F is for Flagging, Fatigued and Finished


F is for Flagging, Fatigued and Finished.

Today is day 6 of the AtoZ blogging challenge and it is a day that has kicked my butt. I am exhausted, so for today please accept my apologies for no new story. I can’t believe I’m missing the opportunity to use “fetish”..I really am done.

As a thought let me put this forth, F is also for Family and Friend, but what if they are one in the same? I have frequently lamented the lack of language to denote the importance of found family. Many people I know have people they consider family that share no blood, but there are no words that I know of to get that across. Friendship is often dismissed when confronted with the idea of “family”, they are not on par with one another when it comes to triageing time spent and obligations . I have run into this issue, because my partners have had family that always took precedence, and I have had friendships questioned over bad over because somehow that was allowable. I would never question someones loyalty to a loved one, and I have never understood this idea.

How do you define the indefinable? What do you call the Aunts and Uncles to your children,  that are your sisters and brothers by heart, if not blood? I bet there is a German word for this, there is always a German word…

Just a thought. I hope all of ya’ll are having a great time with this challenge. When I can keep my eyes ope, I love doing it. Have any of you made friends and connections from it?


PS Recently I have been able to refer clients to one of my oldest friend’s law practice and she has done right by each one. That’s all great and stuff, but the point is we are grown-ups and have been friends since age 10 and every time we do some grown-ass shit, I feel like we’re gonna get caught out and someone will call us out for playing at this whole grown-up thing. When I have to send her official legal documents, I try to put Winnie the Poo stickers on the envelopes because i know it will make her smile. Most days I am still surprised I’m an adult.










Eli surreptitiously checked himself out, in the reflection of the glass before he went into the restaurant. Nothing seemed glaringly out-of-place but the surface was not a perfect mirror, so how could he really be sure. He couldn’t of course. He had done all the usual things, a mint for his breath, no spinach or other foods that might lead to teeth snafus and gone over the dating sites Top Ten First Date Mistakes. He had at least 10 conversation starters if there was a lull, plus questions he prepared if he got nervous and couldn’t think of anything off the cuff.  Was that normal? Did he remember antiperspirant?

He followed the large woman with the proportionately large gold bag into the restaurant, remembering to shift his shoulders back to give an impression of confidence and self-esteem.  He was early of course, he was always early. He had to create diversions at home so he wouldn’t be too early, but he was still there 15 minutes before the meet-up time of 7pm. He waited behind the large gold bag lady as she spoke to the hostess and was then lead to her party’s table int he back left corner. He watched as she was greeted by a tall thin man who stood up as she arrived. He kissed her on the cheek and gave her a hug. Both fo them were beaming. Eli saw the woman’s face for the first time and noticed that she was attractive int he way some women of a certain weight can be, they could carry it well, or maybe they were just comfortable in their flesh, he never knew. She had round cheeks that were blushing at the words the tall man was saying, a smile stretched across her face, suddenly making her pretty. They laughed and sat down across from one another


” I’m sorry” Eli started and came back to himself, realizing that it was probably not the first time the young hostess had tried to get his attention while he stared at strangers. Pretty, too much eye make-up, too young, his brain quickly categorized the girl and then followed her. Nice to look upon, but probably barely out of her diapers.

She led him to a table that was at an angle from the older couple he had been so intent upon. He thanked the girl, sat down and pulled out his tablet to check work emails, but couldn’t resist checking the couple out again. He could tell they were on a date. They were flirting, laughing and arguing over menu choices in the way people did just for the joy of trading soft barbs. Eli wondered if he would still be dating when he was their age, which looked to be at least a decade beyond his mid-thirty vantage point. Neither of them seemed awkward, their conversation seemed to flow like water and each of them had some part of them touch the other; a finger, hand or knee constantly found its way to brush or bump into the other. Eli recognized the dance, he could sing the lyrics, but somehow the two never got together and made the perfect kind of moment he was witnessing, where everything was as it should be and neither party was conscious of every syllable and body language cue. He often felt as if he was following all the directions to the letter yet was always a few steps behind, stepping on toes and confused about what just happened.

“..and never the twain shall meet..” he heard the words come out of his mouth just was the noticed the hostess heading his way, another guest trailing behind her.

From behind the young hostess emerged a woman he recognized from her pictures online. In the pictures she looked different, but he Vital_Partners_dating_etiquette2supposed he did too.  She was curvy in the way that men loved but women often doubted on themselves. She had dark hair that  hung straight and shining to just below her shoulders, which she was nervously pushing behind her ears.  She wore what he had identified as “date” clothes, a skirt and blouse with a cardigan and paired with a nice looking medium height heel, that wasn’t too dressy or too revealing or too conservative. He recognized it because he wore the male version of the same uniform as advised  by various dating articles. What was good research without reading the corresponding data from the other side?


At first he couldn’t see her face, until she seemed to remember the same rules he had read and lifted her face as she too, straightened her shoulders and raised her head to greet him with an almost certain smile.

Her round eyes were that nebulous shade of hazel that never seemed to make a decision between green and brown.  He noticed a small collection of freckles dusted the bridge of her nose as a mouth that was just slightly too wide and full to fall within he median, smiled and turned her plain yet pretty enough face into a thing of beauty.

Eli reached out and grasped her outstretched hand in a not to firm grip to find the same barely there clamminess that is own nervousness often produced.

“Hi, Eli? I’m Olive, it’s nice to meet you”

The sat down, perused menus, chatted and her hand brushed his. He looked over and saw the older couple leaning in to one another, oblivious to the rest of the world and smiled.




Lucy liked to sing in the store while she shopped, and enjoyed the odd looks when she broke into a little booty shaking in the aisles.  With Pandora on shuffle, a list in hand and a plan of attack, this had become a weekly ritual right along with laundry and picking her daughter up and getting ice cream on Fridays after school.

She liked the smiles she got and outright laughter when she was a little too loud and slightly off-key or doing a little dance to music only she could hear, though this wasn’t always the case. She had been taught to be quieter, because she was always too loud, to laugh softly when she brayed like a donkey and to just tone all of “this” down. She was too abrasive, too passionate, too everything. From her childhood to her marriage, she had been told to be a little less than herself, or a lot less really.

It took Lucy much too long to realize she had let people tell her these things and it had been her choice to change for them. That look in the mirror had been rough, but she had decided changes must be made, quickly. She started small, and this act of song and dance, this small act of inappropriate behavior was one of her first acts of bravery. What did people think of her? What would they say about her? She didn’t want people o look at her and think she was strange, that she wasn’t normal.  Why couldn’t she just be normal??


Yet Lucy hated stores and shopping but she loved music and dancing, so she decided to try the latter to negate the former as an experiment and tiny act of rebellion.

At first it was hard and she stopped moving if someone joined her in the  aisle and  started whispering under her breath if they were within earshot. Sometimes she completely failed and became silent and still like everyone else around her, like a normal girl, but she kept at it. Soon, she realized she was making more people smile than frown and she caught them singing along, winking or trying to catch her when she passed them. She realized that they were laughing with her and not at her and the perception she had of herself and the the world she lived in, shifted on its axis just enough to let more light through.

As she sang and helped an older man get a collection of bottled water into his cart, he thanked her and smiled with her.

Much larger changes came after, many were still in process now, but this small thing that most wouldn’t consider an act of the utmost bravery, made her heart sing along with her voice every time she did it.



Cherished (Adult Content)


“Why are you here?”

“I need to be hurt”

I hurt him.

With gentleness I stripped the clothes off his body, as he trembled, kissing and darting my tongue out as the urge struck me. His breath was already sharp and jagged as I smoothed his hair away and tied a soft scarf over his eyes.

With care I wrapped his wrists in soft, supple leather restraints. With affection I strung him upon the steel bar that spanned the high, wide doorway that allowed me to have access to every inch of his skin.

I hurt him

With love I marked him. Floggers of varied makes  and weight warmed his back, slowly increasing the depth of red raised skin.  I created wings along his shoulder blades, made of burning lines he thanked me for. Practiced aim and a dragons tail  whip left gorgeous triangular patterns on the muscles that braced his spine.

I loved him

I saw his walls, the limits he thought he had hit. I petted the lovely pain I gave him, my lips traced his wounds with oh so soft kisses. I circled him, caressed his face with tenderness and whispered of his safety with me. Give it to me, let me take all of the pain for you my love, let me shoulder this for you. I will keep you safe when you fall to pieces.

I brought him close to breaking from pain, from pleasure, from love until there was nothing left

I broke my beautiful boy and deftly put him back together again.

One tear , one touch, one word of love at a time.

I licked the tears from his cheeks, digging nails into wounds while he could not resist the haven between my legs.

He loved me.

I poured water over him, washing every inch of him clean.

I baptized him in our private rite of cruelty and care..

I cherished him.




Beautiful Curses


The light was bright yet diffused through the white sheet they hid beneath. Her mother was lying upon her side, her body making a space for the little girl to be. The little girl never felt she was where she should be, except in the rare moments here, a fragile place of temporary respite.

Their foreheads rested against one another’s and the little girl breathed in the breaths her Mother gave into the world, giving her own back,  creating a cycle of secret, safe proximity. One of her Mother’s arms bent beneath her, so that her palm cupped the little girls cheek. Her free arm held the little girl close, pale fingers drawing soft circles on the little girls bare back. Every so often her fingers would find a spot that they decided to massage and sooth. The little girl could hear the comforting crash of waves nearby and smell the salty air mixed with their own. Breath in. Breath out.

Her Mothers face was as close as it could be and the little girl tried to count the pale sprinkling of freckles that could only be seen when she was very very close like this. The little girl loved the freckles. She did not have any on her own face. The little girls skin was smooth and olive toned. Her Mother was as pale as cream, with shifting blue eyes that changed with the light and her mood. Right now they were closed but the little girl knew they would be clear and dark when she opened them. She studied her Mothers’ face often. In moments like this and in the moments she was not supposed to see. In pain, in pleasure, in fear, in sleep and in that place she went when all she wanted was held within the needles the little girl hid when she could. Breath in. Breath out.

Everything about her Mother seemed different, foreign and special. The little girl was all bare thin dark limbs. Her cheeks were broad, her eyes almond-shaped and slightly slanted, she had brown hands with pale palms, nut-brown nipples and kinky dark brown curls. The little girl thought her mother was the most beautiful woman in the world and was thankful that she herself was ugly in comparison. The men who came thought she was lovely too, and the little girl thought this must mean she was not, since she was so different. This gave her some comfort even while she felt sorry for her mothers beauty. Breath in. Breath out.

Her Mother’s fingers left her back to trace her ears and trail along her nose. The little girl knew her nose and ears were the same as her Mother’s, she knew the silent gentle touch was reminding her of their sameness.

“You are my Wild  Little Thing, my Beautiful Wild  Little Thing “ her Mother’s words were whispered in the sacred space of cotton, light and shared breath.

The wild little thing told her Mother that she did not want to be beautiful. She wanted to be wild and free and swim in all of the oceans in all of the world.

Her Mother’s forehead furrowed, creating a crease not quite centered between her brows.
Why can’t you swim in all of the oceans AND be beautiful?”

The little girl thought about this for some time and petted her Mothers pretty pale face with her own small thin fingers.

She told her mother that she liked being wild and free and she didn’t think you could be those things AND be beautiful. Everyone tried to keep you when you were beautiful, and the little wild thing didn’t want to belong to anyone or anyplace. When she thought about being beautiful, she felt arms holding her down, her breath being taken away and pain. She thought being beautiful hurt too much, she would rather have the sea and freedom.

Silent ears rolled down her Mothers face, somehow making her even more lovely.

Then you will stay my Wild Little Thing as long as you want and I promise to show you all of the shores you can explore , okay?”

The wild little thing, the little girl , knew her mothers words were as substantial as the grains of sand being pulled in by the tide. She knew that there was only this small space where their breath and touch anchored her to this moment. But she nodded against the hand of her Mother and said “yes, okay” to the promises that would never be kept.

As her Mother’s eyes drifted shut the little wild thing left the confines of the beloved tiny kingdom of two, beneath the soft sheets, in her Mothers arms. She ran to her ocean and began to race with the receding tide, playing a game only she knew the rules too. Her dark slanted eyes streamed silent rivers, but only the waves saw,so it was okay. She dove into the water, floating on its surface when she came back up and pretended the sky and water were the whole of the world and that she would never be so unlucky as to be Beautiful.







The Abyss (Trauma Warning: proceed with caution)


I liked the jagged edges of the broken mirror and how it reflected pieces of me back. It seemed fitting.

Blood splattered my cheeks, small flecks decorated my skin like gory confetti. I licked my lip and tasted the metallic iron truth of the fluids I was showered in. My smile twisted in the broken reflection but I let myself sink into the peace I felt despite being surrounded by destruction and chaos. Perhaps the peace was due to those things?

Turning on the water in the sink I began the process of cleaning up the blood that had snuck into the crack between covered skin and gloves and of course the blood splashed Pollock like across her face. I was so damn cheerful that I caught myself thanatomorphose-bathtub-blood-guts-slime-pushumming a happy little tune. Some stupid song I had heard on the radio, the type that you professed to hate but still knew all the words too. Singing to myself,  I scrubbed my skin and thought about what to pick up at Trader Joe’s for dinner on the way home. I loved their beef jerky but I didn’t think my roommate would approve that as a dinner choice. It was my turn to cook but I didn’t feel like actually making anything. Maybe pot stickers?

I carefully examined the small amount of  exposed skin around the cuff of the suit an dmy gloves, making sure any blood was cleaned up. The rest of her was covered in a full bodysuit, the type you’d wear to a crime scene so you didn’t contaminate it. I had been careful and made sure to use the cleaning solution she had brought along in a spray bottle and cleaned off the sink and anything I might have touched, compulsively pockets the few small things I had come into contact with, like souvenirs. This was all excessive precaution, I knew I had been very careful not to leave anything of myself behind.


by saratheresee on Deviant Art

Until this point I had avoided looking at the bathtub filled with blood, water and Mary’s quickly cooling earthly remains. It was not due to any revulsion, it was because I had found myself giggling like a madwoman, fighting the desire to pull apart the flesh that was now opened up from Mary’s wrist to halfway up her forearm. I liked seeing all the layers of fat and muscle, so pretty.  I knew I couldn’t touch her, that would be stupid after all the careful planning I had done.

I could still feel Mary’s hand, warm and alive, as I helped her cut open those delicate veins. Down the block, not across the street. Any job worth doing , was worth doing well..

When Mary opened the door to see me on the small tidy porch, she hadn’t recognized me. I would have been surprised if she had and my plan would have been shot to shit, so it was for the best. She hadn’t seen the last few hours of her life in my smiling face  when I greeted her and offered condolences on the recent death of her husband.  Mary had graciously accepted the story of travel and only finding out about the death now. I told her that I hadn’t seen her husband in years but my father had been a friend before he retired from the utility company they had both spent their lives working for.

” My parents retired down South to get away from the cold, but when my father knew I was going to be in the area he asked me to come by personally, to send his condolences. I’m sorry to bother you, at this difficult time but would you mind if I came in a for a few minutes? I brought a few small gifts, they aren’t much but I know my dad would appreciate knowing I had done this for him.” I said this all in the apologetic tones of a loving but slightly put upon child of pushy parents.

” Of course dear, it’s okay, I understand. He had a lot of friends that cared” said  the women that I barely recognized almost 30 years later. She let  me into the neat home that matched the tidy porch. She was smaller than I remembered, her hair a faded grey instead of the brassy auburn that came from her favorite Clairol bottle in her youth.

After taking my big puffy coat and hanging it up in the hall closet, Mary lead me  into the kitchen, asking me if I’d like a cup of coffee or tea?

“Oh, thank you, tea would be wonderful, it was just so cold this winter and a warm drink always seemed to hit the spot on these kind of blustery days, didn’t it? Actually, I brought a pie for you from  this tiny bakery my dad said your husband loved from the old neighborhood, and some tea from this shop I found around the block. Do you like tea?” I asked as I handed her a beautifully wrapped bakery box from bakery many miles away and tea from yet another nondescript location nowhere near where they sat.

tumblr_l6x248IPi81qcdeua” I do enjoy tea, I have always preferred it over coffee” Mary explained as I watched as she went about the process of making each of them a cup of strong tea on a cold wintry day, filled with the weight of things she didn’t know were to come.

“Pecan pie is one of my very favorite pies though it’s been years since  I’ve had it. My sons never liked it and my husband always though tit was too sweet,  but this looks wonderful and some days you need to have a treat. Thank you,  this was very kind of you. Please make sure you thank your father for me. You’ll have a cup and slice with me before you go?”  Mary asked s she unwrapped the box and placed the pie on the counter.

I had remembered that Mary loved pecan pie, it was the biggest reason I could never stomach the stuff despite my deep and abiding love of most things pie. I smiled and looked pleasantly pleased at Mary’s seemingly, kind smiling face.

“Of course I will. Thank you for letting me barge in without any notice. My dad will be real happy I got chance to chat with you and that you liked the pie”

“Don’t you want to take off your gloves? ” Mary inquired

“No, I have a condition called Raynaud’s. Have you heard of it? ” Mary shook her head ” Oh, well most people haven’t heard of it. My circulation is terrible, it just takes some time for my fingers and toes to get warm. Sometimes they even turned blue.  It’s no fun in the winter but what can you do? I’m sorry, just give me  a little while, and I’ll be able to take them off. I know it’s strange, but hopefully you’ll excuse this small eccentricity? ”

“Of course, you take your time”

The air filled with the small words of people that are generations and worlds apart. The weather, the traffic, a shared hobby of knitting and questions about marriages and children. Her son was on his honeymoon in the Bahamas, had she ever been there? No she hadn’t but she heard it was a wonderful place to spend a honeymoon.  What type of wedding had they had? This subject filled the space with the joy of a proud mother watching her son at the altar and all the work that went into making it such a perfect event.  While she had done her research and had a tale to tell, Mary didn’t seem in any hurry to get down to the business of messages for the dead. I knew about the wedding. The younger son she spoke of was my half-brother, and we never had much in common but there was no way to predict how things would have been with everything that had happened between them. Yet I knew the reason I would never know the answers and that I was never going to be invited to a family event sat  from me.

The kettle began to whistle.

“Let me get that!” I exclaimed and jumped up quickly, in exactly the helpful, polite way I should and poured hot water into the waiting cups, all the while keeping up chatter about dresses and floral arrangements. Yes, I loved orchids, they were so elegant.  I carefully placed the hot cups in front of each of their places at the circular kitchen table that had one of those thick table clothes that was plastic on one side but slightly fuzzy on the underside. The pattern was  a horrible collection of roses and foliage in shades of faded oranges and reds.  I placed a small slice of pie on each plate Mary had left out and brought that over as well.

Mary took a tentative sip, her eyebrows rising in a small show of surprise.

“This is spicy!” she exclaimed

“Yes, it’s a chia tea made in a small shop I like to visit when I was in town. Do you like it?”

“It surprised me but yes, I do, thank you.”

I smiled and continued to blow on the surface of my own cup.

“I’m glad you like it! I wasn’t sure about the choice but it was a lucky risk. Wasn’t it nice how these things sometimes just worked out?”

The sedative I had slipped into her tea worked quickly in exactly the way it was meant to. It was a strong dose, in the liquid form, of the same type, meant to be in the empty bottle I would leave beside her later. I didn’t think it would be looked at too closely, these things happened with the elderly and recently widowed. I knew Mary had a history of depression and so it all made a perfectly tragic, neat type of sense, which suited my needs. I had been afraid she might completely pass out, but she just became groggy and limp, slumping back against her chair. She didn’t quite know what was going on, but I thought I saw unease in her eyes. The drugs made it almost impossible to work up any real emotional reaction but I think fear can always find a way to slip through.

I took off the leather gloves I wore to reveal latex beneath and began to clean up all signs of our little tea party. A pie on the counter would not be remarked upon. As she watched, unable to react, I told her who I was and that is when I knew with certainty she was afraid. I was a ghost from a long distant past, possibly one not thought of in many years.

I washed cups and asked ” Do you remember the corner under the stirs int he old house? You would lever me there for hours, until I learned to sleep upright.  When I sat or slumped in exhaustion you had me kneel on rice,do you remember?”

I dried everything I washed and calmly listed, in detail, the abuses her son perpetrated upon me with her consent”

I told her that while she had tried to beat it out of me with that rod against my legs, I still walked upon my toes.

All of the little chores done that erased my visit, I came back tot he table

“Do you remember the little table and chair you had me sit at, while you, your son, my half brother and his father sat at the dinner table?”

I had not been worthy, good or clean enough to share a table with them, I knew because she had told me many times.

She struggled to talk, but I ignored her incoherent mumbling. She still couldn’t move very well but she tried too, succeeding only in a very ungraceful fall from her chair. Her head made a satisfying sound on the tile. It made me giggle.

sad manga at table

I let her lie there, squirming, gurgling and trying to get away from this place she found herself where all of her power was stripped away and she was at the mercy of another’s hand.  As I pulled the bio-hazard suit from the little pouch in my bag and put it on, her struggles became more pronounced.

I thought that I could smell her fear and the thought kept me smiling as I told her about how it felt to be denounced in front of a church congregation at the age of 7.
“In need of cleansing I think you said, tainted by the sin of my mother, unclean..had she said demon possessed? Or had I just added that part? Did she remember? My memory was always a little shaky on these things, but my therapist says that’s normal.”
She was wiggling away, like a pale corpulent maggot. I didn’t think she was going to answer me. Rude.

” You didn’t let me say goodbye to my mom, you didn’t let me see her when she was dying alone int hat terrible hospital by herself. I could get over the rest of the stuff you did to me, it wasn’t even as bad as some of the stuff that came before or went on after, but that one thing, I just couldn’t forgive. I thought I’d get over it, you know? I told myself that I would wait and if I couldn’t let it go, I’d come find you and make things right.”

I went to her as she tried to get away. I petted her grey course hair then forced her jaws open with my fingers and closed her nose as I poured more of the concentrated liquid into her mouth.  I kept her mouth closed as she was forced to swallow. I held her gently until she went limp in my arms.  Old and frail, she was a shadow of the monster in my head but this was a loose end that had to be cut.

When she came too, Mary was in the tub with tepid water around her. I had been sitting on the toilet lid beside her, killing time with the crossword at the back of the New York magazine I had brought along in my bag.  I needed her to be awake for this part.

Tears poured down her wrinkled cheeks as we made the cuts together, our hands intimately entwined as her flesh parted beneath one of the broken mirror pieces I had retrieved for her use. I felt tears flowing down my own face but I couldn’t say how much of each drop was of pain, relief or joy.

I left the small neat house, as neat as I had come to it, other than the quickly cooling body of the only one still left from the years when I was the weak, powerless one.  In the cold windy day, I was just another thickly bundled, anonymous human, briskly getting to where they needed to go.

I realized I ahd made no plan for what I would do after,  my tasks were complete. Across the street or down the block? I didn’t look back as I laughed into the wind, the sound and  a cloud of  foggy breath engulfing me as I kept moving. I didn’t know where I was headed, my body felt empty and light, as if I might blow away before I could make a decision.

I would just keep moving forward, there was no reason to look back anymore.