Theme Thursday: Cleanliness


I know that school is starting up and that it puts a crunch on readership both to see the site and too contribute. The majority of readers are either students or teachers at one level of education or another (and I, myself, am a student). Participate when you can, and no hard feelings if you miss a week or five.

Also remember, though, that this is not a commercial publication and that while around three hundred people may see your entry, it doesn’t have to consistently be your best. I won’t chew you out for posting something raw one week, and the entries–as some were two weeks ago–can be as short as a sentence or as long as a fully flushed-out essay. There’s no structure to this game other than theme, and you shouldn’t concern yourself too much with making sure that your submission is crystal clear and flawless.

Thank you for all of the new entries, contributors, and I look forward to this new week of posts!

This week’s theme: Cleanliness

It’s next to godliness. Perhaps I could’ve saved it for spring, but now seems as good a time as any!

Also, a narrative follows, to make you feel a little dirty.

Guidelines

The only right I assume from you posting a comment is that I am able to host your work on this blog for non-commercial purposes with attribution. You keep all other rights.

I do have plans to attempt to monetize this site once the boulder rolls a little further down hill, but at this point there are NO ASSUMPTIONS OF COMMERCIAL RIGHTS. I will contact authors on an individual basis for any and all commercial purposes.

Make the entries as short or as long as you want, and any genre is fair game: fiction, non-, and poetry. Publish in comments stories, no matter how polished or raw, according to the game of the week. If I like your story, I’ll contact you and ask for permission to remix your work, which I’ll post with the next week’s contest.

You have one week to submit your story, and please, please do. I don’t want this site to be my literary masturbation. Join me, and perhaps get some free editing and mentoring along the way!

**

The original (authored by Mani):

I had sex in public, and the police officer told me that it was a felony of the the third degree. Homedepot ended up throwing away the mattress and we were never allowed to return.

The remix:

I held her right hand with my left and carried the bag over my shoulder. The heat in the Texas parking lot made the air shiver with energy. My palm sweated against hers, but that wasn’t what had me excited.

Some of the store clerks looked at us oddly as we passed, but they must’ve assumed the bag was a return since they went back about their business. Her middle finger tickled my palm, and as I looked over at her, she smiled. Her head tucked down, and she used her other hand to pull her long brown hair back. The shame excited her, I could tell, but I didn’t feel ashamed. We were about to put on a hell of a show.

Orange metal framed our experience as we worked deeper into the store. The stale, conditioned air settled in around, making the moisture in my hand tingle. I could also trace goosebumps rolling along the nape of her neck, all the way up under the sensitive skin of her earlobe.

I resisted the temptation to look at the wares as we walked past saws, and I had to pull her past the home decoration section. My hand tugged on hers, and in our briefly connected eyes I saw her desire to escape, to check it out at least before we did the deed. But I wasn’t having any of her guff; we were here for a chore, and by God we were goin’ to do it.

The smell of cedar protected the wood section from the harsh sterile scent of the store. My chest swelled with invigoration and pride, and I gripped her hand a little tighter. A small unsure smile curved her lips. She wouldn’t be so shy in a minute, not after I had my hands on her hips.

I threw down the air mattress and got to work. Pump in, pull out, pump in, etc. At first she looked around to make sure no one was coming–she even giggled, probably at the funny little thought of getting caught. She slipped into boredom as I checked the firmness of the half-full mattress. She looked this way and that, wondering when I’d finish.

I looked her up and down as I continued to pump. The cheap and efficient white lights hung so far overhead flattened out her features, made her look like a model for any of the company’s photo advertisements. I could see the skin of her stomach complaining about the coolness of the store, much like her neck had done. The daisy dukes revealed her legs the same, her muscles dimpled with tiny bumps. Flat and bumpy, that’s how she looked.

When she leaned back against the wood-covered rack, I decided that enough was enough. I grunted at her and held out my right hand, which she took in hers. I pulled her into me and gave her a rough kiss that nearly consumed her gentle lips. She pushed against me with her hands, straining to get away and not to kiss me back; I had known it wasn’t what she wanted, but fuck what she wants. This is about me.

She started to curse when she finally got away, but the tough yank as her shirt pulled tight against her back shut her up quick. The fabric didn’t tear at the seams like I had expected but rather down the front, exposing her black bra and tight stomach. She gasped as I wrestled the rest off as if it were a vest, her arms yielding in surprise as the jersey fabric tugged down her arms.

My left hand had already penetrated her shorts, and she fell to the ground, her legs limp with shock. Instead of moaning, she ground her teeth and looked away. Well, fuck it: this isn’t about her anyway.

I bit the nape of her neck hard, perhaps too hard in my excitement: I tasted blood. Heedless, my left hand pushed aside loose skin and rough hair as my right fumbled for the button of her shorts and I bit my way down her chest. I clenched my teeth on the front-clasp of her bra until it unlocked, slapping me in the nose after pulling at my lips.

I could feel fear set in as her skin cooled under my touch. She had agreed to this, but I had seen her wavering all the way from the car, from when I had first picked her up. Perhaps a movie, she had said. I could invite a friend to come film it. I scoffed a grunt as I finally undid her shorts, and then I ripped them off.

“Hey!” I heard a male voice scream. My head snapped up in his direction, and I saw surprise paint his face. He turned to the side and yelled, “Get security!” before turning back to me and saying, “You can’t do that here, man. This isn’t that kind of shop.”

“Why do you think I’m here?” I snarled. The girl reached for her bra and tried to pry her shorts from my hand.

“Seriously, you can’t–” he started, but we never finished.

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Author: Greg Freed

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7 Comments

Filed under Features, Fiction, Theme Thursdays, Writing

7 responses to “Theme Thursday: Cleanliness

  1. Mani

    Priceless. I give you two sentences and get back a full story.

  2. Ashley

    lol wow… give him to lines… he takes a novel!

    Get it… give him and inch… he takes a mile??? lol :o)

    Sorry Mani, This one is way better!

  3. Pingback: Featured Fan: Kiran Dorling « NQOKD – Not a not-news site

  4. Ashley

    A cleansing breath. I breath in. The act of bringing in something new, something pure and letting go of the grit and grim that inhabits my soul is refreshing and almost exciting.

    I am creature of change. I am purger. I let go easily but I also store up more than I care to believe. The thoughts, acts, memories that are stored up in me could probably fill an ocean. But when I look in that ocean, I can’t see the bottom. A black sheet covers that vast area as though the things swimming in there are hiding, afraid of the light of day.

    Plato said “it is easier to forgive a small child, afraid of the dark than a full-grown man afraid of the light” I am afraid of that truth at times. The truth that things scare me or haunt me. I’d rather keep things a mess in my mind than revisit them, clean them out, than to feel it again. Does that make me less of an artist? Maybe so, I guess it just makes me average. Human. So, be it, I suppose.

    Though, today. Today marks a day of renew, replenishing, a day of cleansing of my minds eye.

  5. Sheri

    Laryngectomy
    My dad came home from the hospital with instructions on how to clean his stoma, the hole that was now in his throat. As it healed, he kept it lubricated with Aquafor, a thick hand cream, but he also had to swap it with Q-tips and saline solution twice daily. A spongy bib hid the hole, but when exposed, I saw a red, angry wound sometimes crusted with scabbing flesh. The stoma was hidden behind this baby-like bib until it healed, and then once the flesh became less raw, he sometimes left it off. If he went outside to work in the field, he always kept it covered. Hay or dust could get caught in his throat, and he could start coughing uncontrollably.

    My dad’s stoma reminded me of a demonstration I saw in an animal science class in high school. One of a cow’s four stomachs had a hole covered by a small, circular window that could be opened to see and sample the contents of the cow’s daily intake. A man stood by the hole, and with a latex-gloved hand, he reached into the cow and brought forth a handful of digested food. During this invasion of privacy, the cow stood calm and seemingly unaffected. The man, an animal researcher, said that this hole was just like an ear piercing; the cow didn’t even feel it when he dug his hand into his insides.

    Any window into the inside of the body, whether via the throat or stomach, be it grotesque and seemingly unnatural, is like a black hole from which I cannot retreat. The curious force of any hole, like you’d find in the ground or a wall or in any dark nook, beckons me. My dad’s stoma was an aperture that he had previously denied me; however, even when exposed, it failed to provide the information about him that I had always hoped he would give me freely. It hurt me to have to wait until he was wounded.

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