The expense of spirit is a waste of shame,// So spirited, abandon thy reserve,// Prepare thyself to play loveʼs two backed game,// See how thy master stands and waits to serve!
On the morning of her 49th birthday, Carol Jessop stood naked in front of her full-length mirror and took stock of the situation. As a devoted gym goer, she was generally pleased by what she saw. She’d never had children so her belly was flat and her breasts, though not as round as they once were, resisted hanging on her chest like sacks of sand. Through no effort of her own, her breasts were marvellous. She had won the boob lottery, plain and simple. From the time they began to swell when she was ten to now, they were two in a million. Just last month, after speaking at the city’s literary festival, she was asked by a bearded academic, that if it weren't too much trouble, he’d like to bury his face in her cleavage for a few long seconds. She took him to her room that night, though it tickled, she let him have all the time he wanted there. Carol turned and bent over. Definitely one of her best features. Hard to tell someone's age from this angle. Then she straightened and evaluated her bum. The genes of her father meant her buttocks were a bit flat, and in the centre of her left cheek she sported an unflattering dimple. But squats and lunges meant she still had the cheeks most women her age envied and men admired.
She and I have never had sex. Well, I mean, we’ve done some things. Fondled, sort of. But like I said, she treads lightly. I try to tread lightly too. We’ve talked about it though. I can’t help but talk about it every now and again. And she doesn’t seem squeamish, which I appreciate. It’s almost like she wants to have all the information before she makes the purchase. Like she’s signing a lease on me or something.
“I don’t care if you are gone a hundred years” said the man at the desk, “so long as you have the egg back here in five minutes.” “That’s the bit about time travel that does my head in”, said Elaine.
It was all so wet, the pages dripping. She pushed him down toward her sex. That’s what she called it, her sex. His fat lips sliding down her flesh as she pushed him, leaving a slug’s trail behind on her abdomen, toward the pale tan lines—can you see it? she asked—in the dark, the infinitesimal blonde hairs matted around her belly button, her hips gyrating, her whole body undulating as if the desk—his desk, in the front of the classroom now—was a john boat gently rocking on the tide. She anticipated his wet face as it stubble stumbled over the pale flesh, his features smeared toward the black jungle mound of her sex. You’re going to turn this in, I asked her. She shrugged. Sure.
The room becomes a humming resonance chamber, my breath transmuting into mounting overtones. He increases the amplitude notch by notch by notch until all the crystal glasses break at once. The shattering itself is mute, but the hissing of shards hitting the floor fills my ears.
You don’t have to be autistic to have a photographic memory. It’s really common with children up to the age of five, but they grow out of it. With kids, it’s a sensory thing, like a mental muscle memory. I was told I would grow out of it too—but for some reason, I didn’t. I remember everything. It’s like having Netflix in my brain. As a kid I used it mostly like a VCR. I memorised TV shows, whole episodes and re-ran them whenever I wanted. That’s how I got Emily to like me. We’d sit in the nook in the big fallen tree by the creek and she’d pick episodes of Little House on The Prairie. We were both 16, and I thought the show was pretty lame, but Emily adored it. Do the one where Mary goes blind. With or without the credits? Um…Without.
A new novel from Primula Bond has us quivering with excitement. Pierre Levi, the gorgeous but disreputable brother from the bestselling Silver Chain trilogy is the star of this stand-alone novel. Pierre fears that the hit and run which nearly killed him was the only thing capable of stopping his destructive behaviour. Now he’s torn between his desire for reconciliation with his brother, Gustav, and his attraction to Serena, Gustav's girlfriend. However, when comely nurse, Rosa Cavalieri, at the exclusive Aura Clinic, meets the traumatised Pierre in room 202 she is determined to get him back on his feet. While Rosa is mending her own broken heart and although Pierre is plagued by demons and generally distrustful of himself and everyone around him. He becomes curious about his feisty and gorgeous nurse. Her gentle nature and playful teasing ignites a passion he didn’t imagine possible. But the recovery that Rosa has worked so hard to achieve for Pierre is also beginning to pull them apart. And if Pierre cannot see that Rosa’s talents make her the perfect match for him, he’ll lose her for good…
Who was he? She watched him sleep, his back to her, the top edge of the covers clamped in his armpit. Madre de Dios. Tiptoeing around the bed, she halted with each creak of the floor lest she wake him. On her desk chair hung her old cardigan that came halfway down her thighs once she slipped into it. Reaching for an open bottle of water by her laptop, she knocked over a Coca-Cola glass holding pens and froze while the stranger stirred and rolled onto his other side.