Tan Lines


***Trigger Warning***

***Not Safe For Work***

Inspired by a recent prompt on Scribophile, I elected to try my hand at two things I’d not attempted before — Second Person, and Imperative Style.

True confession — I had no clue how to write Second Person, and I’d never heard of an Imperative Style. In desperation, I googled both, asked lots of questions in the group, and found this.

With Second Person, I try my best to draw readers into the story as a direct participant. I don’t mean First or Third Person where we experience all that our narrator experiences. Instead, we become that other character. And that took some doing.

Imperative writing assumes each sentence starts with a command or instruction. In the most simple form, it might read something like this — Get up. Walk across the room. Open the door.

Pretty dry, isn’t it?

So, why the trigger warning?

With the prompt, we wake up, in bed, with a stranger, and write a story in 300 – 500 words. In a twist, we must lose something, with bonus points for describing a color without using the color palette, or food, or stuff like that.

And my story turned dark, surprising me, since I don’t write stuff with rather explicit sex acts, and verbal taunting. If you might be offended, please read no further.

EDT:  I made some minor tweaks to the story to fix Second Person POV issues.



Tan Lines

Sob, face buried in a musty pillow. Cry out when he grabs your braids, forcing your head deeper into the deflated feathers

Groan when fingers claw your naked hips, jerking them higher, then gasp when something presses back there, invading you again with unquenched urgency as this stranger had through the night, like that bunny defying death. Laugh or cry, your needs count for nothing because manic thrusts propel you, inch by inch, across stained, sour sheets, a bare, pin-striped mattress, driving you into a cheap laminate headboard, while he plows and plows, then stiffens and pumps, crowing his dominance over you.

Deny his conquest, summoning your last resistance, only to weaken when warm, pleasant waves wash through you, erasing you, cutting you adrift in soft, shimmering glows of oblivion’s promise. Cling to effervescent nothingness, aching for caresses, soft whispered words, souls sharing an instant of eternity.

Slaps echo through the dingy room when his bare hand stings your bare flank, shattering the warm, safe cocoon, mixing your trembles into the rumbles of semis roaring down I-25, pulsating in time to the garish neon sign blinking VACANCY over and over. Sudden withdrawal, leaving only abrupt empty, loneliness, with no reminder to mourn your passing passion, dissolving into bleak separation.

“Look at me, slut,” the bare chested man says, still kneeling on the bed, smug, certain your eyes drift downward. “Don’t say nuthin to nobody bitch, or the whole damn county’s gonna hear all about that little bachelorette party and that goody two-shoes act ain’t gonna do no good…cuz we both know you ain’t no different than the rest of your stinkin kind, don’t we?”

“Please don’t, I can’t—”

“Repeat my name, girl,” he says, tucking it safely away, always staring into your eyes, then wiggling his hips and zipping tight jeans shut. “Remember it, if you can, and don’t use no excuse about being drunk, cuz them friends of yours slipped me that extra hundred, paying me to go with you,” he says, laughing, and adjusts his Stetson, shading his eyes. “Better mind the time, cuz you gotta be at some church in an hour, all dressed in white.”

“Tell me who—” Fight the sobs, curling into a tight little ball while flecks of memory dart past, Jody, your long-time rival for Gerald, her soft, tender congratulations over finally beating a blonde at anything, and a glass of wine to celebrate. Accept her dare to go to The Leather Chaps…and the tall, broad shouldered, endowed cowboy. Dance with him, wild, devouring his attention, arrogance, and contempt, alone in an ocean of yellow hair.

Jump when the phone dances, jarring the bedside table, triggering dread and panic, wondering at the hour, pulling yourself upright, lost to dizziness, stomach lurching. Stare into the smoky mirror and moan when five, watery letters materialize on your forehead, blurred beyond a stagnate mind’s ability to puzzle out.

Moan after the text bell chimes and Jody’s picture appears, flashing a simple ring of prairie melting into smoky mountains starkly outlined in a summer thunderstorm. Cry out when your bare finger throbs, a lonely indentation where his promise once reigned.

“Please forgive me, Gerald, I—” Thumb through favorites, finger hovering over the G’s. “Please still want me.”

Read Another Story

2 thoughts on “Tan Lines

  1. Pingback: Finishing Over | Simply Silent

  2. Pingback: Rewrite? Scene Blocking | Simply Silent

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