Four writers for the price of one blog
Her Aunt Felice stirred a little sugar into the tea. “Would you like sugar?”
“You’re not very talkative this morning.”
Eva turned her cup between her palms, letting the mug almost burn before turning it again. “Why do you still develop your film?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Guess I’m a little old fashioned.”
“Isn’t it expensive?”
Not as cheap as a thumb drive but, you know, cheap isn’t always better.”
“So why do you like film then?”
“You can’t beat the detail; but I like it just for fun, for philosophical reasons.”
“Like negatives.” Eva’s Aunt smiled. “You look at a negative and even the nicest people and the most beautiful scenery has a sinister side. Life is like that. You never know what’s lurking right in front of you. Look at it one way and you’ve taken a picture of a beautiful couple―just falling in love―look another way and you see tragedy.”
Eva’s Aunt seemed lost in a momentary reverie before her shoulders softened and she lowered her tea. “Like the secrets we’re better off having and keeping.”
“I’d want to know everything before I fell in love.”
“You can know too much.”
“Maybe the couple falls in love and stays in love,” said Eva. “Maybe nothing terrible happens to them.”
“Oh, Hon, there’s always a negative.”
“I’d rather know.”
“Youth,” murmured her Aunt wistfully, and rose from the table.
Eva’s Aunt went into town the next morning. A little while later her neighbor stopped by to restart the push mower. He was stooped over Out of the snow melt the first icy flowers were unfolding. The grass too, had begun to green and grow, thickening quickest in the hollows. Eva took off her shoes. She was staying with her Aunt until Sunday. Then she was off to Portland, her own flat, and a first job out of college.
“Are you Aiden?”
“Yeah.” The man stood. Eva’s breath caught. He was taller than she’d expected. He was graying with lines sunning the corner of his eyes. His hand enclosed hers with warmth and a rough palm. “Are you relation?” he asked.
He nodded and stooped again. “Thought I recognized you. Remember when you were just a kid.”
“We used to visit.”
“What brings you by?”
“A job in Portland.”
“You a photographer like your Aunt?”
“She’s a real artist.”
“Good luck with the mower,” said Eva, stepping past it and Aiden.
“Nothin’ to it,” said Aiden.
Eva didn’t answer. The dirt and hay was cool underfoot and the hay’s and the morning sun was already warming the hay’s smell. At the back of the barn, next to the sunlit doorway into a shaded yard, hung an old mirror. The wood frame was gray with dust and cobwebs. Eva stepped by it and saw Aiden watching her. His arm flexed beneath the mower.
The dark room was under the hayloft. She was curious. She hadn’t been in the darkroom for years. The door had been a house once. The paint was chipped and peeling. The backside had been boarded and painted black. She closed it behind her. She had seen the pull string for the overhead light. She walked toward it in the pitch black darkness. Finally, her right hand, fingers open, found the spidery thread.
The light was dim but enough to see by. The dark smell of fixatives mixed with moist air briefly let in. There were photos hanging from a twine and others spread on the table. They were eclectic: pictures of tools, buildings, people, street corners. Above them, pinned to the string from one corner of the room to its opposite, were nudes. She looked away, but after moment looked again. The were nudes of Aiden. He stood in front of canvass drop cloth hung or thrown over whatever was behind him.
His muscles weren’t as defined as a younger man’s. His shoulders were skinny. His angular bones struck Eva as both humorous and vulnerable. His cock was flaccid and uncircumcised. The hair surrounding his cock and balls was neatly trimmed. She smiled. She imagined him trimming for the pictures, though her Aunt was gay. He must be almost fifty. Why should he care? But why shouldn’t he? His expression was a strange mix: attentiveness, boredom, maybe amusement. His back was turned in some. His buttocks were muscular and the divot of his spine was a sinuous shadow. But in each picture her attention returned to his cock: long, like a hooded finger, now hanging, now cradled in his lap or sidelong over his leg. She had never seen an uncircumcised cock and had the curious thought that he wasn’t nude at all. His cock was hiding.
Sunlight filled the room and she cried out, surprised and embarrassed.
“Oh,” said Aiden, “didn’t mean to scare you.”
Eva glanced at the pictures, then at Aiden. “Sorry.”
“I―” She hesitated. “I was just looking at the photos.”
“Oh those,” he laughed. “Felice insisted. She’d had her fill of naked women.”
And that was it. No embarrassment. No anger. But her heart thudded. “I was just curious.” But that didn’t sound right.
“I’d never agree to it,” he said, talking to her as if she were just another adult, “but she’s persistent. I put her off for a month. Neatened up and let her have her way.”
“How was your day,” her Aunt had asked.
“I met Aiden,” was all she said. And going to sleep she wondered what she would have done if it had been her pictures in the darkroom, her nudes, and if it had been Aiden studying them. She imagined scolding him. She imagined his shame. Her nipples hardened. Was he naked? She imagined his lanky frame and the painful angularity of his bones. And she imagined his cock coming out of hiding, nude and vulnerable, the crown pushing through its hood of skin like a shamed animal. She fell asleep, moisture emerging from the thicket of her thighs.
“I’ve got to go back into town,” said her Aunt in the morning. “Aiden will be in and out. He’s got some work to do―replace an outlet on the fritz. No reason you need to hang around. Why don’t you head up North? Take the Jeep and a camera.”
“I like your place.”
“Suit yourself,” said her Aunt, “but stay out of the dark room for now.”
“If you want to play around in there I’ll get you a camera and I’ll show you how to do it.”
Her Aunt left and Eva opened the kitchen and living room windows. The morning was warmer, but the breeze still fresh and cool. She took off her tights, wearing nothing underneath the loose, sleeveless hemp dress that had always been her favorite. Her Aunt’s shelves were stacked with books on photography, history, art, novels. She picked a book called Bande á part. She lay down on the long white couch and stacked pillows under her head, imagining the book was hers, the couch, and the airy breeze lifting the windows’ curtains. A cut of sunlight crossed the hardwood floor and lit the ends of a palm’s leaves. She could easily imagine her Aunt’s house as her own―staying and never leaving. The people in the photos, some of them famous, peered back at her with perpetual curiosity and youth. How strange, she thought, to know their lives, how they succeeded and failed. How they died. She could nearlyname them all. She leafed through the book and closed it. She stared at the ceiling.
She tucked the book under an arm and went out.
Damp flecks of grass stuck to the bottom of her feet and ankles. She had read once that the smell of cut grass was the same as that of semen. How often had she sat with ankles and thighs laced with the odor of freshly cut grass on a summer’s evening, darkly exuding her own receptive odors―the knowledge of it like a defiant secret. Her finger’s tip passed lightly over the triangle of cloth above her pudenda. How long had it been since she had masturbated?
She latched the darkroom door this time.
She gently pushed aside the photos piled in the middle of the worktable and spread open her Aunt’s book. The pictures of Aiden still hung from the twine, like a vine crossing diagonally from corner to corner. She moved from one side of the room to the other, then stood on tip-toe to pick the photograph she liked. She laid it on the book as if it were an eaily bruised apple, careful not to bend a corner or crease the surface. The overhead light flickered.
“See?” she said. “Now you’re not a nameless. You’re famous.”
Aiden looked as though he were about to speak. She placed her finger against his lips, silencing him, then traced his sternum downward. She stopped at his cock, hanging a little to the side like an little elephant’s trunk.
The door burst open. The wire latch pinged from the door and struck the table.
Eva blinked in the sunlight, then snatched her hand from the photograph. “What!” she gasped.
“Sorry ‘bout that!” said Aiden. His lanky frame filled the doorway. He ducked his head and stepped into the darkroom. “Felice said there was an outlet needing―”
Eva’s heart thumped.
“What’s that there?” he asked, seeing his photo on the open book.
He gently closed the door and stepped behind her and looked over his shoulder. “Is that your book?”
“That’ll give her a good start.” He moved closer. She felt the heat of his body behind hers. Nothing was spoken. She didn’t try to escape. His voice was softer. “So you mind telling me what you see in that photo makes you think it belongs in that book?”
“I was just―”
“No,” he interrupted. “What you were doing before I spooked you? I want to know.”
This isn’t at all what Eva had imagined. “Okay,” she said both to him and to herself. She turned and lifted her trembling finger’s tip to his lips. He waited. She slid her finger down, over his chin and under. Down his throat. She felt him swallow, then his sternum under his shirt, down, over his unexpectedly firm abdomen and down until she felt it, his cock under the thin canvass of his trousers. A wry smile broke his gaze.
“Turn around,” he said.
She turned and rested her palms on the table’s edge. He reached under her arm. His fingers found her nipple, squeezed and gently rolled it. She inhaled, eyes turning upward, head falling back. His lips met hers. They kissed. “Lift your ass girl,” he said, “I’m gonna’ slide my finger up your pussy.”
Eva arched her back and opened her legs. He lifted the back of her dress, somehow preventing it from falling again.
“A little more,” he said, pressing his rough thumb into the base of her spine. She groaned and bent forward, curling her spine until it hurt. Then she inhaled sharply, more of a cry, abruptly penetrated, his finger rising up and into her. “God damn!” he whispered in her ear. “You’ve got a tight little cunt.” His thumb found her clit and his penetrating finger hooked something soft and fleshy. She grunted, almost fainting, as a sudden warmth, as if she had to piss, made her convulse around his finger.
He released her nipple and took hold of her pony tale, drawing her head back as he drew her cunt upwards and behind her. She gripped the table’s edge. She rose to her toes. One nipple jutted over the top of her dress. She came. Aiden cooed in her ear. “That’s it little one. That’s it.” He kissed her neck, the tender skin under her ear and didn’t let her go, didn’t withdraw his finger until she shuddered with a last spasm. Then she leaned over the table with a kind of exhaustion. Aiden straightened her dress, pulling it down, over her hips. He lifted a strap back onto her shoulder.
“I better get that outlet straightened out,” he said.
“No,” she turned around.
“No? Well Felice is gonna’ wonder what I spent all this time doin’.”
“No,” she said again, She felt his cock under his trousers.
“You don’t have to do that,” he said, =as though to push her away, “That was all for you.”
“You do that to all the girls?” she asked sternly.
“Now lets not―”
“I’m young enough to be your daughter.” She undid his belt and unzipped his fly.
“Or cut from one of my ribs.”
“Aren’t you embarrassed?” she opened his fly and yanked his boxers down. And then there it was, just like in the photos. Long. Uncircumcised. It’s hood of skin like the snout of an elephant. It was already growing thicker, fuller, longer. She wrapped her fingers around it smiddle. “Aren’t you ashamed,” she said, her voice as thick as the cock in her hand. ‘Here it comes,’ she almost said. “Show yourself.”
Like a serpent, unable to resist the flute of a woman’s voice, his cock began to emerge. The skin thinned and stretched. The hood slipped over the flange. The length of him shuddered so close to a woman’s lips. Naked. Vulnerable. She swallowed the head and his fingers knotted in her air. Her guided her mouth forward and back.
She pushed him away.
She trembled when she stood and once more turned her back to him. Once again she placed her palms against the table’s edge and lifted her pussy. Once again he lifted the back of her dress. He pushed her forward, bending her over the table, and tugged her hair so that her spine bent receptively. And once again there was no preamble. She rose to her toes and exhaled loudly as his cock filled her from behind―long, gliding on her moisture, punching the mouth of her womb.
He didn’t take long. Each thrust lifted her to the tips of her toes. Her fingers spread almost frantically on the table top. She was loud. Then he held her tight. The only movement was the pulsing of his orgasm inside her. The odor of semen spilled from her thighs and she came a second time.
Later, when he was pulling up his pants, when she once more pushed down and straightened her dress, he stooped to kiss her. She diverted his kiss with a finger. She kissed his cheek instead.
Aunt Felice was quiet drinking her morning coffee. Though Eva had returned the book to the bookshelf unseen, she glanced at it nervously. Felice turned the page of a magazine with a kind of impatience. She shook her head as if in disagreement with an article she’d read. “I know what you did.”
“You heard me.”
“No,” said Eva. “I mean, the day before? I didn’t know you didn’t want me to―”
Eva was speechless.
“I want you to leave,” said her Aunt.
“You heard me.”
“Because I don’t trust you.”
“Okay, as soon as―”
“No,” said her Aunt. ”Now.”
Eva pushed her chair back, a harsh scrape on the tile floor, but it was her Aunt who rose from the table first. The magazine she’d been reading fell to the floor with a flightless burst of pages. Eva followed her to her own room. Her Aunt knew where her backpack. There wasn’t much to throw in: a shirt, dress, a skirt, bra, a necklace, sandals, then into the bathroom where she jammed a toothbrush, soap, shampoo and tampons. Eva stood with her hands steepled helplessly over her mouth. Then she half ran after her Aunt, out the front door, into the garden at the front of the house.
The older woman stood by the white picket gate and tossed Eva’s backpack onto the sidewalk. “There it is.”
Eva wiped at the corner of her eye. She was shaking. “Why?”
“Because I don’t trust you.”
Felice brusquely took Eva’s hand. She pulled the girl behind her, pushed her out the garden and slammed shut the gate. Then, reaching over the fence, she yanked Eva’s hand palm up and closed her fingers around a roll of twenties.
“Where will I stay?”
“Stay with Aiden for all I care.”
“No!” said her Aunt, and turned her back on the young woman. “You’re on your own, girl.”