He tiptoes tactfully over take-out containers until squatting beside me. His wedding band caresses swollen cheeks while whispering “I told them no peanuts.” Paralyzed on the icy floor I wheeze, throat constricting. He positions my epi-pen just out of reach and footsteps fade with his last smug words. “Good Luck”
Lust Around the Camp Fire
Three come together. One is hard, ready to please top or bottom. The second, submissively, soft, and sweet. The third, Latin, dark, a sultry obsession. Heat binds dark and sweet, entwined them into melting, caloric pleasure. Crumbling, the hard pushes melding sultry into sticky. Orgasmic, forbidden, oozing, menage a s'mores.
The Smiling Woman
"Amma, look!" she said, picking up the frail edges of the newspaper, too heavy for her tiny hand. Her little finger pointed towards a colourful photograph of a smiling woman that stood in stark contrast to the lifeless news in black and white. Frowning, the little girl's mother dropped the platter she was washing and took the newspaper in her wet hands. She pushed back the little strands of hair that dangled in front of her eyes and slowly traced her calloused fingers over the picture of the smiling woman. She was draped in a drab brown saree that was pulled up to her head with a hundred and twenty creases.
"Chitra…" the name escaped from her lips almost like a whisper. Oh how much I missed this smile, she thought as her daughter jumped and yanked the newspaper away in one hustle, running out of the mud house. Her pigtails danced in the air as she raced down the barren grounds of Chenappady village bare feet.
"Chitra aunty state first aah!" she screamed on top of her voice waving the newspaper like a championship belt. Bent backs working under the sweltering sun straightened and rose up. Watchful eyes of flibbertigibbets peered through wooden window grills. Pedalling feet stopped midway. Country kids joined from all four directions and ran along with the little girl, nudging her and raising their eyebrows in question. They pushed their way through a moving flock of sheep as the shepherd cursed the kids and raised his oak staff in the air.
"Chitra aunty state first aah!" The kids cried in unison and ran along the parched terrain and down a stretch of yellowish brown sward. A thatched hut stood against the sprawl of dead grass outside which hung a broken slate with the words "CHITRA TUITION" written against it in big bold letters.
The children burst into the low entrance and into a dark ill-lit corner of the hut. A boiling pot sat atop red logs blazing with fire and a scrawny figure stood next to it. She felt someone pulling her hand and dragging her out of the hut. Her fingers involuntarily clutched the pallu of her saree with which she covered her face. Out in the meadow, she tugged her arms under the saree, her cobalt black eyes flinching, trying to adjust to the sudden brightness. The little girl put her arms around her neck and climbed behind her back, clinging on to her shoulders. She brushed the newspaper on her face as three little boys danced in circles around her. The gaunt woman picked up the newspaper and opened it, as a fast-blowing wind striked, taking two sheets of paper along with it. The quivering sheets which rested between her fingers beheld a bright photograph of her with the words, "20 year old village tutor tops Kerala HSE boards," printed underneath.
The winds beat again and she released her fingers. The papers flew away as the gale tossed and turned, flipping and flinging them like a toy. The tall grass brushed against her shins and she ran inside the hut, putting out the fire. The children surrounded her and she held them in a tight embrace. Her bun loosened and dishevelled hair fell down her shoulders. She closed her eyes gently, planting soft kisses on their heads. She smiled.
Heavy drops start pelting from the sky, turning dust into mud, trickling into the cracks in the earth. Lightning crackles, thunder roars. The downpour is deafening on the corrugated tin roof. The gutters start to spill over, it's leaking in the kitchen. The farmer walks outside and smiles.
How could he have been happier? Riches beyond counting. Power unchallengeable. Beauty incomparable. Men admired him; women beckoned him. He had no enemies, no competitors, and no rivals to any of his consummate qualities. He was perfect. But he was haunted by the fact that he could have been happier.