Ankle Bracelet By Ty Vossler

It was an early October Friday afternoon in Puebla, Mexico—overcast as I recall. Lucia’s lover rested on his elbows above her, his fingers stroking the side of her face as they kissed.

She reached down and I read her lips, “Get inside.” He lifted my wife’s knees and I watched as he pressed down and in. Through the thin walls of the adjoining room, I heard their pleasure. On the laptop I saw how they looked into each other’s eyes, and kissed slowly as he began stroking back and forth.

Love is a quilt—covers what you don’t wish to see. Twelve years of marriage comfort, trust, and the resulting apathy had caused me to overlook obvious signs of cheating. Even now, with my heart in my throat and jealousy gnawing at my guts, I wanted her more than ever.

Her lover lifted her petite foot to suck on a red-polished big toe, and there it was, the ankle bracelet. It was jingling against his hand as he wetted his length in her pussy. The ankle bracelet should have been a dead giveaway. The spiky new hairstyle, the expensive Weight Watchers diet, her sexy new clothes, the twice-a-month, I’ll be late tonight, routine—bells and whistles, hammers over the head and all overlooked by yours truly.

The detective’s fees were reasonable. Lucia and her lover routinely rented a room at the same motel and it was a snap for him to install wireless micro-video cameras—one in the light above the bed, another on the television that faced it. A hundred bucks guaranteed that the clerk put them in that room. Another fifty got me the room next door.

There was no audio because of the danger with feedback noise. Yet, the paper-thin walls allowed me to perceive the bass and treble of their lovemaking. Tiny cameras saw everything and recorded it to my laptop—live streaming on two windows.

Lucia rolled on top and straddled him facing away. He spread her ass cheeks and her hands rested on his hips, mouth formed an O. He arched to synchronize with her dancing hips. She wet two fingers and found her tiny clitoris. He licked a middle finger and slowly insinuated it up her ass, which stirred Lucia into a sudden frenzy. She climaxed powerfully and he answered with a primitive growl, saturating my wife with spunk. I heard the ankle bracelet tinkling through the wall.

A throbbing hard-on accompanied the rock in my throat. Lucia leaned back on his chest as he twisted her dark brown nipples and played his fingers up and down her belly. I ignored the omens—high beams in my face, an air horn in my ear, fists drumming against my stubborn temples. The image of Lucia resting on top is transferred to the memory stick. It’s hard to imagine that, inches away, he has slipped out and now they are lying side-by-side. There is a sizable circle of moisture on the comforter. If I need DNA, there’s more than enough.

I could almost feel the heat of their bodies through the wall. They were talking—perhaps he was telling her how great she felt and she’s telling him what a mess he made. She excused herself to the bathroom, where she would push his seed out into the cold water of the toilet. He rested with his arms behind his neck until she returned. They snuggled again and she closed her eyes. Lucia likes to nap after sex.

He can’t sleep. He has my beautiful, naked wife lying next to him. He touched her lightly on the back with his fingertips—kissed her shoulder and neck until it was clear to Lucia the time had come for the obligatory follow-up. Lucia’s battery takes longer to recharge, yet she went along with it. He rolled on top and slipped in easily. She said something to him, probably something like, this is just for you. Her hips moved and he got his rocks off rather quickly.

It’s all on a memory stick. When they leave, the detective will remove his equipment, I’ll make a payment and his next job will be making contact with Lucia’s lover to show him still shots. The lover’s name is Alfonso. He is married with two children, a boy and a girl. His family has sizable holdings in real estate, a hardware store, and a Chevy dealership. In order to avoid a scandal, he will pay dearly.

They took a quick shower. Knowing that her cell phone was still turned off, I sent a text. After they had dressed, she sat on the bed and turned it on and saw, INBOX (1) how was it? She sat up straight and typed rapidly. He watched, running a leisurely finger down the crack of her ass. My phone vibrated. Her reply, INBOX (1): How was what?

I didn’t answer and watched her fidgeting. She’s having doubts, wondering if the jig is up. I have the answer on a stick. Soon the answer will be added to my personal bank account minus the detective’s twenty percent.

He says something and she shakes her head. He must have seen the look on her face. As they walked passed my room I heard him ask, “Do you want to grab a bite?”

“No, I really need to get home,” she answered.

The rest of the conversation trailed down the musty hallway.

I picked our daughter, Rita, up from daycare and we drove to the tiny local zoo. I texted Lucia where we were and she wrote, Ok, Mua!  Later she tried to call but I didn’t answer. I imagined her pacing, squiggling in a chair and staring out the window. I gave her plenty of time to ruminate and stew in the juices of guilt. Sometimes the best answer is none.

Rita and I stayed longest at the monkey habitat. They were swinging, chasing each other around and Rita was laughing. They groomed each other and she thought that was funny too. The stick was stowed in my shirt pocket.

# # #

A candlelight dinner was waiting when Rita and I returned. Lucia was wearing my favorite black dress.

“What’s the occasion?”

“I just wanted to surprise you,” she replied.

I’ve had enough of surprises, I thought. “You look nice,” I said.

“Are you okay?”

“Fine, a little tired.”

Dinner was perfect and Lucia was perfect. As we cleared the dishes, she spontaneously kissed me at the kitchen sink. The hours crept along. The stick was tucked away in my socks drawer. Rita was in bed by 8:00 probably dreaming of monkeys and Lucia was showering again.

I connected the stick to the flat screen, pressed play and watched Lucia walk into the room with her lover. They stopped at the edge of the bed for a kiss. Did she love this man I wondered? Is this the end of us? Now her lover was lifting her skirt, sliding down her panty—she sits on the bed and he buries his head between her thighs.

Lucia was still showering, probably standing beneath the water with her eyes closed. What will happen with Rita if we’re through? It isn’t fair that children suffer for their parent’s mistakes.

Alfonso is balanced on his elbows for a traditional start, fingers stroking the side of her face as they kiss. Then they entered a new world together—one I have visited many times with Lucia.

The shower is still running. Perhaps Lucia is weighing her involvement with this man, getting a grip on the implications. Why did she need this? How did she meet this clown, this Alfonso? The detective said that her lover taught economics class at the university.

The ankle bracelet was jingling against Alfonso’s hand as he fucks my wife. Her eyes are closed and her mouth is open. She hooks her ankles around his back. I watch the two windows, a Birdseye and at bed-level view.

The shower is turned off. I ejected the stick and hid it among my socks again. Then I slipped under the covers before Lucia came in. I watched her apply various creams and lotions—products designed to keep her looking young. She saw me gazing at her and interpreted it to mean that she had a wifely duty to perform.

“Do you want to make me dirty?” She is still wearing the ankle bracelet. We’ve never fucked with it on.

“Okay,” I replied.

“You’ll need jelly,” she advises, pulling down her pajama bottom, taking just one leg out and walking to the bed.

“All right,” I reached into the drawer of the nightstand for the tube and put a smidgen on the tip of my cock.

“This is just for you,” she advised.

As I lifted her legs by the ankles the bracelet jingled. She winced as I pushed inside, still tender from her afternoon. After a few minutes, I spurted heavily. There was always a roll of toilet paper on the lamp-stand and I handed her a wad.

She returned to the bathroom for a while and then rejoined me. When the lamp was clicked off it grew dark and silent.

“What did you mean today when you wrote, how was it?” She asked.

I allowed another pregnant pause. Silence is cruel, “I don’t remember.”

She gave me a dry-toast kiss, “Goodnight darling.”

I don’t know how this will pan out. I need time to process my feelings. The stick is my trump card and even before the hush money is transferred into my account, I will need to study it over and over before I decide.

Nightcap By Ty Spencer Vossler‏

Mexico City has just about anything you’re not looking for. Lucia had been many times— had lived in the ghetto of Colonia Guadalupe Chalma as a child. She didn’t care much for the broad-shouldered city—too fast and aggressive. Given her past it was a miracle that she added Doctor to the front of her name. Lucia specialized in Topology—a branch of algebra so intangible that few women dare to swim its abstract waters. Lucia was in Mexico City to sit on a Masters exam panel.

She spent leisurely hours in the hotel room, resting, reading, and channel surfing. Flipping through options she paused at an advertisement for a blues concert at the convention center across the street. She walked to the balcony window and saw the billboard: Smokey Harris—One Night Only. Lucia owned several of his CD’s. On the announcement Smokey Harris stood tall and handsome—posing with his signature hand-made guitar. She thought to check if tickets were still available, yet felt too lazy. She returned her attention to the television.  Smokey was singing a sad tune—eyes closed, swaying and lost in the music.

After a short nap Lucia showered and dressed in an embroidered gold and black Indian blouse, partnered with a pleated ankle-length skirt. As an afterthought she wore an ankle bracelet with semi-precious stones and tiny brass chimes that tinkled when she walked. She took an elevator down to the restaurant, sat in a dark corner, ordered a glass of white wine and a chef salad. With few other diners to distract she was soon covering a napkin with new Topology ideas. Shaking free for a moment, she reminded herself to call home.

Lucia was mother to a beautiful Four-year-old—married to an American writer she’d met by chance many years earlier. They’d lived in the States for nine years before moving to Mexico.

A lot of water under the bridge, she thought. Having Rita changed their lives. Her passion for Wyler was gradually replaced by her focus on Rita. They talked about how the fire was reduced to embers—yet Rita was worth any sacrifice.

# # #

Lucia’s focus changed when Smokey Harris and two others sat nearby. They didn’t appear to take notice of her—yet as he perused the menu, Smokey looked up, smiled and winked at her.

“Buenos tardes.”

Lucia returned his smile with a corrected, “Buenos noches.”

He glanced at his watch and nodded, “So it is, so it is.”

After a waiter took his order, Smokey whispered something and gave a nod in her direction. The other men at the table shook their heads. A few minutes later a bottle of Dom Perignon arrived to Lucia’s table.

“From the gentleman,” the waiter gestured.

Taking his cue, Smokey walked over. His friends stayed put—one said, “You too much, man.”

“I took a risk that you might like Champagne,” he began.

She smiled, “An expensive risk, Mr. Harris.”

“Blues fan?”

“And jazz too. I’ve heard you play both.”

“You know baby—jazz is just blues that’s tumbled down some stairs.”

Champagne traveled up her nose and she coughed as she laughed. Smokey patted her back and then rubbed the back of her neck.

“Thank you,” she said.

“You had me a little worried—thought I’d have to do some mouth-to-mouth.”

Lucia smiled and a swallowed some water.

“Coming to the show tomorrow night?”

She shook her head, “No—I don’t have a ticket.”

“Too late—all sold out,” he reached into his front shirt pocket, “but there’s ways around that.” He presented her with a ticket.

“Oh, that’s very nice of you, thank you.”

“That’ll put you front and center and get you backstage after the show. “

She touched a hand to her heart, “I don’t know what to say.”

“How ‘bout sharing some bubbly with ol’ Smokey?”

The waiter brought another flute without being asked.

“Here’s to beautiful Mexican women,” he raised his glass adding, “pretty lady, you got a million-watt smile.”

They touched glasses and sipped.

The getting-to-know-you chitchat ensued.  She was teaching in Acapulco and last year he’d played on a cruise ship that stopped there.

“I watched those cliff divers,” he said. “That’s some scary shit.”

He learned that she was married and had a daughter. She discovered that he was between relationships—father of two sons from previous marriage.

Lucia’s salad arrived and Smokey leered at it with one eye closed.

“That all you havin’?”

“I’m not very hungry.”

She nibbled her salad while he waited for his steak.

“How’d you get cozy with the blues pretty lady?”

“I don’t remember—college I think. I like the sadness and passion—how the songs tell stories.”

“That’s right they do, and you know what?”


“You gonna leave me with some bitter blues if you don’t join me for a nightcap—might even play a song or two.”

“What is a nightcap?” She wasn’t familiar with the word.

“Last drink folks have before they call it a night.”

“Oh,” she nodded, “yes, and I’d like very much to hear you play.”


After dinner he signed for the tab and proffered Lucia the crook of his arm.

“Shall we?”  He paused briefly to introduce her to his friends, who stood.

“Dorsey,” the first man said, “it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Everett,” introduced the other, “you folks have yourself a nice evening. Don’t keep him out too late, young lady,” he wagged a finger.

“Later brothers,” the three men shared a special handshake. Smokey escorted Lucia to the elevator.

“Dorsey, Everett and me—we’ve been playing together since we were kids. Our first band was, The Smoking Lizards.”

# # #

He had rented an entire suite, replete with a lighted fountain in the living room. He flipped on the lights and rotated a knob to dim them down.

“My goodness,” she managed as she watched the fountain spring to life.

“There’s another one in the bedroom.” He kicked off his shoes, “Make yourself at home.”

Lucia lifted her legs to remove her sandals.

Smoky led her into the bedroom.

“This’s where I keep Baby Blue—my guitar.”

The bedroom fountain was a sculpted mermaid, emptying water from a giant shell into a waiting pond. A full bar took up space beneath a flat-screen television hanging on the wall.

“What can I get you?” He asked.

“Nothing for me, thank you—the champagne was enough.”

He gestured to the bedroom fountain, “Doubles as a Jacuzzi—feels real nice after a concert. I always get this room when I play here.”

The over-sized bed was covered with bright throw pillows and his acoustic guitar was leaned against a nightstand. He reached for it and motioned for Lucia to sit next to him on the bed.

“This song’s for a beautiful flower called Lucia,” and he began playing.

His fingers lifted, pressed and wiggled changing mere notes into his signature style of play. His song was about a woman he’d given his soul to—only to be left twisting. He played with eyes closed, peeking at Lucia now and again until the final note resonated, and faded.

“That was so beautiful,” she smiled.

“Let you in on a little secret,” he answered, “right this moment—nothing in this world’s as beautiful as you.”

Lucia didn’t resist when he touched her face, and kissed her. His lips were soft and she returned it with the tip of her tongue. The moist sound of subsequent kisses made her lightheaded. His lips journeyed to the bird’s nest of her throat—to her ear—delicate, slow kisses that made her wet. His strumming hand slipped up beneath her blouse to rub her smooth brown back. Then, with a deft twist of thumb and forefinger he released the catch and her tits sprang forward.

Lifting the front of her blouse he trapped a brown nipple with his front teeth. Lucia combed her fingers through his hair as he suckled.

“Beautiful,” he whispered easing her to her back. His tongue traveled to the softness of her belly. She lifted when his fingers hooked inside the waistband of her skirt and panties.

“Sweet Jesus,” he groaned as he peeled them down, “the Garden of Eden.”

Smokey knelt to spread her pussy lips with his thumbs—flicking his tongue over the hooded flesh of her tiny pearl. She responded with a melodious moan and thrust against him.

“Like honey,” he said, pausing to slipped out of his pants. Lucia gawked at his thick, attenuated cock pulsing like a separate animal. He returned, licking, sliding a long, tapered index finger inside and curling it upward.

“Ayyy, get inside,” she gasped, “Huh-huh-huh!”

Smokey scooted until his bulbous tip touched her outer pedals. Caressing up and down until it glistened—he slowly pushed inside. Lucia stiffened and then shivered with pleasure as her pussy sheathed his broad shaft.

“We’ll take it nice and easy, baby—that’s right—nice and slow.”

When his entire length was wetted, Lucia moaned, spread wider and squeezed his lower arms. He cupped his hands under her knees to lift them over his shoulders.

He saw that her pussy lips were stretched taut around his thickness. He gazed into Lucia’s almond-shaped eyes—glazed with passion—loved how she inhaled so deeply when he was slipping in, followed by a deep, satisfied groan when he was in all the way. She dug her heels into his shoulder blades as he moved. When he bent to suck a nipple she unhooked her legs and brought them around his back to set a counter-rhythm with her hips.

Her first orgasm surprised him with its intensity—rhythmic muscular contractions, desperate cries.

“That’s right baby,” he said as he pushed through each successive spasm.

“Oh-oh-oh—ayyy—ohhh, ayyy!” Her sea-gull cries filled the bedroom.

She twitched and squeezed around his cock as Smokey stroked relentlessly—kissing and suckling until another one took hold. She thrashed beneath him, lifting her ass, clasping his shoulders and rubbing her calves over his back.

She’s playing her song, he thought. Each woman he’d been with had her own distinct way. Lucia’s song was original and lovely to the ear.

Smoky plunged to the hilt, balls leaping.

“Jesus—awww,” he growled as he spurt, “awww—shit—aw-aw-awww!”

# # #

For a long while after he stayed inside—kissing her tenderly. The impressive size of his cock afforded the luxury of staying inside until he was ready to leave. When he finally did, the wet sounds of compressed air were followed by a splurge of semen.

His ebony cock was glazed and Lucia’s dark snatch was matted with leavings. Smokey hummed an appreciative, “Mm-mm-mm” and thought he’d never seen anything so wonderful in all his life.

Breathing slowed—the bluesman leisurely nibbled and left a mark on the skin around her nipple. Lucia felt so sensitive that she thought the slightest breeze would make her cum again. Her knees were still lifted and she rubbed a foot lazily over his hips. They smiled at the same time.

“That husband of yours is one lucky buck—waking up to a smile like that every morning.”

“You make love like you play guitar,” she answered.

Smokey kissed her.  She smelled like cinnamon and sex. He had cried out for Jesus when he spurted. Must be a reason for that, he thought. Almighty must know that the secret to heaven on Earth is written between the parentheses of a pussy.

A short time later Smoky was ready to play another song and this one lasted much longer.

# # #

The next night Lucia phoned home before she walked to the concert. Smokey sent her a large bouquet of roses.

After the concert he welcomed her backstage with open arms, yet she saw he was already hooked up with another fan. Undoubtedly she would soon enjoy a free concert. Lucia was okay with that. She’d come to Mexico City without expectations and been privy to Smokey’s most intimate song—oh-so-sweet. Her memories would travel away from this city along with a pressed rose.

As she turned to leave Dorsey caught her by the elbow.

“Hey Lucia—where you goin’ girl?  I was hopin’ you’d hang around, join me later for a little nightcap.”

Cliff Diver By Ty Spencer Vossler

I was a foreigner—an American teaching English in Puebla, Mexico at a prestigious private high school. Safe and respected, I was enjoying my third year there, teaching the English Literature component of the International Baccalaureate Program. I had met and married a native Mexican while living in the United States, and we decided to leave the US after George Bush was reelected. Our daughter was born in Puebla and registered as a dual citizen. We were the Owens family.

Our lives were rich in comparison to our existence in the US, where work usurped most of our time and you needed an appointment to visit family or friends. Aside from the death-defying chaos of driving, and the rampant corruption of the Mexican government, life was peaceful. We stayed within our bubble, had friends, were invited out often and still had plenty of time for each other.

# # #

Nelly was a quiet, pretty Mexican girl.  She hid in the back of the classroom and lifted her head just enough to meet my eyes when I lectured, or to smile when I made a joke. Yet I was inexplicably drawn to her. After class, she was always the last out, fixing me with her best smile.

“See you tomorrow, professor Owens.”

It was after one of those farewell smiles that I decided to find out more about her—just out of curiosity.

In my office, I had access to folders filled with student information—academic records, special needs, and contact information. Nelly was sixteen—a straight A student, and she lived in a prosperous gated community. There was a recent picture affixed to the corner of her academic report. She had short, black hair that she spiked up. Her eyes were big, brown and soulful looking. She was smiling in the picture. In my mind I picture the rest of her—petite, wide in the hips, and a full backside that drew my furtive attention. After I caught myself staring at it a bit too long, I went to work, custom designing a lesson plan for Nelly’s class.

It was a poetry unit, filled with a variety of styles and offering students opportunities to write their own. When Nelly turned in a poem to me, short and sweet.

You cannot hide from me

we have found each other

on a lonely trail

leading toward desert hearts

that is how it always starts

I gave her high marks and encouraged her to continue writing poetry after the unit was finished, and provided my personal Email for her to send them to me. That very evening she sent me another poem.

finding you in the dark

just in time

I was a target

your arrow hit the mark

It was simple and I had an abhorrence for rhyming poetry. Yet her words touched me. If before I feared deeper waters, I now replied, plunging heart-first:

two voices cry for freedom

in darkness touching, craving sight

sharing passion

in the dawning of the light

Click—message sent—like a speeding bullet, a probe blasted into space, hoping for signs of intelligent life. She was very smart, this beautiful young Mexican lady. My conscience screamed, danger!  What if she rejects you and become a laughing stock?  What if she doesn’t?

The next day I searched her face for a hint that she received my exploratory missive. That afternoon as I graded papers at my desk—Inbox (1):

Your poem was beautiful. You are my favorite professor and I have learned so much from you. Someday I will tell you a secret.

Then she wrote:

discoveries made

treasures shared

caution fades

passion dared

Nelly—honest, sensitive, pretty, Nelly. I had taught literature for fifteen years, the last three at a private high school in Puebla, Mexico, and never had stirrings for a student—the dizzy release of dopamine. My guilt immediately began constructing cement walls, attempting to create a border between us, yet they crumbled quickly.

I was home when her answer arrived. Poetry is subjective, open to interpretation—a condensation of thought and feeling. She wrote:

Two voices are lifted where judgment cannot sit

Perhaps I can hide beside you, protected by your wings

Where it is safe to fly and to forget—

To taste the goodness your kisses will bring?

What should I have done?  I wasn’t strong enough to listen to my conscience. My heart wanted what my brain couldn’t have. I composed:

You have me now,

clandestine, I am yours

as sand secretly holds shells from the sea

You have me

Click—message sent with trembling fingers. How would she respond? Was I just an experiment, or would she allow my discretionary worship? It was a delicate matter. She held the power to destroy or create.

I searched the Internet for Mexican laws concerning relationships with minors and found Article 180. In Puebla the consenting age, one of the lowest in the world, was twelve—punishable only if a complaint was filed by a legal custodian or the minor in question. Six months to four years of prison time awaited those who obtained consent through means of deceit. In Spanish it was known as the crime of estupo. My conscience bastardized it into estupido, and my stupidity had no bounds, protected by a yearning heart.

After a few minutes I received her reply:

I have you, want you, have a match to set the fire

One afternoon, we will kindle our desire

There would be many firsts with Nelly—first embrace, first kiss, first passionate words. Nelly—her thighs were strong pillars that guarded her altar, and I wanted to worship there—to feel her youthful skin beneath my fingers and to taste all of her.

It was time for boldness, to lift the veil, suggest a black hole—somewhere safe where sighs, whispers, the sounds of love-making were uninhibited. I knew of such places—Mexican motels where couples pulled into a garage and the world closed around them—steps led up into the seclusion of the bedroom. Time stands still in motels, layers of shyness are peeled away with clothing to reveal us.

A black hole. I wondered how she would react to the idea.  Would this become a game she was no longer willing to play?  Would she spill to her friends in exchange for momentary fame, until I am called to the carpet in front of an administrator? Yet my heart mocked me, diverting blood between my legs. Clouds of desire formed thick layers over my brain.

I used a direct approach: Nelly, let’s spend an afternoon together. I know a safe place where time stands still.

Click—message sent. I am quivering.

“Dinner is almost ready,” my wife says and I nearly fell out of my chair.

“Okay, thanks honey.”

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. You startled me, that’s all.”

Nelly returned almost immediately and the chime of an incoming message made my wife pause for a moment. I held my breath, and then she returned into the kitchen.

Inbox: Yes—tomorrow after school. I will make an alibi to be home late.

# # #

I am not a religious man—never imagined the accusing finger of God shaking in my face. Yet guilt laid thin sheets of concrete over the sweet memory of the following Friday afternoon with Nelly even as I reenacted every detail from memory:

I remembered how Nelly’s hand trembled as I led her up the stairs from the motel garage and into the bedroom. Her breath was hyphenated as I took her into my arms to kiss her. Her body was an earthquake as I removed her clothing. A complimentary condom was waiting on the bed-stand and another three resided in the pocket of my pants. I guided her to the center of the bed and focused on a tacky lithograph of Don Quixote to keep from spilling prematurely when I pushed inside of her.

Afterward I dropped her on a side-street close to her home. She kissed me and gazed into my eyes for a long moment.

“Do you love me?” She asked.


What else could I could have said?

“I’ll write you all weekend.”

She got out of the car and I watched her walk away, looking back to wave now and then.

I drove home to my wife and three-year old daughter. My mind was such a swirl that I missed the turnoff and had to drive ten miles to turn around. Nelly can put you behind bars, I thought, she has control now. My passion satiated, reality pounded at my temples with a ball-pean hammer.

I woke up Saturday morning wondering how many of Nelly’s friends already knew. Could seventeen-year-olds keep secrets—especially life altering ones?

I was poised to become the anti-hero in a Greek tragedy—my mortal weakness dangling between my thighs.

“Are you okay?” My Mexican wife saw that I was completely preoccupied.

“I’m fine.”

It was the beginning of the lies. From here on out, falsehoods rained cats and dogs and I struggled to keep from drowning in deceit.

Nelly needed closure, reassurances, guarantees:

Oh, how I want you inside me again. Perhaps Monday we can revisit our black hole, my treat this time. Let me know so that I can make up another alibi.

I couldn’t answer her.

Then, after a half hour, she wrote again:

My Love, I can’t wait to see you again. I am yours.  Don’t ever worry about anyone finding out. I’m still tingling where you cleaned me with the warm wash-cloth.

Click—the message was sent, heart bursting with love and an aching flower.

“Darling, do you want to go to the market with us?”

“I have a bit of work to do,” I lied.

“Do you want anything?”

Oh, I thought, there is so much that I want.

That Sunday night after our daughter was asleep, my wife and I made love.  Guilt poured from me within the familiar vessel of her body.

# # #

Monday before classes I read part of her last message again—don’t ever worry about anyone finding out. Here was an opening to suggest ways in which to practice maximum discreetness. I wrote:


Please don’t feel bad if I ignore you in class. We have to be very careful. Other students are very perceptive about such things. You should trash all of our correspondences including this message and any future ones. I will have to see about today.

The usual items waited on my desk—papers to grade, forms to fill out. The new message chime sounded:

I deleted all evidence of our relationship. What are your plans for this afternoon?

I checked my wallet—a $500 peso bill reminded the motel cost $250 pesos. My fingers hovered over the keyboard.

# # #

That morning in class, Nelly wore a top that pushed her small breasts to the tipping point. A short skirt showcased the fullness of her backside and the short, smooth brown legs that would encircled me that afternoon. Her eyes were lasers. She gave knowing little smiles that corrupted my lecture about Catcher in the Rye. The boys in class noticed Nelly’s new look, stealing furtive glances, appraising and speculating on their chances with her.

Nelly examined us in the bathroom mirror after we showered late that afternoon. Two foil wrappers lay on the bed-stand. She said that she imagined waking up together and making love before breakfast.  I reminded her of out age difference and she it was unimportant—that friends her age seemed children now. Experience had separated her from them.

# # #

Nelly had a few close friends and they knew something had changed—she was preoccupied, disinterested in the usual gossip. On particular friend, Cecile, guessed what was making Nelly daydream during classes. She had noticed here enigmatic smiles, had seen my eyes soften when I glanced at Nelly. She spied doodles on Nelly’s notebook—abstract hearts floating above surrealistic swirls. Cecile invited Nelly out shopping one afternoon after school.

“I have a ton of homework—rain check?” Nelly answered.

“Okay,” but it wasn’t okay. There was something going on and she would get to the bottom of it.

Cecile hung back after school—followed Nelly two blocks down a side-street and around the corner—watched Nelly slip into my car—the quick kiss she gave.

# # #

That Sunday Nelly wrote:

I’m lying on my bed, watching the ceiling fan turn. I love you so much. I was glad you forgot condoms and that the motel didn’t have any in the room. I liked feeling you spill inside me. You don’t have to worry, it’s close to that time. Maybe I should take the pill.

I wrote back that the pill was a very good idea. Then I took my wife and daughter out for a Sunday breakfast. When I returned another message was waiting:

Ceci knows. She saw me get into your car and kiss you. She promises not to say anything. I didn’t tell her anything. Just that you had offered me a ride and that I kissed you on the spur of the moment.

I knew that the following day the entire school would know—perhaps the whole fucking world. My head ached and my heart wouldn’t stop thumping in my throat. Think, think, think— damage control!  I typed:

Stay calm.  We will get through this if we think it through.

Click—message sent—with a prayer to whatever god is in charge of undeserving requests, promising that I will never ever, ever, ever—

An hour went by before he replied:

I’m with my parents, so I can’t write much. Ceci promised she will keep quiet. She is my best friend and I trust her.

Christ Almighty, I thought—dead in the water. I considered calling in sick.  The students would all be staring at me, challenging me with their eyes, threatening my life with side remarks?  Yet if I didn’t show, it would be an admission, and surely a call to the carpet would soon follow. Perhaps Nelly’s parents would be there—the authorities, ready to take a statement. Oh, Christ.

# # #

I later learned that Nelly got emails and phone calls from a dozen friends that same night. I’m sure that most of the conversations went something like, “Come on, we’re friends, I won’t say anything I promise What was it like?”

Nelly tried to lie—tried her best to shrug it off, but the gossip had already deferred celebrity status and placed her as an icon for bourgeoning sexuality.

They finally got to her. Nelly’s fifteen minutes of fame began.

# # #

Monday morning the phone rang  while I was showering. I shut off the water to listen. My wife’s voice, “Yes, I’ll tell him—goodbye.”

She stuck her head through the bathroom door, “Dr. Galinda just called and said he wants to meet with you this morning before class.”


I nearly passed out. Air was unavailable to my lungs. I wrapped in a towel and padded into the bedroom. My wife was brushing her hair out and saw that I had turned ashen.

“What’s happening with you? Is something wrong at work?”

“Nothing—just got dizzy for a second.”

“Are you sure there’s nothing bothering you?” Her intuition cut through my bullshit. Yet I clung for dear life.

“Let’s go to Cholula this weekend. We haven’t been for a long time.”

# # #

I couldn’t swallow. The lump that formed in my throat wouldn’t allow. Such a small thing, I remember thinking, to swallow without pain—to feel a heartbeat where it belonged. Yet there I was, driving in the fast lane, past the cutoff I used to get to work—a turkey with its head on the block. My cellphone chimed with an incoming message. I glanced down at it. It was Nelly.

Drifting into the middle lane, I struck a semi-truck which pushed me into the guardrail.

# # #

I won’t bore you with the details. My wife dutifully tended to my needs for about a year until I could move about again on my own. A formal complaint from Nelly’s parents left me with little hope of ever teaching again, although my lawyer says that I won’t see the inside of a jail cell. My wife wants a divorce and my friends and family have abandoned ship.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my lawyer, but I am thinking instead to drive toward La Quebrada in Acapulco—to watch the cliff divers—to join them up there after a few drinks.

Queen of the Black Pyramid By J. Malcolm Stewart

From the Diary of Jean Martin Samael: Isla de la Sangre, off the coast of Belize, 5th of March, 1929

After days and nights of fighting through the teeth of the wilderness, I came to the clearing where stood the Black Pyramid.

It rose from the floor of the jungle; its massive, chiseled blocks of black, volcanic stone wrapped in vanishing mist. The structure shimmered in the light of Luna, anticipated the evening ritual.

With failing legs, I ascended the steps of the exterior, leaving the sounds and smells of the untamed darkness behind me. The distant sound of drumming was lifted to my ears by the wind.

And from somewhere, I heard a wolf howl.

I paused for moment to take a drink from my canteen. The last swig of water contained within passed through my lips like a whisper. It barely touched the thirst that was within me. The dryness that spread throughout my body had less to do with sweat or dehydration and more to do with a need I did not want to put in words.

The guides and the witch doctors who had told me how to find this place had also warned me. They had warned me of the growing thirst in my body that would become a physical need. A need that had propelled me through the humid jungle nights to these steps. A need that could only met by the queen of the Pyramid herself.

I knew she was waiting there in the shadows of the main, upper chamber. The night air had the taste of her ritual and her madness. The heavy air bore the scent of her into my nostrils like an obscene perfume, damp and earthy, a touch of evergreen in the passing.

The memory of her scent brought renewed vigor to my tired legs. With a final surge, I made my way up the final steps to the Pyramid’s apex.

The rising moon’s light became muted as I made my way under the Pyramid’s archways. The semi-darkness that greeted me was punctuated with flicking flame from the torches on the wall.

I stood a moment to see my reflection on the surface of the smoothly polished walls. I saw myself bent and distorted by the curvature of the stone, like some underwater creature viewed from the surface of a turbulent sea. My brown hair showed a hint of grey at the edges and my eyes, usually the color of the sea, looked pale and washed out in the glasslike wall. A wild, stringy beard was forming on my cheeks and chin. A sad consequence of my journey away from civilization.

I marveled at myself. Only months before, I had been a respected, reputable man of industry having left my beloved Corsica to make my fortune in the newly reformed republic of Mexico. The new overlords of the country, eager to quench the smoldering fires of the revolution, rushed to embrace the progress that came with my building projects.

It was there where I first found her. In the ancient remnants of Tenochtitlan, underneath Mexico City, my workers and I found her chamber. It had waited buried and undisturbed for nearly five hundred years. The superstitious amongst my workers fear to enter into what they called in Spanish La Morada de Diosa de Bestia: The Abode of the Goddess of Beasts.

I dismissed their fears, entering into the chamber to prove myself a modern man, a man of reason. It was there I came into her presence. Not merely a feeling, but a taste, a smell of something forgotten and buried. Something ancient and primal. A presence that spoke of wild nights of bloody sacrifice and the sound of howling wolves.

For months I poured over the legends and the histories of the goddess, delving into a ritual that predated the landing of the Conquistadors by centuries. I forgot all other pursuits, my business concerns, my social standing, my family obligations. To me, the goddess was all.

The stories and rumors eventually lead me here to the Island of Blood, the last known stronghold of the Queen of Wolves. Here into the chamber of her worship.

In the side of my vision, there are glimpses of animal shapes, loping on all fours through the chamber’s corridors. This night she had gathered her children to her. To bear witness to the task for which I had been summoned.

A few more weary steps brought me to the altar. I stopped to run my hands over the smoothed stone of its black surface. The grooves and indentions all told a story to me. A story of pain and passion, of lives given and lives taken. A story old when the salons and cathedrals of Europe were young. A story written in bloody, dark stones.

All of it whispered to me while I stood there. Again in the rippling stones of its surface I saw myself transfixed by its power, seduced by its mysteries.

“What do you see there in the stones?” echoed a woman’s voice from the chamber’s darkness. “A man? Or a monster?”

The dry roof of my mouth almost prevented me from forming words.

“I… I,” I began. “I don‘t know…”

“Really, my love?” said the voice from the dark, lingering over the last syllables in her phrase with a mocking joy. “Do you know what means? To come to me in my temple underneath the fullness of the moon?”

“Yes, I do,” I said.

I heard the sound of footsteps moving purposely over stone.

“Are you truly ready Jean Martin Samael?” said her voice as it came closer to me. “Are you ready to give yourself upon this altar to me without reservation? Are you prepared to throw away your reputation, your standing, your veneer of civility to have me? Only me?”

The dryness in my mouth was unbearable. The sound of her voice alone brought my body alive with the touch of fire and ice, from the tip of head into the depths of my groin.

“Yes!” I heard my voice calling out into the humid air. “I give the only worthy sacrifice to your greatness. Myself!”

The queen entered the chamber in the fire light, her violet eyes piercing the shadows.

I saw her taught, sculpted body was covered only by the burgundy robe given to the Pyramid’s high priestess. Her hair blossomed dark against her pale creamy skin like dyed silk. Above the robe’s clasp was her string of pearls, which glittered as dark as the night skies above.

I could see the shape of her erect nipples against the fabric of her robe and her coal-painted fingertips hovered on her stomach just above the form of her trimmed vagina.

As she walked toward me, her lips beckoned a bloody red smile against her white teeth. Without the need of words, I heard my name whispered in her eyes.

She came to a halt in front of me, our bodies almost touching. With a single motion she brought the robe’s clasp undone and let it fall from her shoulders.

She stood a moment there in front of me, unveiled in the half-light, the perfection of her pear-shaped bosoms framed in my eyes. Against the nature my desire, I wondered about the fate of those who had beheld this sight across the centuries.

Her smile was wicked and her eyes danced with a darkly held desire. A desire chained and held to Earth by flesh of our bodies. Then her hands were at my chest, disposing of my coat and undoing my shirt with shredding of fabric and thread.

I felt her lips across my chest, lingering over my nipples with her tongue. In the next moment, her hand fell downward to my belt buckle and pants. With a girlish giggle, she slid to the floor on her knees.

With her nimble hands, she worked the belt and pants to the floor to reveal my erect penis. I felt the touch of her lips to its tip, joyfully rolling her tongue across its edges. With her right hand, she firmly stroked the base of it further into her mouth. Her left hand applied a light caress of my scrotum, following the course of my erection as it continued to grow against the top of her mouth.

The power of her action left me groaning and weak. I could myself building and surging towards letting go. But in manner of a woman who knew all the forms of erotic cruelty, she took her lips away from her task, sliding her body up against mine until our lips met in passion.

The same tongue that had given pleasure to one part of my body rolled and turned through my mouth like a tidal wave. Then, with a firm push to my chest, she moved away from me to lie on the altar.

Again, she exposed her full body to me, displayed against the cold stone surface of the altar. She held me in place with her eyes, reaching down again to touch herself, not allowing me to release my lust.

With the laugh of an imp, she turned herself over on the slab, showing to me her naked bottom and the wolfs-head brand on the small of back.

Arching her back, she brought her backside against me, letting the smooth texture of her bottom meet my penis. As I took hold of her waist, I felt the damp touch of her vaginal walls encircle my member. A sucking gasp escaped her lips.

“Fuck me,” she demanded.

I let myself enter her. The world became a sensation of thrusting and moaning, both hers and mine. The touch of her against my body spurred me faster and harder until the chamber came alive with the sound of our slapping bodies. The scent of damp evergreen rose in my nostrils until I could remember no other thing.

Somewhere underneath me, I heard her voice repeating the same two words of before, the form of them building and rising with her excitement.

Then I heard another voice joining in with her. A distant sounding man’s voice, almost like my voice but filled with a passion I had never felt before. And that voice was close to climax, meeting passion with passion, fire with fire.

I felt myself let go with a release of ice, surging past boundaries of flesh and gravity to enter into the core of her being. The queen’s body tensed, grabbing my organ with her inner walls, receiving my worship to her with an overwhelming joy.

I heard her cry out once more and then release me. The last of my strength gone, I fell to her side on the cool stones of the altar.

After a moment of gasping and heaving, I felt the presence of her lips next my ear.

“It’s done, my love,” she said with the wind of her breath against my face, her body damp with the sweat of our passion. “You, of your own free will have come to the queen of the Black Pyramid and worshiped her body and soul under the light of the full moon. Now, and forever, you are mine.”

The weight of my deeds rested alongside the euphoria of my climax. I knew what she was saying and I knew it to be true. But I no longer cared about that. I had found her. She was mine. And I was hers.

Ven, mi amor,” she said, beckoning me to my feet with an outstretched hand. “Come and see what I have prepared for you.”

Rising, I followed her from the chamber into the adjoining throne room. There, on the raised dais, sat two thrones side by side, made of human bones. They shone like pale death in the filtered moonlight. Before the dais were the rows of her assembled subjects, the creatures of the night come to pay homage to the throne of the queen and her chosen mate.

We ascended the steps to take our place amongst our kingdom, playing the role master and mistress to the dregs of darkness.

“Now and forever, you belong to me,” said my dark queen as she stroked my cheek. “The outside world will no longer touch you. No longer will you fear or doubt. The only things that exist in your world now are the icy touch of my body, the sound of my voice, the caress of my lips.”

With that said, I took another taste of her red painted lips, the sharp taste of evergreen remaining in my mouth.

Before me on the floor of the throne room was the torn remnants of the night’s prey. Whatever it had been, human or animal now lay mangled in the half-light. It shone bloody in my eyes, the smell of it filling my nostrils and the copper taste of it already in my mouth. Against the sides of my tongue, I could feel tips of my incisors sharpening in anticipation of my lover’s feast.

“Now, my love,” whispered my queen. “Arise and eat.”

Somewhere in the darkness, I heard the growl of an animal which transformed into a howl. The sound of a beast full of rage and passion. A monster lost forever to the cold embrace of the Queen of the Black Pyramid.

Far, far too late, after my body was full of blood and flesh, I came to understand that the cry of the beast had been my very own.