Monday, May 14, 2007

Haunted Romance

Here's the romance story I promised, sorry it's a little late. But be warned, it's no regular romance story. Even though it might seem that way at first....Enjoy, my friends. And remember, I want honesty. Thanks again!

Haunted Romance


Lucas Pederson

They kissed and a zing of pleasure passed through him. Her hands went to the buckle of his belt, undid it, and then her fingers were on the button. He moaned deep in his throat, he couldn’t help it. Its been a long time since he’s had a woman and he wasn’t quite sure how to act, or what to say.

Their lips parted and she had his pants down before he even fully realized it. Then, yep, there went his boxers. He stood before her naked.

“Oh.” She gasped.

Then she had him in her mouth, and oh, how wonderfully exquisite! This time the moan slipped out of his mouth and lingered in the warm air of the night. He tilted his head back, smiling, giving into the feeling, the love, the passion, the-


Kevin jerked awake, breathing heavily in the cool darkness of his bedroom.

“Turn that fuckin thing off.” His wife, Helen, mumbled beside him and rolled away. Nothing new there.

He shifted his position and felt a hot, sticky warmth in his boxers. Uh-oh. Kevin glanced over at Helen, swallowed and quickly slipped out of bed. I had a wet dream, he thought dazedly as he shuffled for the bathroom, his penis erect, protruding out before him like a large hitchhiker’s thumb. A wet dream. And it wasn’t the first.

Kevin cleaned himself up, threw the boxers in the wash machine along with various other clothes, and turned the thing on. When it whirred to life he turned and hurried into the kitchen to eat a quick breakfast. Helen would give him grief if she knew about his wet dreams. She always gave him grief about everything, as a matter of fact.

As he ate, the dream resurfaced in his mind. Floating there like a fine steamy mist. Every night for the past year the woman in the dream would come, but every time it would be different. Different sex positions, sometimes oral sex. Helen has never given Kevin oral sex. She claimed it degrading to woman, absolutely disgusting! Mostly, though, the dreams would consist of her, the dream woman, and him sitting down and talking. Even then he’d awaken with hot spunk filling his boxers. She always told him she’d like to get to know him better. She wanted to be more than just lovers. Hell, he didn’t even know her name so how could he go any deeper than lengthy conversations and sex? Ah, but she knew his, didn’t she? Oh yes. She spoke it more than once in many different dreams of the past. Still, how come he didn’t know her name? After a moment he chuckled to himself.

“Just a dream.” He told the empty kitchen. A dream.

“She’s not real.” Yet, she felt very real. Perhaps it was only him wanting her to be real that made it feel so real.

Kevin finished his cereal and left for work. And at various times of the day, his mind would drift to the most recent dream, and then the woman. The sexy, deliciously loving woman in his dreams. On the car ride home, after making a little pit-stop, he didn’t much listen to the radio, but heard her voice, saying:

“Oh.” Over and over again.

Once he was home, however, the dream and the woman faded back into his mind. That was okay, though, because now he needed to think of Helen. Today was their tenth anniversary, after all. And besides, he truly did love Helen. There were times, of course, he wished he hadn’t married her. Times that grow more frequent with each passing year. It was during these times he actually loathed her completely.

Kevin entered the house, smiling, because, loath or not, this was a special day, and he really did love her still. He loved her more than she knew. Gripping the box in his dirty jeans pocket, which he had picked up while at the pit-stop, Kevin started forward.

His heart sank a moment later when he heard the vacuum cleaner whir to life. She was cleaning…again. The woman seemed to always be cleaning. Perhaps she did it to avoid him, he didn’t know, but it drove him fucking nuts every time. Because every time she started to clean, she ignored him.

He let go of the small velvety box in his pocket and sighed. He’d have to wait now. Helen hated to be interrupted while she was cleaning, God knew why. Well, they were supposed to go out for dinner at nice restaurant tonight. Maybe then he’d give her her gift.

Instead of going to her and saying hello, he went upstairs and took a long hot shower.

Five o’clock that evening, Kevin dressed in a pair of tan kakis and a white dress shirt. They got into her car with out a word to one another. This was the way Helen liked it. Kevin’s car wasn’t good enough for a night out. His was a work vehicle, too trashy in Helen’s eyes to be out and about with her in it.

He turned the ignition and the engine started. He looked over at Helen then, sitting there frowning out the windshield. She was forever frowning. She was gorgeous, as always, but tonight she looked brilliant in her blue summer dress. His eyes floated to her breast, back up to her face. It took him a moment to realize she was looking at him now, glaring.

“Well?” She said. “We going, or are you gonna stare at my tits all day?”

Without a word, Kevin put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.

Half an hour later they pulled into the restaurants’ parking lot. A nice little Italian job by the name of Biolli’s They’ve never eaten here, but Kevin heard the food was excellent.

They got a booth and sat down.

“May I get you two something to drink while you look over the menus?” Their waitress asked, pleasantly smiling at him.

Kevin smiled brightly back and began to say: “The finest wine you carry.”, when Helen piped up.

“I’ll have a Diet Coke.”

At a sudden loss for words, Kevin gapped at her. Helen impatiently gestured fro him to order his drink. He sighed and looked up at the waitress.

“I’ll have a Bud Lite, if you got it.”

The waitress smiled, nodded and jotted down his order on her pad. Guess they do, he thought absently. The waitress left, and Kevin turned to his lovely, but sour wife. She sat there, scowling down at the menu. He knew what she was going to say before it even spewed out of her mouth.

“This place is so expensive.”

To Helen, everything was expensive. Kevin frowned and said.

“It’s a nice restaurant, honey, not Hardee’s You’re paying for good food.” He honestly didn’t want to rouse another fight, God knew there has been plenty, but he couldn’t just sit here and let her ruin their anniversary like she was ruining their marriage.

She looked up and the glare returned to stare him down. In some ways he was terrified of her. He just didn’t know what to expect sometimes. He wondered what ever happened to the Helen he had married ten years ago. That happy, care free young woman, who always opted fro a great time. Did he do this to her? Did he make her this sour woman who’d rather clean and bitch at him than have a good time with the man she married? God, he hoped not. Yet, he wondered. Was it his fault?

“You’re nothing but an alcoholic.” Helen snapped.
“It’s one beer, Helen. First in three months. Relax. Besides,” He smiled. “It’s a special day.”

Helen looked at him for a long time before she shrugged, looked down at her menu and said.

“Just another day.”

Kevin gaped at her. He wanted to reach across the table and slap her has hard as he could. How could she be so damn cold?

Their drinks came and the conversation died. Kevin ordered another Bud Lite after his first, and then another, and another, one more. He didn’t eat anything, and instead of pulling out the velvet box to show Helen what he bought for her, something he couldn’t afford when they got married, but could now, Kevin settled back and thought about the woman in his dream, and how he wished she was sitting there in Helen’s place right now. Why, wouldn’t that be wonderful. Yes, it would.

They got home at around eight o’clock, Kevin a bit tipsy from too much beer and not enough to eat. Helen marched up the stairs, mumbling to herself about what a wretched night this had been. Kevin watched after her as she went, thinking all the while how much he hated her just now.

“I’ll be up in a minute.” He called after her.

Helen paused a couple steps from the top, spun, began to tell him something, probably for him to stay the fuck downstairs until she’s asleep, and then she lost her balance. She went tumbling down the stairs. Kevin screamed. He started up the stairs to catch her when he heard the thick sickening snap of her neck break. Helen rolled into him and he gathered her up quickly. She was limp in his arms as he moved her from the stairs to the bottom landing.

Kevin laid her on the landing, sobbing. Her head was craned in an impossible angle.

“Oh Jesus.” He gasped and felt for a pulse. Nothing. He listened for breathing. Again, there was nothing.

He stood, and backed quickly away from her. Dead. His Helen. His Helen was dead. Kevin, feeling hot tears prickle his eyes, went for the phone to call for an ambulance. Half way there, he stopped. What was he thinking? If he called anyone they might think he did this to her. It was absurd, sure, but still, people especially ones of authority, wouldn’t see it as absurd and would dub him a murderer in a day. He turned to look at Helen’s twisted body there on the bottom landing, and shivered. What the hell was he supposed to do with her then?

Kevin plopped down on the couch and cupped his hands over his face.
An hour later, he fell asleep sobbing on the couch.

“She’s dead.” He told the woman standing before him naked, the warm night air lifting her raven dark hair.

“Who? You’re wife?” She asked.

“Yeah. She fell down the stairs.”

The woman smiled a little, but said nothing. That was okay, Kevin knew what she was thinking. Helen, in a way, deserved what she got. Then suddenly the dream woman’s face brightened.

“Kevin.” She said after a moment. He looked at her. They were standing in his living room now, and looking at the body of his dead wife. How they had gotten here was beyond him. But suddenly he thought hew wasn’t dreaming anymore.

“Yes?” He said.

“I can be real again.” She said and turned to him. She was still naked and he thought about how he’d love to ravage that flawless body, even in the presence of his dead wife.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

She smiled and nodded toward Helen.

“I can live in her body. Her own spirit has moved on. She’s truly gone. But I can have her body as my own, if you want that.”

“So you’re a ghost then?” He asked. “That’s how you got into my dreams?”

“I’m a spirit.” She said. “A ghost is lost. I was never lost, I love this world better is all. Besides, I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you when you and that woman bought this house.”

“Two years ago.” He said, remembering the day.

A tornado had taken their old home in Manchester. Not long after, they came here, to Ryan, and bought this beautiful two story house.

“Yes.” The woman spirit said. She looked at Helen. “I never did like her, even then. She was so mean to you.”

“She wasn’t always that way.” Kevin said, then added. “I’m not sleeping anymore, am I?”

“No.” She said. She went to him and they embraced. They kissed for a long time. Kevin felt his groin stir with excitement and pushed her gently away.

He looked at Helen and sighed.

“Okay.” He said.

“What?” She asked.

“Take her body. But can you live? Her neck’s broke.”

“When I enter everything will be restored.” The spirit woman said and started for the body.

She stopped and gave him a happy smile. Yes. He was in love her all right. And he believed she truly loved him too. The spirit woman turned away and walked to Helen’s corpse.

They sat at the very same booth at the very same restaurant. They smiled at each other, unable to keep their eyes off of each other. When the waitress came around, he ordered for them a finest bottle of wine.

After they had ate and most of the wine was gone, Kevin brought out the velvet box meant for his one true love. He opened the box and reveal the contents to the pretty dark haired woman sitting across from him. She gasped. Kevin smiled. Before coming home from work, he had stopped at the jewelry store and bought Helen a four carrot diamond anniversary ring.

The woman took the ring and slid it onto her ring finger, now void of any other rings. This was to be a start for them

“Will you marry me?” He asked quietly.

She giggled happily.

“Yes. I will, I will. I love you so much!”

They leaned over the table and kissed. Once seated again they stared at each other. A few minutes passed and Kevin asked.

“By they way, what’s your name?”

She giggled again. Her green eyes fixed on his.

“Just call me Helen.” She said softly and took a sip of wine, her eyes never leaving his.

Kevin nodded.

Helen, he could live with Helen.

The End


Susan Miller said...

I like it. I like what this says to me. I can relate to what I feel are the themes here. Your ability to show me the state of their marriage is excellent. The mixed genres is smooth, and I don't have a problem with how you transitioned this.

There was this story I had read by a guy, who was supposed to be this famous poet. had requested that he write the story for their readers. Supposedly, he had labored over every word. I am supposed to respect him. I mean, let's get real, people are asking him to write for them. Let's just say that his story was disappointing and it made me wonder if that was truly how a man in his early 20's has sex. I wondered if it was mechanical for all men.

Lucas, I have no clout or merit. My opinion is merely an opinion. Know this. All I profess to be is your reader.

As your reader, I felt cheated by the sex if you were holding back, and it made me wonder how much you cut out of this piece. Some of the best advice I've been given is to "let go", which for me means letting go of that control I put in my writing. What will people think? My suggestion is to write that sex scene like it is some type of stream of consciousness put it down on paper. Don't count the words, don't care about punctuation, don't give a damn...just give me every moment of it. Then go back later and edit.

Hot spunk = me giggling and could very well be used in a comedy about sex, which could be something I enjoy but I wouldn't put it here. There are other ways to describe that liquid keeping with your tone.

This could be more serious, I think, because beneath are some real issues with couples.

It is a wonderful start to a thought provoking piece.

Thank you for sharing it, Lucas. I always enjoy your work.

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting. Good to have the twist on the story. I'm wondering if we might not be dealing with an unreliable narrator, though. Maybe he's crazy. Good work. I think I agree with Susan about "hot spunk," though.

Lucas Pederson said...

It's great to have honest readers! And so far I've learned through this little experiment that I should not use the phrase "hot spunk" as describing sperm. Perhpas "hot load" would have been better for this story, or something to that effect. Susan, you are right, I guess I was holding back on that sex scene. And yes, I was embaressed to write it. It was the hardest part of the story to write, in fact. BUt this is why it's an experimental piece. To see where my faults lie. Obviously it's in the sex department. I read over that part again and saw quite a few places where I could have steamed it up a bit more. Places where I could have used better words or phrases, such as the infamous "Hot Spunk".
I know this will dissapoint folks, but that's okay, because this is an experiment, as I have already mentioned. I have never writen a romance piece before.
Charles, thanks for the good words and I'm not so sure about the narrator either, perhaps he has gone off his rocker. I wanted him to sound and feel unstable, though. I wanted the readers to be wary of him. To that, at least, I think I achieved.
Thank you both for stopping by and reading this odd piece of mine! IT's always a pleasure.

Fab said...

Hey Lucas!

I liked it. You're a good writer and it shows. I do agree with Susan that you could have taken it a bit further. (Damn the alarm clock!)

As you warned us, it is not a conventional story. How you described the characters was good and the restaurant scene was recognizable to me. It made me think of someone ... a bit like Helen.

I was just a bit taken by how you ended the story. Did Helen really fall or did your ghost woman had something to do with it? Maybe you meant this, by reading between the lines. If this was the case, sorry for my not realizing it.

Kate S said...

Ok, this has potential as a longer piece, but I'm not seeing it exactly as a romance right now.

I could however, see this being further developed as an erotic/horror/romance (yes, there are such animals.)

I'll try to send you an email later going through it step by step (there were some slipping verb tenses & points of view) as well as any other humble opinions that you can feel free to discard. :)

Donnetta Lee said...

Now this is the kind of story I like. And this is the length I like. I've said before, I have no attention span! So this really works for me. And I love the "off beat" quality. If you ever find time, please come by and read my story, "Anna's Husband" and see what you think of it. I love short stories with a twist!

Lucas Pederson said...

Fab...flatery will get you nowhere. :-)
Seriously though, as I've mentioend before, the sex part was tough for me to go through with, even if it was oral sex. I wanted it to be intimate, but at the same time brief so I could get on with the story. Too much sex, no matter how fun it is to read for some, seems to make the stroy drag for me. I don't know.
I think we all know someone a little like Helen. She's everywhere. When Helen falls down the stairs it's all up in the air. Sure, the spirit could have pushed her, but yeah, she could have also just lost her balance. I'll let the readers make the call, it's more fun that way I think.

Kate, longer? Jeepers! You how long it took me to get that far? Well, it wasn't horrible, but it took me some time, instead of just flowing through it like I would with a horror story. Erotic/horror/romance? Yikes. That's scary just looking at it like that, all lined up and ominous. I hope to get your email soon! I'm glad you took the time to go through it so carefully. Thanks!

Donnetta, thanks for the good words! I had a lot of trouble with this story, as I have mentioned over and over again. But I'm glad you liked it. And I will be heading over to your blog soon. I've been working a lot lately at my day job. Pain in the ass as it is...
See you soon and thanks for stopping by!

Fab said...

I know in a story you mustn't give it all away. The reader can use his/her imagination. I prefer that too. It's just that when you mentioned you were going to write something romantic, the oral sex wasn't something I expected to read and oh, hold on ...there it was!

Flattery? I was being sincere ;)

Travis said...

As a story, I liked this.

It didn't have a romance kind of feel to me though - probably because some of the language you chose had hard edges to it.

Examples: "zing of pleasure", "yep, there went his boxers".

There isn't anything really wrong with those choices - from a man's perspective. But perhaps there were softer ways to describe those actions that would move more toward romance.

It's a good start on your experiment. Kate had a good description - erotic/horror/romance.

Good luck!

Lucas Pederson said...

Fab, yeah, the oral sex....sorry, it just sort of jumped out onto the screen that way. My next etempt might work better. We'll see. And thanks for all your support and valuable feeback!

Travis, well, at least for a story you liked it. I agree with Kate too. This really has little romance in it, if any at all. I'm working on something now, in between various other projects, that might work better in the romance department, well, at least I hope so. I need to soften my words, yes, I agree with that. Thanks for stopping by, buddy!