I dreamt last night of a white lion moving through the sadness of all the rooms in which you loved me. It was still dark when I woke in the faint December chill; just delicate enough that I wandered my own rooms with a light shawl about my shoulders, and when in that hour of stillness I brought a cup of coffee to the balcony I sensed more than saw the colour blue: as though the world beyond my window, with its neem trees and bearded bee-eaters and rusty shield-bearers that rained flowers in mango season, had been tinted in selenium. And I thought of the fixed star, Regulus, which you taught me by name as though I would ever be able to identify it. You had bought me rubies, my birthstone, and when I hooked them into my ears to show you their effect, you let your hand brush my cheek as you reached out to touch them. “It means the star in the heart of the lion,” you said. Your fingers were cold, too cold for July.
Then you dropped your hand to my collarbone, where your fingertips rested like a pianist’s, and with your thumb you parted my mouth. “Regulus, the star of Raphael, the healer.” Against my teeth, your skin tasted of the sea, but when I closed my eyes I saw a hue like the evening sky, rose-radiant. And then, a kiss like a tide I surfaced from not knowing I had gone under at all.
David W. Landrum
The Priestess and the Sorcerer
Helga pushed against the Norman nobleman, hooking her heels over his so she could drive him deeper into her and maximize the pleasure of his strong, pounding motion. Her cunt was getting juicy and slick, so much that she heard the comic flatulent sound she got sometimes when she really went to it with a man. She bucked and moaned as waves of delight enveloped her. He pounded harder. Juice ran down her legs and her nipples grew hard as pebbles. Each time he thrust and flattened against her breasts, warm streams of joy ran through her spine to her bottom where the main pleasure churned. As he puffed, grunted, and drove into her, she felt her pleasure stir and build until it exploded in a spasm that shook her so much she thought she might break her apart. As she emerged from it and relaxed, she felt him go. The warm stream of his seed shot into her as he shouted and flailed. Then came silence and stillness. She heard the breakers of the sea rolling in, just audible above their quiet breathing, off in the distance. The Norman climbed off her and stood up.
It happened the next moment, more quickly than she had imagined it would.
She saw it first in his eyes. They widened. An expression of horror and bewilderment covered his face. His hands twitched. The twitching traveled up his arms and turned into a violent convulsion that shook his entire body. Mouth open, arms and legs flailing as if he were being hanged, he gasped for air. Helga heard his bones snap from the violence of the tremor that had seized him. He fell, his flesh shriveled, the blood, bile, and the other vital fluids in his body drying up and turning to a ghastly green cloud rising off his desiccated flesh. She felt a surge of warmth in her loins. It spread down and upward from her perineum. As the green cloud dissolved, she saw him lying in a dry, shrunken heap on the dirt floor of Kirsi’s hut.
Escape on the Paracosm Express
Paracosm: a prolonged fantasy world invented by sensitive, intelligent people who have been traumatized. This psychological condition can have a definite geography, time and history.
Corinne Jardines was awakened by the door slamming, followed by the barn doors on the garage being opened and, a few minutes later, being closed. The sounds reverberated like a bad toothache. She rolled over in the empty bed, tucked her brunette hair under her head and adjusted her left breast for comfort. There, that’s it, she thought. Harold is gone—to Los Angeles or wherever his “job” took him this week. If it was his “job,” it was a customer whose demands interrupted their suppers and weekends.
She curled on her side wishing he’d have at least said “Goodbye” or “See you Friday”—even “Go-to-hell” would have been communication—but there had been nothing. She was alone till Casey, her daughter, came back from Pacific University for the weekend.
No appointments. No dates. Their absence didn’t spell freedom as much as the terrifying fear that comes from an infinity of choices and regrets.
The rain was more like slush as it pelted the windows and ran down in clumps. It wasn’t too late to catch the subway, Soft thought. It was far from too late to keep things from happening. She wasn’t sure what it was that was happening but she knew it was something.
These two boys, Mars and Chell. Well, they weren’t boys anymore. Once, back in high school when they were all just gawky teens who spoke the some dialect of dweeb, they had been boys. Boys she had felt safe enough to flirt with and tease. Boys who never asked more from her then just her friendship. She could say honestly to herself that she never thought they would want anything more from her. She hadn’t learned just what her soft brown eyes and curved body was capable of. All she had needed was confidence and these boys had helped give it to her by being her test subjects. They must have known she was all talk but liked her anyway and she loved them for it.
Innocent flirting with her two best friends lead her to the real thing in college where she realised she didn’t have to hide in sweaters or behind wide rim glasses. Nothing about her actual body had changed but she just dared to believe others could find it sexy. She forgot the time someone slipped a note calling her fatty into her locker and instead styled her soft brown hair and dressed in clothes that showed the line of her body that dipped sensuously inwards at the waist and out over her hips. The day someone had used the word “hourglass” to describe her was one of the best of her life.
The bonfire was a roiling beast. Even from his place on the outer fringes of the group, Sheldon could feel the heat baking into his skin. It was a nice contrast to the chilly breeze hitting the back of his thick coat and jeans. He hated the cold. It was the end of July but an unseasonable wind was blowing through, dropping temperatures to the single digits in that night.
A perfect night for a thirty foot bonfire.
It was an annual tradition he’s been told by his friend, the owners of the house and huge field saving every huge thing that could burn all year for this night. She had invited Sheldon and he loved the moment when they doused all the refuge with gas and then lit it. It was actually his second time seeing this monster churning up into the air, all the smoke invisible in the night, all but the barest scent carried away on the cold gusts of wind that blew across his face the strands of hair that had escaped his pony tail. It was his second favourite thing about the parties. He turned his head and saw his first.
Her name was Jane.