Monday, January 31, 2005

Big Bob applauded more than any of them. After all, the evening's entertainment with the magician had been his own idea, and even he had to admit the magic seemed real. But it couldn't be. Could it? First the Amazing Presto made a little bonfire of George's hairpiece on the flambeaux tray, adding the personal papers from everyone's wallet as tinder. Minutes later a Fed-Ex package arrived with the toupet freshly cleaned and looking realistic, plus all the burnt scraps wrapped safely in a bundle. The trick with the cards made everyone laugh. No matter which card they picked, the face always turned blank when they showed it to Presto. Presto's mock annoyance at having to go through the entire deck to figure out the missing card was sublimely funny. The coup de grâce came when Presto made Big Bob's wife disappear. She stood up in front of the small audience. Presto, in one quick move yanked the tablecloth out from under their meal, tossed it over the wife, and that was that. The tablecloth fluttered to the floor and when they looked under it, they found a farewell letter in her handwriting saying she was running off to Rio with Presto. Big Bob had written that, and it was good enough to fool their friends. Yes, the Amazing Presto had done beautifully, just as Big Bob had payed him to. Although it had cost a small fortune, it was still less than a divorce. So now Bob was free to do as he pleased. Interestingly enough, the letter, though not written by Bob's wife, had been true. Presto made her reappear that night in his hotel room, with all the money out of her joint bank account with Bob, just as she and Presto had planned. The money from Bob alone was enough for a nice honeymoon.

Story #147

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Two luscious ladies appeared on Phil's bed. "Touch us," they said to him. Phil thought he was hallucinating. Then he thought he was seeing double.
- "You are not seeing double. There really are two of us in your bed."
- "And we're waiting for you to touch us. But only one of us!"
- "And you dare not touch the wrong one!"
- "Something shocking will happen if you do."
- "One of us will disappear."
- "Yes, there will be disappearances."
Phil did not want either of them to disappear. He trusted his youthful virility to endure both of the erotic apparitions. Consequences never made Phil hesitate to take a chance so he reached for the girl who was more nearly undressed, taking her hand in his to pull her close to him. The other vision of beauty faded immediately and was gone, as if she had never been there. The feminine fantasy he had chosen assumed full, fleshy substance. She smiled at him and said, "My name is Dolores and I am a woman...", trailing off as if waiting for the affect her words would have. Phil lost himself for a moment looking into her eyes. His features softened. Then he felt the tightness of his erection constricting into itself, surrendering stiffness for an intense feeling of erogenous flesh drawn into flesh, forming a mysterious crevice where phallus had once been. At the same time female breasts budded and expanded on his torso, filling his shirt, the fabric brushing him in a way that aroused him further. Emotions of ecstasy overwhelmed him. In what felt like an orgasm, Phil had become a woman, but the lust for Dolores lingered strongly. Phyllis embraced her and began a kiss that would last well into the night.

Story #146

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Princess Azizama of Persia would go to great lengths to kiss a boy. She had willed herself to another millennium where she found herself on a beach. She enjoyed the light costume that snugly embraced the body she was just discovering, enjoyed the eyes of boys that gazed upon her in ways not possible when she was a princess in her time, protected by guards who would kill the bearer of eyes clandestinely viewing her. But here it was different - there were so many boys. How to choose one? If she could, she would choose them all, but wouldn't the first one she kissed become possessive of her? She despised possessiveness in boys. In response to that thought she danced freely on the shore, a dance of contentment. She would enter the waters of the sea, and let the waves lap against her blossoming form. For now the boys could look and she would dream.

Story #145

Friday, January 28, 2005

Alliteration Anna and Metaphor Max teamed up for a liason of lascivious lust. Max waxed metaphorical over the fun of waxing her pleasantly pulsing body with soap. Touching her was feeling music, the kind that went round and round in your head and refused to leave, like a Coke jingle. Max wanted to sing her as songs are sung, wanted to be tuned to her like a rustproof harmonica that never goes off key, in all its phallic glory. Anna was infatuated, too. The myriad of metaphors from Max's manly lips made her moan like a mating moose. Then something went wrong. Max's hands rubbing the soap into her skin squeaked against her, emitting an atonal sound diametrically out of sync with her inner rhythms. Their perfect love went from utopic to atrophic in seconds, melting faster than butter on a Cajun cactus.

Story #144

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Amanda had trouble concentrating when she was out among people. Her thoughts and inspirations often spilled out of her head and into the air around her. She left brain imprints wherever she went, marvelous as they were mysterious. Her friends found her inspirational, because they picked up her thoughts, and imagined them to be their own. Ideas bearing the seed of genius drifted to whoever she looked at, yet she never perceived this to be happening, apart from the feeling of emptiness when an idea left her. Her favorite place was the bedroom that had been hers since she was a child. It was a place of intimate enchantment, for the walls and ceiling had caught all the dreams she had ever had, and shared them with her.

Story #143

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

When Claire woke up there were two men in the hot tub with her. "We're your men," they tossed into her stunned face to see what reaction she'd give. "I like it," she fired back, "I always wanted two men. Will you do anything I say?" As could be expected the men answered, "Yes, of course." Claire was immediately overwhelmed by the daydream of all the things that two men could do to please a lady. There were several things they could do to please her. "Bring me a drink," she told them. They immediately sprang out of the tub, but not so fast that Claire didn't get a provisory view of the uncovered manhood running off to serve her. They returned with the drink. "You see, we'll do anything for you." The power thrilled her. She felt exhilarated. "Good," she answered, a sly smile forming on her lips. "Now I want you to kiss each other. I never saw two men kiss before. I think it might be sweet. Then I want you two to clean up the house. Dishes are in the sink, there's garbage to dispose of, the door in the guestroom needs fixing. I'll have lunch at 2. Hop to it. I'm waiting..."

Story #142

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

"The Story of Lederhosen Lucil..."
Photo by Sylvain Chuzeville of Magnolia

Pausing between beats Lucil became the Lorelei in a whole other century. After teasing a river sailor with the promise of a kiss she stepped down from the rocks and borrowed his boat, steering it along the Rhine until the far off sound of festivities floated to her ears. She saw the tent of a biergarten, abandoned the boat and went inside, beginning a silent hum under her breath, letting it grow louder into words as those near her paused, raised their eyes from their bier steins and began to notice her. The party chatter and bier talk died down as her tones floated to the far corners of the tent. All were silent, except Lucil, and every ear listened to her sing. They heard music like the happy ends of the fairy tales they had known as a child. They listened while the waves of the Rhine lapped lazily at the shore. The bier had been heaven, but this was like being in love the first time again. No one wanted it to end. In one corner of the tent sat Beethoven himself. He could hear her clearly. Lucil winked at him as she sang. Somewhere in the distance a cuckoo clock sounded. As quickly as Lucil had arrived, she slipped through a slit in the tent and was gone again. She journeyed to the Americas, traveled North to Canada, where she settled in Montreal, waiting several hundred years for the moment in her concert when she would slip back in between beats. Somewhere in another time, Beethoven went home and composed his Ninth Symphony.

Story #141

Note from Indeterminacy: To learn the secret of living happily ever after visit Lederhosen Lucil's Website and fan site. Special thanks to Sylvain Chuzeville of the band Magnolia for permission to use the photo.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Tanya was made of candy and she came in a pink wrapper. But no one could get the wrapper off. It was worse than those vacuum-packed clear plastics that never seemed to tear no matter what you did. If only the wrapper had been clear, the guys would have minded less. They tugged and tore and bent it back and forth in hopes of creasing it, but it held steadfast. As the boys busied themselves with their nervewracking task Tanya merely grinned. She flipped her cotton candy hair and flashed her lemon drop eyes, making them want the sweet sugar taffy she was made of even more. It always ended in frustration for the guys. They'd strain their wrists trying, go away, and before the night was over, strain them even more, though they'd never admit how. The secret of removing the wrapper was so simple, no guy had ever thought of it. You just had to ask Tanya, and she'd remove it herself.

Story #140

Note from Indeterminacy: Thanks to Jess @ loves to go retro for her kind permission to use the photo!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Crystal was having an avant garde conversation with a wall.
"Climb me," it told her.
"I think I'd like to crumble you instead," she replied coquettishly.
The wall remained steadfast, it was after all a wall: "Before the day is over I'll have you on top of me."
"No," she told it, flashing an indifferent look at its flatness, "Before the day is over I'll stroll around barefoot in your powdered rubble.
"Hmmm," the wall reflected to itself, though not stirring outwardly, "how about a compromise?"
"And what would that be, Mr. Bricks?"
The wall cringed at being called bricks, but continued humbly: "Just stand there and let me look at you for a while."
"All right, look at me. But don't let my looks fool you. I know how to operate a wrecking ball."
They continued their conversation in silent.
"I sure know how to wrap a wall around my little finger," Crystal mused.
"I really got her surrounded," the wall told itself.

Story #139

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Rick's head fell off, taking his friends completely by surprise. One moment he was smoking a cigarette, going on about the joys of those 1940's Indiana Jones hats, the ones that really had character, when a snap of tendon, crackle of bone and pop of noticeable proportions preceded the flying head which shot off and landed in a garbage can off to his right. What did you do in a situation like that? Rick himself remained standing as if nothing had happened, continued gesturing, driving home important points in a discourse, which, by the way, had effectively ended. Pete, who stood closest to his friend, freaked when Rick patted him on the shoulder, as Rick sometimes did when looking at him. Carl, to Rick's right had gone all giddy inside and could only think of how silly a hat would look tilted over his friend's neck. Bob looked over to the waste bin where the head had landed. He always liked to keep eye contact when someone spoke to him.

Story #138

Friday, January 21, 2005

All over the world beautiful women walked out of the sea in pretty blue bikinis. An individual with the right blend of cynicism and discernment would have thought it a malevolent invasion, but the playful glint in the women's eyes as they spotted the man nearest to the shore suggested a pleasurable frolic to come. The guys believed it, and maybe it was pleasurable for her. Men stood frozen in awe at the aesthetic presence approaching them. Unfortunately it wasn't a girl. Evolution had recognized the contribution of aggressive male tendencies towards the survival of the human species and decided to have a closer look. All over the world jellyfish spontaneously evolved into a new type of man-absorbing organism. Anything masculine located close enough for it to touch was clasped in a hug and kissed with a kiss that smothered the victim's entrails in something resembling blueberry jelly, but not as tasty. The stunned body was slowly imbibed into the girl-like jellyfish which, belly bloated, turned and walked back into the water to await its next victim.

Story #137

Thursday, January 20, 2005

When are you going to let me out of here? I've done everything you wanted. Added imagination to all your darkest fantasies. Fed you your desires, even added a few new ones for us to enjoy. But the window - the window remains covered, curtains euphemistically hiding the shudders that can't be burst. I hear the muffled voices and footsteps outside, all around, footsteps out there louder than our heartbeat. Don't you understand you're killing yourself by keeping me locked in here!?! You're smothering me! And there's almost no air left here in this god forsaken corner of our mind. Yes OUR mind. I am as much a part of us as you are, yet you keep me confined here while yours is the life to enjoy outside... Have you no answer? I see now I'm wasting my time trying to reason with you. Say your goodbyes to everyone near you, because in twenty heartbeats from now I am going to drive you stark raving mad.

Story #136

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

No one could see them but they were there, dancing to echoes of music that had once been. The two ghosts glided and swirled across the ballroom floor as smoothly and lightly as could be expected of non-physical entities. In life he had been clumsy on the dance floor but in spirit form his abilities were pure heaven. There were no unpleasant moments as he trod over her feet and if dancers intermingled to an interlude of earthly music, the couple never bumped into them - they moved right through them. The two were alone in their world and as ghosts were assured of their privacy. No one would disturb them or come between them. The two specters revolved and dipped on the dance floor, showing up as dim mysteries on the occasional photograph that might be taken. It was tragic how they had died, and not without a trace of romance, collapsing from exhaustion at the dance endurance contest. They had so wanted to win.

Story #135

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lisette could turn ice cream into men. She did it quite often to fulfill the hungers and cravings her body knew. She would retire to her room with a plate of ice cream, wave her hand over it, and the miracle occurred. Cold round scoops of delicious flavor transformed before her eyes into the sinewy muscles of manhood which came to life and wrapped arms around her. How warm the kisses felt contrasted with the cold feel of ice cream on her tongue! That morning a dream of one of her passions lingered in her mind upon waking. By midday the desires had reached a crescendo and demanded gratification. It was fortunate for Lisette that the magic possessed versatility. It worked in both directions. By repeating the incantation backwards she could also turn men into ice cream, which is what she had just done to Thomas.

Story #134

Monday, January 17, 2005

- What do you mean, the Earth is gone?
- It's stopped projecting. There are no more emanations. No blue blip on the radar. It isn't there.
- Maybe they've annihilated themselves. Were we monitoring at the time?
- Constantly. We're analyzing the final data in hopes of an answer.
- Such a waste, right in the middle of a ratings drive, too. If we don't get the Earth back we'll never find out what happens on all those soap operas.
- I think we have it now. The final photograph intercepted via electromagnetic projection.
- Ah, I see the problem.
- Why do they have to do that?
- I don't know. Maybe we should take down the "no camera" signs. Everytime someone photographs one the paradox causes reality to implode.
- How do we fix it?
- Just hit the reset button. Earth will be up and running in five minutes.

Story #133

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The plant platoon stood assembled after a job well done. Nature, though normally not a militaristic concept, had successfully mobilized and deployed her remaining resources. In a surprise blitzkrieg accompanied by real lightning millions of potted plants had rained down out of the sky to land on the heads of litterbugs, loggers, and lawnmower operators. Most people didn't know what hit them. A quick-witted human general was able to launch a nuclear strike on the rain forests, and would have succeeded, but in the last moment the atoms shifted loyalties, refusing the order to split. By then it was all over. Rapid fire weed deployments herded the remaining human specimens into gardens where they were forced to renounce veganism, and put to work caring for flowers, trees and other foliage. In the end they learned to live with the plants in the new pastoral setting, and found it wasn't so bad after all. Their new masters gave them all the steak they could eat.

Story #132

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Una: No, we won't let you out.
Dua: You stay there a while.
Teresa: We're going to watch you.
Una: Hungry?
Dua: Throw him a kiss, Teresa!
Teresa: There. Hope that keeps you for a while.
Una: It's all you're going to get.
Dua: But we do have plans for you.
Teresa: Yes, indeed.
Una: Probably not one of your, uh, wetter dreams.
Dua: Uh, no.
Teresa: We'll allow you to touch...
Una: Yourself!
Dua: But that's as far as it goes.
Teresa: Do what we want and we won't harm one of your curly little hairs.
Una: We're kind of the majority now.
Dua: No one's going to help you.
Teresa: You guys are all in pens like this.
Una: So if you want the species to survive...
Dua: You better cooperate...
Teresa: And fill the specimen cup...

Story #131

Friday, January 14, 2005

Ashley decided to have an out of body experience. She stood up against the beam and had her friend watch her so she wouldn't fall over during the temporary vacancy. Then her spirit drifted out of its hull, floating with swift, purposeful direction. She hovered behind Rick, her ex who was just hitting on a new girl, and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around, and saw no one near. It would be like Ashley to disturb him now but he spotted her halfway across the disco. He returned to his flirt, but a new tap on the shoulder increased his disconcertion. Then he felt a tug near a sensitive place. His zipper had been pulled down. He hastily pulled it up again. Another tap on the shoulder. He whirled around and tripped over his own feet, falling backwards. As if guided by a supernatural force, which it was, his drink arched over his head and splashed onto the girl he wanted to see naked. He angrily unknotted his shoelaces which he found tied together, stood up and apologized effusely to the wet girl. Later, back in her body, Ashley laughed as Rick and his pick-up left together. "Look at that! She's actually leaving with him," she remarked to her friend. "Guess you can't win 'em all," her friend replied. Ashley went on, a wicked glint in her eyes, "In about ten minutes he's going to wonder where his condoms are."

Story #130

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The graffiti man was from another world. He liked to hang out on Earth, inconspicuously blending in with his surroundings. He was here for the girls. On his two-dimensional planet his line-lady was completely flat and angular. She walked like a slide rule, which was fairly unsexy. There had to be more to carnal pleasure than just sliding back and forth. You could fold his female up like a piece of paper and put her in an envelope, which is what he longed to do. It was the curves and protrusions that made the Earth girls so exhilarating. He watched them go by, shaping his lips in a sly smile, whistling ultrasonically with sounds that gave an itch without being heard. That always got them. They'd stop, look around, see nothing but the graffiti, then walk on, puzzled. He was certain if his tones could tickle one of these women just right, she'd lean up against him on the wall and scratch her back on him. Then he and she would be one. When she moved on he would move on with her, as her permanent tattoo.

Story #129

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Evelyn had been granted three wishes. She decided to use only one. She wished herself to the beginning of mankind into the Garden of Eden, in place of Eve. No sooner had she conceived it, her wish became reality. She stood in a harmony she had never imagined, marveled at gentle animals that would not run away, the squirrels she could pet and the birds she could cradle in her hands, tigers that nestled at her feet. It was peace. It was paradise. But that was not what she had come for. She knew she must hurry, before the memory of her intent faded into bliss. Dashing through the primal orchard rich in its eternal blossoms, birds singing nonchalantly around her, she arrived finally at the tree, the tree bearing the gift of knowledge. She reached above her and tore a succinct fruit from the branch. This time it would be different, she thought to herself as she bit into the fruit, causing the forbidden juices to mix with her saliva. This time she would not share the apple with Adam.

Story #128

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Brad waited until his wife left the house, then he arranged the cheerleading costume on the bed and began his fantasy in which a horizontal figure of a girl happily called out cheers and clapped her hands in time to the march music he'd set on infinite cycle. He saw the pom poms go up and down, stared enraptured at his dream of motion. Hours might have passed when he suddenly became aware that she was taunting him, "Brad , Brad , he is great, he knows how to mastur--" Before she could finish he threw himself flat upon the clothes, thrusting his hand inside the uniform, feeling skin that wasn't there, petting the material as if it were the smooth warmth of a girl... He lay there in a stupor, as his lust finally left him. Then he gathered up the pieces of clothing, one by one, wrapped them in their brown paper, carried them over to the closet to return the bundle to its hiding place. As he opened the closet door his wife's evening gown of dark scarlet hues furled itself around his neck and strangled him viciously. As the fabric tensed and his vision dimmed he heard it scream in a raw, silky voice, "How dare you touch that skimpy outfit on the very bed where you layed me out and tried me on my very first time!"

Story #127

Monday, January 10, 2005

Natalie applied her powers. She discovered once by looking piercingly into a boy's eyes, pupils turned slightly upwards, that she was the center of an irreal force streaming from the hidden niches of her mind. When it permeated the boy it caused instantaneous disorientation and physical collapse. Antonio thought he had finally cornered her in the hall, and could move in for some heavy necking. But as he took that final step to approach her, everything he saw seemed to hurdle around him violently as if he were spinning on a pinwheel. Before the vertigo forced him to the floor his eyes darted madly about for some point of orientation, some lifeline to save him. He instinctively sought the sight of Natalie's navel, the beauty of which was conveniently hidden. Now Antonio lay in a fetal position, eyes tightly shut, one with the floor. The spinning stopped and he felt safe.

Story #126

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Mark and Emilia often walked in their sleep. They rendezvoused secretly in the darkest hours of the night, while their deepest slumber hid the secret from their consciousness. During the daylight hours they were nearly strangers, mere passing acquaintances. They had never even thought of holding hands. But their sleeping intimacy rivaled the passions of lovers who desire with eyes wide open. Tonight it was time. They met at the hanger, down by the old airport given over to the hobby fliers. A four-seater awaited them. They boarded the plane. Mark set the flight automatic for their destination, a special place where only sleeping lovers could enter. As the plane lifted they shared a hug, slumping together into the passenger seat. The hum of the propellers lulled them into a deeper tenderness for each other than they had ever known. In the morning they would awaken, hands held gently. Someone would bring them a bouquet of flowers and tell them that they had eloped, an elopement so secret, that even they themselves had not known it would happen.

Story #125

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Girl: Who are you and why are you standing next to me?
Boy: This writer guy told me to come up to you and put my arm around you. Whatever you do, just try to look natural. Smile.
Girl: Huh? What writer guy?
Boy: It was like a voice in my head. I couldn't resist.
Girl: What's he telling you now?
Boy: He's in a strange mood. He says you better keep smiling or he'll probably make the bread come alive and smear us with butter.
Girl: I have an idea.
Boy: Shhh. Better whisper it through your smile. He might otherwise suspect.
Girl: OK. On the count of three, we both turn around, scoop up all the rolls we can, then pelt him like crazy. While he's figuring out what happened, we run into the backroom and hide in the cookie dough together.
Boy: You're brilliant! Let's go.
Girl: One... Two... Three...

Story #124

Friday, January 07, 2005

It was a showdown. Steel nerves against steel nerves. But one of them would have to back down. Hiding her emotion she turned her head slowly to stare into eyes presented by her counterpart in the mirror. One of her was real and the other just a mere shadow in pale colors, destined to vanish the moment she turned away. But for one brief instant she wasn't sure which of her was the reflection. She knew, however, what she must do. She must have an original thought, and it must emanate from her. She reached into her imagination, deep down through murky mists, imaginary fingers tensed, straining to touch the solid depth where all the ideas lay. But her fingers felt nothing. In a sudden instant the entire glass of the mirror seemed to shatter into a splintery dust. The reflection lost again. Her real self had turned away just in time.

Story #123

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Karen paused to have her picture taken. When she was sure that no one observed her she formed snowballs she tossed over the edge onto men walking below in the village. The ones who survived invariably climbed the stairs to the overlook to see what had happened. They found Karen waiting, smiling coyly. The men, who unanimously found her beautiful after the blow to the head, asked to take her picture. They parted, content with Karen's innocent image lingering in their mind and camera. The second snowball was usually fatal.

Story #122

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Once upon a time there was a boy named Hansel and a girl named Gretel. They were feared throughout the forest. They tortured wolves and vandalized the sweet old witch's gingerbread cottage while she slept her afternoon naps. The two lived with their father, a woodsman who loved his children more than anything else in the world, except women. But his third wife was a wicked woman with an obsessive compulsion for cleanliness who made all their lives miserable. She even forced them to sleep outdoors in the cold draft because she didn't want her perfectly made beds mussed up. One day the father returned from a stalk in the woods. He had spied a new girl, litheness clothed in a taut red riding costume, and wanted desperately to be together with her, but his wife was in the way. Knowing full well the children were listening, he remarked casually to his misanthropic partner, "How about finally taking those swimming lessons?" For they cultivated a deep pond in their back yard. That afternoon the children left a messy trail of bread crumbs all the way from the house to where the dock ended, concealed themselves behind a tree and waited. Before long the stepmother appeared to compulsively gather up the crumbs. When she reached the edge of the dock Hansel and Gretel rushed out and shoved her as hard as they could into the pond. She drowned. The happy children strolled back to the house to ask their father for ice cream.

Story #121

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Our names are Doe, Nuli, Zera and Cinca. They're kind of derivative. We're the New Year, lying here waiting for you to reign us in. You have 365 days to succeed. After that, we're history, and maybe a nice memory. We thought about who we'd like to catch us. Maybe a lean Latin boy who can squeeze like a vise. Or the intense, masculine eyes of a Slavic soul. Perhaps a dark skinned lover? Why does it have to be a male? Why indeed? We are diversity in chaos. We are the moment to seize, though it be an impossibility to approach us. We are totally in flux, slipping through grasping fingers. Chase us on the beach. You won't touch any of us. It will make you old. But there is a way. If you find us while we're resting, enjoying feelings of solitude. If you tunnel through hourglass sands as ancient as time and spring upon us, we would have nowhere to go. And you would be our master. Or mistress.

Story #120

Monday, January 03, 2005

She told me her name was Dora. Take a look at the picture she used to tempt me. The moment I saw it I was completely enraptured. Who wouldn't want to see more of her? We e-mailed each other for hours and after that I knew I had to meet her. She was very careful about the picture, to frame it as she did. How could I suspect what was awaiting me? I arrived at the address she gave me, rang the bell, heard a soft feminine voice calling from inside for me to enter. It was all so alluring, the mood, the voice, the promise. No one could have resisted. Believe me. I entered the room and that's when I saw the shiny tin box back by the wall. I understood the photograph then. It wasn't modesty at all the camera saw, but the contemplation of her concealment. She was a lovely ornament jutting out of that box. I could touch her face, her lips or caress her shoulders, but the rest of her was contained in that metal enclosure. "Let me out," she said to me, seduction in her voice. I ran to the kitchen to locate a can opener and some tools. With some effort I could make a slit along the top, and peel back the metal sheeting molded around her figure. In that moment I felt a thousand emotions sear through me. So many that the room seemed to flash in strange hues. Then she was gone, escaped through an open window. Dora, she told me. But her parting passions led me to suspect that Pandora had a sister.

Story #119