Friday, February 10, 2012

Aphrodisiac - Romantic Friday Writers

This is my first submission for Romantic Friday Writers. I apologize that it is only the long side at 655 words. This is also my first time writing in first person. Or contemporary. Basically, this bit of flash fiction is completely different from anything I've ever done. I have, however, cooked a goose before.

Aphrodisiac Schmaphrodisiac
The goose was rubbed down with honey and citrus. I had been drawing cup after cup of rendered fat away for the past three hours. Oysters chilled on their bed of ice in my sink with only a little of my blood still staining the drain from my first practice shucking. The artichokes were steaming and the olive oil, caper, and dill drizzle was setting, drawing and blending flavors. The wine had been decanted, my prized Waterford red wine goblets, polished.
I had eschewed my regular floral perfume for a spicy cinnamon body lotion. My hair was loose, my cleavage bountiful. I had followed the Aphrodisiac Cookbook to the letter, but knew if all else failed, I could count on my breasts.
One way or another, I was going to get laid tonight. No, not 'laid' -- seduced. My needs were basic; I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to feel. For so long I had been a wife and mother. Toward the end, when the Huntington's had disabled the man I married, I was more caretaker than wife. Now, with Jason finally at peace and the boys in college, it was time to be a woman again. I blinked away the threatening tears and checked my eyes in the mirror. The mascara was definitely worth the eight dollars, though the lip stain looked too contrived. Grimacing, I wondered if I should have colored my hair. The strands of silver among the auburn screamed, "Old lady." And no one seduced an old lady. No, they helped her open jars and cross the road. My skin was still smooth. Without the grey, I could, maybe, have pulled off thirty-nine. With the grey I was every inch of forty-seven. I ran a finger over my brows, and gave myself a smile. I looked... well - I look like me. And Mr. Harris, David, already knew what I looked like.
The chimes sounded. He was here. I took a deep breath and slipped my bare feet into the kitten heeled slings I bought years ago for a Caribbean cruise but never wore. They still felt sexy.
He stood in the doorway, tall and clean cut in his casual slacks. My son’s former soccer coach, I’d never seen him in anything but his team jersey and sweats.
“Good evening, Mrs. Walsh.” He smiled and brought his hand from behind his back. Roses.
I blushed like an idiot and took them. My smile was so big it hurt. “Gemma, please.”
“Sorry. Old habits.”
I stepped back and he stepped in, wiping his feet on the rug. I should have moved further back – I was too close, in his space. Before I could, he took my hand.
“I’ve been looking forward to tonight for a long time.”
His voice was deeper than I remembered. He was holding my hand – should I squeeze? Pull away? Stay limp? I blushed again, burying my face in the roses. Jeese, you’d think I was sixteen, not someone who couldn’t open jars.
“David,” his name sounded decadent on my tongue, “would you like some wine?” I gestured with the bouquet, but stayed beside him, my hand warm in his.
“Umm, yes,” he cleared his throat, “Or no. Not now. Christ, I’m no good at this.”
“Good at what?” My voice was breathless.
He stepped closer, tracing my cheek with his finger. My breath caught in my throat as he leaned toward me.
 “This,” he whispered. Lowering his head he brushed my lips with his. His hand cradled my jaw, his fingers spearing back into my hair.
I leaned closer and he pressed his mouth more firmly against mine. Closing my eyes, I melted into him and he wrapped his arms around me.
The roses fell to the floor, the timer on the oven beeped, and the wine continued to breathe. None of it mattered. This man, David, he wanted me, grey hair and all, without aphrodisiacs.


Unknown said...

Welcome to RFW!
Oooooh, I like this story. I wish it was happening to me! Your protagonist is lucky! I love the slow build up with all of the details of her preperations. Very nicely done!
Fits the theme well too.
Best wishes,
'To Paul and Julia' Anna's RFW challenge No.31

Susan Kane said...

Excellent story telling--I was there with Gemma, feeling her apprehension. Great.

Celeste Neumann said...

You are a very nasty writer! You had my mouth watering after the 3rd line. Oh, cruel you are! This was a VERY enjoyable fantasy. You have the craft of tale-telling.

Anonymous said...

I could imagine the scene as if it were being played out before me.

I love the line: 'The roses fell to the floor, the timer on the oven beeped, and the wine continued to breathe. ' it suggests she was holding her breath, that time stood still for her in that passionate moment and yet everything else continued on as normal.

Laura said...

Welcome! And what an entrance!!! This is a beautiful story, and there's no way can I believe that this is your first attempt at first person :) I'm with the others... watering mouth and I was right there watching the action.

Looking forward to seeing your next entry

Laura said...

PS - are you aware that if you click on your website link it seems to have been hacked! EEK! Just thought you might like a heads-up.

Deniz Bevan said...

Hey there fellow campaigner!
And, aww, what a sweet story. Glad you joined the RFW!

Erin Kane Spock said...

@all: Thank you for you great feedback. I look forward to reading your posts as well. Yes, writing this made me really hungry. :)

@Laura: yes, thank you. I haven't been able to get into the admin since the hack and keep forgetting to remove the link from my blog. Thanks for the reminder. And I usually write in 3rd person alternating, past perfect -- so being in the now and I was odd for me.

Denise Covey said...

Hello Erin. I've been following you for ages so you're well known to me, but I'm so, so glad you joined RFWer. This, as someone else said, is a grand entrance. What a delish story. I loved many lines, but I loved the subtle humour threading throughout, such as: '...if all else failed, I could count on my breasts.' Just love it! The storyline is entrancing as is the food and wine David didn't get to tsste. First things first!

Once again, a warm welcome to you. As a first timer, we'll all forgive you for going over 400 words as we all had a dummy spit at first, as it was so hard to stick to, but we learnt how to edit pretty fast! Yours didn't seem a lot of words as it was SO engaging.


dolorah said...

I think Gemma was the actual aphrodisiac :) I completely identify with her anxiety, and desires.

Welcome to RFW Erin. I hope you continue to post with us.


Kiru Taye said...

This is so heart-warming. I enjoyed reading it. You did well, Erin, for your first time. Well done.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fellow campaigner, not a fiction writer (but I wanna be), and I enjoyed your story very much. I'm looking forward to what you can teach me!

Erin Kane Spock said...

Thanks again for all your kind words.

I'm sorry I went over. I thought I read that it was 400-600 words, so figured another 50 words wasn't egregious.

I finally have time to read the other RFW posts. Been looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Hello fellow campaigner. Love this short story. This makes me want more! Love the blog design. Very unique. Look forward to seeing more of your work in the challenge.


The Poet said...

Hello Erin.
Welcome to Romantic Friday Writers.

This was a spicy little number. Loved all the vivid little details. Too bad the goose was probably oversone! LOL
Excellent for a first timer!
Look forward to reading more from you. Thanks for sharing.

Love Has Seeped Into My Heart

N. R. Williams said...

Great job. I love how you combined cooking all that food with her self doubt and then a great guy at the door. For your first time in first person it is very well done.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Erin. Back for judging. Yes, we were always 400 words, but when we started again this year we made it up to 600 for one particular prompt. I must hunt it out to make sure we delete the 600 words. After much whining at first about the 400 limit, now the writers are very happy and don't want to keep the 600 words. Go figure.

Your story is absolutely awesome.


JANU said...

Oo la la... definitely a sizzling turned on the heat here.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Erin. Back for my third reading which means you're in the running for Featured Writer this week. Other RFWers have told me they read your story through more than once, so entranced were they. Lovely. Today I'm haunted by: I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to feel. Great lines.

PS, thanks to your pointing it out, I've updated the Submissions page. I overlooked the fact that I hadn't done so. Several things have changed as we've evolved. Back to 400!


Denise Covey said...

Check out the RFWer site. You have received an award. D.

Adura Ojo said...

Hi Erin,

I'd read this scintillating offering anytime...without aphrodisiacs. I read your story earlier today on the train but could not comment at the time. So here I am reading again. Fantastic first entry and well deserved win. Congratulations. Welcome to RFW.

Unknown said...

This is great! You did an amazing job of getting your readers to know Gemma in such a short story. Loved it.

The Poet said...

Hello Erin.
Just stopping by again to say congratulations on winning the Featured Writer Award over at RFW. Really enjoyed your first entry. Looking forward to reading more from you. have a wonderful weekend & see you for the next challenge.

A Cheerful Glance

Unknown said...

Congratulations Erin! I'm so glad that your story won!

Best wishes,

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