Romance – The Learning Curve (Fiction)

In romance, there is a learning curve we all must traverse.

First kiss may seem like the ultimate in excitement, until it happens and we find ourselves liplocked with a drooling boy, with something hard shoved down his pants.

That first alien experience when we girls discover what that hard thing feels like directly. It drools also, much to our amazement.

The first time we let him fumble around – who knew bra straps were such a mystery?

And then, when we finally let him go all the way. For me that was to be with the altar behind us. Our wedding day was exhausting, with an evening spent socializing with everyone but him. I was nervous, naturally. Mostly because, despite the fact that all my romantic experiences up ’til then had not been what I expected, I had dreamed this moment would be perfection. Just like all the romance novels I’d read, where the heroine is worshiped by her man. Things always go so smoothly, don’t they?

I suppose my first mistake was thinking that a limo was a good idea, so he would be free to drink and not have to drive back to our hotel. Suffice to say my learning curve is complete: bra straps are even more a mystery, floors are hard, and drooling and snoring also go together.

This virgin bride will try not to step on him when I get up in the morning.

a go

after a long, hard, hot day at the office
i just want to lose my briefcase and
off my shoes
off my dress
and then…

But you’re home. And you’re watching tv with a beer
The condensation drip
from the edge of your bottle onto your white boxers as you
it in my direction in a gesture of negligent cheers

there was a day, long a go when it was you coming home
all wet from the
and i, lounging with my white wine on the couch in your boxers and nothing
your umbrella drip drip dripping on the floor unheeded because…

there are better things to do
Busy things to do and not enough drip
After a long,

Thirteen Idolized Man

The lights, the lights, like mother’s love burn through retina and numb the brain. Drink them in, precious boy. Screams of adoration oppress and uplift, confusing like family’s comforting reassurance. Float, young man.

Man drops his key card on the table inside the door of his hotel suite, his music echoes in his ears. He turns to his chosen one and bends to press his mouth against hers. His desire radiates heat through his body. His chosen leaps up, legs around his waist, her sweet scent reaches his taste buds. Man carries her to the bed. She knows what he wants. She has been his before.

“The sword is beside the bed,” man says.

Man lays back and his chosen slides from his lap to retrieve the katana he occasionally uses, like a benediction, to shave his face. She hands it to him and with a smile and a shink! he unsheathes the weapon. He drops the scabbard to the floor and rests the sword on the bed above his head while she undresses him.

“Do you love me as I love you?” man asks.

“More,” his chosen whispers.

She crawls up his body to take the weapon.

Man closes his eyes. The lights and the roar of the crowd pierce his memory as he hungrily anticipates the inspiration of a fresh scar.

For part fourteen, click here.


i should have known
you would burn

your 350º heat

beneath my

but i couldn’t
resist you

you wanted me

who was i to
say no

here i lay

singed at the

and all there is

of you are

and a photograph

my sugary delicious

of your hot hot

One Night Stand

When all of the lights
have dimmed, then gone out
and it’s just you and me
skin against skin
under covers of silk

No one can know how
our private commingling
with hot wax and fire
can serve us precisely
what we need to survive

In the daylight tomorrow
when we are re-covered
with inflexible masks
of social exertion
we’ll pretend unacquaintance

But tonight only we can
know yield and endowment
of intimate fusion
of blood, sweat and passion
under covers of silk

Uncle Muster’s Experiment – Part 2 of 2

Page 4

Teresa’s been bugging me to leave for a long time. ‘You’re nineteen,’ she would say, or, ‘You’re twenty,’ or, ‘You’re twenty one. Why don’t you just get away from here and go live your life?’

I can’t tell her it’s because Uncle Muster makes me happy. He’s the only person who will ever really care about me after all, at least since momma died. He tells me that all the time. But Teresa just gets angry. Especially that time she came here to the ring room and saw Uncle Muster and me together. He gets all nice around me and so gentle. I heard loud and clear what goes on between him and Teresa in the bedroom and it sounds nothing the same as the way he treats me. He says it’s because I remind him of my mother.

So I asked Teresa why she didn’t leave once. That was the first time she came at me with a knife. And then when she caught Uncle Muster standing in the ring with his pants down and me kneeling in front of him it was a machete that she’d just brought in from outside; the one Uncle Muster was using to cut down the lawn because the town had said if he didn’t they were going to fine him for having his grass too long in front of the warehouse he owned, here where the boxing ring is. The boxing ring had been Uncle Muster’s life when he was young. Not that he’s that old now, just that he had his leg cut off at the knee when he was thirty two by one of his drug buddies. They used an axe.

Page 1

About half hour ago Uncle Muster takes me out back for our regular alone time and when we come back in I can smell smoke. Teresa is in the middle of the ring burning almost everything I wrote and she says she didn’t even read it. I guess she’s had enough of being locked in here with me for so long, sleeping and eating all in the same room. I have my writing to do and when Uncle Muster comes he takes me for our private time but there‘s nothing for Teresa except cooking and cleaning and doing drugs. She watches him sit by me sometimes and I feel sorry for her until she passes out.

I started writing, like Uncle Muster said, about a month ago when we first got here and I made it all the way up to page forty-four, but now Teresa’s destroyed it. I think it‘s because she’s screaming so loud that Uncle Muster puts the axe outside.

Once she notices me she starts in on me just like always, except she’s never done it in front of Uncle Muster before now. I didn’t even tell Uncle Muster about any of the other times when Teresa went ape on me and she never left any marks because she knows he inspects me from time to time. But somehow he knows anyway. About a year ago when he found a bruise on my leg he decided to do the “Exposure Experiment”. He tied Teresa up to a chair and forced her to watch while he took all my clothes off and looked me over. That’s when she cut Uncle Muster in the wrist, right after he went to sleep that night. His hand was never the same.

Now she’s mad at me again and she calls me ‘Sugar’ with a real emphasis on the way Uncle Muster says it, just like always. She says I think I’m better than everyone else because I like to write and I never swear. She hates it when I say ‘frig’ instead of what she says when she’s angry.

‘Say f**k!’ she screams at me and grabs my hair and pulls and screams again right in my face, ‘SAY F**K!’ I won’t do it and I close my eyes and the tears start rolling down my face and into my ears because Teresa is holding my head back and screaming at me over and over, ‘SAY F**K!’

I can’t believe she’s going off on me right in front of Uncle Muster. He gets between us and I know it’s going to be awful. I don’t want to watch.

Page 2

He’s making me record it.

‘Encouragin’, he says. He’s watching me write with his chin on my shoulder and his breath tickles my ear, making me goose bumpy all over and tingly inside.

‘If you write swear words what we said in our alone time,’ he whispers, ‘even you don’ feel comfortable ‘bout writin‘ ‘em, it’s akay, because it’s a “Letter-Writing Experiment“.’ He pulls my hair off my neck and bites me there gently and tells me I’m a good girl. He tells me I should take my time and do the best job I can because he wants every detail on paper and then he wants Teresa to read it when she wakes from her drugged up stupor. He’ll stand over her, just like this, and make sure she does.

Page 3

For Teresa

Our first time was on my eighteenth birthday. I was a virgin and you were passed out on the couch with too many drugs in your system for you to wake up. Uncle Muster says that even if you had it wouldn’t have stopped him. He says he’s been waiting for me since he met momma.

He gave me my first taste of wine that night and he was all whispers and love. He let me explore his body slowly, uncovering him little bit by little bit. I remember the way he smelled like wanting but even so, he was patient with me. When I uncovered his hardness he told me it was for me, and that first he would make love to me but as I became accustomed to him more that I would ask him to fuck me with it. He said I reminded him of momma because I’m all soft and delicate, not rough and crass like



A gruesome scene was uncovered by a local man at a warehouse on Sideroad 22 in the County. While police are releasing little information, they disclosed that the victim, a woman in her early twenties, was found possibly suffocated on several sheets of crumpled paper. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Under investigation is a woman, 43 years of age, who authorities say is the wife of the man who made the discovery. More information will be released after next of kin of the deceased are located.

Uncle Muster’s Experiment – Part 1 of 2


Page 44

I can’t believe she actually tried to kill me with a friggin’ axe! Of course it’s all Uncle Muster’s doing in the end. But if he always liked me better like he says, then I don’t understand…

He calls this Stage One of the “Incarceration Experiment”.

Page 1

A “Social Experiment” he calls it. He locks us both in his ring room and then he tells me to write. ‘Write jes’ like you always wanted to,’ he croons, stroking my hair with his good hand and bending to kiss me on the forehead. He takes a big hefty breath of my hair as he does it too, just like always. Then he steps back and hands me this bag full of lined paper and mechanical pencils and tells me to go sit in the corner of the boxing ring and start. It would be dark in here during the day except a few years back he put in skylights so that no matter where the sun is in the sky it’s always in the right place like there’s a spotlight shining on the ring.

‘And when you’re finished,’ he tells me, ‘show it to Teresa. But take your time Sugar,’ (that’s what he calls me when he’s feeling all steamy under the collar) ‘you’re gonna be here a while.’

Ever since I was seventeen and momma died and Uncle Muster married Teresa she’s hated me. Teresa was my aunt when I was born but when momma met Uncle Muster back when I was ten I called him ‘Uncle’ right away. He and I would come out to the ring room alone and have long talks about how he knew I was special and I was better than the life my momma gave me. That was when I told Uncle Muster I liked to write. Then, close to when momma was going to die, she asked her sister to come and stay with us. Teresa and Uncle Muster started sleeping together the night of the funeral. A week later they were hitched.

Page 2

‘How is it,’ I ask him once I’m settled down in my corner of the mat with my writing tools, ‘that we’re not gunna be missed if we‘re staying here so long?’ He comes and sits cross legged in front of me, adjusting himself as he sits. He knows I know what he wants whenever he does this. Teresa is in the other room and I can smell burning as if the stove that the kettle is on has something spilled on it. She’s clattering around, grumbling to herself with the occasional ‘F**k!’ mixed in.

‘I told ever’one in town that you were going to visit that fancy university,’ he tells
me. ‘And no one’s gonna miss Treese,’ he says rolling his eyes up until his pupils disappear. It’s true ‘cause Uncle Muster proved it. No one really pays any attention to her, except Uncle Muster when they first met. When she got to town she was always dressed smart, as if she worked in a lawyers’ office or something. Then when momma was gone she spent about a month wearing nothing but a robe. When she did try to get dressed again (when Uncle Muster finally let her out of bed) all her clothes were gone and her suitcase too. She had to wear Uncle Muster’s clothes which were WAY too big for her so she could go to the store with the twenty bucks he gave her to buy a whole new wardrobe. She’s been dressed in a twenty dollar wardrobe for three years now.

Page 3

‘Where the f**k are the spoons?’ It’s Teresa yelling at Uncle Muster.

‘They’re where they always are,’ he yells back at her. ‘And stop swearing you stupid f**king c**t!’ Uncle Muster doesn’t like it when we swear. I never do but Teresa never wants to behave the way he wants her to.

Teresa should know where to find the spoons. We’ve been here dozens of times over the years, mostly when Uncle Muster was hiding out from his drug ‘buddies‘. I don’t know why he calls them that.

It was the drugs that did momma in, in the end. Uncle Muster was her dealer, even though he never seemed much of the type. Around me he puts on this fake accent and he’s always dressed like a hillbilly. ‘You’re so purrdy,’ he tells me. When I asked him once, why the accent he said he just wants to be smooth as cream to go with his Sugar. Then my eighteenth birthday rolled around and I found out all about his cream.

It was when he knew one of those drug raids was coming up and he told me he wanted to take me to the ring room alone. We’d always taken momma with us before and it was about the second or third time since she died. The raids happened maybe ten times a year. He said he was going to try an experiment and he called it his “Societal Worth Experiment”. It was just the first of many. In this one he thought it might be fun to see if Teresa was as invisible to people as he thought she was, so he left her at the trailer. When we came back two days later the trailer was trashed just like always but Teresa was fine. Not a scratch on her. As far as I know that was the first time Uncle Muster hit her. When I asked him why he told me that he was mad at her for not being me.