He runs his hands down my body as he slides my unbuttoned shirt to the floor. The fabric lightly brushes my bare back, and a shiver of anticipation curls up my spine. I stand there as he cusps my breast, skimming my nipple with his thumb, nude before him. He leans in closely, hard body underneath the soft fabric of his shirt. The long hairs on his chin tickle against my jaw. He nips at my neck, grazing his teeth against my skin. I shut my eyes and let him take his time, enjoying the building excitement tingling down my torso. I squeeze my legs together to stop the quaking as our lips meet and begin the ravishing.
It has been this way with no one else, and will never be this way again. This I know, and it causes tears to squeeze out from my eyes now swollen shut. My moan becomes a sob. I run my hand across my stomach, feeling each individual rib between the wrinkles of the thin clothing they have issued to me. I close my eyes and let him continue to ravish me in memory. My hand trails down to my mound, no longer soft and squishy. It is now bony as my body has begun to eat itself. In my memory, he is inside me, waiting. I grab at him and beg him to continue. The vibrations of his laughter travel straight through me, right to the point of our connection.
I tug at the thin fabric of my shirt. A trail of tears grows cold on my cheek. It is either that memory or the one of my daughters screaming out for me while they drag me away, my uncovered feet scraping the asphalt. All of these moments exist at the same time. The only real thing is the cold stone my shoulder blades press against as I lay in my cell. They will come for me again. One of these times I will come back to the present to feel the heat from the guard’s leather boot trapped against my temple seconds before he drags me off. It will do no good. I have forgotten what they wish to know. All that remains are the fragments.
A peek at Cheryl’s story, but written especially for the challenge. This one is going to be really tricky to pull off, but I have several reasons for attempting it. It’s either going to be a story, or it will be a complete train wreck.
Blanca’s nose burned as if being licked by a little flame. Her hand shot up to paw at her upper lip at first. When that didn’t work, she pinched the sides together to douse the little fire. “Oh, hwhat is tat?”
Pushing the inner skin of her nostrils together helped relieve that strange, bothersome feeling, though it still tickled. “I don’t know. I can’t eben descripeb it. My nose is, like, burning or someting!”
Corinne perked up slightly, though confusion still radiated off her. “Burning?” She gave a few tired and wary sniffs. “I don’t smell anything, just some coffee? Waitaminute. Are you smelling coffee?”
Blanca rubbed her nose, accidentally taking another whiff in the process. “Ah gad. Is tat hwhat it smells like?”
“You’re smelling? You’ve never been able to smell right?” Corinne leapt from the table and to Blanca’s side, suddenly much too awake. “C’mon, let’s get you fresh air. It’ll do you good.”
They walked out to their patio area. Out front they had plants growing, mostly flowers but some herbs too. It had been Blanca’s idea although she couldn’t taste them. She just liked being able to appear fancy enough to actually use them when she cooked. Corinne had worked with her on that, spending much time training her on what was appropriate to use and when.
Outside, Blanca breathed in deeply. Fresh, cool air drenched the burning sensation. For a moment, she reveled in the peace. And then Corinne shoved one of the potted geraniums under her nose. She gagged as a strange feeling worked its way down her throat.
She pushed the plant away. “Get it away! That’s awful!”
Corinne tilted her head and then cautiously brought the plant close to her nose and gave a sniff. “I don’t understand. It smells fine. It’s a light scent, sort of fresh and airy. Maybe you should try one of the herbs?”
Her sweet basil plant sat nearby. In her heart, Blanca believed that it wouldn’t purposely betray her, not like the geranium which had always been Corinne’s plant. She picked it up and took a little whiff. A new feeling coursed along the sides of her nose. This one didn’t burn. It was more like water bubbling through her nostrils and racing to the back of her throat. She felt like she was drowning in the scent. She put it down and covered her nose again.
“That too? Maybe you’re just not used to smelling? Give it some time, let your nose adjust. Why is it you can smell all of a sudden anyway? Did you hit your head or get struck by lightning or something?”
Blanca thought back to the day before. She’d been blissfully unaware of her deficiency as always. Then she remembered running across an overly eager woman at the cosmetics counter who sprayed some perfume into her face even after she said it would be no use. They weren’t allowed to do that anymore, were they? People had allergies, and it was rude. But this woman had assured her that this perfume would work magic, and she didn’t have to be the one able to smell it. Blanca had recoiled as a chemical scent covered every inch of skin inside her nostril and made its way to her tongue. The stink stuck with her throughout the day, just barely wearing off before bedtime. And then she’d woken to this. Was this to be her super hero origin story? Getting sprayed in the face by stinky perfume and somehow turning it into a super sensitive ability to smell things? No, she would not put up with this. She walked into the house and grabbed her coat, throwing it on over her pajamas.
“We need to get this fixed. If this is what it’s like to be a normal person with a working sniffer, I’d much rather not be.”
Ha, so, I can’t smell. When I do sort of smell– I feel it. Just like this. Burning sensations or warmth in my nostrils. Some feel sorry because of the stuff I’m missing out on. My boyfriend thinks I’m incredibly lucky because there are so many bad smells, especially if you have gassy friends. (He changes his tune when I’m shoving something under his nose and asking if it’s still good.)
This is part of the Senseless Challenge of course. Here is the round up for sound. And in case you missed it last week, here’s the round up for sight. There are still two more senses if you’d like to participate!
Every few paces a different speaker blared the cheerful daytime music that made the hairs in her inner ear quake. She tried to resist putting her hands over her ears to stop the intrusion of the bright melodies as she made her way back to her apartment building from the doctor’s office. He had completely dismissed her complaints about the headaches caused by the noise. She couldn’t think, and he didn’t seem to care.
She had wanted to really press him about it. Her hope was that she could possibly qualify for some noise cancelling headphones that had become so incredibly expensive since all the changes. The tech used to create them was in such high demand to keep the city covered in music that to get a pair would cost an entire year of her salary. She would never be able to afford them on her own.
But the doctor had his own music piped into his office. Each examination room had a speaker that played classical music meant to soothe. To her, it only had the effect of covering up the doctors deep voice. When she’d asked about how it was that he could play a different tune from that on the street, he answered without looking from her charts. She thoughts he said, “I have special permission to play something different for the benefit of my patients. Don’t worry, it’s still regulation and will keep the nasties away.”
Then he’d given her a smile too wide. One laced with barely contained condescension. She was sure he took her for one of those hyper sensitive and paranoid ladies who feared what would come without the music and could never have it loud enough.
She rubbed her head to relieve the pounding. At her building, she practically dived into the lobby to strip away the additional layer of noise from the people and cars on the street. The speaker near the elevators of her apartment had always been wonky and they’d never been able to properly fix it although she’d seen them try. It still worked within the regulation frequencies; it just played the music slightly muffled which fired a feeling of nostalgia in her brain that actually hurt. Oh the memories of sitting quietly and reading a book or just staring into space. God, how she missed it!
The same music played in her hall as that in the elevator. She entered her apartment to the exact same playing inside her living room. There was no escape from it. Not even in her bathroom.
As she always did upon first entering her apartment, she slammed her hands over her ears and pressed them together as if she were attempting to crush her own skull. She rubbed at her face as she considered doing something she knew she shouldn’t. If her neighbors found out, they could report her.
Sharp objects such as knives and forks, and even pointy things like screwdrivers, had been banned after several of the incidents. The only tool she possessed happened to be a plastic spoon. She took it to one of the screws of the speaker. She needed to be able to put it back together after she was done, so some care was needed though being so close to the infernal noise she wanted to do nothing more than rip it out of the wall. Slowly, she worked until the screw came out, and then, she pulled the speaker right off the wall. The noise stopped.
She shut the doors to the bathroom and the bedroom and sat on the couch. It was not the perfect silence of the old days, but it was enough to allow her to sit back, shut her eyes, and remember. Inhaled air traveled through her nasal passages, and she listened to it pass under her eyes. All the tension drifted out of her body.
They are lying to you.
She bolted upwards.
There is no danger. They want to control you.
It had been so long since she was alone with her thoughts. Had the thoughts always come on their own like this, unbidden? The thoughts continued, whispering, warning her of disaster if she didn’t act. She had been thinking it for so long, but she just hadn’t been able to focus enough to gather her thoughts this way. They had built up, and now, in a moment of complete relaxed quiet, they came.
You must tell others. You must make the music stop. There are no nasties in the quiet. There is no one here but your own thoughts.
She stood up and walked into the hall. There had to be others who felt the same as her. She had to find them.
Gold glittered in the light of the torch as far as she could see which wasn’t actually very far as darkness pressed in from all sides. Flecked among the gold were the bright and colorful sparkles of precious stones attached to beautiful jewelry. She stood on a solid ground of pressed dirt. At her feet lay a ruby which seemed to have rolled from one of the golden mounds.
She grasped the torch and tugged it out of the ground. She had no idea where she was or what had happened. The last thing she remembered… well she thought about it, and she couldn’t remember anything.
Her heart began to race, and in order to calm it down, she decided to investigate the closest shimmering mound. Up close, the mound was actually made up from tiny, round coins made from pure shiny gold. She picked them up and let the pieces slide through her fingers, keeping one to examine it closely. On one side there was the face of a very regal looking person wearing a crown, on the other there was a crest with a shield and a bird holding onto a worm. She dug through and found many different variations of such gold in a similar shape only with different regal entities and differing symbols. They lit a small flame in the back of her head, but she let it go when she noticed a few pretty rubies and one bright sapphire floating free on the pile. Those she couldn’t help slipping into her pocket for safe keeping.
She started walking in a direction, still on the dirt though at times she’d kick one of the smaller pieces of gold in her way and then she’d have a companion for a few seconds until it gave up the march. The piles merged together, each of differing sizes, there was not always a clear ending or a clear beginning. They were just one long pile.
As she made her way, she found pieces that she had to take– other loose gems in her path, a necklace with more stones than she could name, and a delicate ring with gold wires swirled along the edge. Coins fell away from her hand when she removed pieces from the piles like grains of sand, splattering across the floor and tinkling across her bare toes. She put the ring on and kept walking, every so often looking down at her fingers. The intricate designs looped around one another.
A presence loomed over her, and she glanced up from her ring. A mountain of gold rose into the darkness. She lifted the torch and still couldn’t see the top, though something about it was different from the other piles. This one was darker and almost shinier. It was somehow smoother on the sides, and she instantly wanted to run her fingers over the pile to make those strange dark coins join their lighter counterparts, but the original pile she’d been following lay between her and the new, more interesting mound. She’d have to climb over that to reach the new subject of her curiosity.
She didn’t. She kept moving, taking note of all the variation in the large mountain. It had to have been an older pile. As she walked, it became such a deep red it verged on brown. Under the glow of the fire, it nearly appeared to move. She kept going, following the large mound until it began to taper back towards the ground nearly disappearing behind the heap between her and it.
She came to a stop and gasped. A face had appeared. The eyes were shut tight and the mouth slightly open. Dark flaps of flesh gently sputtered over the sharp teeth covered with yellow slime. Suddenly she remembered the sight of her kingdom from the air, every building the size of a doll house, even her beautiful castle with the stained glass windows and the lovely little moat that had lily pads growing in it.
Just as the creature opened its eyes, she dropped the torch, killing the flame and leaving them in complete darkness.
It’s not too late to join the challenge! Look to the end of this post by A.M. Harte to see the other participants and the basic “rules” of the challenge.