From ERWA Authors
La Petite Mort
Deus ex Machina
by Daddy X
The Holiday Cabin
by Ian D Smith
Just a Little Taste
by B.K. Bilicki
Lady Anne's Garden
by Ian D Smith
by Robert Buckley
Power and Glory
by Rose B. Thorny
La Petite Mort Flashers
Lending a Hand
by Rose B. Thorny
by Daddy X
by Ian D Smith
Fiction by ERWA Bloggers
Halloween In The Castro
by Donna George Storey
by Lisabet Sarai
by C. Sanchez-Garcia
Three Times Lucky
by Remittance Girl
Last Tango in Paris, Texas
by M. Christian
Eddie's All-night Diner
by K D Grace
A Curious Case
by Jean Roberta
Sleep Well, My Love
by Elizabeth Black
are you going to kiss me?
by Ashley R Lister
Naughty Bits: Technology for Authors
by Lisabet Sarai
A Slip of the Lip Anthology
by Remittance Girl (Ed)
Now That You've Caught Me
by Robert Buckley
He was glad to finally be outside of the funeral parlor. Ever since he was a kid they gave him the willies. He thought wakes were barbaric; a tasteless display of a corpse all waxed, polished and dressed so as to give the illusion that it was something more than dead meat. The person's essence had long fled, and just as well. How embarrassing could it be to a soul laid out in such an exhibit in a room that gradually filled with mourners? He imagined it would be like a crowd invading the sanctuary of one's bedroom.
It made him think of the times his mother had invited one of the neighborhood housefraus into his bedroom when he was sick with the measles, or chicken pox or other childhood malady where they would stand over him and discuss various home remedies, all the while referring to him in the third person. It made him crawl under the covers.
Brian nodded to the undertaker who had followed him and his wife onto the front portico after the service.
"Jesus, Whitey, I hardly expected the old funeral home to still be in business. I mean, I figured your dad would have left it to you, but I had heard how the old neighborhood had changed so much."
"Oh, it sure did, Brian. We barely hung on there for a while. Most of the older families had moved out. Lot of immigrants came in ... mostly Hispanic. I had to scramble to find a girl who could speak Spanish and front for me. Those people, though ... they have their own customs. Pretty soon a Latin undertaker opened in a storefront along by Kelsey Square. After that I went to work for some other mortuaries. Tried to sell this one."
"Well, after a few years of lean times, we had ourselves what I call the Yuppie Renaissance. Talk about gentrification. So many people all of a sudden wanting to move into the city ... and then someone noticed all these triple-deckers. None of them are rented now; almost all of them have been turned into condos."
"Condos?" Brian said and shook his head.
"They're getting $300,000 and up for a floor in a triple-decker."
"Cripes! To live in those firetraps? I couldn't wait to get out of them. I swore I would never live in another one again."
"Well, it saved the neighborhood from becoming just a ghetto, in my opinion. I'm selling this place to a national chain and I'm getting a good chunk of coin for it too. I had been afraid I'd have to let it go for a fire sale price. And the new owners are keeping me on as director."
"Well, that's great, Whitey. I'm glad things worked out for you."
"Looks like things worked out good for you two too," Whitey said, and nodded at Brian's wife.
"Cindy, your mom was the last of the old holdouts. She said the only way she'd leave that house was if they carried her out and ... well ... they did."
Cindy smiled. "I'm glad someone from the old neighborhood was here to take care of her. Thanks, Whitey."
"Aw, my pleasure, Cindy. I don't mind telling you, I was just one of a bunch of guys who had a big crush on you when we were all in school together."
Cindy chuckled. "You're going to make me blush, Whitey. Anyway, I wasn't all that popular."
"Oh, you sure were. Thing is, I don't remember you and Brian being an item then, but I guess you must have been."
"Not even remotely," Brian said. "She wouldn't have given me the time of day."
Whitey sputtered, "But ..."
"But ..." Cindy interrupted. "We went our separate ways after high school. I met Brian in grad school, and I really did just meet him. I didn't even remember him from the neighborhood ... well, maybe vaguely."
"Vague is the word," Brian said.
"Wow, ain't that something?" Whitey said. "Well, it's sure good to see you again. Both of you. I only wish, Cindy, it was under other circumstances."
"Thanks again for taking such good care of her, Whitey. We'll see you tomorrow for the funeral."
A zephyr swirled about Brian and Cindy carrying the perfumes of early summer blooms.
"What a perfect night in June," Cindy said. "Reminds me ..."
"Reminds you of what?"
"Brian, let's drive over to the park. Whitey told me it's the only part of the neighborhood that never changed."
"But you said you didn't want to see your mother's house, that your brothers were going to see to it."
"I know. But it's such a beautiful night. I don't know; maybe I'm feeling nostalgic."
"Yeah, well my old house is there too, and I ain't a bit nostalgic."
"Aw, c'mon, it won't hurt. After tomorrow we'll never be back again."
He shrugged. "Okay."
Brian followed the old map of the neighborhood in his mind, but the streets seemed narrower than he remembered. Finally they pulled up across from the park and right in front of the triple-decker where he grew up. He parked and he and Cindy stepped onto the curb and stared at the verdant patch.
"It's so small," Cindy said. "I remember it as being so vast ... with woods as thick as a forest ... not that scraggly stand of trees over there.
"Excuse me, are you looking for something?"
They turned to face the voice behind them. A young man with a beard, designer glasses and wearing baggy cargo pants stood atop the rise of stairs to Brian's old home.
"Hi," Brian said. "We already found it. I used to live in your house."
The young man appeared mildly perturbed.
"Oh, really? I see. Well, is there anything else you want?"
"No," Brian said. "I hated the place. Lived on the top floor."
"You mean the penthouse? That's my condo."
Brian coughed out a loud guffaw and grabbed his belly. "Oh, Christ! You mean all those years I lived in a penthouse? I never realized."
"I ... I don't really see what you find so amusing."
"No, pal, I don't suppose you would. Hey, would you mind my asking what you paid for ... the penthouse?"
"Under the circumstances, I think I would. Now, are you going to stand out here all night?"
"Hey, take it easy, friend. No offense intended."
"Hmm." The young man turned and retreated inside the house. The door closed emphatically.
"Brian ... really," Cindy admonished him.
"Aw, fuck the little frootloop. Thinks he lives in a penthouse. Holy Jesus, they can sell this generation anything. Wanna cross the street before he calls the cops on us?"
Cindy nodded. They crossed and stood on the sidewalk that bordered the green space so diminished from that which resided in their memories.
Brian looked to his left and counted the houses that faced the park from that side.
"There's your mom's house."
But Cindy continued to survey the park. "It can't be so small. Remember some of the stories that sprung up about it? Like the mountain lion."
"Neighborhood legends," Brian chuckled. "I can't believe we believed such nonsense."
"But, you remember ... the naked angel?"
"Remember? I saw her."
"You heard me. I tried to catch her ... well, not catch her exactly."
"You never told me."
"Forgot about it. It was a night like this, a perfect, comfortable summer night. The neighborhood was buzzing about a beautiful, angelic girl who had been seen running naked into the park and disappearing into the woods. Then on a night like this I was looking out my bedroom window ... it must have been almost three in the morning ... and there she was running from the field toward the trees. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I bolted downstairs and out the door. It was a bright moonlit night. She practically glowed, her skin must have been so pale."
"You didn't catch up to her."
"What would you have done if you did?"
He shrugged, smiled. "You're a kid, and you have some odd notions, especially if you aren't too popular, not much of an athlete, not one of the guys. Not someone girls would be interested in."
"What ... notions?"
"I figured a girl who likes to run around outside with no clothes on might be amenable to ... well ..."
"Having sex with a guy like me, I guess."
"You expected her to screw you ... just for the heck of it?"
"Like I said ... crazy. Pretty bold notion for a 17-year-old virgin, huh?"
"She might have, at that. ... She was me."
Brian jerked his head. "What?"
"The angel, she was me."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Living here was so ... restrictive, so controlled. Everything revolved around the church and keeping up appearances. Damn, don't you remember how some people were ostracized because their kids got into trouble. All those fucking hypocrites ... those first families of the parish who used to sit in the front pews of the church like they owned the place. My mother chief among them. God she loved to talk about other people's kids getting into trouble, and if you suggested that maybe those families weren't so bad, or just had hard luck, you might get a slap ... or get sent to bed to think about what you had done. Jesus ... I wanted to throw off that straitjacket we all had to live in."
"What does that have to do with ..."
"You're right; it was a beautiful night, a magical night. I wanted to throw off my clothes and run into it naked ... I did. I'd already done it before a couple of times. My God, it was like being on a drug ... to do something so naughty, so ... shameful."
"I don't believe it."
"I remember you. I remember ... well, the thrill had a lot to do with maybe getting caught. Can you imagine me being dragged home by the neighbors to my mother's front door ... naked for everyone to see ... a shameless little tramp? God, the thought made me crazy ... it made me horny without even realizing what horny was."
"You remember me?"
"I heard you. How the hell you didn't hear my heart pounding I don't know; I had to hold my breath because I didn't dare breathe out loud. You passed me; I was hidden behind some scraggly bushes. If you had looked the right way you would have seen me, but you didn't. And Brian ... I would have fucked you if you'd found me, right there and then ... I would have fucked you. My pussy was a swamp."
"Jesus, Cindy. You didn't even know who I was."
"I recognized you from school. That would have been shameful too, you know, a girl like me allowing ... well, a not-so-popular boy ... to use my body."
"Jesus H-fucking Christ! You did know who I was when we met."
She nodded. "Brian, I wasn't the girl you thought I was."
"What do you mean?"
"Running outside naked ... it kind of broke the floodgates. Brian, I used to have ... really lurid ... uh ... fantasies."
"I'll tell you ... because ... I allowed them to happen."
"Allowed them ... huh?"
"Do you know how I lost my virginity?"
Brian's face crumpled. "I don't need to know ..."
"It was Mr. Valasakis."
"That fat old Greek who ran that shitty little neighborhood market?"
"Cindy ... you're just rattling my chain. Cut the crap. What the hell is with you?"
"I fooled him into thinking I was retarded and let him take advantage of me."
"Okay ... that's enough. What the hell ... it's just your mom passing ... it's rattled you."
"No it hasn't ... she was way overdue to leave this world."
"Just because she was my mother I'm supposed to mourn her?"
"Look ... let's get back to the hotel. You're overtired."
"Maybe I'll strip and take a jaunt through the park."
"The fuck you will ... and get cut on a broken beer bottle, or maybe get a discarded hypodermic needle stuck in your foot? C'mon, we're going."
"No, I want to stay here a while."
Before he could object she stepped from the sidewalk onto the grass; he let her get five steps ahead of him before he followed her. The moon had risen, a brilliant half-disk just above the horizon ahead of them so she appeared like a walking silhouette.
She had come abreast of her childhood home, but didn't look that way, instead she veered toward the trees to their right.
Brian hurried to catch up to her.
Yards away from the trees she stopped. Brian heard subdued voices.
"Come on, Lindsay, just kiss it."
"No ... it's gross."
"I thought you loved me."
"I'm not going to kiss it or suck it."
"But you want me to put it in you."
"Jesus ... well, if you lick it, it will slip in easier."
Cindy tried to stifle the laugh that struggled from her throat.
"No there isn't."
"Give me my clothes ... oh, shit."
The voices went silent replaced by rustling sounds.
Brian saw the boy first, who gave him a furtive glance before he shoved the shadowy figure of a girl, tripping as she tried to pull up her jeans. They fled through the trees.
Cindy didn't turn away from the scene, but chuckled. "Things never change. Kids going nuts with raging hormones, trying to figure it out, trying to get some."
"We may have thwarted an inconvenient pregnancy."
"For now," she laughed.
He approached her and put his hands on her shoulders, attempting to gently steer her back, but she would not yield.
"What's going on with you, Cindy?"
"I was just thinking ... my mother must be in heaven ... she and the rest of her narrow-minded friends and neighbors. Good. Keep them all in one place. I don't want any part of the joint."
"You were just kidding ... I mean, about old Valasakis."
"He was a sweaty pig of a man, wasn't he?"
Brian began to chuckle, "Well, yeah, he ..."
"No ... I wasn't kidding. Brian ... I told you I had lurid fantasies when I was a girl. One of them was being taken by a really disgusting older man."
She turned to face him.
"Brian, I caught on very quickly how I affected men ... how my girlfriends affected men. Some of them caught on like I did, some didn't. I noticed it mostly when my teachers would let their eyes climb my leg, all the way from my ankle to my knee, then strain as if they could will my skirt to rise. The way they undressed me in their minds. I knew exactly what I was doing the day I went into that pig's store and acted like the kids who went to special class. What a good actress I was ... I even affected a speech impediment. Mista, do you have candy ... I don't know if a got enough money. And I held out my hand with my four pennies."
"Cindy ... c'mon."
"You should have seen his eyes light up ... a pretty little retarded girl at his mercy ... who would believe anything she said? So he said he had plenty of candy, and would I like to see his doll ... he'd even let me play with it."
Brian wanted to tell her to stop, but a horrible fascination seized him. She had to be making it up.
"So he took me out back and showed me his doll. Then he asked me if I wanted to hold it, and I clapped my hands and said, 'Oh, yes' and when I did I thought he'd come right then in my hands, but he held off and asked me to kiss it ... and then lick it ... and I did and giggled like a clueless little retarded girl. Then he said suck it, and he didn't say it nicely, and I did ... and then he called me other things ... stupid cunt ... cocksucker ... he picked me up and pushed me onto a table, lifted my skirt and pulled off my underwear. And then he pushed his doll inside me. It was stumpy, but thick and fat like him. It didn't take too many thrusts ... it didn't even feel that good ... but you know what got me off? The mere fact that I was doing what I was doing ... letting this sweaty troll fuck me. I came so hard ... I still think about it and masturbate ... sometimes."
"What ... what the ... why are you telling me this?"
She shrugged. "I had gotten a can of contraceptive foam. I shot it into my cunt like it was Reddiwhip. I didn't realize you were supposed to use it with a diaphragm, so for weeks afterward I worried he got me pregnant, but the foam must have done the job, or he shot blanks, or maybe it just wasn't the right time. He told me to come back to play with his doll anytime, and I said I would ... but I didn't. I got that out of my system."
"Why are you doing this?"
"That was my declaration of independence, Brian. Everything I was told was evil and depraved ... I wanted to be depraved, I wanted to thumb my nose at all that shit they brought us up to believe. I didn't want to be a bad girl ... I wanted to be the worst girl."
"You didn't have to tell me."
She shrugged again. "I went to college on a partial scholarship. I never seemed to have enough money, so I took a job."
"No need ..."
"... As a stripper. Yeah, I got a job at a strip joint working the bar, then the owner asked me if I wanted to work topless ... that I'd get bigger tips. It worked, and it fed my fetish to expose myself. Before long I was gyrating on the runway with the other girls. And you know what really made it exciting? People I knew from school came there and saw me ... before long I got a reputation as a slut. Knowing people in class were talking about me, whispering about me as I walked by on campus ... oh, my God ... I used to squish when I walked because I was wet all the time."
"Cindy ... let's go."
"No ... There was an army base nearby too. Lots of soldiers came in. One in particular asked to take me home. I made enough money by then to afford my own room off campus. So I let him come home with me. The first night we fucked he tied me to the bed and tortured me with his tongue. He made me say things ... sick things. Then he brought a friend to the club one night, and they both came home with me."
"I don't want to hear ..."
"They fucked me, sometimes together, sometimes one after the other. Thing is ... each of them could take a break while the other was fucking me, rest, recoup his stamina. But me? I was in a constant state of fuck ... I'd give myself up, surrender like a rag doll. I'd even pass out and they'd still keep fucking me until they wore themselves out. And I was never happier than I was being used by my two soldiers."
She shrugged. "Okay."
He strode back to the car as she followed. He got in without holding the door for her. She opened the passenger side and slid in.
The ride to the hotel was silent. When they entered their room he went straight to the bathroom. A moment later she heard the shower.
Cindy stepped onto the balcony that overlooked the Interstate. She stood a moment watching the cars whiz by and wondered if she should slip out of her dress.
"Aw, who wants to peek at some dipsy old dame?" she said to herself.
"I would," Brian said behind her. "I did once anyway."
He was clothed in a terry robe provided by the hotel. He stepped onto the balcony and sat on one of the lounge chairs.
She sat on another opposite him.
"Why did you tell me those stories ... are they even true?
"Yes, they are."
"Then I didn't have to know. I wouldn't have wanted to know."
"I know. I don't know why I told you ... except, maybe ..."
"My mother dying ... coming back here. I set out to reject all her beliefs, values, my upbringing. No dutiful wife and mother in my future. I didn't want that. I wanted to show them all what phonys and hypocrites they were. Even before I got out of the neighborhood, I used to go to communion just so I could pop a few buttons on my blouse and kneel at the altar where Father Kelsey would have to look down the valley between my tits. And I'd stick out my tongue so far to receive the wafer and his face would flush and his cheeks would sweat, and one time I thought he'd pass out. Nobody knew what was happening except me ... and him, of course, but I bet he never thought I was doing it on purpose."
"Everyone at college knew I was a craven slut, but I left that behind after graduation. I picked a grad school at the opposite end of the country, acted respectably, and then I met you. And I've become just what I swore I would never be."
"Then why did you do it? Why'd you marry me?"
She looked away. "Because ... you adored me so much. I fell in love with you."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"No ... it doesn't. Brian, I've been very happy with our life, with you, with the kids, the-house-the-dog-the-cat-the-whole thing. But I miss ... I miss the depraved slut I used to be too. Not that I could do anything about it now. I don't have the body or the stamina for it. Anyway ... I'm sorry I dumped this all on you ... I shouldn't have."
Brian exhaled a long, withering sigh.
"If you want to ..." Cindy's voice caught a moment. "If you want to do something ... about it. I wouldn't blame you."
I don't know," she said and shrugged. "You caught the angel after all ... Now that you've caught me ... now that you know I'm no angel ... what do you want to do about it?"
"What ... why should I have any say about who you were, or what you did before we met?"
"I kept it from you ... married people shouldn't keep secrets from each other."
"Please, Cindy ... you don't think I have secrets ... you don't believe every man and woman on the planet keeps a secret to themselves?"
"I really could have kept it to myself; you didn't have to know. It wouldn't have made a damned bit of difference. It wasn't like I was feeling guilty about it."
"So, I wonder if I told you ... to hurt you. Did it hurt you?"
"Why would you want to hurt me?"
"I don't know. You're a good man, a good husband, and a wonderful, caring father. For the life of me, I don't know what I might have against you. Right now ... I wish ... I wish you had cheated on me, or something."
"Why ... would that turn you on?"
"Huh? Son of a bitch ... now you're mocking me."
He stood. "Cindy, stand up and take your clothes off."
"Here ... now?"
"You're an exhibitionist ... that's what you said. Was it bullshit?"
"No! But ... Brian, look at me ... look at us."
"Strip ... do it now."
"Brian ... please. Someone will ...."
"See you ... yes, I hope so."
"Don't make me do this."
But he began to tug at her top.
"Okay ... I'll do it. Oh, God."
Her clothes pooled at her ankles. He placed his hands on her shoulders and turned her toward the highway. After some minutes, cars blared their horns as they passed.
"Brian, please let me go inside."
Other guests had come out onto their balconies drawn by the dissonant, Doppler-toned symphony of car horns.
Cindy shivered at the whispers rasping along the rows of balconies.
"Oh, my God, look. She's stark naked!" It was a young woman's voice.
"Fuck! Look at them ... they're our parents' age."
"Eww, my mom and dad would never do that."
"How do you know?"
"Hey, I dunno, she's in pretty good shape ... I wouldn't want to see your mom naked, though."
Cindy couldn't help it. She began to laugh.
Brian lifted her off her feet and carried her inside. Leaving her on the bed, he shed his robe and climbed on top of her, but he couldn't control his arousal. He spilled his fluids onto her belly.
She hushed him before he could apologize, gently rolled him over and proceeded to perform a long, languid blow job. When he was confident he could maintain his erection he fucked her, slowly, but forcefully. He called her slut, cocksucker, whore, and she moaned and purred as the filthy words assailed her. When she came she cried out in his ear, coaxing him to empty himself inside her.
The next morning they attended the Mass and traveled in their own car in the funeral caravan. The guests and other family left after a graveside prayer, but Cindy stayed to watch her mother's casket lowered into the ground.
As they began their journey home, Cindy said, "I was hoping I would feel ... something."
Brian held her hand a moment, before returning it to the wheel.
"Maybe you will ... later.""Yeah," she said and smiled. "Maybe."
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