Erotica is one of the more difficult forms of fiction to succeed at and I was thrilled to win the CAA Leacock/Simcoe Erotic prose contest with this submission.
“I’m not going.”
Fibbi stopped her bike, her small legs straddling the cross bar on either side. Rain drummed down around her.
Catherine coasted by, water licking up from her wheels.
“It’s only for a little while,” she said, slowly rotating her pedals. She didn’t want to stop. Not with the house in sight.
The sporadically renovated house had been the original farm house before the city grew in around it. No sign indicated that the old house was anything other than a residence and other than the small increase in traffic there was little indication that a thriving business operated within.
“I hate it there.”
Catherine unclipped her pedals and straddled her bike.
Fibbi glared at her and Catherine glared back. Not her best moment in motherhood.
“How about a slushie?”
Fibbi’s stance eased.
Fibbi uncrossed her arms and placed a foot on her pedal.
“But I’m not staying in that place.”
Catherine’s gaze lifted to the far upper window where she thought she saw the curtain move. “You can wait in the back.”
* * *
“Look how wet you are!”
Catherine recognized the woman who came towards her from behind the desk, of Philippine or maybe Korean origin and nearly a foot shorter than Catherine. The woman took their bike helmets and began stripping off Catherine’s coat.
“Room number five, yes?” said the woman, offering her a key.
A carved banister led to the circular balcony overlooking the lobby. Room number five was at the far end, further down the hall and out of sight.
“Thank you,” she said, taking the key. “Is it—?”
“Yes. Yes. Same as always.”
On the stairs, her hand slid along the smooth solidity of the railing and her feet stepped softly into the deep carpet as the tiny pilot light inside her chest flickered to life. When she was out of sight around the corner, her pace quickened, eyes fixed on the brass number that gradually took shape, until she stood, slightly out of breath, in front of a softly glowing number five.
The room didn’t change between visits, the dark red walls near black in the dim light, the air sauna-like. A soft velour spread covered the bed, its cheesiness a source of endless jokes for the neighbourhood women. But the first time Catherine’s naked skin had brushed across it she’d been hooked.
After changing behind the opaque screen that formed a small dressing area she pressed the doorbell mounted next to the door that led out of the back of the room. That brief pressure never failed to bring Troy through the door given enough time.
When he stepped in the room, she was taken, not for the first time, by his ordinariness. She didn’t consider him handsome, his large chest almost too much, so that he tottered on skinny legs and hips as if never quite in balance. She guessed him to be in his late twenties, his shaved head shining dimly in the light. His only remarkable feature was his eyes: clear, blue and oddly dark below the surface. She smiled. “Morning.”
He held out his hand. It was only a few steps to the bed and he led her gently, her fingers lighter than air in his hand yet her body picking up on the charged air between them. Or at least she was.
With his free hand, he smoothed the sheets and held out his hand palm up, indicating she should lie down. She untied the front of her robe and it fanned out around her as she lay face down. The pillow, sheets, the bed, everything emanated heat and she wriggled freely against it.
She could hear him rummaging around in the armoire next to the door. “Is Troy your real name?” She had asked this before.
He touched the inside of her knee and she startled. He moved so quietly she hadn’t heard him cross to the bed. That was what she liked about him, his silence. Even in the beginning he hadn’t asked any questions about what she liked, simply judging by her responses and movements what worked and what didn’t.
He ran his hand lightly over her thighs, buttocks and back, stopping at her neck where he threaded his hands into her hair and tugged ever so gently. Her eyes rolled back behind closed lids. Goose bumps formed across her shoulders and down her back as he slid the gown away. He worked slowly and meticulously over her body, the only movement she was aware of in the room his fingers moving over her skin as he warmed each area before digging deeper to where the knots resided. He didn’t touch her breasts or groin but concentrated on the endless small muscles that pulled and tightened every day, releasing the built up hardness so that she slowly transformed into a web of smooth, lithe muscles.
When he turned her over, she briefly opened her eyes. His concentration was fully focused as he ran his hands over her hips, across her stomach, around her breasts and back to her hips. It felt so natural to be lying in front of him.
When he moved to her legs his hands brushed the top of her thigh and she twisted her hips towards him, impatient now for the touch she knew would come. Her body glistened with layers of oil and when his fingers finally did dip briefly between her legs she gasped at the need for his touch.
She arched her back, opening her chest as if she could bring him inside her, even as the warmth of his palms swept over her, the friction of his skin igniting a moan of desire at the back of her throat. The intensity increased, one moment her nipples so taut she nearly sat up with the need for release, but as any skilled technician he brought her back down, her pleasure rising and falling through the skilled rhythm of his hands. When she truly believed she would not see the end, her orgasm rippled through her, racing along the muscles and nerves he’d patiently prepared, reaching so deep she felt a final and complete liberation. While she still lay caught in the shattered shards of her orgasm, he covered her with a warm sheet and placed the robe at the foot of the bed. He brushed a few strands of hair from her forehead and briefly touched her shoulder. The word ‘stay’ formed in her mind but she knew that was not allowed. After two silent steps to the door, he was gone.
She lay in the lethargy of satisfaction for a few moments, enjoying the clarity that comes after a complete release. The first image to enter her consciousness was Fibbi. Had Catherine even said goodbye?
She tossed the sheet aside and strode naked to the change area. As she dressed, she felt weakened and exposed, seeing now the not so tight skin across her abdomen, the inherent sag in the breasts that had once been her best feature. She covered them quickly, trying to determine how long she had been there.
Rain drove against the window as she hurried down the stairs. When she hit the bottom, she was almost at a run.
“Fibbi?” she called ducking her head into the playhouse.
“Is she outside?” she asked the woman at the desk.
The cold struck Catherine as she charged out the back door. The rain had backed off to a thin mist and the overgrown yard lay sopping and matted. A stringy haired Barbie lay caught in a tangle of grass next to a broken plastic bucket. Had she ever really looked at this place? She scanned for the brightness of Fibbi’s pink and yellow raincoat and saw only gray wetness. The yard curved to the left, part of it hidden by an old garden shed. She was running when she turned the corner but the sudden relief of seeing Fibbi’s raincoat amidst the trees didn’t arrive.
She ran to the front of the house, thinking Fibbi waited at the bikes but they sat locked to the post, covered in pooled raindrops. She scanned for movement in the yard next door, a flash of pink and yellow that would release this twisted vice from her chest and allow her to breathe again.
She ran in through the back door. “Where is she?”
The receptionist stood in the lobby with Min Lau, the owner. Troy stood behind her. “We’ll find her,” said Min.
As soon as she said it, her words meant to placate, Catherine knew that they wouldn’t. If she was here she would know it, wouldn’t feel this death grip of certainty that she was gone. She continued to search the property, spreading the net further and further from the house, but as certain as the crushing need to clear her bowels, Fibbi was gone.