Friday, May 15, 2015

Come, said the girl

The tent glowed pale orange in the night like a lantern as he walked towards it.

He could not knock, there was no door, and so he eased the zipper open and wondered at that noise, a zipper opening in the night. A tent, a swag, a dress, a pair of jeans.  
Let me in let me in let me in.
She was sitting cross legged on her swag, reading a book by the light of a head lamp strapped to her forehead. He could hear the sea. She was expecting him and she laughed at his rude head butting through the tent’s door, breaking the meniscus.

She wore no pants and a fur-lined hoodie. Her feet were bare. A fragrant candle guttered in glass and the speckled hound beside her raised its head and thumped its tail on the canvas floor.
A generator throbbed, somewhere..
Come, she said.

He opened the zip a little further and wriggled in along the floor until his feet were through and then he shut the zip and crawled onto her swag.
Hello. Let me read to you what I’m reading.

She took the brilliance of her LED glance away from him, focused again upon the pages of her book. It’s about when Matthew Flinders met Baudin on the Southern Ocean, she said. They both thought they were alone in the ocean, both men were tired and their crew blighted with scurvy and anyway, France and England were at war and they should have avoided each other really. When Flinders saw his ship and their white flag, he still showed Baudin his broadside. He ordered his crew to go about and present the Investigator’s guns.

She read aloud, laughing at the two sea captains and their clashing egos while they ogled George Bass’s charts. She threw down the book, curled one arm around his head and drew him close. Her underarms smelt of sandalwood or something else and when she kissed him her breath tasted of tobacco and fresh garlic. She wriggled her free hand into the tight hem of his pants and her hand was warm. He breathed in, quickening.

He struggled out of his pants and drew the fur coat over her shoulders until her nipples were hard in the cold. He said, blow out that candle, we don’t want no shadow play for the rest of the camp. She switched off her headlamp too and still it butted into his belly. The candle smoked nastily. She stroked his chest. She stayed on her knees. She suckled him like a calf, hungry, drawing down his milk with every stroke, until his plummy knob was thick in her mouth and pulsing with life. The dog licked at her salty, sandalwood armpit but she didn’t seem to notice the dog.

He gripped her hair in his hands and threw up his head to the starfish dome of the tent. They fell, side by side. She read him some more ... something about a yellow spotted snake and the drowning of a man. She shared a cigarette with him.

This is a good tent, he said.
It was my home for a while, she said. Yes, it is a good tent.
They lay there for a time, quietly. He began to fall into the beautiful hole of being with her, the timeless nothingness of being with her, in her bed.
The generator stopped.

Did you hear the generator stop? he asked.
No, she said. Who hears a generator stop anyway?
A crunch of footsteps towards the tent.
She’s going to the toilet, she said. She can’t see us. It’s okay.
He could feel the nerves crawling in his belly as he heard someone slam down the seat on the composting toilet next to the tent.
Shhh. They will hear us.
So what? she said.
I should go, he said. So I’m back in the bed I’m supposed to be in when they get up at dawn.

He imagined the morning then, as the fishermen filed into the shack to make porridge and begin the day’s lookout for the fish running into the bay. The men seeing him stumbling back from the strange woman’s tent as the dawn broke over the mountain.

He wriggled out of the tent and walked between the shacks and trees and tractors to the shack he was supposed to sleep in. Its doorway faced out to the open ocean. The moon was blossoming. He poured a beer from a big brown bottle into a mug speckled with Christmas and sat on a chair beside the corrugated iron. His first sip spread froth over his hairy lip and he licked at it. He looked at the sky and the mountain.

Three falling stars. One. Then another. Then another.
Strategic and infinite, a casting out across the night sky.


  1. So, is this a continuation of Exiles, or have you just started writing porn?

    I'm happy either way. I've been needing something to get me, um, "going" before breakfast each day (as per your suggestion). In that regard, I wouldn't object to something a little longer and a little more graphic either.

  2. Ha ha, ahem. Happy to just write more p*rn Alex, if it makes you happy too :~)

  3. Just email it to me please, Sarah.