FICTION: SUMMER – Jennifer Cerna



The sun, in its descent, turned green leaves a bright gold. Small flecks of dust in the air reflected that same light, falling onto the houseplants and the hardwood floor. The air was hot and still. The fan, broken, sat guilty in the corner of the room. Cicadas screamed from every tree in the mountain behind the house.

Sam twisted in her chair, popping her back. When the sun goes down, I’ll run, she thought to herself. She looked out at the hazy peninsula that she called home. She did not want to run.

Children screamed and laughed outside. Yet inside the apartment, there was a quiet tranquility accompanied with piano songs in minor. Sam sat in her faded chair, thinking about how her mood seemed to reflect her life: solitary and quiet, a bit detached.

She thought about home. How the peninsula haze carried with it the smell of home: a landlocked, flat nowhere. She remembered her childhood, also solitary, quiet, and detached. Birds in the distance cried out.

How time flies! It had been twelve years since she first experienced this smell. The distant memories of her childhood seemed closer here than anywhere else, even though she had never lived here as a child.

In one year, Sam would have to return home. Why, she did not know. All she knew was that she couldn’t be on this peninsula for more than one more year. So she had set the date that her work contract would end and spent her free time at home, sitting in her faded chair, reflecting on her past and thinking about her future.

She wished she could stop time. This was why she ran so much. Even when cars drove by, the sun sets, and house lights flicker on and off, time never seemed to pass as long as her feet kept hitting the pavement in rhythmic motion. Action cut through a frozen time before it resumed again.

The sun would not set for another hour and a half, but running would be tolerable in less than an hour. Sam shifted in her chair, bits of lint sticking to the backs of her thighs. She thought about Ella, the girl she fell in love with the moment she laid eyes on her in a college drawing class. She had a few interactions with her, but mostly, she only saw her walking around campus.

The night before, while scrolling through her social media feed, Sam saw that Ella was in a relationship with another woman, a surprise to her! She had spent all four years of college lusting after a straight woman only to find out that had she been brave enough, she could have had a chance with her. How sad, Sam thought. She would probably never see Ella again except on her social media “Friends” list.

The sun tucked itself behind the high mountains, though still some ways above the horizon set by the ocean. Sam stood. It was time to stretch.

Sam collapsed on the floor in a heap next to her bed. The run had been nothing special, but she felt exhausted. She stared at the space under her bed and watched as a spider crawled aimlessly. The sun had dipped below the horizon a while ago but still illuminated the sky a deep, but bright blue. The families in the houses close to Sam had already begun preparing for their evening meals.

The smell of fried chicken, teriyaki sauce, and freshly cooked rice wafted through the screen doors. Sam lay on her back with her head towards the screen door, staring at the remnants of light left in the sky, breathing in a mix of her incense and the smell other people’s dinners.

 Hungry as she was, the only food she had in her house for the next week was rice and eggs. She thought about Ella again and let her heart flutter at her memories of her freckles, eyes, and lips.

Ella was a mystery of beauty. She had shoulder-length, dark chestnut-colored hair that stayed shiny all year round. Her eyebrows were rather standard, but provided a good frame for her pale blue-green eyes. Her lips were always a darker red, as though she had been chewing on them. Even when she smiled, her eyes cast a shadow of faint and constant anger over her face. She was of average height, but her body gave the impression of being long and lean. Her style was always effortlessly and unexpectedly cool.

Sam sighed. Her chances of attracting someone like that wouldn’t change based on their sexual orientation. It would always be zero. She thought about herself, slightly shorter than the average woman, not curvy, and not thin: just kind of a blob somewhere in between. Her hairs was dark and frizzed most of the time, unable to decide unanimously if they wanted to be curly or straight, regardless of the humidity. Her skin was too tanned and her style never seemed to suit her body type. In her own mind, she was quite brutish and lacked grace. Even when running, the single thing she felt good at, her own feet kicked her legs.

Morning came and the birds outside screamed tirelessly as if competing with the cicadas. The sun had risen, but it was not six o’clock yet. Sam’s eyelids drifted open. She sighed. Another day, just like the rest. The only special thing was that it was one day closer to her last day on this island.

Two hours later, Sam was at work, sitting at her desk. The windows were open, and the air conditioner was off. The heavy heat gripped her neck and made her clothes feel like they were made of fleece. She thought about the invisibility that she felt constantly enshrouded in, even at work. She listened to her coworkers speak to each other, sometimes laughing, but often left at the end of the day not having spoken a word.

Once finally home, Sam stripped to her undershirt and thin shorts and settled herself once again in her chair, like she has done for the past three months. Like she will do for the next eleven and three weeks. She thought about Ella again, a topic of the past. She “Liked” the picture of Ella and her new girlfriend, though it felt insincere. She imagined herself putting Ella in a box, closing it, and pushing it into a dark corner, where she kept other memories and thoughts that she dwelled on occasionally.

She sat in the chair, watching the dust fall and the sun change its position, thinking about some obscure thing of the past or fantasy of the future until it was time to drag herself out for a run again.

So it went for the next eleven months and three weeks.


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    In the beginning…Ye shall not neglect not neglecting for a fraction of a second.  Nary a sunny field, a cave, the water, the dark (obviously the dark) shall go unexamined preceding entrance.  Send forth your weakest first.  Thou shalt not fall a fraction less than vigilant whilst sleeping, whilst wrapped in your mother’s hairy arms.  Thou brutish former self.  Flee fromst each noise, each bobbing leaf.  Flee the corpus, burst asunder, entrails strewn like petals of the loosestrife….   

    You were born with the ocean in your brain.  Even if you’ve never seen it.  Even if you’ve never imagined it.  The darkness and the ice.  Perpetual motion.  Darkness and perpetual falling.  The tantalizing vestigial memory of light without sight.  Eternity.  Mist.  Slickness.  Mist.  The alpha and omega.  Running in a dream.  Eschatological storm.  Sliding amorphous shapes.  Protean.  Do not go into the ocean.  Kraken.  Siren.  Lantern eyes, the size of multiple hearts.  Leviathan.  Goblin’s faces.  Creatures blind and flat.  Sea lions shrieking their fangs on rocks like men turned vicious slugs in hell.  Noah’s eyes, dull but moving, moving, choosing, picking sides…Picking the future and the past.  The smell of prosaic ubiquitous death.  Beware the corpse spit mockingly out, bloated and clownish, features blurred.  There, says the ocean.  Fifty billion years ago and now.  Now.  Now.  Every second, a fresh now.  Don’t come back, says the ocean.  Get back up on your fucking hill.    

    In the beginning there was water, and there was dirt.  

    Then we recognized water as separate from the soil, we moved it, we made it work, we grew corn.   We smelled soot on our hands, and we set that soot to work.  We smelled blood on our hands, and we spilled more and made a lake of blood and set it to work.  We smelled shit on our hands…We made every other living thing in the world stand where we wanted them to stand and declared ourselves no longer of the world.  Stay clear of the corn at night.  Marauders.  Look away, look away, from the bobbing lights in the corn at night.  Do not (do not!) fuck amongst the corn.  Trolls.  Don’t forget to throw a virgin off the tower, the rim of the volcano, the apex of the pyramid.  Do not incur the wrath of the river child.  Do not incite the manticore.  Do not misbehave.  Listen to your mother.  Smile as your father strikes you.  There are so many (so many!) things out there just waiting to eat the children.

    Do not incite the dead.  Don’t make fun of them.  Don’t use their parts.  Don’t piss on the dead.   Don’t claw their soil (it’s all they have).  Don’t bury them upside down, or face down.  Don’t cram them into something.  Don’t stuff more than one into a single hole.  Don’t put their hands on their crotches or their thumbs in their eyes (Us & Them).  Don’t forget to bury them.  Beware the corpse that has been scared to death.  Don’t rouse the dead.  Don’t arouse the dead.  Don’t tell them they’re dead.  Never use their names.  Never forget.  Don’t eat them, even if you’re starving.  Don’t take their stuff.  Don’t hump their wives or daughters.      

    Beware of things that are smaller or larger than they’re supposed to be.  Or misshapen.  Beware of fused combinations.  Beware of the man with a dog’s head.  Beware of the man with no head.  The snake with a man’s head.  The man with a vegetable head.  Beware of snake parts, no matter what the head and the body.  Beware of deep velvety flowers in the humid swamp at night.  Barbarians.  Beware of glowing eyes.  Dull eyes.  Spinning eyes.  The eyes of a rooster.  Beware of eyes like drops of oil.  Like buttons or stitches.  The eyes of a pig.  Don’t ever look / into any eyes.

    Close your windows against birds flying in reading tomorrow’s obituaries.  Don’t eat the dead sailor’s spirit.  Water water everywhere.   

    Don’t let your soul get trapped.  If another soul gets trapped, don’t break the receptacle.  Wash it facing south.  Grind the victim into dust.  Better yet, hide the fucking thing, so nobody falls in.

    When the world has grown uncontrollable, find something you can control and control it.          

    Then things get simpler.  Or stupider.  No longer does the thing necessarily match the source of death.  No longer does one avoid the shark to avoid being eaten by the shark.  [Suddenly, you prepare your food incorrectly or tell the wrong part of the sky to kiss your ass, and here comes the shark knocking at your door with an edict to eat you.  Fear the passage.  Do not forget to fortify the door, lay out food before the door, paint the door with blood.  Do not leave the door open (birds again…).  Don’t leave the mead hall.  Don’t sacrifice to the stone faces, who used to warn you against so much.  Do not steal, even if you’re starving.  Even if your children are starving (unless you want EVERYONE TO DIE!).  Listen to the king.  Don’t listen to the king.  Don’t kill the king and take his stuff.  Don’t think too much.  Do not forget to pray (cagily, now!) to the Destroyer.  Beware the Destroyer.  Burn meat for the Creator.  Go have your period outside the city limits.  Kill the wild man.  Do not ask why.  Align yourself with the wild man.  Watch for he who / is duskier than you.  

    Do not touch nor consent to be touched by the rats.  Do not go near the body in the gutter, bloating, black around the gills.  Do not dance with strange women on bridges, or at night, or when the atmosphere has grown disorienting.  Never refuse a dance with a strange woman.  If a man approaches you bearing a riddle, run.  Dwarves.  Beware the corpse stripped and robbed alongside the road.  Though we have finally lost the child-eater with his multiple heads wearing smaller heads (beautiful gossamer hair) on hemp ropes strung around his waist and throats, with the razor-sharp teeth pricking cracked black lips and  blood splotching his powdery white face, DO NOT (for a second) assume that the children are no longer being eaten.  The eater has simply become less outrageous, ostentatious, obvious.  Now it’s an old woman sneaking in on the breeze through a bedroom window, now it’s an old man selling snacks in the forest.     

    Do not let anything steal the women.  Everything wants to steal the women.  Or worse, impregnate the women, leaving us to raise the child and tend to the deranged limping women.  And then even if you do everything correctly, the goddamn bastard child murders you in your sleep.  Beware of women watching wistfully out windows.  Beware of elongated shadows crossing bed chambers, tallow from sperm candles dripping down long hairy fingers.  Beware the man with the face of a wolf, the hirsute torso of a wolf, the face of a rat, talons like a weasel, eyes like a spider, the hunched mien of a spider.  Beware the corpse drained like a fig.  Do not (do not!) go down to help the unidentified ship safely abut the wharf because the ship is (clearly) full of long-rotting corpses, and something will flash ashore, and the next thing you know the women (always the women!) are wandering the breaker wall in their nightgowns at midnight.  

    If the foreigners are destitute, cloddish, pock-marked, clad in rags, butchering / the language…let them pass.  Beware only the debonair, the velvet capes, the large hair.  Beware the rolling Rs.  Do not let the girls choose.  Do not let the girls travel.  Slaughter the foreigners in their beds.  Ask questions later.  Do not ask questions.    

    Don’t play god.  Of course you want to play god.  Don’t play god.  Messy business.  You sew it together, it shambles back.  Be gentle, You, you say.  It smacks you over the head (the thing that once existed only within your head).  It chucks the girl into the river.  You have no control.  You think you have control but you don’t.  

    Don’t fixate on the poetic revelation that, at root, all of them only want to be loved.  Don’t linger on the fact that they’re lonely and ugly and weird and deserving of our sympathy.  Don’t obsess over their insistence that they only want to pick the flowers, watch the butterflies, listen to the birds sing…They only want to touch the pretty hair of the girls.  Because even so…

     Even so, what then?  So fucking what?  What else are you supposed to do?  Regardless of the butterflies, the hair, the birds…They had their chance.  Even if it wasn’t a chance.  They’ve got to go.   

    Then, wait a minute now, everything has changed.  (Who…?)  It’s no longer the foreigner, the weirdo, the brute, the beast outside…but the monster within.  Inside of you!  Always brutish rising from the refined, never the opposite; never have the virile and bellicose feared discovering within themselves the homuncular soul of some effete bookworm.  Always the gutter or the jungle.  Always there, some thin relentless trickle of primordial ooze, waiting to feed some dark blossom.  A dark star passes through you, and suddenly off you go to stave in heads with canes or skewer heads on stakes.  (And admit it, you like it).  

    And nature.  Thousands of years spent stacking stones and harnessing fire, fighting to keep her from tearing out livers with her great green teeth.  Beating back the tomato vines, the roused dinosaurs, the drooping black serpents…And suddenly now, the goddamn opposite.  Cultivate the beast.  Do not use flashbulbs when photographing the beast.  Wear your slippers.  Kill those who would throw her into peril, and if not…

    If not, you’re living in sand, breathing fiberglass.  Air becomes chemical, water melts your throat.    

    Which brings us to the present day.  A puritanical voice shouting “Don’t go fuck in the woods.  Don’t smoke weed.  (Does this sound fun?  Of course it does, but don’t!)  Don’t be weird.  Don’t limp or stutter.  You will be culled.”  And the device, the tool, the reckoning comes limping big and bloodstained, shitty clothes, himself the victim of childhood ostracizing, swinging garden tools, faceless, voiceless, mechanical, no passion in his violence.  Beware of the beautiful bikini-clad corpse with her throat slit at the edge of the woods.  And here the warning is double-edged.  Don’t create this thing.  Don’t be a dick.  Don’t take everything you can have.  Cradle the reject.  Sleep with the nerd.  

    Then (the story goes) we invent microscopes to see the crossed wires in our bodies, the tangle of our minds.  We kill practically everybody and then write a thousand books confirming how repulsed we are at the prospect of killing everybody.  We have nobody to fight so we eat ourselves.  

    We look in a mirror.  We’ve become smaller than we remember we’re supposed to be.  Hunched.  Perforations like rudimentary gills.  And there, we say, pointing a gnarled finger…

    There you are.  

    All this time.  We’ve been expecting you.  

    Let’s put this thing to rest.  





FICTION: The Tiger Girl Blues – Gary Every

The Tiger Girl Blues

She moves like a tiger, all hips and tail, beautiful elusive eyes and hair that alternates between bright colors and stripes of shadow. I believe that in the years I have known her I have seen her hair all the colors of the rainbow. She is often excited, sometimes irritated but always quick to laugh. She has a loud and lusty laugh and the lust is contagious. The tiger girl has flesh that rolls sensuously across her bones and the most amazing breasts for a middle aged woman. These breasts are so round, full and firm that if you sprayed them with sperm it would ricochet back.

She claims she is the daughter of Marie Laveau, the original voodoo queen of New Orleans, a direct descendant. Or at least she lived in the voodoo queen’s apartment once. That is what she told me while she was reading my Tarot cards. Then she told me of this one wonderful, magical Big Easy evening when she had been driving a minivan all around the countryside, stocked up with thousands of hits of LSD, wailing that “She was on a mission from God.” On a full moon midnight, when everything was exactly right, street lights flickering, magic lingering, music spilling up and down the sidewalk she rode a throne of hands atop the cobblestone, passed from hand to hand, till at last, eyes full of liquid ecstasy, she was crowned queen of New Orleans. It was a perfect moment with no forward or past, a moment so perfect it could never last.

She used to fish the docks at all hours of the night or day, throwing line, bait and hooks into the Gulf of Mexico. She loved to fish. It was a way of connecting to her lost father, a career navy man – standing by the sea and talking to her father when no one was looking. When someone was looking she would sing to the pelicans. If that someone lingered very long, she would sing loudly to the pelicans. Usually people leave pretty quickly when you sing loudly to the pelicans. When she was alone on the dock of the bay, tide rolling away, she would think to herself. Between the blue of the ocean and the blue of the sky there was a lot of space to think about a lot of things. She had a lot of time while she waited for a fish to arrive. Sometimes she would think about forgiveness she had never received and other times she thought about forgiveness she had never offered. Mostly, she stood there on the edge of the water, talking to her long lost father and asked him for advice. The Tiger Girl needed lots of advice, widowed early and trying to raise two young daughters as a single mother. Sometimes the fish she caught was all they had for dinner that night and other times the bounty of the sea god’s harvest was so plentiful that she would give her catch away – often feeding the local police officers.

Perhaps it was the sea god Poseidon who decided to reward this daughter of a seafaring man or perhaps it was the voodoo queen who decided to bless this New Orleans native with what looked like a curse but was really a blessing. Whatever the reason, one day Hurricane Katrina arrived.

The fishing docks are no longer there, ripped asunder by the obliterating powers of ocean, wind, and the fearsome wrath of God. Marie Laveau’s apartment was flooded and ruined, torn down in what was optimistically called a reconstruction. The cemetery had been ravaged with wave after wave until all the crypts were flooded and her sweet dead husband’s coffin floated away to sea.

The tiger girl held her ATM card out before her as if it was a sacred magic talisman that would somehow protect her from this natural disaster. Eventually she realized how useless a bank card was without electricity. What good was money without a store to sell anything? She loaded both her daughters into the car and drove as far as one tank of gas would take her. Tiger girl camped beside a river and dropped a hook and line. Sometimes they would get a nibble here or a bite there but at least they had dinner. They were surviving, just barely, but getting a little thinner.

One night she climbed a tree, as high as she could be. The tiger girl decided that it was Katrina which had freed her and so she spread her wings and let the winds of the earth take her wherever they wanted her to be.

She toured the beaches of the world and lost one daughter who dropped off to attend college. When Tiger Girl got bored of the most beautiful beaches in the world she ended up in India. Most people come to India in a quest for spirituality but she had arrived seeking frivolity. She remembered the time she met the holy man, head guru of a large and beautiful holy temple, filled with faithful followers, and army of priests. With a long flowing white beard and a booming voice he looked just like an Old Testament god. He was revered as a living saint. Wherever he walked, devoted pilgrims followed, in the way that only India can be crowded. When he approached the tiger girl they locked eyes for just a moment and she worked up the nerve to blurt out a question.

“What does it feel like to be divine?”

The Old Testament God stopped suddenly, all the people behind him forced to halt for just a moment, the entire herd stuck on pause, and he sighed.

“I am a collared dog,” he replied.

She left the ashram that very moment and chose to wander the countryside. She walked past waterfalls and boulders, strolling through forests and more forests. At every junction she followed the Robert Frost rule and turned upon the road less traveled. She entered deeper and deeper into the forest, where the shadows grew darker and darker. She walked and walked, gradually becoming aware she was being stalked.

There were eyes which followed her. There were stripes and shadows which lingered, just off the edge of the trail, never anything she could be certain about but something which seemed to move only when she moved. Something that stopped when she stopped. It was something, big, graceful and silent that could melt into the shadows of the forest whenever she tried to turn her head to look at it. She was certain that it was a tiger following her. She walked steadily, without pausing for fear the tiger would pounce. She walked for miles. The tiger followed her the whole time but never let her get a glimpse. She could hear it breathe and sometimes the tiger would grumble under his breath with a sort of coughing rumble that felt like it could turn into a roar at any moment. Every time she came to another fork in the road, this time she took the path more traveled until the forest lessened and eventually she returned to the ashram. The pilgrims who welcomed her return could see the tiger and were amazed as it followed her closely. They were afraid for her life. The tiger stopped sniffed the air and returned into the wilderness.

Eventually the wind blew her all the way to the red rock desert where I reside. One daughter followed the tiger girl, trailing every footstep like a shadow, a succession of small animals following the daughter, creating a small line of vagabond souls echoing the tiger girl’s path. The tiger girl joined a community of post-apocalyptic hippies. Except they were all making plans and anticipating the apocalypse but for tiger girl the apocalypse had already come and gone. It was hurricane Katrina which had set her free.

Sometimes I invite her hiking so we might enjoy the beautiful scenery together. Sometimes she invites me to step outside during the night so she can map stars. When we hike together, I find I must take her farther and farther from the beaten path to keep her content. She is only happy when we wander lost in the wilderness. She walks off to the side, strolling through the tall grasses. Her hair blows in the breeze disappearing in tides of stripe and shadow. We are engaged in an ancient courtship ritual of predator and prey, lover and warrior, swirling together in a circle, alternating roles. I make a lame joke and she sneers, muscles tensing almost as if she is preparing to leap, unleashing a feline missile. I open my arms wide and close my eyes, anticipating the embrace of fur and fang. The wind blows through my hair while I stand in the wilderness and wait with my eyes closed, wondering if the tiger girl is fleeing or pouncing.

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How to Write a Love Story

It was the fifth time she had ended a relationship. She had walked up to him and told him she no longer wanted him. She noticed the disbelief on his face and hoped he would talk; she didn’t want to explain anything, there was nothing to say.

Tamara wanted to write. She wanted to write a love story. She had tried several times but realised that writing involved a lot more than mere grammar or technique. One had to have experienced relationships first-hand. Each one of her submissions came back saying they didn’t sound real. Perhaps the only way she could make her story sound convincing was to watch people go through the whole rigmarole of love and heartbreak. She knew it was an absurd way to write a story but if getting into real relationships could get her story accepted, then she would do it. She would live her story.

She befriended her victims and showered them with attention, and when they were head over heels in love, she left them. Some pursued her till she called the police while others wept over cups of steaming coffee. She was tempted to record their conversations so she could study their responses well; one never knew what could lead to a good story idea. She did feel guilty once when one of them sobbed before her. She had stood up when he hugged her, his hot tears falling all over her silk blouse. She had grabbed her bag and bolted out the door of the small noodle shop near one of the busiest junctions in her city. She had chosen this place for the sheer convenience of jumping into one of the rickshaws that queued up just outside the shop. It sometimes disturbed her that she could be so selfish and callous. She brushed aside such thoughts and persisted but nothing came of these silly dalliances. There was a niggling doubt in the back of her mind that she perhaps wasn’t someone who could write anything at all. She wondered if she was made for one of those desk jobs where you worked like a robot all day and went back home to fast food at night. She knew she had to get on with life.

So she began circling advertisements in several newspapers. She appeared for interviews and waited a while before she landed a job with a company that sold just about everything under the sun. Her work wasn’t very interesting but she persevered. She forgot all about her stories and didn’t find the time to read even. Books started piling up on her bedside table as she dragged her famished self into bed every night.

One evening, she met a man with big eyes and curly hair who asked her out to a coffee shop and ordered two cups of latte without once asking her what she wanted. She was confused but found his confidence irresistible. She was so used to studying the men she met that she overlooked her own instinct. She didn’t realize that she had reduced herself to being a spectator even when she didn’t intend to be; Tamara had lost touch with her heart. She wasn’t sure if he was the one for her but she moved in with him anyway. It was the happiest time of her life. As days passed, she grew to know and like him more, and enjoyed the life she shared with him. She couldn’t say no when he proposed to her with a brilliant ring on which sat a flawless red ruby. She asked him to accompany her to a family dinner at her father’s place one night and it was there that she noticed him exchange glances with her cousin sister.

She caught them together that night, coiled over each other like snakes, in the bed that belonged to her dead mother. She stayed till they finished their grand business and clapped as if it were a movie. He left the next morning and never came back. She felt like a fish gasping for air on arid land and wished someone would just throw her back in the sea or gut her alive. She drew deep, long breaths and sat on her couch from dawn till dusk. She screamed alone at times and cried when it hurt too much.

And then one day, she stumbled upon a photograph she had wanted framed. He had his arms and legs wrapped around her in a boat on the sea at Bali, and they looked happy together in it. Tamara picked up a pencil and started writing on the back of the photograph.

She wrote about that evening in Bali when he had proposed to her; how lovely the ring looked on her finger. As she read and reread those lines, the big knot of grief in her heart slowly unravelled. Tearful, she stood up and tied her hair. She got her old satchel full of blank pages and sat before her desk, a pencil poised between her thumb and forefinger. She had no doubt in her mind that she would succeed this time. In fact, this would be her masterpiece. The ring glittered under the light of the table lamp as she wiped her eyes and began to write.





He calls me feral, sometimes another name, but feral is my favorite.  Its bi-syllabic rhythm closes my eyes, vibrates my heart and makes me curl inward in warm delight.  Sometimes he rubs his forehead across mine, drawing one light finger below my chin.  Makes me spread my legs, reveal my belly.  All his fingers stretch out over my skin, and I open my mouth in silent squeal.  When I mouth his finger he calls me feral again and instantly I roll over, blink up at him my slow, aching content and lift my rear end in total submission.