Thief of Hearts
A Daydream & Distraction by RedBud
- I threw this in with the Daydreams and Distractions. This morning Ximena and I stumbled on an idea for a story. Here’s how it goes – we don’t know what we’re going to write. We’re going to post our stories at the same time and then read them with you. (I included a tip of the hat to Monocle — for his beautiful image in #Remember.)
She jumps out of her chair, opens the door. She’s in the library, almost closing time, cleaning a study room. “Where did you find it?”
“Outside,” says the man. “Stuff was scattered.”
“Thank you.” She clutches the purse to her breasts. “Thank you!”
“Sure,” says the man, unshaven, short black hair. “Glad you got it back.”
She closes the door. She quietly presses her ear against it. She hears nothing. Heart fluttering, she hurries to a desk. She opens the purse: wallet, money, credit card, pictures, library card key. Everything. Nothing is missing! No, not everything. She rifles through the contents. She bites her lip.
She leaves the purse when she hurries out the door.
Scattered? Where was he? Where did he find it? She hurries. She looked between the corridors of books. She doesn’t have time. He could be gone. She half-walks, half-runs. She races through the stacks and a short section leading to an elevator.
“The woman waits–”
“Her belly on the white sheet–”
His voice is one aisle over.
“Her legs as wide as an empty ache. She waits–”
Her chest tightens. She bites her lip. She frantically looks ahead and behind her. She knots her skirt in her fingers.
“For a man–”
“I’m going to call the cops,” she says, her voice low.
“To penetrate her.”
“You–” Her hands tighten into fists. “Stay there!”
She turns, she runs down the aisle and up the next. God damn it, where is he?
“Where are you?” she hisses.
“Where is it?”
“Rope burns her wrists–”
“The words burn her heart–”
“Her lover’s cock burns her lips.”
“Oh my god!” she hisses. “Where is it?”
“Let’s see,” he says from the other aisle. She peers through the two rows of books, her own aisle and the next, but his back is turned to her. She can almost. Yes! She grabs his shirt. If she could dig her finger nails into his back, she would. She yanks hard and hears a seam pop. He doesn’t move. “You’re the librarian, right? According to the Dewey Decimal system — Erotica. Fiction. Or is it non-Fiction?”
She turns. She runs. She goes to elevator. So does he.
She backs against one side as he slips into the elevator behind her. She presses the open door button too late.
“Bastard,” she says.
She doesn’t answer.
“You write– You’re writing is passionate,” he says. “It’s beautiful. I want to read more.”
“That’s all you want?”
“Go fuck yourself.”
She lunges and slaps him.
She slaps him again.
“–the instrument to your concordant fingers.” He pauses.
His hands stay fixed, palms flat against the wall behind him. The elevator doors open but she doesn’t leave. He speaks quietly, from memory. “How I envy the jealous wood. Let me be the sounding board. How I envy the strings. Let my lips be their voice. Make me your instrument. Bend me. I will be the bow. Pluck me. My nipples will be the strings. Fill me. My tongue will be the reed. My hips will be the register. Make me the fretwork of your desire. Pierce me–”
The elevator door closes.
“And my womb will resonate. Make me–”
“Yours,” she says.
She says nothing at first. She wants to speak. She doesn’t. She opens the elevator doors with the press of a button. Then she hurries through the 600’s, the 700’s, and searches through the 830’s. There it is! Her sketchbook — small enough to fit in her purse. She clutches it to her belly and gasps when she turns. He’s followed her.
“I’m going to scream,” she says.
“Why haven’t you?”
“The library is closed. You need to go.”
“I came here for a book.”
“What’s the title? Give me a name. I’ll find it. Then go.”
“It’s here,” he points. The tip of his finger presses between her breasts. She backs against the books. He leans over her.
“I–” Her voice falters, lowers, quakes. “It’s– It’s not in circulation.”
“That’s rich coming from a thief,” she says.
He stoops and kisses her neck. “It’s not your money I want to steal.”
She pushes him away but he moves behind her, an arm round her waist. “So you’re telling me you just happened to find my purse?”
“So if it’s not money–”
“He is the stranger–”
“That’s fantasy!” she snaps.
“Then I want to be your fantasy,” he growls.
“We can’t do this –”
“He comes to her when she is a girl. One day he is not there. One day he is. She doesn’t see him but she knows his smell. She has waited without knowing she waited. At night he whispers to her. His words are rough. His words are the bark of trees. They are the dirt she tastes on a hot road. They burn, but she listens. They abrade, but she remembers. They pierce, but they are for her. They are–”
He pulls her hip against his groin and finds her nipple. “Say it.”
She closes her eyes. “They are–” She swallows. “They are words no man has ever spoken to her. They are–”
“–the rind of the orange–” He yanks her head back as presses fingers under the hem of her skirt. “–the apple’s bitter seed. They are sackcloth, iron and wood. They will divide moist earth and are the oxen’s muscle. He comes when she’s a girl. He whispers. They are words no man has never spoken to her. His words–”
“–cut her,” she whispers as he lifts her skirt, “and she bleeds.”
“His words,” he says, bending her over, “are dew, and her hair grows. Her hair is the vine of the wild grape.”
“His words are rain–” she says.
“–and she flows. She is ashamed but she listens. She hides but his words are flowers that grow in her secretest–.”
“–garden.” She groans as he presses.
He twists her head. He kisses. He enters from behind and she gives him her breath. She drops her sketchbook and braces herself, each hand on a shelf, one high and one low. He turns her head away. “One day a man comes to her when she is a woman–”
“And she knows him.”
“His voice is the voice of the stranger,” he says gently. He bends her over. He thrusts. His motion is firm and masculine. He presses deeply and tugs her against him. “His words,” he says, “are the words in her secretest garden.”
When she comes, she knocks books off the shelves.
When he comes, he arches and presses her shoulder against the bookshelve’s edge. He holds her hips tightly. He spurts inside her.
They make sure they haven’t been heard. He leans over her, still inside her. He presses his lips to her ear and whispers, “Write a story about a woman. Maybe a purse snatcher steals her purse. Maybe she loses it and somebody finds it. Her sketchbook is in her purse and he reads her erotic stories. What if he decides he doesn’t want to steal her money? He wants to steal her heart.”
“How does it start?”
“She hears a knock at the door.”
“She asks, ‘Who is it?’”