I was asked to post a sampling of my writings, so here we go. I would love to hear honest criticism, if you get the time.
Lavender and Mulberries
I lie in the cool grass downwind from the clearing. Next to me is skunk cabbage and late-season ramps growing in soggy, rich soil. Sometimes the wind carries the scent of hogs and cattle from the farm a mile down. The beautiful quiet of the night is occasionally pierced by the tin lid of the feed troughs being lifted and dropped by their wet snouts.
I hear a vehicle coming down the gravel road. I can smell the earthy and chalky richness of the fresh limestone gravel laid down just a few days ago and graded earlier this morning. It's loose and as I hear the engine shift, I know it's her jeep. Two squirrels in a cottonwood tree play a game only they understand, tiny claws scrapping the bark as they run around and around the trunk.
She coasts into the clearing, turning her engine off and letting her jeep roll quietly to a stop. As she climbs out, she lifts her head up and I can hear her breath deeply through her nose. It's then I catch her scent, her beautiful scent. Coco butter and jasmine, a touch of castille and a slight hint of peppermint. She smells so fresh I almost jump to my feet and run towards her, but I resist and give her time. She needs to get her bearings before the change, so I respect her needs and wait despite the yearning that pulses so hard through my veins it borders on a craving.
She undresses and folds her clothes neatly, placing them on the leather driver's seat of her jeep. It's engine ticks as hot oil drips on an even hotter motor. It wasn't a long trip, just thirty minutes, but she must have driven quickly and pushed that 4X4 hard along the gravel back roads.
The full moon was a few nights ago. Tonight's wanning gibbous was just enough for me to see her slender, naked body as she stretched her arms up above her head and inhaled deeply. I watched as her long, blonde hair blew in the slight breeze while she enjoyed her nakedness.
I heard joints pop as she went down to the ground. Bones adjusted and re-aligned in new, more powerful positions. She didn't make a sound as her body changed. Her hips narrowed, chest lowered, fur grew. I couldn't see her change, but I knew it all too well and each pop and grind was like the ticking of a clock counting down the moments before we would be together again.
She slowly walked from behind the jeep, her white fur almost glowing in the moonlight. Her sharp-lined muzzle lifted up, sniffing the air, waiting for me.
I come from out of the grass slowly at first, careful not to charge at her despite how badly I wanted to. She sees me come but cannot smell me since I'm downwind. When when she knows it's me, she wags her tail and lifts her paws off the ground in a lupin dance we all know instantly. As I trot closer to her, she comes to meet me.
We nuzzle each other, sniffing, taking each other in with each sense we can find. I lick her snout as she licks mine, circling each other and wagging our tails madly. Oh, how I missed her!
And without warning, she tears off into the woodlands next to the clearing. I give chase. We run through the patch of oaks and walnuts, over the small stream and over a few fences. I don't catch her or try to. I just chase, following her scent and the sound of her panting.
We race through the cornfield just tall enough to swallow us and through a bean field next to it. I smell the fox that hunted and caught a rabbit there earlier that evening and someplace along the line, we hear a screech owl high in a Locust tree. Eventually, we stop chasing each other and run side-by-side. Our paws almost touch the ground in unison, like a pair of soldiers marching to the same cadence.
After a while, we pick up the scent of a whitetail deer—a small doe. I can hear her breathing as she lays in some grass next to a treeline that splits two cornfields. The doe raises her head once to sniff the breeze, then puts her head back down. We move down-wind and begin creeping up slowly. Then, we make our move and charge towards the doe, who moves to get up only just too late as I grab her by the throat, clenching hard. My partner takes a bite out of her flanks and then another in the abdomen. My mouth fills with blood as the doe struggles wildly, but my clench is too tight and in a few minutes, it is all over.
When I release her throat, my mate comes up to me and licks the blood off my muzzle. She hungry like me and the smell of fresh, warm blood is almost too much. I close my eyes as she licks me, her tongue cleaning me after the kill, leaving her scent on me even more.
She sits in the grass next to the doe, her head high, panting and watching me open up the doe's body. We don't howl for joy in this kill. We don't share with anybody until we're full. I find the liver and a kidney. I gently rip them out and drop them in front of her, then back away. She licks the warm organ, looks up at me, then begins eating ravenously.
I love to watch her eat. She starts slowly, licking each new piece in a teasing way, only to suddenly feed without shame. Her paws rest on top of the meat as she pulls it apart. Occasionally, her tails wags and maybe, a grunt or huff comes out, but that's it. The rest of the sound comes from chewing and tearing the flesh of this young whitetail doe.
Eventually, I give in and feed, too. When she finishes her pieces, I give her more and more. Soon, we're each tearing into this doe, still warm, and devouring it as fast as we can.
We fill up on meat and I lead her to a spring I know just a short distance away. We lap up the cool natural spring water until we cannot drink anymore. Afterwards, we move to a grassy spot between a lavender tree and a few mulberry bushes. The smell is sweet and compliments her scent as she rolls in the grass on her back. I roll with her.
She looks at me for what seems like an hour before walking up to me and licking my snout softly. I lick her back, then circle her, nipping her flanks.
I wanted to consumer her like the deer we just fed upon. I wanted to take her into my being so she would be a part of me forever.
We lay together on the grass, taking turns resting our heads upon each other's bodies. My grey fur upon her soft, white fur, as we look up at the moon and listen to the night around us. Time stops for a while and we absorb everything we can. We take advantage of each and every second.
As the Eastern sky begins to brighten, we know our time has run out. She whines and I growl. No two should have to part so painfully. I walk her to her jeep, lick her muzzle one last time and run off into the cornfield. When I hear her jeep's engine start, I howl. I howl at the sky, cursing it for not staying dark long enough. I howl so she can hear me, knowing I will see her again. I howl because it hurts to much I don't know what else to do.
The next day at work, we don't make eye contact. She looks healthy, glowing, as she moves about the office. All day, she hums to herself. A sad song that reminds me of a lullaby about dreams. I'm careful about staring at her, but when she's away at lunch, I place a lavender candle on her desk and a few strands of my fur.
This was a glorious read, Terrabus. Your descriptions are vivid and detailed, allowing the reader to reference the sights, smells, sounds, and even the feelings of the narrator. It was so very easy to picture the scenes mentally, following the actions described, and the end gave a terrific twist as well.
This was an astonishingly well-written short story, Terrabus; it stands very well on its own as a short story, but could also be extended into a novelette very easily if a decent plot is used.
Very well done, Terrabus! I'm impressed!
Thanks, folks. I had that one rolling around in my head for a few days so last night, I put it together. All in all, I think it's a good sample of my writing.
Sorry about the late reply. This story was beautifuly done. There were about three wee little errors I spotted and I could point them out to you, if you'd like, since you're getting it published.
Anyways, besides that, I love the descirpive imagery you used and the mood you set for the story. It's so appealing (your descriptive imagery) that you can easily engross the reader.
Very good segment and I can't wait to see what the conflict might be and the relationship that may continue to blossom between these two lovers.
You know, in some ways, I almost see these small segments like those Folger's coffee ads from the early 90's that had Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Originally, they had a plan for about 20 of them, with little flirty scenes between two people. After a while, you weren't sure if they were talking about coffee or each other.
I don't know if this will get published. I haven't sent it off yet. I see a couple of typos I'll have to correct, but that's average.
to be blunt, I loved this story. It reminds me of some weird dreams I've had when i was sick a few weeks ago. ya, so anyways, i really liked your work here and hope you do more soon.
Thank you, Goldie. I'm thinking of maybe doing a whole novel in short pieces like that. It would make for a quick read.
Dang that was great I loved it! I hope you write more soon!
I had to reread this story a few times and take it all in. It was simply beautiful in my opinion ( which doesn't account for much! ) Still though I loved it! Its one of those things that make you want to cry when it stops!
Terrabus great story!