“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.
I had a present for you, he said, but I can’t give it to you now. Why not? Because it’s a present for lovers and now we’re not. I didn’t come here knowing, I just came like I usually do and when I got here I just knew I couldn’t do it any more. I’m sorry. I’m sorry too. Give it to me anyway, give it to me so I can remember how we were today. It’s not that kind of present, it’s not a keepsake, I’d have got something else, no I wouldn’t, why should I give you a present to remember me by? Don’t be angry. Please. Easy for you to say. It’s not easy you pig, it’s not easy, how can you say that, you’re the one it’s easy for, I have to go home every time, I can’t do it anymore, it’s like I’m two people, it isn’t fair to say it’s easy, you don’t have to be two people you bastard, what do you know about it. I’m sorry, look I’m sorry, it’s just all so sudden, I don’t know where I’m at. I know.
“Tell me, old man,” I said, “what is this thing with the nude girls of the Pamplona run.” The old man looked at me and looked at the drunk, slumped in the dust against the wall of the bar. “My throat is dry,” he said. I poured him a tinto. “This tinto is good, he said. “It is rough and it is strong, the way a tinto should be.” “The girls,” I said. “This thing with the nude girls of Pamplona,” he said. “It is a good thing. When you rise at dawn, and the sky is streaked, and the coffee is good and strong and the eggs are done the way you like them. And you eat before you set out to run before the girls. That is a good thing.” “Tell me about the girls,” I said. “The girls,” he said, “They are not like other girls. They are specially bred for the run, in the rugged foothills of Andalucia.” “What do they look like, old man?” I said. “Not like modern girls, the skinny ones with the small tetas. No. These girls are bred to have the big tetas, and that curve which real women used to have. And they have thighs like women used to have thighs. They have thighs that can squeeze the life from a man.”
So, ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses and let’s drink a toast to Leon and to the success of his new book.’ ‘To Leon! To Leon!’ Her voice was scattily loud, Poppy realized to her embarrassment, in contrast to the others’ muted tones, but this whole occasion had clearly gone to her head. Crazy, cocksure bubbles seemed to be coursing through her veins, as if the tepid, cheapo wine in her glass had turned into champagne. But was that any wonder when she was actually in the presence of the legendary philosopher she had admired since leaving school; seeing him in the flesh, at last, rather than on the dust-jackets of his seventeen prestigious books?
‘Keep the change,’ she told the cab-driver, her buoyant mood unaffected by his crabbiness. He had kept up a peevish monologue most of the way, irritated, apparently, by the traffic, London in general and Boris Johnson in particular. As she approached the heavy plate-glass doors of the restaurant, she could see Duncan through the lighted window, seated at a table at the front, engrossed in a sheaf of papers – an overflow of work, no doubt, since his job in corporate finance was even more pressured than hers in advertising. He dressed the part, of course - impeccable clothes, well-cut silver hair, general air of stylishness – a strong contrast to some of the oddballs she had dated in the last few years. Suddenly nervous about her own appearance, she peered at her reflection in the doors. Was the new swept-up hairstyle ageing; the figure-sculpting scarlet dress too blatant, compared with his understated suit?