Category Archives: Fiction

story for a chilly autumn day

I was shipwrecked and my clothes were in tatters. Wandering across the sands white as a blank page, I looked at the setting sun the color of blood as in my fountain pen, and I cursed my fate. Up in the palm trees the parrots were prattling. They wouldn’t let me joke around with them. Even the mosquitoes avoided me and were whispering behind my back.

The crabs took no heed of me as they made bubbles in their pools, the eyes of the shore. On a large volcanic rock a lizard and her mate were coupling unashamedly. They paid me no mind as they reached their green and lightly silvered climax. Above, among the palm fronds, a male monkey pursuing females proclaimed his ardor.

But I was quite alone in my ragged clothes and with my fountain pen. The night set to filling me with its darkness, its desires, and its terrors. The twilight breeze caressed me with its bewitching hands. But I was alone with my tattered clothes, and my bulging fountain pen.

Then I heard a voice far off.  “You have come, my vagabond poet! You have come!”

It was a woman’s voice that drew closer to me. It was sweet yet resolute in hunting for my ears. This charming voice surrounded me but in the now complete darkness I couldn’t locate its source. My eyes were just starting to adjust to the deep tropic night.

– “You have come, vagabond poet!”

The sensual voice filled me with sweetness, with longing, with exhilaration. But I could not find its source. Then there was a whisper near my ear.

– “Poet, welcome!”

I turned. When I saw her, my heart leapt with joy and my fountain pen popped up, eager to serve her as a poet’s pen should. She was a nymph dressed in a sarong with an elegant geometric design. The long naked sinuousness of her right leg shone in the light of the rising moon. Like a goddess’s her eyes glowed as did her shoulders of such delicate skin.

– “How do you know I’m a poet?” I said to her.

– “From your clothes in tatters” she answered smiling.

– “And that I’m a vagabond?”

– “From your bulging fountain pen…”

The roguish breeze kept on trying to lift the sarong’s edge to discover the sweetness beneath the fine cloth. I wanted so much to help but I only said a prayer for the success of the gentle wind’s invisible hand. But my goddess took me by the hand and led me toward deeper shadows.

– “You must be hungry, thirsty. Come with me. I will give you all you need…kisses, caresses, unending urges…” she told me.

Among the palm trees and the burgeoning grasses she made me lie down. She was still standing as she untied her sarong and let it fall.

That’s when I awoke. Among the shadow-laden sheets of my bed there lay a sarong with an elegant geometric design…and a strong scent of orchids.

*    *   *

© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

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Really There

Warmth, he thought as he slipped under the covers beside her. He had dried himself off quickly in the chill bathroom. The thermostat’s timer had shut the heat down until six in the morning. It was after midnight.

Since the last of their kids had left the nest, Paul and Lisa had reverted to sleeping in the buff, just as they had when they were newly weds. Lisa stirred when his cool flesh met hers as he put his arm over her waist and against her belly, as his thighs touched her buttocks.

“What took so long?” she said as she lifted her head from the pillow to look at the clock perched on the bureau.

He didn’t want to tell her about the accident. So he bent the truth a bit.

“A few of the guys had to leave before everything got moved into the apartment.”

“Mmm,” she murmured, still half asleep. She put her hand over his and squeezed it lightly. “I missed you tonight.”

Their youngest son, Charlie, had rented a new apartment. He and his girlfriend, Sandy, were moving in together. Paul, and some of Charlie’s and Sandy’s friends, had volunteered to help them move their stuff from their separate apartments to the new one about two miles away from Sandy’s. They’d rented a big enough truck so they could move everything in just two trips. There wasn’t an elevator in the building. They had to carry everything up the stairs. The apartment was on the top floor of a three-floor walk-up.

It had been raining all afternoon and into the evening – not a heavy downfall but enough to make things messy and unpleasant with the temperature falling. Luckily the rain had brought a little warmth with it. No real chance of freezing rain or snow.

With a few things still left in the truck, Paul and Steve, Charlie’s best friend, had descended again to the street to bring the few remaining boxes up and then join the others for a small plastic cup of champagne to wish Sandy and Charlie good luck in their new apartment, in their new life together. Steve boosted himself up into the back of the truck. When Paul did the same, he slipped on the rain-slick metal above the bumper and fell head first into the metal frame of the door. The blow knocked him out for a few seconds.

Paul came to with Steve kneeling near him, propping up Paul’s feet on one of the plastic storage boxes belonging to Sandy.

“You okay, Mr. Morissey?”

“Yeah, uh, yeah, Steve – knocked the hell out of me. Help me up.”

“You should lie there a little longer. Your color is bad…”

Paul couldn’t remember where he was at first, but looking up he realized he was in the back of a truck. Then it all came back to him – moving Sandy and Charlie. His head hurt. He lay there quietly for a few minutes more.

“Help me up, Steve.”

“Okay – yeah, your color looks better now.”

When Paul got up, he staggered but Steve helped him steady himself.

“I’m gonna bring you to the ER, Mr. Morissey…”

“Yeah, Steve – I think that might be the right thing to do. My head still hurts… And call me Paul, Steve.  Call me, Paul…”

Steve helped Paul get down off the truck, then walked him down the street to where Steve’s car was parked. Paul got into the front seat. He felt a little nauseous, but he didn’t vomit.

“Steve, you better go up and tell Charlie and Sandy and the others. And – and tell Charlie not to call his mother until he hears from me or you in the hospital, okay?”

“Got it!”

It seemed like an eternity to Paul as he waited for Steve to come back. But his headache gradually went away and the nausea had stopped.

Suddenly Steve was at the driver’s side of the car, got in, and started the engine, all in one swift, smooth action. As they were driving, Paul asked Steve about Denise.

“Oh, we broke up about three weeks ago – she was, well, too bossy, too damn pushy… You know what I mean?”

Paul just nodded. He was disappointed at the break-up. It was only through Steve that Paul knew Denise.  He’d liked her from the first – she never called him Mr. Morissey, always Paul.  She knew exactly what she wanted, she was smart, very sexy, and she flirted with him whenever Steve and Lisa weren’t around – which wasn’t that often, but often enough to make Paul feel flattered and to have made him build fantasies about her.  Now that she and Steve had broken up, Paul knew he would never meet Denise again.

A few minutes later they arrived at the hospital. They were there for hours. But Paul checked out okay – no concussion, nothing broken. My hard head, he thought. He didn’t have even a scratch or a bump.

Using Steve’s cell phone, Paul called Charlie and told him everything was fine; Steve would drive him back to get his car, and he’d go home straight away. He told Charlie to tell Sandy he was sorry for the unneeded excitement. He also told his son he’d drop by the next day to see them both. And not to call Lisa – she’d be asleep. And everything was all right now. Everything would be okay.

When Paul got home, he thought of Denise as he took a shower, and then again as he dried himself off quickly in the chill bathroom.

Now he snuggled closer to his wife, who was so very warm and there, really there.  Always.

Lisa stirred again.  She moved his hand, first to her lips to kiss his fingers, and then to her breast.

“I really missed you tonight, Paul.”

And he missed her too, too much to tell her without breaking down and crying. Instead, he kissed the nape of her neck. She turned so she could kiss him on the mouth. She put her arms around his neck and pushed her knee between his thighs.

*           *           *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll  2011

Abberation (sic)

He’d been buying Phung’s flesh for three months.   He set her up in two rooms over a bicycle shop on the Truong-Minh-Ky – only a ten-minute walk from the airbase. She was new at it, and still hadn’t learned to control herself.   She was new at it, so she would let him do anything – anything but do her up the ass.

Noise on the radio again. Then the Bird Dog’s voice: Laid smoke… Some Charlies fired on a recon… What can ya gimme? ovuh.

On his left a thin column of smoke trailed upward from patches of light green and yellow… I can give you some AGM’s and nape left from my last run, over…

He banked, turned, headed into the run, the smoke from the FAC’s marker dancing among little match boxes of hootches and trees and blue slashes of canal. He was in the slot, fired his rockets, pulled out, banked, turned. Then the FAC’s voice: Great! Good boy! Great. Two for two. Good, ovuh.

Good… It sure was – her cool hands on his groin, the tenuous light blue of her veins like lace under the skin around her nipples, the scent of her hair. She was new at it, still hadn’t learned to control herself.  She was new at it. She’d let him do anything.  But she wouldn’t let him do her up the ass.   Maybe she was hiding Confucius up there or Buddha or maybe Uncle Ho.  He chuckled…

The FAC’s voice again: Laid new smoke, ovuh.

He could see the smoke as it rose – first in puffs, then in a narrow snake of gray turning white.

He was in the slot, roaring toward the smoke and the matchboxes, the green and darker green and the blue… He dropped the napalm, pulled out, banked, turned. The Bird Dog’s voice again: Bee-ooo-ti-ful! Effin’ bee-ooo-ti-ful! Hard scores…the little bastards are runnin’ all ovuh hell, ovuh…ovuh ‘n out…

Over and out! He sighed. Why wouldn’t she let him do her up the ass?

*                 *                 *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2011

Divine Punishment

[The following narrative employs the manner of thinking (loosely defined) of many so-called religious individuals to explain natural phenomena – and I’m not alluding to ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians or Babylonians.  But then, it just may be true.  ~ G.V.D.]

The United States and Europe are being punished by the Lord with extreme and unusual weather in the forms of torrential rains and floods with mud slides on the west coast of the U.S., and extreme cold and snow in Europe.  This can be no coincidence; the Lord is angry because of the way  Julian Assange has been mistreated by the U.S. Government and those doing its bidding in Europe, especially the pharisaical and feckless British; the lustful, wicked Swedes; and the miserly Swiss.

Recall the words written in the Gospel, the Good News of the Lord:  “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).”  But what have those tools of Satan, yea the modern day Gog and Magog, done to His latest messenger when he brings truth to the multitudes living their days in darkness?

Need I go over the millions of words?  The videos?

Wake up America!  Wake up, Europe!  Do the Lord’s will — before it is too late!

Medea

It’s November, that middling month between the bright skies of October and the lowering, snow-spitting expanse of clouds in December.  Up here, near the Saint Lawrence River, the light is almost indescribable, a mixture of the glint from cold steel and the white breath of the fast walker.

A few weeks before, I found the trail on the ring of hills that almost encircle the small, moribund city like fuzzy dark purple gems.  A month before that, I’d arrived in Toisonville, New York; I’m a refugee from the noise and crowds, the haste and broken lives of downstate New York City.  ‘T-ville’ – as most of its residents call it – was founded by the French in the 17th Century, but consists now of a conglomeration of seedy 19th and early 20th century buildings hunkered down in the river plain, with the foothills of the Adirondacks rolling upwards behind it.

To calm the swirling thoughts that formed an endless kaleidoscope in my mind, I had started walking for longer and longer stretches each day, and each day I would venture farther and farther from the small apartment I rent from the old widow.  I found the trail in the hills above T-ville on the fifth day of walking.  Now when I walk, I stick to the trail rather than wandering haphazardly among the trees.

At first I was surprised the trail wasn’t grown over with spidery tendrils of sundry curious vines and the vagaries of bushes.  I soon realized that someone had to be keeping the trail in good repair.  One day, after a few weeks of walking the trail’s ups and downs, its curves and gyrations past near-naked trees doing their arabesques, I saw up ahead a woman in a parka with the hood eased down over her shoulders as she bent on one knee to her work.  She was next to a hawthorn bush, some of its red berries brushing her cheek.  As I got nearer, she looked up at me and smiled.  But she didn’t stand up; she kneeled there still.  She waved me over to her.

“You have to see this, come on!  You’ll be surprised…”  She was whispering for some reason, yet in the quiet up there I could hear the sweetness and life in her tone.

I’d stopped a few yards from her.  She looked to be in her thirties.  Her hair had a copper sheen, and was cut short but carefully.  Her eyes were wonderful and were filled with wonder.

“You can’t see it from there…get over here before it moves away!”

I obeyed and moved quite close to her.  Like her, I knelt down on one knee.  I regretted it as soon as I saw the snake, its head and the front part of its body raised up from the leaf litter, and wobbling back and forth as cobras do.

“Don’t be afraid!” Her voice calmed me. “It’s not poisonous.  It’s an eastern hognosed snake.  Heterodon platirhinos.  Rare up here in the hills.  Isn’t it beautiful?”

I wanted to turn and look into her eyes but I couldn’t take my eyes off the snake’s dark body as it still motioned cobra-like only four feet from my face.  Suddenly, the snake dropped its body to the ground and swiftly slithered away from us.

I turned my head and was greeted by the most welcoming smile I have ever seen.

“I thought I was the only one to rumble around up here.  My name’s Medea,” she said as she rose to her feet, and cleaned the debris from the knees of her jeans.

“I’m Jason.  I was wondering for weeks now who keeps the trail from getting overgrown…”

She laughed.  “I just had to do that.  A lot of hard work at first, but now it’s lighter…  Wish you’d showed up six months ago – you could have given me a hand…but that’s life, I guess…  You live in T-ville?”

“Yes.  Moved here almost two months ago…”

“Moved from where?”

“New York City…”

Both of us stood there in silence for what seemed ten one thousands.  Then her voice boomed like thunder compared to the way she’d spoken before. “Have you found it yet?”

“Found what?”

“Whatever it is you’re looking for…”  She smiled.  She looked from me to the trail and then at the darkening sky.

“It’s getting late.  We had better get going – you can’t see in front of your face up here once the sun sets.  Come on, Jason.  I’ll cook you the best paella you’ll ever eat anywhere.”

* * *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2010