Monday, 27 May 2019

Thousand


Placing the coffee cup onto the kitchen table, she feels. The emotion, the stress, finally allowing herself a few moments to break down. Moving the chair, she sits, placing a hand onto her forehead, relishing this moment that allows the tears to appear. Whispering to herself, telling herself that everything will be okay, she knows that she cannot possibly stop.


Life, her life, belongs to the daily grind and repetition. Clean, cook, dress the small monsters, all while juggling every second to find a breathing space. There are seldom breaks within her life. No fancy holidays, no realistic escape, but that didn't bear thinking about. Despite the stress, these moments, she loved them with all of her very heart, soul and mind. It would be unthinkable to be anywhere, for long, without them.

She feared for their future, living in the present world, or however it would change when they first started their own journey into the wild. She knew that there would come a time when they’d no longer seek her advice, despite hardly listening to what she said now, she relished the moments of laughter, smiles, hugs and more.

A tear fell onto the floor, her mind instantly reminding her that it needed to be cleaned, each and every single day. She’d ask them to help but they’d probably make more mess, while having so much fun, that she’d have to clean it again anyway. No fortune, no dream, would forsake the moments that they’d shared. She knew that she wanted more for them, much more, but her hands could only do what they did. They at least had this rented space, a place to call home, a sanctuary for the daily madness to be contained.

She brushed her eyes, taking a quick sip of the coffee, wondering how she survived. She simply did what she did, the only thing she’d known for the longest of times. Alone, surrounded by love, the contradiction staring her in the face each day of the week. All she’d ever wanted, when all of the other dreams were carefully folded and placed into the drawers of her mind, was a family. A neat, tidy, crazy, fun filled and love-based family. The two becoming three, then four and, heaven forbid, maybe even five. The ideals taught from all of the silver screened films of her youth, suddenly no longer being a realistic endeavour.

They’d failed her, she’d failed herself, replacing each of them with a carbon copy while hoping for a different outcome. Was it them, was it us, was it just the fate of things to be? She didn't know. But that was okay, it was accepted, while she continued with the day despite wanting another adult to share her thoughts with, fall asleep upon a shoulder and, for once, one of them to stay for more than a week.

She wore all of the hats imaginable. The nurse, the doctor, the psychiatrist, the problem solver, the maths expert and, of course, the Mother. She’d often imagine being that young girl again, the freedom she never knew she had, all looking into her joy filled eyes from the Barbie dolls of the world. Maybe she’d pick action man, the one with the moveable eyes and, at that point, he’d actually be the man that he said he would be.

Taking a further sip from the coffee cup, enjoying the taste as it warmed her soul, she smiled. She did, indeed, wear a thousand caps, had a hundred differing names, as well as smiling at least ten times a day at the daft things they’d get up to. She regretted nothing, would never feel that way, no matter which tear embraced her emotions on whatever day she felt the need. This was her gang, the best gang, with a special invitation for only the best.

Leaning back into the chair, she closed her eyes, listening to their thundering feet run along the corridor. They were on their way. She, again, smiled and opened her eyes to look down at the coffee. She was a woman, a Mother, which meant that within her sat the souls of a thousand different women. Together, working as one, she knew that she could accomplish anything and that thought, that realisation, filled her with the strength of a thousand smiles.




Originally written 24.01.2019.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Eat


Ezmi stood in the middle of the room, looking at him, as he slowly paced around her. She’d seen him, earlier in the night, knowing him to be the one. She enjoyed that late night snack, but this, was going to be something special. She could smell his beautiful body from where she stood, feel his skin against her tongue, tasting him upon her. She was going to enjoy every single second.


Slowly, seductively, she reached behind her to pull down the zip that held her dress against her. He smiled, stopping, to face her.  She loved the tease, seeing them all worked up, wondering what she would be like. She adored and embraced all of it as, truthfully, she just loved to play with them.

The dress fell from her body, pushed away by her leg, as she removed her lingerie. Naked, exposed, the purity of skin displayed for him to see, feel and have. She could see his entire body respond, sensing his heart racing, the life blood pumping, ensuring the correct response.

“Now you,” she said, knowing that he would surely comply to such a request. If you were going to play, then you had to play along. This was, and always would be, her rules. He threw his clothes to the side, a hurried spectacle, ending with him also being naked. Her eyes looked him up and down, taking in what he had to offer her. He was spectacular. Strong, defined, shaped just the way she liked and, right now, she just wanted to bite him.

She loved the way men tasted. She liked them to be taut, while supple, able to satisfy her in all the required ways. This here, would more than do to reach such a place. She motioned for him to come to her, to which he smiled and closed the distance between them. He smelled so good. As he stood in front of her, she looked up, as he leaned forward, kissing her lips. He was wanton, his eagerness apparent, his desire eventually levelling to a place where they kissed in unison. She held him against her, her body feeling his strong hands. He lifted her from the ground, her legs wrapping around him, holding him closer. She could hear his heart pounding against his chest, as she licked a small section of his neck.

She’d kissed many a man, wanted a few, tasted a couple but this at this second, was glorious. She closed her eyes as his lips reached her neck. She loved the way they felt, within the moment and seconds. She held his back, the strength calling her to let go of her pretence. Not yet. A few more seconds. She enjoyed this, despite the thirst calling her to have him straight away. There were manners to consider, the correct way of doing things.

She wanted to ensure that he was suitably enticed, ready for what she would take from him. He moaned a little, as she moved her hips against him. She knew what they wanted, needed when they were brought to their knees. She’d laugh, if the moment allowed her to do so, but she also had desires that needed to be sedated. Feeling him rise that little bit further, knowing that he was suitably prepared, she bit his shoulder. He took the pain, his face confused, but quickly changing to a smile as he saw his own blood against her teeth.

“Is this what you want?” he asked, realising that she obviously liked to inflict a small amount of pain.

“I want all of you, every single last scrap!”

His soft eyes looked at her and, she knew, she had him. She smiled, as he looked into her eyes. He watched as her cuspids increased in size, not quite sure what to do until, a second later, she bit his face. The blood splattered against her as he screamed, his arms letting go. Her legs wrapped around him even tighter, with a vice like grip. She bit his neck, her hands digging into his back. He tried to rip her from him, but it was no use. The pain embraced his mind, as he stumbled, falling to the ground.

She continued to bite him, her hands digging into the exposed flesh, covering her with his blood. She enjoyed all of this, the dance, the silly smiles and flirting. She loved the weekend, the dancing, drinking and this. She loved this. After a night of fun, this was what a girl needed. She loved take-out as, after all, a girl had to eat.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Vessel


“Mr. Hamilton, may I suggest the deluxe package. Upon your passing your home will, as you’re aware, be handed to the government as per the 2024 ruling.”


Hamilton grinded his false teeth together, liking the very odd noise, despite the current situation. He’d wanted to escape his life, for the longest time, with this being a sensible option. The smartly dressed sales representative continued, “The deluxe option includes unlimited recharging, unlimited drone repair, out of area recovery, charge station backup, vocal processing unit, still capture, drone re-location, as well as a whole host of extras!”

The salesman stopped, smiling, knowing that Hamilton had little choice. With one final effort, the sales guy added one last statement, “Which means that you can watch your family grow, while exploring seventy five percent of the world.”

It was tempting, the immortality of it all. He didn't wish to die, to leave the world behind, but some part of him thought that the entire idea was a selfish one. He knew that everyone had their time, a place within the world and existence of things, which meant that transferring his consciousness and memories seemed alien to him. He’d spoken with friends, who’d opted for such an idea, with two of them eventually deciding to be erased.

A life without a body. A life where he could travel the world, see everything in front of him, while leaving his frail body behind. He could explore all that needed to be explored. Experience places he’d never seen, as an able-bodied man. The adventure of it all. The golden deluxe opportunity to finally escape. He could hardly walk, let alone stand. At the age of 87, the gift of life extending as far as it could, it was now or never.

Hamilton nodded, coughing twice, recalling that a few people had been driven insane at the eventual realisation that they could no longer touch, taste, or even feel. It was hardly a consolation as he’d lost sensation in his fingertips the year previous, not kissed a woman in twenty years, let alone felt any emotion for a long time.

“What model will I be?” he asked, barely able to see, his eyesight nearly gone. His shaking hand pushed his glasses up the ridge of his nose, as the salesman pressed a button. From the desk rose a glass cube and, inside, sat the drone.  It looked stylish, all white, four rotor blades and quite a large camera at the front.

“This is the S8500 model. With a maximum range, before re-charging, of two hundred and seventy miles. Maximum speed of seventy miles an hour. The optics far surpass the limits of the human eye which ensures supreme clarity unlike anything you've ever seen, or experienced. The auditory hardware is, also, far superior to the human system with quad microphones. Weatherproof, sand proof, with a depth of ten metres when submerged.”

Hamilton smiled, a barely noticeable smile, knowing that he’d made his choice. He had no children, no family that remained, with his friends long gone or droned. As a youngster he’d travelled to many, many destinations and now he could experience them all again. The memories, those moments that made him smile, all there for the taking. He could, also, video conference with the few remaining people that cared. It was a chance he could not escape.

“What about my soul, young man?”

“Mr. Hamilton, you've probably read that humans do not have a soul. We are but the experiences and learned moments of our lives. The ones and zeros. The soul, if anything, is our mind!" Hamilton tutted, remembering the days where faith and hope meant something. Science now ruled the world but, without faith in something, there seemed to be no point.

“All we require is your thumb to be placed onto this pad and, then, we can begin the procedure.”

Hamilton leaned forward, hand still shaking, pressing his thumb to the pad. Despite the thought of being in a cold, mechanical construction, he saw this in simple terms as, at this moment, he was trading a broken body, for a new type of vessel. A chance to start an entirely new life and, as he closed his eyes, he embraced the chance to explore again.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Confused


She stirred her drink, waiting, knowing that arriving very early had benefits as well as the current negatives. Her mind, for one, sometimes wished to taunt and torture her. If she could, if it were possible, she’d probably remove her brain and transplant a new one. That, of course, wasn't possible so here she remained. Her mind, wandering, recalling the many days of being beautiful. As a young child the word beautiful, amongst others, seemed to be the word she’d hear over and over again. Strangers, family, some of her young friends and, of course, her doting parents.


It was wonderful, amazing, with her smile keeping her warm as she slept. As she grew, with the same word resounding in her ears, she attended higher education and new words started to appear. She was called ugly, skinny, sometimes fat, which seemed odd as she couldn't possibly be both at the same time. The boys, of course, liked her. They’d sometimes say the same thing, while a few scolded her for not doing something, this or that, amongst other moments. The confusion of emotional suffering crept forward.

As she grew, into the world, she stopped hearing the word and became contented with whom she had become. She didn't think that she was overly special, stunningly beautiful, or above anyone else. Grounded, realising her strengths and weaknesses, which levelled the way she thought. She did, of course, sometimes miss the words of her younger years.

Returning to the present, she sipped her drink, denying the urge to drink everything in one big gulp. ‘It wouldn't do if he arrived and I were already drunk’, she thought. It was tempting. Her thoughts once again returned to the men that had tried to define her, or place her into a box of their own definition.

She often found it odd that, due to a specific hair style, or colour, that she had to be within a certain bracket. Defined, controlled, segmented into something or a place that she didn't wish to belong. She’d laugh, if they weren't such egotistical idiots.  Some of them always had to be better than her, controlling her, afraid of the fact that she did attract other men or was born with a face that looked pleasing. If she were honest, she was sick to death of that type of definition. The defined role that would never describe her actual thoughts, desires and needs within her world.

Shaking her head, trying to relax, she shifted her thoughts to this new man. Another adventure, another attempt at a safe haven. All she wanted was transparency, honesty, for a guy to actually not try to be anything more than what he was. He, at least, did seem different. He’d first bumped into her, of all places, at a supermarket. She’d rushed her hair, thrown something on, realising that an urgent trip had to be completed. He said that, upon seeing her for the first time, he’d stopped. His mind emptied, his legs didn't move and he couldn't speak. That, to her, was beautiful. An honest moment. She smiled. A smile that she could feel. He’d actually said one word, if you’d call it a word, which was ‘unnuuurrr’.  She’d taken him by such surprise that his thoughts had literally crashed.

This moment warmed her, the way a gentle, tender affection should warm. After that the rest was history. He most certainly respected her, in the way that he spoke, complimented, held her hand and, most certainly, the way he kissed.

She remembered the way that her parents used to look at her, with such innocence and love. All they could see was their love looking back at them. It was, as the word stated, beautiful. This new man, in all his honesty, didn't confuse her. When he spoke, she believed the words arriving from his mouth. All the disgusting, vile, pretentious spiel from the years, seemed to no longer matter. For all the times that someone had told her that she wasn't beautiful, or pushed her away, left, or looked down upon her, this was all so different. She didn't need his words. She didn't require the justification of any relationship, but the innocence of things, that feeling of being loved as a child, was something that she didn't realise that she missed.

She looked up, from her drink, to see him enter the restaurant. Smartly dressed, crisp shirt as usual, his eyes finding hers and his smile lighting her room. He was beautiful, in so many differing ways. He was the man to see within her waking dreams and, for once in such a long time, words such as beautiful, moments where kisses didn't mean anything but affection, meant that she no longer felt confused.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Text


She opened the brightly coloured box, excited, happy with her decision to finally change her ancient phone. She’d be informed that the difference would be amazing, fantastic, despite not really needing such new tech other than to message and send smile filled emoticons. It was time, she knew, seeing as the battery in her old model no longer lasted more than five hours.


She quickly viewed the instructions, placing them back into the box, keeping everything where it should be in the event that she later sold the phone. Pressing the small pin into the side of the phone, the tiny tray appeared and gently, she placed the sim and memory card inside. A few seconds later, after admiring the large screen, she held the power button. After a few seconds, she wondered if it wasn't working or needed a charge. Just as the doubt appeared, the vibrating part of the phone signalled that everything was perfectly fine. The screen lit, the logo appeared and then, she was all good to go.

Changing the date, then the time, her finger hovered over the last question. She could configure the phone as a new phone or, as a backup had been found, she could simply restore to that. Normally she wouldn't bother but, on this occasion, it seemed sensible to restore. She’d actually prefer to do that, instead of installing all of her random apps, that she wasn't sure that she needed.

She smiled at the amount of times she’d switched off the notifications. Each day, after an update, she’d have to slowly hunt the silly options that seemed to taunt her peace and quiet. If she could have a phone without the struggle, she’d certainly buy that model.

The restore finished, the screen turning black, with that ever-familiar logo appearing once again. Finally, with seemingly little effort, or annoyance, she was ready to log into her favourite social media. She flicked the settings menu into view, pressing the usual wireless notifier, logging into the access point just across from where she was sitting. Already, just by opening a few menus, it did seem so much faster. This was, of course, before she knew that there would be many, many updates to install.

Once connected, the carrier also appearing, she noticed a text arriving. A smile appeared across her face, knowing that it was probably one of her friends that still used such a service. She pressed the sms icon, opening the text messages. Her eyes opened a little wider, realising that she’d not only restored her apps, but many, many text messages. She scrolled, the threads filling three screens worth of space. She’d actually forgotten most of them, time ensuring that memories faded.

Scrolling back to the top, just under the first screen, she stopped and saw his name. That name. It had been four years since she’d spoken with him, let alone texted. He was one of the few that she let go. That person that she should have kept but decided not to do so. She pressed the text and the thread appeared on the screen. He was lovely, charming, despite the situation never quite happening. She wasn't ready, wasn't aware enough, at that time, of what she could have had. As her thoughts flew through her mind, slowly scrolling whilst reading a few of the messages, she could see his calm demeanour trying to work through the misunderstandings.

She knew, even back then, that texting and email was never the best medium for romantic involvement. Far too easy for miss-communication. Far too quick to judge and select words to find issue with. As she read, she could feel her anger all the years previous, towards him, for nothing more than trying to show her that he cared. At that point in her life she was weary, tired, expecting every single man to ask for the same thing, to say the same words. He was different, gentle, yet honest.  The qualities that she, now, knew that she wanted. Needed. Desired after all of the tired and lame messages from men. He was genuine but, at that point, all she could see was another man doing what they did.

She shook her head, knowing that she’d thankfully changed to see things a little differently. She pressed the back indicator, then pressed a finger over his thread. As she lifted her finger, the options appeared. She looked at the bin, wondering if she should simply forget this moment.
A few thoughts flew through her mind, wondering, realising that maybe nothing was too late in her life. She, once again, pressed back and re-opened his thread. Pressing the entry box, she started to type,

‘Hello, you might not have me as a contact any more, but I've had a new phone and I thought that I’d say hello. It’s the girl that spilt the shake down your shirt. Hope you’re okay x’

She pressed send and smiled. She knew that you had to take your chances within the world, as you never truly knew how many you had left. He might now be married, finally finding someone that would hold his honesty close to them, realising what they had. She put the box contents away, being extra tidy, as the phone beeped. Her heart skipped just a little, hoping that it was him.

She pressed the text icon, then the newly arrived message. Her eyes read the words, as her heart nearly stopped and emotions cried.

‘Hello. I’m afraid that Danny passed away a year ago. This is his Stepmother. I do recall Dan mentioning you a few times. He was very sad that it didn't work out between the two of you. I hope you’re okay. Take care.’

She placed the phone onto the desk in front of her, not quite knowing what to do, or think. He was truthfully such an amazing guy, that one in a million, but on the day that he’d asked for that third date, that one more chance, she simply did not send that text.


200th


Samuel sat on the side of the bed, smiling, laughing to himself, at the things that his Grandfather said. His Mother, if she were still around to hear such things, would shake her head. He was, this man, the most charming, boisterous, crazy man that he’d ever had the luck to meet. Thankfully, they were related, which meant that he could witness such stories from the very source of knowledge, upon each and every single visit.


“You see,” said Derek, starting another rant of wisdom, “A woman wants a man to keep her up most of the night, for the right reasons, at the start, but then hold her until she sleeps safely!” Coughing, whilst brushing his hair, Derek slowly moved the sheets aside. Samuel moved to help but was swiftly wafted away, by an old shaking hand. Derek was not one for help, unless required, but Samuel still had to try.

“Did I ever tell you how many women I've loved, young man?” asked Derek, probably knowing that Samuel knew the answer. Nevertheless, he did like to brag a little, at every single opportunity.

“No Grandfather, but please feel free to tell me again!”

“You’re not too young to be clipped around the ear!”

Samuel laughed, knowing that Derek was actually serious, as he jumped from the bed to allow his Grandfather to move. “I've loved one hundred and ninety-nine times! Your Grandmother was the hundredth, and we know how that turned out!”

“We do Grandfather, with tears, loss and my Mother being brought up by you!”

“That’s right Boy, that’s right. I cried for nearly a year. Terrible time!”

Samuel watched as Derek, wearing his only suit, moved from the bed towards the bathroom. He was worried, as always, about his Grandfather’s health, but he needn't worry as he seemed to be as fit as a fiddle.

“A woman gets sick of a man's bull, fast, whilst a man that doesn't have to be asked to do what he should do, is the one she'll want to hold on to!”

Derek was full of quotes, thoughts, simply escaping from his mind. Samuel loved them, every single one, with many of them forming who he’d become over the years. It wasn't difficult to treat another in the way they should be treated, but that still didn't mean that people failed day after day.

Samuel smiled as Derek continued to comb the few strands of hair that remained, “It's how you use your brain, not how clever or big it is. The same can be said for the thing between your legs!”

“Definitely, Grandfather!”

Derek turned, slightly, looking at Samuel with the comb still resting upon his head, “Make her cry, as often as you can, as many times as you can find, with tears of love. Any other type is a crime that will never be forgotten!”

The door opened, with a care attendant appearing, “How’s he doing?” she asked with a great big smile across her face.

“He’s okay, still getting ready!” replied Samuel. The Attendant ruffled her nose, seemingly loving every second of the events about to take place. “Will you be ready soon, Grandfather?”  The comb moved, continued to move for another few seconds, before being placed back into the cabinet. He was ready, finally. The day would be a fantastic day no matter what happened.

Derek turned, walking slowly from the bathroom, “You have one chance with a woman, and you'll know when you've lost the best woman you've ever known, after she's given you ten of those single chances!”

Derek coughed again, a quick cough, as he sniffed air into his nose. Breathing out, slowly, composing himself, relaxing, preparing for the next chapter of his exciting life. He looked at Samuel, a serious look, a deep and knowing look, as he again imparted his words of wisdom, “If you're not holding her hand with care and attention, she'll find someone else to do it for her!”

Samuel nodded, knowing this to be a fact of life, one of the essentials. Derek smiled, showing the love within his eyes for his last remaining life blood. He walked across the small distance, placing his hand onto the side of Samuel’s face, holding the moment within his heart, “You don't need to love 200 women, as you can love 400, even a thousand. It's the one that counts. That single one, that holds you in a way that no other can ever replace. It always has been, always will be!”

Derek gently removed his hand and mildly slapped Samuel’s face! They both laughed, “Son, I've loved one hundred and ninety-nine women in my life, so please help me marry the 200th most beautiful woman I can hardly even see!”

Samuel, standing, knew that Edna would be a very, very lucky lady.


Thursday, 9 May 2019

Half


A single tear fell from her cheek. Falling, embracing, holding some of her hopes and dreams. She didn't wish to cry, want to feel the way she currently did, but this was where life had taken her and there was no escape, no reprieve, no specific way to abandon the fear rising within.


As a young woman her Mother, her beautiful strong Mother, had envisioned a Daughter that would conquer the world. A Daughter that would hold the world within one hand and push away the wranglings of disreputable men. Mother knew best. She’d been there, done all of the same things she herself had managed to find herself within. The late nights of worry, the pain and soul giving of creating children, the loss of that Father leaving, with many, many more nights ahead.

No matter, no disconcert, just deep longing emotional aching remained. No words could help, no moments could hinder, even if her Mother were here at this very second. She wished to find some solace, any solitude that might remove one pain for another, but that was not be. Not on this day. Maybe not even a month from now.

There were moments, for all of us, where life seemed to take a turn for the better. A place where the path seemed clear. She knew that she should never hold a hand too tight, lest it try to find freedom, but the hand in question seemed to fit in a way she’d never known. The touch of another hand, to some, would seem like the simplest moment within a life, but within this moment rested a spark.

She’d heard about such a thing, such a place that sat sleeping within each of us, but until that day, the day, it all seemed to be so very, very silly. She smiled, for a brief moment, knowing that maybe she’d loved that little bit too much. Shaking her head, allowing the thoughts to invade her very blood, she knew that love should know no other way. No other fashion. No other feeling. Be all, give all, or become nothing at all.

She closed her eyes, still feeling his skin against hers, the kisses upon her neck. He enabled her to feel so much. The echoes and motions they’d created together, haunting, teasing her will and resolve. More tears rose to the surface, no longer allowing her balance to remain neutral. This, all of this, should never have happened to her, should never have been allowed to pass. She needed no permission to love, as her heart was the most majestically vibrant heart a woman could give, but to hurt simply wasn't permitted.

She’d scream, she’d let herself destroy her own healing, the wounds of life finally finding their way to the surface, but that was for another time. Right now, with the tears upon her skin, it was time to ache, to clench her fists, to deny, to say the word ‘no’ a thousand times, surrendering to the notion that this simply wasn't true. This hour was for her, for her heart to cry a thousand memories. This minute, the next sixty seconds, were the seconds that decided if her heart shattered into a thousand shards or, just maybe, cracked in two.

Either way, whichever notion she wanted to deny, one of them would become true. She knew that she would heal, but not today. She knew that she would survive, but not in the way she was. She knew, she damn well knew, that she would love again. She’d never deny herself that, ever. She wouldn't lie to her heart. She’d be true. She’d say the words, she’d break even further, admitting that it would always take two to break a heart. Her sorrow, the mourning of solitude, would be all she would know.

Wiping the tears away, holding her hand over her eyes, her lips trembling, she started saying the kind words of life. There could only be one way forward, a place to which she could reach for. Hold on for. Life was life. The agape love of purity being something that she would always strive for, caress within her heart, knowing that loving someone without selfishness meant being happy to see them with another. It was inevitable. It was honest. The purest form of honesty. Her honesty. But, until that moment, that final realisation and smile upon her face, she would face this. She would embrace every second. Knowing, breaking, into that half of a person.



Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Strong


His fist hit the bag, sweat dripping from his body, never wanting to stop despite his lungs and energy saying otherwise. Soon, the very next day, he’d be leaving this place for a while. Every nuance, every shadow cast across every wall and floor, never to be seen again after this very day. He didn't want to go, but that was his duty and the rest was all just words.


Each strike echoed through the room, his large muscular frame pounding away, again and again, whilst his mind simply wished to ignore the decisions that were often made for him. This was his life, the life that he’d chosen, many, many years previous. He would change the course of life, his life, but that would be decided for him once this tour was over and done with.

Standing there, body glistening as the sunshine invaded the entire area from outside, he breathed in and out. Calming. Resting. Focusing his energy levels to try and throw a few more kicks into the routine. If the bag in front of him were a man, truthfully, he’d pull the man apart and not stop until there was nothing standing in front of him. All that strength, that power, focused and trained to an inch of his life.

Behind him a door opened, the noise interrupting his thoughts and breathing. Turning, his face a solemn view for whomever had decided to visit, quickly changed whatever expression he had, to a smile. She was here. She’d arrived, finally, after travelling for over 8 hours just to say a few words before he had to leave. He’d never known such devotion, ever, in his entire life and he truthfully wasn't even sure that he should deserve such a woman.

She flung her arms into the air as she headed straight for him, despite his sweat covered body, “Hang on, I'm covered in…” She didn't care. She never would. He was, to her, the most loyal man she’d ever met. He’d never asked her for anything, other than maybe her time, a few kisses here and there, along with the usual thing that men enjoyed. This was hardly a chore, especially when he looked and felt the way he did.

Lifting her from her feet, with ease, she wrapped herself around him, squeezing as tightly as she could, showing that she’d missed him so very, very much. His arms, virtually covering her, holding her against him, felt her body. She was perfect. Everything. More than everything. She’d found him at the worst of times, at a time where he simply didn't know what to do with his life or how to continue. He was that loyal fool, the one that would stand next to his woman until his dying breath, yet he was rejected and abandoned for another. He wasn't perfect, as he knew that men seldom were, but he tried. He damn well tried.

“I missed you so much!” she said as he finally let go. She stood on her toes as he leant over to kiss him over and over again. Finally able to speak, with a smile that could light any room, he returned her words,

“I missed you too!”

The moment, being all that little bit too much, got the better of her. A few tears appeared, falling along her beautiful face, as his hand gently rested against her cheek. He hated to see her cry. He was supposed to always make her happy, at all times, his inner code stating that as fact and never fiction. He’d made that promise, on the very first night they’d met,

“Remember that night, when we met?”

She brushed away her tears, as her voice spoke through the emotions, “I do, you were drowning your sorrows over some stupid woman that had let you go!”

“Aye, I was. Then you came over and asked me why I looked sad.”

“You looked so cute, all big and buff, this mighty mountain of a man, sitting there, nearly crying with your eyes all red!”

They both laughed, as he rested his forehead against hers, “Yeah, but I made you a promise, didn't I!”
“You did. Transparency, you said, that you’d never lie and that you wouldn't sleep with me despite someone having to take you home!”

He smiled, remembering that night like it was yesterday, “…and I didn't sleep with you!”

“Until the next morning!” she giggled, recalling a few moments from that event.

He laughed, a great big hearty laugh, as he knew, all the way back then, that the world worked in mysterious ways.

“What if you don’t come back?” she said, tears once again returning to her eyes. He knew that it was a possibility, as with all things that regarded fate as being the deciding factor, but he knew that he would do everything he could to return to her, no matter the state or circumstance.

“I will return. I've never lied to you. Never. I never will!”

She placed her head against his chest, not wishing to let him go, “I'm not strong enough!”

He laughed again, lifting her chin, gently, bringing her eyes to his, “You, of all people, saying that you’re not strong? You’re the strongest person I know. I might be strong in strength, this body, but I tell you now, woman, that I'm nothing without you. I'm the weakest man alive when I'm standing next to you, but when I hold your hand, I feel like I can do anything!”

She smiled, somehow, somewhere within, knowing that he was speaking the truth. She’d faced hardship, seen it all, done it all, been through it all, yet this person in front of her made her change her view of the world. There was truth, there could be honesty, there would be more, and strength was far, far more than physical.

“Promise me something, “ he said as he kissed her again, “promise me that you’ll be strong! Promise me that you’ll be the person that I know you are. No matter where I am, I’ll feel that strength and I’ll come back to you. Promise?”

“I promise to be strong!”

He smiled, his own eyes starting to feel the tears rise within him. He knew, he damn well knew, that no matter what happened, she would always be the stronger one. For that, amongst everything else she brought to him, he would love her with all his strength until the day he died.


Monday, 6 May 2019

Transparency


He smiled, as his head slightly leaned to his right side, flirting in a manner that he was more than accustomed to. He loved to flirt, but strictly with a person that deserved that attention. He’d often state that he, literally, wanted to love everyone, within defined criteria, knowing that the real affection would only ever be for a select few.

Instinctively her head also moved ever so slightly to her right side, adjusting her hair as she did so. His eyes tried to deny his thoughts but, saying that, he really adored a woman’s hair. It called to him, on some specific level that he’d barely thought about. Some things were best left alone or, alternatively, just enjoyed for what they are. Beauty, to someone such as himself, could be found in all places and all things. She noticed his eyes daring to break their connection with hers, enjoying his gaze upon her.


He sipped the usual drink of choice, knowing that as he moved his attention away from her, she’d look at him. Really look at him. He wasn't the be all, the end all, of anything in particular, but he knew that he could be interesting. A quandary of sorts, that person that you’d like to spend more time with. He knew that he had an aura, a fun, enticing type of personality, but that was what he was told. Within his own mind he felt differently. There was calm, a sea of endless attention for the right person, held back by the doubts and years of struggle. He was and always would be, just another person that either stayed or vanished without trace.

Returning the drink, to the coaster, he smiled as he leaned forward, placing his elbows onto the table. She also leaned forward, removing the distance between them, with just enough in between to make things interesting. “Do you think that the world is black and white?” he asked with that assured smile of his. No matter the answer she gave, he knew that he would always respect that answer even if his own views were different. Neither of them correct, neither wrong, with the truth always somewhere in between.

“I've never really thought about it before. Maybe some things are grey, and some things are black and white. What about you?”

He looked into her sparkling eyes, the eyes that had been calling him since the moment she walked into the room. He really did like her, her wit, her laugh, as well as the damn sexy outfit that she was wearing. Conservative, styled, yet the hint of her skin appearing in all the right places. He, realistically, simply wished to lean forward and kiss her. He would, he’d dare himself, but that wouldn't do at this point in the conversation.

“I believe that, “ he stopped, for a second as he took another sip of his drink, quickly returning to the subject at hand, “things are transparent. Or, at least, they should be. The white and black meeting in the middle to merge into something clear, honest, cutting out all of the rubbish in life.”

She smiled, her eyebrows lifting slightly, as she gulped down a little bit of wine. “Amen to that. Honesty would be good!” He smiled and nodded, thankfully knowing that they were both on the same page,

“Just think of the things we miss whilst sat up above on a high throne, or down in the gutter lying through our teeth!”

“What do you want?” she asked, her eyes betraying her honesty to the world. He knew what she was asking, knew how the play ended, or started, which meant that it was time to be transparent. He lent forward that little bit extra, his lips just in front of hers. He didn't want to simply kiss her, as that would be an invasion of her privacy, but he did wish to push things as that was his way. Cheeky, naughty, that spice required within every single dish, cold or served ever so hot.

He could feel her breath against his skin, within that second that seemed to last an age of moments. She didn't move away, she didn't hesitate to take her eyes from his, which meant that he now only had one option. He kissed her, gently, with hardly any pressure, ensuring that she knew she’d been kissed in the appropriate way. He knew that her heart would have spiked, adrenaline racing, skin slightly flush at the thought of his action.

“That is what I want. Honesty, transparency, cutting out all of the angst, suffering, the past events and all else, to get here, right now, to make each day the only day that counts. Would that be okay?”

She nodded, her red lips smiling, knowing that this, this right here, would be different.

“Transparency!” she replied, as she nodded, knowing that finally, someone would actually tell the truth.

Click to Listen

Chameleon


Samuel handed the extended battery to Greg who, in return, nodded. Neither of them wanted to say anything as they’d been in this god forsaken jungle for five months and right about now, it was all stretching a little too thin. They kept up the pretence, the smiling, the nodding, with both wanting to return to normality sooner rather than later.


Greg checked each camera’s battery, making sure, as they hoped that the tribe’s people around them would finally show them what they’d travelled for. They’d heard rumours, stories from centuries previous and this place, right now, was the closest they’d managed to find any shred of truth.

They’d arrived, the five months previous, to a warm welcome despite Greg spraining his ankle and Samuel suffering from a slight fever. They’d travelled through the thick of it, before, but this trip pushed them a little bit too much. Fifty miles through dense forest was more than enough for any man. They’d both recovered despite being fed meals that initially made them ill. Strangely enough, after their bodies adjusted, they’d both felt more alert than they’d ever felt before. They’d joked that their bodies were being subjected to healthy food which was, possibly, the first time for something like that.

Samuel was an explorer, of sorts, when his day job allowed. In this case he’d left that life behind, on this glorious adventure, which also meant that Greg had left his life behind as well. Adjusting to the food was one thing, but letting go of their actual lives, technology, the memories, was another. Samuel had initially missed the music, that often filled his life, with melodic moments, whereas Greg simply missed the women in his life.

Samuel nudged Greg, “How are you getting on with Ong?” smirked Greg, a small laugh escaping through his bored smile,
“I’m not getting married just to get with a girl!” Samuel replied, smiling, whilst throwing forward a slight chuckle, improving the mood within their moment alone.


As Greg finished his final checks the straw doorway moved, and in walked the chieftain of the tribe. Neither Greg, or Samuel, knew the native dialect so sign language, of a sort, managed to bridge the gap. Gesticulating for the both of them to follow him, Greg grabbed two cameras as they stood. The Chieftain was a jolly fellow, always laughing, watching, eager to understand the ways of the two explorers, which meant they both had freedom within the camp. Neither of them wanted to push too far, despite Samuel desperately wishing to know about the stories, which meant the extended stay.

Leaving the hut, they walked a short distance, the darkness surrounding them, being broken by the various fires along the path. The tribe, organised, basic, yet seemingly without illness or problems despite the way they lived. It was a marvel to behold, a truly clean way of living, which they’d both found refreshing yet disturbing. The creature comforts, all missing, the soft bed, the air conditioning, nowhere to be found. If they were truthful to themselves, they didn't really miss such things as their minds were free. Free to roam and free to forget the issues that had haunted them for the longest of times.

The chief stopped by a large hut, the only hut that neither of them had entered since arriving. They’d both wondered what was inside and now, for some reason, they’d find out. There seemed to be no mysteries within the tribe. The smiles, the offerings of gifts each day, which included small carved animals or even fruit. They both knew that they were being watched, closely, studied even, for possible character traits. They’d been taken on treks that had lasted days, through such treacherous landscapes, that their will as well as stamina had been tested. On two occasions Samuel nearly lost his life but held on, despite his strength failing. It had all truly been an adventure.

The chief gestured for the both of them to enter the tent and, after nodding, they accepted the invitation as Samuel pushed aside the straw cover. Inside were small burning fires, raised above the ground on branches. In the centre of the room sat a slightly raised square stone. The smooth surface seemed odd, as Samuel looked at Greg, who also noticed the manacles on each corner.

Samuel’s heart started to beat a little bit faster at the sight in front of him. Neither wished to become a sacrifice, especially after five months of living amongst them. The Chief placed a hand upon Samuel’s shoulder, sensing his agitation, smiling, whilst pointing at the smooth stone. Shaking his hand, he spoke a few words. Neither could understand the words but his voice calmed them.

Greg stepped to the side, thinking of where to place his cameras, as the Chief clapped his hands. From the other side of the room, four members of the tribe walked in. Samuel smiled, nodding to each of them, as he was led over to the stone by one of the women. Samuel looked across to Greg, hoping that he’d brought the gun with him, just in case it all went sideways.

Greg, finished with the cameras, watched as the four women undressed Samuel. He’d laugh, if he wasn’t scared out of his mind at the current odd turn of events. He wanted adventure and, for some stupid reason, had bought into Samuel’s wild notion of a world where everything was different. ‘Technology replaced with some basic form of science’, was what Samuel had said. If Greg were being honest with himself, no matter what Samuel had said, he’d have gone anywhere to escape his mundane life.

Samuel wanted to object, wanted them to stop removing his clothes, as he glanced over to the Chief. One of the women tugged at his belt and, as he firmly placed his hand over the buckle, a sharp object pressed against his lower back. Samuel felt the object, possibly some type of knife, looking alarmingly over to Greg. Greg, instantly noticing Samuel’s distress, reached around to the back of his trousers, placing his hand onto the gun’s handle before another sharp object met his throat. From behind him appeared two other tribe members.

Samuel closed his eyes, wondering if this was the end for the both of them, as the rest of his clothes were removed. He’d run, he’d hide, but he knew that they’d find him and, besides, that wasn't in his character. He’d fight until his last breath if he knew that he stood a chance. He was the type of person to weigh the circumstances within the blink of an eye, with the weight of the world sometimes being felt upon his very shoulders. Many would say that he cared far too much, wanted to possibly save the world, but that wasn't possible as he was, after all, just one person.

His mind, spinning, returned to the room as he pushed his thoughts away. He watched as he was covered, from head to toe, in some type of substance and, once covered, they started to shave. The moments moved at a snail’s pace as every single bit of his body hair was removed. Greg, powerless, his face a shade of white, could do nothing but watch the events unfold.

Samuel, now completely smooth, looked at the Chief as the four tribe members washed him. Completely clean, hairless, he could do nothing but stare at the Chief as another substance was applied. It smelt of leaf, the leaves from the tree they’d walked two days to find. He’d never seen a tree like it before, with branches that stretched further than any tree he’d known. The leaves felt smooth, whilst letting the sunshine through in a way that that they seemed to glow. If he could return to that moment, right now, he would. In an instant.

Still staring at the Chief’s smiling face, Samuel found a calm that seemed odd despite the circumstances. Samuel’s life, his entire life, he’d never backed down from anything. He knew his limits, even accepted them, despite often pushing himself that little bit further. He understood that he could only rely on one person, one individual, to truly help in if he desperately needed that help. It took years to find himself, to find that silence that he needed within his troubled mind, which meant this place, right now, despite what was happening, was fine. If this was the end of his life’s adventure, then he accepted it. He’d stared death in the face a few times, embraced it the very second before the event, with his body thankfully not failing him when needed. He’d lost so much, found even more, believed in such idiotic stories and ideals that brought him here. Naked, hairless, with his friend Greg sat over in the corner.

Samuel pointed at Greg, while looking at the Chief. Despite the language barrier, the Chief knew what Samuel was asking and, of course, he nodded. No harm would come to Greg or, at least, that’s what Samuel hoped. Greg witnessed the gesture, made by the both of them, smiling despite actually wanting to roll into a ball and hide. His basic responses to danger, finding their way to the surface. Greg wasn't a coward but, despite knowing this, would rather run than fight.  Backed into a corner, sure, he would fight, but until then every fibre of his body wanted to escape.

Samuel, feeling himself relax even further, realised that this could all be something innocent. Who was to say that manacle’s, alters and being shaved head to toe meant a sacrifice? He’d smile, if he could find the will, but right now he just wanted this to be over with. He looked down at his feet, whilst realising that at least everyone knew that he had a reasonably sized penis. At that moment, he finally laughed, as that truly was such a stupid thing to think about at a time like this. He muttered the word, ‘Men’ as he laid down onto the slab of smooth stone. “Not too tight!” he quipped, as they chained his hands and feet. Chuckling, finding his sense of humour through the nerves and pride, he looked to the ceiling.

His character changed as his mind initially struggled to understand what he was seeing. Above him, sat a set of engravings made within a thin layer of slate. Suspended in the air, hanging from the ceiling. As his eyes frantically moved, taking in the images, his heart started to beat. Faster and faster, realising that, after all of this time, the years and study, he had found it. It was here. Right in front of him. The legend of the Chameleon. His mind, filled with questions, answers, all settled onto the last few drawings and, as the breath escaped his lungs, he realised what was about to happen.

He felt his muscles tense, straining against the manacles, quickly realising that he wasn't going to escape. Seconds moved, a minute escaped, as a large transparent cover was placed over him. It was man made, the air holes obviously made by some type of drill. He needed answers, he wanted to say something, anything, to scream, to even rip away from the stone surface. He looked to his side, the tribe members bringing in three closed baskets. Each of them, being placed next to the solid plastic enclosure, which would allow whatever was inside the baskets, to enter. In turn a tribe member removed a small cover, to the bottom of each basket, pushing them tight against the three holes in the transparent enclosure.

Greg looked on, checking the cameras, finally letting his instinct settle into what he did naturally. He was the tech guy, the camera guy, the steady hand that managed to capture the moments and seconds in perfect clarity. His eyes, wide open, half looking at the camera view screen, whilst also looking at the actual events. Whatever this was, whatever happened, it wasn't just some sort of bizarre jungle experiment. This had been done before. Greg focused, as hard as he could, just making out one of the small holes cut into the plastic. His mouth dropped open as he realised what was about to crawl into the cage.

Samuel, frozen, waiting, eyes firmly checking each of the three small holes, with his breathing heavy and fast, watched as a spider crawled out of the basket into the enclosure. He swore, a few times, not believing what he was seeing. Once again, he lost control, jostling as hard as he could, quickly returning to normal as he noticed the spiders enter faster. His thoughts raged within his mind. The images above him, all making sense. He wanted to be anywhere else, be anyone else, but it was too late. Images flashed into his mind. Her hair, the love of his life, left him for another. His Mother’s face, the calming most beautiful image he could ever think of, his safety mechanism, kicking in. If he didn't survive, he knew, he damn well knew that he was going to a better place. This, this thought, calmed him in a way that defied logic.

He slowed his breathing, calmed every muscle within his body, as he felt them start to climb over him. There were so many, so very many of them. He’d lost count after 20 seconds and he honestly, truthfully, did not want to open his eyes. Mouth firmly closed, breathing through his nose with calm, controlled breaths, he held the saving thoughts within his mind despite his body wanting to shake.

At first, he didn't know what to feel, as the first bite reached his mind. It hurt. It hurt a lot, but one bite alone wasn't that bad. A second passed and then the pain increased as the cramps started. His left leg, then right, cramped. As soon as he moved, they all bit him. A hundred, a thousand bites, he didn't know as the pain filled his mind with nothing but darkness. His teeth smashed together, bracing, spit being thrown from his mouth as the pain gripped him like a vice. They kept on biting, over and over again. Every inch of his skin burning, ripping, his heart beating faster than he’d ever known.

Greg watched as Samuel’s body tensed, hearing the pain, wishing that he could do something. They were all over his body, covering Samuel from head to toe. He closed his eyes, sitting back down, hand covering his face no longer willing to watch. He believed Samuel, the stories, while thinking that fairy tales, as well as nightmare stories, only existed in books and folklore. This wasn't supposed to happen. Not today, not this year, anywhere in the world.

Samuel’s body, bitten, the cramping giving him unbelievable pain, pushed him further and further until the darkness become real. He passed out, body still cramping, as the spiders finished their task to return to the baskets. The tribe members replaced the covers and removed them. Another few moments escaped as the Samuel was removed from his bonds. His body, covered in more bites than could possibly be counted, already turning black. Tissue death. The result of whatever had been pushed into his body.

Greg stood, following Samuel out of the hut carrying the two cameras. It didn't look good. Greg didn't know much about spiders, or bites, or anything like that despite being in the thickest jungle known to man, but he did know that Samuel’s skin looked pretty damn bad. They returned to their hut, Greg watching, as Samuel was wrapped head to toe in the same leaves that they’d found days earlier. Greg sat down, a tear escaping from his emotions, as he just stared at Samuel who now looked like he was dead. Wrapped in the way he was, it looked like he was to be buried or worse, burnt. His thoughts, wildly fluctuating from panic, to rational, didn't help him much. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that he could do.

As the moments moved, Greg started to charge the two batteries used whilst filming the events. Instinct, the normality of undertaking his chosen duties kicking in, as he tried to ignore the events of the last few minutes. His eyes, once again, closed as more tears started to fall. He’d failed or, at least, he felt like a failure. He wasn't a hero, wasn't built to fight, but he knew that he should have at least tried to do something. Anything. He’d known Samuel for the longest time, been helped through the bad times, laughed through the good moments and even managed to survive many adventures. Now this. All of this. Removing the memory cards, placing them into the data archiving hard drive, he waited the few moments as the data copied itself across. He kept two copies of everything. At all times. With a third copy, which would never be lost, or erased, firmly stored within his memories. Despite the good times, this was an event he’d rather forget.

--

Greg opened his eyes, the sunlight peering in through the small cracks in the hut’s ceiling.  He looked across to Samuel, who hadn't moved for three days, still wrapped in the leaves.  Rubbing his eyes, Greg stood to stretch. Despite sleeping in the jungle, his back had enjoyed the natural feel of things. “Hey buddy, hurry up and come back to me! I don’t want to be next!” As the words escaped his lips Greg heard Samuel make a noise, a murmur, at Greg’s facial surprise. In an instant Greg stepped across, kneeling, pulling apart the twine that the tribesmen had used to ensure the leaves stayed in place. As they fell away, Greg stood back as Samuel’s arm moved. Greg placed his hand over his open mouth, noticing Samuel’s skin, covered in some sort of dark scale. It looked horrendous, with dried blood and other stuff between the cracks.

“Are you okay?” Asked Greg, knowing the answer. Samuel’s eyes slowly opened, his head spinning,
“Greg?”
“I’m here buddy, I’m here. Don’t move!”
“It hurts!”
“I know, I know. Try not to move. You’re still with us. Rest!”


As he finished speaking Samuel passed out again, much to Greg’s relief as he didn’t really know what to say to someone that had been through what they’d been through.

--

The next day Greg sat in the hut, laughing, ignoring Samuel’s displeasure. Greg flicked away another slice of Samuel’s scabbed flesh. They’d been at this for an hour, despite the slight pain, with Samuel’s exposed skin a bright shade of red. The first section of scabbed skin had fallen from just under his eye, a few hours previous, which meant it was time to remove the awful stuff as soon as possible. Samuel had drifted in and out of consciousness for days. Drinking water, the moment he roused from sleep and taking a few bits of food, meant that  Greg had managed to keep Samuel’s energy to a healthy level. Despite being in the jungle, for some reason, the tribe had ensured that they’d both stayed fit and healthy. To Samuel, it now all made sense. If he weren't healthy enough the trauma from the spider bites would have killed him.

Everything, the entire tribe, the excursions to find the various items over the months, all made perfect sense. The moment he’d seen the inscriptions upon the slate he knew what was about to happen. He sat in the hut, Greg still laughing, perfectly happy that his friend was finally returning to normal. As he flicked another bit of skin across the hut, he checked the camera facing Samuel, looking at the view screen, as his smile disappeared. He couldn't see Samuel on the screen and, the moment he realised, he glanced across to where Samuel was sitting. Nothing. He’d vanished.

Greg froze, once again wondering what on earth was going on, “Samuel?”
“I’m here Greg!”
“Then why can’t I see you?”
“I’m a Chameleon!”


Samuel opened his eyes and his skin faded back to its pinky red colour. Greg’s smile grew, as the disbelief faded. All of it. All of the stories, all true. The Chameleons existed.

The End

I wrote this while thinking of all the usual shows created in the eighties. Manimal springs to mind. If this were a TV show it would include the science of how Samuel can become see through. His skin basically stretches, in a fashion, allowing light to escape. He'd have improved sight, as well as a few other improvements. The Tribe would eventually be destroyed by an evil genius etc. Usual.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Pandora


Listening to his own breath, the darkness succumbing to his wishes, he knew that he was lying there wishing for his thoughts to stop. It was no use. No rhyme, despite knowing the very reason for his troubles, could save him. Turning, slightly, his eyes wandered to view the stars beyond the window above. Nonchalant, or so his face would have a person believe, he tried to push everything aside. For a moment, a second, knowing that the settings had been set in motion.


There was no escape. Probably might never be. That, of course, didn't mean that he truly wished to do so. There could be a certain surrender within the madness and doubt, the idiocy of a man’s meticulous ponderings, but this madness was one step beyond. That normal. That normality he craved, all but gone. Silent. Despondent. Confined, contained, castrated at the very root of his very heart. He was trapped, the web of lies and deceit simply pulling him further into that web.

He’d opened the box. He’d done what he said that he’d never do. The shame, the anguish, the inner turmoil trodden upon by the very desire and temptation he swore he’d never embrace again. He’d fallen, without any of the grace that he held, with none of the thoughts he revered. The simplicity of a complex mind, shattered, within the very moment he opened his mouth to press his lips to hers.

The fool, the clown, the idiotic. All possibilities from what happened next. He would care, should care, if he would stop counting the stars above and concentrate. It was far, far too late for concentration when the very skin upon his body ached for her. He knew it. Felt it. Wanted it all upon him. He knew that it wouldn't last, the seconds, with her wicked words of treacherous notions echoing within his ears. He was but one, of the many, that ever present aching temptation within.

He stopped, for a second, reaching a hundred stars, as he recalled all of her supposed gifts. She most certainly knew the words to whisper, as did he, but fire versus fire would only consume the both of them. He could fight all of this, had done so, but her warmth expelled his will and only increased his wanton desire. There were moments, within the thirst ridden kisses where he could feel himself fade away. That animal within, the very nature of his being, knocking upon a door that should never be opened. He’d felt it, coursing through his veins as he held her against him.

He closed his eyes, the very disobedience laughing at his very soul, his very mind. That beguiling woman, the one that men fear, and women ignore, the quiet one amongst you. Those whispers, the looks, the glances within time, pulling him further into that place where time seemed to stand still. He cursed himself, realising that she knew all his secrets. He’d embraced her, every single part of her, her smooth skin feeling everything he could offer. He’d pleased her, tasted her, taken her again and again and it still wasn't enough.  The way she looked, the way she demanded, simply teased and goaded his very appetite, driving him to near madness.

The dark room faded away as his thoughts made his mind spin. She was uncontrollable, satisfying, yet he knew that she would be his, for the briefest moment. He’d opened the box, dared to embrace a different path, knowing that he should and could be something else. Sitting up, he decided to ignore all of this, to let it fade away. The madness be damned.

To his side, his phone rang, and he answered, “Hello!”

“It’s me,” said the voice on the other end, “What are you doing?”

“Funnily enough, I'm thinking of you.”

“Come over then.”

He sat there, for a few seconds, urging himself to say no, to no longer surrender to whatever hold she had upon him. This was the moment he’d waited for, longed for.

“I’ll be there in 15!”

The call ended as he closed his eyes. His willpower, vacant, his thoughts, empty. With a name like Pandora, he knew that she’d doom his very heart, with his soul probably following shortly after.