When the Chancellor of the Diocese visited the Convent of the Sisters of Holy Affliction, Sister Michael always received him with a kiss on the lips. That was the closest Fr Tom got to enjoying a woman. He relished that kiss, even as he winced at the austerity of the place, imagining those who, over the years, had cut themselves off from family and comfort here.
The aliens crash-landed in the middle of London Fashion Week - right through the roof of the old tobacco factory into Jemima Ong's debut show. Everyone applauded as the 'creatures' took to the catwalk. They were even wearing the same distressed crinolines and burnt sienna/mauve palette cut to their multiple tentacles and horns. 'They're attacking the models!' cried the football player and his wife in the front row. Except the models seemed quite happy about it. Ecstatic, even. The girls and the aliens tangled in and out of file down the catwalk like a self-weaving river of long lost tribes reuniting, burning with love.
Times have been hard for our business. Pornographic experience is so easily available. The internet hasn’t helped. And the crash sent a generation of hungry youngsters into the arms of the old. So we’ve had to branch out and to specialise. We offer the parts that porn doesn’t. We offer you reality at ten pounds a minute.
“Happy anniversary!” Gore felt a small plate, which probably carried cake, brush up against his fingers. He couldn’t believe it had been ten years; wasn’t it amazing how what you did every day added up in increments to your entire life? Like a crude comedian, he thought, asked to host a prestigious awards show, the tiny events didn’t deserve to be associated with something so profound. But maybe it was egalitarian and good: every instant played its part in extending and ultimately ending life, the way that all the people in Gore’s apartment played their parts in maintaining their arrangement. (And wasn’t it weird that such an unconventional living situation should be commemorated in such a traditional way, with a celebration, admittedly private and small? Didn’t it take the erotic appeal away from how they lived? Weren’t the others disturbed by the noisemakers, the cards, the clapping, and the candles? Apparently not, for they themselves had thrown the party and bought the cake, from which Gore was now starting to fumble a piece loose with his fork.)
The smell is overwhelming my senses. When I close my eyes I imagine a young, fun girl, sitting across the table from you and beginning to feel herself getting wet despite herself. My hands are circling the tips of my nipples over my camisole, both at the same time. The panties are covering my mouth, nose and eyes. I can’t see, but I am watching this last moment between you two take place.
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.