Monday, August 13, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sonnet 57

How is it, I wonder, that I made it through umpteen years of school and never read Shakespeare? I have no idea. I ran across this recently and really liked it.

Sonnet 57

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.

From Shakespeare Online.

In other news, I had the opportunity to do some traveling recently and visited The House of The Seven Gables. I think I could write a story about that crooked, twisty stairwell and the room at the top of it. If life wasn't sucking me dry right now, that is.

Their gift shop had terrific t-shirts with a quote from The Scarlet Letter. Of course, I can't find a picture of the thing now, but I did call a friend to tell him about it. I suspect the folks who were close enough to hear my half of the conversation were intrigued. Or alarmed. (No worries, you Emily Posts out there; I stepped outside to make the call. People just kind of wandered into my "phone zone.") I kind of wish I'd bought it, but logic prevailed. Do I really need another t-shirt? Right.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Everything is Subject to Change

Such is the life of a road warrior, she thought to herself. Two hours of podunk middle of nowhere with only Boston and The Clash to keep her company. No radio station would stay with her long enough to make it through one song. She finally gave up and made it her mission to figure out exactly what the lyrics were saying in “Train in Vain.” She was frustrated. This route was new to her, but she’d made the trip a couple of times already and she knew what to expect. There was no one to blame but herself, she thought, as she pictured her CD case laying on her nightstand at home. Next to her bed.

She shook off the thought and drove onward. She turned the volume up and was determined to hear that line. “You said you love me and that’s a fact. Then you left me, so you took that track.” No… “…sewed a felt rack.” Caciphonous laughter, but no. “Said you’d tell Jack.” Um, no. Give it a rest and move on.

“said you felt trapped”

“All the times
When we were close
I'll remember these things the most
I see your body come tumbling down…”

Argh! No.

And so it went for the next hour. Finally, like a neon oasis in the desert of pine trees, she spotted her destination. Exit 145. As she rolled to the top of the ramp, she rolled her head around, loosening the muscles in her neck and shoulders. So many decisions: left to Stuckey’s and a Truck Stop. Right to the hotel, a BBQ shack and a Mexican Restaurant. Her client was a good two hours off the interstate and she’d decided after the last fiasco of trying to get there in the dark, only to find out there was nowhere to stay, this place would do.

I see all my dreams come tumbling down.

She pulled up to the door of the lobby and went inside. Behind the desk was a young kid. Too young to be manning the desk on the evening shift. He was tall and thin and his hands seemed too large for his body.

She drove around to her room, 145, and parked in front of the door. As a child, she’d played the state tag game on family car trips and still couldn’t help but notice a “foreign” tag. The silver Volvo with Vermont plates was parked two spaces over in front of room 147. A weathered bumper sticker reminded her that “Everything is Subject to Change.”


Monday, April 16, 2007

Thy Letter of Infamy, Part 2

Read Part 1.

He seemed startled. “Um… sure!”

She sat down and the game of small talk started. He was in town on business. It was his first night here and his first visit to the city. She directed the conversation with ease and dropped some major hints about what they might be doing elsewhere. He seemed flattered to have the company and a bit uneasy with the aggressive flirting. But hell, that’s what he was here for. It just usually wasn’t this easy for him.

In the elevator he kissed her. It was a sloppy, wet, formless kiss. The kind she detested. Once they were in his room, she quickly started to undress him and avoided his mouth by kissing her way down his skin behind her fingers as they unbuttoned and unzipped. She turned off the lights and they fell into bed. He fucked her missionary style and did so very much like he kissed. It was sloppy and formless.

She pulled some tricks out of her arsenal like gripping his cock tightly when he pulled back. She also ran a finger along the crack of his butt cheeks, teasing at the puckered spot below. He grunted and it was over soon enough. She extracted herself from his arms and pushed the bathroom door closed before turning on the light.

The A stared back at her and she almost whimpered in desperation. She looked at him from the doorway.

“So do you ever tell your wife about these romps you have while traveling?”

He looked at the outline of her body silhouetted in the light behind her.

“I’m not married.”

“What’s with the ring?”

He held his hand up to look at it, as if he’d just discovered it was there.

“Oh… I’ve heard women always go for married men. I thought I’d give it a try myself.” He smiled up at her. “It seems to be working out well so far.”

In a fury, she got dressed and left as quickly as possible. She drove aimlessly for a while and then knew she had to face the inevitable. Her husband would be expecting her and would be ready for a night of sex. He always was when she returned from a trip.

She went in and found he was already in bed. She reached to turn the lamp off and he stirred, telling her to leave it on. He pulled her onto him and kissed her slowly, working his way along her jaw line to her ear lobe, where he nibbled and sucked softly. Though they’d done this for years, she never felt it was stale. He knew where her buttons were and simply pressed them every time.

He rolled over so they were facing one another and reached inside her blouse to play with her breast.

“Let me blindfold you.” Her gaze met his.

“I might blindfold you, but you know I like to watch too much.”

She steeled herself for what she knew was coming.

He continued to kiss her, working his way down to the nape of her neck now. His hand played with her nipple through the fabric of her shirt.

“Come with me,” he said, taking her hand and pulling her up. He led her to his study where he turned on the light and pushed her roughly over the back of an over-stuffed chair. He tapped the inside of an ankle with his foot, silently telling her to spread her legs. Leaning down over her, his tongue found her ear again.

“You want to spice things up, huh?” He whispered it.

Before she had a chance to answer him, his hands were under her skirt, pulling it upward around her waist and pulling her panties down around her ankles, where he made her step out of one leg of them.

Just as quickly, his cock was buried in her cunt. She held onto the arms of the chair to brace herself. He grabbed a handful of her hair and used that to brace himself. He fucked her hard, varying the pace to stop and look at his cock where it impaled her pussy. He pulled her hair hard and she moaned and arched her back, changing the angle of her cunt. Then he fucked her fast and hard; the sound of his balls slapping her echoed in the room.

She held on and couldn’t believe what was happening. This was an incredible stroke of luck that might buy her another day. Her husband fucked her hard and she momentarily forgot about her predicament. Her cunt gripped his cock on each thrust and she soon heard signs of his impending orgasm.

He came hard and deep inside her. After he caught his breath, he helped her up and kissed her warmly. They walked to the bedroom, hand in hand, and she helped him undress. She went off to the bathroom and as she stepped out of her skirt, she could feel come start to run out of her. That was a feeling she loved. She hoped this wouldn’t be the last time she felt his come dripping out of her.

She started to plot her day tomorrow. The gym might be an option. Or a grocery store closer to the city. It was unusual for her to feel uneasy about getting laid. It was something she did with ease anywhere else.

She unbuttoned her blouse and was shocked to find the mark was gone. She lifted her breast and looked more closely. No indication that anything had been there could be seen. Her skin was as creamy and pale as it always had been. Stunned, thoughts raced through her mind. Maybe it didn’t have to be someone who was cheating after all. Maybe now the average-looking guy at the hotel was finding himself with a new mark on his body. She was puzzled.

Mind still reeling, she walked out of the bathroom and stared at her husband. Already asleep on his side facing away from her, unaware of the new tattoo that now sat on the back of his shoulder. She stood in the bedroom and her mind tried to comprehend the situation. Her husband was so proud of their fidelity. He touted the benefits of a long marriage whenever the subject came up. She was in disbelief.

Sleep was long in coming to her. Not only was she remembering the occasions when he’d sung the praises of marriage, but she now was faced with a certainty she wasn’t prepared for. Her husband had been fucking someone else. She pictured the shapely co-eds that loved his classes. How stereotypical, she thought. Her mind felt numb and she tossed and turned until the sun came up.

When she woke up the next morning, he’d already gone. Off to the gym or the pool or the basketball court. She made a thankfully decent pot of coffee and worked in her home office, following up on the meeting she’d attended. She tried not to think about the tattoo and at times she succeeded long enough to make her wonder if it had even been real.

When he came in from the gym, freshly showered she noticed, she followed him to the bedroom where they chatted and caught each other up on their day. He was determined to get started on that list of chores and decided to do some touch-ups on a recent painting project. She watched as he changed into old clothes, anxious for him to turn around so she could see for herself that it did indeed still exist.

He obliged unknowingly and she was amazed to find it was gone. Gone! She sat on the bed after he’d left the room. Had it really happened? Was it a dream? She felt guilty for silently accusing him of sleeping with someone else. But to be sure, she walked to the mirror and lifted her shirt. She saw only creamy pale skin and breathed a sigh of relief.

She vowed to put all of this out of her head. Chalking it up to the after-effects of too much alcohol, she told her mind to let it go.

They enjoyed a nice evening together. He grilled steaks and as they were sitting down to eat dinner, the doorbell rang. She opened the door to find Evan, her husband’s graduate assistant. He had a stack of papers in his hand.

“Hi. Sorry to bother you, I just wanted to drop off some papers before we leave town.” Smiling at him, she looked over his shoulder to see his young wife and their 6-month old waiting in the car. She waved.

“Oh, sure. No problem. Come on in.”

Her husband met them at the door and took the papers. After a moment of chit-chat about where he and his family were going for their spring break, her husband wished them a good trip and opened the door. She added her farewell and they both watched from the doorway as Evan turned and walked back to his car. She saw it then, as plain as day… the tattooed letter A on the back of his muscular calf. It was deep red, almost a burgundy color.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Thy Letter of Infamy, Part 1

Sunlight filtered in through the gauze-like sheers and she lazily opened her eyes. Events of the last 12 hours replayed themselves in her mind and she couldn’t help but cringe. She didn’t do married men. It wasn’t her thing. Make no mistake… she traveled a lot for work and had gone for quickies with men in places and situations that would make many women blush. She was a prideful bitch working in a man’s industry and she grabbed opportunities by the balls. She worked hard and she played like a man.

Even her husband thought so.

She’d lost track of the number of rounds they’d had last night. The guy was her height, after she’d ditched the 3-inch heels that had pinched her toes all day long. Dark hair and dark eyes. Everything that she didn’t usually go for in a man. Yet, he was a damned fine salesman, because he’d managed to get her in the sack.

A wave of nausea rode over her and she sat on the edge of the bed until it passed. At least he didn’t want to stay, she thought to herself as she fought with the miniature coffee maker. She hated hotel coffee. There was a fortune to be made by having Starbuck’s hook up with room service. But that was a fortune for another day.

She flipped on the light in the bathroom and shielded her eyes from the harsh brightness until they adjusted. Splashing cool water onto her face, she drew a hand towel across her cheeks gently. She stared at her reflection noting the dark circles under her eyes. Her hair gave the appearance of that “just fucked” look. The whites of her eyes were a little bloodshot.

She was washing off the remnants of last night’s makeup when she saw it. About an inch tall, the letter A appeared on her right breast, a couple of inches above her nipple. It was deep red, almost a burgundy color. She gasped and at the same time began washing it off, wondering where it had come from to start with. She didn’t remember anything other than the romp with the guy. Come to think of it, he seemed a bit over-zealous. He took the term ‘quickie’ literally; he fucked and ran.

She rubbed at it harder, noticing that it wasn’t washing away at all. A mild sense of panic mixed with irritation began to bubble its way to the surface. Not only wasn’t it going away, she was making the area around it red by scrubbing so hard.

She tossed the washcloth to the floor and tried another approach: she scraped at it with her fingernail. Still, nothing happened. The A glared at her in the mirror.

Just then the phone rang. It was her wake-up call. If she didn’t get moving she’d miss her flight. She wanted to be out of this hotel, this function, this town, so she could put this behind her. And as she scrubbed more furiously in the shower, she felt another wave of nausea when she tried to think how she was going to explain this to her husband when she got home.

Home. She unpacked quickly and said she needed a shower to wash away the travel grime. She dropped her clothes in a pile and silently cursed as she saw it was still there. Cupping her breast in her hand, she raised it to get a closer look and was shocked to see it was unmistakably a tattoo. It had to be.

Like many other things, she was experienced in this, too. She turned her back to the mirror and looked over her shoulder. The tiny ladybug on her right ass-cheek seemed to twitch its wings at her. That one was from another drunken night, this time in college. Five other women she’d been friends with had the same ladybug tattooed on their asses.

She turned her attention back to her breast, comparing the colors and the depth of the designs. This tattoo wasn’t fresh. There was no angry, inflamed skin surrounding it. It looked as if it had been there for years.

She numbly went through the motions of a shower and thankfully was able to get dressed before her husband came in. They chatted about her trip and about his work. He’d given his last lecture of the week and spring break the following week promised the chance for him to get to that “honey do” list of chores.

She groaned inwardly as she realized that it was going to be even more difficult to hide this from her husband if he was going to be around the house for over a week. And she had no other work trips pending at the moment.

She took these worries to bed with her, where she intended to have a few hours of denial: sleep. Reaching to turn the lamp off, something caught her eye. On top of the ever-present stack of books on her husband’s nightstand, she saw The Scarlet Letter.

The audible gasp shook her. She picked up the book and flipped through it, stopping to read the notes her husband had written in the margins. “Symbol of sin.” “Secrecy.” “Adulterer.” That one was underlined.

She closed the book and rested it on her chest while she tried to recall the story’s plot. She remembered something about the minister. Flipping through the pages with more determination this time, she took a while to find the passage where the minister exposes his own scarlet letter - seared into his flesh.

She drew the covers up tightly around her and thought about her situation more critically. The man from last night had seemed almost anxious to fuck her. Not anxious to get in her pants like most men were, but… almost desperate. She tried to find an explanation that made sense of all this nonsense and while not getting anywhere, she drifted off to sleep.

Dreams came quickly that afternoon and they were a mish-mash of images left over in her brain. A meeting with a client that, in her dream had her taking him into a dressing room and sucking him off. Then she was at the airport, detained by security and taken to a small room where she was stripped and searched by several men and a woman. The woman had been rougher than any of the men, forcing a thumb deep in her anus without so much as a warning.

Then she was dressed in the somber high-necked garb of the woman in The Scarlet Letter. Her stiff wool smock was adorned with the dreaded letter A, yet she walked through the modern day: a meeting for work. Her colleagues were all dressed in their business casual attire and they glared at her with scorn as she walked in. The only available seat was next to a man similarly dressed in Puritan garb; a minister. The unmistakable white collar seemed to choke him.

A PowerPoint presentation flashed on the screen at the front of the room showing pie charts and graphs. The speaker seemed to drone on and on and the minister leaned closer to her and began to whisper. She leaned toward him with a slight shake of her head indicating she hadn’t heard him.

“Check your Blackberry,” he whispered again.

She reached deep in the folds of her woolen skirt and wasn’t surprised to find her Blackberry. She scrolled through her email and found something with the subject line, “A.” She opened it.

Burning shame may blaze upon thy bosom. Wouldst thou invoke shame unto another? Wouldst thou plot evil against another in order to serve me? Thou mayest search the multitude for one to sway. Prithee, make haste. Thy letter of infamy serveth as Heaven’s own method of retribution. I would enjoy upon thee to find another upon which to bestow my gift. Be thee not afraid. Betray me not.

She awoke with a jolt, breathing fast and fighting down the feeling of panic that threatened to grip her. The dream was still very real in her mind and she thought she knew what it meant. She had to give the letter away. It made sense. The urgency with which the guy from last night had wanted her. His determination and anxious demeanor. He was giving the letter away. She knew that had to be the answer.

As she dressed, she started to plot. Her job afforded her the opportunity to be the slut she really was. She went from town to town, bar to bar, fucking men at whim. But in her town, she was that other person - the good wife. Her husband’s colleagues from the university admired them for having such a strong marriage. In a time when the number of divorces meant new faces at every faculty event, this was rare… and well respected.

She wanted – no, needed – to find someone to test her theory on. And she needed to do it now. She was mortified that her husband might see the mark. The desperation she remembered from last night’s conquest crept into her.

She drove fast along the two-lane road that took her toward the city. She didn’t know how to do this in her town and her mind raced with possibilities. She pulled into the parking lot of a popular after-work hangout. The cocktails were half price from 4 to 7pm and she definitely thought the lubrication would help.

She ordered a gin and tonic and started to scout. There were few men around the bar. There was a group of 4 women at a table nearby. They seemed to be celebrating some event or another and had gotten a good start on happy hour before she arrived. A few men buzzed by their table, stopping to chat and check things out. She checked their ring fingers. After three drinks and having narrowed down her options to the bar manager or a busboy, she headed out. The gin had settled her a little and she was glad for it.

Next she found herself pulling up at the valet at a swanky downtown hotel. Surely between the conventions and other business travelers, she could find a man who was looking for a quick fuck. She did this all the time, but there was something about being near home. It was like kryptonite. It seemed to suck the confidence out of her.

She sat down at the bar and ordered another glass of courage. This seemed to be more promising and she took stock of ring fingers around the room. Not a sure thing, but hopefully it would narrow down the options. A few stools down from her, a man sat alone. The gold band on his finger seemed to sparkle in the light and she wondered if the alcohol was playing tricks on her.

He was average. Nothing about him stood out, she realized. In any other situation, she’d not have looked his direction twice. But this was not any other situation. She stood and walked the short distance to where he sat.

“Can I join you?”

Read Part 2.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Snack Cart!" Part 2

Read part 1.

She made the afternoon rounds, invisibly pushing the cart, going through the motions. This had turned out to be a good job for her while she was busy flunking out of college. It required no thought and her autopilot engaged almost effortlessly. The money she made pushing the cart would pay for her spring break trip and that’s all she cared about. She was counting the days.

She found herself standing outside the office of that man who’d caused her haze to momentarily clear. “The man who likes bananas.” That’s how she thought of him. He made her squirm and she got the impression lately that when he looked at her, he really saw her… and he saw right through her. It was eerie.

She waited for him to emerge from his office, then remembered he’d said he had a meeting. Her mental rolodex flipped through the selections he’d made recently and she picked up a chocolate chip cooki
e and a bag of peanuts… and, of course, a banana. She looked up and down the hallway, feeling a little nervous about actually entering one of the offices. But in she went.

His desk was strewn with papers and files and stacks of stuff. She was quite surprised at the lack of organization. She looked around trying to find a clean spot to leave his snack. She found none. Instead, a piece of paper peeking out from a stack of files caught her eye. She carelessly deposited the cookie and nuts on a file marked “FY06” as she slid some folders off the top of the drawing. It was indeed a sketch, and as she uncovered it, she glanced back over her shoulder at the door.

The cart remained there in the hallway, alone. The masses from the mailroom hadn’t found it, but at that point she wasn’t concerned. With the files moved aside, she saw a steno pad – spiral bound – and moved to pick it up. Delight rushed through her as she took in the image. It was a doodle. Something he’d drawn while distracted… perhaps on a conference call. Maybe while sitting in yet another meeting.

Thoughts crowded her mind. It looked just like him! Did he really see himself this way? What is UP with that hair?! She snickered and covered her mouth with her hand. Her eyes focussed on his exaggerated crotch. She wondered if this was like the middle-aged guy who drove a Porsche to compensate… then she saw the whip. The hand that moments ago covered a snicker now unconsciously made its way to her chest. She swallowed hard. Her emotions went from feeling a sort of endearment to feeling a sort of dread. She glanced at the words written across the paper: Lord Muerte. The smile crept back onto her face.

Then she saw it… sitting in the trash can on top of a few papers that had somehow managed to find their way there. The banana. The banana she’d picked out for him. He was the man who liked bananas. He’d caught her eye and captured her attention, then thrown it away. Literally.

Looking back at the drawing, she scoffed at the word “Lord.” She picked it up and flipping the page forward, she ripped it from the spiral binding and looked at the impression the ballpoint pen had left on the page underneath. Taking the banana gingerly out of the trashcan, she gathered up the other snack items.

A hasty trip to the cart and she was back to leave the snack that had been requested of her… She thought it was a simple response to his statement. Beef jerky.

Later that night, she’d lie in bed and look intently at the drawing that she’d stuck to her dresser’s mirror. She’d stroke her clit and wonder about that whip.

Many kind thanks to Artful Dodger at The Secret Brain for so perfectly capturing and reproducing the image I had in my mind's eye. You rock, Art!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Snack Cart!"

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all...

She squatted down to pick up something that had fallen and he was privy to an unexpected sight in her blouse. Two long, narrow bruises peeked out from the edge of her bra. As quickly as he’d seen them, she stood up. He took his muffin and a napkin and looked her in the eyes before he turned and walked away.

The bruises worked through his mind and he knew they were cane-made. The light-colored skin in the shape of the cane, surrounded by a burst of purple outline all the way around. Unmistakably a cane.

He glanced back at her over his shoulder as she pushed the cart down the hall. She was nondescript. She looked like every girl; one of those who disappear into the background. As he headed back to the project he’d been working on, he made a mental note to take a closer look later.


Later came and he took a bag of Chex Mix and a sugar cookie. He watched her carefully this time. She broke eye contact with him when she could. She seemed polite but shy. He engaged her in a bit of small talk and listened to her voice. Again, polite, but offering only minimal information. Answering his questions and nothing more. He scanned her body for other tell-tale signs but found none.

Several days passed with the same result. Her diverted eyes, shy demeanor. He just knew there was something there.


Friday afternoon was not letting up and he was in for a late night. He’d just stepped into the hallway and was looking over the options when one of the execs from upstairs approached. They chatted about a recent project he’d worked on while she took an apple from the cart. He waited there because he knew what was to come next. The woman turned and as she walked away, she bit into the apple. Looking at her ass was one of his favorite diversions at work. He watched the short black skirt move seductively to the end of the hall and only turned away as it rounded the corner.

When he looked back at the nondescript girl in front of him, he saw she’d been watching, too. Caught in the act, she blushed and looked down, straightening the items on the cart that didn’t really need to be straightened.

He smiled at her. “Nice view, wouldn’t you say?”

Her face reddened even more. “Umm… yes.” She mumbled.

He looked at the snacks and took a bag of Doritos and a brownie. The fruit bowl was almost empty.

“No bananas today?”

“I just ran out. Sorry.” She stammered the last word just a little.

He turned and went back to his office.


Monday morning rush. On his way from a meeting back to his office when he met the girl and her cart outside his office door. He couldn’t help but notice the short skirt she wore. It was markedly different than anything he remembered seeing. The slumpy look he’d seen last week left his mind completely. Thighs and ass greeted him as he got closer.

He said nothing and took a bagel and some jelly. As he turned away, she spoke.

“I saved you a banana.” She sounded uncertain.

He turned back to her and looked her in the eyes. There was a sparkle there. Shyness, for sure, but she was putting herself out there. He took the banana and touched her hand in the process.

“Thanks. Hey, I have a long meeting this afternoon and will be here late. If I’m not here when you come back by, be a dear and leave something on my desk for me?”

Without waiting for any acknowledgement at all, he turned and went into his office. She stood in front of the closed door for a moment before she moved down the hall. He smiled to himself.