Friday, September 18, 2015

The Three-Day Hump

Back in 2009 I submitted a story to Excessica, where it was picked up and published. It was entitled "The Three Day Hump", and looking back I can see how raw it was. At that point I hadn't truly found my voice (though of course, we're all evolving with every day that passes, and my voice now is not the same as it was three months ago, even).
The title is actually nothing to do with the act of "humping". It came from a phrase I heard in the 2004 documentary, "Supersize Me". The three-day hump refers to the theory that abstinence from an addictive substance or habit for a three day period is the biggest part of the battle. Once you're over that particular hump, maintaining the abstinence is supposed to be far easier.
So it was with my story. I pushed two people together who had little in common. They had an initial attraction which was too strong to resist. As time rolled on they got together more and more often and the sex turned dirtier and harder each time. Yet while their physical needs became stronger, they stopped even liking each other. (There was never any mention of love!) The physical relationship between them had become an obsession bordering on addiction.
Their method of beating the habit was to hole up in a hotel room for a three-day weekend, completely naked, with the goal of resisting each other.
The story was in sections, jumping from present day (the hotel room) to past experiences (from the moment they met up until the desperation which took them to the hotel). Present day scenes were written in present tense. Past scenes in past tense.
And even though Lisabet suggested to me in comments that I should work towards new stories and leave aside the old, this is actually one title I'm in the process of re-working for replication. I see great potential in it. I just need to make the reader's journey a smoother one.
So my excerpt today comes from one of the (still raw) present-day sections of that story.
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She squeezes the back of the chair, supports her weight for a moment. The expensive material feels eerie without the heat and strength of his body inside it.
She studies him briefly. He looks tranquil as a winter sunrise. She grinds her teeth in pique, steps out towards him, her hands balled as if to hide their quivering. She stops with only twelve inches of air splitting them.
She’s an animal, dripping with urges, stupid with lust. He’s a brute, stinking of musk, pulsing with heat. They’re beasts that have chanced upon each other, nothing more. They greet first with their eyes, barely daring to blink lest a weakness be revealed, or a secret betrayed. Three ragged breaths pass before an uneasy truce sighs down over them. They already know each other’s secrets. They are each other’s weakness. They pore over one another, but learn nothing they hadn’t already known.
He sees the frisson in her fingers and senses his own trembling in sympathy. He rubs his arms, brushes at the ghosts of spiders past and future. 
She itches only on the inside, but it grows every second. Her bottom lip catches the rhythm of her hands. She blinks moistly and it weakens his knees.
He moves first, squeezing the air out from between them, ducking his head until he’s level with her throbbing eyes. He sniffs, a smooth and lengthy pull, hauling in the scents of her hair, her skin, her tremulous breath. He searches for any trace of threat, some other bull’s musk. His blood squeals urgently, petulantly in his ears, demands that he mark her as his own.
He prowls around her skinny, static frame, hoarding her essence. His breath gains momentum as he nears her hair, her shoulders, the feathery curls under her arms. He drops to his knees and grasps at the air around the small bump of her belly. He scrapes a path in the carpet as he orbits her pelvis, gnawing the atmosphere of her slender bottom, her bony hips. Before long he’s right where he fears he’ll lose himself.
She fills his vision. Her dark, thick bush seems to expand before him and he crams his nose with her scent. Like an animal. She courses through his body at the speed of blood, but it doesn’t fill him up. It just pools in his groin and weighs him down.
He twists his eyes closed and falls, finds his humanity swimming around her ankles. He drinks it back in with the smell of kept feet. Sweat and leather. Thick socks and skin.
He pushes away from the floor, sends himself back up into the stance that evolution has forced upon him. His head feels frothy. His blood, so insistent only moments before, weakens to a mere whisper as it claws back up to his heart. He staggers and almost regresses before his mind sops up enough blood to stiffen his spine.
He swallows heavily as she moves in to return his greeting.

11 comments:

  1. Powerful as ever! (I admire that so much about your writing) Uncomfortable and yes, I can see that your later style is much smoother. This as you say, is raw. But it's visceral and edgy. Interesting that your female protagonist is bony and thin. Is this a reflection of the addiction? It would work well if so and feed into the psychological background of this physical craving.

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    1. Well, in part it was because this story was from a time before I felt confident about writing that which I truly love, and also because Opal (the girl) is idly rebellious, but with a background in exotic dance. The underarm hair is a result of her lazy style of rebellion... she can be different to most folks by NOT doing something. Her size is partly a result of the dancing but also from infrequent eating (but not dangerously so). In my rework she's not going to have the dance background. There will be new reasons the two characters can't be together as well.

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  2. I think this story deserves rawness--and it's here, though even in this draft I read poetry as well as dirt.

    The word "powerful" was exactly what occurred to me, before I read Mary's comment above.

    My one nit... "he’s level with her throbbing eyes" I get a picture of some monster with bulging orbs, swelling and shrinking!

    Extremely interesting and original premise for a story (though I don't know how plausible it is). When it's published, please let me know!

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    1. Yes, it does reflect my less-refined-at-that-time writing. But I might just need someone to run a firm editing hand over it before publishing in any case! *cough cough*

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    2. Hey, I still owe you 22K of editing services in return for the wonderful covers you did for D&S Duos. Bring it on! (As long as you don't have a tight deadline...!)

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    3. Heh. My writing seems always to fall by the wayside at the demands of other things, so I pretty much never have a deadline!

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  3. Shiest! Can't get this formatted right. Here goes. Damn, am I getting old! :>(

    Except for a few typical first person present issues and extraneous words this looks pretty polished.

    You might want to subscribe to the Erotica Readers and Writers assn. to get editing critiques on their Storytime list. Not a professional edit, but you will get readers views from different perspectives. Fun and helpful group too. I'm sure you have friends and followers there.


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  4. This might be a case where an excerpt seems a bit confusing, when in the context of the entire piece it could make perfect sense. I was thrown by the first lines: "She squeezes the back of the chair, supports her weight for a moment. The expensive material feels eerie without the heat and strength of his body inside it." Huh? His body had at some time been inside the chair? But on reflexion I realized that you might be referring to the chair having been heated by his body sitting in it. Choosing excerpts is hard.

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    1. He'd actually hung his jacket over the chair in the previous present-tense scene, but I agree, in an excerpt there's no way for that to be clear. The eerie feeling was because she's a girl of limited means, and the only time she's ever touched expensive fabric is when it's been on his body. Again, in excerptville, impossible to get that!

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  5. The premise of this sounds really interesting. Good luck getting it reworked and reformatted!

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    1. Thank ya! It's about tenth in line at the moment!

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