Another flashfiction – this one for GAME OF ASPECTS, REDUX, at Terribleminds. I got “erotic fairy-tale, high-school prom with elves”. Hmm. I dispensed with the high-school prom and still came in over the word-count, at 1800 instead of 1500.
Warning: this is an erotic fairy-tale, so it contains some sex. Otherwise, suitable for all.
Oh my dear. That little spark in your eye, your chin held high. You love him! You say it as though it made you special, as though I, old as I am, had never known what it was to love.
Oh, flounce all you like, my dear! There is no telling the young. I can see you love him, there’s no need to shout about it. Though as to whether he loves you, well, that’s a little more tricky to know.
You look just like your mother when you pout like that. Come now, here’s a towel, rub yourself down. You’ll catch your death, and then where will your sweetheart be? You know he loves you? Is that why he left you out in the rain half the night? No, no, I’m sure you’re right. He sounds a foolish sort of boy, but that’s exactly the sort I expected you to go for.
I’m only teasing you – I have fond memories of a little dalliance when I was about your age. It all came to nothing, but after a while the sting of it fades and you’re left with the warmth of what was once there. He was golden – like the colour of leaves in the autumn, when the sun catches them and the whole forest seems to glow from within. Tawny eyes, like you might see on a lion. He would look at you, fierce and gentle by turns.
Oh yes I loved him. With all my heart. He was half-wild, and the scent of him – loamy and rich, a handful of fresh earth – would drive me wild.
You look shocked. What did you think, that we all went around in petticoats asking each other to tea? No, he had me off in the woods before you could blink an eye, and I’ll be honest, I was leading the way.
What a day it was. We climbed a tree, and I caught my skirt on a branch. It ripped clear up to my hip, and there I was, flashing my stocking top like a wood nymph. He cocked his head, like so, and bit his lip – he had the most beautiful teeth, sharp little pearls – and spoke in his husky voice: “You’re awe-inspiring.”
To tell the truth, I didn’t feel very awe-inspiring. I was standing up that tree, red in the face from climbing, my hair stuck out all which way with my dress hanging in rags. But somehow, the way he said it, with such simple honesty, it took me clean off guard and I started to cry.
Oh, thank you my darling, I do get a bit weepy when I think back to it. Don’t look so concerned, as I say the sting of it all is long gone, and how many women can say they have a memory like that. I kept those words with me, you know. They’ve lasted me through many dark times.
I sat back in the crook of the tree, my back up against the trunk. I had to grip the tree branch with my legs, and I could feel the bark through my underwear, sort of… pressing.
Well, I was no stranger to sex: those half-cocked, drunken fumbles that left you bloody and unsatisfied. Somehow, in the golden sunshine it all seemed very different. I felt brave, my panties damp, this wild boy stood below and looking up adoringly. How young and foolish! I thought that day would last forever.
Well, he climbs up and wriggles in behind me, so his back is to the trunk of the tree and I’m leaning back into him. I can smell that loamy, freshly turned earth. His hair, the colour of copper wire, hangs over my face as he leans forward to kiss the top of my head.I can feel my heart thumping away under my ribcage, and I may have let out a little sigh. I turn my face to his, leaning a little against his arm so that I can look him in the eyes. If he’d have moved his arm then I would have tumbled out of the tree. But I didn’t worry about that – I stared into his eyes as though I wanted to commit every shade of gold and brown to memory. There was a little halo of red around his pupil. It seemed to flicker, as though I stared into the depths of space at a burning sun.
He traced his fingers across my lips, then ran his index finger over my chin, stroking the curve of my neck and pausing it for a moment, in the hollow at base of the neck, between the collarbones. I could feel my breath, soft and even for all that my heart raged inside me. He smiled, a tiny glimmer of joy that played about his face.
He undid the buttons of my top one by one, and I leaned forward to pull it off my arms. It slipped away, dropping between the branches and I lost sight of it amongst the leaves.
I ran my hands through his hair, marvelling at the texture of it. It was then I saw his ear, flat against the side of his head: the point had been well hidden in his hair. I paused, reached out a finger and felt that long flap of skin. It was velvety soft, like the ear of a dog.
Don’t give me that look, do you think I would make it up? I’d never seen an ear like it, but somehow it didn’t matter. It was just a part of the wild, endless day and besides, it suited him.
“You’re beautiful,” he breathed the words out, barely loud enough for me to hear. We kissed then, my blood running hot and feverish inside me. I could feel it pulsating in my groin, greedy for love. He tasted of wild strawberries, tart and sweet, yet with a hint of spice all at the same time.
He slipped my pants down and found the little nub. He stroked it gently, insistently and I moaned. The wind seemed to echo me, rustling the leaves with a heartfelt sigh. He had undone his trousers and now pulled me up against him. I never saw his penis: just felt it swelling against my back.
He pulled me onto him. I was thankful then, that he wasn’t my first, but even so it took my breath away. I could feel him, an intense pressure that threatened at any moment to take me too far, a pressure that skirted the edge of pain.
Distracted by the ceaseless rhythmic motion of his thumb against my clit, I sobbed out some words – I don’t remember them. Nonsense syllables.
He started to move then, sliding me up and down his penis until I caught the method of it, dangling with feet swinging in the ear, levering myself up-down-up-down-up-down while his thumb brushed circle-circle-circle.
It’s never happened to me before nor since, but that day we came together with the sun beating down on our fleshy, serpentine bodies.I felt it crest through me, that nameless wave that sweeps you away and sends you flooding through the Universe. Nameless, wordless, I let myself be carried, ebbing and flowing, perhaps a minute and perhaps a lifetime.
Then the wave receded. I fell forward – clutching the branch and gasping for air. He slid out of me. I could feel his hand on my back. I pulled my pants up with one hand, clinging to the branch with the other.
He stood up, using the branch above him to steady himself. By the time I managed to pull myself around to look at him he was poised and elegant, his trousers fastened, giving me that coy smile. His eyes seemed to gleam in the dappled shade of the leaves.
“See you at the bottom,” he said and dropped out of sight, swinging down through the branches and vanishing into the haze of green leaves. I saw – or felt? – the air give a little golden, trembling shimmer.
“I’m not even dressed yet,” I called after him. He didn’t reply. I pulled myself up to stand on the branch. My skirt was hopeless, but what could I do? I climbed down. Cautious. I found my blouse half way down, caught on some twigs. Luckily for me, I have to say, for how was I to have gotten back through town with no shirt and a torn skirt? The quality of the air had changed, the warmth of the sunshine had faded. I gladly pulled my blouse back on.
When I reached the ground he had gone. It didn’t surprise me. The wind had a bit of a chill to it now, an edge that sent me hurrying back home without pausing to look for him.
I said it came to nothing in the end, didn’t I? I never saw him again, for better or worse. I even went back to the tree every day for a week or so, hoping for some sign.s I don’t know what I expected – footprints in the mud? The smell of freshly turned earth?
Time and life carry you along whether you would go or not. I went off to University. Met a wonderful man that I’d end up marrying in the end. But I always found myself drawn to the woods, and I’d wander alone for hours. Love, you see.
It was in my third year at University and I’d come home for the summer. Feeling a little desolate, with grown-up life floating on the horizon I decided to go and find that tree again. Foolish. How could I even remember which one it was?
Yet I knew the way, my feet and my heart leading me. The tree stood, just as I remembered it with one exception. It had borne fruit, like none I had ever seen before, a thousand swollen red fruits that gave off a sweet smell. Amazed, I plucked one. It sat in my hand, round and heavy with juice. Without thinking I brought it to my mouth and took a bite.
The memory of him flooded back. The fruit tasted like wild strawberries, tart and sweet and rich with flavour. The juice rolled down my chin and into the hollow of my throat. Underneath the strawberries was that hint of spice, rich and dark. I closed my eyes in bliss.
Yes, and that was the end of it, or nearly. I kept the seeds you see, and carried them around with me. When we finally settled, here in this house, I planted the seeds in the back garden. The tree grew, year after year, starting as a spindly little thing – a bit like your mother when she was a child – and swelling up into this beautiful, broad-leaved matron.
Did it bear fruit? Not yet, my child, not yet, but it’s only a matter of time.