Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Date

His pinkie was startlingly warm when it brushed hers. He was gracefully, deliberately, accidental in every touch; the kindness both thrilled and confused her. The men — boys — she normally dated were crafty and obtrusive, grasping her shoulder and rubbing her arm roughly, drawing her whole body in like prey to be devoured. He was unhurried. At the restaurant he sat back, eyes intent but leaving enough space that she, for once, was the one to lean in, to lay her hand on the cloth in an open - and ultimately unanswered - invitation. At the movie theater they shared a popcorn and rather than manufacturing an opportunity he waited for her to withdraw before plunging his own hand in to the buttery mess.

She invited him in as soon as he parked in front of her house. She was curious, and attracted, and a little bit nervous that he didn’t feel the same. His sudden grin was reassuring. Of course he’d love to walk her to the door, but he didn’t dare come in. Too tempting, he said with a slow, hot, smile. Something deep inside fluttered, and she had trouble drawing the next breath. Could they just sit together for a while on her porch swing?

So they sat, and his pinkie brushed hers, and then their hands were resting next to each other. All her attention was on that single line of heat where skin met skin, so she only barely felt the wind pick up, only absently heard the clanking of the wooden wind chimes. Which is why his yelp seemed so very loud, and the sudden leap to his feet was so unnerving. 

He was pale. His eyes were fixed on the corner of the porch where the wind chimes swung erratically into the light shining from the kitchen. He stepped forward, raising a trembling hand, then dropped it again. “They’re, they’re dolls!” he gasped. He turned and stared at her, then took a step backward. “What? Why would you do that?” he didn’t wait for an answer, but stepped to the stairs. “They looked like hollow children, in the darkness.” He said nothing further as he walked to his car. She rubbed her hand where they had touched, then walked over to the chimes — wooden baby dolls, unstuffed and strung up by their necks to blow and knock in the wind. She stilled the bodies, and listened in the silence as he drove away.

Written in response to a prompt by Bliss

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