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Long Time: Waiting

SHE’s: young, fresh over from Jamaica, looking for a new life in 1960s London. She coudln’t be bothered to learn the national anthem. They let her in anyway.

HE’s: got red hair, blue veins, she’s got no idea how old he is but he looks like a fish. In his ordinary life he lives on the seventh floor with a wife who cleans spud juice from her fingernails with a knife.

THEY: happen to meet at a bus-stop. The rest is history.

*

“Jack!” Monica prodded him, “C’mon, you’ll be late for work. Jack… you playing wiv yourself?”

“Wot time is it?”

“Time you stopped wanking and brought some money in!”

“Know wot? You’re as common as muck.”

She leant over, squashing her breasts against his arm, said, “Give ’ere, let me do that for ya…”

But he yanked the sheets back and marched his cheated hard-on out the bedroom.

They hadn’t done it for ages. There he was, wanking off next to her and there she was, only too willing. Monica fell back onto her pillow, wondered what she might be doing wrong, but then thought fuck it, she snatched her cigarettes from the bedside table.

*

“Hello again,” said Jack as he reached the bus-stop, wearing a grin so wide almost all his teeth were on show. “You and I must stop meeting like this or tongues will wag, you know!”

“I don’t know what yu mean!”

“Don’t you, now. We’ve met here at least a dozen times… wot’m I saying,” he interrupted himself, “dozens! And I get a glimpse of you almost every day, or every other day. You never have a friendly word to say to me though I know you don’t dislike it.”

“Is what yu tink I can possibly have to say to someone like you?”

“Well, you could smile once in a while and say, “Hello, Jack, fancy meeting you here,” or “Hello, Jack, nice to see you again,” you know, something like that. Nice n friendly, like.”

“Nice an frenly me back foot!”

“Wot have you got to be so defensive about, eh? I don’t hiss or whistle as you go past like your lot do. Well, do I? No, I most certainly do not! I’m just nice n friendly, as I said. So wot’s a young girl like you got to be so uptight about, anyway, eh?”

“If is woman yu deh look go look inna yu own kind an inna yu own age, yaah.”

“I beg your pardon?!” It was far too loud to be a real whisper. One or two heads turned. Jack put his back between them and Rose, “How old d’you fink I am, then?” Did he look a mess? He knew Monica could look a damn sight better but he thought he wasn’t doing too badly.

“Yu old enough to be me farda, yaah.” Rose turn her face the other way look down the road.

Wot? Don’t make me laugh!”

But he did. “If I started having kids at fifteen like your lot seem to then I could be your father, grant you that.” She had a nerve! Old enough to be her father indeed! “I’m only -”

“How old you is don’t interest me.”

“Wot does interest you, eh?”

“Wat me do is none a fi yu business.” Is wat mek im no go weh an leff me alone, im is a blasted nuisance, she thought. An where di blasted bus deh?

No blasted bus, near or far, but Lou, as luck would have it, a little up from the bus-stop, Lou stepping out of the newsagent’s and heading their way, hunched over her cigarette.

“Oh ello, Emily! On your way home, are you?”

“Yes, see you.” Rose managed a meaningless exchange for a second or two, but glanced up only briefly at the voice that had so stabbed into her privacy.

“Wot you looking for, then? In a bag that small can’t be too hard to find anyfing, can it? I mean there’s not a lot you put in your bag when you’re going to work not like when you’re going out somewhere special I’m off somewhere nice tonight. Fink I might pop out again this aftanoon n see if I find somefing to doll me up a little bit noffing I hate more’n a woman who lets herself go, can’t be surprised if her old man’s eyes start doing the walkies, know wot I mean? Course, me n my old man we’re just like we were from the beginning, wouldn’t change im for the world n he wouldn’t want no other woman, either, I see he’s alright. No-one goes running after a bit a scraggy chop when he’s got steak at home, know wot a mean? Anyhow I must be off, listen, you fancy coming out for a round of bingo sometime? All girls togevva, we don’t half ’ave a good laugh I got noffing against you lot. My Michelle had a golly when she was little got it from her auntie Diane. Loved that little golly, she did. Really, must go, got a fousand n one fings to do before the day’s done. Cheerio, Emily. See you tomorrow!”

You know them people who talk non-stop? No business if you show no sign of interest, just talk talk talk without them even stop to draw breath? This is a kind of person Rose could never stand, like a whistling woman and a crowing hen; they were an abomination. For one long moment, Rose stood with her eyes closed, her head tilted back, as if knocking back some nasty cough syrup. Said,

“Here yu bus.”

Silence.

“Emily -”

Rose jump. He had said her name so sadly, so painfully, but never the pain which she had felt.

*

Emily Thompson (Rose to her friends), the protagonist, epitomizes the strong, funny, suspicious nature of the Outsider daring to go for a new life in a foreign country. She epitomizes the strength of dreams. She’ll reveal to us a lot about how the Jamaican family works and although she’d never use the word feminist it’s still true to say that she is all about independence, equality and betterment.

(Joan Barbara Simon, interviewed by Sezoni Whitfield for Writer’s Kaboodle)

Beautifully written. Joan Barbara Simon is a wordsmith par excellence. (The Sunday Gleaner)

A magical reggae-type experience full of pride poise & grace (Amazon)

Intelligent, humorous, tragic and sensual. Contemporary British literature at its best.   (A.A., London, U.K.)

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Long Time: the better life?

THE FACTS:

In 1950, 1,700 people emigrated from Jamaica to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Twenty years later, in 1970, the number of emigrants had reached an alarming 23,000. The total number of immigrants in the UK in the year 1970 constituted, nonetheless, less than 5%.

On the topic of immigration, Enoch Powell (Conservative Party) delivered a controversial speech in Birmingham -1968 –  after which he fell into disfavour and was dismissed from the shadow cabinet.

Edward Heath:  elected Prime Minister, 1970. The 68th Prime Minister in the history of the British parliament, the conservative Edward Heath replaced Harold Wilson, the only labour Prime Minister in the last twenty years. Enoch Powell, dismissed, disgraced, was most saddened by the fact that his participation in the party’s victory could only take the form of his rather vocal support in front of the television set in the lounge of his comfortably furbished detached house.

Jackass.

What a naughty boy was that
To try to drown poor pussy cat
Who never did him any harm

And killed the mice

Ran
Down
Hickory tickory…

…Tock

THE FICTION:

He winds his way through the estate; past the first two low-rise blocks, past the newsagent’s, the fish-n-chip shop, the launderette, the post office, the betting office and the off-licence. A short queue had formed in the chippy, and through the fluttering multicoloured strips of a plastic curtain hanging in the entrance to the betting office, men’s voices joke, shout, hope, swear. Post office being next to the betting office and the off -licence, a fair amount of welfare probably never made it through a man’s front door, thought Jack, such is life. He turns another corner:

A couple of houses in the block are boarded up. Amazing, how quickly a place can run down. It hadn’t been that bad when they’d moved in. If everyone were to plant a few flowers on their balcony in the summer and make sure their kids went to school, he didn’t want his kids turning teenagers in this environment but what could he do? His feet smack the concrete floor. The sound carries far, far enough for gangs lurking behind pillars yards ahead to know you were on your way but he lives there and isn’t afraid of boys trying to be men, he’d smack their bloody heads together if they ever tried to mug him or anyone in his family. In a parallel house an old lady’s sitting by her window, her curtains pushed aside. Elsewhere, a mother, fraught, fed up; “Daniel! Come ’ere before I give you one! Come ’ere right now… you fink I’m joking?” Silence for a while, then, “Daniel!” Impatience brewing. “Right that’s it, you’ve had ya warning.” Whack! A toddler’s wet, gargling scream. Father storms into the room, starts effing and blinding, but Daniel’s mum gives as good as she gets. Maybe it will come to blows. The old woman shakes her head as she withdraws from the window. From the profanity. Jack takes a shortcut past the playground; two car-tyre swings mope from the branches like carcinogenic fruit, a metal slide, a see-saw and a sandpit, or at least it had been, before the sand’d been pinched. Another left turn, and Jack is home. Lift’s not working again. He begins to climb the stairs to the seventh floor.

“S’at you, Jack?” She was in the kitchen.

“No, it’s Father bloody Christmas.”

“Hello, love.”

A peck on the cheek, “Nice day?” She wipes her hands on her apron. Pushes her hair into place. She had been beautiful once.

“Same as usual.”

Jack sits down at the kitchen table in the hot, small, cluttered place so hard to air on cold days such as these. The paint blistered on the wall around the cooker.

“What’s for dinner, love?” He picks up a crayon. Colours, absent-mindedly, with daughter, Nina.

Jack’s wife stands over the sink peeling potatoes. “Police were round. Door-to-door questioning. Some old lady in Havelock was mugged coming back from the post office this morning, I dunno… Ben got a gold star for a story he wrote at school, didn’tya, darling? Go’n show daddy your gold star…” she dunks the peeled potato into the sink of cold water then plops it into the pot on the cooker. Leaning against the cupboard, she begins to clean the juice, the mud of the potatoes from her fingernails, looking, every now and then, out the window. Nothing ever happened out there, but you look  just the same, like a fish in its bowl doing the rounds.

Jack looks at his wife. How many times had he told her it drove him up the wall the way she kept fiddling around with her fingernails like that.

“What’s for dinner, love?” he asks once more.

“Oh! Sausage n mash. Got a little baked beans left over from yesterday. You can ’ave those.”

‘Setting the book in Jamaica and England allows me to represent the communality of experience in addition to the effects and rewards of rupture. There are no losers in Long Time Walk on Water. Not even the most brutal of my characters. I see the vulnerability caused by need and I honour those who seek a way out. Harsh at times, Long Time Walk on Water is ultimately uplifting and life-affirming.’

(Joan Barbara Simon, interviewed by Lucy Walton for Female First)

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Long Time: tongues will wag!

“Jack!” Monica prodded him, “C’mon, you’ll be late for work. Jack… you playing wiv yourself?”

“Wot time is it?”

“Time you stopped wanking and brought some money in!”

“Know wot? You’re as common as muck.”

She leant over, squashing her breasts against his arm, said, “Give ’ere, let me do that for ya…”

But he yanked the sheets back and marched his cheated hard-on out the bedroom.

They hadn’t done it for ages. There he was, wanking off next to her and there she was, only too willing. Monica fell back onto her pillow, wondered what she might be doing wrong, but then thought fuck it, she snatched her cigarettes from the bedside table.

 

 

*

“Hello again,” said Jack as he reached the bus-stop, wearing a grin so wide almost all his teeth were on show. “You and I must stop meeting like this or tongues will wag, you know!”

“I don’t know what yu mean!”

“Don’t you, now. We’ve met here at least a dozen times… wot’m I saying,” he interrupted himself, “dozens! And I get a glimpse of you almost every day, or every other day. You never have a friendly word to say to me though I know you don’t dislike it.”

“Is what yu tink I can possibly have to say to someone like you?”

“Well, you could smile once in a while and say, “Hello, Jack, fancy meeting you here,” or “Hello, Jack, nice to see you again,” you know, something like that. Nice n friendly, like.”

“Nice an frenly me back foot!”

“Wot have you got to be so defensive about, eh? I don’t hiss or whistle as you go past like your lot do. Well, do I? No, I most certainly do not! I’m just nice n friendly, as I said. So wot’s a young girl like you got to be so uptight about, anyway, eh?”

“If is woman yu deh look go look inna yu own kind an inna yu own age, yaah.”

“I beg your pardon?!” It was far too loud to be a real whisper. One or two heads turned. Jack put his back between them and Rose, “How old d’you fink I am, then?” Did he look a mess? He knew Monica could look a damn sight better but he thought he wasn’t doing too badly.

“Yu old enough to be me farda, yaah.” Rose turn her face the other way look down the road.

Wot? Don’t make me laugh!”

But he did. “If I started having kids at fifteen like your lot seem to then I could be your father, grant you that.” She had a nerve! Old enough to be her father indeed! “I’m only -”

“How old you is don’t interest me.”

“Wot does interest you, eh?”

“Wat me do is none a fi yu business.” Is wat mek im no go weh an leff me alone, im is a blasted nuisance, she thought. An where di blasted bus deh?

No blasted bus, near or far, but Lou, as luck would have it, a little up from the bus-stop, Lou stepping out of the newsagent’s and heading their way, hunched over her cigarette.

“Oh ello, Emily! On your way home, are you?”

“Yes, see you.” Rose managed a meaningless exchange for a second or two, but glanced up only briefly at the voice that had so stabbed into her privacy and sliced her open.

“Wot you looking for, then? In a bag that small can’t be too hard to find anyfing, can it? I mean there’s not a lot you put in your bag when you’re going to work not like when you’re going out somewhere special I’m off somewhere nice tonight. Fink I might pop out again this aftanoon n see if I find somefing to doll me up a little bit noffing I hate more’n a woman who lets herself go, can’t be surprised if her old man’s eyes start doing the walkies, know wot I mean? Course, me n my old man we’re just like we were from the beginning, wouldn’t change im for the world n he wouldn’t want no other woman, either, I see he’s alright. No-one goes running after a bit a scraggy chop when he’s got steak at home, know wot a mean? Anyhow I must be off, listen, you fancy coming out for a round of bingo sometime? All girls togevva, we don’t half ’ave a good laugh I got noffing against you lot. My Michelle had a golly when she was little got it from her auntie Diane. Loved that little golly, she did. Really, must go, got a fousand n one fings to do before the day’s done. Cheerio, Emily. See you tomorrow!”

You know them people who talk non-stop? No business if you show no sign of interest, just talk talk talk without them even stop to draw breath? This is a kind of person Rose could never stand, like a whistling woman and a crowing hen; they were an abomination. For one long, long, moment, Rose stood with her eyes closed, her head tilted back, as if knocking back some nasty cough syrup. Swallowed she did, too, then set her lips sternly before opening her eyes once more to find Jack turned to face her, not smiling, or self-satisfied, rather thoughtful, even sad. She would not look at him. Said,

“Here yu bus.”

He continued to look at her.

“Look, yu gwine miss yu bus!”

“I’m not taking this one. Not today. I’m catching the same one as you are,” then he ducked away from the vexed look she shot him. “No need to get your knickers in a twist, I’m not gonna follow you home or anyfing like that… where you getting off?”

Silence.

He sighed, “Look, you can’t stop me from getting on the same bus as you. There ain’t a law against it, far’s I know. If you tell me where you’re getting off I’ll get off a stop earlier, how’s that?” he tried to be cheery.

Silence.

“Am I talking to a brick wall or somefing?”

After a long, long while, “Me deh get off by Pallard’s.”

Jack nodded, as if contemplating a second option, decided upon:

“Pollard’s, is it? A deal’s a deal,” but his cheerfulness made no impact on her. He exhaled with a slight whistle, his eyes on his shoes.

“Emily -”

Rose jump. He had said her name so sadly, so painfully, but never the pain which she had felt.

“…that first time I spoke to you and made you laugh, your face lit up so much it was an absolute beauty to see… you oughta laugh more often… really, Emily…”

Their bus ground to a halt at their feet.

“Ladies first.”

For her part, Rose hugged her handbag close to her chest and looked obstinately out of the window.

The West Indian conductor stopped in the aisle.

“Two please, mate.”

Rose had no time to protest.

The conductor swung the arm of his ticket machine round till it ching chinged,

Ching ching!

He handed Jack the two tickets.

“Taa, mate.”

Jack Dunbar and Emily Thompson sat upright. Not a word passed between the two a dem. Once, they brushed shoulders as the driver took a corner too sharply. Not a word.

“Pollard’s is the next but one, so I’ll get off here, okay?”

She nodded.

He reached for the cord overhead, suspended from the back through to the front of the bus like a washing line. Pulled it.

Ting ting!

“Some money drop fram yu pocket.”

Jack glanced down to see a coin lying on his seat. “Can’t be mine. I keep my money in my wallet, here,” he touched his breast pocket.

“Well, it’s nat mine neither.”

“You have it.”

“Me say it’s not mine!” she insisted, irascibly.

He picked it up as the bus lurched forward past the traffic lights. “I’ll use it to pay your fare the next time… there will be a next time, won’t there, Emily?”

 

 

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It is time (by Anna Bayes)

it-is-time-book-cover

Anna Bayes. She’s shameless. She’s bisexual. She’s submissive. She says. I say: if only I had met you sooner, I could’ve spared myself the trip to North Africa (see I’ve slept with a man (course I have)). Anna writes contemporary, paranormal, BDSM and LGBT erotic romances: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I’m not saying you’re asking yourself what LGBT is. I’m just making sure you know.

It is Time. For what? For  ‘15 bite-size tales of love and lust’. Bite, in French, means dick, if you pronounce it right: ‘beat’. The ‘t’ is important, so don’t gobble it.

Anna’s excerpt’s PG to stay on the right side of the rules, no doubt, though heaven knows there’s hardly a thing your average 12-year-old hasn’t heard of or even tried out these days. Like nature, and criminals, they’re mostly one step ahead of our attempts to cage and/or define them.

 

It is time, I believe.
My heart beats in my throat, and a chilling cold freezes my fingers, but I urge myself to speak my mind. “How many women do you have?”
He regards me calmly.
I gulp, and feel a whirlwind stirring in my stomach, but I look back at him with as much strength as I can muster.
“There are you, Robyn — you already know Robyn, and another girl called Tess.” He articulates slowly and clearly. “Three.”
A dull pain settles in my heart, but I accept it without letting it flare up. “Do they know as well?” I ask.
“Robyn possibly suspected that I had already met you before we had our threesome.” He says. “But no, basically. You are the only one who’ve ever asked.”
I nod.
The question, “Who’s your favorite?” circles in my head, but I know better than to ask that. Instead, I enquire, “You looked so peaceful when I asked you, were you expecting that question?”
“Not exactly.” He brushes a loose strand of hair out of my view as he continues. “But you’re easily the smartest girl I’ve met in my whole life. Whatever query you have, I think it’s best if I answer plainly, instead of trying to lie.”
I take a sip from my lukewarm tea and look around the apartment. The walls are bare; his suitcase is still leaning against the farthest wall, near the window. Except for the drinks on the kitchen counter, our shoes in the doorway and our clothes flung about casually on the floor, the place is empty.
He is in town every month or so, staying for about ten days each time. His business is good, so he can easily afford a spare apartment in the choicest region only for sleep and sex dates. The dingy brown sofa-bed does not bother him; he fucks hard and long on it, then cradles me to sleep.
I had known he was not for keeps, but the way he remembered details from our pillow talk, the meticulous attention he paid my body whenever he enjoyed me, and the sweet nothingness he consistently texted me everyday when he was away gradually built a cage around my heart. I grew attached to him and yearned for him earnestly.
To be fair, there is nothing to blame in him, because he has never deceived. Girls believed what they wanted; he never had to lie. I willingly accepted his sorry excuses whenever I wished to see him; it had always been him setting the time and date, and I showed up each time without fail.
I place the tea on the side, shift my position to face him and drink in his handsome features. His blue-green eyes effortlessly capture my soul; I drown in their watery symmetry. I often wonder if he truly speaks through his eyes, or am I the one convincing myself that I can read loving messages in his gaze. Perhaps I simply recite what my heart craves to hear in my mind when I worship his beauty.

 

When I think of that threesome, and of what Anna’s not saying, I fast forward in my mind, imagining it from the point of view one of the girls…

Some like it. Some don’t. Some people spend their time reading reviews so they know what they’re supposed to think. I think: I’ve got a brain and I’m a man of taste. That should do.

Can’t wait to see what such scenes look like in Anna’s stories when she’s not playing it safe.  

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00INCJFI0
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00INCJFI0
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/412890

For more about her:
Blog http://annabayes.wordpress.com
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King doth come: who’s gonna clear up the mess?

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I was told that The Lord’s Prayer and the text below, Prophets of the Streetlife, have a lot in common… Work it out for yourselves. Brain slobs and/or fundamentalists, back off. I don’t care what you lot think.

Religion and politics: a bunch of rapine, gavel-banging bigots, as the best a nation has to offer in the way of cultural diversion? You tell me… And diversion from what? You tell me…

Give us this day our daily bread  tho the Lord should know we’ll only have time for him once our basic needs are satisfied, but what does the church say about the basic need I keep referring to and which has the dim up in arms? They will insist on mistaking my sincerity for shallowness. Can’t help them. I’ve often wondered why and how the colour purple is at one and the same time the colour of sensuality and the colour worn by top-ranking clergy…

Give us this day our daily bread: watching holiday-makers befall the breakfast buffet once. Had the urge to collude with the hotel to bar their entry a day later. See how long it’d take them to get worked up. Then let them in, only to  discover: a single rasher of bacon, an egg, the corner end of a baguette and a cup of cold tea. All those hungry mouths – and fists – will have to work something out… Hidden cameras filming the rest, peeping deep  into the true heart of our kind.

At times they tell us: think (i.e.: reason), at times: believe (i.e.: don’t think). Most of the time we only believe we’re thinking, or think we believe… and behind it all the permanent attempt to mask the mere finger puppets we all are, hungry for reasons to believe anything at all… Won’t take Their finger out without a fight. Maybe I should be flattered by so much attention: seems like I’m worth fighting for after all!
Still have to clean up your own mess.

Till the next time. Yours, Tatar.

*

There she stood, hiding; the mother without child, the voiceless woman full of anger. Her smoked nails hammered her evaporated heart snivelling in the grotty kitchen of disaster. Her face, depleted, cauterised. Her eyes wheezed shame at what she knew would happen to her daughter, again and all over again.
Candelaria was a child with a lost childhood, a girl with volcanic bruises, ache squawking in her voice, apocalyptic rages and the teethmarks of her father on her breasts; a child whose nipples hardened when father’s fungous tongue licked them whilst she cried, bled, whilst he totally ignored her. Candelaria’s father had taught her how to fuck. Her mother had taught her how to swallow and how to quench scars with make-up. Scars that could never be silenced.
She was sitting on her chair, a butterfly without wings, the rouge on her mortal cheeks accentuating the surviving beauty of her face seeking the remains of her soul in the grey mirror image. Her black olive eyes smelled the scotch in her father’s mouth, and their lobotomised stars drowned like despairing coins in forgotten fonts. His torturing footsteps she could hear, his collapsing breath she could feel and she had stopped begging for mercy long ago, fleeing behind the lie that it was Eligio swashbuckling between her legs in order to get wet, at least, wet at least.
Mother overheard that violent bed of guilt, sputtering back and forth, sick sweat dripping, the rainy sough echoing through the daughter’s stolen body of gold. Next time I will do better, thought mother. Next time I will help her, take a pan. She knew she would not have the courage, but the illusion would calm her down, her conscience, at least her conscience.
Candelaria urinated fruitless spermicide, her mildewed brothers and sisters, before she reapplied the lipstick which had stained the maggoty nails of her genitor. In the glistening streetlight she could be free; she learned how to laugh on stigmatising streets where succulent condoms and paradisiac joints withered like the concepts of innocence and purity.

(from Prophets of the Streetlight, by Laura Gentile, published in Until Forever Becomes the End.)

Illustration by Jean-Paul Clayette

Laura Gentile replies:

‘The bruised skin of the inner nature next to the graved conformity of human surfaces. Her colourful body amputating itself from enslaving dictations, finding herself in the perversion of the cross’ silhouette, becoming flesh, getting hold of her soul by getting rid of the cross’ devouring burden, to find divinity in her proper features, unscrutinised, un-flagellated, de-victimised, humanised. She can grasp herself with her senses without the need to believe in something higher than herself, she can get there by herself, with her hands, her heart, her mind, not with a cross, in her case. Your honesty is a needle awaiting the reader in its detail.

I think it’s crucial to be able to have the choice of identification/acceptance or of deviation and an alternative quest for the self. What if it can’t be found where it is ‘supposed’ to be? We must tear ourselves from symbols that de-humanise us or constantly remind us that we need to be punished, that we need to walk with aching shoulders and that death awaits us in the end: where and what is human life in all this?

The cross you chose is very interesting; part of a mechanism (not humanism) attached to and controlled by a chain, holding it at arm’s length. It is so unnaturally smooth, basically the knife did a good job here, the surface looks ‘perfect’, no sign of blemishes. For me, it looks like an instrument of penetration that can be grasped, turned upside down, like a weapon that sends untrustworthy invitations, its double in a human form: unprotected, vulnerable and emotionally forced to be pinned down. In a sexual context, when it comes to the father (why use a capital f for where there is a father there is a mother), the cross as a photographed phallic symbol seems to be omnipotent and ever-lasting, always ready, always hungry. The way the woman in the painting gives pleasure to herself using her hands/fingers in this case, assuming the same position/form as the cross itself whilst she ‘drowns’ them (her hands).

(Hands as symbols of action. His are nailed. Hers are free to roam… She may and does act whereas all he can do is die…)

Are her hands free to roam because his are nailed or are his hands nailed because hers are free to roam? Either way nails are seeking and creating scapegoats and they play a very violent and senseless blame-game. Only when they succeeded in cornering human flesh onto a cross do they hold ‘it’ up high, in ‘exemplifying’ torment and death, not in life and action. What is this passion we speak of?’

Crucifixio meets Haven

I don’t mind admitting: I’ve got my issues with the church, like I’ve got my issues with anyone/thing it takes you less than ten seconds to see through.

I keep re-assessing the joy-to-pain ratio of acts done in the name of the Lord. You can imagine the rest…

All the same, there’s been some impressive thinking and writing I’d register on the Joy side of the ratio. And we don’t need to turn to the Bible, the great philosophers and theologians to find it. Kent Beausoleil. His true name and it fits. He’s a priest who hasn’t lost touch, who seems to be working out his own ratios, and finding conclusions which, quite honestly, leave  even a know-it-all like myself silent for a minute or two. And Bill Johnston. William Thomas Johnston, to be precise. A grand-sounding name befitting his depth of vision and consequent judgement of our times. Two different takes on the soul in search of what has been promised. Are they really so different, I wonder…

Bill Johnston is right up there along with Amy Jo Sprague, Penny Goring and Matthew Temple in my books and I’ll be returning them all more than once. What you have here is an abridged version of the opening of How to Serve an Unholy God.

How indeed to serve an unholy God? Is Crucifixio a response? Or Regrets?

And what if the real question’s not how to, but why: why at all serve an unholy God?

Desire. Desire. We do not desire a thing because we deem it good, but deem it good because we desire it (said another wise man)…

 

Crucifixio

The bright light pierced the color shards of glass bathing the wooden pew in front of me with colors that brought joy.  Songs of rapture filled the air while smells of perfumed incense enveloped me in mystery.  A young American boy from the 1960s surrounded by family, surrounded by community, looked over the wood of that pew and encountered strange men and women doing strange things, saying strange things, and a boy’s heart was filled with wonder.  My heart, filled with bliss, felt love.
Years later, as history met experience, as prayer met spirit, as faith sought understanding, this outward manifestation turned inward.  As the many sufferings of life changed bliss to anger, and wonder to hurt, the mystery became me and the me who did not understand rejected family, rejected faith, and found an ache planted.
The endless see-saw of love’s pursuit and life’s reality pierces the soul, and the heart wounded, compassionately sees at once injustice’s hold, and loves freedom, while the seeker’s hand firmly grabs the cross forever kneeling, forever praying, forever reaching out to mystery as mystery reaches out to me.  I collapse, catching belief, catching me.

Regrets

Over a hospital tray
of uneaten Jell-O,
maternal death looming,
I ask my mother of regrets.

Calmly
through oxygen haze
and medicine drip
she says ‘no’.

Later at home, posthumously,
I feel the lie.

Seven delinquent kids regrets.

Cigarette asphyxiation regrets.

Married at 19
regrets.

I
am regret.

And the empty liquor bottle tips.

Kent Beausoleil, published in Shaking Thoughts.

Available at:
Smashwords  Amazon US   Amazon France   Amazon Germany  Amazon UK

 

The town in which I was born was poorly named. The town was known as “Haven.”

I have been told the night I was born every woman with child in Haven miscarried with the exception of two. Some early in their pregnancy, some even unaware of their condition, merely bled. One woman died in the passing of her unborn baby. Another child was born dead and misshapen, with varying accounts of the extent of its disfigurement. Only two babies that night ever met eyes with the world. One, deemed Azalia, was said to be born chubby and laughing with a full head of blonde hair. I was the other.
With only two midwives in the town of Haven, and those off tending to clients able to pay, I was born of a mother alone in our single-room shack. She pushed me into this world onto our bare wooden floor, standing on her own two legs. She cut my chord with a carving knife from a drawer and wrapped me in a thin blanket. As a child I’d overheard it said that I was born bald, with a sickly appearance, pale and thin and lacking the breath of life. My mother held me through the night convinced she would have to place me beneath the earth in the morning. After weeping until she nodded off with my body resting on her chest she awoke the next morning to the sound of my weak crying.
Perhaps the memory of those days, blurred as they are, have been tainted by the effect of nostalgia, but in as many ways as I can recollect the time spent with my mother was filled with joy. We shared a small one-room house. As a child I had little and was put to every task I could accomplish as soon as I was strong enough to achieve them. I helped with the cooking, scrubbing the wash of others in exchange for firewood, smearing the many chinks and cracks in the walls of our home with mud to seal out the frigid wind.
I still recall the night I returned to our excuse for a home with arms full of dung to burn when I found my mother had finally succumbed to the pox. As a bastard I had no one left to care for me and the people of the town, fearing I would bring the illness into their homes, turned me into the street.
It was my first night huddled in the blackness of an alleyway that a man came to me. I was pulled from my sleep, my face forced into the mud and my breeches ripped from my backside. I pushed myself from the ground with my arms and as the man raped me I cursed him.
I cursed him with every foul word a boy of that age could know. I cursed him in the name of every god, creature and evil spirit. I cursed him in a tongue I did not know I possessed. I cursed him and he stopped.
I heard snapping sounds and gurgling then, and when I spun around I saw Leone. Leone was a tall man with a thin build, fittingly cruel eyes as dark as his hair, and what I saw to be an unaccountable strength with a large, heavy, red-headed fellow at the end of his arm. He held the man a foot aloft and in one hand he had the large man’s throat. The man died fairly silently as Leone increased his grip, driving his fingers into his neck and when the man fell away he still held a handful of throat in his grasp.
I thought surely I would die as I watched my uncle drop the chunk of flesh and lick the blood from his fingers but he merely said “come with me, boy” and, seeming to have no choice in the matter, I did.

Bill Johnston, adapted from How to Serve an Unholy God.

More from the great man here

Happy Birthday, Baby! (by Tory Richards)

HappyBirthdayBaby_600x800

 

Tory Richards is a further author from the Eggcerpt Exchange to be featured here. She describes herself as a grandma who likes to write smut. Why smut, Tory? Cos you’re American? Cos over there you hide your booze in a brown paper bag though it might as well be see-through?! I don’t get this false sense of modesty. A woman in her fifties’ll need a good (searching for a euphemism… what the hell, tell it like it is) a good f***, like anyone younger (or older!), even if they, some of them, will have to pay for it. It’s not smut. Stop listening to the wrong people! Sex is as necessary as all the other bodily functions we’re too prudish to mention, only this one’s far more enjoyable. And how you do it or write about it’ll tell me a whole lot about who you are, Tory…

No harm meant. None taken? Good. I know you don’t really think it’s smut. I’m just being a provocateur. You know that. So are you:
‘What better way to spend your fiftieth birthday than with the hot male stripper you’ve been coveting for months!’

 

I took a breath and decided to plunge ahead. What did it matter if he knew how I felt now? After all, I was going home with him. “I stayed in the shadows so I could watch you without my friends commenting about it. Satisfied?”

“You’ll know when I’m satisfied.” He glanced over at me. “So, you were watching me, too. Maybe if you’d given me a hint or two that you were interested I would have made a move sooner.”

All of a sudden, his warm hand was on my knee. Even that light touch excited me and had my senses swimming. For a stripper his palm wasn’t as soft as I expected it to be. The roughness and calluses revealed he might do something else for a living besides dancing. Only now, I didn’t care because his hand was slowly gliding under my skirt and continuing up my thigh.
Well, I’m sure you haven’t been lonely.” I swallowed with difficulty. If what I said angered him, he didn’t show it. His hand was within an inch of going as far as it could, and I was about to have heart failure.

“Maybe not, but you’re the one I want now. Since the first time I laid eyes on you I’ve wondered what it would be like sinking my cock inside you.” His finger flicked over my pussy and it was all I could do not to jump off the seat. “Jesus, you’re soaked.”

Oh, God! His finger flicking back and forth over my pussy felt so good! I found myself straining toward it, lifting my hips off the seat just a little. He made a right hand turn down a residential street, passing a sign that said it was a dead end. I wished I didn’t have on any underwear; I wanted to feel his finger inside my pussy, and against my clit. My breathing picked up with excitement, and I didn’t even try to disguise it.

Joe made another turn, and the car came to a hard stop. Then he switched off the ignition and everything went dark. I closed my eyes, working my hips against his intimate caress as I felt the pleasure build inside my body. I began to tremble, reaching for something that remained just out of my grasp.

“Joe–” I could hear the frustration in my tone. I wanted to tell him something, yet I couldn’t find the words.

“Tell me what you want, Lana.” His voice was low and a little raspy.

I heard a noise and realized he’d released his seat belt. Then he moved across my body and I felt my seat belt give. As he started to go back to his side, he paused and kissed me, at the same time his finger nudged aside my thong and sank deeply inside my pussy. My body arched with pleasure, and our kiss turned wild. Moans filled the inside of the car, the sounds urging us into a more intimate moment. And then, oh God, he found my clit.

Having been aroused to the point of almost coming more than once this evening, dreaming about Joe for months and wondering what sex would be like with him, it all added up to one colossal orgasm. A couple pinches, a few hard flicks, and I was coming like the geyser at Yosemite. Our mouths locked together, preventing me from expressing my intense pleasure. My first orgasm at the age of fifty seemed to last forever.

I was helpless to do anything but ride it out and wait for the convulsions to die down. More than once Joe’s fingers brushed against my clit, making me jerk wildly. I felt his smile before he removed his mouth from mine. Finally, I was able to take a deep breath, and I leaned my head back against the seat, exhausted. I don’t know how much time went by before he slipped his finger away.

“Would you like to go inside and finish this?”

 

Happy Birthday Baby is available at Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/search_results.php

For more of/about Tory, check out her website: http://www.toryrichards.com/

find her also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToryRichards

and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortoryrichards

 

I’m not through.

1. Tory, why did you decide to have a 50-year-old protagonist? Is that a critical  age in the sex life of a woman?

I actually wrote the 50-year-old heroine for one of my publishers as they’d requested a new theme where the heroines were fifty and older.

2. What kind of a 50-year-old were you? What were your routines, concerns, ideas about your future etc?

I was still working for Disney at 50, and taking care of my ailing hubby. Also, that was the age when my first book was published. My life was so wrapped up with my hubby that I don’t think I gave the future any thought. I was living day to day most of the time.

3. Have you ever or would you ever go to a brothel?

No.

4. What do you think about the sex industry in general?

I think I’m a little old-fashioned. Even though I write erotic romance you’ll notice it’s always between one man and one woman. For me sex has to involve emotions and a strong connection. Even in the short stories I write I try to weave some kind of commitment that explains why they’re having sex. Not to say I might venture out of my comfort zone some day because writers evolve.

5. Do you think American women are less daring than, say, their French counterpart?

Probably. It seems we’re always a little behind with what’s acceptable to the public.

6. What’s the hottest book you’ve read so far?

Can’t really answer that but one of my favorite authors is Lisa Bradley. She knows how to write a steamy erotic romance!

7. How do your friends and family feel about the fact that you’re a ‘grandma who likes to read and write smut’?

Supportive, but they don’t read my work. After the first two contemporary romances I wrote I switched to erotica, and it was just too explicit for them. I never get reviews from my family or friends, either.

8. Is there anything you found particularly hard (no pun intended!) about writing erotica?

Definitely! The first time I had to write cock and fuck I must have erased them several times before I finally left them. I’d always considered them strictly bedroom words. But in the end they’re just words.

9. Last question: why do you think erotic fiction is so popular today?

Because it’s exciting, and crosses the boundaries by using the real words and explicit scenes between the characters. No flowery words that imply body parts. And the doors are open. Also, because these stories have plots, unlike porn.

Summer’s Growth (by Tina Gayle)

FT-Summer'sGrowth

‘In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass…’

Now I know there are those who’ve called me ‘compulsive repulsive reading’. Compulsive repulsive my aunt’s fanny. Are you enjoying yourselves here, or aren’t you? Is it the same old thing every time? No it is not. And, once again, to prove the point:

Tina Gayle. Summer’s Growth. Contemporary romance with paranormal elements. A fabulous book I’d like to share with you. Nothing to do with erotic. All the ingredients for the type of read that’ll keep your behind riveted on the sofa till your bladder advises you otherwise. And even then…

For more about the plot:

‘Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it’s time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.’

Ready for a literary apéritif?

 

Mattie walked to the end of the table and sat across from him. Dread threatened like a storm on the horizon. She surveyed both sides of the table. None of the other council members were in attendance.

Mattie wiped her sweaty palms along the length of her thighs. What did he want? Jonathan didn’t usually hold a one-on-one meeting in this setting. Normally, they met in her office upstairs.

The muscles in her stomach jerked.

“In concise statement of the facts as I see them,” Jonathan spoke without preamble. “We have found your replacement, and we need to address the issue of your future.”

Her fears were relieved as to the topic of today’s meeting. She decided to address a number of other issues that should be discussed before her future. “Shouldn’t we wait until Amber Harrison accepts the job?”

“No.”

Startled, Mattie blinked. “Why?”

“Because no matter the outcome, you will still be replaced,” Jonathan declared.

“Yes, but what if Amber doesn’t work out?” For days, she’d speculated on how to approach this subject. “My nephew, Josh Clarkston is a lawyer. He’d make an excellent keeper.”

“No,” Jonathan’s rough voice commanded. “The wisest council will not be misled into offering such an important post to such an unworthy candidate. His character lacks the necessary virtues to accomplish the tasks we require of our keeper.

“As for your sister, Cynthia Clarkston, she never speaks of us without evidence of malice. We find no cause to reward her for her gum and insolence.” The rigid set of Jonathan’s jaw indicated he refuse to budge on the matter. “Like a Redcoat, she only wants what she can get from us. Her son has grown into a bad egg.”

“But…” Her stomach grumbled, mirroring her distress.

“Mattie.” His tone lower, he shook his head. “Many hours have been spent debating the matter. You’ve been a loyal subject since the age of fifteen, and you’ve paid your dues to your family. We hornswoggled you out of your youth. It’s time for you to relinquish control.” An indulging note bled through his words. “No one will ever be good enough to replace you.”

“Yes, but…”

Trust us child to find a soul who will honor your position. Nothing will remove your fears until you can reclaim your life’s mission and enjoy the rest of your days on earth.”

“But what if Amber doesn’t like it here? She’s a young college student from sunny California. Why would she move to Ohio where it’s cold? Even in the summer, we don’t have beautiful weather. The rain can last for days.”

“There is no dispute,” Jonathan growled. “Amber is a Winston. She longs to live here.”
“But you don’t get it. There’s no guarantee. Josh has lived here all his life. He’ll do a good job.” Mattie wished Jonathan could see her point. Things might not turn out like he’d planned.

“Besides Cynthia will be deeply hurt when she finds out everything is under the control of a stranger instead of her son. She won’t understand.”

“The Council’s point exactly. Cynthia cares only for gold, not for others. It’s best for the family to have someone else as the keeper.”

“The Council’s point exactly. Cynthia cares only for gold, not for others. It’s best for the family to have someone else as the keeper.”

The havoc this decision would cause in Mattie’s life washed bitter bile through her mouth. She swallowed, hard.

 

Summer’s Growth: Money and love. Violence, murder and mystery…
As I keep saying: normality? Where’s that, when it’s at home? And I thought my family was complicated! How can it be otherwise, when families are made up of individuals like us? How can our societies be otherwise, when made up of families like ours? How can the world be otherwise, being home to the societies we breed? I said the societies we breed, not the societies we need… Normality is elsewhere and you know what? Not a f***ing soul lives there. Okay, I’ll stop being ‘compulsive repulsive’ and get back to the Winston Estate.

Read more here : http://www.tinagayle.net/SGchapter.html
Buy Summer’s Growth  here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B8VXGLK

and what about some of Tina’s other titles:

CFO’s Affair:
Four women. One fatal car wreck. Everyone’s lives changed…

Sylvia Donovan is emotionally wounded from the unexpected death of her husband and still haunted by their last conversation: his request for a divorce and his confession of love for another woman. Her husband gone, her only daughter off to college, Sylvia faces the challenges of learning to live alone and move on with her life.

Vince Wilshire, enchanted with Sylvia, is more than willing to do what it takes to capture the heart of the hurting and untrusting Sylvia.

Can he help her forget the past and make her believe in love again?

Youthful Temptations:
Single again, Linda Clayton is ready to let loose and have some fun. Jilted at a party, she met a younger man, Vaughn Reagan. He has an active imagination and allures her into his life by tempting her with seductive games. 

Vaughn is thrilled to find a woman who doesn’t want children. He offers Linda a job so he can spend his days with her. Now, if he could only convince her to forget their age difference and enjoy the nights in his arms.

 

How to woo a reluctant bride (by Lyndi Lamont)

HowToWooAReluctantBride_1280x800

 

When I first learnt that Lyndi Lamont was a librarian, I thought; that’s my kind of woman! Hélène, my third wife, was a blockhead. I don’t think she’s ever read a book in her entire life. She thinks she’s smart, but a person’s face’ll always tell you if they’re bright or not.

Take a look at her on the book cover. She’s got something! She’s bright alright. Tilt of the chin: challenging. Hands on her waist… and the time it’ll take you to open all those buttons to get at her soft flesh…

Love the title. Hands up all those who think ‘How to woo’ is a brilliant opening? Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re thinking about sex practically all the time, aren’t we? They’ll slip a suggestion of it in anywhere to sell almost anything nowadays   (barring pet food, for now…), and not because we’re a bunch of pervs. No. Simply because it’s a natural need we suppress most of the time, but instead of making us civilized, it’s led us to morph into a pack of uptight brutes doing horrible things to each other to replace the one thing we should be doing so we stay balanced and think straight. But I’m yapping too much. Again. I’m not? Well!

How to Woo a Reluctant Bride. A steamy romance. Here’s the summary:
London, June 1885. A marriage of convenience, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. The rules are simple for an arrangement such as theirs. There should be no misunderstanding, no illusions of anything more. But the rules are about to change…

 

She broke off at the injured look on his face. “Forgive me, but surely you understand this marriage was never my preference.”
He turned away from her and ran a hand through his hair. “Yes, I know, but I hoped you had become resigned to it.”
“I have. At least I have tried to be,” she said, the words tumbling out of her mouth. “That’s why I think it best just to plunge ahead. Once the banns have been read thrice, we can wed almost immediately.”
He turned back, a frown still marring his forehead. “Will that give your mother enough time to plan?”
She shrugged. “All I need is a new gown.”
“But won’t society think it odd we married in such haste?”
She looked him in the eye. “Let me make one thing clear. I do not give a fig for what society thinks. If you supposed you were marrying a social butterfly, let me banish that notion right now.”
He smiled at her. “Harry said you were sensible, but this surprises me. I’m happy to agree to a short engagement.” He stepped closer, towering over her. “The sooner I can make you mine, the better.”
Her heart pounded and her breath caught as he lowered his head and touched his lips to hers for but a second before backing away. She drew in a deep breath. Her first kiss and it had been over almost before it was begun. She didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed.
“Shall we go inside and discuss the wedding plans with your parents?”
“Not yet. There is something else I’d like to say.” It was now or never.
“Yes, my dear, what is it?”
She licked her lips then plunged ahead. “I know how these things work. Arranged marriages, that is. I won’t expect fidelity from you.”
His shocked expression surprised her. “Is that what you think, Lydia? That I’m marrying you with the intention of cheating on you?”
“Perhaps not now,” she said. “But in a few years. It’s not as if ours is a love match. I won’t cut up a fuss if you decide to take a mistress. As long as you are discreet.”
“How very… sophisticated of you,” he said, his tone dry enough to parch a desert.
She took a deep breath before continuing. “And once I’ve produced the requisite heir and spare, I assume I’ll be free to seek my pleasure elsewhere.”
The thunderous look on his face startled her and she stepped back.
“You will do no such thing,” he said fiercely, reaching for her. “Our union may not be a love match now, but I fully intend to see it turns into one.”
Before she could say a word, he pulled her into his embrace, trapping her arms between them as his encircled her shoulders and waist. Covering her mouth with his, he kissed her with a heady combination of passion and anger. Her resistance crumbled in the face of his onslaught. She clutched at his lapels and returned his kiss, even parting her lips when his tongue probed them. Overwhelmed by the sensations his lips provoked, she let her eyes drift shut as she clung to him.
When he let her go, he was still visibly upset. “There will be no more talk of infidelity. Have I made myself clear, Lydia?”

 

There’s only one way to know if the darkly handsome Evan Channing stuns his betrothed, Lydia Latchford, in ways you’ve never even thought of yet. I’ll tell you one thing, though: his bedtime reading is the Kama Sutra… And by the sound of things, his bride-to-be isn’t that demure after all. There’s a good read waiting for you, no doubt about that!

99c is all it’ll cost to get your copy of How To Woo A Reluctant Bride at:
Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iTunes   Kobo   Smashwords

Find, follow, like and share Lyndi online at:
http://www.lyndilamont.com
http://www.facebook.com/LyndiLamont
https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont
http://www.lyndilamont.com/blog

It wouldn’t be gentlemanly of me to ask you, Lyndi, if you’ve personally worked your way through all the positions in the Kama Sutra. But I bet I’m not the only one who’s dying to know…