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ROMANCE FICTION: AN UNFINISHED PROJECT by Kresten Frosman | GBAMLOG.COM

When she suddenly heard the sound of  a car in her driveway, Amanda jumped from her chair at the kitchen table and ran over to the window. Now that’s punctuality, she thought as she leaned forward and saw a large white pickup truck that had stopped in front of her garage. The man she was watching climb out of his truck had told her that he would be there at four forty five and that was almost exactly what the clock on her phone was showing.
As she had been sitting at the table for the last ten minutes or so, sipping on a homemade smoothie, she had almost constantly been keeping her eyes on her phone, and its clock. What kind of mood would he be in when he showed up?, she had been anxiously wondering. Would he be annoyed because she had suggested that he hadn’t finished his job properly?
On the phone that morning he had sounded as happy as Amanda had hoped, but she knew that this could just be his professionalism.
By the look of his face now, as he was walking up the path to her house he didn’t seem to be the least annoyed, Amanda thought. On the contrary, he looked to her to be even more cheerful than he had the day before when he had spent almost the whole day in her garden installing her new water feature.
“Hi again, Warren,” Amanda said as she walked in her bare feet across the garden towards Warren who was already standing next to the fountain. “I’m so sorry I had to call you again, but I just don’t know how to do it myself.” It was a lie – especially the first part. Amanda hoped that she would be able to keep herself from laughing, unaccustomed as she was to lying.
“That’s quite alright,” Warren answered, sounding a little absent-minded as he was looking at the water that was slowly running down the sides of the fountain’s top tier. “I get calls like this all the time, trust me.” He looked at her and gave her a reassuring smile.
Oh, that smile again! Amanda thought as she felt the same tingle down her spine as she had the day before, every time she had seen it.
When a friend of hers had recommended Warren’s business for her water feature Amanda had not expected that the man who would install it would be attracting more of her attention than the fountain itself.

While Warren had been working in her garden the day before it had only been with great difficulty that Amanda had been able to concentrate on her own work at the computer – even with a looming deadline for a graphics project for her most important client. Again and again she had gone to the window in her study to watch how her new fountain was taking shape, and how its installer himself was shaped. She couldn’t decide which one of them was the more impressive work of art.
Several times she had gone out to talk to him, and to study him more closely. The fact that he didn’t have any rings on his fingers had made an equally great impression on her as the warmth in his eyes and the way he smiled.
She had been almost completely heartbroken when he had said goodbye and had left, just as she had come out again to offer him to try one of her smoothies. Unfortunately he had to rush to another appointment, he had told her.
I won’t let it end like this, Amanda had told herself.
“Yeah, I think you’re right,” Warren said, nodding his head. “The water does flow a little too fast, and I agree that it sounds a little noisy.” He put his hand up to his chin, and looked puzzled as he stared at the fountain. “But I’m pretty sure I adjusted the flow correctly yesterday.”
“Maybe it readjusted itself, on its own.” This time Amanda was unable to repress a little chuckle, and she was pleased to see that a small upwards curve appeared on Warren’s mouth as well.
“That’s what happened, I think,” he said turning his face towards her. “It happens all the time! But fortunately it’s an easy problem to fix.” He bent down and removed one of the cobbles on the ground that surrounded the fountain. The day before, just before he had left, he had done the same thing, showing her the electric device hidden under it. “This is where you adjust the flow.”
“Ah, right,” Amanda said, not adding that she remembered it very well. And certainly not mentioning that she had even seen the device on one more occasion after that. “But for all this extra trouble for you, at least let me offer you something to drink. I make great smoothies.”
Warren rose, and gave her a look that even exceeded what she had hoped for. “You know what? I would like that very much.”

AGING ROMANCE TALE: IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT by Kevin Hughes. 

He got up to pee. He didn’t want to get up, he wanted to sleep. Old age and time dictated that sleep would have to take a back seat to sleeping in a puddle of pee. His normal good nature crept back in as the picture of him laying in a puddle of pee settled into his mind. He chuckled.

It was dark. That didn’t matter. He had done that late night walk to the bathroom several times a night (and quite a few during the day too) for almost the entire decade since he retired. It was as natural to him now as forgetting where his glasses were. And just as annoying.

It was the middle of the night. He gently closed the door to their bedroom. His comings and goings never wakened her…but light, well that would often make her stir a bit. Sometimes even bringing her to the edge of wakefulness:

“Honey, you okay?’

A sleep worried voice would come from her side of the bed.

“I’m fine, Honey. It’s okay. I just had to pee. I love you.”

“Okay.”

A moment later and he would hear her breathing slow down a bit…then that snore that was like white noise to him now. He would smile again. She thought she didn’t snore. Just him. That became his own secret – he would never tell her they both snored.

In the middle of the night, that snore often let him return to sleep the moment his head hit the pillow. It also made him reach over to her side of the bed, placing one of his vein ridden hands on top of her now plump hip. She would reach, even in her deepest sleep- to pat his hand. It wasn’t a conscious act anymore. It was a connection too deep for that.

It was the middle of the night- both of them reassuring the other with a touch, a few words, or the answer to: ”You Okay?” that they were together…and still alive. It was enough.

He made some tea. That brought yet another smile to a face that had smiled more than it had frowned for more than seventy years. When he was younger, tea, well tea would keep him awake. Now he would often sip a whole cup of tea while sitting in the dark – pee, and go back to bed. The whole time he was sipping the tea he would just listen to her snore, ride the waves of time back to their youth, or enjoy the quiet of the middle of the night.

Sometimes, she would wake up enough to go to the fridge to get water. He would watch her slip silently past him…thinking he was asleep in his recliner. Even half asleep, thirsty, and in the middle of the night, she cared about him. She wouldn’t want to disturb him, or wake him. As she passed by to return to the bedroom she would caress his foot lightly with one hand.

It was a ritual almost as old as their four plus decades of being together. He would whisper out into the darkness:

“I love you too.”

He didn’t need light to see the smile he knew that put on her face. He didn’t need his hearing aides in to hear the soft return:

“I love you, too.”

Sometimes, in the Middle of the night, the rain would pound against the roof. Both of them would have to pee at the same time. He liked those nights with the pounding rain and the mutual call of nature. For on those nights he would make tea for himself, hot chocolate for her and they would sit on their enclosed front porch and watch the rain fall.

Sometimes they would talk about the past. Sometimes the future. Sometimes about things they learned that day, or in the last week. Most times they just sat quietly sipping their drinks in the middle of the night. She would wear her Granny Pajamas that ground out any thought of sexuality but left her femininity intact. He would wear old boxer shorts and a robe missing the belt. He could care less that his lap was now occupied by a small rounded belly and not the flat stomach of youth.

It was the middle of the night, they were both old and gray, and the rain was making sure nobody was peeking onto their porch to comment on their aged bodies. If they were, well that thought made him smile too. So he told her about it. Her laugh was like wind chimes to him: delicate, sweet, flute like.

“You cold?”

“A little chilly, Honey.”

“We better go in then. That lightening is a bit scary.”

Two hands then reached for each other. Another quiet habit as old as their marriage and even a few years before that. Even in the middle of the night that habit never failed them.

“Did you lock the door?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

It might have been two AM, or three, or even four AM…somewhere in the middle of the night, when they let go of each other’s hands. Him to crawl into his side of the bed. Her to crawl into hers. A momentary and ritual fight over the sheets and blankets brought a smile to both of them.

In the darkness, with a backdrop of snoring from both sides, a hand reached to rest on a plump hip. A soft warm wrinkled hand covered it to pat it with loving security.

It was the middle of the night.

ROMANCE REALITY: FIRST LOVE by Dave Lane | GBAMLOG.COM

Stretching out my legs in the sand with the afternoon sun shining down on me I could feel my entire body go limp. My head tilted back with my eyes shut, the sounds of the waves crashing along the beach, the warm breeze carried the sweet smell of the ocean, I was so happy to finally be in Myrtle Beach. Looking over at my friends, I witnessed Jay rubbing his eyes, Joe and Will yawning and Bob stretched out over his towel. I guess we were still feeling the effects of that long drive from Massachusetts to South Carolina. None of us got any sleep during the drive. Bob, Jay and I couldn’t stop fidgeting the entire ride. Joe and Will kept measuring the miles and counting down each mile to the next state border. When we finally arrive at the cottage the five of us never brought in our luggage or bags, we just crashed in the first bed or couch we saw. Today was peaceful, it was nice to just relax on the beach in the warm South Carolina sun. The day seem to escape us as we joked and reminisced about our high schools years. The more we talked, the more I realized that each of us was heading our separate ways. Joe and Will were heading off SMU, Bob and Jay were becoming electricians and I was heading to Dean College in September. There was that short moment of silence as I looked around at our little group, my lips tightened, this was probably the last time we would all be together. Realizing that, my mind was flooded with wonderful memories of high school, my friends, sports, parties, etc. My head drooped down, and I decided to listen to my walkman. As the music started my mind started to drift when Jay tapped me on the shoulder.
“We’re heading back, are you coming?” Jay asked as he stretched his arms out.
Placing my headphones around my neck I looked up and shielded my eyes from the sun light and said, “I am going to stay here for a little longer.”
Jay smiled and gave me a quick nod of approval before heading back to the cottage.
The brightness of the sun started to dim and turn to a more reddish color as it descended behind me. Dusk was a peaceful and beautiful time to be on the beach. It was less inhabited and a little cooler. The smell of the salt air was so soothing and you could hear the rhythm of the waves crashing along the shore. There was a warm offshore breeze flowing in and you could smell the sweet ocean as the tide headed out to sea. The breeze and the waves started to have a tranquilizing effect on me. I was enjoying watching people walk up and down the beach; kids running toward the water and then back trying to avoid the waves, an older couple walking holding hands and mother was holding her infant daughter playing in the water lifting her up when the waves came gliding in. The beach was far from crowded but still had good activity. This was a good time to put my headphones back on and listen to music. The sounds of the beach began to vanish as the music of Chicago took over. Stretching my legs and leaning back on my elbows I shut my eyes and began to hear the music. Slowly I took in a deep breath and opened my eyes. Suddenly something reached out and grabbed my attention. I was captivated by this girl in a red bathing suit. She was walking along the edge of the water glancing out at the ocean on a few occasions. Her sandy blonde hair had reached down just beyond her shoulders. She was about 50 yards in front of me and her stunning beauty had a grasp on me when she stopped for a moment to brush her hair back with both hands. You could see her feeling the warm breeze on her face as she tilted her head back. My heart was slowly pounded and my breath just escaped from my lungs. As she was walking by I could hear the next song start; “You know our love was meant to be, The kind of love that lasts forever”. I am not sure if this was love at first sight but I could not let this moment pass me by. Leaping to my feet I started to I started to walk toward her both shaky legs and nervousness. How am I going to initiate a conversation with her, I thought to myself. Maybe say Hi, how are you? Maybe smile and wave at her. Maybe accidently bump into her. I didn’t know, all I knew was I just had to meet her, or at least try. I waited until she took a few more steps and then I began walking towards the water. She moved at slow pace, so it was easy to keep my distance. The song continued to play; “And I want you here with me from tonight until the end of time”.
Trying to remain cool and calm, I kept my pace with hers as she dragged her feet in the water. She was about 40 yards ahead of me and I knew that she would be turning around to go back but I was not sure when that would happen. My mind went into overdrive trying to think of something witty or funny to say to her. I just wanted to catch her attention. The more I thought about it the more I thought of stupid pick-up lines.
“Damn It!” I whispered to myself.
All I could focus on was the way she was walking up the beach. So I decided to lower my eyes and look down as I continued. Thinking that maybe I should just nod my head at her or smile with a quick wink. Or maybe ask for directions to the docks. Each idea that I came up with seemed more pathetic than the last one. I was a loss for words. Every so often I would look up and making sure to keep my distance. She was still there walking in front of me. My hands began to sweat and my heart still pounded! I knew that she was going to turn around very shortly. My head continued to race to think of something to say. I took another look up and my mouth just dropped. She had stopped walking and was now standing there gazing out at the ocean.
Ok, ok. This is not bad, you still have a few moments to think of something, I said to myself and then noticed that she turned towards me and began her journey back.
“Oh Shit!”, I said quite loudly.
Now is the time! I needed to thinking of something to say. She was 30 yards and closing. My mouth was dry, my palms sweaty, and my heart jumping. Although her strides were slow, everything seem to be speeding up . 20 yards, 10 yards . . . Damn! This was it, I had to say something. I had to say it right now because she was within 5 yards of me. I looked up and saw her blue eyes glance over at me. She gave me a extremely adorable smile. Now was the time, my shining moment had come, I had to say something. I looked at her and our eyes met and I said, “What’s a cute girl like you walking all by herself for?” All that time I spent thinking about what to say and this is the best I can come up with. I blew it!
She gave a slight laugh and said to me, “Waiting for a cute guy to escort me back!” My heart felt like it was coming through my chest. That was it. I stopped right there and so did she! I was not sure what happened and how it happened but a conversation developed.
“Hi” she said in a southern accent, “ I’m Susan.”
I did everything to restrain my excitement and be cool. “Hi, I’m Dave.”
It was at that moment that I felt absolutely at ease with her and could talk freely. The conversation on the way back flowed. She was Susan from West Virginia and she was down here with her friend’s family. Susan was going to be a high school senior and I was a freshmen in college. My hands were absolutely sweaty and my mind was racing around but I never took my eyes off of her eyes. Her eyes! Her eyes were light blue and I melted when she looked at me. We made it back to the spot where I first saw her. We talked a little bit more, reluctantly we parted and I could not wait to get back to the cottage and tell my friends about her. Oh man! She is stunning!
I burst through the front door and saw Jay on the couch and Joe in the kitchen. I immediately began to tell Jay about her and our conversation. As Joe came walking into the living room he asked one question. “Did you get her number?’ I paused and my eyes widded. Jay then chimed in and said, “Do you know where she is staying?” My head just dropped into my right hand. “Shit!” quickly I turned towards the door and ran out. Heading back towards the beach I could hear laughter from the cottage .
I made it back to the beach but by this time Sue was nowhere to be found. I stayed there for a while, hoping that she might show up. After about an hour I went back to the cottage. This time everyone was at the dining room table hanging out. Joe was ready to give me a hard time but Jay saw the look on my face and quickly looked over at Joe. Joe got the hint and said that she will be around and it’s the beginning of the week. Not only did I feel like an idiot, but I felt my heart drop.
We had a few beers and got ready to go out for the night. We were going to hit the Strip and walk around. I just wanted stay in the cottage and wallow in my regrets, but Jay talked me into going. When we arrived Jay and I took off and went to a few stores. The Strip was crowded with people walking up and down and the cars were slowly trolling the main street. It was a warm summer night and the lights flooded the Strip. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Although I thought I was putting up a good front smiling and laughing, Jay could see right through that and said me, “You want head back to the cottage and have a few more beers?” “Yea!”, I answered. We saw Will with Joe and told them we were heading back. There was silence for a moment and Joe said we can head back in about 15-20 minutes if you want. I told Jay that it was fine with me if waited. Jay and I started walking the strip again, at that moment I heard a voice to my left. “Hey didn’t I meet you on the beach today?” As I looked over I saw Susan in the passenger side of a small hatchback leaning out the window. She gave me a big smile. My eyes widded and I froze for just a second or two! I hit Jay on the shoulder and said”Jay! Jay! This is Susan the girl I told you about on the beach!” She laughed and introduced us to her friend. We were talking about a minute before two police officers came up to us and told us we were blocking traffic. “Either get in the car with them or move along!” Susan’s friend told us to get in the back. We drove around for a few minutes and asked them if they wanted to go to our cottage. They did! The whole ride back to the cottage Susan and I talked, and as we talked her blues eyes melted my heart.
She pulled the car onto the gravel driveway and Jay and I immediately paired up with the girls. I asked Susan to go down to the beach. She did and we continued our conversation from this afternoon. We both sat down on the cool sand and just talked. We talked about school, summer, music, etc. it was getting late. I got up and put my hand out to help her up. When I felt her hand grab my hand a sensation came over me. Butterflies were bouncing around in my stomach. I guided her up from the sand and held her hand in mine. I turned into her and held her other hand. That brief moment, at that point, I wish I could savor that feeling forever. We stood there and looked into each other’s eyes. Susan gave a slight smile and I lean into her for a kiss. She responded the same way. Her lips were soft and sweet. It was a light kiss filled with soft passion. She smiled again and said, “That was really sweet!” My heart was beating fast and my breath escaped me. Susan took one hand from my hand and placed it on the side of my face. She shut her eyes and moved her hand to the back of my neck and pulled me in for another kiss. I placed my free hand on her waist and began to pull her towards me. I moved my other hand onto her waist and she placed both her hands on each side of my face. As we kissed you could hear the waves crashing along the beach. It was a warm night and it was so romantic. This moment, this time, this feeling, I will never forget. Each kiss was better than the last. At one moment we stopped kissing and just looked into each other’s eyes. It seems like such a cliche but I was swept off my feet and it did not seem corny to me. I was taken over by this beautiful girl from West Virginia. My heart was hers. My soul was hers. In this short amount time I was falling for her, I wanted to spend every second together. I wanted to share every moment with her. Susan looked at me and said, “Are you ok?” I shook my head and kissed her on the forehead. I pulled her in closer and we hugged. She had moved her hands down onto my chest and felt my heart pound. I could hear Jay and Susan’s friend calling for us. They were approaching the beach. Susan never pulled away from me. She stayed holding me while they walked up to us. Jay smiled at me and gave me a nod. Her friend told us that they had to get going. Susan looked at me, smiled and told me she will stop by tomorrow morning. I asked her where they were staying. She pointed at a condo that was less than 1/10th of a mile away. God damn!
That next morning Susan had stopped by as promised. She looked as beautiful as she did the night before. We spent the day together and talked. We walked up the beach and as I reached for her hand to hold, she knew instantly and grabbed my hand. Our hands interlocked with each finger in between her fingers. At that moment a feeling came over me like a wave. The feelings were overwhelming, but the best feeling was the warmth in my heart that spread throughout my body. My mind was racing and could not believe that this girl, I was holding hands with, was actually with me. That day was a day that will always be with me. Even as I write this down I still feel that warmth in my heart and my soul. We did everything together that day. Most of the time we spent together we talked. We asked each other questions about our lives, where we grew up, what music we listen to, etc. The more I knew about her the more I was falling for her. Her West Virginia accent was so sweet to listen to, her blue eyes captivated me, her sandy-blond hair, and her tanned body didn’t hurt either. But her personality. Susan was funny, caring, lovable, sweet and interesting. We got along that day and the days that followed. While my friends went out to clubs and other places, Susan and spent time together. We would sit on the beach at night and talk. Yes we would kiss and hold each other. When we did kiss it was like the first kiss. Never wanting to end. I remember lying down next to her on the beach. I shifted around, lying on my stomach with my left arm reaching across her waist and as I looked down at her, she just softly closed her eyes. Her left arm was under me and reaching up my back. I reached across to her waist pulling her closer to me. She reached up and slid her hand up the front of my chest to the back of my neck and pulled me closer to her. We softly kissed and for a moment, as I shut my eyes, I was completely captivated in the passion of that kiss. At that moment, at that precise second, I realized that my feelings for her were strong. I knew I was falling in love with this girl. Even though we only spent a few days together, every moment we shared felt right.
That final day came, the day we had to say goodbye to each other. This was a day earlier than I expected, Susan had to leave on Thursday morning because of the drive back to West Virginia. She stopped by the cottage early, I was tired and depressed. I kept thinking about this moment the entire night. I hated this feeling, but the moment I saw her walking around the corner my mind flooded with emotions. God I was thrilled to see her again but quickly realized that this time was the last. We chatted for a little bit but most of the time we just held each other. My heart felt like it was being torn out. This sick feeling overwhelmed me. Sadness creeped in with every minute. I wanted time to stop, so I could catch my breath and keep this beautiful girl in my arms. My heart pounded but it was not like before. I was anticipating that dreaded moment that was about to happen. Finally, which seemed like only a few seconds, Susan looked at me and said, ‘I have to go!’ I could tell she was crying. God I wanted to comfort her and tell her how much I loved her. ‘I know you do,’ I replied. Tears were starting to fill up in my eyes. I could not hold it back much longer but I did not want her to see me like this. I kept my head down. She kissed me on the forehead. With my hand, I reached out and grabbed her hand. I pulled her close to me and kissed her. I held her as tight as I could. Then I whispered to her, ‘I love you! Don’t you ever forget about me!’ Susan whispered back into my ear, ‘I will never forget you!’ It was at that moment we both let go and she started walking away. My heart was torn out of my chest. This pain was too much. When I could not see her anymore I broke down and started to cry. This feeling of sadness took over me and came out all at once. Leaning against the front of the car I heard the front door to the cottage open. I did not turn around because I was such a mess. I felt a hand on back and Jay’s voice saying, ‘It’s hard and it sucks!’ those words don’t seem like much but they went a long way with me. Jay might not be a master of words, but he is a true friend and has always been there for me. We stayed outside not saying anything for a long time. Then I said, ‘Let’s get something to eat.’ We walked into the cottage and had breakfast.
All day long I could not help but think of Susan. I was wondering where she was at certain times during the day. Was she thinking of me on the ride home? How long would she remember me? At times I felt like crying. For the most part I kept it together, but when I was alone I would let it out. That night we went out but my heart was with Susan. I was not much fun and my friends knew why. We went to some local club and drank a few beers, but I did not want to be here anymore. I just wanted to go home.
The next morning we left Myrtle Beach. Jay and I drove together in his car on our way home. At times we would take turns driving. All I could think about was Susan. Certain songs on the radio would trigger a memory I had of her. I did not want to forget the short time we had together. When I was driving I would play the Chicago tape I was listening to when I first saw Susan walking along the beach.
After Myrtle Beach, I saw Susan one other time. Jay and I took a trip to Morgantown, WV during Labor Day Weekend. We recruited our friend Karl to go with us. The trip was about a 10 hour drive. Like driving down to Myrtle Beach we all took shifts driving.
I saw Susan for a couple days that weekend. The first night I saw Susan was at her high school football game. She was on the sideline cheerleading when I arrived. She looked so adorable, Susan looked as beautiful and stunning as the first time I saw her. That entire weekend was just as special as the time we spent down in Myrtle Beach. Jay and Karl were great. When the game was over Susan came up to me and gave me a huge tremendous adoring hug. Her embrace felt so affectionate! When I closed my eyes and held her close to me I caught a whiff of her aroma. The fragrance brought me back to Myrtle Beach. Funny we did not kiss but just held each other for a brief time. The moment we let go, I clutched her hand and walked her over to Jay and Karl. After I introduced her to them, Susan and I talked for a little longer. She had to go home tonight but we made plans for tomorrow. It was a little heartbreaking but I knew we would be together for the next couple of days.
Those two days rapidly flew by. Our last day together was just as hard as the last time we said goodbye. In the parking lot of the motel I had her in my arms. She embraced me with the same warmth and intensity as I had. We did not say anything for the longest time. Her arms started to squeeze me tighter and I knew it would be agonizing to let her go from my arms. To release our grasp that we had on each other would be to let go forever. Even in mind I was planning my next trip see her, in the back of my mind I knew this was the last time I would be with her again. I felt that Susan was thinking the same thing. Occasionally her embrace would get a little tighter. As we slowly released our hug my hands moved down to her waist. Her hands lowered down to my chest. I looked into her sensational blue eyes and saw a tear gently slide down her check. I pulled her in and tenderly kissed her on the forehead. When I pulled back I looked into her eyes. “I love you!” I said .
“I love you too.” she replied and put her head on my chest again.
The time came for us to let go and finally say ‘goodbye’. With my hands firmly holding onto hers, the sensation of tears formed in my eyes. As much as I tried to held back the tears the worse it got. Susan looked at and brushed the tears of my face. Her hand shifted to the back of my neck and she kissed me again. Susan looked up at me, there was a brief moment of silence and then we kissed for the last time. “I’ll write soon.” I said. She shook her head and then we parted. I watched her get into her car and drive off. I got myself together and headed back to the room.
I kept hanging on to the idea of a relationship with Susan, but as time went on the realization began to sink in. We wrote each other 2-3 times a week but as weeks turn into months the letters became less frequent. Soon the letters gradually stopped.
It has been 35 years since I last saw Susan but the memories are still strong. Although I fell in love again and now have a family, I never forgot about Susan. Over the years I have always wondered what she is doing, Where she was living?, What type of job she has?, Did she ever get married, have children? Is she happy? I never stopped caring for her.
No matter how old you are or how many years have gone by, you never forget your first experiences. Some are more memorable than others and there are some you would like to forget. Each memory I will always cherish, my first hit playing baseball as a kid, riding bike without training wheels, I walking into Fenway Park and seeing the Green Monster, my first date, etc. But the one that sticks out the most, as far as first experiences go, is the first time I fell in love.

MYSTERY CLASSICS: THE DEAD TALK TOO MUCH FOR MY TASTE by Jamie Ruff | GBAMLOG.COM

I was so desperate I took a job attending funerals. It’s not as goulash as it sounds. I would open and lock up the church after the funeral. In between, the minister would officiate and comfort the family, but he couldn’t be expected to arrive a couple of hours before the funeral and stay an hour or two after. I was usually there five hours. The pay was decent enough.

The saying is that dead men tell no tales, but they do; and those who attend their funerals tell even more. The departed and the attendees tell everything. His obituary will say he was a faithful husband, but why is his girlfriend sitting on the aisle across from the wife? If he was such a loving father why didn’t his oldest daughter show up, and why doesn’t someone mention her name? If he was such a good husband, why is his wife nearly dancing a jig? I think she killed him. She has the look of someone who has been relived of a burden.

Family and friends, they try to put the best face on the corpse, but I can see it – he, or she, lies right there for all to see; to examine if his illness or age wore away his strength and vitality like his weight. Gaunt faces; sunken eyes; drawn lips, even before they were sown together. Old wrinkled fingers that squeezed pennies or let opportunities slip away.

People want to talk at funerals, especially to someone who doesn’t know. That way they can share it as news to a stranger instead of the gossip it would be to a family member or friend; and if you judge, so what? You’re just some guy waiting for the punch to give out so that the family will go home, never to be seen again. One person tells you the departed’s every accomplishment, but, sooner or later, someone else tells you his faults – maybe not directly, but they will tell. The particulars about the dead are like advertisements for houses, there is far more there than is revealed and the truth is concealed between the lines. She loved children because she had none, and that was because she couldn’t conceive; he riled against abortions because the one he forced a girlfriend to have so long ago still haunted him; he gave generously to good causes but cheated his partner and stole the business; she loved life, but committed suicide; he will be buried beside a wife he was forced to have instead of the man he loved. They will share a headstone the size of a small northern state: beloved wife; beloved husband, it says.

I’m afraid for my own funeral. Not because I’ll be dead, but because all my secrets will be revealed to the stranger sitting in the back of the room waiting to wash out the punch bowl. Who does he think he is?

MYSTICAL ROMANCE: LAST LOVE by Yoto Yotov | GBAMLOG.COM

I do not see myself as a decent person. I realize that the notion of right and wrong is something relative. It all depends on the concrete situation, since something you consider good can be unpleasant or offensive for someone else under different circumstances. There is no universal good. I, in particular, think that it’s of primary importance that things should be good for me, even if it might seem a bit egocentric. Yet this principle has never failed me. Actually, one can be selfish only to a certain point. I think that this moment in one’s life comes when you meet the one and only person you want to spend the rest of your life with. This is the time when you begin to crave for a real home, and you ponder what it really means to be a man. For me, this moment had not come yet. Even by my standards, I was not a good man, but it was of little importance to me, and I didn’t have to worry myself with how to try to change this fact.

So far my life had passed in wandering in forgotten and far-off places, and unwittingly, the carefree days turned into carefree years. I had visited so many towns that I no longer remembered their names. Nameless little dwellings at the edge of desolation and survival had been my home for a day. In the larger towns to the East, I did stay long enough to get acquainted with the darker sides of human life. But who am I to judge why the darker side of life is more fascinating? Some people claimed that I had killed dozens of men. But I knew that they were not so many, and for sure they wouldn’t be missed. The devil of youth was in my eyes. I faced every challenge with a head held high and a grin. The other attribute of youth I truly possess—overflowing confidence—was no stranger to me, either.

I had nowhere to go in particular and plenty of time to get there. I was merely following the curves of the old and obviously unused road, filled with curiosity as to where it would lead me. Well, it did lead me somewhere. It reached an inn or at least to something that passed for one around here, and beyond it there was nothing—only woodland. I decided to spend the night at the inn, so I moved toward the old massive building, able to withstand the whims of time and men who visited such amazingly beautiful and totally useless parts of the world. The main hall was spacious, a little dim but clean and well kept. There were wooden benches next to the tables, and the floor was covered with straw. Obviously, this was not only an inn but also the home of the innkeeper and his wife.

As I entered the inn, I saw them sitting around a table close to the counter, having dinner. Both of them were middle aged and not so thriving but seemed happy. The innkeeper stood up to greet me, and I halted so that he could have a good look at me and size me up with his judging gaze. During my wanderings, I came to understand certain things about people, and I knew everything about the man standing in front of me. I had met hundreds like him, who were in pursuit of happiness and a place to call their own. People feeling at ease both in the towns and in the wilderness. Men and women who were not used to bend down to authority. They were good-hearted and noble, and I was always glad to have such people close to me in times of trouble—not one caused by me, of course. But they also had one annoying streak in their character—they considered themselves the salt of the earth and didn’t listen to anyone’s opinion or advice.

It was clear he didn’t like me a bit, but at the same time he was not shocked by what was standing in front of him.

“Good evening. We don’t have so much visitors lately, but as long as you have money to spend, you’re welcome.” He was precise and to the point.

I held back my smile. I’m never wrong. He offered me a bed and a meal but, at the same time, kindly reminded me that these services were not for free. He was not rude but knew what he was offering and its worth. I gave him a silver coin and sat next to them.

They were nice people, and the absence of visitors also meant the absence of news. Dinner went on for hours while I was telling them the hottest gossips. And when I didn’t know something, the little devil in my eye winked, and I came up with the most shocking and spicy stories. Now the family would have something to talk about for days ahead. What is this world coming to? Later, I found my room to be quite charming—small and dusty, with two beddings. You should be amazed at what people call a bed these days! I threw my bag on the one and lay down on the other, without even taking off my shoes. I was so tired…

The waves crushed below my feet. The wind messed my hair, in an attempt to blind me. Even up here on the rocks, I could feel the salty sprinkles that the wind deliberately lashed across my face. I don’t remember how I came here, what I was doing, or even who I was, but obviously things didn’t look good. I was just standing there, and strangely enough, I was enjoying the rough sea. I saw the life itself in the vast, delirious chaos of waters and wind. Despite the fury of this untamed beautiful nature, I felt at peace. I raised my gaze to the sky, and the clouds parted. They opened a small gap, and the moon’s rays slipped toward the earth. They reflected on the ground and glowed. High in the rugged skies, there was a dragon gliding. Black as night, it was flying above to get me. I was convinced that it had come for me and that there was no escape. How can it be possible? I don’t even believe in dragons! Its wild roar broke through the wind, and it dived toward me. I had to get away and go somewhere far, far away from here. I turned and froze. All the fear gathered inside of me melted away and vanished and gave place to unnamed terror. Just a few steps away from me there was a figure draped in black, holding a deadly weapon in its hands. Clearly I was alone, pushed to this corner of the world, with nothing to protect myself. I was close to the edge, and I knew it. The silhouette moved toward me and raised its head. It slowly pulled down the hood while I stood as if in a daze, gasping for breath. Extremities were playing inside of me tonight. A waterfall of black curves dropped underneath the hood. The greenest eyes that I had ever seem stared at me, and I found myself drowned in them. I could never imagine a more perfect face. It was both gentle yet and strong and complete. My wanderings had come to an end. She was here, and I had nothing else to ask for. She was the one I would love for life, and without her, life would be a living hell.

I woke up sweating and sat on the bed. The same old dream, night after night, was becoming more and more obsessive. At least this time I didn’t wake up screaming. The moment the dragon dives toward me and I turn around and try to run, I usually wake up—except for tonight. And that face. I hope and wonder if this dream is sent to me by someone or something. It was only a dream, yet I had fallen in love with the girl, and I had to find her. I was awake the rest of the night, staring in the dark, while her scorching eyes burned inside of me.

Next morning, I went down to breakfast, and probably something in my manner gave away my feelings, so I was left alone in peace to have my meal. I paid, and after saying good-bye, I continued on my lonely path. I had no intention of going back, so I turned toward the woods, without any specific direction, just following old trails left by animals. I didn’t care where they would lead me. I kept on walking and remembered that damned dream. They whole day passed in wandering. As night fell, I stopped at a small, sheltered meadow, the kind that people believe is visited by sylphs. I started a fire but wasn’t feeling very hungry, so I lied down and hoped to sleep and be visited by the same dream. I wanted to ask her so many things. Consciousness tried to give way to oblivion.

Perhaps I was too eager; no dreams came that night. I tried to calm myself by listening to the sounds of the forest. I had always found peace in the nocturnal serenity and the hum of nature. The sound of a branch breaking. Then another one. No wild animal makes such noise. Someone was coming toward me. I stood up cautiously and alert, the knife ready in my hand, pointed in the direction of my visitor. Clearly someone was walking across the meadow toward me. Maybe there was no malice intended, and it was just a youngster who was about to experience one of the greatest mistakes of his life. The night visitor stepped into the ring of light, and everything became clear.

The girl from my dream was standing in front of me. She was here, yet it was totally surreal. Still she was flesh and blood and full of energy overflowing underneath her clothes.

“I’m totally freaked out.” Well, I can’t be blamed for not knowing what to say to a girl.

She smiled and sat opposite me.

“How…why? I…” I couldn’t stop babbling.

“Slow down! Stop! Too many questions, too little time. Will you come with me?”

“You know that I want you.” Finally, I said something deep.

I felt as if her face grew paler, but maybe I was wrong. I knew absolutely nothing about that girl, after all.

“I know. Believe me, there isn’t anything I want more than to be together. And we will be together as long as it is possible.”

“As long as it is possible? What do you mean? There isn’t anything that can keep me away from you.”

“You’re so naïve…You don’t get it, do you? I’ll have to pay dearly even for the little time we’ll be together.”

I stood up and moved toward her. She took my hand. For the first time everything was perfect. I was at the place where I was supposed to be. I was home—here, with her. It didn’t matter what she said. The important thing was that she was next to me, and I wouldn’t let anything—or anyone—keep us apart. Not even death do us part.

We walked through the trees and enjoyed the touch of our hands and the fact that we were together. We reached a creek, its water lit by the moonlight. She pressed her body next to mine, and our lips joined in a kiss. Time stopped, and we were the only two people on earth. Her dress fell to the ground, and she ran to the creek laughing and dived into the silver water. She emerged from it, sparkling all over, and in that moment, I knew that I was the only one to witness such beauty. We were together, and we were one. This was our night, and this was our world.

Hours later we rested on dew-sparkled grass and watched the break of dawn.

“I must go, my love,” she said. “You should know that I have never loved till now, and my heart belongs to you. Maybe someday we’ll be together, free from the worldly chains.”

“But…” I began. She placed her finger on my mouth and nodded.

“Don’t. Only remember me. We’ll meet again. I promise!”

She stood up and, without looking back, ran toward the trees. Even then, I could see her cheeks covered in tears.

“I love you,” I cried. I guess I always know what to say.

She halted and turned around. For a moment I thought she’d come back, but she turned and was lost in the greenery. Next to the creek, I was at a loss, and far off, I heard the swift flap of massive wings.

* * *

 

This is the story of my love. This is the way I told it to the young girls, but they enjoyed it, nonetheless. Such romantic creatures—they don’t seem to mind taking care of endless complaining, grumpy old veterans. The old army barracks were now the home of rusty soldiers like me, who had nothing to their name and nobody to care for them. People who had spent their entire lives in the army, for some reason or other. I had my reason—I was looking for her. I tried to find my love on the battlefields, but she didn’t come for me. I knew she would find me someday. Yet I never shared my secret with anyone. Somehow I had sensed in my dream what she was and why she carried a weapon. I was never mistaken even for a brief second that the scythe is for harvesting hay.

Now at my deathbed I am sure she shall find me at last.

“Hello, my love. It’s been a lifetime since we’ve been together, hasn’t it?”

I never imagined that Death could be just a feeling. At last she’s here for me, and she is smiling back. Damn it, I do love this smile!

MYSTICAL CLASSICS: TRUTH OR DARE by Ryan Thomas | GBAMLOG.COM

“Who is up for a game of Truth or Dare?” I ask, looking between Tim and the two girls inside of the pool, the back of my shoulders leaning against the ledge.

“Me! I am!” Lauren screams. “How exciting! Let’s do it! Woo!”

She grasps the neck of a Bacardi Limon. She hoists the bottle above the pool’s surface, as she wades in the six-feet-deep water, repeatedly pushing her right arm out to stay afloat. Her eyelids flutter — after she guzzles a few shots worth of liquor — and she continues to use her left arm for sustaining the Bacardi in air . . . post-drink. Next she leers at Tonya, whom is vastly more coherent and nearly sober after drinking a can of Bud Ice. Tonya drank a shot or two of Raspberry Vodka, as well, which has barely loosened her up. Other than a quick “Hello” to the both of us, she hasn’t said anything since our arrival. We showed up here to Lauren’s (i.e. her parent’s) impressive estate about ten minutes ago.

Lauren raises the 70 cl bottle — pressing it to her lips, awkwardly — before draining the last of its contents. She screams “Woo!” again. She whips her hair, flipping it left and right, inelegantly splashing her delicate, bony shoulders.

“I’ll go,” Tim says, laughs uproariously.

“Well, first . . . why don’t the ladies decide,” I say, looking for my High Life and not instantly finding the fat, heavy bottle.

Tonya watches my eyes, so I decisively flash her with a flirtatious smile. Next I push myself up — using the flat surface of my slippery palms — and lift out of the water. I sit on the pool’s concrete rim. “Tonya, you up for a game of Truth or Dare . . . or what? This is getting boring. My fingers are beginning to wrinkle like my prune-shaped privates over here.”

“Shit yea,” Tim adds, as if similarly prunish. “Let’s play already.”

“Too immoral,” Tonya warns, looking to Lauren with visible anxiety, until further vocalizing her genuine concerns: “I don’t know, Vince. Something bad could happen.”

“We’re not two bad guys,” Tim argues, moving water with his outstretched arms, repeatedly widening them and carrying them inwardly again, doing so while kicking his legs. They flicker, at light speed, other times conversely appearing to travel extra slowly. “We’re not evil, Tonya . . . Lauren.” His suave, winsome grin grows several inches, conspicuously evincing his eagerness. “Just sinners . . . right?”

He cackles and violently splashes a spray of water toward Tonya. “Play the game!”

Tonya deflects most of the water, showing impressive reflexes shielding herself by using hands and forearms as facial protection.

“Bad guys and sinners are pretty much one and the same thing,” she says, intentionally glaring in my direction. After dodging a new splash of soaring water, she erects her head and surprisingly her fuchsia fingernails slip like magnets away from each other in a sonorous snap, and — after lifting her same hand — she points at where I sit along the ledge. “Watch your boy, Vince. He’s out of control.”

“I’ll let you know why they aren’t the same,” I say, after rediscovering my thirty-two ounce of Miller High Life. It’s located to the left side of my hip, a foot away and completely knocked over on its side. I grab the neck, open the bottle, swig a bit of beer, and brush water off my Scooby Doo designed board shorts. I’m still a die-hard fan.

“Go ahead. Explain. I’ll listen,” Lauren says, outwardly enjoying my introductory set up on the surface of her covergirl face with a tiny, pert grin.

“The difference between them . . .” I begin, trying to sound officious and knowledgeable. ” . . . Tonya, is that a sinner — by very nature, at the core — does not intend to harm a soul. Bad people, evildoers . . . now, they’re an entirely different subject.”

“And why’s that?” Tonya responds.

“Once again, bad guys commit acts of evil. Right? What’s evil, really? Evil is when you hurt — or, even — when you wantor desire to hurt yourself or someone else. Point being, the wrongdoing is malicious and fully intentional. The deliberate decision to hurt your fellow woman and man, well . . . that just might be the worst transgression there is. Period.”

Again the thick-glassed bottle of Miller is angled toward my mouth. I swallow a couple more ounces of foamy, golden-brown beer. “Of course, a sinner’s propensities are typically related to partying. Far be it from me to be hyperbolic, but sinning can be incredibly fun. We do it to loosen up, rid ourselves of unwanted inhibitions and actually enjoy life. If sin is carefully controlled, it can hardly harm anybody. Nobody dies from it. Nobody ever gets hurt too badly. Wouldn’t you agree, Tonya?”

Tonya looks toward Lauren — as her sister sets the Bacardi bottle on the edge of the pool. It falls backward with a small, unceremonious plop into the water. Lauren even kicks it by her tiny heel, swimming away.

“Yes,” Tonya agrees, just slightly grinning. “I guess that is a sensible way of looking at the difference between evildoers and sinners. Perhaps I was overreacting just a little.”

“So, now we can play a game of Truth or Dare?” Tim asks, boldly.

Tonya still holds a noticeable amount of trepidation.

“We’ll keep it controlled, then?” she whimpers, nervously.

“Who’s first,” says Tim, raising his wet hand and waving it. “I’ll go,” he says. “Do me. Hey — everyone hear that — I just said do me. That’s hilarious.”

“Fine,” says Lauren. Her eyelids lifting and falling down from drunkenness, she effortfully lunges toward Tim in slowed, moon-walking style leaps. “Truth or dare, Timmy. You’re so cute. Like a puppy dog. I just want to pet you all day . . .”

She pats the empty air, then — so the imitative gesture is better seen — slaps the blue water’s surface that’s comfortably heated at seventy-two degrees, until she arrives in similar bobbing fashion to Tim’s front side. “Say dare, Tim . . . or I’ll chop your prick off with my fingernails.”

She arranges her apple-red fingernails into a threatening cat’s claw, adding, “Choose dare. Don’t make me castrate you, Timmy.”

“Dare,” Tim says, unemotionally, eyes tethered in solemnity to Lauren’s.

“Good boy,” replies Lauren, as she excitedly claps once. She gestures with the bright fingernails now pointing at the shallow side of the pool. “Go French-kiss Tonya. I want to see tongues entwining like Lesbians during sex. Thirty seconds of noisy making out. Half a minute . . . or it won’t count guys.”

Tim looks at Tonya impassively treading water with her arms and legs. He races toward her without checking for agreement on Tonya’s face. Tonya acquiesces, choosing to hop over — rather than swimming toward him — at a slow-moving advance. They embrace like old lovers and their lips connect together exchanging tongues for the requested period of time.

“Woo!” Lauren screams, but then something catches her intoxicated attention.

She discovers another bottle of liquor near the glass table. The table is deliberately situated in front of the latitudinous vista, obviously so her prosperous family can view the flora and wildlife — consisting mostly of birds, coyotes, and occasionally wolves — whenever peering inside the vast canyon behind Lauren’s home.

She fights through water to the edge of the pool, lifts out, sprints over the wet concrete in a frightfully tentative fashion, presumably in pursuit of the liquor bottle. She amazingly reaches the table without experiencing an injurious pratfall. She secures the bottle in her shaky grip, and — after almost dropping it, but catching the bottle with her knees — carries the liquor back to the pool and jumps into the water. She rises back up with the bottle of Raspberry Vodka.

“Who’s next?” she exclaims, loudly.

“Vince,” Tonya says.

She looks over to me with an aloof, joyful expression, as Tim confidently leaps back to the deeper end of the pool. He then pushes off the wall like an Olympic swimmer — two feet at a time — and his medium-height body (five feet and nine inches) torpedoes all the way through the middle area and approaches the six-feet water again.

“Fine, I’ll go,” I say, holding my beer, enjoying the elevated view from the ledge.

“Truth or dare?” Tonya asks, eagerly.

“Truth,” I reply.

“No, you chicken-shit —” Lauren interjects, exhibiting her cat-like claw and vehemently shaking her head in angry protest. She raises the Raspberry Vodka, only now to discover there’s no more liquor inside of the bottle. For a second or two, clearly, her disappointment overcomes her facial expression, but then, after a demonstrative shrugging of her shoulders, she heaves a sigh and follows that with a perky sweeping of her head. Her hair immediately fans out and shoots pellets of water away like an aqueous sort of machine gun.

“Don’t be a loser, Vince,” she says, throwing the bottle on the grass.

She turns at the edge of the pool and forms the kitty claws once more. “Don’t think I won’t chop your Johnson off, too. Vince chooses dare. He is doing a dare.”

“Fine. Dare, then. If it will make Lauren happy, I’ll —”

“— Terrific!” Lauren practically shouts.

Tonya looks at us, inspecting Lauren and myself while choosing the dare.

I swig the very last of the Miller High Life, discard the bottle by getting out and responsibly depositing it inside the only waste receptacle. Afterward, my strongest desire is to immediately slip back into the warm pool.

“I dare you to suck Lauren’s nipple,” Tonya says, surprisingly. “Go,” she says, clapping, finally showing a similar level of enthusiasm as her sister. “Suck Lauren’s nipple, Vince.”

“What?” I say, laughing. Afterward, I curiously look toward Lauren.

Lauren doesn’t appear disagreeable to the idea. So I change my mind. “Fine. I’m up for it.”

I walk toward Lauren’s thin frame in the water. She fixes her hair, so the wet strands cling to the back of her shoulders, preliminarily kept away from her face. I wait, as she lowers her top, giggling and then looking in different directions with a closed-lipped, immodest smile, noticeably excited the game has elevated in this manner. Once her full breast is exposed, she motions for me to approach with a welcoming arm gesture. I get closer, lower down to her chest, and — as dared — wrap my lips around the protruding bump. Her nipple looks like a pink bull’s-eye. It’s the size of a pushpin and closely resembles the game piece from “Sorry” that advances across the collapsible playing board. The supple breast tastes like chlorinated water, as I lap my tongue around the nipple, ever so lightly holding the tit as I do.

“Enough,” I say, raising my head . . . sort of like an overstuffed baby . . . from the exposed breast. “Who’s going to go next? Tonya . . . truth or dare? We all doing dares? Yes, no — what?”

“Dare!” Lauren shouts for her sister.

She rearranges her lime-green top over her breasts, covering up slowly and afterward straightening the upper portion of her two-piece. Desire to sustain the level of excitement is equally felt by everyone, especially Tonya, enduring the high pitch of Lauren’s continual screaming within elbow’s length of her: “Dare! Dare!”

“Nothing raunchy. Shhh! I hear you —” Tonya reaches her open hand toward Lauren’s mouth, as if to tamp her lips, but never actually touches her. “Shhh! I hear you. Dare.”

“Nothing too gross, Vince.” As she spoke, her quarter-inch — similar in extension to Lauren’s — fingernails threaten to slice me to ribbons. She’s like Uma Thurman from “Kill Bill,” swinging her claws and making guttural noises like a tiger.

The twins clearly think alike. They most likely yield a similar taste, as well. Either way, more unknown information of their exquisite taste and feel will — undoubtedly — be stored securely in my head by game’s end. I’m sure to remember this night for a great while.

“I got a dare,” I say, smiling nefariously. “I dare you two . . . Tonya and Lauren . . . to both drop your tops and French-kiss each other.” I extend my smile, wryly adding: “And the makeout session must continue for at least half a minute. Otherwise, it doesn’t count.”

“We’re sisters —” Tonya argues, laughs toward starry, dark sky. “Would that turn you on, Vince? You Perv.”

“Yes. Yes it would,” I say, unabashedly. “I’d be very turned on by that.”

Lauren is already frontally nude — by this point— and her light-green top drifts away from her at the surface of leftward-moving, choppy water.

“Don’t be a chicken-shit, Sis,” Lauren hops toward Tonya.

Tonya winces, reaching behind her back. Her black floral-patterned top falls toward water, carried leftward toward a skimmer drain.

Soon their soft bodies melt into each other. Everything appears to interlock: tongues, B-sized breasts, shoulder-length hair, grasping each other’s arms with small identical hands, as they French uninhibitedly, unapologetically, unfettered by taboos or common reservations of any kind. As they disconnect bodies, they momentarily peer into each other’s eyes. They give confident stares, signaling what they’d just finished doing wasn’t a very big deal to them. They have done the same thing many times before! They finally look our way, Lauren bowing, then Tonya, both of them smiling and appearing euphoric.

“Excellent,” Tim says, clapping.

“Yes —” I add, clapping a few times. “Excellent. You two are hot as fire. The conflagration is quickly spreading to my heart. It’s en fuego, really. Lauren, Tonya, thank you. I can say, now, I have greatly matured from sharing this experience. Bravo. Who’s going to go, now?”

“I’ll go again,” Tim offers, still overjoyed at what he just saw.

He swims closer toward the three of us. He waves at the topless twins and noticeably elevates his eyebrows just a little, grinning, as he turns my way and shares a strong look of approval. He lifts them up further, still, as he glances between the naked girls again.

“Who wants to do me?”

He softly chortles to himself shaking his head, which was a pretty corny couple of things to do after his repetitious joke, even making his nervousness more conspicuous by batting a hand . . . somewhat effeminately, in truth . . . toward them. Due to a heightened sense of self-awareness, he grows very solemn again. “Nevermind. Who wants to ask me to do what— Tonya, Lauren?”

“I got an idea,” Lauren says, snappily. “Whip out your dick and jump in the pool.”

“What?” Tim says, feigning confusion.

“She said,” Tonya says, laughing. “Whip out your dick and jump in the pool.”

“Fuck it,” Tim says, apparently letting go of any misgivings.

His surf style board shorts — showing crabs and seaweed as a design — make a brisk ripping sound from the Velcro strap. From his small-bellied waist, the shorts slowly and consistently descend further into the somewhat transparent, slow-moving water. His bare ass is a toast-brown sort of color, flashing above the pool for a disgusting length of time, as he relies on his moderately strong forearms and triceps, while pushing up onto the ledge. He proceeds — naked as a child at birth — and as, though denying such would do him no favors, he suffers from a similar condition as neonatal boys having an exposed, shrunken penis.

He fiddles with his miniature shaft, until it is enlarged enough to be firmly gripped and swung about like a rope. Then, squeezing the dangling junk with his right hand, he proceeds to flail his penis in a cowboy-with-a-lasso kind of way — the tip wavering like a fish head — jumping back into the warm, splashy water.

“Woo!” Lauren screams.

Even Tonya, clapping herself, screams “Woo!”, but then she heads toward the other end of the pool. The departure is probably due to wanting to fix her looks. In truth, she’s a perfect ten without a single flaw. Always will be.

Tim resurfaces and immediately thrusts his head backward. The strident thwack of his six-inch long hair is a bold declaration of his triumph over inhibition and self-consciousness, the water sort of being like fireworks popping around his relatively handsome, bluish face. He’s a conqueror of all mankind’s greatest fear: a cold, wet penis.

“Vince,” he says, like he’d been baptized. “I got a dare for you, man.”

“What’s that,” I say, with a cool smile. “What is it?”

“I dare you to go down on Lauren.”

“What?” I say. “That’s crazy.”

“C’mon,” Tim says, confidently smiling. He elevates his open hand while it faces toward Lauren. “Sushi style. Do it. You’ve got to do that . . . for Lauren, Tonya, you, and myself . . . and do it for epic games of Truth or Dare occurring everywhere.”

I’ve been hoping from years of escalating flirtation with Tonya to hookup with her, but Lauren isn’t a poor choice as a girlfriend either. She’s quite a knockout in appearance and personality herself, at least when judging from what I’ve learned tonight. Occasionally, Lauren would appear at Pay Less, when Tonya and I were both working together, yet she was always so taciturn and inaccessible, perhaps, wrongfully, I had her pegged as the unapproachable type. I figured she was mostly concerned with reading lengthy books and praying at church. I assumed she would only accept an earnest marriage proposal after “hanging out” with a guy for years, rather than agree to “date” a person.

Tonya has wandered over to the farther away end of the pool. She searches for something; meanwhile her bare thigh gently taps against the fourth step leading to ground. She finally finds her handbag, toward the left and resting only inches from the pool’s edge. She fumbles with something inside of the purse, most likely a bottle of perfume or some kind of compact.

“I’m naked below,” Lauren says, as if to steal attention.

“I heard that —” I say, immersing myself in a moment of impetuousness. “Let’s do this.”

“Awesome!” Tim shouts in a deep cry. He cups his mouth. Booms: “I can’t believe this is happening!” so the words echo across the canyon. The canyon shouts his words back.

I close my eyes before submerging in the warm pool. Realizing I’d have to do so sooner or later, I open them up again and swim froggy-style toward the pale pillars sweeping and kicking a few yards away. They drop and lift, recurrently, but they never fall below a foot above the elusive sight of the pool’s floor.

I arrive at Lauren’s — no more than — 130-pound treading body. I lightly hold her legs, encircling both of my thumbs and index fingers around the smooth, doughy flesh above her knees. Afterward, I reel out my tongue and connect lips to her exposed vaginal area. A lump, the clitoris, juts from the top of the dark purplish-red hole, a fact I’d known prior to the old South Park joke. I lick the salty portion of skin around the clitoris, under a thick bush of frazzled hair. It isn’t till — and only after — an ocular and indisputable check, that I realize my tongue is abrading six or seven or eight, even, tiny, button-like protuberances, collectively lining the purple walls of her vagina, as well

ROMANCE NON-FICTION: MAY BE IT WAS LOVE by Kwaab | GBAMLOG.COM

Though we never talked but his voice and appearence used to make happy . It was like a special feeling.

So , it was the beginning of my class nine, well my school had two branches and the classes from nine was in other section. Now we had to go by bus to a remote area from main town where the senior section was located. The first day I came to know my class section was changed, I belonged to section c and most of the students in that section were new to me .

On the third period our chemistry teacher asked a question which I don’t remember but I do remember the strong and sweet voice of the person who answered it . He was the boy with 6 fingers . He was long, smart and everything. But the thing was he was sitting in back row so I couldn’t see him even though his voice was something I remember till now.

He came from a village near the school , by cycle. Next day he sat almost next to my desk , and I could now totally see him . I was good at studies so not much but I was well known in my class and he knew me ,that was what I thought. It was very new to me , new feeling .that desire to see him first after entering the class and searching him in the lunch time .

It all started during our English classes .I don’t know why but we like use to stare at each other and smile all the time .we never talked to each other , only used to ask some random bookish questions. His smile was like rain from heaven . I had never stared some one like that before . I mean I had some crushes but none of them were so strong.

Mostly the times when our English teacher used to read novel , everyone used to listen and only we used to stare constantly.

He used to blush everytime he talked to me and me to.

Even after all this neither he got the courage to express his feelings nor I . May be he did expressed but I ignored .It was the end of class and we were waiting for our class to go out and I did heard him saying I love you in my back smiling at me , but it was infront of his friends, I thought that as a joke but may be it was not.

The story has not ended as many of you would thought .

In class 10 we never talked .

Why??

Because my so called freinds gave me the valuable advice to make him my brother by tying a rakhii on his arm and at that time being a boyfriend or girlfriend was a mark for being bad and not smart . It was like signing yourself in teachers bad book.

So I did what they said .ah h I still regret that. Though I never tied the rakhi but I did place it on history wrist and then ran away from there.

Whole class 10th we were awkward. Though the staring was still on .I had now more strong feelings for him now than before . Whenever any teacher used to speak roughly with him , I used to feel bad .

So after this school drama , in 11th when I thought I lost the touch with him I didn’t. What happens in india is that after 10th for 11th and 12th we take coaching . So I also got into coaching. He was not there in starting months but then one day the same voice I heard gave me goosebumps. I was so happy inside .

Though we never talked but his voice and appearence used to make happy . It was like a special feeling. He did tried talking to me . That made my day . Those four years till 12th were very special for me .

Never had that feeling after that. I used to think it was just a crush but may be it was not. I only think good for him and all success to him. Is this a crush ? May be it was .

But what if it was love ,have I lost the love .

I don’t know but hope I meet him seem day before my marriage, so that I could apologise for my childish behavior back then and tell him exactly how I feel for him . Or may be our this story will stay AMAR as his name was .

–END–

CLASSICAL ROMANCE: BRAZEN by Elaine Hopper | GBAMLOG.COM

“Ugh!” Stephanie Dwyer slammed her apartment door and stomped her foot. “Creep!” A picture fell off the wall and shattered. Water logged, droplets dripped from her nose, her hair, and her eyelashes, pooling at her feet. She scowled. Her new high heels were utterly ruined.

Courtney hid a chuckle behind her hand. Pointing the remote control at the television, she clicked off the sitcom she’d been watching. Her lips crooked into a half smirk. “This one turned into a jerk, too?”

Stephanie dropped her purse onto the coffee table and flopped onto the couch. She kicked her shoes off, scaring the cat who ran into the other room. Staring at the ceiling, she said, “All men should crash and burn.”

“That good?” Courtney sat forward, flicking her long black hair behind her shoulders. “There’s got to be a couple of good men out there. All we need is one good man each. Is that too much to ask?”

Stephanie lifted pained eyes to her roommate and best friend. “I don’t think there’s two good guys in this whole universe. I give up. I’ve had it. I’m not kissing any more toads.”

Courtney looked thoughtful, tapping her chin with her forefinger. “Maybe we’ve been looking in the wrong universe.”

Her friend was losing it big time. “What are you talking about?” Handsome Patrick had seemed so perfect, so wonderful. Until she’d caught him with Alyssa tonight, telling her the moon and stars shone only for her, that they were soulmates – the same pathetic lines he’d snared her with.

Some soulmate!

Jumping to her feet, Courtney paced in front of her. “What we need is a vacation away from the city to someplace totally different.”

“With totally different kinds of men.” Despite herself, her interest was piqued. “We need men who are the opposite of the bozos we’ve been finding here. No more big shot professionals.”

<  2  >

     Courtney grinned from ear to ear. “No more men who drive Mercedes.”

“Or who wear Rolex’s.” Steph started to feel alive again.

“Or who drink champagne.” Courtney downed a sip of her diet soda. Mischief danced in her dark eyes. “Give me a down to earth man who guzzles beer.”

The spirit grabbed Steph, rejuvenating her. “Give me a man who wears boots!”

Courtney slapped her thigh. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

Steph couldn’t help but crack a smile. “Let’s catch ourselves a couple of cowboys.”

“Yahoo!” Courtney crossed the room and turned on the computer.

Steph followed her, staring over her shoulder. Her friend went straight to the Ultimate Travel Agency’s booking page.

“I like Texas style. That okay with you?” Courtney’s fingers flew over the keyboard as she hummed Mickey Gilley’s tune, Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places.

“Sounds yummy. But no big cities. Nothing remotely like New York.”

“Don’t worry. I’m in the mood for a little two-stepping and wrestling in the hay.” Courtney paused, looking up at her. “Can you get off work for two weeks now? I’ll have Suzie reschedule all my appointments or give them to Glenn.” Courtney was a psychologist and could pretty much set her own schedule.

“Tony owes me two years vacation. I’ll tell him to give me two weeks now or pay me severance plus vacation pay.” Big words said with lots of bravado.

“You go girl.” Courtney thrust the phone into her hands.

“You mean now?” Steph’s voice cracked, hoarse. Bother her boss at home on the weekend? He’d kill her. Suddenly she didn’t feel so brave. Rent was pretty high and she still owed student loans . . . .

<  3  >

     “Unless you wanna pay for nonrefundable tickets and waste them?” Her roommate batted her eyelashes coyly, her finger poised over the enter key.

Scowling, Steph punched numbers on the phone. Sucking in a huge breath, she prayed Tony was in a good mood.

*

Courtney circled her hand above her head as she rode the mechanical bull. “Yahoo!” She pushed her new red cowboy hat back on her head, and then crooked her finger at Steph who line danced next to a hunky Billy Ray Cyrus look alike. “Your turn.”

No way! Sore thighs and a broken rump weren’t her idea of vacation. She shook her head, unused to the feel of her own cowboy hat. Courtney had made her wear it, swearing no one could visit the Lone Star state without wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and a Texas tie. For good measure, her friend had given her a big silver and turquoise belt buckle to wear, also. “I’ll pass.”

“Oh no you don’t! Everybody rides the bull.” The cutie pie next to her scooped her into his arms and carried her to the bull. His voice coated her like honey, and his eyes warmed her soul, making her tingly all over.

Half-heartedly she laughed, protesting, “But this is so Urban Cowboy . . . .”

The man’s wavy brown hair fluttered around his gorgeous face and she longed to run her fingers through it. “Tell you what, ma’am. You ride the bull and I’ll take you for a moonlight ride out on the range on my mare.”

Tongue-tied, she smiled down at the man. “I don’t even know your name.”

When he draped his arm across the front of the bull and smiled up at her, she about melted into his arms. He had the sexiest, liveliest eyes she’d ever seen. Deep brown, soulful, and fringed with the longest, sootiest lashes she’d ever seen on a man. They put her own to shame. “I’m Cory Lord. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

<  4  >

     Her heart pitter-pattered so loudly she was sure he knew she was pleased to make his acquaintance, too. Breathlessly, she said, “I’m Stephanie Dwyer.” She could kick herself for sounding so starry-eyed. Any moment she’d drool. They sure didn’t make men like this in the big city. Courtney should change careers and open a dating service. Thus far she had a completely satisfied client. And she’d never cared for men with hair longer than hers before. Texas must be seeping into her blood.

Courtney’s lilting laughter broke into her thoughts. “Who needs Patrick what’s his name?”

Unable to tear her gaze away from Cory, she smiled dreamily. “Patrick who?”

“Wahoo! I knew this place was magical. See if he has a friend for me?”

Like Courtney lacked male attention! Five knock-out cowboys vied for her friend’s attention.

The bull went wild beneath her, almost hurling her off before she knew her ride had begun.

“Scallop your rear and squeeze with your knees.” Cory steadied her when she would’ve fallen off. His large calloused hands burned through the thin material of the shirt covering her waist.

Incredible yearnings to feel his hands slide lower blindsided her. She couldn’t string two coherent thoughts together or exhale air from her lungs. She’d never felt so exhilarated. So alive.

Perspiration had beaded her brow and upper lip by the time the bull slowed to a stop. Tendrils of damp hair clung to her heated cheeks.

“Your turn.” She laughed as Cory lifted her down from the mechanical critter. He didn’t move back so she slid down his length, into the curve of his arms, feeling every sinew, every muscle of him.

As if on cue, the band slowed their pace and crooned a song of love turned wrong. Pathos washed over them and Cory sang in her ear, his warm breath driving her mad. His hands kneaded her waist, mesmerizing her, setting her on fire.

<  5  >

     She’d never been engulfed in such flame, never been so mindless over any man. She didn’t even know where he lived or what he did for a living! All she knew was his name and that he had the most incredible effect on her and that he had the most kissable looking lips she’d ever laid eyes on.

She stared up at those lips: soft, yet firm and chiseled, darting out her tongue to lick her own suddenly dry lips. Undeniable hunger surged through her. She had to taste his lips, had to nibble them and tease them or she’d die. It was a photo-finish whether he leaned down to savor her lips first or if she tiptoed up to press her lips to his first. It wasn’t a contest but if it was, they were both winners.

No one had ever kissed her like this before. Not Patrick. Not Gary. Not any of their predecessors. Cory’s lips ignited fires deep in her belly, shooting fireworks through every nerve ending, and turning her knees to gelatin. If not for his strong arms encircling her waist or her arms latched around his neck, she’d have melted to the floor.

Instead, she strained against him, needing him fiercely, longing to be one with him. The feelings were so strong they scared her, yet she couldn’t break free. She’d rather stop breathing.

She wanted to protest when he drew away. Chill air chapped her bruised, swollen lips.

His gaze smoldered into hers. “Let’s check out the moonlight . . . . I’m getting claustrophobic.” His teeth nipped her earlobe, and then his tongue lathed her ear.

Arching her neck she shivered against him. He was right. They were too closed in it was too smoky in here. Fresh air and privacy lured her. When he captured her hand in his larger one, she let him lead her outside.

<  6  >

     Courtney flashed her a dazzling smile and gave her the thumbs up sign. She’d wrangled herself a cowboy, too – a young Robert Redford in a black cowboy hat that gazed at her with adoration and longing.

The music faded as Cory led her out to his truck. Crickets serenaded them and stars twinkled overhead in the Texas sky.

Warm fuzzies filled her and she looked at him seductively, giving into her urge to kiss him long and slow and rub her body against his. When he groaned into her mouth, she pressed closer. She knew she tempted him beyond all mercy. She shocked herself at her brazenness. But she couldn’t help herself. She couldn’t get enough of him. No man had ever gotten under her skin like this one. Not so like lightening nor so deep.

Tomorrow didn’t matter, only here and now. She wanted him like she’d wanted no one else.

Then Courtney’s laughter sliced through the spell, and Cory pulled back. Not much, but their lips no longer plundered each other. Their bodies still curved against one another, sharing heat, trembling.

Mortified at her own response, she laughed self-consciously. Huskily, she murmured, “I’ve never behaved this way before. I’ve never . . . .”

He put his fingers over her mouth, shushing her. “You’ve never fallen head over heels in love at first glance before?” He stroked her hair. “Me neither. I think you’ve bewitched me.”

A slow, sexy smile dawned over his face that made her blood simmer. “Our hearts know each other.” He dragged her hand to his chest and she splayed her fingers over his rapidly beating heart.

She smiled back, deciding to follow her heart. He trembled as she traced his strong jaw line with her fingernail and she delighted in her effect on him. “Guess I caught myself a cowboy.”

<  7  >

     Cory blushed, craned his neck, and gazed up at the stars. In a gruff, hesitant voice he said, “I’m not a real cowboy.”

“No?” She let her gaze slide over his body, from the tip of his pointy, dusty cowboy boots, to his Texas tie. Languidly, she asked, “What are you then?”

“A venture capitalist from Chicago.” He cocked a half grin at her. “I thought I’d come here to find a good old fashioned country girl.”

The irony caught her off guard and she chuckled. “I’m from New York City. I wanted a good old fashioned country boy.”

His gaze turned serious as he hauled her back against him. “Too late. . . . I’m staking my claim and I’ll fight any of those cowboys that come near you.”

“Ditto, Sir. I didn’t really fancy living on the range with a lot of smelly cows anyway.” She rubbed her aching behind and admitted, “And I don’t ever want to ride that darn mechanical bull again as long as I live!”

Cory laughed. “Done. How about we hold any more talk till morning?” He nibbled her neck as his hands caressed her heated flesh.

All thought fled.

 

Mystery Classics: NIGHTMARES by Saul Greenblatt

George Downs stood bent slightly forward in front of an officer. “You’re supposed to stand at attention, soldier, not tilted forward.”

“I have arthritis, sir, and it prevents me from standing up straight.”

“Likely excuse.”

“Sir, I’m eighty one years old. Why am I still in the Army?”

“We need all the able fighting men we can get, soldier, – so you will not be discharged from the Army.”

“This is crazy. I was discharged from the army almost sixty years ago. How could I possibly be standing here in an Army uniform. I must be dreaming. I must be having a nightmare,” he said and slapped himself in his face several times.  “What’s going on? I’m still here. I should be in my bed waking up  from this nightmare, but I’m not.”

“You will be sent to an infantry outfit where you will train for the next war.”

You don’t want someone as old as I am. I couldn’t endure the physical training.”

“We’ve dealt with soldiers like you before. We’ll make sure you endure the physical training if it takes five years.”

“Five years? I’ll probably be dead between now and five years from now.”

“The new Army doesn’t allow death unless death happens in combat.”

“No, no, no. This isn’t happening,” he yelled and sat up in his bed after being shaken by his wife. “George, you were having a bad dream. Are you okay?”

“Oh, it was terrible, Mary. I dreamt I was back in the Army, and they were going to send me to an infantry outfit. It was so real. I told them that I was eighty one, but it didn’t matter. The officer said I was going to be trained for the next war. Mary, it was terrible.”

“You go back to sleep, dear. Think about your great grandson, and you’ll have pleasant dreams.”

The next night was a repeat of the night before.  George was sleeping in a barracks, and a sergeant entered the barracks at 4:00 and screamed. “Okay, scum, everybody up. After breakfast we’re going on a nice twenty-mile march,” he yelled. “We have to be combat ready.” Then he went to George’s bunk, which was a top bunk. “What are you still doing in the sack, private,” he yelled.

George opened his eyes and looked around. “What am I doing here, and how did I get in this top bunk?”

“You’d better get moving, private, or you’ll  miss breakfast. You won’t  like to go on a twenty-mile  hike on an empty stomach. You can’t fight a war on an empty stomach.”

“Twenty-mile hike? Are you crazy? I can barely walk twenty feet.  Jesus, I’m eighty one. Look at me. Do I look like a kid?”

“Do you want special treatment because your eighty one? Ha. You’re in the Army. Age doesn’t get you special treatment, now get out of the sack,” he yelled.

“I don’t know how I got in this top bunk, and I’m damn sure I’m not going to be able to get out of it.”

“I’ll show you how,” the sergeant said and grabbed George and lifted him out of the bunk and put him on the floor. “Now get your walker, get dressed and get to the mess hall.”

“My walker? How did my walker get in my night mare? Why am I having this night mare?” he complained and looked around at all the young soldiers cleaning their rifles. “Why are you cleaning your rifle?” he asked a private.

“They keep telling us we gotta be ready for the next war, old man.”

“I’ve been watching too much news.”

The sergeant entered the barracks and screamed at George. “Why aren’t you cleaning your rifle? Why? Why?”

“George, wake up. You’re having another night mare,” Mary said and shook George, who sat up.

“It was like the night mare I had last night. I thought I stopped dreaming Army dreams years ago. For twenty years after I got out of the Army, I dreamed that the Army wouldn’t let me out. I don’t understand why they’re starting again. They don’t care that I’m eighty one. One more night mare like these and I’m going to see a shrink.

The next night, he was holding his walker as he walked in a field.  Where am I? Why are bombs falling? Who are those people running toward me? They’re shooting at me. I can’t get away, they’re shooting and…oh, my God, my stomach. They shot me in my stomach. I’m falling. I can’t move. Now, everything is black. I’m dead.”

Mary woke up in the middle of the night and reached over to touch George and felt wet. She jumped up and looked at George, who was bleeding from his stomach. “George,” she yelled and fainted.