“The Play’s the Thing…”

Deer Skull

Hi All-Permit me to break the fourth wall and speak to you directly for a moment. I appreciate all of your readership as I bounce around rather eclectically from poetry to obituaries, flash fiction about mobsters and drunken louts (but enough about my childhood) to woodland nymphs, spankings, femdom, snakes, buggery and all the other things that coil and roil through me.

When I decided to have a single blog that would incorporate all of my (our, if I include my queen) interests there were concerns about folks enjoying one genre (let’s say a Harry Crews homage) then screaming out loud when the next post would involve taking a malingering wife’s temperature without-ahem-putting anything under her tongue.

So now I’m trying something a little different. We workshopped this play a few years ago then set it aside when interests and priorities shifted. I’ve recently begun picking at it again. I’m not sure that WP is the right place to put it but figured you would tell me that.

I thought about parsing it out over a few days but it’s around 2500 words and it ran about 15 minutes at our last table read. Being a one-act I couldn’t figure how to effectively break it up.

So thanks for your patience and readership. Enjoy this-or don’t-that’s fine too. I’ll be back soon with more conventional fare-you know, the canings, spankings and buggery-but for now I give you:

GUTSHOT

 A One-Act Play

CHARACTERS

Hank………….A man

 Bill…………….A man

 The Price……That which must be paid. Seems beautiful and worthwhile at the time.

 PLACE

Everywhere

TIME

 Always

©TDR – 2017

 

An archery target is set upper stage left. The target consists of three or four bales of hay to which a silhouette of a deer has been affixed. Upstage right is a tree stand about eight feet high. Nothing elaborate but there must be a ladder of some type as well as-possibly-a cross piece for a railing three or four feet above the floor of the stand.

Lights rise we find Hank and Bill on stage. They are both hunters geared for archery: full camo coveralls, etc. A significant difference between the two it that Hank is wearing full camouflage makeup on his face and hands disguising his appearance while Bill wears none. Bill is hatless where Hank wears a camo hat.

Hank is turned slightly away from the audience shooting arrows into the target. They both use compound hunting bows.

HANK

(Shoots) Thirty two. GODDAM! Still pullin’ the SOB to the left…Sights gotta be….(shoots) Thirty three…gittin” a little better…practice all year and it comes time for the hunt…(Stops himself and breathes deep then shoots) Thirty four…oh yeah! Tonight’s the night! I can smell that ruttin’ bastard of a buck. Smell ‘im! You see the rub down along the meadow? Where we went in this mornin’?

BILL

On the dogwood?

HANK

(Releases) Thirty five. GODDAM! The sight’s GOTTA be off. There’s no WAY I keep pullin’ to the left like that.

BILL

Your grip’s too tight.

HANK

My what?

BILL

You hold too tight. You gotta….

HANK

AHHH! Save it. You’d think I’m listenin’ to ya for Chrissakes. First year inna woods. What do you know about it?

BILL

I know enough not to hold the bow like it was a rattlesnake trying to kill me.

HANK

(Releases) Thirty six. I shoot a minimum fifty arrows a night MINIMUM!

BILL

When I was in competition I did that to warm up. (Taking the bow). It’s not just the practice-you’ve got to have the technique. Hold it just so. Lightly. (As he draws) Draw so the pressure of the bow is resting against the heel of your hand. You bear down too much. Loosen the grip. (At full draw) You come to full draw and there it is. See? I can wiggle my fingers here and the bow won’t fall.

He sights down an imaginary arrow as he turns and faces the audience. Pauses. Looks out bewildered then over his shoulder to Hank.

BILL

Hank…you get the feeling we’re not alone up here?

HANK

(Taking the bow back) We ain’t seen another hunter since we been here.

BILL

Not hunters.

HANK

What, then? You think you’re bein’ watched?

BILL

Kind of….

HANK

This isn’t a tournament bucko. No audience.

BILL

I get that. Doesn’t seem right-me shooting at a target without a gallery. Without people watching me. That’s what gave me such a charge about competition. Everybody watching-watching your every move.

During this last, Bill has noticed The Price enter the rear of the theater. She is beautiful and wears a slinky white dress showing a lot of cleavage. She and Bill establish eye contact as she sits in a front row seat.

HANK

Not up here. Nobody watching but the woods.

BILL

The woods. And it’s been here forever.

HANK

Not this one. Not like this. The original forests covered all these states-giant oak, beech, walnut, maple…they say a squirrel could run from Maine to Ohio from tree to tree without ever touching the ground. They disappeared years ago to build houses and ships. Cut them all. Then, once we got settled, another forest grew and we cut that for farming and mining. Now this. You’re right, all we got are these little woods. Except for….

BILL

Still feels…

HANK

Sure it does. That’s what I’m talking about. The ghosts. The original forest is still here. Cut above the ground so you can’t see it, but the roots-the whole underground network is here. The roots of every tree ever on this land is still here (Stamps his foot). That’s what you’re feeling. There’s nobody up here-but there’s somethin’. This ain’t the target range. This ain’t no tournament. It’s just us and we’re the ones doin’ the watchin’. It’s us sittin’ up in the tree decidin’ which deer go by and which ones don’t. WE are the ones doin’ the choosin. And something might not be too happy with our choices. Don’t grip too tight, huh?

BILL

(Coming back) Yeah. Lightly.

HANK

(Releases) Thirty seven. Feels strange.

BILL

It will in the beginning.

HANK

Hey-are there woman archers?

BILL

Sure.

HANK

Groupies?

BILL

You wouldn’t believe…I got more women when I was shooting that you…could…believe.

HANK

Maybe you’re not as dumb as you look. (Nods to Bill’s bow) Why don’t you fling a couple?

BILL

Don’t need to.

HANK

Shootin’ at a deer inna woods’s a lot different than the target shootin’ you’re used to.

BILL

Far as I can see, that’s a target.

HANK

Balls! (Releases) Thirty eight.

BILL

Shooting’s shooting.

HANK

You miss a bull on a target you come back and get it on the next shot. Here there ain’t no next shot.

BILL

It’s not an overriding passion with me.

HANK

Then why bother? (Releases) Thirty nine.

BILL

Just good to get away from it all. This is a beautiful time to be in the woods.

HANK

Then take a hike. Sit on a log. This is a hunt.

Bill has moved downstage and grabbed eye contact with The Price. She smiles and Bill decides.

BILL

Maybe I will shoot abit.

He takes his bow and takes a shooting stance beside Hank.

HANK

Like I told you yesterday, pick out a certain spot on the deer. Just like the bull on the target. Right there…behind the shoulder. Always find a spot. Don’t just shoot at the brown.

BILL

Don’t worry. I’ll hit it.

HANK

Hittin’ ain’t killin’. You gutshoot it, it’ll travel for miles. May never find it. And I promise you, if you pull me outta my stand to trail a gutshot deer and I miss my buck, I’m liable to gut your ass and tie you to the roof of the car.

BILL

We only have two more days up here.

HANK

And I ‘bout got that eight point figgered. Him or that four point I saw yesterday. Eleven years runnin’ every year I’ve got me a buck. This one won’t be no different.

BILL
Buck, doe…one shot, two.  I don’t see the point of putting so much pressure on it.

HANK

Pressure.

BILL

Sure…don’t you come up here to get away from that?

HANK

You never get away from it. (Releases) Forty! You want pressure? Out there are a lotta deer. Livin’ breathin’ creatures just like you. Some ways smarter, some ways dumber. Right now, this time a’ year they’re mostly dumber. (Releases) Forty one. You know why?

BILL

Here, let me shoot.

HANK

Cause the only thing they’re thinking about is fuckin’ That’s it! Their minds are on romance boy! While they go about their matin’ dance-which is older’n dirt-we’re sittin’ up in the trees like vultures just waiting to put a hole in ‘em. (Bill releases his shot). Not bad, but not a heart shot. Out there is a buck who thinks he’s George Fuckin’ Clooney and I’m gonna put an arrow through his heart. Kill him dead. That’s that. But, you see, if I miss his heart-if I don’t put the arrow exactly in the right place-then I’m only gonna wound him. I’m gonna gutshoot him. I’m gonna tear a hole through his guts big enough to put your fist through and that poor sucker is gonna agonize all through these woods while his insides fill up with blood and shit…(Draws to shoot)

BILL

(Sarcastically) Please…

HANK

(Releases) Forty-two. That’s the pressure. You do it right and it’s over in minutes. The deer population is kept in check and you got nice clean venison to eat all winter. You let your mind wander-you lose your focus-then you unleash a world fulla sufferin’ on a beast that don’t deserve it.

BILL

So maybe I won’t even shoot. Maybe I’ll just stay up in the tree and watch them go by.

HANK

Then why even come out? (Releases) Forty-three. You could go to a pettin’ zoo.

BILL

First day-I didn’t tell you-I was up in the stand. I heard a ‘pop’…a little crack over next to the highwall. You know, that’s the thing I can’t get used to. You always think deer are going to be quiet in the woods but they’re not. They can run through like a train. Anyway, I heard this pop and looked over and here comes a little four-point. Probably same one you saw. Pretty little guy. I just watched him…

HANK

How far off?

BILL

Right there! He walked right under my stand and was gone. Never knew I was there.

HANK

Why didn’t you shoot?

BILL
First day-figured I’d get other shots.

HANK

Bullshit! You ain’t no hunter pal. Tournament shooter. A friggin’ tourist out inna woods.

PRICE

A voyeur.

BILL

(Startled) A voyeur?

HANK

You wanna be a hunter you gotta kill somethin’. Simple as that. (Releases) Forty-four.

As Hank shoots, The Price enters the scene.

PRICE

There’s a price to be paid out here Bill.

HANK

Forty-five.

BILL

Price?

PRICE

Down there-in the world-you can get away with lies. You can’t get away without them! And the bigger the lie, the better. That’s how they keep score down there. The biggest liar wins.

She has approached Hank and is running her hands over his body. He ignores her and keeps shooting.

HANK
Forty-six.

PRICE

See? Nothing…(Moving toward the target) To some there is only the vision.

She stands in front of the target and pulls her neckline lower. Hank draws and prepares to shoot.

BILL

(Jumping at Hank) NO!

Hank doesn’t get the shot off. He turns on Bill savagely with hunting knife drawn.

HANK

You ever do that again, I’ll cut your fuckin’ heart out!

BILL

Hank!

PRICE

(Laughing throatily) The vision can be a powerful thing.

HANK

That might have been IT! That might have been my perfect shot. That might have been one step closer to perfection. THAT’S my life. (Stalks toward the target to gather arrows) You’re on a lark out here. Out inna woods pissin’ outta your tree stand.

PRICE

Maybe you’re ready now.

Still standing in front of the target she opens her dress again to give Bill a good target.

HANK

You don’t shoot at deer-you don’t know what you’re doin’ up here. You think buyin’ a huntin’ bow and comin’ out here a couple a’ days makes you a hunter? Down there you can get away with watching and not playin’. Not up here. It’s time to fuck or call a cab.

During this last, Bill is watching The Price closely, struggling with what to do.

BILL

(Breaking the spell) Hunting makes you a hunter. I’m hunting.

HANK
You ain’t even here!

BILL

This isn’t your backyard Hank. You got no claim to this place. I asked to come with you. That’s fine. I could’ve come up by myself.

HANK

(Releases) Forty-seven. You never coulda. Never woulda. Get you out in the woods alone you wouldn’t know what way is up. Five minutes you’d walk off a cliff and bust your ass.

The Price laughs and moves toward Bill.

PRICE

You don’t have your people here Bill. There’s no gallery pulling for you-telling you how great you are. (She rubs his neck and cups his face in her hands) Nobody here to impress. Isn’t that true?

HANK

(Releases) Forty-eight. You better know what you’re about before you come into these woods lover.

Before Bill can respond, The Price drives her knee hard up into his crotch. He doubles and falls into a heap. Hank takes no notice.

PRICE
You want to be a hunter, you have to kill something. Simple as that.

HANK

There’s always a price.

Bill struggles to his feet.

BILL

I think I’d better shoot a bit.

HANK

Too late. You’re here. That’s it. You don’t get it while you’re in the woods. You gotta bring it in with you.

PRICE

Do you know any hunters Bill?

BILL

Plenty! Some of my friends…

PRICE

…Are target shooters. Putting holes in paper for points. Lying through life.

She reaches behind her neck and unsnaps her dress. It falls to the floor.

BILL

No….I….

She reaches over and unzips his coveralls. She begins to take them off, pushing them over one shoulder, then the next.

PRICE

You’re just like them. Watching. Sitting and pretending.

During Hank’s speech, The Price strips Bill down to his underwear. She puts on his camoes and paints her face as a hunter would.

HANK

Couple years ago I shot a little buck. Four-point. Little sucker bolted when I released and I hit him high-must’ve nicked his spine. He ran a bit, then went down. Wasn’t mortally wounded but paralyzed in back. By the time I got to him he was trying to run on this front legs draggin’ himself along. So I had to finish him off. (Releases) Forty-nine. Damnedest thing. He was layin’ in this pool a’ water so’s I couldn’t get a true heart shot with him splashing around-kept shootin’ high. Put four arrows in him and he’s layin’ there live as you and me, watchin’. And screamin’. You ever hear a deer scream? Sounds like it wants to whinney like a horse but it just sorta coughs…specially when it’s got an arrow stuck in it’s neck. On my last arrow I heard a lung go-sorta like a whoosh sound-and I knew it was dyin’. So I just watched it lay it’s head down.

PRICE

There’s always a price.

The Price takes Bill’s bow and climbs up in the tree stand.

HANK
(Releases) Fifty. That’s that. Time to get my buck.

BILL

I don’t belong here.

HANK

(Walking off) Who does?

BILL

Hank-don’t go!

PRICE

(In the tree stand she nocks an arrow) Do you know how to lead a deer? A deer that’s running? You put the pin where you want to shoot and you’ll gut shoot him.

She draws on Bill. He screams and runs off.

PRICE

You have to lead him by a good three, four inches.

She releases off, in Bill’s direction. Scream off. She scampers out of the stand and walks off following.

PRICE

(Off) There-got you.

Re-enters dragging Bill on a rope with an arrow lodged in the middle of his back. Much blood. She leaves him center stage and approaches the target. Nocks an arrow and draws.

PRICE

(Releases) One….

FADE

END

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Copperhead!

Copper 4

My wife saw him first-riding ahead of me as she always did-and pulled off to wait for me. She was eyeing something on the trail that, even from a distance, I could tell was a snake. This has been a great summer for snakes and I’d caught and played with big blacksnakes, whippey little garters, a hog nosed, a couple of rat snakes and one beautiful corn snake that I wanted to keep. But didn’t. From the profile on the trail I expected a big black.

“Figured you’d want to see this one”, she said as I braked to a stop.

Getting closer, there was no mistaking. The sunlight shining off it’s head named it perfectly. She had heard the stories about all the copperheads I had caught as a boy. Climbing up the sunny rocks overlooking the river or kicking through the driftwood piles on the bends. There was no “why” to it back then but the excuse that I was sixteen or seventeen with more testosterone than brains.

There were belts, hat bands and just plain salted skins oiled and mounted on the garage walls. There were one or two still around when we got together which led to the stories. My rule then was to catch them alive and dispatch them gently, in a way that wouldn’t damage the skin.

That was as good an explanation as any but she knew better. She could hear in the stories the rush of hanging over a rocky outcropping forty feet above the water and yanking a copperhead by it’s tail from a fissure in the rock, dropping it to the ground and being quick enough to snatch it behind the head before it came back on me. To hold it thrashing in my fist-feeling the strength of it’s body and seeing the bare fangs wanting nothing more than to be inside me-got my heart racing like nothing else back then. Truth be told, that one had almost gotten me on the thumb. I had sat in the hot sun, legs dangling over the river, for a good twenty minutes until my heart regained its normal pace.  I kept that skin the longest.

These days I give copperheads wide berth as much as I can. They and I share similar tastes in surroundings and terrain so they are always near. But avoidable. This guy, though, is right here. “You’re not going to pick it up, are you?” she asked noticing me moving toward the snake. She quickly repeated the words as a declaration rather than a question in case the seventeen year old me bubbled to the surface with none of the requisite reflexes or quickness.

“Naw. Just watching him move off into the tall grass. Beautiful, isn’t he…”

“You don’t kill what can’t harm you. And you shouldn’t kill what can harm you unless it’s a threat to you right there….Go around just killing stuff, it’ll eventually come back on you. It throws things out of whack.”

 -from “Strange as this Weather Has Been”; a novel by Ann Pancake

Chloe

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The soft faraway piano tinkling of Karen Porter’s cell phone barely reached her in the warm space where she floated weightless in swirling peach pinks and muted oranges around cottony white clouds. She fancied lifting her head but, not really wanting to leave her sweet quiet place failed, slipping further under the surface. When the phone sang again moments later, it roused Deena Jackson from what had almost been a deep sleep. She started with a snort and clamped her mouth closed-afraid she had been snoring or was about to start. Flat on her back, she lifted her head off the pillows to look up over Karen’s nude body lying face down-head to foot-beside her.

The soft, downy fur, invisible in normal light, ignited like countless tiny candles across Karen’s bottom and legs in the late afternoon sunshine leaking around the blinds. Deena pried her tingling arm from beneath both of them and gently-but not too gently-scraped her fingernails across her friend’s bottom. Karen mewed a muffled complaint.

“Phone”, said Deena, grabbing a thumb and finger-full of soft flesh threatening a pinch.

Karen groaned and reached without lifting her head and pulled the phone to her ear without having yet opened her eyes. “Hullo”, she said trying and failing to sound as if she hadn’t just been pulled out of a deeply satisfying post orgasm nap.

After a few “un-huh’s” and a “what did she do?” Deena felt Karen’s body tense beside her. She had lifted her head and was up on her elbows, blonde hair cascading over her shoulders. Deena wanted to reach up and stroke her hair but was reluctant to peel herself away from Karen’s body-something that was going to happen soon enough given the feel of the one-sided conversation she was hearing.

“Okay”, she said finally. “Thanks Chef. I’m across town. I’ll be over there in twenty….No…that’s fine. I owe you big time. Thanks!”

Karen and Deena had been lovers since college. They were barely friends that one depressing weekend when it seemed the whole freshman dorm had gone home and they were both magnificently homesick. Deena had long ago taken credit for making the first move and knocking on the leggy blonde’s door with a cheap bottle of wine. Karen conceded the point but swore that it was her fingernail sized sliver of hash that relaxed her enough to say “yes” when Deena had asked to kiss her.

However it began, neither could have foreseen that one lonely weekend could birth a love affair that would span Deena’s two tours in Iraq, cross-country separations, Karen’s two broken marriages, countless lovers and other strangers. Whether it was after a week, a month or some longer seemingly interminable time apart, they were each others’ North Star, shining brightly to bring them back on course when life pulled them away.

Their most recent challenge has been Chloe, Karen’s seventeen year old daughter from her first marriage. She had always been a sweet if willful kid who recently seemed to be losing her mind, growing into a sociopath or had been recruited by some terrorist organization with the instruction to drive all adults in her orbit, mad.

Karen sighed as she replaced the phone on the bedside table and pulled herself to her knees stretching backward. Deena took advantage of the positioning to rub her hand over Karen’s backside and down between her legs. “My-O-My”, she said.

“What?” Karen asked, her face buried in the pillow.

“Amazing that your ass looks the same as it did the first time I laid hands on it twenty years ago.”

“That’s sweet. A shame about your eyesight though…”

Karen rose and turned, tossing a leg over, straddling Deena.

“Gotta go. So don’t want to.” She dipped her head and kissed her soft lips gently.

“What did she do?”

“Tried to skip on a bill at Umberto’s. “

“What?”

“Bunch of kids, that asshole she’s dating…”

“She knows you worked there right?”

“Oh yeah. She remembers. It wasn’t that long ago.”

Karen pushed herself reluctantly off the bed with a sigh. “This too shall pass…”

Deena grabbed her by the wrist. “It’s a test, is all.”

“Yeah, but I get the feeling I’m failing.”

“Long way to go sweetheart…you’re not even at halftime…” Then, as Karen moved away from the bed, “Jump in the shower first.”

“Really?”

“Honey, I love it. If I could, I’d bottle the way you smell now and make air fresheners out of it. But baby, you ain’t subtle.”

Karen squeezed her toe and was off to the bathroom. She wouldn’t wet her hair, just rinse what was needed. Her mother used to call it a whore-bath; could be attended to at the sink. She was a real pill, that one.

To Be Continued…

August in Denver

Rainy afternoon coffee on the shitty end of Larimer Street-

The kind of day that always pulled me to brown liquor as a young buck;

Drinking on the boat as we ran the lines-

Slaves to currents and tides then, not weather.

Now, as the rest of the party has repaired elsewhere to

Toast with THC gummies and loaded lollipops,

I sip harsh black coffee less than a mile from

Neal Cassady’s childhood home.

 

Should I have gotten the cream?

Her question threw me.

Still can, but not sure.

Do I usually take cream?

 

The surface of the coffee waves and crests with the

Vibrations of my hand; so I clatter it back down,

Again wiping at the new crescent moon between my

Thumb and forefinger.

My first tattoo-still fresh enough to feel foreign.

 

My dad had an uncle who died on a bar stool.

That meant a lot to him-he told the story often.

He’d also killed five men

But three were in the war so they didn’t count.

The old man never disowned him until his own deathbed;

Far too late.

 

The fucking stories we choose-

The characters we become.

 

I’m getting the cream.

It’s right there-just get it.

Maybe the next one.

Might as well,

This rain will not let up.

 

“…Nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”

-Jack Kerouac, On The Road

© TDR 2017

 

Cathy Cleans on Tuesday – An Evolutionary Tale

I don’t mean birds evolving from dinosaurs or we from apes-not that kind of evolution. I mean the evolution of thought-of ideas-that happens in a much shorter time span, hopefully, than physical evolution. Like, a few years, or a single lifespan instead of over a millennia. See, ten years ago, five even, I would not have known how to deal with this situation. But…OK, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Cathy hasn’t cleaned for us for very long. We knew her tangentially from church years ago and Karen, my wife, became nodding acquaintances when they were both training for a half-marathon a couple of years ago.  But we didn’t even know her last name-just nods and smiles-like so many people whose paths we cross. I stopped by my mother’s place unannounced a few months ago to find her not home-she should have her mail delivered to the casino-but Cathy was inside, cleaning.

Karen had been after me to hire someone to do our place since she went back to work. I always deflected it with the argument that since I work at home the distraction of having someone in the house…the noise. Whatever. I don’t know. We’d had cleaning people before and they had always been wanting.

“Cathy, huh”, Karen smirked when I told her I’d found someone for the house.  “You’ll enjoy that one”, she kidded. She was referring to Cathy’s “uniform”. For a woman well into her thirties she dressed twenty years younger. Cut-off jeans rolled high, T-shirt and sneakers. Never saw her in anything else.

She wasn’t doing the Daisy Duke showy thing-just kind of stuck at sixteen years old.  She had kept up with the running, so she could pull it off legs-wise and she got the house and pool from a short-lived marriage and a small estate from her parents, so this was her life. Clean houses, swim, lay in the sun and stay a teenager for life. Whatever.

The first few months were fine. She wasn’t a distraction-we were cordial-we’d speak here and there. I’d typically make an extra pot of coffee. I mean, it was fine. And I could feel her getting more comfortable too. Cathy doesn’t clean my office. I’m not super paranoid or anything-I just have a lot of things going on at the same time and folders, books and papers are strewn about on every flat surface. I find something in the confusion stimulating. Karen’s written me off as a hopeless mess, but it works for me. The sole concession was that I would have everything off the floor so she could vacuum in there when she did the upstairs.

So last Tuesday, Cathy lets herself in at about 9:00. I took a break to meet her in the kitchen where she was already moving chairs about. “Coffee?” I asked. “No. I’m good”, she said nodding to a big plastic cup with a straw in it that was no doubt energy spiked. A few more niceties then my, “I’ll get out of your hair”, and retreated back upstairs.

About an hour later she was vacuuming the steps and on her way up. That was fine-I had a 10:00 conference call that I usually took wandering through the house or on the back patio, but with Cathy here decided to take a drive. Ear buds firmly inserted, I pantomimed a wave and headed down to my car, hooked up the Bluetooth and drove around the subdivision for a while.

The call went on long enough that I got bored with the driving and pulled back into the driveway after about forty minutes. I wasn’t sneaking in; I was on a conference call-on mute-with earbuds. So I came into the house only half listening to the conversation going on and walked up the back steps. Hadn’t yelled to announce myself but assumed Cathy was upstairs. When I got to the top of the stairs she wasn’t to be seen in either of the front bedrooms but when I walked into my office, there she was-sitting at my desk, absorbed in the contents of a folder.

“Kathy, what the fuck are you doing?” I’m not coarse by nature but realize that there are words that cut through background noise and immediately grab attention. Through my buds I could hear things like “Thanks for joining” and “takeaways” and “action items” that signaled the end of another grinding status meeting.

She was so startled she almost dropped the folder. Her mouth was a perfect O and her eyes, wide and darting, registered surprise and fear in equal parts. I clicked off my phone without offering my own unintelligible “Thanks for joining today, gang”, and pulled my earbuds out.

“I wasn’t…I…” she looked at the folder which she had dropped back onto my desk as if it should explain itself.  She took a deep breath and continued. “I was curious…about retirement and stocks and stuff like that. I only have a few things-mostly left from my Dad and I thought I should be thinking about it for a while…so when I saw the folder, I…”

“Opened it and started snooping.” I said. Her eyes sparkled, filling with tears. “You couldn’t ask me about it? You couldn’t ask me questions. General questions? Did you learn anything going through those papers?’

“No.” She stood before me chastened and embarrassed. This is what I mean about evolution. Ten, five, hell even two years ago she would have been fired and out the door already and I’d have gone on from there.

Karen is super quiet about our D/D relationship and is careful to make sure there aren’t any toys or implements about on the days when Cathy comes over. She, of course, doesn’t know that after she leaves for work I might stage some hints around. Like a hairbrush on the futon in my office. Or a cane discarded and seemingly forgotten on the couch.  A fraternity paddle that we bought at an antique shop hanging on the back of the bedroom door in full view of anyone who might be vacuuming. Nothing overt, but definitely-noticeable and pregnant with meaning for those with a particular bent. And I was never planning anything-just amusing myself.

Cathy had once taken a wooden spoon from the living room coffee table to the crock on the kitchen counter where it “belonged”. Even Karen had laughed at that one since we had legitimately forgotten it. That had convinced Karen about Cathy’s obliviousness to what went on under our roof. Me? I wasn’t so sure.

From where I stood, looking over her shoulder and out the window, she had a view of the driveway. She had to be immensely engrossed in things she didn’t really understand not to have seen me pull up. So I was not tremendously surprised when Cathy, dabbing at her eyes, didn’t say ‘don’t fire me’ or ‘I don’t want to lose you as a client’, but instead, softly, “I don’t want to get spanked.”

I managed my breathing and answered slowly and calmly. “Don’t blame you”, I said. “It hurts.”

“I wasn’t spying”, she sniffed.

“What would you call it?”

“It wasn’t like I was going to tell anyone.”

I wasn’t going to get into the finer points of what “spying” might mean.

“What do you want to have happen?” I asked her.

She seemed to mull over the answer then said, “I don’t want to get spanked”, again.

“I know. You said that. I heard you say it twice. What do you expect to happen?” She said nothing, content to stare holes in the desk before her.

“What would you like me to do?” I asked again, perfectly modulated.

She sniffed, giving a small shrug. I pitied her in her timid confusion but would not step into it. She would have to sort this out herself. I’d live with the silence for as long as it took for her to finally say, “I think you should do whatever you…need to do to make this go away.”

“Then I’m going to spank you.”

She shrugged again, but I heard a sharp breath before she said softly, “OK. I understand. I deserve it.”

I admit that I got a little fluttery here myself. When did this idea start to take shape with her? When she saw the plastic cutting board sticking out from under the bed? (She had slid it all the way under when I checked later-something that could not have been accidental.) The time she found the same ping pong paddle I was reaching for under a throw pillow on the couch? I know she had seen it because she had switched the pillows while cleaning. Which I thought was weird. Was she letting me know she had seen it?

I confess I didn’t care just then about her motivations as I grabbed the paddle off the top of the book shelf. When I turned toward her, instrument in hand, her eyes widened with the reality of what was about to happen. She flicked her hands as if drying them, pushing off nervous energy. Summoned, she came out from behind the desk toward me.

Without being told, she turned away and bent slightly sticking her bottom toward me. “Like this?” she asked pushing back with her hands on her freckled thighs.

I held her by the arm and she jumped when I cupped her bottom.

“We could do it this way”, I said. “But I have a better idea.”

She allowed herself to be led over to the futon where I sat. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t resist when I reached up and unsnapped her shorts. “I knew you were going to do this”, she said.

“Yeah”, I told her. “I don’t spank jeans.”

They fell to the floor and she stepped out of them. Her light green cotton panties clung to her flat belly perfectly outlining her mound of honey hued hair. She was motionless, hands at her side. I watched her face as my thumbs caught in the elastic and pulled her panties slowly down. Her eyes were closed, her bottom lip caught between her teeth and a pink blush spread across her cheeks. With no prodding from me, she settled over my lap in complete and total submission.

I knew this dance.  My kink brings with it an utter and total fascination with woman’s bottoms. That being said, Cathy’s bottom-its ivory color offset by tan lines above and below-was so…normal-as was the rest of her-that what we were doing seemed less carnal than it probably should have.

She and I were engaged in a call-and-response ritual where I would slap her bottom with my open hand and she would yelp, I would slap-she would yelp. We were two adults agreeably intertwined in a dance that wasn’t exactly sexual, but was all about sex. The heat rose and the pink handprints melded into an overall crimson quilt.

When I stopped to take a breath and admire my handiwork, she relaxed and asked back over her shoulder, “Are you going to use the paddle at all?”

“Oh yeah. Just wanted to make sure you’re ready for it. And don’t worry, Karen says my hand hurts worse than this paddle.”

The sound of wood on tender skin was different as was her reaction. If it was possible to settle into a comfort zone during a spanking, she had. The paddle brought her out of it. Wriggles became more of a hip roll as she absorbed swat after swat. After about ten, she blurted out, “Karen’s lying to you!” and fairly howled when I gave her what would be the last full-on swat on her right cheek.

“You’re done…” I said quietly allowing my hand to rest on her very hot bottom.

“Wow…” she said in something approaching wonder.

“Wow, indeed.” I rubbed her backside gently as she softened and fell into slow breathing. I stroked her cheeks, then down her thighs, then back up, sliding between her legs almost to the top where they met. But not quite.

“I don’t want to do anything else.”

“That’s fine. Me neither really.”

“That was enough.”

“That was plenty.”

“Do you want to get up?”

“Not yet. Is that OK?”

“That’s fine.”

“Thanks”, she said turning her head away and settling it onto the pillow.

The Norwegians – Part 6

(Continued from The Norwegians – Part 5)

When she heard the click of a door closing behind them Jessica sat bolt upright. “Does she live here?” she asked wide-eyed.

Angie was distracted by the girl’s round breasts jumping as the breathed the words. Her nipples had softened from the tiny bullets they were earlier which made them even more succulent. All she wanted to do was put one of them in her mouth and Angie usually got exactly what she wanted. But, with some effort, she held back in a rare display of self-control.

“No-she stays here from time to time.” Her blonde locks flicked lightly as she nodded in the direction Toni had left. “In the guest room. One of them anyway.”

Jessica relaxed a little. “Are you guys….” She stuck on the word and shuffled the cards looking for the right one. Angie moved imperceptibly closer drawn at the moment by the soft skin between Jess’ firm round girls. She could almost feel the cleavage with her mind’s tongue.

“Lovers?”

“I was gonna say ‘together’….”

“That’s a nothing word-what’s that even mean?”

Impulsively Jessica reached over and poked Angie in the arm. “You know what I mean.”

“Poking now, are we?” Angie in turn reached out and poked her in the arm. Then Jessica, then Angie again-but before Jessica could reach across again, she saw the fire in the blonde’s eyes and the direction of her gaze. She dropped her defenses, if that’s what you can call the threat of an aggravated poke in the arm, and leaned backward slightly-offering.

Angie gently touched her left breast and softly nudged the nipple with her thumb. It stiffened immediately. Jess let the hand loll there and closed her eyes enjoying the touch.

“So you guys….” Jess began.

“Jesus” Angie sighed, feigning aggravation. “I’ve known her since I was six”, she answered without answering the question.

“Huh” said Jessica. “At least she grew since then”.

“Oh-a short joke!”

Angie released her breast and poked her in the arm again, an attack that was answered in kind. They were giggling like schoolgirls in a pillow fight until Angie snatched Jessica’s nipple again-this time with a twinkle in her eyes that foretold something more than a fondle.

“You rat!”

“Rat? Who says Rat?”

“Don’t. You. Do. It”, Jessica said looking down at the fingers pinching her nipple.

“Or what?”

“You have a bottom made for spanking, girl.”

Their eyes met and in an instant settled into an understanding that there was no need to rush. What had begun this afternoon would continue.

“Ahhh…” Angie released the nipple. “Ok for now, then. Are you hungry?”

“I can tell you are.”

“For FOOD.”

“Starved.”

“Go jump in the shower-or at least wipe my cum off your face.” Jessica’s hand leapt to her face. “Just kidding-leave it. Or I’ll lick it off.”

Jessica unwound her legs and stood. “Give me ten minutes”, she said before impulsively reaching down to kiss Angie on the cheek. She watched her go seeing no evidence of the spanking but a thin wrinkle across her butt from the seam of the couch. She imagined running her tongue over it.

 

(To Be Continued…)