Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Cupcake Cupboard

Penny woke earlier than usual. The sunlight was thin and the room was dark. She could smell the morning air, damp and cool, the prelude to the heat of the day. By her bed on the bedside table was a clean notebook, a sharpened pencil and a little white card with the words " Be Sensible" written at the centre in curly script. She then noticed that under the subject line on the front cover of the notebook,the word 'clues' was written. Then she knew it was clueday.
She puzzled over the card " Sensible.... Be Sensible..." She wrote the words down in the notebook. Then she wrote " What does it mean to be sensible?" She paused, musing, her pencil resting on her bottom lip and her eyes to the ceiling. The daylight was stronger now, so she opened her curtains and sat up properly. She turned to a new page and wrote all the letters from the words 'Be sensible' all jumbled up. Then she tried to make new sentences from the words:
See Ben's Bil
Been Libess
Less in Beeb
Was that a clue?
Suddenly a sneaky tendril of breakfast smells reached her nose, eggs and bacon, banana and maple syrup and frying butter. Penny realised that she was starving, so she gathered up her sleuth kit, threw on her clothes and pelted down the stairs. On the table there was orange juice, fried eggs, bacon, pancakes in a big stack, maple syrup, a sugar bowl and a lemon cut in half. Next to her plate there was a green cassette tape. It stood out strongly against the red table cloth. Penny looked at it, chewing and musing, noting it's position close to her plate and the contrasting colours. She made a little sketch in her notebook of the table and all it's bounty. Then when she was full, she picked up the cassette tape, noting the smoothness of the green plastic against her hand. Suddenly one of her father's puns came back to her. "Be Sense-able.... Use your senses!" She thought of how the smell of breakfast and lead her to the table, and the contrasting colours of the tape and tablecloth lead her to discover it. She wrote " USE YOUR SENSES" in capitals and underlined it several times. Then she went into the lounge and put the tape in the player. The room was suddenly filled with the colourful beats of salsa music. Penny tapped her fingers on top of the player and tipped her head to one side, trying to listen to the different instruments: trumpet, cowbell, bongo, drums, maracas and guitar. She wrote all of them down in her notebook. Then she felt the music take hold of her and she did a little shimmy across the carpet, stamping her feet and clapping her hands. " Something is missing" she thought and she ran up to her bedroom and pulled out the big wooden chest that served as a dressup box. She opened the lid and rummaged around until she found what she was looking for, an old, floaty skirt that used to belong to her mother. She slipped it one and fastened it with a safety pin. Then she picked up her clip on hoop earrings from the dresser and some jangly bracelets. Moving back through the house, she passed by her father's study to pick up his trumpet and some maracas that had been a present from her travelling aunt. She stood on a chair and looked at her reflection in the big gilt mirror over the fireplace in the study. "Getting into character" she said to herself, and she wrote a list of everything she had with her:
Floaty skirt
Hoop earrings
Bracelets
Trumpet
Maracas
Then she headed back to the lounge and danced around leaping and waving her arms and lifting the trumpet to her lips whenever she heard it on the tape. After a while she felt quite tired, so she collapsed on the couch and feebly shook the maracas. She noticed right away that one of the maracas wasn't making the sssh sssh sound that it normally makes, but a ssh clunk kind of sound. She examined it carefully and shook it by her ear. Something was definitely amiss. She held both maracas, one in each hand and looked from one to the other to see if anything was different. They were both red and blue and they both had raffia woven around the handles. But when Penny looked really closely, one had a groove around the top of the maraca, and a little dent in the wood. The dent made it easier to push against the top of the maraca so that is slowly revolved and spun around and around. It was a screw top to the maraca! A hiding place for all things secret, and she had found it!!
She placed the lid beside her and peered inside. There was a small iron key poking out of the dried beans. Penny grabbed the key and immediately tried to fit it in all the locks on the cabinets and windows in the lounge. No luck, she tried the ones on the kitchen cupboards, the vanity in her mother's bedroom, the side table in the hall, the glass display cases in the dinning room, the safe in the study, the filing cabinets in the library, the tool box in the garage and the door to the greenhouse. No luck.
She sat down on the step by the back door and considered her options. Through the open window, she could still hear the salsa music playing. She leafed through the notebook, idly flicking through the pages. Suddenly she stopped. There on the page was a message.
If at first you don't succeed, take a step back.
Upon reading this Penny leapt up and went back to the lounge. She'd left the maraca on a low table and the open top was facing her as she walked through the door. Amongst the dried beans there was something white. She went over and gave the beans a shake to see it more clearly, sure enough there was a stamp half hidden in the surrounding shiny black beans She took it out and looked at it. It was a little blue grey one with a picture of the Queen's profile on it.
" A stamp" said Penny " Where do we find stamps?" She walked about the room stroking her chin. She went into the kitchen and checked the miscellaneous drawer. There were cotton buds, corks, old coins, corn pins, a needle and thread and a box of buttons, but no stamps. She checked the study upstairs, here there were pencils and pens, rulers and compasses, a calculator and a rubber thimble, but no stamps. In the study on the desk, Penny noticed a small magnifying glass with a red handle. " That's odd" she said to herself, " I haven't seen that before. She pulled out the stamp to look at it more closely. She could see the finely detailed pieces on the crown, and the little studs that the Queen was wearing in her ears. At the top of the stamp, there were two thin wavy lines. Penny paused, trying to remember where she'd seen those sorts of lines before. Then she remembered that there were lines like that on the stamp that was on a present her grandmother had sent her. It had been........posted.
"It must be..." said Penny and she raced out of the room, down the stairs, through the kitchen, down the hall and out of the front door. She went down the front path past the roses and lemon trees to the front gate. and the white, tin letterbox. She lifted the lid. In the darkness of the box was an oblong thing. Penny drew it out. It was the size of a shoebox with a little hinge on one side and a tiny knob on the other. It had been carved to look like a miniature door! Underneath the carved knob was a lock. Penny fitted the key from the maracas into the lock. To her amazement the key was a perfect fit! She turned it and lifted the door-like lid.
There inside, like a jewel, like pirate gold was a glorious cupcake. It had a blue wrapper, pink icing and a cherry nestled on top. Penny took a big, well deserved bite and it was delicious.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Black Box


Although my Grandmother died eight years ago, my inheritance has only just surfaced. Her demon husband, the step father of my mother lingered after her and kept her treasures horded close. Although he remarried soon after her death, he had no qualms in keeping that which wasn’t his, no matter what his new wife thought. As I opened up my newly acquired treasure trove, sights and sounds came back to me.

Item One: a plastic bread bag full of butter knives with bone handles. There is something so homely about a butter knife. I like to spread butter over toast before it gets cold, toast topped with runny, sticky strawberry jam of the homemade kind, with big slick clumps in thin, translucent pink syrup. Toast and jam at Gran’s was different to toast and jam at my house. In my house, I was always sure to spread the butter on the toast as quick as I could, so that in biting into it, I could still feel the heat of the bread, with the butter melting and dripping through my fingers. I would make it myself after school and then wander over, plate in hand to the couch in order to read or watch cartoons (if mum was out) At Gran’s the toast was always in a rack and cold by the time I spread my butter on it. I would have to sit at the table, covered with its every day table cloth, the one with the brown stains in the corner. I was not alone either. There was a demon dark cloud over that table, one who would bark if I was not careful to eat up everything on my plate. The jam was made from strawberries in the garden, the one that they found her in after her stroke. I wonder how long she lay there amongst the red fruits, the green of the plots of potatoes and runner beans filling her vision. I wonder if the demon stood over her, contemplating the time, prolonging her pain.

Item Two: A set of salt and pepper shakers with the picture of an aborigine, and a sort of attempt at a native style of art. They were placed on the breakfast table beside milky scrambled eggs or mince with boiled shallots and sultanas. These were foodstuffs strange to me at breakfast time. I used to stare at the glass ornaments on the sideboard, they had a design like birds in flight, the colouring ranging from deep red, through yellow to clear, and they looked to me like they were made of delicious candy. The demon was out milking cows. Gran would be in the kitchen, not talking, doing the dishes and looking out the window. But mum would be there, and she would relax a little and lean her elbows on the table.

Item Three: A box containing one fork, one knife, one spoon.

Item Four: One teapot in red and grey cosy. The smell of wool and hot metal mixed with tea was the smell of my Gran’s kitchen. When I was allowed to drink tea I was only ever allowed a second rate cup with a chip in the lip and a long crack in the side. I was worried that the crack would leech tea onto the saucer. I had to lift it gingerly to avoid the punishment that would follow, had I spilled a drop. Now I use the old pot regularly, preferring to return to the ritual of pot, jug and teacup that I had long abandoned in favour of one thick mug that would not spill.

Item Five: A bundle of table cloths of fine linen, with intricately embroidered flowers.

Item Six: The red tartan blanket. As I pulled this from the box, I saw the old bedroom with its sheets tucked in tight. One bed with a red blanket, and one with a blue one. I used to kick my feet out after I got warm, but it was a real effort against those tight sheets. I slept peacefully without any knowledge of the possible threat to my well being that lurked in those nights. There was only the bed, with the cover pulled tight as a barrier from the danger. The skulking shadow perhaps applied one vulture eye to the crack in the doorway. Maybe that taut sheet obscured me enough to force his withdrawal. As I remained unscarred and without the knowing that every daybreak brought a sigh of relief from my mother in the next room.

Item Seven: A small presentation box containing a lucky rabbit’s foot broach with a silver and amethyst thistle. A rabbit’s foot is supposed to bring good luck. I wonder if my Grandmother viewed this with irony. It was certainly not a gift by way of an apology for past wrong doings, demons don’t apologise.

Item Eight: A diary with pages torn out. My Grandmother was so menaced and followed, harassed and abused that she wasn’t even allowed to have her own thoughts. I wish she was better at ciphers and deception. If I could crack her shell I could learn her thoughts.

Item Nine: One white jewellery box with flower design. This box was filled with the leftovers of her amazing jewel collection; the rest has been given away or sold by the demon. Once when I was very young I remember seeing this box in her bedroom. She allowed me to open it, and it was as though I had all of Aladdin’s cave before me. She gave me a broach made of plastic and brass in a starburst design. It was a moment of delight and connection, I remember only the joy of the box with its contents, and the pleasure of owning a piece that came from it.

Item Ten: A small blackish leather box. The leather is ripped in some places and it is a faded, dull black. It has a stiff little catch to open it, and there is a slight squeak as you do so. Its original glamour is only faintly visible by tipping it upside down. On the base there is a faint gold design, which must have once been visible on top. Inside the silk cream lining is stained by a rusty, blackened key, made of a cheap gold coloured metal. On one side, the words ‘Yours Today’ are embossed into it. The only other relic in the box is a newspaper article, snipped carefully out of the paper. The article is entitled ‘Birthday Party: Large gathering held at Otamarakau Hall.’ It reads:

One of the largest gatherings and certainly one of the happiest for some time in Otamarakau was held in the hall on Friday evening when Miss Annie Mikkelsen celebrated her 21st birthday. Quite 200 people availed themselves of the open invitation extended by Mr and Mrs T.C Mikkelsen.

Dancing was enjoyed in the gaily decorated hall, the music being provided by Mr and Mrs Warbrick of Matata. Songs were given by Mrs Read, and yodelling items by Mr Heron. Mr Mervyn Reynolds was M.C. During the generous supper the toast of the guest of honour was proposed by Mr Colin Cassels, Mr George Mortensen replying. The toast of Mr and Mrs Mikkelsen was proposed by Mr S.W Gunton.

Miss Mikkelsen, who wore a frock of pink angel skin, was busily engaged unwrapping the numerous presents brought by guests.

My Grandmother was always a shadowy figure to me. I remember her house, garden and food better than her person. She was a cardboard cut-out, playing bowls, growing roses, making jam, the typical grandmother. Yet her life was laced with a pain and suffering I have never known. Only after her death did my mother and her sisters dare to confront the demon, and put him justly behind bars. This dull coloured box contains a happy moment, away from demons and poverty and loss. She was once surrounded by those that loved her. For that it has become my most precious possession.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Liquid Girl

“ See the amazing Liquid Girl!” Shouted the man in a faded velvet jacket. “Watch her slowly melt before your eyes!”

Lights up.

The threadbare curtains are pulled back to reveal a girl in a blue woollen bathing suit, covered with white pearls. She is sitting on a stool in the centre of the stage. The stage is sloped at the front, and has a funnel that runs from below the girls feet to a trough at the front of the stage. Her skin is shining with droplets.

The crowd gapes as the droplets thicken and run down her body, dripping off her skin. Soon there is enough to form a puddle at her feet. The puddle grows until gravity takes over and it runs down the funnel in front of her.

The ringmaster of the freak show sells small vials of the liquid as the elixir of life. Again he takes up his spiel. “ Before you sits the Liquid Girl. She was once the centre of a spring the the vast deserts of Arabia. It was said that the water from this spring could cure all manner of ailments. People came from miles around to dip a finger in this sweet water and gain new wealth and well-being. Water is the source of all life, but she has given up her old existence to travel the world and so, aid all humanity in its suffering.”

The crowd claps and the girl drips. In her hands is a needle, bright under the spotlights. It flashes in and out of a greeny fabric and the droplets from her hands make wet splotches on the cloth. The ringmaster points this out to the crowd. “ This cloth has the ability to cure even the most seriously ill. One touch of this fabric can bring a dying man back to life, cure blindness or hearing loss.”

A man pushes through the crowd. It is the ringmasters assistant, Merrick. His mouth appears to be swollen with toothache. He speaks with difficulty. “ Can you cure me?” The Liquid Girl hides a grimace and smiles at him. She holds the cloth to his cheek, dabbing at it. He swallows the lump of potato in his mouth and shouts “ Amazing!” There is a sudden clamour to get to the stage and purchase the vials.

Lights go down.

The girl, whose real name is Emma, steps down from the stage drying herself with a towel. She sighs, it has been a long night. She looks Arabian, with dense black hair and tilted eyes, but she is really French, with a smattering of Gypsy, as her mother used to say, a mother who was blonde and blue eyed, nothing like her daughter. She had always been able to produce the liquid from her skin. This liquid was unlike sweat, more like a sweet water that seemed to exude from some hidden interior resource. She could induce it through nervousness or pain, but occasionally it happened spontaneously of it's own accord. It was a physical affliction that had caused her to lead a very sheltered life. In her town, the other children had avoided her, as if she was diseased. Their taunts had left her untrustful, timid and alone.

As she was seated inside one day, she had heard the sounds of the carnival. She waited until it was getting dark, and then had hid her face with a black cloth. She was amazed by all the colour, the lights and the tricks of the performers. However, during the freak show, one of the local boys had recognised her and pulled the cloth from her head. The surprise gave her such a shock, that the liquid began to drench her clothing. She ran from the tent, leaving a trail behind her.

The ringmaster jumped down and ran after her. Her called out to her, “ Where are you going my beauty??” She was so surprised to hear someone calling her beautiful, that she stopped in her tracks. He caught up with her and flattered her greatly. He caught her hand, and held it, rubbing his thumb over her soft palm. Having never been touched by a stranger, she felt elated and dizzy.

The ringmaster asked her how she came to be so wet, as the night was so dry. She explained the nature of her affliction, and her pushed up her sleeve to wonder at the droplets forming on her skin.

Being a man of business, he could see at once that he could market her as ' The Amazing Liquid Girl'. He asked her to come, and she began to nod her head in consent, but then caught a strange glint in his eye. She felt an wariness, that had been pushed back by the pleasurable sensations of the touch of another, not being to take hold of her. He was persistent, and she asked to leave using the need to get permission from her mother as an excuse. However he saw through her and he signalled to his assistant waiting in the shadows, who grabbed her and locked her up in a caravan. The cheerful exterior of the caravan, was unmatched by the interior, which was only a hard pile of straw and a broken mirror resting on a dressing table covered with all manner of perfumes and cosmetics. The sound of the carnival outside continued, and so her cries were not heard, and the circus left town the next day with her as their prize.

For her first few shows, she was shackled like an animal, but as she got further and further away from her home town, she realised she had no choice but to remain with the circus.

As her performances continued, she began to get used to the stares and the lights, which had brought the liquid on at once. The amount of liquid began to lessen each night, until it was just a single droplet, beading on her skin. The ringmaster was very angry with her, and as she had no place in the outside world, she was forced to tell him how she could continue. Pain. But it could not be self inflicted, as it did not produce such good results. Also she could not be whipped or cut in any way, as her blood would mix with the liquid, tainting it, so that it could not be sold. Finally the ringmaster called the tattooed woman to him, and asked her to prick the flesh of the liquid girl. At once the liquid began to flow steadily. As only a small part of her skin was being worked on at a time, the tattooed woman could wipe away the liquid and any other contamination from her skin. Thus it was decided. The show was now changed to incorporate the tattooed woman, who the ringmaster claimed was drawing a map on the skin of the liquid girl, so that she would be able to find her way back home to the spring.

As the circus passed through the towns, as the curtain lifted or swung shut, the tattoo continued to grow. The Liquid Girl produced even more liquid than before, and soon the tattoo covered her entire body. The design was intricate, all in blue, like the interior of a seashell, and so delicate that it seemed part of her, without being overwhelming.

Once it was complete, it seemed that it had become a shell, a second skin, and she was able to produce the liquid on command, without need for pain any more. She became famous and the healing powers of the liquid were known throughout the world. People began to clamour for it as soon as the circus arrived in town, and so the ringmaster pushed her into more performances to collect more of it. He started to 'milk' her off the stage twice daily, the precious liquid 'like gold' he said.

Finally during one performance, the liquid stopped. The reservoir was dry. The ringmaster was angry, he closed the curtains on the crowd and ordered to have her whipped. But even the strokes on her back could not restart what was now dry.

She began to feel thirsty, the like of which she had never felt before. The thirst consumed her, yet no amount of water was enough. Her skin began to crack and peel, it became like scales, flaking off when she moved. The ringmaster now exhibited her as the “ Famous Lizard Woman, who had fallen under a curse when she kissed a man, other than her husband. The cheering crowds were now replaced with boos and hisses, and young wives were brought before her as a warning of their own marriages. As she lay on-stage, she would become surrounded by little flakes of a light blue, as her skin took on the colour from her tattoo. At night she would wake thirstily, her throat dry and parched, and all over her bed would be the flakes, like a powder of blue.

One day she failed to rise from her caravan. The ringmaster was sent for and he banged loudly at her door, but no sound came from within. Finally he got the strong man to break down the door. Inside there was blue powder everywhere. It covered the floor, the bed still made of straw, the dressing table and the floor. But the girl was nowhere to be seen. But how could she disapear? The ringmaster was unsure whether she could have become just a pile of powder. He sat on the stoop and pondered, feeling angry to loose so great an attraction. He put his chin in his hand and looked about him.

Suddenly he noticed a soft blue trail leading away from the caravan. With a roar, he leapt up and followed it away from the circus, and into the forest at the edge of the field. He was already thinking of the beating she was going to receive for escaping, and he vowed to shackle her down at night from now on. As the trees became thicker, the trail seemed almost luminous against the dark ground, but he had no time to wonder about such things. Instead he half stumbled, half ran along beside the trail.

It led deeper and deeper into the forest, the trees above seemed to press their leafy tops against one another to form a seamless whole, blocking out the light. Still the little flakes were enough to guide the ringmaster, and so he followed, gleefully, curiously, angrily, greedily, winding around tree trunks, over moss, under thick branches, hunting, hunting.

The trail led to a dark little spring, and there, at the top was a little pile of salt. The Ringmaster pounced on this and looked around wildly. Sure enough, the trail continued, now following the path that the little spring had made. Soon the spring became an stream, then the stream became a river, and the river gained strength and rushed over rocks, or stole backwards in backwaters with little dancing insects. Still the ringmaster was not interested in observing such intricacies and delicacies of nature, as his thought were only bent on recapture and punishment.

All at once the river widened into a series of deep pools, connected by little waterfalls. The trail stopped. The ringmaster was beside himself with anger, her kicked stones at the waters edge and thrashed the tree branches. He did not notice the gentle splashing behind him, until it was accompanied by a shower of water. There in the centre of the pool was the liquid girl. She looked younger, shining and new like a baby, like a stone under clear water. But instead of legs, she had a beautiful glistening tail. It was this tail that she had used to splash the ringmaster. She did so again as she saw him drop to his knees with an imploring look in his eye. However this time she knew that behind that look, he was calculating how he could market her, how her could make money out of her new radiance.

As he cleared his eyes of the water, he saw she had come closer. She was now close enough for him to lunge out and grab her, and as his brain calculated how he could carry her back, she caught his eyes with hers. “ I have known pain and suffering, the like which you could never bear” those eyes seemed to say. " You have taken me away from my home, my one place of peace and shelter in a world full of hate. I have broken through misery and I curse you to your lonely existance. I know more now than ever before and I am free." And she turned and dived, swimming away from him, and then diving gracefully over the waterfall and away. The last he saw of her was a glint of her green tail. A tail so green, greener than emeralds, greener than the leaves when the light turns yellow before a storm, greener than the eyes of the wife he had lost. That green seemed to shine so deeply, that all the foliage of the forest paled in comparison.

The ringmaster sat and contemplated that green for a long time. Then he sighed and turned to go back, but he had lost the trail, having not paid much attention to it in the first place. He wandered around the forest for several days, his head full of green moons and shining drops. He was finally found by a stroke of luck by the fortune teller, who was off collecting juniper to brew the drink she took to induce herself before each performance. The ringmaster tried to go back to work, but he would find himself trailing off mid spiel with details he saw in the distance. The glint of the firelight in the eyes of a stranger, the movement of the trees in a light breeze, the sound of the rain on the circus tent. Eventually the circus had to choose a new leader, and he spent the rest of his days mucking out the elephant stable.

The liquid girl was lost, freed to the water, healed and whole. No-one ever saw her again.


P.s: No-one?

Well it is said that on certain nights when the sea glows green at sunset, you can catch a flash of her magnificent tail. And if you're very lucky, perhaps if you walk down the beach early the following day, it might be possible to find some treasure that she has left for you. Some greeny stone or scale that will shine out of the sand to remind you that she is there.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dishes

There once was a girl called Rosie, she had a boyfriend called Josh and they seemed to get on very well. Rosie loved to cook, in her professional life she worked as a film caterer, creating delicious spreads for all manner of film directors and celebrities. She could whip up a vast range of dishes in a minute flat and could make even the most picky film stars swoon over her low calorie, fat free, soy, antioxidant delicacies, or vegan raw foodist delights.

Josh had a most peculiar quality. He LOVED to clean, and he was very good at it. His day job was managing a smallish bookstore that specialised in first additions and classics. His days were spent enfolded in the smell of old Dickens, Chaucer, Elliot, Austen and the Brontes. He loved books and talking about books and he was luckier than the rest of us who completely salivate over such opportunities for work. However, in his first week, his boss came in unexpectedly one day and found Josh in a corner with a broom, trying to clear away a large cobweb.

“No!” his boss yelled across the room, luckily it was a slow day, hence Josh's opportunity to get to the cobweb, so there were no customers to be alarmed. Except Josh of course, he was quite alarmed, what exactly was he doing wrong?

His boss explained. “ The shop is meant to have cobwebs, that's what gives it such a great book shop atmosphere. You may sweep and mop the floor each night before you leave the store, but that's it! NO major cleaning.” So although Josh loved his job, the cleaning ban there only exacerbated his need to clean outside his job.

Rosie was happy. She often had to make a large number of different dishes quite quickly, leaving her exhausted with no energy for cleaning. When Josh saw the mess, his eyes would sparkle with delight and he would hurriedly roll up his sleeves and get to work. Rosie often marvelled at how well he could clean, it was like a gift. The dishes would look as if they had just been purchased, they were so clean. So, like Jack Spratt and his unnamed wife, they completed each other and continued to be happy.

One night Rosie and Josh went to visit a friend of Rosie's, Monica. Monica and Rosie had been friends since high school, but because of their separate lives, Monica worked as a fitness instructor, they weren't able to spend much time together. On this night in question, Rosie and Josh went over to Monica's for dinner, along with another old friend from Rosie's high school, Bonnie. After they had pushed away their dessert plates feeling full and content, Josh rose and offered to make coffee. It had been a very successful dinner. Monica was quite strict about her diet, and had made a vegetarian meal of a salad of baby spinach, rocket, radish, black toasted sesame seeds, blue cheese and parsley with steamed broccoli and teriyaki tofu. Rosie had brought dessert, mint and lime sorbet with caramel shards.

Once in the kitchen with the coffee pot going, Josh looked at the large pile of dishes just waiting to be sparkling clean again. His fingers itched. Monica had been quite insistent when he had offered earlier to help as she ferried the plates from the table to the sink. Still, he was just a hindrance on the other three, who had plenty to catch up on. He picked up the first dish and placed it under the running water, how blissfully warm it was, how nice to scrub away at the plate and see it so clean, so new again.

After a while, Rosie began to suspect what her lover was up to. She went to the kitchen and found Josh scrubbing away at a large pot that had been left over from Monica's pasta lunch, and all the rest of the dishes were draining on the side board. The coffee was boiling furiously and Josh seemed totally ignorant of it.

“Oh God, the coffee!” Rosie rushed to turn off the stove, but it was too late, it had already been spoiled. Monica came running in, “Oh my God!” she exclaimed.

“Sorry” said Josh, feeling a little meek for forgetting about the coffee. “No, no that's ok” soothed Monica. “Wow, it's all done, can I borrow him sometime??”

They all laughed and Rosie crossed to Josh and rubbed the back of his head. “ He really can't help it, he's totally manic about cleaning”.

The weeks passed and Josh and Rosie's lives continued. But Rosie started to feel a certain resentment to Josh's manic cleaning. She would be draining her coffee cup and he would whisk it away, humming happily to himself. And while washing dishes, he seemed to fall into a trance so that all her questions or attempt at conversation as he was washing fell on deaf ears. In those moments he was totally lost to her, like a human dishwasher, just occasionally whistling as he chugged along. Only when everything was clean and the kitchen shined like the after picture for some household cleaner advertisement would he revert back to his normal self.

So she decided to test him. Her birthday was coming up and so she threw the most amazing dinner party. It was an eighties themed party, with matching food. To start with there were asparagus rolls, devilled eggs and cucumber sandwiches. To follow gazpacho soup with a garnish of green grapes or vichyssoise. The main was a towering torte of jellied fish, egg, pasta and tomato. There was also cheese souflee and three kinds of salad, a coslaw with red and green cabbage, carrot, onion, parsley and chives, a pasta salad with quails eggs, aioli and oregano and a large green salad with five different types of lettuce, cucumber, mint, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, orange segments and fromage frais. In between each course she served a different sorbet. There was lime and frangelico, ruby grapefruit and pickled ginger, green tea and pineapple and champagne and strawberry. For dessert, Rosie outdid herself, she made chocolate mousse with kalua, a giant five layer black forest chocolate cake filled with raspberries, white, dark and milk chocolate and layers and layers of cream. The top of the cake was decorated with cherries and almonds and in the centre she had put three fluffy birds with lopsided eyes. There was a grand concoction of blue jelly and chocolate fingers to look like a swimming pool, complete with swimming dolls, fish lollies and chocolate deckchairs. She made a giant fruit platter with mango, grapes, lemonades, boysenberries, lychees, mandarins and bananas, with caramel and chocolate fondue for dipping. She used every available dish in the house, all the best china, crystal and silverware. Thinking, as she enjoyed herself baking, cooking and serving, surely this will be too much for him. But Josh merely watched her, with a twinkle in his eye.

The party was a grand success, everyone came dressed up, you couldn't move for the shoulder pads and big hair. At the end of the night Rosie was quite drunk. After she waved goodbye to her final departing guest, she grabbed Josh and headed to the bedroom. He had been a model boyfriend all night and had resisted the urge to sneak off to the dishes, despite his slightly shy tendencies.

After a wonderful orgasm, Rosie was spiralling down to sleep when she felt Josh slip out of the bed. Thinking he would be off to the bathroom, she turned over and prepared herself to sleep. But then she heard the clatter of dishes and knew what he was really up to. Feeling a surge of rejection, Rosie stormed naked to the kitchen. Josh saw her angry face and guiltily put down the dish.

“WHAT do you think you're doing???” she screamed “ It's 5 am, now leave that and come to bed. NOW!”

“Just a few and then I'll come ok?” Josh tried to pacify her, it was only dishes.

“ NO!” Rosie yelled” JUST LEAVE IT FOR TOMORROW”

“ I'm GOING TO DO JUST A FEW!” Josh yelled back.

“ Jesus!” said Rosie “ It's like you're an addict! Dishes are your drug!”

“Well so what?” countered Josh “ I LIKE doing them ok? It helps me to relax”

“You're soo not normal” Rosie exclaimed “ I just can't win!” And with that she stormed out of the room. Josh assumed she was going to sleep, and so he continued with the dishes, humming quietly to himself.

Rosie tried to sleep, but the noise of each dish scraping against the last one was getting on her nerves. Eventually she got up and started throwing Josh's stuff in a bag.

“Get out of my life” she screamed and Josh looked startled, but then his face darkened. “ As you wish” he said and left slamming the door. Rosie looked around her now spotless kitchen and screamed. She wrenched open the cupboards threw their contents of fresh dishes on the ground. She cut her hand and screamed again, then stormed out of the room.

The next day Rosie woke with a terrible hangover. It wasn't just the alcohol, but as she surveyed her ruined kitchen and bloody sheets, she felt a second type of hangover take hold.

It took all day for her to clean up the broken dishes, the blood on the floor and on her sheets. She made herself a snack halfway through and then groaned as she realised she would have to clean up that too. Suddenly everything seemed so pointless. What was the point of cleaning if things would just get dirty again.

So over the next two weeks, she gave up on cleaning. If she needed a cup, she would rinse it and then use it and leave it dirty again. The floor got dirty and her kitchen was filthy. She stopped having people over as she didn't want them to have to see her messy house.

She got fired from her current catering job as the male lead had got food poisoning from a chicken tartlet and could find no energy to go out and find another job. The messiness of her house was dragging her down.

One day as she lay on the couch flicking through the various daytime soaps and talk shows, Josh came by. He had realised that she hadn't packed his electric razor. It had been his grandfathers, and was the only remembrance he had of him. It was so old that he only used it now and then, so it had taken a while for him to notice that it was missing.

“ I've just come to get my....” Josh trailed off. He couldn't believe the state of the house.

“ Oh” said Rosie “ Ok” He looked thinner and she was embarrassed by the mess both of the house and of herself.

Josh struggled through to the bathroom. It was also in a severe state of disarray. There were towels on the floor, make-up spilt along the sink and soap stains everywhere. He picked up the nearest towel and opened the cupboard gingerly. After finding his razor, he closed the cupboard and noticed that the knob was now shining brightly next to the other stained ones. He rubbed it a bit more until it lit up like a miniature sun. Then he realised that it now looked out of place next to the other dirty ones, so he gave them a polish. In doing so, he wiped away some of the soap scum on the cupboard door, then he wiped away a little more, and suddenly the cleaning frenzy took hold of him. Rosie heard some weird noises coming from the bathroom and so went to investigate. There was Josh, in a crisp white shirt with the sleeves rolled up scrubbing away at the toilet.

He paused and looked up at her tilting his head on one side. Then he crossed the floor so he was right in front of her. She had forgotten that clean smell that he had, and his nearness, his familiarity, yet now distance was strange and confusing. He lent down to her and she closed her eyes, ready for his kiss. But instead of kissing her, he appraised her face and said “ Bath, now”. She was so dumbfounded by this bluntness that she obeyed. She lay in the bath and he washed her hair, which she guiltily realised hadn't seen shampoo in a while. Then he washed her body, soaping between her toes and the backs of her knees. He applied a scrub to her face and then bid her raise her arms so he could shave her armpits, then he lifted her legs to shave away the hairs there as well.

Afterwards she felt brand new and he carried her to the bedroom and dried her softly with a towel. Then she got kiss after kiss and they were on the bed, all over each other like rabid mice.

He back spooned her and she feel into a deep sleep, feeling relaxed and happy.

She woke alone later and wrapping herself in a duvet, she went to the kitchen for a glass of water. The house was sparkling. The bathroom was spotless and when she got to the kitchen she felt as if she was snow blinded. Through the blaze of light she heard the familiar scrape of one dish against another. Josh was putting the final dish to dry on the sideboard and he turned to her smiling.

“Sorry, I couldn't help myself” She went to him. “ Missed me?”

“Actually yes” He replied. “ I've been living on two minute noodles, I can't do the cooking thing”

“ I guess that's it then” She said and they both lived happily until he overdosed on washing up liquid.

A woman scorned

When a woman is in love, she looses all judgement. It can happen anywhere, perhaps after a one night stand when she keeps seeing the her most recent conquest, perhaps someone who sticks out in class, who calls her attention to him in some subtle way, she doesn't go for show-offs. Perhaps a chance meeting will set off a buzz in her stomach, perhaps a friend of a friend at a party. At work, at play, anywhere.

And if, after a little bit of conversation and a little more action she discovers that the new object of her affection is younger than her, well it seems to matter less, once things are started that is. Even if there are ten years between them one is always hearing about long-standing relationships with just such a separation and anyway it can be an act of defiance against the more tradition older man syndrome that the world is so obsessed with.

Still, on the odd occasion when discussing such popular topics as books and movies and she realises that when she was discovering that new thing, book or movie or some such thing, she was also discovering boys and alcohol whilst he was still most concerned with trucks and superheroes. On those occasions, she feels a weird twinge. It's a kind of guilty feeling, even if he is not so innocent any more.

And if, when they have been together a few weeks and he tells her of his travel plans that are already set in motion, money has been paid to a university, plane tickets have been looked into, well that's a good thing. It takes the pressure off the younger man issue, she can have him as a plaything for a little while and then send him on his way, like a beautiful peacock. And of course he will always remember her and their brief, fleeting moment.

But then when love gets in the way, it becomes tricky. He is leaving and suddenly doesn't want to go. She suddenly doesn't want him to go either, but she remembers that travel flavour, once in your mouth, it is hard to get rid of, and she fears his future self resenting her for keeping him like a caged bird. But then a new tactic, he is begging her to come too, at least for a bit, in a few months, a holiday where they can travel around together. He is insistent and she weakens under the pressure of his resolve.

The travel flavour has caught fire in her mouth and she begins to entertain the wild notion.

And so he leaves with promises and kisses and she is tearful and hopeful.

And so she works and works and works, overtime and weekends and saves everything to go too. She writes him long colourful letters and sends them off in long colourful envelopes, and sends emails and sits on internet communication programmes all night to talk to him. He responds with emails, but not as frequently, but she thinks it's OK, he has to go to internet caf├ęs, and I can survive on less.

But his emails become less frequent. A week goes by and she has heard nothing and she begins to worry about his welfare. Finally she hears from him and he is well, although the latest email seems less expressive than previous ones. She receives a letter and leaps with excitement, but the text is vapid, devoid of any emotion towards her, as if he is writing to a friend or worse still, a parent. It is disappointing, but she thinks that he is better at communicating in person anyway. So she works and stays home not spending her money and sits in her room listening to music that reminds her of him.

The months pass and she thinks about booking a flight, she checks prices and asks him when, when, when should I come? Suddenly he is evasive and changes the subject, and when she is insistent, he is gone, off-line. Three days pass, four and she has heard nothing. On the fifth day is he back explaining he had a problem with the internet when she demands his whereabouts. Huh! She is thinking, and so again she asks when, when, when, where should I come? And again he is evasive and she becomes annoyed and again he is gone.

A week passes. No word. Then comes The Email. He is saying he might have other plans, he is unreliable, he is sorry. He can't travel with her. She is angry, resentful, rejected. And then after a day her head clears. She writes a sweet mail back saying she has decided to travel alone, but she will need to stay with him for just one night.

He is overjoyed that she has taken his news so well and professes enthusiasm to have her stay with him. So she gives him a date, time and flight number and asks him to pick her up at the airport, as she will feel completely lost in the new place. Again he is willing and excited to see her, to have her in his bed one last time, hopefully he can manage to keep her and his new girlfriend apart, as it is only one night. Surely he can get away with that. And he thinks what a wonderful woman, the perfect image of maturity to still wish to come and to travel alone through new and wonderful places.

So the day comes, she packs and heads to the airport. After all the proceedings she is sitting in a little silver bird winging her way across the ocean.

He arrives at the airport early, having carefully chosen his clothes and brushed his hair just so to make it look not brushed at all. He must look different, changed by all the new experiences he has had, but also cool and forgivingly handsome. His heart begins to pound when the loudspeakers announce that the plane has touched down and he strikes a pose near the exit with his head only half turned towards the people who are now flowing out of the gate. He tries to look as if he is so lost in his thoughts, so unaware of her presence. Still after a while, he realises that the people are thinning out and she is nowhere to be seen. He cranes his neck to see over the few stragglers and there is no sign of her. He waits an hour. Still nobody. He checks the flight number on his new fancy phone. Yes this is what she gave him. Two more hours pass and he is frantic. He tries with his limited language to communicate with the desk clerk, but he cannot make himself understood.

Finally he gives up defeated and goes home to check and see if she has sent him a message to say she has been delayed, or involved in some accident. Surely that would be her only reason for not being there. Nothing. A day passes and he has emailed her five times with a variation of moods leaving his number and address and asking over and over what has happened to her.

On the morning of the following day he tries a different tactic and emails a mutual friend, thinking perhaps she is unable to send him a message.

He gets a pretty speedy reply, as the mutual friend is puzzled to why he thinks that she would be coming to see him when she held a huge party before leaving to the tropics for a couple of weeks. He is dumbfounded and sits slumped over his computer and staring out the window beyond where the sky is grey and a light sleet is beginning to fall.

She sits on the warm white sand and drinks champagne. She toasts the empty air. “ To us” she says.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Princess and the Pea.

Once upon a time, isn´t that the way all fairy stories begin?
Upon a time, beyond time, a realm where imagination is paramount and rules over a kingdom lush and fertile. So to begin again.
Once beyond a time there was, of course a kingdom. This kingdom is ruled, of course, by a king. The king had a son, a prince of course! The years pass, the king ages and the prince begins to think about finding a princess to marry.
However this is a very picky and determined prince. Not just any princess will do, ( only child). He travels far and wide to search for a suitable princess, but where-ever he goes, the princesses are not to his liking.
Some are too tall, others too short, some are too proud and others too meek. Some were too fretful, others too stubborn. He has an idea in his head about what a REAL princess should be. But he cannot find any that will fit at all. He returns home again feeling most unfulfilled and desolate.
In another kingdom far away ( you knew this bit was coming), the was a princess with a thirst for adventure. She too was most displeased with her local choice of princes, but being a princess, her opinion was not so highly valued. And so, she decided to take herself off and escape from her kingdom. She too travelled far and wide. She travelled so far away that even the stars in the sky looked unfamiliar. She eventually arrived in the kingdom of the prince during an enormous thunder storm. The lightening was so bright, it turned night into day, and the thunder was so loud that the castle shook in its foundations.
The king was preparing for bed, when he heard the jangle of the bell pull outside the castle gate. This in itself was special, as few except those of royal blood could activate the bell. As the servants were all hiding in the cellar from the storm, the king himself went to open the door.
Outside stood the princess. She was soaking. The water ran like a stream off the tips of her hair and dripped from the cuffs of her robe. It trickled into her shoes off her hem and her feet slopped about like boats tossed on the sea. However, only a real princess would wear heels in such weather. The king saw at once that she had many traits of a real princess, so he asked her what she wanted. But alas! The princess was so far from home that she could not understand the language that the old king was speaking. She replied as best she could. ¨Please kind sir, my name is Rosebud and I am far from home. Do you have a place for me to stay the night?¨
Now all clever girls know that it is never a good idea to knock on the door of a strange house, in a strange place on a dark night, and the ask to be let in! However, the etiquette amongst the royals is different in `Upon Time´ places. This is considered a perfectly reasonable thing to do for a young princess travelling alone.
Anyway, luckily `Rosebud´ in the king´s language meant `Real princess´ (fortunate no?) And so the king led the princess inside.
When the prince laid eyes on the princess he was immediately very taken by her. But, being still unable to trust his instincts, he decided to carry out a test to prove whether or not she was truly a real princess.
The prince made up a bed for the princess. He first placed a pea on the mattress, then piled twenty more mattresses on top of it. Over this he laid twenty eiderdown quilts, and twenty woven blankets and twenty silk sheets. He had to place a ladder next to the bed so that the princess could climb up.
The princess thought this bed a little odd, it was quite different to the beds she was used to back in her own kingdom. Yet she put it down to cultural differences and climbed up. During the night she got cold, and so she snuggled down to be under three of the woven blankets. When she went to sleep, she found the blankets too itchy, and so threw them off. She woke up cold again and so wriggled down to the eiderdown quilts. However she got too hot and so threw these off too. As she was lying there, wondering what to do now with no covers, she smelt something tasty. It was late and she had eaten very little, so she sniffed around on the highest mattress to discover what the smell was. She sniffed over the side of the mattress, and found the smell stronger between the next mattress, so she maneuvered herself own to that one and resumed sniffing. This continued down through all the mattresses untill she found herself squashed between the bottom two mattresses with all the others still piled on top. The princess ignored the weight and continued to sniff about, so that she eventually found the pea, now a flat circle of green muck pressed into the last mattress. Still the princess wasn´t going to waste her grand effort, so she scraped off the pea with a fingernail and ate it. She wriggled out of the mattresses bum first and remade a bed with the right combination of everything, except for the mattresses, as it was an adventure for her to sleep so high.
The next morning, the prince came to the princesses room with a cup of coffee. She was just climbing down from her bed, again bum first. Her hair was a mess, it looked like a birds nest due to her nights excursion in search of the pea.
The prince held his breath and asked her how she had slept. `Not bad´ she replied, deducing what the question had been ( she was, after all a very well raised lady) From the state of the room and the state of the princess, the prince knew that it was not the truth.
He knew she had the most delicate skin that could not touch such coarse blankets, such a subtle temperament that could not bear too many quilts and an acute sense of smell that had found the pea. Only a REAL princess could have these attributes.
The princess, as princesses do, had little choice in the matter, but he smelled alright, a proven factor in lasting relationships, and also he was quite kind and handsome.
So they married and learned to communicate with each other and lived in the storybook sense, happily ever after.

As a final note, I am sure that all those other princesses that had seemed less than perfect to the prince found their own kind of partners who also considered them to be real princesses.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The girl in the glass case.

In the middle of the forest, in the middle of a glade, in the middle of a clearing was a glass case. Inside the glass case lay a girl, sleeping. She was laid out on her back, her dark hair shining, framing a porcelain, doll-like face. Her arms lay by her sides and a huge bunch of lilies rested on her stomach. No one knew how she came to be there, in fact there was no one to see her, but the animals came from miles around to gaze on her loveliness. The blue birds would alight on the glass and cock their little heads to one side trying to understand what they were seeing. They pecked at the glass, but it left no mark. The squirrels would run all over the glass, trying to find a way in to this giant nut in their forest. But there was no catch that their deft hands could unlock. Even the giant woolly forest bears would come and sleep in big furry piles around the glass case, happy just to be near this strange, peaceful being.

One day a young fawn came tripping into the clearing. It was a clear, sunny day and the light was bouncing off the rim of the glass, making it sparkle. The glass intrigued him, and he moved closer and closer, the glass reflected his own image so he was at first cautious, wondering why this other deer looked so familiar, and moved when he did, he turned to run and the deer followed him, he moved closer and the deer followed him. He turned to the side and the deer followed him. He began to be impatient, this other deer seemed to mock him, and yet he was so beautiful. He turned and ran towards the glass, swifter and swifter, expecting the other deer to turn away; he didn’t of course just being a poor reflection. The little fawn got angry and charged at the glass. His little nose knocked against the hard, cold surface and shock and surprise filled his eyes, he turned and ran out of the clearing, feeling humiliated that this other deer had been so much stronger than him, and yet the beauty of his limbs, his delicate features stayed in his head for a long time.

However, this little fawn had affected the glass case stronger than any of the animals to previously come across it. The case began to move, it began to slide on invisible wheels and soon it was rushing through the trees, away from the clearing, away from the clear glade. The case rushed on, the trees flashed by, the scenery blurred and yet still the girl inside was peaceful.

On the edge of the forest was a city. It was not a nice kind of city, it was not picturesque, there were no sweet blue boats in the harbor or amazing architecture to wonder at. The case was leaving the forest; it bumped down streets, past dingy old shops into the black heart of the central city. Finally it came to rest in a small alleyway, having hit several dustbins. It seemed as if there was some guiding system to the case, as it rested unscathed in a dark alleyway, away from the main streets, away from the bustling people, as if in a brackish backwater of some polluted stream.

The case rested there, shining clear, despite the dingy surroundings and perilous trip from the forest. The girl slept on, unmoving, untouched by any of the recent excitement.

A drunk came stumbling up the alleyway, he looked surprised to see this marvel resting in the middle of all the filth. He came closer, clutching at his bottle of cheap bourbon in one hand. He ran his hand over the top of the case. “Daughter??” he mumbled “Daughter, Susan?” The girl slept on. “Susan!” he screamed “Answer me!” He tried to shake the case, but it was too heavy for his drunken limbs. He beat the glass “What are you doing in there?” In frustration he smashed his bottle of bourbon over the top. “What have I done?” he mumbled, “what have I done?” he licked the drops from the edge of the case mumbling under his breath. He ran his hand over the case again and then licked it, trying to get all the escaped bourbon back to his mouth. Then he stumbled away.

The girl slept on, and the night became deeper, blacker. Another man walked past the alleyway. He doubled back and looked at the glass case. He moved closer, hardly able to understand what he saw. He approached the case cautiously and looked around for some kind of catch to open it. He gazed on the face of the girl,” beautiful” he murmured. He leaned ontop of the glass, imagining the girl was just beneath him. He felt a stirring in his pants, a stirring that needed to be fulfilled. He was so entranced; he didn’t notice the sticky liquor now staining his crotch. He looked at her perfect rosebud lips, her pale cheek with just a hint of a pink bloom in her cheek, her eyes closed, peaceful, so peaceful. I have to get inside he thought, I have to wake her, to hold her close, pull her to me and wake her and then to mar that beauty, to tear at her clothes, to bruise her skin. He pulled a knife out of his coat and brought it down on the glass, trying to stab through it, but it slipped and cut his hand instead. He yelled in pain and desperately tried to force open the case, but to no avail.

Finally disgruntled, he stormed off into the night. The girl rolled on her side, crushing the bouquet of flowers that had been resting on top of her. She put her hand underneath her cheek and smiled softly in her sleep.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cherry Cassidy

This is a story about Cherry Cassidy, a story about a girl who farts. Now listen up all you guys out there! I’ll destroy for your pleasure, here and now a common myth that you all believe. Women. Fart. What’s more they can do it well. They can be long and loud or silent, but violent. They can rival you in your sphinter blubberings any day of the week. You want swamp gas? You’ve got it. Anytime a woman feels that rumble of intestines, she could let fly with a stench so foul, you’ll think you can taste it. You can feel it creeping over your tongue, your teeth as it invades you, overpowering you so that your eyes water. You’ll begin to retch, it’s that bad. Anyone heard of the bog of eternal stench? Just try scorning a woman as you lie next to her in bed, you’ll see what I mean.

This particular girl was particulary talented in the anal region. In fact it became her weapon and yet her weakness. The thing is, she was beautiful, stunning, the type of woman envied by other women. Her svelte figure, her smile, her charm…. She had men falling over her. They claimed ridiculas notions of love at first sight, swearing that she had given them a look meant just for them. Really she was just getting dust out of her eye. She was stalked, kidnapped, secretly photographed for purposes I don’t like to mention.

Yet it had it’s perks. On any night she choose to go out, her drinks were free, she was given expensive presents, such as airline tickets and jewerally, she dined free, attended the theatre or some concert free…. Her life was one big free ride. On occasion these buyers of gifts would feel that they deserved something in return. They were not happy to discover that this feeling was not reciprocated by her, free drinks sure, expensive gifts, fine, but me put out? I don’t think so. Sometimes she could convince these men through voice alone that the night was not going to go as they had planned. However, she was sometimes required to let go a vapour trail so thick, you could almost see it in it’s sulphur-yellow entirety. The men would be revulsed by her, and leave, never to try anything again. Yet her beauty was such that she was always in constant supply of fresh prey, such fools men are!

This was her life, and she was content. Then It happened. The one thing that could never be. Cherry fell in love. When she fell, she lost all control of the super farts. She was propelled along the street by little bursts of gas with a dreamy expression on her face. She thought constantly about his eyes, his face, the way he stood, how he sat with his long fingers interlaced. The way he cut a tomato could almost bring her to orgasm, yet instead it released a string of oders so pungent, you would swear that the pot plant behind her died a little. Luckily for her the love was requited, as all beautiful people are generally lucky in love, but Cherry started to worry about her smells. Perhaps she would lose this wonderful being that had stumbled into her life. She tried to control her butt efflusions, she squeezed the cheeks of her arse together as she walked with him, but at looking at him, she would be overwhelmed and relax her muscles. She took desperate measures, attempting to wedge a cork deep in inside her ring, but to her dismay, it popped out and flew across the room when she bent over. Finally, she went to a specialist. He recommended a change in diet, no cheese, no pickles, no onions, no green vegetables. Cherry was allowed foods that were 90% water and white bread only. Under this new regieme, she created wild and wonderful salads of cucumber and watermelon, cold soups of bread, tomatoes and capsicum, desserts of lychee and orange. However it did little to reduce the explosions from her backside.

In desperation she had a surgical mucus taken from the remains of her hymen inserted that would let through solids, but keep back the bubbles of foul air. It worked! She could spend days on end gazing at her lovers face, without a single worry about the overpowering smell of her rear end. So Cherry was happy again. She returned to the public eye and could be seen arm and arm walking the promenades with her lover. They took a holiday at the seaside and Cherry sunbathed nude, read books on the beach and took photos of her lover as he swam powerful strokes at the wave line. The sun beat down on her body and her lover emerged out of the ocean, dripping wet like a Greek god. He lay down beside her and she leaned in to kiss his sweet lips. Just then the worst happened. The butt gas that she had kept inside for so long erupted from her mouth! Her lover turned his head away and started to cough, the tears from the stench running down his face. Cherry was mortified! Then she felt another rising in her throat. She fought it down, swallowing the bubbles that began to come thick and fast. Cherry lay on her stomach concentrating on keeping the fart burps inside. Her lover sat up, his eyes streaming. Then he pointed to her and started to laugh. The surgical mucus barrier was swelling from her behind. It grew larger and larger and to both their disbelief it formed a perfect bubble and floated away from her body. Soon Cherry began to let loose a string of bubbles, pearlescent and opaque with the stench inside. Cherry got up from the beach and ran to the bathroom where she scrabbled at her tight hole untill the barrier came away, bloodying her hand. Cherry let forth a smell so bad that she fainted away on the floor. When she came to, her lover was leaning over her. “ I love you Cherry Cassidy” he said and kissed her mouth.