Closing out another year at The Tension

According to the ol' dashboard, this is my 1,269th post on Surface Tension.
A space that began as a result to deal with feelings and emotions after my mother passed that has morphed into a place where I scribble short fiction and try to find a voice. It's been an interesting transformation.
I buried my father this year, so life continues to evolve.
I thought I was ready for it. We had time to say goodbye. I was with him when he took his last breath, as I was when my mother took hers.
I struggle.
There's a lack of connection.
I no longer have the two people who could tell me honestly that I was either fucking up, or following my dream.
It's a bit unsettling.
Going on alone.
Yes, there are friends, family. But they don't listen like your parents. They've got lives, problems of their own.
So I sit at the end of another year with my whole life ahead of me - and no damn clue on how to proceed.
Here's the rub: I start 2010 knowing I can go anywhere in the world and do anything I want. Time, age, finances and obligations have created a freedom that is never far from my consciousness.
People continue to give warning about making quick decisions. Fair, I think. But that's the thing. I know I've got the time to assess situations, taste, touch, feel different scenarios and make decisions that satisfy the gut, the heart and the mind.
I doubt 2010 will be "my year." Each year has been my year. Through pain and pleasure, each experience has brought me to the person I am here and now. Not perfect, but certainly not damaged. Always a work in progress.
"Time isn't holding us, time doesn't hold you back." The Talking Heads sang that, and it is certainly true.
Time is now. The past is memories. The future is unwritten.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are ambush, hideous and meddle.

Thing

Janice Parker has meddled in my affairs for the very last time.
Eighth grade isn’t the happiest of times to begin with, but to have a bully who is a girl? My reputation sinks like a stone. Soon, I’ll be eating my lunch with the nerds, dweebs and other assorted fuck-ups.
You can never repair damage like that. High school will be hell.
But I know a weak spot. Janice Parker has a religious affinity for fun-sized Almond Joys.
I’d seen her stuff an entire sackful – wrappers and all – in her pie hole one humid afternoon this summer at the lake.
And I think it’s the reason she’s been all over me this semester.
Fine. I’ve got a plan.
I casually toss a bag in my backpack, making sure part of it sticks out. She follows like the rat she is.
And my ambush is set.
It cost me $100, five crisp twenties from the bank, a small loan from my college fund, to secure the services of Justin Lambers, high school thug.
I walk with purpose toward the greenbelt that straddles the school, Janice in shockingly close pursuit.
Lying in wait deep into the oaks is my well-paid hoodlum, probably smoking a butt he pilfered from the folks back at the trailer park.
Janice is nearly ready to pounce when Lambers intervenes, wrapping his calloused, shop-class-worn hands around her fleshy biceps.
She protests with a string of surprisingly well-constructed obscenities while I carefully open an Almond Joy and masticate with slow purpose.
Lambers pins her arms behind her back and tells her to stop struggling. Her face turns three shades of crimson and she starts shaking violently.
In her struggles, Janice’s facial skin goes slack, then falls completely off.
Staring at us is a hideous boil of tentacles, each pus-covered stalk ending in a beady, red-tinted eyeball.
Lambers lets go and stumbles a hasty retreat in reverse.
The thing begins to quake and sheds its Janice covering across the clearing. I think she looks like a turd, with a wild shock of putrid, quaking tentacles.
I move slightly left as Lambers pisses himself and runs screaming toward town. Janice the Turd plops to the forest floor and slithers off into the underbrush, shrieking in a high-pitched, yet gurgly, whine.
“Well, that certainly explains a lot,” I say, toeing Janice’s quickly rotting fleshy overcoat.

OneWord, Clasp

The prompt at OneWord is “clasp.” What can you say in 60 seconds?
(And yes, I did some editing when the 60 was up.)

He feared many things. Crowds, enclosed spaces, spiders, all manners of human contact. He chose to live alone, as sterile as possible, making his way out only for resupply. He’d even found a career he could do from home, with no expectations to ever show up at the home office.
While safe from everyday life, his heart still yearned like a foolish schoolboy.
She did that to him, the girl at register 2 at the corner market. She was brash and fresh and openly flirted, just with him. He marveled at the piercings and tattoos, wondered what it was like to be that free.
While buying milk and cold cereal, a favorite dinner, she finally felt the time was right. She clasp a hand across his wrist, opened his hand with hers.
“Bet I can tell your future,” she said, and ran a saliva-slick finger across his palm.

Monday's slip of fiction, in 58 words

Monday. Time for a Fiction in 58.

Pixie Stix

He’s found them in an old fashioned candy store and buys as many as a dollar affords. He tucks them into his back pocket and runs to the woods.
He stops at a bend in the brook and sprinkles Pixie Stix dust into clear water. Sparks erupt across his gaze, as pixies flit and dance around the ferns.

Sunday Scribblings, Delicious

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “delicious.”

Her Cookies

The object of my considerable consternation has decided to follow me home from school.
This is what I get for being nice.
If she was a flavor of ice cream, it would be vanilla, of course. But artificially-flavored ice milk vanilla. She tended to melt into whatever background she stood up against.
Between periods, she got caught up in the great crush of the hallway, spun (thrice) and her books went flying. She sank to her knees, a pebble in a fast-current of students.
I was trailing.
And stopped to help her out, less she get swallowed.
As I handed a spiral-bound notebook back, she ran a warm, dry hand across mine, blew the hair away from her eyes and smiled.
I grabbed the hand and hoisted her to standing.
And walked away.
The notes started immediately. Loopy script with smiley faces dotting the I’s. Straight-forward prose about her life, likes. Odd stuff about dreams.
I. Didn’t. Care.
She was a half-block behind, fighting with a backpack and some foil-wrapped tray – when I quickened my pace. I thought I’d lost her within the Dykman’s hydrangea bushes, but there she was, sitting on my front porch.
She’s got a plate full of the most misshapen, burnt chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever in my life seen. My guess is that she’d not done all that well in home economics this semester.
She thrust the tray at me, looking demurely down at the wooden steps.
My only way in is to accept the offer.
I nab one, take a bite, two. Their dryness makes mastication difficult. I struggle.
She thrusts toward me a pint of skim chocolate milk, obviously pilfered from the cafeteria. I drink, greedily.
My vision grows warm, most colorful.
And she has become the most fetching woman I’d ever seen; swoon fills my heart. My temples, my cheeks, grow flush.
“Those are some pretty awesome cookies,” I say, using my best small-talk voice. “Deliciously crunchy.”
She giggles.
“You think?” she asks. “I fear the orris root oil, deer’s tongue and catnip caused the dough to get much too crisp.”

Fiction for snow shut-ins

We've had a blizzard in the Midwest, one that locked people in their homes. I have been no exception. You'd think that it would be a good time to write, but the lack of stimulation, I fear, does the opposite.
But write on, I must.

Winds of Change
Wind rattled the glass in the windows; he rattles a scoop of ice in a highball.
Winter has come in with a vengeance, killing the power and piling up drifts past window sills. The temperature inside the bungalow drops as the night wears on. Still, he does nothing. No fire in the hearth, no candles to see. He knows the path from the chair to the liquor cart.
She’s out there, he knows. Somewhere. Her mobile is in his pocket, so there’s no use in calling.
At this point, he’s not sure he cares to know her whereabouts anyway. The constant seething keeps the chill away, as does the whiskey.
He drains the glass, raises it in a toast.
“Happy anniversary,” he whispers.

OneWord, Tray

Is it me, or are these words getting harder? OneWord, a writer's prompt that counts on brevity. Today's word? Tray.

In Good Taste

She’d brought the morsels out on her grand-mama’s oblong silver tray, a bright heavy thing that threatened to engulf the tiny savory snacks arraigned on its surface.
She glided through the room, offering up the bites to her guests, who in fits of party politeness, took one.
She sensed their apprehension.
“Please, everyone, they will not bite you back,” she said. “Offal is the new black truffle of the food world.”
One hearing that, the guests munched heartily on all the nasty bits once reserved for the underclass.
And she wondered if Jeffrey would have been offended that they’d balked at his obvious good taste.

Wednesday's 3WW

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are hinder, journey and rigid.

Journey
My father sits at the kitchenette, drinking strong black tea in a chipped China cup.
Next to the door is a steamer trunk, ancient and slightly moldy smelling; it’s massive brass latches dulled from abuse.
Before I can inquire, father tells me that he and my mother have a expedition ahead of them. He tells of a long, winding road, an odyssey of heartbreak and toil. And suffering. Lots and lots of suffering.
“I’m not going?”
“Too dangerous,” he says, fishing lemon seeds from the bitter tea.
Before I can protest, father puts up a rigid hand, wags a single digit, signaling that the conversation is over.
I slump over a small plate of soggy toast.
Father checks his watch, stands, takes a broom and begins tapping manically at the ceiling. Mother responds with her own Morse code, heavy stomps coming from someone so diminutive.
Thunderous footfalls echo down the stairwell.
She’s dressed in bush garb, gauzy tans and light browns. On her feet are old-style waffle-stomper boots, heavy black lug soles and acres of brown leather tied closed with jaunty red laces. On her head, a pith helmet with a built-in mini fan.
She wears no makeup, just a mask of singular resolve.
She assesses the scene, gauges the tension swirling around the table.
“Honey, the journey will be protracted, it will be treacherous and I’m afraid you’ll just be a hindrance.”
My upper lip begins to quiver.
Father takes the opportunity to cuff me across the scalp, throwing static cowlicks in the wake of his open fist.
“Boy, we’re protecting you from all manner of unknown dangers,” he says.
“Alas, yes,” mother says, smoothing my hair with tiny kisses. “You know how the mall can get around the holidays.”

OneWord, Wallpaper

OneWord is an experiment in short, short fiction. Nanofiction. The site gives yo ua word, and you've 60 seconds to write. Tough word this click. It's wallpaper.

Since her fathered traveled (and her mother had passed), they’d for months been setting up parties at her house. She’d melt into the background, watching other teens get shit-faced, have sex, get sick. She’d had enough. Next party, she’d convinced many of them, at $20 a head, that there was LSD hidden in the wallpaper pattern of the dining room. Shrieks rang out as teens licked the walls clean, talking about seeing stars, shapes.
She tipped back a beer and marveled at the pure power of suggestion.

Flash Fiction in the form of a 58

Fifty-eight words, that is. A Fiction in 58.

Bisque
He thought about calling over the waiter, since there was something definitely swimming in his lobster bisque. He spooned off the succulent meat to a small plate, went fishing into the saffron-colored soup. With a squeak, he’d pinned the offender to the bowl side. As he expected, a sea fairy had been brought up from the depths.

Pardon the lateness of this fiction

I've been terribly busy. And this has been rumbling away in the cortex of my brain pan.

Love Child

Uncle Tupelo was playing on the car stereo when she broke down, spilled the news in a choke of snot and tears.
The baby wasn’t mine.
Sudden heat flushes my cheeks and the sudden impulse is to swing a backhand at her cheek. The temptation passes and I settled on an appropriate response: I grab her upper arm, squeeze. Tight enough to mean something, light enough not to leave a bruise.
“Watch the road,” she says, wiping a sleeve across her reddened nose.
In a swell of emotions, I’ve let the car drift toward the rumble strips on the centerline. I let the car coast toward the shoulder, still seething. Sucking my teeth in an attempt to wet my throat.
“What did you say?” I croak.
She beats fists against denim thighs, her thumbs hooked into the sleeves of one of my thermal undershirts she likes to pilfer from my dresser.
“The baby, it’s not…it wasn’t yours.”
I let my fingers splay across the steering wheel, then grip tight. The leather cover lets out a squeak in protest.
“Tell me more.”
Fresh tears steamed down her cheeks, taking with them most of her mascara. She sucks back a fresh stream of mucus, hiccups.
“If it was yours, I would have kept it,” she says, defiant.
I put on the blinker, check the mirror, merge back onto the two-lane blacktop, which has faded into a sad, dingy gray.
We’re headed to her parent’s cabin. We’ve escaped the city, the clinic, with provisions, soothing music, warm clothing. I’ve shopped meticulously at the grocery, anticipating her every need; her every want.
My cheeks flush as I consider the folly.
She puts a wobbly hand on my bare forearm. Her hands are dry, hot.
The leather steering wheel cover lets out a squeak.
Back up six weeks.
“I’m late.”
Two of the worst words that can be paired in the English language.
But I love(d) her and professed support, a passionate marriage proposal, hopes for a future together. I’d not been scared, pissed. Joy vibrated in my heart.
She’s 28; I’m 48.
The pavement rumbled. The silence between us did as well.
I inhale deeply at the turnoff onto gravel.
“Whose is it?”
She’s resting her head on the cool glass; there’s been a reprieve in tears, nasal buildup. She hiccups again, as breaths gather in her chest. A fresh stream turns on, hot.
“Doesn’t matter now, does it?”
I stop a bit short, send gravel tinkling into the wheel wells.
She’s opened the door and rushes the plank door before I can turn the key in the ignition and kill the engine.
The steering wheel protests against my kung-fu death grip.
Lights slowly come on in the cabin. Smoke begins to billow from the cobble-and-concrete chimney.
With her door open, a chill fills the car. I’ve lost all cabin pressure. Decompression. It’s just as well.
Deep breaths. Several in sequence.
I toss the door open, stand, stretch. Look toward the softly lit windows.
More deep breaths.
I gather the bags, the carefully selected groceries. I finger the CD mixtape I’ve made for the occasion, which I’ve hidden in hip pocket of my sport coat.
My hand rests on a the wrought iron door handle.
I toss the door open.
She’s wrapped in a quilt that from the doorway smells slightly musty, but in a good way. There’s a hint of pine and wood smoke in the air, too.
“Are you hungry?”
She nests a little deeper in the quilt, shakes her head ever so slightly in the negative.
“Tell me when your ready…for anything,” I say, fighting back tears of my own.

OneWord, Mailbox

A tough one over at OneWord. It's mailbox. Sixty seconds and go:

Biggs was setting up for the next wave of controlled riots. Central was ready to release the month's food ration chits, and they were going to be reduced by 33 percent. People were going to take to the streets.
Windows were hung, vehicles rolled out over fire suppression stations. he'd scattered the last of the bricks when he passed the mailbox. That big, old, a hunching piece of metal.
It never ceased to amaze him that it was here. You couldn't dent it, damage it. What good was it, in this controlled riot zone?

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are bleak, hiccup and queer.

Time Machine

I return from the university to find my parents have converted my room into a massive time machine.
Orange power cords run everywhere, to every wall socket and snake down the hallway and disappear down the steps.
Two gunmetal gray pods sit in the center of the room and from inside each, greenish lights pulsate like a living, breathing thing. Everything hums with an eerie, metallic tone.
My furniture has been pushed haphazard against walls and I notice they’ve managed to tear nearly in half my vintage Betty Page poster.
I’m incensed.
I stomp down to the kitchen to protest and discover my parents huddled over rolls of blueprints and schematics.
Dad’s clumsily writing a column of numbers down a legal pad, checking them against a slide rule. Mother has my father’s rough and hairy hands resting on his shoulders.
He’s dressed in mother’s favorite floral sundress, tufts of chest hair sprouting from the swell of my mother’s buxom bosom. Mother’s dressed in a black wool pants, dad’s Oxford shirt (tie loosened at the neck like he likes it) and every so often, she glides his nervous hand across her face, smoothing his bushy mustache under her delicate, upturned nose.
And I notice why he’s having such a hard time writing. His hands are slight, graceful and boney – their my mother’s – and he’s gripping a mechanical pencil in her French-manicured fingers. He’s trying to scrawl with his left, mother’s dominate hand. He’s a righty.
The queerness of the scene leaves me lightheaded, nauseous.
“What in the living hell?” I manage to squeak in protest.
They both look up, startled, and seem a bit guilty.
“There have been hiccups, no doubt about it,” she says, in dad’s rich baritone. “But it’s always bleakest before the dawn, dear. We’re working through all the transmogrifications.”

OneWord, Pine

The word prompt over at OneWord is “pine.”
What can you say in 60 seconds?

The smell of fresh pine did nothing for her.
The metal blade of the shovel kept scratching at the frozen soil and every time she hit a rock, it made a screech that made her grind her teeth.
How dare he bring her all the way up here? Into the woods, for chrissakes?
“Cozy little getaway, my ass,” she thought, as another meager shovelful of earth joined the growing pile.
It wasn’t her fault that he’d had a heart attack and keeled over.
And no, she wasn’t about to go down with this sinking ship.

Monday's Fiction in 58

It’s Monday, I’m off work and need to run errands. Time for a Fiction in 58.

Argument
He thinks in stereo. That’s what he says.
It stops her cold, he’d bet on that.
He’s badly outmatched.
“Wait, what?”
“Twenty four tracks, all going at the same time.”
“That still doesn’t excuse leaving the baby in a sinkfull of tepid water.”
“It’s not like she died or anything,” and cringes as the words come tumbling out.

A Saturday burst of fiction

And it came out all tender and sweet. Huh.

Instrument
Her wish was that their daughter be introduced to music. She’d told him her hope, her desire, clutching his hands tight as the cancer coursed through her body.
Their daughter had reached an age that seemed appropriate. He readied her for the music fair at school, told her she could pick any instrument she felt a connection. It was an indulgence, but his wife would have wanted it that way.
The hope was she’d pick the violin, or maybe the flute.
At worst, she’d find her muse in the clarinet, or the oboe, which he knew nothing about and always thought looked vaguely vulgar.
She walked by various teachers, being courteous to their questions, stopping once and again to touch brass, wood. She lingered for a time with the cellist, and he worried that the heft of the instrument would be too much so soon.
But she smiled and skipped away into where the percussionists were gathered. He froze, imagined the thumping headaches he’d suffer through those practices. She breezed through percussion and stopped. He watched as she clutched her tiny hands to her chest and nodded.
She stared at the harp, its massiveness relegated to a corner of the gym where there was little foot traffic.
The harpist let her run her fingers across the strings, talked about the grace of such a large and intimidating instrument.
He scratched at his hairline and wondered about finances, transportation, storage. She looked at him with puppy eyes and a thin, pleading smile.
“Honey, are you sure?”
“Oh, but daddy, yes,” she said. “I can make music for angels.”

Options

Unlike the past, the future held choices. Bright opportunities. He could choose which path to take, it would be his decision to move forward, not simply to leap from another sinking ship.
Yet there was a comfort in his situation, a dullness that had weight. He could choose to wrap up with it, deal with the things he didn’t like and move in growing, silent desperation.
One path was the scariest, filled with the most risk. A big place where people often went to seek fortune and fame. He lusted for the bright lights, but feared that his talent would only carry so.
Another was less risk, a return to a life he understood. A reconnection with the natural world in a place that had gone missing on the prairie.
The options – oh, there would be others – didn’t freeze him. He calculated what could be done, and when. He made plans, considered all the options.
He bid time, which he had.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The prompt words over at Three Word Wednesday are grave, lithe and offend.

Meat Locker
Smoke hangs over her head, gray storm clouds building each time she exhales a lungful of air.
Despite the baggy clothing, she’s lithe, slick, boyish. She hides her angles to them to heighten the allure. She powders her face, applies a little rouge, re-applies black lipstick. She hates her lips, their thinness, and makes a face.
She runs a quick hand though her dark hair, which a friend has cut short. A precaution out here, when you have to run, there’s nothing to grab onto. Same goes for her clothing; the volume allows for a quick egress when trouble finds her.
She’s trolling tonight. The other ladies, all dressed to flash like neon, hurl insults in hopes of driving her away. She is not offended.
She owns this block.
The men come to admire the tarts, ogle the flesh, but fall for her androgyny.
She’s careful, this one, and she hunts quickly.
The trick is old, she likes them mature, and follows as she walks into the dimness of the alley.
She’s chosen this particular block for its proximity to the warehouse district. She tells them it’s more fun in a warehouse, the echoes amplifing her desires.
She opens the door and for a brief instant, a hint of decay. Old blood spilled, haplessly cleaned.
She unbuckles his pants, yanks them to his knees. She’s rough about it, and moves his jacket down his arms. His hands disappear just as he reaches for her.
And in that moment, he’s vulnerable.
She flicks the straight razor open, drags it across his throat. She’s strong, this one, and the razor bites deep. His eyes go wide as he drops to his knees.
She stands clear of the spray, forcing herself to keep eye contact. It’s important they know who did this, who ended them.
He falls into a heap, the last nerves firing into jerky twitches.
She grabs his greasy hair and drags him to a locked metal door. She’s quick with the key and opens the meat locker.
Her chilly grave for the bastards who cut up her mother.

OneWord - Enhance

The prompt word at OneWord was “enhance.” Creative writing in 60 seconds.

She was bandaged head-to-toe in gauzy white, the recent recipient of a comprehensive makeover. This wasn’t some check-under-the-hood, kick the tires kind of enhancement. This was the real-deal.
She was eager to see the results, so when the techs weren’t looking, she pulled back the bandages on her arm and gazed at slick, green scales.
And she tried to scream.

Monday's Fiction in 58

Retail
She works retail, which isn’t so bad, she thinks. The staccato hours cut into time with friends and the manager’s a real jerk, but there’s a paycheck every two weeks and a decent discount on clothing. Folding overpriced T-shirts wasn’t as lofty as her childhood goals, princess or ballerina, but it beat the alternative: Hooters waitress or stripper.

Sunday Scribblings, Weird

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is weird.

Lunch

You could tell it was alive from the various noises that emanated from it: a burst of belches, an occasional snore, wet and ominous farts and the ragged intake and expelling of breath.
You could surmise that it might be female, since a huge swell of what only could be breasts rose and fell with each mouthful of air.
It was dressed head-to-toe in filthy layers of cotton clothing, topped off with a mink coat that suffered from mange. On its feet were miss-matched boots, one a woman’s slip-on boot in leather and fringed with sheepskin, the other an ancient Doc Martin 8-eye combat boot, the black scuffed and worn into natty gray.
It sat on a bench near the vending machines, on a popular stop on the A Line.
And this being Gotham, natives were content to ignore the lump and blissfully go about their day without a care.
It was the tourists, especially those drawn to the bright lights of the big city from rural confines that it hunted.
He stumbled down to the platform, studying a subway map in one hand and clutching a unlimited rail card in the other.
The slap of leather on the concrete steps perked up its auxiliary antennae.
He wore a I (HEART) Gotham T-shirt over a short-sleeved light blue oxford shirt completed with a clumsy knotted maroon tie.
He shuffled the camera around his neck - a film camera no less – slung it to the small of his back and stuffed the subway map into the back of his Sansabelt slacks. He fumbled with his change, bending toward the soda machine to gauge his choices.
“Spare your change?” it said, thrusting a knit-mitten covered appendage forward and jingled loose change in a blue-and-white paper coffee cup.
He sighed, pocketed enough for his drink and stepped forward to drop the rest into the cup.
Its great jaws unlocked and in an instant, tentacles shot from the bulk and wrapped themselves around his wrists, ankles. It was so quick, he’d not had time to scream, as his scuffed penny loafers slipped down its gullet.
A wet gurgle rumbled from the lump, which began to squirm and shake.
And under the mink, a damp I (HEART) Gotham shirt appeared, along with a moist pair of khaki Sansabelts, tied at its waist with a maroon necktie, flecked with gold fleur-de-lis.

OneWord - Pedal

Here's a OneWord response to the prompt, "pedal." It's fiction, in 60 seconds.

She pushed the pedal with a the flat part of her very stylist heel, felt the sports car respond like a thoroughbred under her legs. The increased vibration was a turn-on too, she could feel the power in her loins, in the swell of her breasts.
She smiled a sly smile and licked her lips. She pushed down even further on the pedal.
The engine responded, and the increased noise of doing 120 mph finally drown out the muffled protests of her would-be suitor, coming from the very tiny trunk.

From the archive

This is one of the earliest flash fiction pieces I penned during a rebirth into the medium. It needed to be dug out, dusted off, for you fine folks.

Icicle views
Icicles hang like glass from frozen gutters.
Snow blankets things like the mower, the good summer Adirondacks. Frozen in time. A time ago.
This is my view, from the kitchen window.
Where I am frozen, too.
Boot prints still echo in the snow, up the path to the mailbox. Where the envelope came.
Not so long ago? I can’t remember now.
I just know that this view is getting monotonous. Cold.
And the handgun’s nickel-metal finish is now warm against my hip.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are fondle, kick and sumptuous.

Breasts

I wake from a strange and unsettling dream to discover I have breasts.
Sumptuous, womanly breasts. It’s my pale skin alright, but rising from my narrow chest are two perfectly round, perfectly beautiful titties. Firm, perky with dark aureoles and nipples like pencil erasers.
Slowly, I run a tentative hand across the nipples, then employ both hands to cup my new jahoobies. The curve of the flesh is a revelation. These knockers have heft and their warmth feels wonderful in my hands.
And thus I find no self-control; I can’t stop fondling myself.
Mother calls up the stairs and breaks my concentration.
I pull on a bulky hoody to hide my new boobs, squeezing my fleshly funbags a few more times for good measure, and rumble down the stairs.
At the breakfast table, mother wears a horrified mask of disgust. Dad has been blessed with endowments of his own, and he’s got his hooters sticking out of his unbuttoned work shirt.
“Ain’t this a kick?” dad says, running his calloused hands over the creamy white skin of his own wondrous rack.

OneWord - Fold

OneWord is a prompt that asks, "what can you do with one word - and 60 seconds?"
Good question. The word? "Fold."

If this was poker, he would have folded long ago. But as it was, she'd called his bluff. It was either go big, or go home. So he went all-in.
"I love you too," he said.
It pleased her to no end.
Still, he kept his cards close to his chest.