The Kiss That Melts All Restraint

Artist Marco Ortolan;

Four-line Flash Fiction:

After a long, steamy shower that had washed all her cares away, Lucerne patted her bare feet across the cool tiled kitchen floor heading to the bedroom.

A warm cotton patterned blanket, the only thing she could find in his bathroom closet besides towels, wrapped around her slim shoulders over her naked body.

“I can’t thank you enough for your kindness to me,” she said to him, her eyes sparkling in his dimly lit kitchen, her heart bursting with longing for him, “for letting me stay overnight.”

Finally all barriers, all restraint, between them had melted away as he glided right up to her, scooping her into his arms, kissing her with fervent passion, the touch of their lips finding its prurience in their voltaic dance of ecstasy.

The Call of the Cicada

Artist Glen Orbik; photo: pinterest

Artist Glen Orbik; photo: pinterest

Romantic flash fiction:

Under the enigmatic glow of the moon behind a thin veil of clouds, the night had a voice to it. It was the melodic persistent hum of cicadas that lived in the trees and called out a thousand names to a thousand lovers. The air was murky with the humidity of July and the lustful heat that coursed through the cicada choir surged in me, too. It had been too long since I had last seen my lover, and having given up and taken a walk from which I had yet to return, I was searching, pining for answers in a world that cared very little about whether or not one found any.

Almost immediately after the rain storm had passed, the street still slick with puddles that reflected the moonlight above, I meandered into the parking lot of the Lonefort Motel. With my backpack slung haphazardly over my shoulder, I felt the weight of exhaustion and leaned on the boomerang taillight of a Chrysler DeSoto to catch my breath, grateful to find this place out in the middle of nowhere, a part of the country I had yet to explore.

I dug into my pocket and pulled out my last bunch of coins, counting them in my soiled, calloused, and well-traveled hands. I exhaled a hard sigh of relief. Just enough for a room for the night. Come morning, I would have to look for work. Without it, I’d starve.

Then I heard a voice nearby. It was faint at first, but as I concentrated on it, it became clearer. A woman’s voice. But she wasn’t speaking. She was weeping.

Not knowing if it was an emergency, my heart raced, and I quickly shuffled around the cars nearby, looking through the windows of the cars for any sign of her. Finally, I almost fell over her sitting on the pavement below the driver’s side door of a Plymouth.

What I saw stunned me in my tracks. Beautiful blonde hair as bright as the sun, and deep, sorrowful brown eyes that peered up at me with wonder. She sat on the wet pavement cross-legged in jeans rolled up to her calves and barefoot.

“Pardon me, Ma’am,” I said, nodding slightly like a gentleman. “Are you alright?”

Sorrow seemed to burn in her heart and I could tell by sympathizing and peering deeply into her eyes that she just wanted someone to talk to.

“I’m finished,” she managed to say before a wave of fresh tears trickled down her cheeks. “It’s all over for me. He’s left me here and he’s never coming back.”

My heart broke for her, knowing we were both in a similar lover’s bind. I pulled out the one item that was still clean in my front shirt pocket, a neatly folded handkerchief, and handed it to her. She looked up at me as if I were an angel and accepted it gratefully.

Taking a seat on the pavement next to her, I crossed my legs, too, and shared my story with her – all of it – hoping it would make her feel better, not wishing to dump my sorrows out on her as well. But I couldn’t help it. I had been wanting to tell someone, anyone, about the hurt I felt, the broken heart that always seemed to weep and never stop weeping for the one I so desperately loved but had never loved me in return.

After a couple of hours of talking, we had learned much about each other. I learned that her name was Victoria Iris and that she had run away from an abusive family when she was younger, only to fall into the deceitful arms of the wrong guy. But sharing her story with me had taken all of the remaining energy she had left, and with her head resting in my lap, she drifted into a sound sleep right there in the parking lot.

As she slept, I marveled at the way destiny had a way of bringing two broken lives together and making them whole. With gentle fingers, I brushed loose strands of hair away from her face and let her sleep for a while.

When I opened my eyes again, the sun was peaking through the trees, the smell of dawn was in the air, and the sound of the cicadas had softened. Had we sat in the parking lot all night? She was still there in my lap – Victoria Iris, the woman I thought I had only dreamed about – sleeping as peacefully as ever.

Good, I smiled to myself. The change in my pocket would be just enough to buy her breakfast.

Countdown to a Kiss

Artist Jac Mars - photo:

Artist Jac Mars – photo:

Romantic short story:

As snowflakes drifted from the night sky, we nestled close on the park bench overlooking the partially frozen lake. Far in the distance, beyond the snow-covered hills that glowed in the night, the town of Glenwater stood in silent reverence, its village glistening with lights from houses that sparkled like diamonds. Even at this hour, people were awake, and rightly so. In less than ten minutes, a new year would be upon us. A hawkish breeze drifted across our laps and I held Marietta to me, feeling her warmth mingle with mine.

She held me tight and lovingly gazed up into my eyes. Her nose and cheeks were gleaming red from the cold, but I felt her entire body relax under my arms as she sighed contentedly. “I’m getting sleepy out here. Couldn’t we pretend it was midnight and go home?”

“I promised you a show, darling,” I replied tenderly, “and that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”

“Well, then,” she said, resting her head on my chest and closing her eyes. “Wake me up when it starts.”

I chuckled. “No, no, you’re not going to miss this. Come on, sit up. I promise it will be worth your while.”

When she sat up and faced me, with her round delicate cheeks and soft full lips so close to mine, her smile overwhelmed me, and I wanted nothing more than to kiss her with all of my might right then and there. When I moved in for it, she stopped me with a gloved finger to my lips. “Save it for midnight,” she whispered.

I nodded reluctantly, feeling like I was told I had to keep the embers of the fire simmered until the appropriate time, but my heart was beating faster and I could hardly wait to embrace her with my lips. Quickly I pulled off my watch and placed it on my lap so that we could both see its face. Seven more unbearably long minutes.

Suddenly I had an idea. It seemed to come from somewhere outside of me but also from somewhere deep within the chambers of my heart. I turned to her so abruptly that she lurched back as a natural defense. “What is it?” she asked.

I took her gloved hand in mine and interlaced the fingers. “I have an idea. Let’s start a new tradition, something that we can always do just before midnight of the New Year, every year, for the rest of our lives.” I waited a moment for her reaction.

“I’m listening,” she smiled attentively.

“Just before midnight, exactly one minute before,” I explain, “I want to tell you as quickly as I can, in as many words as I can in 60 seconds, how much you have meant to me in the past year and how much you mean to me right now. I’ll pour my heart out to you, telling you everything and holding nothing back. It will be like leaving this year with no regrets, looking forward and not behind.”

She was silent, her eyes sparkling with delight. “And then?”

“And then,” I continued, “at midnight I’ll kiss you like the world’s going to end, like it’s my last chance on earth to kiss you and hold you and tell you how much you mean to me. And when we kiss, we celebrate leaving and we celebrate entering a new phase of our lives together, forever.”

She turned and looked out over the lake, staying silent, a grin resting neatly on her beautiful face.

“So, what do you think?” I asked.

“I think,” she replied, “we’ll have to add another minute.” When I looked at her and frowned in confusion, she said, “For my turn.”

I smiled. “Deal.”

“Speaking of which,” she said, nodding to my watch, “it’s approaching that time.”

“Ladies first?”

“Absolutely,” she replied. “Okay, here goes,” she said, inhaling a heavy breath of cold winter air. “This year has been the greatest year of my life. Because of you. Everything I’ve ever wanted, you became for me. You comforted me when my aunt was in the hospital. You were there when I was frightened to give that speech to the executives, but you practiced with me and encouraged me and I never could have done it without you. You have been the best friend I have always wanted and … Is that a minute already? I love you, I love you, I… oh, all right, my time’s up. Your turn.”

“Sixty seconds to midnight,” I said excitedly. “God, what do I say? What do I say in such a short time to the person who means the entire world to me and if I literally counted the ways I would be talking for well over a week? Marietta, you always show me that anything is possible because I see and feel a fire in your heart of passion and genuine goodness. You have the kind of courage that I could only dream of. I see it in the way you act and speak and when you look at me with those bright beautiful eyes. God, I love your eyes. Your smile. I melt every time I look at you. I feel like the luckiest man alive because I know you and I love you. Ten seconds…” I had to say more. This wasn’t enough time! My speaking increased its pace as did my breathing and my pulse that beat like a jack rabbit. “I love you, Marietta. I love you with everything that’s in me and if I could do this year a million times over, I would go back and live it all again. Only because I could be with you…”

“Three,” she whispered as tears trickled down her cheeks. “Two… one.”

“Happy new year,” we whispered to each other as the snow around us descended in gentle taps. Our lips met and merged into one and I felt like a flash of light was bursting through my entire body as long as we were connected like this. Our tongues met like plumes of ocean waves, pushing against the other but molding to each other’s shape. We kissed for as long as we could before we could no longer ignore the show before us.

From the small town of Glenwater, fireworks lit up the night sky, casting a brilliant reflection upon the icy lake. We turned to watch the dazzling display of colors burst over the lake with every pop and bang. They appeared so close that we felt like we could reach out and touch them. Then we kissed some more and neither one of us spoke for a long time after that, simply being and enjoying each other’s company on the park bench with a view, that first day of the rest of our lives.

It is now almost fifty years later, and I think back to that day when our new tradition first began all those years ago. Now I hold Marietta’s frail hand at her bedside. For days now she hasn’t been able to speak, her mind lost somewhere in the coma in which she has slipped, and tears well in my eyes.

I turn slowly to the clock on the wall. Almost midnight. I take a shaky breath as I prepare to give my final minute speech of how much she has meant to me this year. I know that somewhere inside of her, she will be able to hear me, so I start in on how much I love her and always have. My words echo those from that very first day we started this run, “I love you, Marietta. I love you with everything that’s in me and if I could live this life a million times over, I would go back and live it all again. Only because I could be with you…” I choke up at the last words, unable to continue through my tears. Finally, I manage to whisper, “three… two… one.” Outside the window, I hear cheers and the popping of fireworks. I lean in and kiss her lips, still warm on mine.

And somehow or some way that I can not explain, her chest suddenly lifts with a great inhale and when she exhales, she opens her eyes. My jaw drops as I look at her in stunned silence.

That beautiful smile that I love so much grows over her face. “Happy new year, my love,” she whispers.

Again and Forever

Artist Morgan Kane; photo:

Artist Morgan Kane; photo:

Romantic Flash Fiction 10:

The summer breeze has a warm tenderness to it. The way it wafts ever so gently over the leaves of the forest, the trees waving back with their playful frolic. Crooning birds lift up their voices to distant friends with melodies familiar to these woods, and a stream over rocks delivers its part in the symphony of the timberland. Woven into the tapestry among the bushes and green, wildlife rustles and teems and plays its game of survival, searching for breakfast in the early morning.

She stops at the water’s edge, her heart stammering with excitement like the awakening life of nature around her. The lake is surrounded by forest trees on all sides and seems out-of-place, as if in a dream, a mirage or illusion that manifested itself from her imagination.

She watches him with bated breath as he rises out of the water, walking toward her, the water off his skin glistening in the sun, sizzling in the summer heat. Their eyes meet and sparks fly once again.

She knew she’d find him here. He had been missing for days. Rumor had it that he’d been living off the wild, hunting, fishing, gathering berries, surviving out here. Now she knows it’s true. He’s alive. That’s all that matters to her. Or is there more? She never expected to miss him so much, never expected to fall so hard for him.

Like a runner at a starting line, she waits, her breath and heart rate swelling with the heat from the morning sun’s rays. Finally she can take it no longer, and she rushes into the water, throwing off all inhibitions and exploding with passion from the place in her soul that wants him and has to have him.

She catches hold of him, and he grasps her with strong hands that could hold her for an eternity. And they kiss. Long, warm, and spirited with everything they have and everything they are.

“My love,” she says. “Kiss me again.”

“Again,” he says, his lips finding her exposed neck, “and forever.”