( A short/short in four parts.)
Are You My Punishment?
The man’s hand itched to grab his gavel; his fingers slithered toward it. He stopped short. The woman’s words had robbed him of even this small pleasure.
She continued to stand defiantly before him, her eyes boring into his, her gaze challenging him. He could hear her unspoken words. Be a man!
Worse, he could hear her spoken ones. Are you my punishment? she’d asked.
As her composure grew, so did his discomfiture. He ran his hands over his sweaty face, peeking at her through his fingers. With a prolonged sigh he finally spoke.
“No,” he said. “You are mine.”
(a short/short in four parts)
That Little Piece of Wood
The man and the woman eyed each other.
“You feel powerful with that little piece of wood in your hand?”
Startled, the man let go of the gavel as it were on fire.
“Watch your mouth, MIssy!”
“Or you’ll watch it for me?”
The man flushed to his hair follicles. For he had been doing exactly that; her full sumptuous lips prompting an ember to glow.
She kept her eyes locked onto his.
“Are you my punishment?”
The words, uttered in a seductive whisper, caused him to lower his gaze. This witch could read his mind.
(A short/short in four parts.)
Do Not Tempt Me, Woman!
“You will face your punishment now.”
“You will live your life with one man.”
“Of whose choosing?”
“I see only you.”
“Do not question our authority!”
“I only question yours.”
“This impertinence will stop!”
“It will stop when I die.”
“Do not tempt me, Woman!”
Her lip curled into a knowing smile as he seemed to shrink before her. He clutched his gavel tightly, the only tool he possessed that was hard to the touch.
(A short/short in four parts.)
You Stand Accused
“You stand accused of having loved more than one man.”
“Is that a crime?”
“Your heart may belong to only one man.”
“My heart belongs to me. I give that to no man.”
The gavel exploded onto the tall platform hiding the man from the chest down. He glowered down at the woman standing before him in full view.
The man was incensed. She did not cower before him. How dare she display such arrogance?
“You will not contradict me!” he screamed.
“I do not contradict. I clarify.”
Her voice held no tremor, her stance no timidity. She seemed to grow taller; chin and breast jutted out, spine erect. Her unblinking eyes showed no fear.
What was there to be afraid of? He was only a man.
Lounging under a chickee hut, enjoying the view.
Doing some reading, some emailing, some dozing.
A lazy Sunday afternoon.
“Alma,” he spoke her name, savoring it. “That means soul in Spanish.”
“That’s what I am,” she replied. “A soul.”
She faced him, seated cross-legged on the grass. The lush vegetation of the botanical garden formed near-solid walls around the small clearing they’d found. Overhead, the bright blue sky held a cresting sun as wispy, cottony clouds were ushered along by a sluggish breeze. Brilliantly colored butterflies flitted about, and the only other sounds came from the chirping birds.
He lay full-length in front of her, propped up on his elbow. He seemed to be idly plucking at the grass, but his attention was riveted on her tube top. With her long hair flowing freely, it was hard to tell there were no straps to hold it up. But he was close enough to see.
“All I have to do is this,” he said, bringing his finger close to her breast and making a downward motion.
She said nothing, daring him with her eyes. His eyes bore into hers as he brought his finger to her breast again and left it there suspended, a hairsbreadth away. After a moment’s hesitation, he hooked it into the top pulling it slowly down one side. She remained perfectly still as she felt the soft breeze caressing her breast.
(From Alma: A Soul Caught Between Heaven and Hell)