As part of my schedule, I am writing at least 500 words each morning, Monday through Friday. This morning I was thinking about the hurricane and the title “The Parable of the Lover’s” came to me (partly because of a future PodCastle story and partly because I’ve been reading Borges). So I wrote this. It’s not really a story, but it is, I believe, self contained and, but for some small tweaks here and there with word choice, complete. It’s not really something I could send for publication, so I’m sharing it here.
THE PARABLE OF THE LOVERS
They held each other as the walls of their small house were assaulted by the winds and rain and general furiousness of a hurricane. They were naked, young, and, if not quite beautiful, had a health and vitality to their bodies that made them, if indeed they were to be observed at a moment like this, quite glorious. They had recently made love loudly and with a passion that was surprising even to them. It must be the storm, they thought, licking sweat from each others bodies and tasting the future of their lives together. Now, they lay in the bed, the wine-red comforter thrown to the floor, the gray sheets tangled near their feet. It was as if they needed to be naked and exposed to this moment, this storm, each other. The wind howled and beat at the windows. Branches, plucked from the weaker trees like so many insect legs pulled off by cruel children, struck the sides of the house, the roof as well, and threatened, if not directly at least by implication of their very being, the welfare of the windows, even with the large x of tape that crisscrossed each pane of glass.
He lay on his back, on the right side of the bed, his right arm tucked back and under his head, his left under her head and curled up, so he could stroke her hair. His naked body was not particularly strong, muscles not particularly defined, but the thick shock of black hair on his head, the sensual lips, and flat belly gave an overall impression of strength. His eyes were slightly too close, and his chin was a bit weak, but these only slightly marred his attractiveness and were more than made up for by the shining intelligence in this brown, too close eyes. His toes were, to be honest, more delicate than usual on a man, and he took a strange pride in this aspect of his body, while at the same time finding such pride vaguely distasteful. He had yet to tell her about this particular constellation of feelings.
She curled against his left side, head on his moderately hairy chest, left arm reaching across his body. She was almost as tall as he, with long, auburn hair that nearly always threatened to go wild and tangled, like it was constantly faced with the gale force winds, no matter how much product she used or how often she brushed it. After reading the works of the Bronte sisters, she had decided, at the age of fifteen, to refer to her hair as “the tangled heath”, which she rarely did in front of anyone nowadays, though she had told him this fact after their third time making love and he would sometimes come up behind her in the bathroom in the morning and embrace her and bury his head in her hair and breathe deeply and murmur, my tangled heath, my tangled heath, always saying it twice and always in a low voice that made her shiver and want him deeply inside of her. She had gray eyes, flecked with green. Her skin was pale, and her body sensual: heavy breasts with very pink aureolas, a belly that, while far from fat, was not slender in the least, and thick thighs on long legs.
Sweat and semen cooled, then dried as the storm raged outside. They felt languorous after their lovemaking, lazy. Yet, the winds and the fury outside could not help but make them a little afraid as the power of nature is wont to do when it unleashes itself upon the flimsy constructs of out lives. And this fear, as fear is wont to do, kept the spark of hunger for each other and for the acts of sex burning like an ember in their bellies. But for the moment, they were content to lie together, in silence, she listening to his heartbeat that was, she thought, probably a bit too fast for a resting heartbeat, and he stroking her forehead and hair as he contemplated telling her how he felt about his toes.