My writing friend Kate Raynes has the knack for locating just the right picture to springboard her fiction into the stratosphere. Or maybe it's the knack for writing unsettling stories related to those offbeat images. Go read some of her stories (don't overdose!) and tell me –– chicken or egg?
I like a photo for warming up or for simple fun. Today the personal-care products seemed to be staging a drama just for me.
They were both ambushed by the amorous impulse. It hit them as if their batteries had been given a big zap of power. It was maybe too much juice. They both suspected as much, but what kind of fool turns a back on the chance at big love?
When they could reach one another, they necked like kids. Their kisses were all the sweeter for the hard job they worked, because who knew when they'd be spent? All their vim washed down the drain. It would be over too soon any way they looked at it, but they would make the most of their time.
Story 2 –– Like Lizards
The electric toothbrushes were at it again, she thought, must be the season. Pairs of lizards would be intertwined on the back patio, and snarls of snakes could be expected under the old apple-tree. The sukebind would be blooming, and the good lord alone knew what would happen after that.
Story 3 –– Evidence
It wasn't healthful, but she seemed to be unable to stop herself from using the key she'd gotten from him those months ago. She turned the well-oiled bolt, opened the door, and there she would be again, walking through his apartment. It happened more often than she liked to admit to herself.
It didn't make her feel good. His refrigerator always looked lonesome to her: not enough ingredients for a meal, leftover take-out cartons forming an archeological record of past dinners. The apartment seemed to lack something domestic. He wasn't a dirty housekeeper. He never left laundry piled up; he was as neat as a cat with his clothes. But still.
Not as if they had lived there together, she sometimes reminded herself. She'd spent a few nights in a row from time to time, especially when they had been working on the Chapparel project, but she'd never gotten, for instance, her own drawer.
The top drawer of his dresser, she noted dully, was still harboring an innocent tumble of silky underthings from his new girlfriend. Or not, she thought with a moment of clarifying spite. Maybe it was him dressing up.
She used a pencil to lift a pair of lacy somethings out of the drawer. No such luck. They'd never fit him.
She had to stop doing this. Imagine getting caught. Caught looking at someone else's underpants. Even knowing he was out of town for at least the week, she felt shame wash over her. She never took anything, never stole a single hair from his comb for a love-spell, or sniffed the dent in his pillow case for the hint of his unforgotten scent. Or for hers.