Sunday Scribblings #183 – First Kiss

 Votive01a-2.jpg picture by pemerytx

Photo © Quick Candles

I saw him some distance away, walking toward me, lanky legs striding long in worn jeans, silver-buckled black boots on his feet.  His head was down, his shaggy black hair hanging forward, shadowing his face.  A black tank top was stretched over his torso and his muscled arms were covered with tattoos, all bluish-black, no other colors.  His fingers were silver-ringed and tattooed, and in one hand he held a black fedora.

My instincts rose up urgently, warned me, “Look away from him!  Run away!”  But my body felt leaden and my eyes wouldn’t or couldn’t obey.  They stared on, big and wide, and watched him lift his head to throw back his hair, watched him set the fedora down on his head in one deft sweep of arm and stride of leg.  His lips were full, encircled by a goatee and mustache and from rims of black liner, his dark eyes shone and shifted side to side until they found my big, wide eyes and locked on them.

He strode directly to me.  Still, I wouldn’t or couldn’t move and I felt my eyes begin to flicker with fear and to fight to retreat as if to faint, and on seeing this he stopped just short of me.  He spoke my name softly, “Elena,” and the surprise of that familiar word from a stranger’s mouth brought him quickly, sharply back into focus.  “There,” he said, smiling, his eyes shining more softly, muted as candle flames low in frosted votives.  His voice was deep and pleasing, mesmerizing.  “I only want to kiss you,” he said, stepping closer.  “May I?”

My eyes screamed, “No!”  I was not ready.  And he stepped back abruptly, as if pushed back.  Hurt leapt from his eyes briefly before fierce, high flames consumed it, and he turned, seeming indifferent, and ambled away like to a long, slow song.  Immediately, a roiling cloud of emotion—regret, sorrow, desperation, longing—let loose and flooded my mind.  I tried to call out to him to come back, but I had no voice.  I was reduced to tears of frustration, left gasping for meaning.

I felt a yearning to participate in the part of living that has to do with loving, and at the same time my recoiling felt far more real, more convincing.  Yet the more I revisited the dark stranger’s approaching, the more hazy it all became, and soon I was imagining choreographed scenes of his approaching, as in a movie, with music as we two rushed together.  And even having no reason to assume I’d ever see him again, I prepared myself to act out my movie scene, hoping I would.

Time became as water flowing under an endless bridge and I became colder, feeling nearly in the grip of winter when I saw him again at last.  He was dressed still in jeans and black tank top and I thought it strange that he had no coat.   He was standing amidst a group of people, staring at me, waiting for me to notice him.  My eyes sparkled, beckoned, and he moved quickly toward me.  I tried to throw open my arms as I’d rehearsed in my movie, but they wouldn’t, couldn’t move.  Still, he felt my joy on seeing him and he embraced me and kissed my mouth slowly, tenderly, once.  He pulled back to regard me, his strong arms still around me.  I smiled.

His full, soft lips had left me swooning, desiring more, yet feeling too weak to request it.  I felt my joy and desire draining fast away like blood rushing from my body.  And the bizarreness of that thought was as an intense jolt of electricity that stopped my heart and opened my eyes to further bizarreness, to bent and overturned cars and a buzz of voices and radio noises and me on the side of a highway, my blood draining away despite the best efforts of two uniformed souls.  I opened my mouth to thank them for trying, but no sound came out, and anyway, I could see it was too late, that my dark stranger was the angel of death and he had on me a firm grip.  I closed my eyes and relaxed into his arms, and as he bore me away from this life, I thought it strange how this last kiss was as sweet as my first, when I was just a young girl beginning a new phase of life.

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Click here for more on prompt #183 – First Kiss from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

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17 responses to “Sunday Scribblings #183 – First Kiss

  1. You never cease to amaze me – this is dark and though I never thought of death as sexy, here it is hot, sweet, and nothing like the skull faced monster with the sickle we have always imagined. Tats and a fedora, gotta love a fedora…
    But maybe death and sex – not so far apart? I’ve been waiting all weekend and you surely did not disappoint – hell even if I hadn’t finished it, the first description was luscious enough to take home all by itself!

  2. Those blackbird lovers… it’s their beaks: they can’t so much as kiss without leaving behind a trail of blood and destruction. And it’s always the innocents they go for, the ones seduced by the bad boy swagger. He sure caught my attention; held it to the very end.

  3. KEITH
    LOL! Yeah, he did his job well ; )

    DEE
    Perhaps not so far apart… Now, for 500 points, can you guess who I used as a model for our man here, the angel of death? Hint: think alternative rock. Oh, ya know, I should get over myself and just thank you for your tasty compliments! They were so worth the calories : )

    ANNO
    Ooh, Anno, I dig your first sentence like crazy! It’s the poefect gift! Thank you : )

    MR. BOSTON
    I’ll take it : ) Good to see you back around here.

    MS. MOOD
    Hahaa, yes. That’s a good summation : )

  4. Muchness: I love how the deck reshuffles and reconfigures in the last paragraph. It’s by no means the same thing, but I kept thinking of the beautiful opening scene in Duvall’s “The Apostle,” when he hightails it through the brush to the dazed, near-paralyzed couple in their wreck of a car, to pray with them and save them, beating even the cops. It’s a lovely scene and says so much about The Apostle EF, his compulsion to heal and save. You bring those same lovely atmospherics to that last paragraph.

    I was struck by the “brief” hurt in those votive (what a wonderful image, that) eyes. So, it seems that Death aches for us, just as does God. “Desiring more”: what a wonderful transfiguration of Death, what luscious captivity for us all.

    Love the way you rode this prompt hard and put it up wet…Took us right on out of teenybopping…

  5. PASCHAL
    I’m so glad you came by and found something to love. You always unearth some valuable thing, and you plunk it down on top of the table under the light, most of the dirt still moist and clinging to it. Hmm, yes, the votive eyes, the hurt. And the fire that consumed the hurt, the other side of the biblical God, and further, seeming to turn his back on his people, but watchful always. He’s in all forms, yeah? I did also like your re-opening of “The Apostle” vault and tapping into the same vein of bizarreness within it. I appreciate your attention to my detail, P : )

    MOISE
    No, no, you go right ahead! It had to be said…but only as you said it with such an elucidation. I had my doubts about this piece and so your last sentence was pure joy. Thank you : )

    TUMBLEWORDS
    My ego’s been acting like a starving refugee tonight, so bless you! The napkin fiction? Some were not so hot, so true. Oh, but Susan, did you read the R.T. Smith??? I haven’t read any more since then, but tell me, if you come back by here, what you thought about “Luna Green” : )

  6. Your writing simply gorgeous.
    What a way with words!

    Thanks for dropping by, yup, mine does tend to push one for a pepcid, especially after what I read here! :)

  7. TUMBLEWORDS
    Ah, excellent way to put it. I love your on-the-money encapsulations : ) I still haven’t had a chance to get back to Esquire to comb their napkin fiction project for more gems; and anyway, now you’ve got me wanting to know your #1 favorite from there thus far. So again, if you come back by here again, I’d love to know so I can rush over there, go straight for it and enjoy the heck out of it!

    BEE BEE
    Saying I need a Pepcid on reading something means it’s gushy love stuff that I would never admit to liking unless the author of it threatened to stick toothpicks under my fingernails. So I hope you are making a clever joke about it here, because this piece of mine is nearly as guilty of gush! I enjoyed your writing : )

  8. okay – craziness all week kept me form coming back and I never could figure out who the angel of death was modeled after. Kid Rock?? Jason Mraz? aarg! tired now – fun but busy long day. Give me another clue!!

  9. DEE
    Now Dee, Kid Rock doesn’t have black hair and Jason Mraz has brown hair and, last I checked, no facial hair, and no tattoos all over his arms ; ) Our death angel here looks more handsome demon than angel, is just as I described him, goatee and all, and played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for a few years. I bet you guess it this time : )

  10. i remember seeing his eyes–oceans of brown, pools of green, holding that hope i’d make the move, both of us too inept to know which way to turn, how to do this thing we both wanted.

    instead, he hugged me–hard. he breathed in on the skin under my ear… i felt his lips lightly touch me there.

    then, he was gone.

    both my truth and this tale leave me feeling so much was missed, so much was done… so very much.

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