So I’m a few hours late to get in on Visionaria’s writing challenge, but decided to post anyway. Though the story’s a bit obvious, I enjoy it (it’s also in present tense, which I despise and yet have written in exactly twice). Okay, I’ll shut up about it, since talking about your work is a sin. But I’ve committed worse.
When She’s Not Here
I clean up when she’s not here. I rinse the bottles and wretch from the stench of alcohol, drop them in the garbage. I gather pills and cap the canister. And when she comes home alone and falls short of the bedroom, I pull the comforter from the bed and wrap her sleeping body.
I don’t think she’s ever noticed. She’s never said a word.
She left tonight, same as last night—made-up like she was trying too hard. I opened my mouth to say something, tried to force the air to move, but nothing came; I just don’t have the strength lately. And so she left, and I stayed. Hung up at the doorway, I couldn’t take the next step, no matter how much I wanted to follow.
We used to go out together. Once, we hungered only for each other. We’d park and walk out to Rainbow Bridge, and talk and smoke until we could barely keep our eyes open. We’d drive out by the river and she’d crawl across my lap, straddle my thighs, the mischief clear in her eyes while she unzipped my pants and hiked her skirt and lowered herself on my cock. She did nasty things to spite her Reverend father. And I held her close and moved slow and promised a lifetime—just for Mom and her revolving bed. And the cast-iron skillet she put upside my head.
But that was once, and there’s no unchanging what I’ve changed, and it’s so tiring trying to keep all of these threads—the past, the future, now—from ending up a tangled heap, that I fall back on the bed and wait.
She comes in earlier tonight. I hear her laugh as she struggles to fit the key in the lock. She’s not alone.
She often isn’t.
There’s hope; he’s not her usual type. They stumble into the bedroom and he pulls her to him and kisses her, their bodies swaying to some unheard song. His hands slide down her back, and his fingers pause over the zipper at the back of her skirt. His wedding band glints in the pale light of the bedroom lamp, but it’s just show; there’s no strand tugging it, no wife.
I can see the long line of people stretched out before him—good people, treasured friends, loving parents. I see his little brother fall off his bike, and him run to lift him back onto the seat. I can see his high school girlfriend, see how he held her close and moved slow and whispered calmly to her when he took her virginity. I see where he was lost, where he went cold, and the woman who caused it. And somewhere, at the end of a thread, something is pulling him back.
She stumbles out of the kiss and plops on the edge of the bed. She sways from drink and surveys his body, her eyes coming to rest on his belt. I know her look, the way she purses her lips, the way she straightens and arches her back; she doesn’t realize how different he is. I want to grab her arm as she reaches to unbuckle the belt. I want to tell her to slow down.
With a touch of his hand to her chin, he lifts her face and does it for me. Intimacy isn’t what she sought, and the look that passes between them reduces and opens her and, suddenly, her assertiveness flees and she doesn’t know what to do with her hands.
Palm spread across her chest, he pushes her back onto the bed and steps away. He watches her breathing, the ragged movement of her chest, studies her lips, trails her body, as he unbuttons and peels away his shirt. He unbuckles his belt and lets his pants slide over his thighs and pool on the floor. She’s held by the sight of his cock, the tip peeking over the top of his boxers, and even I shiver when he pulls them down and it springs free, thick, topped with a perfectly sculpted head.
His cock disappears beneath the mattress as he lowers himself between her legs. When he lifts her ass from the bed and reaches beneath her, the sound of her zipper breaks the quiet of our held breaths.
He slides her skirt away. He watches her eyes. He dips low and glides his tongue up her lips and teases across her clit, until he can see her face again. And when she relaxes, her head sinking into the bed, her legs spread further, he opens and licks her, pulls her clit between his lips, circles and flits over it.
He moans against her cunt, and she finally allows herself to reach for his head, to let her fingers tangle his hair. Her eyes close and just the edge of a smile curls the corners of her mouth.
And I’m happy, I think, for the first time since it all changed.
She bucks against his head, and just at the edge of her orgasm he pulls away, leaving her panting and lifting her hips toward a tongue that isn’t there.
With a squeal she’s rolled on top of me. Her body warm as it passes into me, goosebumps spread across her arms from my coldness. I haven’t felt her in so long, I reach up to pull her back down when he lifts her onto all fours.
Poised behind, the tip of his cock teases her opening, spreading her.
Her lips part, just above mine, and I imagine her taste—cherry, like the lipgloss she once wore.
He pushes into her, and she gasps, breaking our kiss.
I sink down and quiet, slowing myself. With what little energy I have, I force myself into something nearing solid, and reach out toward his leg. He’s pounding her relentlessly, and her brow is knit and she’s crying out as she builds toward an orgasm. I grip his thigh and pull him into her balls-deep. I want him to possess her completely. I want him to feel and remember the velvet grip of her cunt.
I feel them both come, through his leg, through the warmth of her atop me. And as her body wracks in climax, she reaches to grip the pillow, but instead finds my nearly solid neck.
If she notices, she doesn’t say.
They collapse beside me, his cock falling limp inside her.
I see it again, that strand tugging at his future, and I know he’ll be back. I’m not sure how long he’ll stay, but he’ll stay.
And soon, she’ll pack my suicide note in a shoebox, along with our love letters, and place it on a shelf at the back of the closet.
And I’ll move on.
—Paul J. Hanlon
My short stories, flash erotic fiction, etc. can be found in the Library.
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