder each time he moved himself until sweat began to pour from her face, down her neck and trickled past her delicately round stomach. He imagined himself as each of those sweat drops, caressing every inch of her perfect, sensual body and lingering there before getting sucked into her skin. This thought made him climax the very next minute, causing them to moan loudly as their bodies to stiffen up due to the momentum of their passion. She collapsed on top of him, her heart beating loudly as she tried to catch her breath. A minute later she raised herself halfway up to look at him, her wavy sweaty hair hanging wildly around her face like a mane.

“So......feeling better?” she whispered huskily.

He gulped. “Um, yeah. That was.....uh.......” He took a few seconds to catch his breath, then propped himself on his elbows and finally said, “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced in a long time.”

“Great!” he replied with a big, fake smile similar to that of a desperate real estate agent. She dislodged herself from him, got up off the couch and put her clothes back on as nonchalantly as possible, like she just got out of a shower. He sat upright and watched her dress, marvelling at the grace with which her long, slender hands moved. She then picked up her black handbag and slung it over her shoulder.

“Okay I’m off. Call me if you need anything!” she called out as she headed for the door.

“No Lucia! Wait!” he tried to stop her as he propped himself against the back of the couch. She paused to look at him.

“Where are you goin? I said.....I thought you said that you were the one who would love me!” he cried as he felt his stomach knot up in confusion.

She smiled cynically at him. “Yes Danny, I said I could be that someone. But I’m not. You need to go out and find that person yourself.” She leaned her hand against the doorframe as she got into her shoes. “Take care, buddy,” she said with a small wave, and then she was gone.

He stared at the door for a few minutes, then at his clothes strewn on the floor with a dazed expression on his face. He had already found the one for him. He always knew who she was and how much he really loved her.

The only problem is, he let her walk right out the door without even telling her.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Late Night Love

It was late at night. Not that I minded. I’ve always love the late hours of night-time. The dark sky sprinkled with a thousand glittering stars, the moon hanging high like a giant light globe, the cool gentle breeze that wafts ever so slightly, the stillness and quiet of the air. Or a dark and stormy night where the rain cascaded off the roof of my house and poured out the sides and onto the ground like a miniature waterfall, which was my other favourite kind of night. But what I loved best about the night is its’ magical ability to hide and conceal. There are certain things you would never even dream of attempting during the day, but at night you do whatever you wanted because nobody could see you. And I don’t mean just literally. The night is when all your worldly inhibitions went to rest and your most innate primal instincts took over. Your body could feel sensations it never knew existed and your mind could immerse itself in the darkest waters of human consciousness and unlock all the deepest mysteries of life itself. And when the morning came, you could emotionally erase the events of the night and wake up to a brand new day.

I stirred some sugar into my freshly brewed English Breakfast tea and I looked at my antique grandfather clock, which read 12.00 am. I then sat on the couch of my creatively messy living room and slowly sipped the hot liquid as I watched the rain pelting hard against the windows of my house. I relaxed myself on the couch and took another sip of my tea when a sudden bolt of thunder ripped through the sky so hard it nearly knocked me off my seat. Just when my heart rate got back to normal, I heard a series of hard raps on my door. I blinked. Who could possibly be visiting me at this hour?

I placed my cup on the coffee table and went to answer the door. On the front porch stood a tall, lanky figure drenched from head to toe. I crinkled my forehead.

“Yes? Can I help you?” I asked hesitantly.

The figure just stood there blinking, not saying a word. I squinted and looked closer and suddenly gasped when I recognised who it was.

“Luke? Is that you?”

He grinned sheepishly, his hands shoved deep into his pockets. “Yeah, hi,” he mumbled shyly.

“What the hell are you doing here? We’re in a middle of a fucking storm!!” I scolded him in an almost motherly fashion as another bolt of thunder shook the entire street. He stared pleadingly at me, like a child who didn’t want to be sent to his room. He gulped nervously.

“I’m sorry. I just wanted to see you really badly. Do you have a minute? Please?”

I sighed. “Alright fine,” I relented as I grabbed his arm and dragged into my house through the living room and straight to the laundry room. I threw him a thick blue towel from a pile of freshly done laundry.

“Here, wipe yourself,” I said as I partially shut the door behind me. I turned around and was just about to take a step when I heard the sound of a jacket being unzipped and tossed onto the floor. My brain told me to go to the kitchen and make another cup of tea but my body refused to listen. I just stood rooted to my spot and listened to the sounds of buttons being undone and a thick towel wiping itself across his body. My heart pounded deep in my chest as I imagined myself as that towel, travelling across his perfectly contoured body and drinking every drop of water on his bare skin. His perfectly muscled arms would be orchestrating my every move. I could feel myself almost about to collapse onto the floor, but I willed my legs to walk towards the kitchen and finish what I set out to do. I had all night to dream and fantasize.

When the second cup of tea was ready he finally emerged out of the laundry room, clad only in his blue silk boxer shorts and my blue cotton T-shirt that I hadn’t yet washed for a week and would probably never wash again. He walked slowly, almost sensually towards me, his damp blonde hair clinging to his face like a desperate lover. I glanced briefly at his perfectly sculpted legs, which flexed itself with every move that he made. He reminded me of Adonis, the handsome youth whom the Greek goddess Aphrodite found irresistible. I felt my skin suddenly cover itself in goosebumps and my hairs stand on end. I handed him his steaming cup of tea, which he gratefully accepted.

“Here, sit down,” I said, gesturing to the couch. We both sat down on the two-seater and silently sipped from our cups for a few minutes. I quietly examined the way his perfect thin lips caressed the edge of the cup before being licked by his warm, wet tongue. Honestly, if he licks those lips one more time, I swear I will lose control of all my bodily functions. Oh, how well I remember that tongue. My mind went back to the day he first joined our school. We all barely mumbled a hello when the teacher introduced this new student from some private, upper crust Catholic school, only because we never cared for rich snobs. We thought we were so much better than them even though we went to public school and survived on old hand-me-downs from family members. We didn’t even lift our heads to look at the new kid as he walked hesitantly through the aisles. I shoved my face deep into my book, pretending to be really interested in algebraic functions when I heard a soft voice tentatively ask, “Umm, excuse me? Can I please sit here?”

I mumbled a “Yeah, sure” under breath, barely audible to anyone without ultrasonic hearing. I saw the seat next to me drag itself out and back in again and a pair of rather well-built legs cross themselves next to mine. I sighed dramatically. Guess this meant I now had the wonderful job of babysitting the new kid for the next few weeks.

I dug into my pencil case to retrieve any pen that was functional as the new kid struggled to speak. “Hi, I’m Luke. Luke Rodgers. I’m new here.”

I picked up my head to look at this kid and was suddenly lost for words. He had hair as golden and as shiny as warm honey and eyes as blue as the ocean on a hot summer’s day. I stared intensely as he licked his perfect lips, probably waiting for me to introduce myself. Suddenly I found myself stammering uncontrollably.

“Hi Luke.......I’m, uh......I’m......My name’s – “

“Alright class, if we can continue with the formulas we learned last week! Could you all turn to page 53 of your textbooks please?”

I reached for my incredibly massive textbook and violently turned to said page, mentally cursing the teacher for ruining such a perfect moment. We barely spoke to each other all day, mainly because we only had one class together, but by lunchtime we were getting rather well acquainted. And I don’t mean verbally.

I remember that day like it was just yesterday. We were standing behind the portable classrooms on the grass fields while all the other kids stayed inside the campus grounds, talking, laughing and just being rowdy. But we wanted our privacy, which we could only get behind the portables. We stood against the corrugated iron wall, facing each other. Without hesitating, I leaned forward and gently brushed my lips against his warm, smooth skin. Then I rested my face into the hollow of his neck and slowly exhaled. I could feel him gasp sharply and his body tense up. This was probably the first time he’d ever experienced something like this. It was definitely a first for me. I pulled away and studied his beautiful, angelic face. He stared back at me, his eyes practically begging for more. I closed my eyes and pressed my lips firmly but gently onto his. It took him about 30 seconds to respond, but soon our lips were dancing to the wondrous tunes of first love. Our arms snaked around each others’ adolescent bodies and pulled each other closer as my tongue bravely explored the warm recesses of his mouth and savoured the flavours of ham and potato chips and red Fanta. We continued with our nervous tongue tangling until the school bell rang, forcing us to come apart for air. Our faces were both bright red and our young, virile bodies glistened with sweat but I wasn’t sure if that was due to our youthful passion or the hot afternoon sun. Nevertheless, from that day on we were inseparable. Everybody thought we were just close friends but nobody knew just how close we really were. Not even our own parents. But we could not let our relationship become public. Luke was told not to get too involved with “my kind”, whatever that meant, and I was also warned not to get too close to him, which was hard because we loved each other too much to listen to what other people were telling us. But we still kept our relationship a secret so as not to spread any malicious gossip. He went to university, met a nice well-to-do girl, married her and won the approval of everyone around him while I gradually faded into the background. But I wasn’t about to fade out of his life completely. He still came to see me during times of crisis and this was one of those times. I downed the last sip of my tea, placed the cup on the coffee table and looked expectantly at him for an answer. He sat on the edge of his seat and carefully balanced his half-finished cup on his knees, his eyes slowly travelling the length of the Persian carpet on my living room floor. His eyes finally came to rest on me and he began to speak.

“I’m so sorry to barge in like this. It’s’s Michelle. She’s holy God.” He plonked his cup hard on the table and clutched at his knees as his body started to tremble. I scooted a little closer and placed my hand reassuringly on his shoulder.

“What is it, Luke? Did you two have another fight?” I asked him.

“Yes we did! I just.....I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. I just don’t know how much longer I can continue pretending to love her when it’s you I really want.” He stared at me with his pleading eyes; the same pleading eyes that made my heart melt that day when we were behind the portables. “Please listen to me. Not a single day goes by when I don’t think about you. Not a single night goes by when I don’t wish it were you lying next to me instead of her. Please let me be here with you. Just for tonight.” He placed his hand on my thigh and gently stroked it with his fingers, which repopulated my skin with goosebumps. Then suddenly, he licked his lips one more time. That was all I needed to send me over the edge. I pulled his firm body close to mine and crashed my lips into his. I shifted my frame so that he was lying back on the couch and I was on top of him. I ran my hand under his shirt and felt the smooth washboard abs I had been craving for all night. My fingers came to rest on his right nipple and fondled it delicately, which caused a deep moan to come out of his throat. My other hand made its way down his boxers and caressed his hard arousal, which felt like it was about to explode at any minute, and I was rewarded with another moan of sexual pleasure. All this while, our lips and tongues were fiercely tangoing with each other, as if remembering all our nights spent together for “study sessions” and all our school lunchtimes spent behind the portables. I dragged both my hands up to caress his beautiful, angelic face while his hands landed on my waist and pulled me closer to him, allowing me to feel his arousal pierce my leg through the silky fabric of his boxers. I dipped my tongue into his mouth for one final cavity search when the grandfather clock chimed loudly. Once again, our private moment was ruined. We broke away from each others lips to look at the clock. 1.00 am. He sighed.

“Well, I better get going. Michelle must be wondering where I am,” he said with disappointment. I sighed too and got myself off him before helping him get off the couch. He got up, went to the laundry room and came out ten minutes later in his original clothes, which were still a little wet from the rain.

I studied him with concern. “You sure you can get home okay?” I asked him.

“Yeah, of course. I got here okay, didn’t I?” he replied with a slight chuckle. I smiled warmly at him as he got into his shoes. I went to open the door for him. He walked towards the door and before leaving, turned around to face me.

“Thank you so much for listening. I’m sorry for disturbing you at your favourite hour,” he said.

I smiled gently and kissed him on his perfect cheek. “That’s okay. You’re welcome anytime. Let’s hope there’s not another storm on your way back.” I gestured outside, where the storm has now downsized to a moderate rainfall.

He leaned forward and gently brushed the hair from my eyes. “Sweet dreams tonight,” he whispered.

“You too, Luke.” I whispered back. “I love you."

“I love you too Jason.” With that, he gave me one final look, then he jogged down the street trying to avoid getting wet again, until he was finally gone.

I shut the door behind me and sat down on the couch, shivering with guilt over what just happened on it. I gazed out the window to observe the raindrops falling out of the sky, while lost in my thoughts. The night really does forgive all that took place during its’ time and we are left with nothing but sweet, precious memories. In a few hours, I will wake up to a brand new day. One without any feelings of guilt.

Atleast, that’s what I hope for.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Unsent Letter

“How are they treating you here, Emma?”

She sat crouched up in a ball, uncomfortably trying to fit most of her thin frame into the cheap white plastic chair that was threatening to fall at any minute. She kept tucking her feet repeatedly under her, but each time one foot kept slipping out. Finally she gave up, instead opting for a more suitable position. She folded her legs in front of her, hugged them close to her chest and rested her chin in the small gap between her knees. All this while, her eyes were fixed to the floor in a somewhat semi-hypnotic gaze.

“Emma? Did you hear me?”

She sat frozen in her chair, which creaked violently under her shifting weight. Not that she had a lot of weight on her. Her once curvy figure now resembled a latex sheet pulled and stretched over a pile of jagged rocks to cover their harsh exterior but failing miserably. Her beautiful, glowing skin now resembled a 500-year-old piece of parchment barely salvaged from a fire and her thick, lustrous black hair hung limply around her face like a wet mop that hadn’t been washed or used in years. She stared silently out the window, sighing quietly as she observed the raindrops noisily hitting the already chipped glass.


She blinked once, but continued to stare out the window, completely oblivious to her surroundings.

“Emma can you just look at me please? Just for one minute? That’s all I ask.”

She turned her head slowly to face her visitor. Her eyes, once lively and bright, were now red and bloodshot from lack of sleep. They seemed as cold and as expressionless as the chipped window glass. She stared blankly at her visitor and after what seemed like an eternity, she opened her mouth to speak:

“What goes through your mind when it rains, Blake?”

He blinked. “What?”

“What happens to you when it rains?” she asked again. “Does it make you feel alive?”

He stared back at her, his eyebrows crinkling in confusion. “Where exactly is this coming from?” he questioned her.

She unfolded her legs to sit upright, then suddenly got up and started walking over to him slowly and smoothly, like a cat with its tail in the air. Her breathing got heavier with every step. Finally, she stood in front of him. She tilted her head slowly to the left and fixed her blank, lifeless eyes on him, as if boring into the inside of his brain. This time, he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“Answer me, Blake,” she said coolly. “Does the rain make you feel alive?”

He stared at her and crossed his legs, still confused but decided it was probably better to answer her before she did something unpredictable. Who knew what she was capable of after two months in this dreary institution.

“Well to be honest, I’ve never thought twice about rain. I’ve always stayed far away from it. Even in summer I always carry an umbrella in case a sudden shower comes out of nowhere. Some people even tease me saying I have a rain allergy,” he said with a slight chuckle. He searched her face for any trace of expression.

“Is that a good enough answer?”

He found none. Without a word, she turned around on her heel, walked back to the window and just stared at it.

“You know, I wish I could just stand in the rain right now. It loves the earth just like a mother loves her child. Just stand there and let it wash over me, cleanse me, purge me and forgive me of my sin.......”

He shook his head. “Sin? No Emma, you didn’t do anything wrong. Sure you were raped on your way home from work, but it wasn’t your fault. It was that drunken bastard who couldn’t keep it in his pants!”

“So that’s why I’m here,” she whispered, as if she just learnt something new. “To keep me safe from that guy.”

He shook his head in exasperation. “No, they brought you here because you were in a catatonic state ever since it happened. You haven’t slept, you haven’t eaten, you haven’t even shown any signs of human emotion.” He got up and walked towards her, slowly so she wouldn’t feel scared. “You even avoid human contact with everyone.”

She just stared at him with the same blank, unblinking expression.

“I never wanted to see you locked up in this place. Nobody did! But there was no other choice.” He shifted a little closer to her. “But you don’t belong here Emma. I know the real you is still in there somewhere. Please, show me that you’re still in there. Give me a sign. Anything! Please!”

He searched her face, desperately trying to find some trace of emotion, but she just stared blankly into space like a creepy Victorian doll. Then, a miracle occurred. Her eyes suddenly brimmed with tears. But before they had a chance to spill, she threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly. He hugged her back and let out a huge, relieved breath, one he didn’t even know he was holding.

“Hey it’s okay”, he whispered as he gently stroked her hair. “Don’t be afraid to feel the pain. It’s the only way to deal with it. Remember, I’m here for you.” He hugged her for a long time, neither of them saying a word, until she slowly pulled away and looked at him. Finally, he saw something in her eyes that looked like fear and doubt and......finality? He wasn’t quite sure.

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Thank you for being such a good friend to me, Blake. You really didn’t have to come all the way here just to see me. I really appreciate it.”

“It’s no problem at all,” he said, smiling warmly at her. “It’s always a pleasure to see you.”

She smiled back at him, but her eyes didn’t match her smile. He looked at his watch. It read 8:15.

“Hey it’s getting late. I really have to get home. I’ve got work tomorrow.” He squeezed her hands. “Bye Emma. Please take care of yourself.”

She gazed gently at him. “Bye Blake. Thank you so much for everything.” Her eyes travelled to the floor. “Who knows when we may meet again?”

He chuckled. “Maybe this weekend,” he said quietly as he exited her room and got into the elevator. He thought about her final expression as he got into the car. He couldn’t understand why he had the feeling something completely unexpected was going to happen, but he shook it off as just paranoia as he drove away into the night.

It was just a normal day like any other. He woke up, showered, ate breakfast and left for work. He was having a rather pleasant day. Business was good and there were no hassles. He didn’t expect that phone call whilst he was in the middle of a ton of paperwork. He answered the phone.

It was not what he wanted to hear.

“I’m calling about Emma Ravens. She’s.......uhh, there’s been a situation here.”

His heart stopped. He sat listening in complete shock to phrases like “never answered to her name”........”empty bottle of floor cleaner in her hand”........”all her belongings labelled”........”letters addressed to her family”......can’t believe she would do something like this” followed by a small sob. “Hello? Are you there? Hello?!?”

He gulped as the phone dropped from his hand and landed on the floor with a loud THUNK! He didn’t remember grabbing his jacket and running out of the office. He didn’t remember speeding through ever traffic light until he reached his destination. All he remembered was standing in the doorway and seeing a white sheet draped over what used to be a young, beautiful, special girl who was once his friend. The nurse saw him, walked up to him and handed him an envelope with his name on it.

“She left this for you”, she said, smiling sympathetically at him before walking back into the room. He looked at the letter but decided to open it at home, in private.

Once he got home, he sat on the couch and nervously opened the letter. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life.

“Dear Blake,
By the time you read this, I will have already passed from this world. I don’t know where I’m going to go now, but I couldn’t leave without make a few confessions that I think you need to hear from me.

“I want you to know that I love you. I’ve loved you right from the beginning. You’ve been so good to me throughout this whole ordeal. I’ve wanted to tell you for so long but I just never found the right moment for it. I always thought it was just some kind of friendly infatuation but I realised it was much more than that. I wanted to tell you so badly last night but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. After what happened to me, I felt I wasn’t worthy of your love and affection. So I decided to end my life. For you.”

His hands trembled as he turned to the second page, but he read on.

“But please don’t blame yourself, Blake. I only did this because I had nothing left to live for. Loving you was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life and it has given me so much joy that I’m ready to leave this world. It’s the only thing that has kept me going through all the hard times, especially this one. I do hope I can continue doing it in the next world. I don’t want you to mourn me forever because I am not worth it. You deserve someone who is pure and good in body and in spirit, not an empty carcass like me. I do hope you find somebody like that soon.

“Well, now it’s time for me to depart. May the gods protect you and keep you safe from harm. Don’t you worry about me. I won’t be very far away. If you ever want to find me, just look for me in the rain. That’s where I’ll be.

“Thank you for giving me the chance to love you. Take care of yourself.

Yours forever,
Emma Ravens”

The letter slipped from his hands and drifted slowly to the ground as he buried his face in his hands and wept softly.

It rained that night. But it was pure rain, not the kind accompanied by thunder and lightning. He watched the raindrops hitting his window, and he also noticed how each drop sparkled with its’ own unique shine as it danced across the glass. He slowly got up from his seat and walked towards the door. He opened it, took a few steps outside and just stood there. He closed his eyes and let each raindrop caress his skin, tickling him and they rolled off and landed on the ground. His hair and clothes were fully drenched, but for once he didn’t care. He opened his eyes and looked up at the night sky, where each drop sparkled in the light of the moon, and smiled.

She was there. In every single, beautiful raindrop.