love short fiction water women

To Sail A Sea Of Glass



Markus activated the heads up display on the inside of the suit. Information bloomed before his eyes like flowers of light and mathematics.


He was jumping from 62 miles above the ocean surrounding Arcadia. Going through the ocean was impossible as it was studded with banks of intelligent coral and patrolled by serpents grown in laboratories to eighty feet long and programmed to attack anything without an authorisation signal.  They spat sharpened carbon spines at the velocity of sniper rounds at anything they looked at. The authorities were looking for him, so walking up and asking for her back wasn’t an option. It was a suicide mission for anyone with half an ounce of common sense. He had about a quarter left, the rest had gone up in smoke when he met her.


He wore a Sanchez Model 7, clad in ceramic-diamond plate and patterned with veins of liquid information leading to a powerpoint on the back, which ran a permanent loop of zero point energy suspended in liquid time and sealed into the suit. He could have bought an island for the price he paid, but he needed this to invade one.


He walked to the airlock and the ship’s computer took over.


Time to jump, he thought. He closed his eyes as the airlock sealed behind him and he looked out onto the ocean beneath, visible through banks of clouds which sparkled as they transmitted information across the globe. He activated the probability field on the suit and stepped forwards into thin air.


He watched the air shimmer around him as probabilities warped, allowing him to produce effects in defiance of physics and without drawing attention to his descent. Markus would slide down like a blob of oil across the surface of a pan and experience it as a short, spectacular ride in an invisible elevator.  


Markus followed the navigation system down, pulling information into his heads up display, making adjustments to correct his descent as he prepared to land at a particular point.


A 62 mile descent onto the deck of a yacht without breaking it in half was something to aim for, he thought as he watched it rush up to meet him.




Meunier removed the air hypodermic from her left forearm and sat back on the couch, enjoying the slow echo of pleasure which ran through her veins. Arcadia ran under strict rules regarding substance abuse, so this would be the last time she could get high for a few weeks. The bounty was too good on this not to demonstrate a little discipline, she thought.


Especially on the insistence of the asset being brought back alive, which was tiresome. Meunier had debated decapitating her and cloning another body, taking it off the reward, but when she had discussed this with her broker, Uma, it had been met with a hard stare and a snort of derision.


Arcadia might have been full of mad scientists, but they were serious about money.


The bitch had killed two of her guys when they ambushed her in Jakarta She broke Oscar’s neck after paralysing him with a fingertip strike to the armpit and shot Joel in the throat before Meunier had abandoned subtlety and shot her with the frequency cannon, forcing her onto her knees with agony as she clutched her seizing stomach. Meunier had not needed to kick her in the head, but it felt good to do it anyway.


Gregory was keeping her sedated for the trip back and the idea of going by yacht had been part of the job itself. Arcadian airspace was impenetrable, and Uma said the return needed to be done out of the way. Meunier didn’t care so long as she got paid, plus the yacht had been waiting for them when they landed at Port Calabasas. It was gorgeous and more importantly, it sent sonar signals to the malevolent life under the ocean, giving them permission to pass without being torn to pieces.


Thinking about it had soured the high a little and Meunier wanted to go stub a cigarette out on the bitch’s forearm but she changed her mind as she walked onto the upper deck.


Arcadia had a controlled climate, and Meunier looked on an afternoon of perfect summer.


When the shadow fell across her, she frowned and looked up.


A figure was descending from the sky with its arms outstretched.  Thick clouds of vapour drifted from its fingertips towards the ocean as Meunier drew the pistol from the holster under her right arm. She sent a command to her team, told them to get to the upper deck and prepare to repel an assault.


She wished she had never taken this job as she aimed and fired.




He watched the storm of bullets come. The beams diffused into harmless prisms of light against the field and the bullets hung suspended, some of them caught in the act of exploding, like dandelions of fire and shrapnel. He wiped them aside as he continued to descend. Markus trusted they would focus on him rather than what he launched on the way down.


The chemicals landed with a hiss against the surface of the ocean. It was a plasticizing compound, increasing the viscosity of the water  and sealing everything in place.


He watched the gunmen on the yacht look around in shock, before they resumed firing up at him. Markus was struck by how the surface of the ocean looked like glass, frozen in sculptured waves. There were shadows of the serpents underneath, already poised to investigate the events above them.


The probability field started to falter so Marcus put his hands in front of him and fired three micro rocket arrays. Each of them was the size of a marble, exploding six feet above them and coating them in neurotoxins. Markus watched them fall to the ground but Meunier held her ground, moving backwards into the yacht as she fed another clip into the gun.


Markus landed on the deck, filtering the kinetic energy through the field to diffuse it and loaded up the targeting system. The ceramic plates on his forearms extended into blades as he ran after her.


Alarms screamed in his vision as he ducked beneath a burst of fire and punched his right arm forwards, firing the blade as a reflex. He whistled beneath his breath as Meunier turned to her left and let it fly past her. It punched into the bulkhead to her left.


He stayed low as she fired at him. The probability field had recharged and he projected it ahead of him. The flechettes froze in mid-air.


Meunier frowned as she emptied the clip at him. He walked through the storm of needles as he pushed himself forwards, swinging his left arm up and across in a perfect display of tameshigiri, whipping the tip of the blade up and across.


It sliced through her right hip and up through her abdomen. She had no time to scream, and her last expression was one of rage. She fell backwards with a thump against the deck as Markus walked through the corridors of the yacht.


His heads up display guided him to the master bedroom. The doors were locked and he scanned the room to see there was two occupants, and one of them was in bed. She was sculptured in green and yellow, all her vitals burning with health beneath his enhanced gaze. He clenched his fists and blew the doors open with a concentrated kinetic pulse of energy.


The man aimed a gauss rifle at him. Markus shook his head and pointed at her on the bed.


‘I need her awake. Now.’ he said.


The man, wearing a black armoured t-shirt and combat trousers, kept the rifle on him.


‘Fuck you, you’re in the middle of Arcadian waters, and we’re here on diplomatic business. You’re a dead man.’ he said.


Markus chuckled and pointed to the porthole.


‘Have you looked outside?’ he said.


The man glanced to his left. Markus extended the probability field and stepped forwards as he activated the two-second teleportation device, slamming forwards and snatching the rifle from his hands and turning it on him.


‘You’re stuck on a sea of glass. Wake her the fuck up. Now.’ he said.


Later, Greg told himself he had no other choice. Meunier had paid well, but he had reservations about Arcadia. He handed over the vials, told the guy what order to administer them in and ran to the upper deck.


Markus wondered if he had figured out they would stuck here. At least until Arcadia sent out drones to investigate what had happened.


He loaded the air hypodermic and injected the first vial into her forearm. She flushed with blood and gasped as her eyes fluttered.


‘Just breathe, baby girl, I’ve got you.’ he said.


He injected her again. Her mouth opened as she sighed and smacked her lips.


The last vial opened her eyes and she sat up. Meadow.


‘Fucking cunt.’ she said.


He stepped back as she swung at him. He made the face plate transparent and put his hands up.


She scowled at him and then leapt off the bed, wrapping her arms around him.


‘You stupid bastard. I told you not to come.’ she said.


His eyes blurred as he wished he could feel her, skin on skin. There would be time for that, he told himself, as he pushed her back.


‘You knew I would.’ he said.


He ached to say more but he wanted them to be alive to say it to her.


‘Follow me. We’ve only got a minute or two before the drones come.’ he said.


Meadow picked up the gauss rifle and checked its load, grinned at him in a way which made him fill up with a dark, primal heat. He pushed it back down as he went up the stairs.


‘We’re coming up. Don’t do anything stupid.’ he said.


Gregory whimpered and told him he was fine.


Meadow wanted to shoot him but Markus said it wasn’t worth the trouble. She detoured to the communications deck and sent the authorisation codes to Markus’ armour.


‘So, this is where you tell me how you’re getting us off this planet, yeah?.’ she said.


He nodded as he pointed at Gregory.


‘Fuck off downstairs. Tell them what you want.’ he said.


Gregory sprinted down the stairs without looking at either of them. Meadow would have made the shot but she was more concerned with getting away than getting even.


Markus depressed a stud on his right hip and a kidney shaped compartment opened. He pulled a white tentacle and wrapped it around his fist before he pinched the end of it as it ballooned into a translucent hood. He offered it to her.


Meadow chuckled and shook her head.


‘You get to wear the power suit and I have to put whatever that is, erm, where?’ she said.


It connected to an organic network, grown into the suit. The hood would provide her with oxygen and nutrients, and the probability field would support them both as they went up to the ship.


‘So you’ll have jumped, what 130 miles for me today?’ she said.


He shrugged his shoulders.


‘I took you seriously when you said you were high maintenance.’


She slung the rifle over her back, slipped the hood on and wrapped her arms around him.


They looked at one another, separated by membrane and armour, bodies humming with a vibration which had altered them both.  She felt physics twist around them as they took to the air.


She mouthed that she loved him as they took to the air.


Markus saw the drones launch from the spires of Arcadia as he pumped the probability field to its limit. Meadow clung to him as the air chilled around them. The ship opened the airlock, warming up its systems as it prepared for ascent and evasion.


His heads up display read the distance. The drones were focusing their attention on the plasticized ocean, relaying everything back to Arcadia.


‘They’re ignoring us.’ he said.


She gasped with surprise at being able to hear him. His voice was a warm whisper in her ear. It sounded like home.


‘I sent the codes to your armour. Of course, it means -‘


The yacht exploded beneath them as they slipped into the airlock. It closed behind them as they stepped into the ship. The helmet retracted from his face like autumn leaves blown by the wind as she clawed the hood from her face.


Their lips met as they held onto one another.


Later, there would be war and death but as they kissed away the anguish of separation, none of it mattered.




fiction short fiction water women

The Memory of Water



We slammed down to the surface inside a sphere filled with suspension fluid that tastes of the memory of vodka. We breathed it in, letting the physics of fluid keep us in one piece.

Lena gave me a thumbs up as she unclipped her harness and swam towards me. She massaged the spot on her jaw that activated the radio telepathy. My scalp prickled as the familiar jarring sensation of my bones preparing to conduct her voice into my head so we could communicate inaudibly.

She unsealed the hatch and we held on as the suspension fluid emptied out. It broke down into inert compounds, entirely soluble and we coughed out our share. Our eyes met and we grinned at one another.

‘We made it.’ I said.

She gave me the thumbs up.

‘Let’s go fishing.’

The sphere bobbed on the waves but Lena squatted with drilled grace as she retrieved her pack and depressed a series of rounded switches before she plunged her hands into the centre of it. The pack rippled and travelled over her hands and down her arms. She was covered in a layer of nanite-woven material. I picked up my own pack and repeated her movements. It moved across my skin like a whisper. Millions of robots making material from the surrounding air. It was as light as silk, took on impact like steel plate and kept out foreign bodies and vectors of infection. The nanites wove a different pattern over our heads and faces, weaving an invisible veil of tiny propeller powered robots around our heads.

Most of all, 725 necessitated remaining warm and dry.

The entire surface of the planet was covered in water. Our craft had been designed to explore it. We would move by activating bacterial sacs that blew out jets of chemical propulsion but the drop had been accurate. Lena climbed out of the hatch and onto the sphere.

It bothered me that we were the first humans here, and we had become so accustomed to it that we simply went to work.

The company had conducted deep scans and sent out drones to explore and stream back live data. The initial data presented a thriving ecosystem and some interesting rock formations. Most of all, there were no natives to negotiate with.

Yes, we did do that. It was always smarter to make friends rather than enemies.

Lena’s feet and hands generated minute barbed hairs on her soles and palms as she climbed up the sphere and slipped onto her front

‘I used to like fishing. Did you ever go fishing, Gee?’

I laughed and told her no, I had not.

Her voice was a honeyed drawl. It was pure Southern in its sweet, tough allure. She was compact, almost androgynous in her lean frame. That was both deliberate and a matter of the genetic enhancements she had taken on as part of her contract.

Women like us represented the thinking around manned space exploration Women coped better in proximity. We suffered less from intercranial pressure and we retained less iron in our blood. These were baseline genetic advantages before the science started to push the envelope of what was possible. What was human.

We were here to retrieve a specimen from one of the most populous species. They resembled giant shrimp, moving in schools that spanned several miles. They would rest on the surface for a time before disappearing into the depths. Getting one would allow us to tag and track them. Research and Development would take over from there. We never asked.

That was never recommended.

This location had been determined through its proximity to the routes they would take. All we had to do was sit here, scoop one up and wait for the pickup. Ostensibly it’s a giant ice cream scoop that flings us back up into station orbit, launched from a single spring and using kinetic energy to power it down.

‘Pass me the BB.’

The Bubble Bobble was a passive weapon that sent out a swarm of nanites who would weave a spider silk and graphene sphere around whatever you wanted it to. It was a handgun with a retractable stock and a fibre optic cable that plugged into the suit and gave you God Mode accuracy.

‘So did you ever fish with a gun, Lena?’ I said.

She chuckled and whispered a rude word.

The sound of their motion registered in our displays. They moved quickly, generating momentum and forcing the water ahead of them. Lena told me she was setting up. I went to set up the tank. I activated a live stream from a satellite positioned over our sector. Their motion generated patterns of cerulean and emerald, sparks of scarlet and purple.

‘We need one, right?’ Lena said.

I sent her an emoji of a smiley face and a thumbs up. I checked the simulation data and activated the tank.

It charged towards us, the data shouting its glory into the world.

‘This is going to be messy.’

I counted down.

The data went flat.

‘What the fuck?’

Lena chuckled and gave a slow whistle.

‘They might have stopped.’

I shook my head and superimposed previous patterns of travel with what just happened.

”Or they know we’re here.’ I said.

Her response was unusual.

A wet, choking sound. I sent an optical cortex override which allowed me to connect to whatever information her suit was transmitting.

I jumped to the veil.

The white, slick tentacle that whipped the air in front of her.

The blood that dripped from the tip.

The other tentacles that crammed through her veil. They greasily insinuated themselves into her nostrils and down her throat. Her thoughts were packed and red as her oxygen reserves faded in the face of such a gross invasion.

I shut off and sealed the hatch. I sent an emergency message to the Station A.I and went to the action station and took out the Thumper.


Something had borrowed Lena’s voice but it could not mirror her inflections and patterns.

I will not communicate with you until you relinquish my colleague.

We don’t want to hurt you Grace.

She sent an image and it sent me down into blackness.

I came to slowly. I tasted blood and my head throbbed with a sick, deep agony.

During orientation, there had been a guest lecturer from Research and Development. He did not make eye contact easily and his voice had been a soggy whisper.

I had experienced etic reality. Reality seen from the outside. Alien. Encounters with such things were to be immediately reported.

There was the slick snap of tentacles against the sphere.

‘I’m sorry we never get to talk more, Lena.’

Lena was silent now. I curled up into a ball and let the despair press down on me.

I shut my eyes and surrendered to the darkness.

The change in pressure when the hatch was torn away made me look up.

Its gleaming tentacles rushed in.

I opened my eyes.



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After The Storm, A Dream



The storm had passed, but he still felt the aftereffects in the pit of his stomach. He drained the last of his wine, revelling in how the fruity, rich red wine quenched his thirst and ran into his beard. He wrapped his furs around his shoulders, stared out at the ocean, in awe at how it could toss him from side to side like a child with a toy one second then become glacial and calm within a matter of hours. It was the first peace he had known in a long time.

The journey had taken four days and it was on the dawn of the fifth that he saw the castle on the shore. He held no truck with the gods of his people, but habit brought a prayer of thanks to his lips that he had sight of land again. He began to prepare for landing, rigging the sails and securing his meagre belongings for easy departure and transit.

He was  forged by circumstance and purpose into a rough blade with an edge that could splice a hair in two, which was why he had been able to afford the ship in the first instance. He had left behind that reputation, and that identity with a quiet sense of relief. He picked up a package, a book wrapped in oilcloth, it’s loose pages bound with twine.The book represented his true self, and he guarded it with a ruthlessness that left unwary thieves in no doubt as to their fate if they dared to take it from him. He checked that it was undamaged by the storm, and breathed a sigh of relief that it remained unmarked.

He checked the blades that he kept on his person. A pitted, black blade, more like a cleaver than a shortsword, carved from black volcanic glass and kept sharp enough to slice through bone and flesh like silk hung from his right hip. Up his left sleeve, in a scabbard that laid flush along his forearm was a dagger that could be in his hand with a turn of his wrist and in someone’s belly with the same haste. In terms of anything else, he was a man who liked to work with his hands.

The ocean rippled on his starboard side and he studied the motion. It was in defiance of the tides and he kept the flutter of anticipation that started from his stomach from appearing on his face.

‘I know it’s you.’ he said.

His voice had the rusted, gruff quality that came from a long period of disuse but it carried from deep within his broad chest. His soft, caramel eyes shone with a light of hopeful expectation.

She arose from the water, auburn hair plastered to her scalp and her smile lifted his spirits to a height that almost took the top of his head off, such was the velocity of his joy. She giggled and it took a concerted effort for him not to dive into the water there and then. Her tail broke through the surface of the water and propelled her up so that she clung to the side of his boat. He knelt down in front of her and reached with a trembling hand, to touch her face.

‘I thought you were going to meet me on the docks.’ he said.

She grinned and rolled her eyes.

‘You know I’ve no patience for that sort of thing.’

He laughed, showing his white teeth and pulled her into the boat. He crushed her in his arms, pressing her against him with a boldness that took her breath away. His hands wandered over the slick, smooth skin of her back and downwards. The scales were already absorbing into skin, and he registered the final elements of her transformation by a sudden, welcome burst of warmth and space where her tail had been. She wrapped her strong thighs around him and slipped her warm, questing tongue into his mouth.

Need made the coupling quick and urgent.  Her soft, warm fingers plucked at his belt and she mounted him with all haste. It was over within a few moments, her just before him but his release was ushered into being with a hearty yell and his thick, rough fingers pinching her nipples as she ground down in order not to miss a single drop.

They laid there, until the breeze raised goosepimples and he brought his fur cloak around them both rather than part. She rested her head against his chest and nestled against him. He breathed her in, deep into his lungs. All that he had endured, the rewards of a life apart from her, in service to men with a need for violence ordered but not carried out, had been worth it.

They whispered and shivered together as one, as the boat drifted into the dock.

The world waited to embrace them with the silence of certainty.




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Sea Love



There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect – GK Chesterton

It had been one of those days at the flea market where Sarah had spent more than she sold. The green tea moisturiser had gone over really well though, and she had taken an order for more of her soap to a small boutique guesthouse on the coast, which she still had to pinch herself to confirm she hadn’t dreamt the entire transaction. That, and a general restlessness were what prompted her to pack up, load everything into the trunk of the car and wander back inside.
She found the stall in the corner, an elderly lady who sat with a range of brooches, pendants, bracelets and earrings laid out on worn purple velvet. The woman had long, white hair worn down to cover her slightly protruding ears but when she saw Sarah, a smile lit across her face that took a good twenty years off her.

‘Hi, thank you so much for coming to look. Did you have the stall in front?’

Sarah flushed and stammered something about the luck of the draw, politely avoiding that she had gotten there at four in the morning to be one of the first through the doors to set up. To avoid the subject, Sarah picked up a piece that caught her eye. A woven piece of thin copper or brass, set on a backdrop of emerald and a tiny conch shell inserted in the middle then connected to a length of rawhide.

‘That’s one of my favourites.’ the woman said and Sarah held it up to her eye line.

A thrumming ran down the length of the rawhide into her fingers, barely perceptible but it was there. It was the kind of tingling that reminded her of tenth grade, when she licked the end of a battery on a dare from Jacqueline Harris, not unpleasant, just unusual.

Unusual experiences were just that for her. She had fun, that was true, but afterwards she felt like something had been missing – falling short of the life that she lived in her heart and head.

‘How much?’ Sarah said.

The woman smiled and that was that. Money changed hands, less than Sarah would have charged for it. but she had overheads that this woman didn’t. She envied that, it was a sentiment that had a direct line to her ambient impostor syndrome and the way that loving herself as she was always seemed such an uphill struggle.

The necklace wasn’t a start. She just liked it.

That was she told herself.

She went home after banking the money from the sale and put away the unsold stock. She poured herself a glass of wine , made a light dinner and wandered through to the living room, where she had left her bags from the day and switched the television on. The necklace sat on the coffee table, still in the small recycled paper bag.

It felt nice on. She walked through to the bedroom, looked at it in the mirror. The emerald held the warmth of her skin well. She looked at it from different angles, absurdly pleased by such a simple thing. After a second glass of wine, she decided to go to bed. She brushed out her hair, smiled to herself as a growing warmth crept through her. Must be the wine, she thought, as she looked at the necklace.

She considered taking it off but laid on her back, she enjoyed how it nestled on her chest. It was soothing to be beneath something, like being touched. She wanted to be touched again.

She was asleep in seconds.


He comes to you. Broad across the chest and shoulders, dark hair on his chest that falls to his stomach. Eyes that are somewhere between coffee and caramel. A dimple in his chin, large hands with long, thick fingers, broad thighs, covered with hair and the beginning of definition at his hips. 

He smiles when he looks at you, it’s like unwrapping a present. Something you’ve actually wanted. 

For you to be seen. 

You invite him into your bed. He pulls the cover and you go to pull it back, nervous about how you look, but he shakes his head and tells you that he wants to see all of you. 

Touch all of you. 

Taste all of you. 

He handles you like a cowboy would handle a bucking colt. Firm but gentle, his mouth moves over you with abandon, different pressures, textures. When he takes your nipple between his teeth, and sucks on it whilst his fingers stroke you with depth and intention, you come unglued. It’s a quick maintenance sort of orgasm but when he keeps going, you have another. He slides his fingers in an inch at a time. His other hand strokes and massages you all over. 

He knows what you are capable of. He knows that you need coaxing and reassurance, but he offers that with a look or a word. He is not shocked by you, the rush you have to be held and seen, enough that it would overcome the wounded places inside you. 

When he kisses you between the legs, and looks at you there with a child-like wonder on his face. He tells you, in a low soft voice that you are beautiful between your legs and then, to prove his assertion, he kisses you there. He eases his tongue inside you, wrapping his arms around your thighs to hold you still. You want to wriggle but he doesn’t let you, instead using his strength to hold you in place and make love to you with his mouth. There is no hesitation in how he uses his lips and his tongue there.  

At that point, you go away inside yourself, feeling everything as you become possessed with the urge for release. When you come again, it travels through your entire body, like being shaken in the teeth of a leviathan. 


She woke up, the air in the room was blue like too much cigarette smoke, and when she sat up, her thighs responded with a muted, pleasurable ache that spread through her stomach. The room carried the musk of fuck and she blinked before giggling. The sheets were wringing damp beneath her. She kept the necklace on in the shower. She was tender between her legs, but that prompted another pleasurable release beneath the hot water.

She decided that she was going to make the soap that day. She kept smiling to herself, without really questioning it. She was creative, and it was nice that her imagination worked for her rather than against her, right?

Plus, she told herself as she brushed her teeth, she could go to bed early again.

The hot process took her most of the morning, and she decided to go with the basic soap mould for the guest house order, but she rang and they agreed on the rose shaped designs, and by the time that she was spooning them out of the moulds, she was tired and hungry.


His hand makes a fist of your hair whilst he puts the fingers of his other hand in your mouth and pumps into you, hard and skillful as you buck against him. Your orgasms surprise you with your ferocity, and it’s all the most wonderful dream you’ve ever known, a perfect loop of pleasure and pain. 


She stared at the bruises in the mirror, at war inside herself between being frightened and being horribly, uncontrollably aroused by it.

If they could market what was happening to her, it would end Ambien overnight. She does not know this man’s name, who comes to her in the night. She drives over to the guest house with the soap order, but she drives slowly because she’s so tender between her legs, from where she had him spank her there whilst his other hand made a fist of her hair.

She had not touched Tinder at all. She had lost ten pounds, presumably burning calories with it in her sleep. The extra laundry was a pain until she found some specialist sheets online. Problem solved, which made her very proud in a way that other people noticed.


Afterwards, he holds you and you cry without him flinching. He watches you, his caramel eyes exuding an understanding that robs you of breath. You wonder why you have to wake up. It’s a dream, you tell yourself that, but it’s real too. More real than anything you’ve known. Sure, you’ve not had him make chicken soup when you’re sick, but you consider that he probably would if your subconscious wasn’t making up for barren, small seasons without being touched. When you guide his hand to your throat, he understands you intuitively and moves inside you, building a rhythm that makes you pass out after the fifth orgasm. 

You wonder if you could have him all the time. 

That’s a fucking coma, you tell yourself. 


Sarah was at the market again. The soap sold out, she smiled at everyone and when she sees the woman that she brought the necklace from, she smiled at her and gave a wink when no one was looking. She asked if she could talk to her, and she agreed readily.

They went for coffee across the street. The lady had earl grey, with a slice of lemon and Sarah had a grande latte with chocolate sprinkles.

‘You’re needing your appetite a little more, huh?’

Sarah blushes, wonders if she is going mad, and realises that if it was this civil and functional, then that wasn’t such a bad thing, was it?

Love felt like madness sometimes.

‘Can I ask you something?’

The woman nodded sagely, knowing what was coming.

‘You can, but there’s a risk.’

‘Isn’t there always?’ Sarah said, quick of wit to hide the concern.

The woman told her, and Sarah blanched.

‘Before you ask, no, you can’t buy another one. You’ll have your memories, but they will fade but the investment is the risk.’

Sarah touched the necklace, suddenly protective of it. The woman sighed and lifted her bracelet up.

‘It’s powerful, I mean you could conquer the world with this.’

The woman smiled, turned the bracelet in her hands.

‘Well, yes of course, but I -‘ She looked up at Sarah, gazed and saw the answer to the question she would not need to ask aloud.

‘Now, let me tell you again the steps.’

It was about the same as a recipe for soap, some concentration, a few things to memorise and a bit of waiting. Women knew those things well. She had fought for herself, and sometimes starved for passion and here she had a chance to drown in it now. She had become her art.


She drove to the coast again. Stayed in the guesthouse, held it but did not put it on. She tried to sleep but it felt so futile. She knew that it would be the first of the steps.

She walked down to the beach at dawn, took the hammer and the scarf to wrap it in.

On the sand, she took the necklace off, wrapped the scarf around it and laid it against a black, flat rock bisected by white stripes, deep as gouges.

She lifted the hammer and cried as she did it.

It took no more than three to smash it completely.

She picked it up, took it to the water, dug into the wet sand and buried it.

She waited a day and a night, kept herself awake with a flask of coffee, thick enough to coat her tea. She promised herself an iced coffee, after this was over.

Dawn rose, and her eyes burned. Her tears burned her eyes.

She saw him wading in from the water. The hair on his chest flat from the water, looking at where she sat in the rocks. Her legs were dead with cramp, and the tide was coming in but wasn’t it always?

The risk was that he would be different, a person who would grow and have new experiences, what he had told her, she could not know if this was real.

But she had to try, said an older, purer voice in her head.

She got up, cold, hungry, tired but alive as she watched him walk up the beach to her.

It hurt but she ran to meet him.



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Oh Siren



Oh siren

How your call carries over to me

But I know it’s power

And my journey

Takes me far and wide

Chasing the white whale

Of purpose. 

I know you

To kiss each scale

A blessing

To wrap your tail

Around me

Squeezing the pleasure

From me

How I pull your hair

And tussle with you

Rough but gentle

Laughing as we play

The foam flecked

Delight of child-like desire

I know you

All too well

Playful protestations

To hide the flame

That burns in your breast

Light enough

To make the 



But your gasps

Of joy

Scare away 

The birds

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To make you thrash

As you have never known

To feed from you

As a bee feeds from a flower

My rough, strong hands

Turned to gentle exploration

A form of surgery

A laying on of hands

Whispering my name

As your eyes roll back in your head

How you would ache with wonder

To sail across the sea of your darkness

To the paradise island

Where you show your quality

Truest self unleashed

As I take


A wave

Crashing against

The shore

Close your eyes





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Funeral for a chalk painting

On the stretch 

Of even, worn pavement

You drew looping, nonsensical

Loops of colours

Fingers tattooed with chalk dust

I liked how the hair

Hung in your face

A curtain rising

On the beautiful theatre 

Of your violet eyes

The picture drew me in

Then out

And I trusted that you were 

Gentle with me

Some deep wounds beneath

This armour

But the sketch grew

From present to past

To future

But we forgot about

The rain, didn’t we?

You needed shelter 

More than the need to

Preserve something as beautiful

As it was fragile

You washed your hands

The picture trickled away


Smears, memories ingrained

In the treads of my shoes

The dust stayed

On my fingers

I keep it to remember you by

A mourner at a funeral

My name chiselled 

Into the headstone

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Our lives

Are chalkmarks beneath rain

But tonight, I am flushed

With a grand, primal heat

And the perspiration beads

On my skin

I can taste the static on your tongue

And my hands are strong

Enough to tear your clothes

From you

And I would, out here,

Show you as the lightning illuminates

And the thunder drowns out

Your gasps

Against the tree

Bark scratching against the backs of your thighs

Lifted and impaled onto me

Or in the long grass

Wrestling until we’re a tight pulsing

Knot that can only be untied

By the oblivion of release

Leave the flowers in your hair

Play the virgin ingenue

Fresh and beautiful

And I will ravish the darkness

From your bones

Tell me all the filthy fucking things

You would have me do to you

Out here

Without shame to stay your tongue

The gloss smeared across your cheek

Eyeliner running like crow’s wings to

Your temples

Your hair in my fist

Because I have forgotten

How to be gentle right now

You stole it from me

With your beauty

It is not a crime

To have you out here

Soaked to the skin

And barely feeling