This was my entry for the Women On Writing Flash Fiction Contest for the Summer of 2010 Quarter. Although my entry didn’t make the honorable mention list, it did beat out two thirds of the submissions for the contest.
I asked for an editorial assessment when I submitted for the contest and was actually giddy over the response I got. I scored a 13 out of 15 possible, with the greatest failings being that I slipped into passive voice in four different areas. I have fixed those areas and now present it for you, my faithful readers.
The word count here is just under 750, trimmed from 2400 plus, to meet the contest criteria. The longer piece piece is pretty close to straight up erotica and if anyone is interested in reading it, let me know through email…
Robert took long glances at his life-hardened body. Scars from many mistakes and hard fought battles accentuated his tanned 6′ 3” frame. Perhaps it was just as well she decided against coming. She would likely be taken aback by the scattered remains of life’s toll on his body.
The hot water engulfed him. Thoughts of earlier today gave way to thoughts of yesterday, the day before, last week, and several months ago. He began to harden as her words of love rolled through his mind. The aching to be with her almost turned to self gratification, but memories from this afternoon slammed back into his head.
He found the energy to exit the tub and, as he toweled off, checked his phone. As if to drive just one more nail in his heart, there was no message.
Too tired to pull the covers back, he collapsed on the bed. The building crescendo of the rain pounding some primal rhythm drove him into a quick and deep sleep.
The dream started with him frantically trying to outrun a monstrous thunderstorm. His motorcycle, although a large machine, swayed in the driving rain and forceful wind. Everything was dark, pitch black, and he was frightened beyond any fear he ever experienced. Lightning only intermittently lit his way, and just enough to bring out gray shadows. He couldn’t pull himself to stop and get off…he had to get home, but he didn’t know why.
That dream stopped cold between lightning strikes. He tossed just enough to feel the dark anxiety. Just enough to utter, “Sonja.”
No sooner than he drifted back to sleep, the curtains were drawn away. Suddenly, two hands began to rub his back, pushing, kneading. Although they had never touched before, he instantly knew it was Sonja.
He felt her as she bent in to whisper in his ear, “Welcome home, my love.” With a gentle kiss on the back of his neck, she raised to drive the weariness from his muscles. She teased him with her hair as she let it run across his back. Reaching in to his shoulders and dancing her nipples across his back.
The clouded edges of the dream were lit soft with love’s lamp. He felt her hands begin to drive even deeper as she now straddled him tighter. She was beginning to grind with the rhythm of her strokes.
Her scent, her touch, and now her moans were driving him crazy. This dream brought on a different type of anxiety than the first one that was so full of fear. This dream brought on the anxiety of wanting.
Slowly she kissed her way across his body, stopping to care for his scars. Murmuring something soft at each one. Slowly, she left a trail of dedication.
He could see the dream’s edges begin to close in. The dream was coming to an end, but his soul rebelled. At that moment, even before they were both ready to collapse into each other, the curtains of the dream snapped shut.
Robert was rattled awake by a vaguely familiar smell and movement in the kitchen of his one time farmhouse. He slowly slid the Beretta from under the mattress and made his way down the hall. At the end of the hall, he took a measured peek around the corner. He didn’t have to see the front of her to know it was Sonja. His button up shirt draped her body in such a sexy way, he was breathless. He could smell her hair mixing with the odor of frying bacon.
Quietly laying the pistol on the table as he went by, he reached her, put his arms around her and hugged her in a way that spoke of love. She collapsed back into his arms.
“Baby, I’m so glad you are here. I tried to surprise you at the airport.”
“I know, lover. I tried to surprise you here,”she said softly into his arm. “I grabbed an earlier flight, got the rental and headed this way. I got lost.”
They laughed together, and then he asked, “How did you know I tried to surprise you?”
“The bike was still in the yard, your jacket was soaked, and you left a trail of wet clothes to the bathroom.”
“What time did you get in?”
Turning in his arms and reaching up to kiss him, she whispered just before their lips joined, “Did you enjoy your dream? I know I did.”
The Editor’s Overview of this story made my heart sing:
What an interesting story! I like the way it started with the description of Robert—you did a good job of showing his disappointment. Then you move into his dreams, and again have such a great way of letting the reader into his dream with the descriptions. I was intrigued by how he got the scars, and even though you don’t say, when he gets out his gun, it conjures up all kinds of ideas. I really like the end when Robert and Sonja connect. It all ties up nicely. Thanks so much for sharing!