Louise, Naked in the Woods
Louise eased her hands back down inside my pants and smiled at me.
"Are you sure it's all right to do this here?" she said.
"Oh, yes," I answered as her hands began to move, slowly.
She licked her lips. I could feel the sweat beginning to bead my own upper lip. Her hands stopped moving.
"Is this going to get pornographic?" Louise said.
"Well…." I smiled and half-shrugged. "I was hoping." I looked down to where she was lowering my pants with one hand, while the other hand resumed its slow caressing.
"It's just that I… I don't usually get this explicit, not on the first page," she said. "I usually like a bit of character development, a bit of exposition and plot setting, before I… well, y'know."
"You know what it's like these days."
"Do I?" She was nibbling my ear now, while her hands moved slowly.
"Yes… I…. Oh…."
She stopped. "Go on," she said. Her hands still held on to me, but they'd stopped moving now. She squeezed. "Go on."
"Well, it's just that there is so much competition these days."
She nodded slowly, thoughtfully. She stroked the tip with her thumb, slowly, carefully.
"Er…." I glanced down at her hands. "The written word, these days it has to compete with everything else in the market place. It has to attract attention; people are much less likely to spend time on something that takes up too much of their time without something happening. Do you see?"
She smiled. "Should I take my top off?"
"It might help." I smiled back as she pulled her pale yellow top up, over her head and off. She shook her thick curly hair, letting it fall back over her shoulders.
"Go on, then," she said, taking hold of me again.
I reached out with both hands. She took a step back, still not letting go of me. "No, not that. Not yet."
"Don't you think a bit of description might help?"
"What you mean your… er?" I made vague breast shapes in the air with my hands.
"Well, yes. After all - as you said - this is a written medium. Think of your audience… your readers, you owe it to them." She moved her hand, slowly, rhythmically, reflexively. "You could try describing me. All of me." She let her one hand fall to her side; she then moved it up slowly, caressingly, over her hip.
I swallowed, hard.
"There is one thing?"
"Oh, yes," I said through suddenly dry lips.
"Just a suggestion."
"Use fewer adverbs. They are supposed to be a sign of poor writing."
"I know that."
This time she stepped right back out of my reach. She stood, hands on hips, glaring at me. "I was only saying - that's all. There's no need to snap like that."
"I'm sorry," I said. I would have said it contritely, but then I remembered about the adverbs. I took a step towards her. She was looking down at the ground between us. I lifted her chin with my crooked finger until I could look into her eyes. With my other hand, I smoothed her hair back from her face.
"You do realise," she said softly - smiling ironically at yet more adverbs. "You do realise this has changed. It started out as a quick tumble in the woods. Now, by doing that with your hands, touching my face, you've changed the whole tone of the piece."
"I know." I could hear the apology in my own voice.
"Don't be sorry."
"But this is wrong," I said. "This was supposed to be a bit of action, something to get the whole thing off with a bang… er… as it were. Sorry."
"How do you know I don't prefer it this way?"
"I… I don't." It was my turn to look down at the ground now.
"After all, I am a woman… well… duh… obviously." She looked around at the trees. "You'll have to do something about this dialogue in the re-write. I'm starting to sound a bit corny, if not clichéd." She kicked at a few leaves and twigs. "Where was I? Oh, yes. Maybe, I - as a woman - feel better about it this way. You know, a bit of context. Like I said back at the top of the page, and I quote: I usually like a bit of character development, a bit of exposition and plot setting."
"But," I said. "Aren't we in danger of slipping into a genre there? The whole clichéd done-to-death 'Romance' thing?"
"Don't say 'Romance' like that."
"Like as if it is in italics, a dirty word. Next thing you'll start going all Post-Modern on me, and start talking about the text with that in italics too. I know how much you despise that genre, and the kind of woman who reads that hackneyed tripe and the rest of that proto-feminist, pseudo-Marxist gobbledygook."
"Oh, come on. I thought you knew me better than that."
"Oh, yes. You're an Artist, aren't you? You wouldn't want anyone to think of you as just a mere critic would you?"
"Well, yes. I do have some pride, y'know."
She pointed with one hand, while covering her mouth with the palm of the other hand. "You standing there, talking about pride with your half-limp knob hanging out. Talk about irony."
I resisted the impulse to cover my genitals with my hands. "What about you?"
"What about me?"
"You've still got your top off, remember?"
"So what?" She stood up, straight, proud and tall, her arms akimbo. She shook out the long black mane of her hair, so it tumbled down over her full, ripe, dark-nippled breasts. I have to admit she looked magnificent. A true Amazon goddess if there ever had been one.
She smiled, despite herself. "A bit… verbose… over the top… effusive even, I suppose. But still. I can't help but feel flattered. An Amazon Goddess? Really?"
I nodded. "Really. More than that, in fact."
"More than that, in what way?"
"Goddesses are just myths. You are real."
"Hang on. Remember where we are?"
"In the woods?"
"No, idiot, the story. How can I be more real than a mythical goddess? Take the page away and I disappear too."
"We're starting to get a bit po-mo again, don't you think? Characters becoming aware of their own fictionality?"
"Oh, that sort of thing has been around for centuries, and you know it. There's loads of it in Shakespeare, for just one example." She stared at me. "What?" She stepped forward and picked up her shirt. "Oh, I see. Getting a bit above myself then, was I? Knowing too much for the role I'd been cast in. I can see what you were really up to now." She shrugged her top back on, pulling her hair out from under it with some force and anger, until it was spread over and down her magnificent bre…."
"And you can stop that," she snapped at me. "I'm not going to fall for all that bollocks again. Amazon Goddess - shit. How naive do you think I am?"
"What? I don't understand."
"I can see it all now. This was never meant to be the opening for anything was it?" This isn't a first chapter. It isn't even a bloody short story either, is it? Is it?"
I looked away, through the trees. "No."
"What was it going to be then?"
I didn't answer. I just stood there. I realised my knob was still hanging out, but I suddenly lacked the energy to put it away again.
"Come on tell me, what were you going to do with this?"
I mumbled quietly.
"A what? A website posting! How bloody low can you get? I thought it would be well, if not exactly art… that it would be… meaningful. That it would have some artistic worth… some merit. But instead, I end up in just a posting to some tacky website for you and those other no-hoper keyboard wrist jockeys to have a quick one off the wrist over, in-between reading yet more of the endless self-important deluded rantings of all the other petty-minded obsessives who hang out online." She turned to walk away. After taking a few steps, she turned to look back at me. "I'm glad I never took all my kit off for… for them. I'd have felt so dirty, so soiled." She sighed and shook her head. "Oh, and you can put your cock away now. It wasn't that impressive before. Now that it's wilted, it just looks so pathetic. Good-bye."
I did as she had said while she walked off down the path that led out of the woods.
"Bugger," I said, scaring a grey squirrel who had just ventured down from a nearby tree. It scampered back up the trunk and was lost in the foliage.
After a while, I could feel a smile forming. Maybe, I thought as I too began to walk out of the woods, maybe I'd call Louise up during the week. I'd just had a rather good idea for a one-off TV drama script, and with a body like hers, I knew she would be a big hit on the small screen. I began to whistle as I walked.