Kitchen scene

(Scene: A spare galley kitchen with a Viking range in the center beneath a large stainless steel hood vent. White lower cabinets, dark tiles above. No microwave. A set of tract lights overhead sends pinpoints of brightness into the gloom. Catty-corner to the kitchen stands a tall bar stool, and in it sits a woman wearing a little black dress and a pair of thick-rimmed glasses. She’s barefoot and reading a novel in Japanese. A glass of wine sits on the countertop next to her. At the counter next to the stove, facing away, is a man. He’s tall, thin, angular, but also delicate. He’s naked, save for a gauzy cotton eyelet half-apron, circa mid-eighteenth century, knotted around his waist. It was a gift from a previous lover. He’s preparing dinner, cooking an omelet. He’s cut up some tomatoes and they glisten in a bowl next to him. Now he’s chopping an onion, and every so often he wipes his eyes with his forearm. The woman seems engrossed in her book, but also exudes a sense of awareness, of watching over his movements.)


The children will be home–


We’ve still got some time.


(Wipes his eyes. The woman goes back to her book. He continues to chop the onion, methodically, thoughtfully. He sniffles loudly. The woman eyes him over her book. He crumples atop the cutting board, and the woman sets down her book.)


Are you crying?




(Kindly.) Come now. We’ve got enough time. You know there’s always long enough.

(She goes back to her book as he nods and wipes his face with his apron, exposing himself. He pours oil into a pan on the stove, sets the bottle on the counter. He picks up the knife and finishes with the onion, puts the chopped onion into a bowl, and rinses the knife under the faucet. He uses his apron to dry it. He holds up the knife and the light momentarily catches it, then he rubs it on his apron again as if to polish it. The woman gives him a slight smile over her book. He picks up a zucchini from the counter and rinses it, dries it on his apron, and holds it up to the light as if to check for bruising. Now he’s smiling. This time the woman’s smile is larger. She sets her book face-down next to her wine so as to save her page and approaches him, stands facing his back. Her dark and curvaceous body is silhouetted against his. He hands her the zucchini as she lifts the knife. A sharp glint off the edge as if in warning. She swipes the zucchini once around the inside of the pan, takes it out dripping. Her moves are somewhat obscured but the tension in her arm is sufficient for suggestion. He moans, she gasps. He shudders. She laughs gently. He turns his head and they kiss. Then the mood changes. She turns to the sink, quick and businesslike in her movements, and scrubs the knife, the zucchini before handing them back to him, dripping water. She returns to her seat, takes a sip of wine, and lifts her book. The small smile remains on her face. He wipes his eyes with his arm, repeats the drying once more before turning back to the cutting board. He chops the zucchini, which he leaves in a messy heap as he turns the heat up under the pan.)


Read to me.


(Reads aloud in Japanese.)


(Nods as he cracks an egg into a bowl obscured by his body. He repeats the gesture eleven more times as the woman reads. He turns around, cradling the bowl in the crook of one arm, whisking with the other. His expression is thoughtful, attentive. He turns back to the stove and spills the onions into the hot oil. The scent is hot, earthy, masculine. The sizzling drowns out the woman’s reading. He stirs, adds the tomatoes and zucchini, watches over the saute. He takes out another pan, smaller than the first, and pours in oil. When it’s hot, he adds the eggs, tilting the pan over the flame. The woman’s reading falls away — she’s still mouthing the words but the only sound is the hissing of the pan. He’s humming, the man. Also drowned the cooking sounds. He adds the saute to the pan of eggs, and with a few deft and practiced movements, folds the omelet and slides it out onto a platter. He sets the plate next to the woman’s wine, kisses her deeply. Elsewhere a door slams. There’s laughter.)


The children–

(She puts down her book.)


I’ll change.

(He wipes his hands on the apron and exits the kitchen, vanishing into the gloom.)




(Calls from beyond.) Set the table.



Draw me in charcoal on a gritty surface:

Prime linked to a hot radiator, sprawled naked and open along the retreating parallel lines of hardwood.

Leave me half finished.



This week’s contribution to Three Line Thursday. Thanks for the amazing inspiration, Matt.


via DeviantArt
via DeviantArt

There is no warning rattle at the door, or perhaps I’m in too deep to hear you invade the keyhole with your key, too far gone to hear the scrape of metal against metal. Either way, I’m down so deep I can barely move: I have no warning. You appear before me silently with a candle and a dark smile, holding a small metal bowl, which you set down carefully on the floor.

You circle me, examining me, clawing at me with your eyes. You tug my wrists strung behind my back, you pull my ponytail where it dangles, you run your hands down my spread legs to the shackles and bar at my ankles. You aggravate my hurts and I moan.

You enter my plane of vision and ravage the silence with a growl.

“I’m going to use you.”

I nod and mumble in agreement.

You slip a small knife from your pocket. You loom and cut the rope at my wrists. You let my arms fall to my sides.

I breathe.

You pocket your knife and snatch my hair in one hand. With your other hand you slap my face. Once, twice. A third time, and my face is stinging. I am awake now, you’ve seen to that.

I blink. Your small candle casts eerie shadows around the room.

You abandon my face and travel to my shoulders, which you take firmly into your hands. I find myself at the juncture of clavicle and phalanges. I smile.

You shove me to the cold, hard stone without another word; you watch me watch you deliberately undo your pants. You watch me watch you.

At last, “Open your mouth,” you whisper. I do, and you commence your ministrations. You push me, pull me, you fight me. You play with my breath, you take what’s yours and you steal what’s mine. I am forced out of myself. You persist at my mouth until you take matters into your own hands; your efforts culminate in a hot, wet arc that says it all.

Afterwards I am hot and wet. Afterwards my knees hurt. Afterwards I smile. I am here for your pleasure.

“Bedtime,” you say not unkindly as you replace your clothing. I wait for you to make your way back up the stairs, your quiet hum echoing in the gloomy chamber like a prelude to the slam of the heavy door. The scrape of metal against metal startles me now.

When I’m sure that you’re gone, I use my hands to support my weight as I flip my bound legs around to the front, a feat not so easy to accomplish. My hurts complain. I sit, naked, legs still shackled and splayed before me on the stone floor: I am a bird on a wire. I reach for the small metal dish you’ve left. I am hungry and I dig into the food with my bare fingers, enjoying my sustenance.

Later, as the small candle wears down and sleep threatens, I memorize the shadows. I take note of the size and shape of the empty dish next to me on the floor. A dog bowl, I think with my last few strands of consciousness.

My laugh echoes in my dreams.

Just a little trick

Just a little bit of silliness to make up for yesterday’s post. Prepare yourself, it gets sexy at the end…

You drove, I lounged in the passenger seat. The weather defied your mood: It was sunny and unseasonably warm outside. I unrolled my window, you left yours up. “I’m glad we’re together like this,” I said sarcastically through your stony silence.

“Roll your window down,” I half-whined. “We’re getting that weird reverb.” You ignored me, kept driving.

I slipped off my sandals and put my bare feet up on the dashboard.

“Quit it,” you grumbled, trying to push my feet down. You swerved a little.

“Watch it,” I warned you, moving my feet out of your reach. “Hey, is it raining in there, or what?” I tapped your head with one finger. Nothing. “I think it is raining,” I took my own joke. “Driving rain,” I drum-rolled on my bare thighs. Still nothing. Jeez.

A minute passed. “Wanna play a game?” I asked even though I knew your answer would be no.

“No way,” you said.

“Come on, it’ll be fun. You’ll like it, I promise.” I tried to catch your eye but you were staring dead ahead, focusing on the road. I continued since I had nothing else to do. “Okay, so I read about this online. It’s some new thing. I’m gonna make you come without touching you. It’s like magic or something.” Nothing, not even a smile.

“Are you ready?” I tried not to get upset about your lack of interest. “Here goes.” I put my hands up to my head to show you I was concentrating, even though I felt your eyes glued to the road. I concentrated. I thought about you, even though you were right there next to me. You’d have never let me touch you, even if you weren’t driving.

I started at the top of your head, and slowly, very slowly, thought about moving downward. I felt chills on my own head, so I knew it was working. I thought about the back of your neck, with its little hairs, and the hairs on my own neck began to tingle. This was seriously hot. I thought lower, to your chest, and my own chest, well, perked up. I thought lower, to your belly, to the top of your jeans, and lower. By then I was tingling all over – everywhere – and I knew you were, too. I could feel you shifting in your seat, trying to stop the tingling, to release the pressure, to keep your focus on the road, but you couldn’t.

“Pull over,” I said. For once, you acknowledged me, and silently pulled over. Just like I thought, you didn’t reach for me. I knew it. I kept thinking, though. I thought really hard. Again and again. My panties were wet and I was burning up and the cool breeze through my window felt really good. I bet you wished you’d put your window down, but you were sort of frozen there, eyes half-closed, pretty much a sex zombie, just like I read you’d be. I concentrated some more, and you actually let out a small moan. Woo-hoo! I thought. It was totally working.

Okay, time to seal the deal, I thought. “Where do you want to come?” I asked. You tilted your head toward me but you didn’t answer. I could feel how bad you wanted it, which was really rare. I smiled again even though you could probably barely see me with your eyes almost closed. “Where?” I asked again, knowing that you wouldn’t tell me. “My boobs? My face?” I laughed like I was daring you, and I sort of laid down on your lap, against the steering wheel, facing you but barely touching you, really. It was all you needed. I laughed as you tried to jerk your hips toward my face. It was too late. Your jeans were already soaked through.

“I did it! I can’t believe that worked.” I grinned at you and you actually looked down into my face and touched my hair. I was so happy I almost cried.

A couple of minutes passed and we both straightened up and looked at your soaking wet jeans. “What the hell am I going to tell my mom?” you asked. I cracked up. “Wanna stop at the mall?” I suggested as if I just thought of it.


Meditation on your garden

The cool spring air smudged with warmth reminds me of your sprawling garden, raised beds knit with shoots and hustles of herbs in a new rush to grow. Yes, I can see it now, the shocking green and soft purples, the simple complications, the unashamed hope of it all.

You know how I’d pick handfuls of parsley and shove them into the crook of my arm. I’d slip inside and rinse my finds with cool water in your kitchen, then I’d separate the delicate leaves from their bold stems. I’d fill the stone mortar waiting expectantly on your counter and I’d lift the heavy pestle with a small smile. I’d begin to grind as you came, filling the doorway and returning my smile. I’d crush the leaves with a sprinkle of salt and a dash of garlic releasing the overpowering scent that accompanies the death of new life.

With you watching, a thought would come to me. Without really knowing why, I’d abandon my destruction. Pestle in hand, I’d come to you thoughtfully. I’d pull you to the ground with one hand and with one hand I’d rip your panties from you, smiling all the time. I’d look from you to the glistening green of the pestle and back again. When I pulled your legs apart, you’d know why; you’d meet my gaze with a flash of recognition.

Yes, you’d gasp when I brought the cold hard pestle down between your legs, gently at first but grinding. Yet your hips would lift slightly when I turned the pestle against your clit – once, twice, more. There would be surprise there too, but no more than at the shock of seeing the new garden outside. You’d like the abuse. You’d want more, plead with your eyes, beg me to destroy you. Harder and harder and harder I’d turn the stone against my new mortar until you completely dissolved, grinning at me as you came.

Afterwards you’d go to dress as I’d finish grinding my herbs, mixing in your flavors. We’d eat by the window, smearing the herbs onto new bread, eyeing the garden and laughing.

Strange inspiration

A reprise of Shawn and Jenny for this week’s Speakeasy. I’m warning you, this one might be a little disturbing. I hope you’re into being disturbed.

Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. Shawn hadn’t always felt comfortable with a whip in his hand. Rulers and T-squares were long his tools of choice and he still longed for the familiar weight of a freshly sharpened pencil in his hand even as he stood before his naked wife, his hand filled with the whip’s heavy leather handle.

“Jenny, dear,” Shawn raised the whip above his head, “I’m thinking of making a soup for supper.” He brought the whip down with a satisfying crack.

Of course Jenny couldn’t answer with the gag in her mouth, but Shawn chatted pleasantly nevertheless, as usual. Jenny’s body tightened with the impact.

“I could make that butternut squash recipe you like so much,” Shawn continued. “And I think I’ll pop over to the bakery for some bread later,” he raised the whip again, feeling excited over his prospects for the rest of the day. His designs for the new building were nearly complete, and Jenny seemed nearly ready for him to have his way with her. And there was the soup, too. A perfect day, he thought.

Whip in midflight for the third time, Shawn had a flash of realization. He let the whip complete its circular path, then dropped it on the floor beside Jenny. “Just a moment, Jenny, you’ve given me an inspiration,” he murmured as he reached for the pencil and pad on the nightstand. Jenny eyed him desperately from the bed. “Sorry, dear,” he said as he put the finishing touches on his design: the curved metal lashings that would pin the transparent elevators to the building’s exterior. It was chancy, he knew. Hopefully his engineers wouldn’t complain.

Jenny thrashed on the bed as Shawn finished up his plans. There was something so alluring to him about multitasking. Finally, he dropped the pencil and returned to the bed, removing her gag at long last. “Only three lashings?” Jenny pouted as she reached for him. “I’ll do better next time, darling,” Shawn laughed.

Afterwards, Shawn rinsed his hands with cool water from the blue faucet in the master bathroom. Jenny had picked it to match the old drawing of the water pump he’d done back in the days when his pencil never left his hand. He’d been such an absolutist then, he thought sadly, only drawing what he could see with the same tools, never trying anything more. Jenny must have sensed what he was capable of, though, he thought as she wandered through to the shower, smiling. He admired his new artwork through the glass of the shower door while he dried his hands, then dressed and left for the bakery.


Sweet sixteen

The third time they did it, it was Heidi’s turn to draw the design and she did a swirly heart pattern for Valentine’s Day. The girls went straight to Emma’s house after school.

“You first,” Heidi said to Emma, grinning and bouncing on the bed. Both girls were in their panties; Heidi wore a bright red lacy bra that belonged to her older sister and Emma wore her favorite Hello Kitty t-shirt. The door was locked just in case and the music was blaring.

“Wait, put the towel down,” Emma said. She didn’t want her mom finding any stains.

“Okay, okay, silly,” Heidi laughed.

Emma had lined up their tools on her bedside table: the sewing needle from her mom’s strawberry-shaped pincushion, her granddad’s old Army pocketknife, which she swiped from her dad’s basement workroom, a pink plastic lighter for sterilizing the metal, several towels, cleansing pads, Neosporin, band-aids. Last summer Emma had taken a first-aid class so she considered herself an expert.

Heidi reached for Emma’s leg. Emma jumped. “Your hands are freezing!” she giggled.

“Sorry,” Heidi mumbled and rubbed her hands together. She started on the inside of Emma’s right thigh, using the needle to outline her design. With every prick, Emma startled, the pain raising the hair at the nape of her neck and making her nipples poke through the tops of the kitty ears.

“Mmm,” she said every time the needle entered her skin.

When Heidi had finished outlining, she carefully placed the needle on the table and gently dabbed a towel over the specks of blood on Emma’s thigh. She reached for the knife and began to connect the dots. The knife barely hurt at all as it sliced Emma’s soft pale skin – the pain would come later. Emma held her breath, watching the path of the knife along her skin. Heidi’s hand was steady.

“You’re so good at this,” Emma said in awe as Heidi finished up her design. The blood seeped over the knife tracks, obscuring Heidi’s work. Emma felt the pain rising along the cuts, so sharp and pure and perfect. “Ah,” she moaned and lay back on the bed.

Heidi cleaned the tools while Emma chilled on the bed. After a while, Emma sat up and reached for the lighter, using it to heat the needle until it glowed red. “Your turn,” she told Heidi.

Emma’s hands always wavered, even when Heidi went first. She would never be as talented as her friend, she thought sadly. Still, she continued, doing her best. She loved the sight of Heidi’s blood rising along her thigh, she loved her friend’s sighs, she loved and hated how Heidi’s hand slid down into her panties while she worked.

Emma’s thigh throbbed hard under the band-aids as she dabbed away Heidi’s blood with another clean white towel. She sterilized the knife and ran it along the needle pricks, her heart pounding as Heidi began to hum. She worked slowly, with both hands so Heidi’s small thrusts wouldn’t jerk the knife. After a few minutes, Heidi lay silent on the bed. When Emma finished tracing the design, she wiped away the blood and spread Neosporin over her friend’s thigh. She applied three Tinkerbelle band-aids over the cuts.

“It’s time for you to go home,” Emma said. “My mom will be home in twenty minutes. Help me clean up,” she poked Heidi on the shoulder and reached for the pocketknife. She carefully wiped it clean and flipped it closed, then cleaned the needle.

Heidi sat up and grabbed the trash bag, tossing the band-aid wrappers and dirty towels. She tied it shut and shoved it inside her backpack to get rid of on the walk home.

The girls sang along to Counting Stars and danced around the room, thrilled with their matching bandages, their matching wounds, their matching pain.

After they dressed, Emma put all of their supplies in her art box. If anyone saw it, they wouldn’t think twice since it was already full of odds and ends – pencil stubs, dried up erasers, her compass. She stashed the art box under the bed and checked and re-checked her room. No one could ever know what happened here.

“Don’t forget to clean it,” Emma warned Heidi, and gave her friend a quick hug before she left.

Later on, after dinner, Emma’s mom circled the house collecting laundry. She found the blood-speckled towel still spread across Emma’s bed and panicked.

The spelling lesson

Weekends were so relaxing now that their youngest son had gone off to college. Saturdays still had too many chores, but Sundays were perfect.

Shawn woke up early to put on the roast for their dinner. He browned the meat and studded it with bacon, then soaked it in wine. Afterward, he fixed their breakfast: toast and jam, sliced peaches from the garden, and hot coffee. Jenny was already curled up with the style section on the bench at the sunny breakfast nook when he brought the food over. He laid her plate in front of her and then joined her on the bench, reaching for the front page. They languished over their coffee and newspaper until midmorning.

When Jenny rose and walked toward the bedroom, Shawn knew what she wanted. He abandoned the breakfast table with its scattered dishes and followed her. He moved to the closet, no longer locked now that James had left home, and removed the ropes. He laid them out on the bed and a stray thought crossed his mind.

“Hang on a moment,” Shawn said to Jenny and returned to the kitchen. He brought back a pencil and a pad of paper, which he laid on the bedside table.

Jenny waited obediently on the bed, nightie off.

“Good girl, Jenny,” Shawn murmured. He reached for the ropes and began tying Jenny’s arms together behind her back. He worked for a while, encasing her in rope, creating an elaborate pattern even more beautiful than the one he had tied the Sunday before.

“I want you to spell something for me, Jenny,” he announced to his wife gently.

“What?” she asked, smirking. They both knew that she was a terrible speller.

“Spell torment,” darling, Shawn replied, tightening the final knot.

Jenny winced a little and began to spell. “Torment. T-O-U-R-M-I-N-T,” she said.

“No, Jenny, that’s not correct,” Shawn told her firmly, and picked up the pencil. He moved to the closet and retrieved a large knife. He stood directly in front of his wife and began to sharpen the pencil with the knife. The wood shavings dropped onto the ropes where they held her legs spread apart.

When he had sharpened the pencil, he lifted the pad of paper and wrote on it. He tore out the page and used the knife to pin it to the wall directly in front of Jenny. Shawn loved that he could do that kind of thing now that the kids were away. He pondered a few minutes, and then used the last bit of rope to rig up a suspension device for the pencil. He set it hanging just an inch or so from her eye, so that if she shifted too much the pencil would surely poke her eye out.

“You need to study, darling,” Shawn told Jenny kindly. “When I get back I expect you to be able to spell torment for me,” and he pointed toward his note, which showed the word in large capital letters. He showered, dressed, and paused to admire his wife before straightening up the kitchen. Around lunchtime, he headed out to the movies. He always enjoyed his Sunday afternoon matinee.

After the movie, he stopped at the bakery for a pie for their dessert. He returned home, greeted by the delicious smells of red wine and roast emerging from the kitchen and happily spent the rest of the afternoon tormenting his lovely wife.

Later, as evening descended, Shawn laid the table for dinner and poured Jenny’s wine as she emerged from the bedroom, freshly showered and dressed for dinner. “You were an excellent student today,” he praised her, kissing her lightly on the head as she sat down to dinner.

“Thanks, honey,” she laughed.