Winner of the WOW Award for fiction.
‘Lovers Who Wound Blame it on the Storm shows how a talented writer can take the framework of an erotic love fixation and turn it into art by infusing it with a bone fide sense of character, motive and atmosphere.’ The Judges on the WOW Award.
tags: sexuality, Ireland, poet, shyness, bohemian, nudity, diplomat, fixation, menage a cinq.
The slanted rain hits the carriage window as the train trundles out of Limerick. He feels a release, a freedom, as the bogie negotiates a curve clearing beyond the sidings and marshalling yard, and shunting beyond rusty rolling stock. The past is receding, giving way to openness and a brightness as the daggers of rain ease. He can smell change in the air, see the green fields unfolding and animals grazing and the furze in its beacon yellow, and the rhythm of the train steady now, bringing equilibrium to the heart.
What he left behind. A bleeding mass of flesh and bone, Eros extracted, the final derision his now to claim, at the reduction to nothingness of that former arrogance, the blubber of the world deflated.
Laugh at me now, Aifric, if you will. He left her gasping, all of them left standing naked aghast in the sweltering cabin. Her hand he witnessed rising in shock to contain her mouth from shattering all her former sangfroid. Like trembling leaves they were left, in the shudder of their naked flesh.
Flaunt your grinding bones, Bartholomew, in the underworld. Seduce the she-devils, see how you like it now with no lack of fire to take from your flame. Wrestle naked with compliant underlings to your heart’s content. For ever and ever, but maybe with no amen, for he wasn’t sure if the knife thrust had killed him. Maybe Aifric and the Finns got him to a doctor in time. Theo didn’t wait around to find out.
And does he care? Initially he did not, but in hindsight if it turned out fatal, the law could come after him. He would become a wanted man; they would find him in a small country like Ireland. So, no, he hopes it wasn’t fatal.
He sighs. With Aifric it could have been so different. All that potential in their coming to be, the glow, the apparent initial bonding that only sundered when fat Bart arrived. He had never felt so sexually joined before. His previous experiences amounted to no more than scant amateurish fumbling compared to Aifric’s knowing ways. But she would remain the same or so she claimed, always open to ‘share the wealth’ (Bart’s phrase).
The wind¬¬ howls as a coupling door opens and closes. Would he have done the deed without the tempest to goad him? Our actions are silent in a storm. The rain was streaming down his face as he walked out of the cabin, making the blood splatter pinkly diluted, looking less than what it was. How strange that lightning should strike just at the moment he raised the knife?
Two loves that once were. Was it ever real? We dream it. We think it. Love is a fabrication, an inner subjunctivising, believing it all-embracing, hoping that the other, the object of one’s desire is thinking the same thoughts as you. Ultimately. At least. The art of wooing. He said he loved her. Do you really mean it? she said with those quizzical, raised eyebrows as if it were some strange word she was hearing. Do you really know what you are saying? In a moment of high sexual arousal he asked her to marry him. She laughed. You are an excitable boy. She rarely addressed him by name, and when she did say Theo it was like it was something that had slipped out, catching her off guard. He wanted them to be betrothed. If sex could be as good as this, he wanted it forever. Betrothed! She mocked the word as if it implied an incarceration. She would not subject herself to the bondage of a ring. But she would go along with whatever else it was he was planning.
-But don’t expect to change me.
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