Warning: Sexual Content


The light in his eyes the first time they touched her. A gaze could scrape, could scald, could caress. He thought he was hungry, but he had no frame of reference for what real hunger was. The eyes devoured one curve at a time, from full breasts and round hips to the gentle valleys of collar-bones and throat and contours of cheek and chin. Arch of brow, Cupid’s bow lips. And his gaze ignited.

This one was of average height, handsome in the way confident men are handsome, silver at his temples and clean-shaven. He had nice teeth. Blue eyes. The tail of a tie stuck out of the briefcase on the floor by his feet. Shined shoes and open collar.

The flush consumed her and the dance was over as quickly as it began. One kiss and he was hers, to take, to have, to finish. Body pressing her back to the cool wall in the alley behind the bar, his inhibitions gone, he pulled back from her and looked into her eyes. “Who are you?” he whispered.

He thought he knew hunger.

But no one knows hunger like a succubus.



Thank you to Linda for a great prompt. Head over to SoCS to be inspired and for the participation rules!


Just one word, one heartbeat, one misstep or right step away from disaster… never immune. Immunity is for immortals.

You trace my scars with your fingers. Paths of destruction leading down blind alleys into waiting jaws. I hear the drip drip drip, and a soft pant of breath. Is it yours? Mine?

You told me not to hope with too much abandon while you looked into my soul and saw the fallacy of your own words. Abandon is all I know. Abandonment. They entwine with one another as we do, skin wrapped in skin, wet and velvet and the slow steady thud of your heart, so reassuring. I tell you I don’t care about immortality, as long as my time is well-spent.

No one sees them but you. What you trace on my skin is an invisible mark, left by an invisible heart. If I could wrap you in parchment and put you under glass for safekeeping, I would. Holding you is like holding a whisper. Yet your teeth in my neck say different. Your fingers bruise. You claim with your sex, with your mind, with the forcible strength of your character.

I wonder who follows whom down these dark halls.



Nebraska held few landmarks before the blast. We navigated then by corn and wheat fields, by the occasional mail box, the direction of the power lines, the heavy smog to the east that indicated metropolitan life. The road I took to work each morning took me straight in, no twists, no hills. It was a hike, but I wanted my kids to grow up in the open, to understand that life wasn’t about always being entertained.

Ellen used to take the water glass Linny would fill for her, and sip it. There was a dirt wallow in the side yard, beneath a spreading old hickory that had been struck by lightning twice during our tenure, and she’d sit in the dirt and dig down through the poor top soil. She’d dig until she found something like clay. Then she’d add some water and work it tirelessly. Sometime an hour or more, until it felt just right in her little hands. Swiftly it would take the shape of something she saw in her mind. A rabbit or dog. A horse’s head. A figure. A tree.

When she was done she would look at it a moment and smile, and then she’d squish it up and start over.

She never needed to show, only to do.

I told Anna about her as we lay in Anna’s bed one afternoon, sweat drying on our skin.

“You should get her some clay,” she said in her sweet, soft voice. It had a thick undertone that I knew I’d put there.

“Clay? Like play-dough?”

She laughed. “No, silly. Real modeling clay. Like this,” she climbed out of bed, the late sun sliding down her back and over her bare ass like honey. She crossed to the drafting table against the far wall, moved aside a blank canvas, an armature, a coffee mug full of paint brushes and printed with “I woke up like this” and found a package. She came back, and I watched the sun spill over her heavy breasts and rounded belly. I couldn’t hide my lust for her, or my admiration. I couldn’t be with her, and I couldn’t be without her.

“Give her this.”

I opened the folded waxed paper to find six little flesh colored blocks. Small, but surprisingly heavy.

“It’s called polymer clay. Won’t make a mess, and she can sculpt it over and over, or she can make something and bake it in the oven to cure it.” Her green eyes sparked. “You know, make it hard.”
The clay was forgotten when I reached up and clasped the back of her neck beneath a curtain of red hair, and pulled her mouth hard against mine. Because that was what Anna did to me.

Those kinds of memories never faded. They lived like bee stings under the skin, and as unpleasant the knowledge it was gone was the sweetness of what had been.

I tapped the compass and searched for East. There was no sun, no bright spot through the ash cloud, or whatever it was that blanketed us. The hickory tree was gone. And that side of the house was gone, as well.

Finally satisfied I was headed in the right direction, I set off, Hope following behind.

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The view from up here is clean, unfettered. I can watch you as you chip slowly at those walls life has erected around you. Life. Not you. I tell you this, sweetheart. It is not your fault. People hate and rage, buildings fall, society crumbles and we each deal with our own grief, in our own way. You think you are immune, wrapped tightly in that cocoon, that you put it there. But you didn’t. Life. A series of beautiful moments, interrupted by quiet, insidious ones… she won’t touch me, he doesn’t listen, I can’t, I must, I won’t, I will… cocooned. Encased.

My view is as clouded as the next person’s. By my own regrets and griefs. By my victories, too. But I watch you emerge, just for me. Just for me you break out where I can see the weeping sores and the pus and the vomit and the shit. And I am humbled. I am humbled you will let me view the atrocities with the beauties. My view of you is clean.

You are a man. And you shine through it.

I am the lucky one.



Thank you to Linda for a great prompt. Head over to SoCS to be inspired and for the participation rules!




He accumulated that wealth of memories like the lady down the street accumulated cats. There came a point where he wondered how many of them were actually his, or if they blew in from the neighbors like tumbleweeds, to sit on the lawn and bump against the door with every breeze. The time he hiked old Buffalo and got caught on the top in an autumn squall, was that his? Or was that the young man down the street who often walked by with a pack taller than himself strapped to his back? Or the car accident that left him with a limp and revoked license… had it happened on his corner before they put in the light? Or had he read it in the Gazette? He spent his days sitting at the window, in a scatter of newspaper pages and inserts, watching life spin by, wondering if the life he recalled was one he had actually lived or merely a collection of his imagination.



Thank you to Linda for a great prompt. Head over to SoCS to be inspired and for the participation rules!