I know it's not a poem again, and this is the Poetry Friday Challenge, but it is Friday (well, okay, so it's actually Thursday as I write this and if I get it completed before bed I'll post it today so ...anyway, here goes.)
When I was a kid we played pickup softball a lot. There was the typical empty lot, and the typical rag-tag group of sunburned, sweaty kids. There was the one bat that had a hairline crack in it that someone always managed to scrounge up from someone's garage or other, and the ball was a consistent dark brown colour from years of dirt, but it was our game, and we loved it.
And there was that one kid. Ricky. He'd had some sort of an accident when he was very young, and his tongue had been replaced by a fake. A 'prosthetic' they called it, his parents that is, but we didn't use words like that. It was fake, it let him talk fairly clearly and he could do all the things we could do, plus he was a whiz with the bat. He was also a rotten outfielder, but we needed the guy, so he played with us.
I remember the day as clearly as I remember my first kiss. A group of kids from the neighborhood next to ours had challenged us to a game, and we were tied right straight through to the end. It was the bottom of the ninth, the score balanced at five to five, two outs. Our hearts sank when their biggest hitter stepped up to the plate, a hateful grin crossing his freckled mug. We all backed up, all of us, even the pitcher, knowing full well what this fifth-grade holdback could do if he got a piece of that ball.
Ricky was way out in the right field, and I was standing all alone in left. I knew it was coming to us, knew it was going to be high in that blinding, cloudless sky. I just prayed it came to me, because if it came to Ricky it was all over. Ricky simply couldn't catch high flies. I crossed myself nervously, muttered a prayer to The Babe and hunkered down.
The pitch flew, clean and perfect, a brown dollop of mud sailing...too slowly, too easily toward the batter. I saw the vile glitter in his eyes, saw his muscles bunch, and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that This Was It. It was coming for me, and I'd have it.
I backed up a step or two, and cast a glance at Ricky. He was standing there, intent, so intent his tongue was hanging out of his mouth. It was comic as hell, and I'd have laughed at his Basset Hound expression if I'd not known how serious this was. I heard the soft, meaty 'THWACK' as the bat connected, and saw the ball rise, a mud-encrusted angel ascending into the heavens. Toward right field. Toward Ricky.
In that moment I could see everyone's hearts drop, could hear the cruel laugh of the batter as his plan worked. I started running, desperate to be there in time, but I knew it wasn't going to happen. I was too far away, the ball was moving too fast, falling, plummeting toward Ricky.
His glove went up. His big goofy face turned skyward, and his damned tongue lolled to the corner of his mouth. I closed my eyes, knew it was all over.
I heard the 'thump.' I saw Ricky pounding toward the base line, could see the tiny puffs of dirt his Converse stirred up. I saw him reach into his glove, scoop out what was there and touch...yes, TOUCH that grinning, freckled boy as he headed toward the base. The kid didn't stop, though. He kept running, headed toward home plate in an insolent, devil-may-care lope. I ran to Ricky, tears burning behind my eyes. Grabbed him. Shook him hard.
Then I saw what was in his hand.
"Ricky, you bastard!" I shouted!
Ricky, blinking, stunned, looked at me mutely, questioningly, unsure what had gone wrong.
"You didn't tag him out, you jerk!" I opened his hand, showed him the length of prosthetic tongue he had bitten off when the softball had hit him square in the top of the head. "You just licked him on the shoulder!"
Not work or kid friendly, so if you're a minority at your job, please surf away now.
(Based on an experience I'd like to have some day.)
She lay on the bed with a calm that belied her racing heart and her need to do...something. Anything. Touch him, talk to him, reach out, but he'd told her not to. This night, he'd said, was for her. But, he'd gone on, there were a few rules, and one was that she not speak, simply let him work. So she lay still, tiny uncontrollable quivers racing across her body. Her arms were tied loosely over her head to the corners of the headboard, soft scarves tied around her wrists; her ankles were wide, equally restrained with scarves to the footboard. She was as exposed and vulnerable as she'd ever been with him, and it excited her desperately.
He was kneeling between her feet, surveying the array of household things he'd set out carefully, the tools of a mechanic working at a vitally important job. He'd started slowly, using first the innocuous things piled there--the feather duster, brushed across her arms and thighs lightly. The swatch of silk he'd found in her scrap bag, also lightly brushed and draped across her skin, across her lips. Then he'd stepped up his gentle assault. The cube of ice had been interesting, and had earned her a stern look when she unintentionally squealed at the first sharp sensation. There was still a pale white taper lying there by his side, and he'd found and brought out her favourite pink dildo, but thus far they went ignored, unused.
He was still handling the hairbrush with an intent look on his face, the look of an artist who'd stopped at a particularly tricky shadow. He'd carefully, painstakingly brushed first her hair and then her plume with it; long, careful strokes until she'd itched for contact of some form but then come to this stop. The silence was almost unnerving, but also highly-charged. He hadn't stopped yet, not once, slowly moving from texture to object, paying lavish attention to her, but now...stopped. Why?
He'd been careful, she'd had to grant him that. He'd not touched her at all, not skin to skin once, and the lack of his touch was making the tightness and warmth in her belly grow, reaching out to her extremities. It had been, by her reckoning, either about fifteen minutes or all night. With no end in sight, no culmination but his intense, silent tease of her she wanted to scream, wanted to grab him, wanted him to give her a release, any release. She could feel her body responding to his attentions, quickly and without volition. She felt full, felt the heat of her softest place radiating like an oven between her open thighs. She knew full well that he could see the dampness trickling down, making the dark spot on the duvet wider and wider, but still he didn't relent, didn't rush, didn't leap on her and finish.
Putting the hairbrush down carefully, almost reverently, he placed his hands on the duvet beside his knees and smiled a small, satisfied smile. His tongue snaked out to lick his lips, leaving a fine damp sheen there, and like an acolyte at his god's altar he leaned forward toward her.