Flash: Joelie and Sarah’s Last Day

Water visible through Ice

Image Courtesy of Jeremy Ricketts at Unsplash.com
Cropped by Erin Penn

Joelie cinched the saddle girdle tighter, letting the town’s mayor attempt to make him change his mind. You would think after raising her from birth, she would know only one person got him to change him mind about anything. Finally he interrupted, “Jillie, hon, your mom ain’t goin’ to last through winter and I can’t stop that. Travel may end it sooner, but she will see something she wants to see.”

“Dad, she is barely conscious. She isn’t going to notice anything, and it’s a full day’s travel even with my horse.” The five foot nothing blond dynamo argued. “Shouldn’t mother die in the comfort of her own bed?”

Satisfied the horse was ready and everything was packed for the journey, the old farmer went into his one-room house. “Your mom has never been one to choose comfort.” He sat in a chair to change his boots and add a second pair of socks.

“At least let me see if the priest from Riding-in-the-Mud can help give travel ease.” The young woman trailed her father into her childhood home.

Joelie stood, pulling on a traveling cloak. “Magic helped the first year, but now the Tester has placed this challenge before us. We can do this on our own.” Touching the pile of skin and bones swathed in blankets, Joelie stroked his wife’s cheek. “Sarah, time to go.”

Her blue eyes focused on his for the first time in days, reassuring him that the love of his life was still with him and he was doing the right thing. Picking up the blankets and padding, he carried the precious bundle out. Despite her having been several inches taller than him and outweighing him most of their joint lives, the last two winters of illness had taken their toll and now she was lighter than a grain sack.

****

Two days of frozen purgatory guiding a horse through his normal, slightly illegal, hunting grounds finally ended. He had never been one to understand how the King could own the entire forest. He was pretty sure the White Stag ruled it.

Jolie had wrapped Sarah tightly during the day and provided her his heat at night. He wanted to carry her during the day as well, or ride the horse and provide her needed warmth, but he needed to break the trail for the horse and he fell too many times.

The horse went to the edge of the water without prompting and Jolie started pulling what was left of his wife down. He heard a whisper and leaned closer in. “Are we there?”

Seeing clear eyes and ruby checks, Jolie gave thanks to the Tester for giving him a final moment with her. “Aye, we have arrived.”

Twenty years ago, she had laid into him during one of their few arguments, saying he did not have a romantic bone in his body. Sarah had just finished a round of afternoon sickness, since morning sickness was not enough for his exceptional wife, and the additional weight at six months on her swelling feet looked painful even to him after spending the day in the field. It took time to get her to this location then, but never did she ever question his romance again. Partially because if she did, he would have dragged her the long hike there and back to revisit this place.

Sitting on the edge of a boulder half-in and half-out of the waterfall pool, he settled his forty-year old woman in his lap and let her look around. A magical spring feed the creek a little further up. The water stayed a constant fifty degrees, creating a pool warm in winter and cool in summer. The steam rising from the waterfall coated the branches nearby with crystal ice. A few flashsprite made the glade their home during the winter, and danced among the branches setting off rainbows of color. The Valley-Home water lily floated pure white from a dozen different locations in the perfect blue of the pool. Green grass grew at the edge of the pool, where the warm water pushed back the hoar frost.

Valley-Home lilies could never be moved from their home water pool. He tried for years to transplant some from the spring to the irrigation pond in the north fields until Sarah had requested he “stop killing the flowers, you fool. I can remember their scent just fine.”

Joelie held Sarah, rotating her head from where it rested on his shoulder throughout the day and sunset so she could see everything. He feed her bits of trail meat after chewing it soft. At night the flashsprites danced faster among the ice, snow, and blue water. The world was a blaze of color and the jasmine-like scent of the Valley-Home released at full strength just before the white flowers closed for the night. Sometime after sunset Sarah slipped away.

(Words 814; first published 6/19/2016)

Flash: Funner (Part 2)

Opened Dictionary Stock Photo

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Joe was trying to get little April to accept puréed carrots, when his wife said out of the blue, “Yes, I believe funner is a word. Fun, funner, funnest.”

The peanut butter and ginger jelly sandwich was placed where their personal 4-year old tornado named Scott would land as soon as his milk glass was added. She returned to the kitchen to pour the final attraction, and then start assembling their more adult sandwiches. Joe wouldn’t mind a PB and J himself, but Cheryl tried to keep them on a somewhat non-strict diet. Thirties brought a little gut to both of them and she dislike buying clothes just for “upsizing” as she put it.

Scrapping up the carrots that were using osmosis to feed his favorite daughter through her cheeks and bib, Joe tried to place the conversation … it took a moment. Reorienting the food through the more proper channel of her small mouth, he was able to respond, “Nope, I am pretty sure funner is not a word. Did you look it up?”

Delivering the last of the Saturday lunch to the table, Cheryl mouth pursed in consternation as her husband got a point in the debate. “Well, no.” She pulled out her smartphone after sitting down. Booting up, she started navigating through menus looking. “Let’s see, some stuff about funner added to the dictionary in 2010 … Urban slang … oh here is something. Both noun and adjective, but not … drat.”

The arrival of their oldest made her put the smart phone aside, as she saved various glasses from spilling and laid down the requirement of eating at least three apple slices as well as half the sandwich before leaving the table. Joe concentrated on cleaning up the baby, the highchair, the plastic beneath the high chair and finally himself before joining his family at the kitchen table and snatching the phone for himself. Juggling April on one knee, and scrolling through the Google search he found a good article and passed it over to his wife after Scott started counting the Fritos on his plate.

She read through it, taking a bite of her chicken sandwich. Cheryl sipped some black cherry Kool-Aid then returned the phone and said “I believe the circumstances were very informal and therefore the usage stands.”

Joe laughed at loud, thinking back to exactly what he was doing during the “circumstances” of its usage. Glancing at the phone, he confirmed the article he had found boiled down to “Funner should not be used in formal writing, though it’s usage has been accepted for informal writing. For formal English writing, more fun should be used.”

“Agreed. In addition, I will concede we were not writing at the time.”

“Funner … Fun .. Ner … f.u.n.n.e.r.” Cheryl stated and spelled.

Laughter took them both, with April’s baby chortle joining in. Scott looked up from his counting; not understanding the joke, but enjoying the laughter, his high pitch child squeals joining in.

(words 498 – first published 1/2/2013; republished in new blog format 4/3/2016)

Flash: Funner (Part 1)

Pile Of Books Stock Photo

Image courtesy of Surachai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cheryl wrapped her legs around Joe’s midriff again, delighting in the unhurried strokes that were slowly driving her out of her mind. Inside a coil of molten emotion was building, getting ready to explode. Meanwhile, she was enjoying the quiet moment with her husband. Two careers and two young children didn’t leave them much couple time.

The sliding of his cock slowly stopped. Her man stilled, deep inside her. She waited a few breaths to see what next he had in mind, watching his beloved face, hands resting gently on his broad shoulders. Her arousal relaxing, the delicious molten feeling cooling waiting to be reheated to lava levels.

“Hey, are you okay?” she finally had to ask.

He blinked and looked down as if suddenly discovering Cheryl beneath him in the middle of a pushup. “Sorry, just thought of work.”

“This is the only work you should be thinking of.” Cheryl said firmly, giving her hips a wiggle. Taking his face between her hands, she added. “Besides, it’s more funner.”

Restarting his rocking movement at a brisker pace, he smiled innocently. “More funner?”

“Yes, more funner.” She arched as he began to hit her G spot, momentarily closing her eyes.

Taking advantage of the arch, Joe sucked her left tit. Finding no additional reaction, he switched to her right tit. He sucked it a second and then bit lightly down. A moan escaped his wife’s lips. Quickly he switched back to the left tit and sucked again. This time she bucked as though an electric shock went through her. He pushed himself back up for better bracing and increased speed again.

“Is funner really a word?”

The coil was getting ready to explode, but even so she had to ask, “Really? … Grammar police while we are having sex?” She tried to keep her face stern as he hit the perfect place again.

He chuckled, throwing off his strokes. Cheryl’s lips twitched as well. Suddenly he collapsed on her and they were both laughing. The molten emotions switched to humor and joy. His dick shrank a little, then equally suddenly he kissed her full on the lip and pushed himself back up. He pounded into her, and she had to tighten her legs in order not to move into the metal headboard. Within seconds her orgasm took her and he followed her over the cliff, spilling his seed.

(words 397 – first published 12/26/2012)

Flash: Eat Half

Half a Hot Dog

Image acquired from the Internet Hive Mind (multiple postings)

Joe stopped inside the living room. The house was clean. Not just picked up trash clean which was intimidating enough. Because between two small children, one of which was nursing, and a fairly full-time job as a real estate agent, Cheryl usually met “at least not smelling of garbage” standard until he had the weekend to bring everything into the healthy livable please-don’t-call-social-services-on-us environment.

Today his son laid in his onesie in front of the television, wet hair slicked back from a recent bath, watching “Frozen” and not a toy was in sight. The determined dust bunnies and stains he had not been able to unseat had been murdered by a vacuum and … he sniffed … lavender-scented carpet foam. A sparkling white playpen, bleached clean of the thousand of teeth marks and grubby fingerprints, contained his daughter trying to pull her socks off. So far the infant was unsuccessful because the feet kept moving on her when she reached to grab them with her hands. She smiled and gurgled at the challenge.

He continued through the Stepford Wives perfection to the kitchen where his wife scrubbed the dishes he had left soaking the night before, her blond hair swept back into a bun without a hair out of place, her make-up perfect for house-showing, and her nearly re-tamed belly brushing the counter as she leaned over the sink for leverage. He didn’t mind the paunch, two children stretch things, but she hated it and had the adults of the house on diets.

“My love,” Joe bravely called her attention to his existence, “how was your day?”

Cheryl turned toward him, her eyes sparkling angrily, her hands scraping the scrub brush against the non-stick pan hard enough to remove the special surface and leave groves. Through gritted teeth, words emerged.

“Your son.”

“Yes…”

“Lunch.”

She nodded sharply to a plate and glass, beside a ruler and a water-soluble child’s over-sized magic marker. The only dirty dishes in the room. Even the dusty wine glasses had been washed. While she could not drink alcohol, Joe abstained. He never was much of a drinker anyway. The last time she wasn’t nursing or pregnant, they shared a bottle of champagne in belated celebration of their anniversary which likely lead to the baby in the crib now. That was the sum total of in-house consumption.

Walking over to the plate, he examined the offense. A hot dog had been chewed length-wise beside a half-a bun. A bit of ketchup, strangely not a blob, but with a portion wiped clean. Apple pieces broken in the center. A green mark had been made midway on a glass of milk, with the top of the milk aligned perfectly to the mark.

Joe closed his eyes a moment, trying to contain himself. Don’t react, don’t react. He thought to himself. She’s still hasn’t rebalanced hormonally from the postpartum. Life would be easier, maybe, if her balance shifted to the more typical to the depressive state instead of manic.

“So, my love, did you said he couldn’t go outside and play until he ate half of what was on his plate.”

“I blame you!”

Don’t laugh. For the love of God man, don’t laugh. Don’t even say “But you agreed food was the perfect way to teach children fractions.” She will hear it as “I told you so.” The couch is not comfortable, far too short and some of the springs are broke from Scott bouncing on it. And don’t forget she knows where all the knives in the house are. She just finished polishing them.

Staring at her a moment, considering all of his options, Joe’s mind got distracted. She was beautiful. How did he end up with someone this special? Clever, brilliant, utterly gorgeous, driven. Shaking himself mentally from the fatigue of work and wonder of his wife, Joe returned to the temporary minefield of his house. “I’m sorry, my love. Truly. Could I help make it better by finishing the dishes before we eat?” And saving what is left of the non-stick surfaces, he added internally.

(680 words – first publication 2/28/2016)

Flash: Provisionally

Pink Rose Petals Stock Photo

Image courtesy of gt_pann at FreeDigitialPhotos.net

“Honey, why are you home so early?” the words drifted through the house. The stairs creaked as she went upstairs. Opening a door, Cheryl stopped midway through having discovered Joe on the bed.

His upper torso was bare, and the lower half of his body neatly covered by a folded and tucked blanket. His arms were stretched above him. Scattered around him was rose petals.

“What on earth are you doing?” she asked.

“Apologizing” said the contrite man. Cheryl’s lips twitched.

“Really?” She dropped her purse on the dresser. “Having sex seems to be more a reward to you, not an apology to me.”

“You say I never let you have control.” He rattled the handcuffs attached to the scroll metal headboard. “You have it.”

“Oh, my.” She couldn’t keep a grin from spreading across her face. She was quite cross with him, but the combination of romance and humor was chipping away at the peeve. “And just where is the key?”

He nodded to the nightstand, out of his reach. Beside the key was a sweating bottle of champagne, carefully placed on a doily. Points for finding the doilies.

“So you can’t escape without my help.” A teasing warmth edged into her voice.

Fright flickered in his eyes a second. “Yes dear. …. I totally have trust in you.”

She started unbuttoning her shirt. “And you can’t get out of that bed at all.”

“No, you will have to do everything.” Joe’s eyes watched hungrily as Cheryl shimmied out of her slacks and department store underwear.

She climbed on the bed in a kneeling position and slowly knee-walked up his body, taking a little extra time to drag her clit over the tenting blanket. Settling herself over his penis, she reached behind her back and released her bra. Cheryl fell forward to land on her hands, with a nipple hovering inches away from Joe’s mouth. “Oh, I don’t plan to do much. You haven’t properly sucked my breasts since we started having sex. Start making up for lost time.”

Joe moved his head up and his tongue flicked over tip before him. The stimulus made her moan and lean further forward – placing the entire nipple within reach. He inhaled, drawing the areola fully into his mouth. He suckled and swirled his tongue around the sensitive area. Her hips started shifting back and forth, trying to get her pussy closer to his hardening cock.

Suddenly she reared back and panted a couple of seconds. His eyes watched her as she got herself under control. Joe bucked a couple of time to indicate what he would like to do next.

A self-assured smile took over the woman’s face as she ground down until the man stopped moving. “Other side.” She directed as she fell forward again, her generous right breast falling within reach.

He licked and suckled. Releasing the nipple, he blew cool air across the flesh then drew the tit back in. Back and forth between the two breasts he went, while the blanket separating the nether parts dampened with her arousal. Her grinding hips eventually moved the cloth below his cock.

“What the?” she asked looking down. A necklace had been draped loosely around his penis – now not as loose as when originally placed there. She wiggled down to rest her ass his knees to get a better look.

After rediscovering multi-syllable words, Joe explained “Your present. Thought you would unwrap it sooner.”

She unwound the gold chain until the butterfly charm made of gemstones rested in her palm. “It’s beautiful.”

She lifted her arms to hook the necklace behind her nape, displaying her aroused breasts proudly. Rubbing her weeping slit up his leg, she crawled until she was face to face with Joe. The necklace brushed his chin. Staring into his eyes, she reached behind, grabbing his dick, and slowly back down again until he was lodged within her channel. She pushed herself up; her slickness sliding her completely down so her asscheeks rested on his balls. Cheryl then raised herself up on her knees and lowered herself again.

Again and again, until her entire body was jiggling. A scream escaped Cheryl and she collapsed onto Joe’s chest. The random squeezes of her vagina kept Joe hard, but didn’t push him over the edge as Cheryl’s breathing returned to normal. Rolling over to one side, Cheryl’s hand started drifting over Joe’s chest and abs.

“So, presents, flowers, champagne and sex. When’s dinner?”

“Reservations at Andina’s tomorrow. Sorry but my mom couldn’t take the kids tonight.” Joe looked hopeful. “So I am forgiven for forgetting our anniversary was Tuesday?”

Turning to get the key from the nightstand, Cheryl answered “Provisionally.” She unlocked the handcuffs, but immediately closed them around his left wrist and the headboard again, leaving only his right hand free. “Let’s see how tomorrow goes.”

She put the key back in its place. “In the meantime, you need to kiss my ass some more.” Presenting the ass she wanted to be kissed. The maneuver crushed some of the rose petals, releasing a light perfume.

(words 848 – first publication 12/19/2012; republished in new format on 2/7/2016)