beauty, fiction, short fiction, women

Too Many Eyes

 

Cara set out from camp before sunrise. She ate a bowl of thin gruel and drank a shake of amino acids and vitamins. Fuel for the bacterial system she wore as a scout working from Camp Hope, made her immune to the bad shit still floating out there.

It tasted like chalk and bile, sat like a ball in her stomach as she set out.

She had traded the location for two blocks of ammunition, so she had only gone out with one. Five hundred flechette rounds generated from a stable block of nanites but where she was going, she needed all the ammunition she could carry.

The rifle looked like an arthropod, a purple bladder which glistened like latex in the first light of dawn. Its shape defined by the lengths of forming the butt and the whorled barrel, like a narwhal horn with streaks of light pulsing down it.

Scouts kept what they found. Cara had found a lot out here.

Brought most of it back.

She breathed in the warm, rich air of the morning. The bacteria on her skin converted sunlight into proteins and carbohydrates, absorbed into the stack of nutrient-rich clay which sat in her stomach. Cara had not eaten a meal out of necessity for five years. She ate for pleasure if at all.

The bunker sat recessed into the side of a bank of earth two miles from camp. The entrance was an ovoid portal, devoid of any features. She withdrew the wand from her hip and waved it over the surface, calling reams of information, rainbow streams of data as she manipulated lines of code with a turn of her hand.

It surrendered with a hiss and she caught a burst of stale, sweet air.

The promise of rot.

She shouldered her rifle, blinked to activate the targeting and heads up display, casting the interior of the bunker into sharp relief.

The woman sat there, staring out at nothing. Mere feet from the door.

Long, dark hair, thin at the crown and torn out at the temples in chunks, the skin long since darkened where the blood had dried up. Her lips pulled back over her teeth as though death had left her poised to say something cruel. Cara noted the play of blotches on her skin, the scales gathered on the crook of her elbow.

A beige gown covered the rest. Cara’s senses revealed a serpentine heat in the abdomen and the rusted gold glow of breath in her lungs.

The possibility of how long she had been down here resisted rational analysis.

‘Miss, can you hear me?’

Cara’s voice was sharp, trembling with fear. She sought out strangeness, seldom found it. This was an incursion into a reality beyond the strange times she lived with.

‘Don’t.’

A hand clutched at her ankle. The small black tube clattered against the tiles and Cara stepped backwards, finger against the trigger.

‘Pick it up. I got the antidote out.’ the woman said.

Cara bent down and picked it up, tucked it into a small pouch on her right hip.

‘Antidote to what?’ Cara said.

The woman coughed. Cara stepped backwards, skittish with concern as she aimed the rifle downwards.

‘What’s coming up.’ she said.

Her voice was a small bird’s prayer. The gloom of the bunker spared Cara the worst of whatever ravaged her.

Cara’s head throbbed with horror. Proximity sensors went off in her head, like fireworks made of anxiety as something in the bunker moved towards her.

‘It’s poison. We made something out of poison.’ she said.

Cara’s eyes bulged in their sockets as her heads up display displayed the need to get the fuck out.

She stepped backwards. The woman tried to smile at her, but it frightened Cara to look at her. In the shadows, something flickered, wet and rippling.

Cara’s mind tried to make sense of it. It had too many eyes to look at. A panoply of emotions, but underneath, one thing.

Madness. Unrelenting madness.

She stepped outside, sealed the door as the thing elongated and whipped forwards, too fast to register on the heads up display.

The dull thump of its attempts to open the door stopped.

Perhaps it got bored, Cara thought.

She sat down on the dirt, picked the canister out from her pocket and turned it between her fingers.

Cocoa butter. aloe vera. Cochineal extract. Amino acids. Strange proteins which gave off a wireless signal, offering her onboard system valuable information.

She unscrewed the lid. Twisted the rich, inflamed nub of lipstick up and sniffed it. A faint, medicinal scent. Her system did not trigger anything.

The butter tingled against her lips. Her heart raced and she finished the first draw along her lower lip.

The antidote flared into being, the kind of idea which drew Cara out here in the first place. Her thoughts gained substance as the world grew bright.

She felt like she had too many eyes.

Too many eyes.

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beauty, love, lust, poetry, sex, women

Mercurial

Soft

Hard

Light

Dark

We occupy mercurial

Space here

Writhing and dancing

Around one another

We plunge and dive

Like the light of dying stars

And oh how I am

Lost

Found

Within the soft

Muscular sweetnesses

Let me take hold of you

As warm and delighted

As a hot bath

I offer a powerful ease

Of being

A place contained within

A frame

Our polarities

Held within, speak

The same language

The crackle of cosmic static

Even our silences

Drip with honeyed anticipation

Squirming

Alive and wild with wonder

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beauty, love, lust, poetry, sex, women

Define Me

Define me

With soft hands

Wandering over my tan skin

Make patterns with the fur

Define me beneath the sparkling

Rush of your want

I will watch the pleasure

You take

Receive more than my share

Arouse the gift ofnme

Until touch is not enough

Climb this summit

Find the beast at its centre

Rouse him from

Sleep

Feel him

Roar

Look into my eyes

Along for the ride

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beauty, love, lust, poetry, sex, women

Candied Silences

Be my Scheherazade

Tease me with the untold

Candied

Silences of you

Your story of skin

Something held

To work for

My appetites

Are worth stoking

I am a patient animal

But I hold at bay

The urge to make you

Anew with my rough hands

Made precise as surgery

Pleasure

To usher in a stunned silence

Sounds over words

Feelings over thoughts

Affirm my discipline

With the warm surrender

Of your flesh

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beauty, love, music, romance, women

Bass Vibrations

The people carrier sat on the kerb outside. The two men moved shining refuse sacks, reusable carrier bags and boxes inside, but for the oversized guitar case, the taller of the two insisted on taking it inside. His head gleamed with perspiration as he kept an even pace of removal until he invited his friend inside. I had watched them whilst the washing machine ran through a rinse cycle. The apartments here were pauses not new beginnings.

I thought about the man on the commute, making up stories why and how he came to be here.

The twilight beat me home. I poured a glass of wine, switched on the oven and wandered into the living room, slipping my shoes off with a sigh of relief.

His windows were open. I saw the magnolia walls, their expanse broken by the monochrome poster he had put up. He sat on a stool, guitar on his knee with black headphones over his ears, a lead trailing off to a speaker about the size of a mini refrigerator; I opened the window and sipped my wine.

He turned the pegs with his left hand whilst strumming the strings, nodding and adjusting them until he gave a short nod. He curled his fingers around the neck of the guitar slow and cautious as he plucked with his right hand. He had tan skin, a shaved head and lean, strong arms. He wore a white shirt, with the sleeves rolled to the elbows and his forearms were vascular from the effort of playing. He lifted his head, smiling to show his white teeth, caramel eyes gleaming with delight. I liked the dimple in his chin when he smiled and how his eyelids had fallen, heavy with some quiet brand of ecstasy as he played. His feet were bare as he tapped them against the floor, keeping time to some internal rhythm.

His lips were parted and he tilted his head back as his thick, long fingers gained boldness. My heart was pounding in my chest, frustrated to not hear anything but enthralled by the fierce, boyish purpose he took to as he played.

I stopped watching only when the smoke alarm went off. By the time I came back, he had finished. I sighed and fought a twist of disappointment which stuck in my chest, hurting with each breath.

He practiced each day. I would get home from work, grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and watch him play. He played like he were taking flight, an act of purposeful liberation which became the quiet highlight of my day.

I had needed milk, gone to the shop across the road and had a carton in my hand when he walked in, slipping behind me in the queue and saying hello with a gruff, low voice vibrating with warmth.

‘Hi. You’ve just moved in around here, haven’t you?’ I said.

He nodded, gave a quick, pained smile and looked at me with amused interest.

‘You play guitar.’ I said.

My voice sounded tight as he raised an eyebrow.

‘Bass. I use headphones though.’ he said.

I shook my head.

‘I’ve seen you play. I mean, I see you. I live opposite you.’ I said.

His smile softened. I paid for my milk and left, wishing I had idled in the shop. He called as I left and I turned, steeling myself for a confrontation or a laugh at my expense.

He gazed into my eyes, asked if I wanted to come over.

‘You’d enjoy it more if you could listen.’ he said.

His smile made it an agreeable decision.

‘If I could hear you over watching you.’ I said.

I had work to do for the office, half a bottle of wine and something for dinner. An ordered, comfortable existence but here was a stranger, prone to flights of pleasure when alone, and I wondered if it would be as sweet to listen as it was to watch him.

‘Yes, I think I will.’ I said.

He said his name was Mark.

Later that night, feet bare and with my hands cupped over the headphones, enraptured by the womb-dark sea of sound and vibration as he played as I was by his expression. I felt myself soften, and when he touched my shoulder, I put my hand over it, enjoying the warm strength of his fingers on my skin.

I carried the bass vibration along with the touch of his hand, let it move me towards him and took flight in my own way.

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