A rant about tattoos

by VelvetFletcher on July 25, 2014

in People are annoying

We all know Facebook is bullshit, filled with dodgy algorithms and quizzes about what kind of cheese you are.

But sometimes, I see something that makes me so fucking angry. Like the comment thread filled with men discussing tattoos on women.

“It’s okay when they just have a few, but when they’re covered it literally makes me sick.”

“Women with tattoos are disgusting.”

“Yeah my girlfriend has two, but she needs to stop now. I’ve always said I don’t wanna be with someone who has loads of tats.”

And let’s just take a minute here to think about the fact that these men, these fine upstanding men, who have families, wives, girlfriends and daughters are so sickened by the thought of what a relative stranger does with their body that they feel compelled to comment on it.

Like as women, our only job is to stand here and be pretty for strangers?

Like we’re just ornaments and if we do something with our bodies that a man doesn’t approve of, then we are sickening, disgusting, tainted goods.

How about: Fuck you.

And I know, this is kind of strange coming from an erotica author who delights in writing kink scenes, but Jesus fucking wept. Women are not ornaments designed to make you a little hard as we walk down the street just trying to get our fucking groceries bought for the week.

It is not our JOB to look appealing to you.

I am not here to look pretty for men. Fuck you for thinking I am.

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God fucking dammit.

I swore under my breath as the flying monkeys swooped around the windows again. I’d given up on outrunning them, instead retreating to the safety of this house. The four walls around me were hardly a deterrent though, and the dratted beasts were still flinging shit at me. At each other too, but flying monkeys are like that. Unreliable minions at best.

I double checked the window bolts. I was pretty sure they couldn’t magic themselves inside without permission, much like vampires, but I wasn’t one hundred percent certain, so bolts it was. And garlic too, but that was neither here nor there. Probably just an old wives tale, but who was going to dismiss anything when you were under siege?

I pulled the curtains shut and stomped away. Maybe I’d bake something to distract myself. Maybe I’d check my emails.

No. Not emails.

Since someone gave the bastards iPhones, flying monkeys were becoming adept at using technology. Opposable thumbs you see. Useful for scrolling on a touch screen.

I knew I shouldn’t have done it. I’d gone and poked at the Thinkers and now here I was, jeans covered in shit, stuck inside a safe house in the middle of the day.

The Thinkers didn’t like being poked at. Didn’t like having their dogma questioned. Like: Why do I have to follow their rules? Is wearing yellow on Tuesdays really going to save me from Minotaur? Since when had anyone ever seen a Minotaur on a Tuesday anyway?

“That’s why this works”, the Thinkers whisper. “We reduced Minotaur attacked by 200% since everyone began wearing yellow on Tuesdays.”

I wasn’t so sure. Maybe the Minotaur disappeared because someone out there realised their horns were great for virility.

Yesterday, I’d gone to the Towers to petition a relaxation of the charm laws. Charms made me twitchy, and the ones around my doorways always made my teeth ache after I came inside.

To say it hadn’t gone well is an understatement. Thrown out after five minutes, I could hear the Head Thinker screaming at the closing door.

“It’s not your job to question! These things were put in place for the benefit of everyone! What would happen if everyone did something different? Preposterous.”

His voice faded into the distance as the gatekeepers hefted me across the boundary.

“Get out and stay out,” the largest one hissed at me as she gave me one last push for good measure.

Look, I know. I shouldn’t have thrown the rock. I really shouldn’t have. But I’m not good with rules at the best of times, and I was frustrated, all right? Plus, I had a job to do and so far I’d done terribly.

So I threw a rock, hit a gatekeeper and caused a veritable shit storm to follow me home. Literally.

Flying monkeys were the worst. No one quite knew where they came from, but they always appeared when someone called. Especially the Thinkers. Probably called down by all the sexual frustration, but you know how Thinkers are.

A knock on the door made me jump. I wasn’t sure monkeys were the kind to knock first, but I grabbed my broom just in case. It wasn’t as good a weapon as say, a sword or a spear, but someone had decided my role in life when I was a child, and weapon wielding wasn’t it. Stupid, really.

Another knock. I sidled up to the door, placing my feet carefully, watching to make sure my shadow didn’t fall across the glass. A quick peek under the curtain, and I breathed out, relieved.

It took me a moment to unlatch the multiple locks I had engaged, but Jack was smiling when he saw me.

“Thank god you’re here Reena. There’s signs up all over the city. The freethinkers are exposed.”

I gasped, rushing him inside before the monkeys spotted us.

“Take your boots off first.” I waved my hands at him. “What the hell happened Jack? We had a plan.”

He shrugged, padding through to the kitchen, comfortable despite the dull thuds hitting the walls still.

“It all went to shit Reena. Someone picked up Michel last night, and Adela got a knock on her door this morning. Sula ran. Three others are vanished. I was sure you’d be gone too.”

I shook my head. “I’ve been under siege since my part yesterday. For the record, I don’t think distracting the monkeys was the best use of my skills.”

He gave me a twisted look. “I tried to tell them that.”

I sat down, dropping my head into my hands. Jack continued to pace.

“Jesus wept.” I said.” Now I’m trapped here and nothing has gone to plan.” I looked up. “How’d you escape? Come to think of it, how’d you get through the monkeys unscathed?”

Jack looked at me sorrowfully.

“I’m sorry Reena.”

“Jesus Jack, what for?”

He stopped pacing, carefully keeping his hands in front of him.

The window shattered. Monkey shit hurtled across the kitchen.

“You invited them in?”

Jack nodded sadly. “I had no choice. They’ve got my boys.”

The betrayal stung. I had enough time to throw my chair at him and bolt before the monkeys came through the windows.

I had a last glimpse of Jack sunk to the ground, a picture of misery as I headed for the back of the house. Monkey handlers were here now, I could hear the screeching as I did my disappearing act.

Jack’s voice cut through the noise. “You can’t run Reena! Freethinkers aren’t welcome anywhere anymore.” He broke off into a sob.

Into the back bedroom, I barred the door. Behind the fireplace screen was my escape route. What’s the point of a safe house without numerous ways out?

I slid the screen sideways, squeezing myself into the gap. If I was careful, I should be able to get out of here with my brain intact.

Maybe some of the freethinkers were out there still.

I crawled, desperately, choking on dust and ashes. The tunnel wasn’t well maintained and my knees bled as rocks cut through my jeans.

Not long now. Another few metres.

Then sunlight, and freedom.

I emerged under a hedge, the dappled light colouring my skin green and grey. I had a moment to catch my breath before I had to decide my direction. Would Sula be at the river? Or would she have headed for the trees? I tried to weigh my options.

Suddenly, a hand grabbed the back of my neck.

I struggled. Twisting, I kicked my leg backwards, aiming for my captor’s stomach.

He grunted. “Little bitch.”

Then: A pinprick in my neck. A chortle. I slumped to the ground, my legs refusing to obey. Someone stood over me, blocking out the light. A hazy impression of dark eyes and light hair.

“There’s no room for freethinkers in our society Reena. We do these things for your own benefit. Everything is for the betterment of society.” His voice was honey covered steel. I wanted to kill him.

I tried to spit on him as he crouched down next to me, but he only smiled.

“There there. Everything will be better when you give in. The Thinkers know what’s best. They know what your plan is in life. Don’t fight me Reena. There’s no point.”

Everything went black.

 

 

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When your tampon tries to run away

by VelvetFletcher on February 27, 2014

in Humour

I got my period for the first time in nearly two years. Let me tell you, sub fertility sucks, and while I was enjoying not bleeding like a slaughtered cow every month, eventually other things started to play up and BAM, back I go on the pill again.

After not having a period in a long time I thought I was prepared. Vauguely I remembered the pain (the motherfucking pain) and the heavy bleeding – endometriosis +PCOS are trying to kill me – but I thought it would be okay. I was on the pill. What was the worst that could happen?

Famous last words.

I stocked up on supplies. And by stocked up, I actually mean searched through my bathroom cabinet to make sure all the supplies were still there. Lots of tampons, rolling around in the back, from when I won a 12 month supply of tampons. Crappy prize, but who is complaining?

Wait, me. I am. Because they’re the worst tampons you’ve ever used in your life. They’re the kind of tampons you shred to make Christmas decorations, completely ignoring how expensive tampons are because fuck that shit. Fuck. That. Shit.

Clearly I’d forgotten how terrible the tampons were, because on day 2 I tried to insert one and it got stuck. How does a tube the size of your finger get stuck in a vagina? I’ll be fucked if I know, but there I was, trying to push it further and NOPE not going anywhere.

Waddling, I made my way to the cabinet again in search of some lube. Something. Anything. Have you ever heard of having to put lube on a goddamned tampon? Me either. But it happened.

Lubed up, I tried again. It went better – right until the tampon decided, like it had a mind of its own, to change direction and shoot back out of my vagina, skittering across the bathroom floor like a startled mouse.

I was glad my period was not heavy yet, because the only bloodstains I want to have to clean up should be in my writing. Jesus.

So there I was, contorted, trying to work out what was wrong with my vagina. I’m pretty familiar with my own body, but did I need to make a left turn? Had my cervix changed position? Was there suddenly a giant No Entry sign I’d missed?

I tried again. Different tampon, lube applied, assume the position.

And the same fucking thing happened.

I’m telling you now Internet, don’t buy Miss Dejour tampons. They’re crap. They’re worse than crap. They hate your vagina and they’ll make you wish you were rolling your own tampons out of sandpaper and scrunched up cardboard, because that would be less painful than having to use these.

I did what anyone would do in my situation.

I cried.

And then I found some other brand tampons to get me through while I demanded my husband go to the supermarket for me.

The rest of the week passed smoothly, with no more tampons shooting out of my vagina. Of course, I curled up and tried to die for three days, and when I got all dizzy and weird on day five I’m pretty sure it was actually from blood loss, but bygones.

I just need to work out what I’m going to do with the worst tampons in existence.

I’m thinking cat toys.

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Pay the god damned writers

by VelvetFletcher on February 11, 2014

in People are annoying

In my other life, which doesn’t revolve around synonyms for genitals and detailed descriptions of raunchy exploits, I run a website. A well known, well thought of website, with a decent readership base and a nice amount of traffic.

And every day you can guarantee someone is asking me to write for free.

Promote my brand! I’ll pay you in branded mugs and an alarm clock!

Write about our promotion! We’ve got enough money to run TV advertising during prime time, but you’d be doing it for love.

Can we interest you in some samples to write about?

Free content? We’re giving you free content! WHY DON’T YOU WANT OUR CONTENT?

Here’s the thing: I don’t need your content. Contrary to popular belief, I have more than enough content. Miles of fucking content. Buckets of it. What I don’t have is time enough to sit down and write about your product for free.

No.

No no no no.

I enquired about cover art the other day, from a cover artist I respect, whose work I like. I wanted to know how much he charged, so I could budget a professional cover into my expenses.

I didn’t ask him to work for free. I didn’t promise him I would be great for his portfolio. I didn’t try and weasel my way into his good graces and then shame him into working for free. I asked about his rates, thanked him for getting back to me, and organised my budget so when I need cover art, I can pay for it.

Why the fuck doesn’t everyone think like this?

“Oh no, we absolutely don’t have a budget.”

You’re a PR company being paid by a giant multinational company, but SOMEHOW, you don’t have any budget to pay the person doing the actual work of promoting your product?

Geez, I wish everything worked like that.

Sorry guys, can’t pay you for fixing the brakes on my car, but you can totes have my word of mouth advertising for FREE.

No, wait, yes, you’re fixing my plumbing, but I can’t pay you. This is going to be great exposure for you though.

I can’t see it happening somehow.

So dear people who know enough about marketing to think bloggers are a soft touch, but not enough about marketing to realise bloggers talk about which companies are shady shifty bastards who “don’t have a budget” – pay your god damned writers.

Yes you. Even you.

Pay your writers, or I’m going to start emailing the companies you work for.

Word of mouth, baby. It works both ways.

 

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Go home people, the Internet is full

by VelvetFletcher on January 21, 2014

in People are annoying

Go home, the Internet is full. Take your blog and go. Yes, you over there. This means you too. I can see you hiding there, behind your jumble of hoarded words.

We’ve been told we’re merely contributing to the morass of text clogging up the Internet.

So that’s it.

The Internet is full, go home.

Those of you with university degrees can stay in this special corner, but the rest of us are out of luck.

Turn the light off on your way out. No, I don’t care how many books you’ve published. You’re not a Real Writer because an intellectual on the Internet said you’re not. Stop arguing with me.

Oh. Wait. We’re still here? You can’t pull the plug?

Damnit.

Well. This is unexpected. Yes, stop shoving in the back. I am sure there is room for everyone. Can you hear me back there? Calm down. Stop throwing exclamation marks at her. I said stop it.

Jesus wept, you’re behaving like children.

Okay, okay. Is this thing on? Someone pass me a soapbox to stand on. Yes, thank you. No, that’s perfect.

Tap tap tap. Can you hear me? Good.

Ahem.

Dearest Internet. It has been brought to my attention that the Internet is full. We’ve been clogging up the system, and like a good little blockage, we’re just going to have to clear out.

I know. I can hear you laughing. I don’t believe it either.

The Internet is a beautiful thing. In amidst the dirt and grime, she shines like polished diamonds. Beautiful people, speaking beautiful words. Inspiration. Uplifting quotes. Amazing writers.

I am a firm believer that writers, write. That’s it. If you call yourself a writer, and you write things, it’s good enough for me.

But the spit sneer cough of pseudo-intellectuals who want to label everyone in their neat boxes, who call people “hobbyists” with derision, who want to cut everyone down only to dance on their heads like a macabre demon, they disagree.

For them, you walk the paths. You pay your dues and do your time, proving you can complete assignments on time, and write to a formula predetermined by the tastes of the lecturer.

You do it right, or you don’t do it at all.

The Internet, with the great vast expanse of possibility makes their bowels clench and their stomach churn. The idea of the masses having a say in things, oh, someone bring them a peasant to behead post-haste.

We’re playing in the wild west and it makes them uncomfortable.

How dare writers self-publish? Don’t you know publishing is there for a reason? That gatekeepers exist to keep scum like you out?

Spit sneer cough.

Hobbyists.

It’s a wankfest circlejerk designed to make some people feel better about themselves. Oh, baby, yes you’re a Real Writer. I see your PhD hanging there on the wall. Oh yes, touch me harder, harder, harder…..

OH.

Oh.

This is why people are so offended at genre fiction.

“But it’s not good!” they exclaim.

Who are you to define good? Who am I?

Real Writers, in their eyes, labour over a work of literary fiction for years, carefully polishing every sandy sentence until it gleams.

“I’d prefer to write one good paragraph a day, rather than 10k words I have to delete.” they cry, glaring at prolific authors, ignoring entirely that practise is the only real way to get good at something, and writing more is never a bad thing.

I am a writer, because I write. End of story.

I don’t need a degree, or a magical wishing elf, or a special cap, or an office cat. I don’t need a degree to validate what I enjoy doing.

I don’t need to procrastinate around fulfilling someone else’s idea of the perfect path to follow.

I can just do it.

So no. I don’t think I will stop calling myself a writer, and you’re adorable if you think you get to define me by your own standards. I’ll just be in this corner over here, writing books, telling stories, and sending them out into the world.

Thank you.

Yes, you can take the soapbox now. Everyone back to their corners. Someone sweep up this mess. Jesus, we were only here for five minutes, how did that even happen?

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Masturbation shock. And not the electric kind.

by VelvetFletcher on January 19, 2014

in Humour

A few years ago, I was standing on a street corner in Melbourne with friends, waiting for the lights to change. I’d been out to dinner with a few girlfriends after a conference we’d all attended. Our conversation had been frank, and funny, and we were all high on good food and better company.

From the other direction, a few other acquaintances showed up, spilling from the door of a nearby restaurant. We all knew each other and fell into easy conversation.

Somehow, the subject of sex toys came up. I can neither confirm nor deny that I was the one to bring them up, but needless to say, there we were on a street at midnight, discussing sex toys, and the usefulness thereof.

One woman, Ella*, blushed, turning red enough we could tell despite the darkness.

“Wait, you don’t have sex toys?” I asked.

She shook her head. “I have a husband.” She said, shrugging as if that explained everything.

Now, you need to bear in mind, we all had husbands. None of us were single ladies needing a little light battery powered relief in lieu of an available penis.

“What do you do when you just want a quick wank before you fall asleep?” One of my friends asked.

“I wake my husband up.” Ella said, seeming shocked we would even suggest she see to her own needs.

“Wait.” I broke in. “Every time you want an orgasm, you get your husband involved?”

Ella nodded.

My friends and I looked at each other in shock.

“You never masturbate? Ever?” I pressed my point.

Ella blushed harder, if that was possible. “Never.”

Wow. We were shocked.

“You need to get yourself a vibrator and an hour alone.” Another friend said, nodding her head wisely. We agreed, and the subject turned to other things.

I’ve thought about this conversation on and off ever since. Firstly, Ella’s shock that we all masturbated and weren’t afraid to discuss it openly amongst ourselves. Secondly, our husbands knew about our marital aids and openly endorsed their use.

Ella never spoke to me again. I can only assume she found my open attitude about masturbation offensive.

Whereas I occasionally wonder if she ever got a vibrator, or if she was one of the lucky souls whose husband was always available to fulfil her every need.

But more seriously, was Ella actually living in the kind of raunchy erotic novelesque type marriage where everyone cums multiple times and no one ever sleeps in the wet spot.

Enquiring minds need to know.

*not her real name. Obviously.

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When everything gets too much, I just stop

by VelvetFletcher on January 16, 2014

in Writer Life

There’s a point of overwhelm I reach when I’ve got too much work to do. I throw my hands up in the air and do nothing. Manuscripts gather dust, my brain chases tumbleweeds and I hide in a corner with a book and a pointy stick to poke anyone who demands too much from me.

It’s not the most sensible way to work, but there it is, and here I am. Between writing (paid and pleasure), editing, and family commitments, I have my fingers firmly in my ears, singing LALALALA at the top of my lungs while everything piles up around me.

I printed out my manuscript for a hard edit just before the heat wave hit, and I’ve done nothing with it since.

It’s a first draft.

It’s terrible.

But, in amidst my frantic need to restructure all the sentences, I can see bits which are good. I think it might work, if I can get my act together to start on it.

My fingers itch, and my brain hurts, and I stamp around the house with everyone avoiding me, because I’m not a nice person when I’m not writing.

I talk to my husband. He asks why I’m not writing any erotic shorts for publishing right now. Why I’m updating my blog instead. I wonder too, but then I wonder if anyone will read my books if I don’t prove that I can write first. How can I expect people to pay for my writing, when to them, I’m unknown and unproven.

So I write flash fiction and hope I’ll find an audience, I talk on facebook and hope I find like minded people to talk with (spoiler: I did). I bake cakes, and drift around the house, aimless and unable to settle.

Soon, the heatwave will break and my brain will return. I’ll shake out the tumbleweeds and dust bunnies and start again, start anew. I’ll write more and not feel perpetually guilty.

Soon.

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Turns out, I’ve been hiding

by VelvetFletcher on January 8, 2014

in Writer Life

A month ago, I was away from home for a week. While I was away, my tablet died.

Pffft. Kaput. Dead. Bricked itself entirely.

I tried not to cry, and succeeded mostly. My tablet is an older one. It’s been around the tracks and around the country with me. It was bound to happen. The timing was shitty at the very best, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

I dragged my tablet everywhere with me, from reading ebooks at midnight, to playing Candy Crush before I had to get out of bed in the morning. It was never far away, especially at 3am when I couldn’t sleep I’d sit up for hours jotting down book outlines and taking notes.

Most of those notes I transcribed to a notebook, but when my tablet died, I still lost some outlines I’d been working on for a while. Turns out, dropbox doesn’t sync Notes the way it syncs photos and videos.

It took a bit of tweaking, but I managed to get my tablet back up and working again, but my notes were gone forever.

I didn’t think much of it, because hey, at least my tablet wasn’t bricked anymore and I could read books in the dark.

But then I was chatting to my friend Calandra the other day and I told her I’d lost at least five decent outlines, as well as some basic ideas, and I was feeling uninspired to start anew. She was sympathetic, patting my arm (figuratively – she’s in the US) and consoling me.

She pointed out how terrible it was and understood in a way only a fellow writer could, just how devastating the loss of ideas was.

I know that those ideas are close to the surface still, and with a little scratching I could pull them out, but as Calandra said sometimes rewriting is harder than starting afresh.

It’s true. I didn’t realise how hard it was to lose that work until someone else pointed out what a sucky situation it was.

I’ve been hiding, licking my wounds and waiting for things to feel a little easier, which I’ve realised is never going to happen. I need to move on, salvage what I can and keep writing. I’ve still got ideas, scattered around the house like a veritable snow of notebooks and post-it notes.

There’s never going to be a magic time to start again. No one is going to give me back the lost hours I spent, and I can’t pull the words out of my arse. So I need to just start.

And I guess that’s what this is – me just starting. Talking about it. Holding myself accountable to someone out there on the intertubes.

Holiday’s over Velvet.

Get back to work.

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Wedding Transport by Cleopold on FlickrIf you’ve been online at all the last week, you would have seen the piece titled “23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Married At 23” going viral.

Excuse me while I go and vomit on some concrete somewhere.

Here’s the thing:

If you feel like telling your friends how to live their life and/or judging them for their decisions, you’re an arsehole. A whiny bitter baby arsehole who cares more about her own feelpinions than your friends happiness. It smacks of “I’m worried no one will ever want to marry me!” and “But they can’t be happy because they’re so young!”

Repeat after me:

People are different and that’s okay. Other people make different decisions and that is also okay. No one wants to live my life and I should stop trying to live other people’s lives for them.

Repeat until you have it straight.

“I have begun to notice a common thread amongst all these young unions: inexperience.  Inexperience with dating, traveling, risks, higher education, career direction, SEX, solitude, religious exploration, etc… and it’s insane that I have already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than my married peers will ever experience in their life.”.

You’re adorable, with your assumptions right there.

I don’t quite know why you think that marriage is going to stop them living their lives. Do married couples just sit on the couch all day and never do anything?

You don’t need to sleep with a hundred guys to be sexually experienced, or to learn how to satisfy yourself. I’m not saying you can’t sleep with 100 guys, or shouldn’t, I’m just saying you don’t have to.

Marriage isn’t the end of your life. Marriage doesn’t stop you traveling, finding yourself, having amazing sex, pursuing higher education, or having a career.

A spouse is not a millstone around your neck, dragging you down to the bottom of the ocean until you both drown for want of a new experience.

The writer goes on to exclaim that “she is responsible for her own happiness.”

AWESOME. Accept that other people are responsible for their own happiness too, and their version of happy is not a cookie cutter version of yours. Frankly I have no desire to see China, so you know, suck it.

And finally, if you are the kind of person who honestly suggests that people should “Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face” then you’re not someone who ought to be getting married right now because you are not a good person yet.

Dating two people at once SOLELY to cause a blowup? You’re an idiot.


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Resolution unlocked: Have more sex

by VelvetFletcher on January 2, 2014

in Flash Fiction,Humour

Woman in water by Ton Haex

The New Year bursts into the sky, shiny bright with fireworks and promising to be better than before. He strolls into my kitchen, beating his chest, proclaiming dominance over the coming months.

“TWENTYFOURTEEN” he screams, “It’s finally MY TIME.”

I roll my eyes at his Adonis like strutting and keep reading. There’s no room here for his ilk.

“Come on.” He glares at me. “Aren’t you a little excited?”

I drop my book and look up at him. “What is there to be excited about? A new year? Pffft. Boring. You’ll be all haggard and tarnished in a week. Just wait.”

He pouts. All the worst kind of people do.

“But I’m different! I’m TWENTYFOURTEEN.”

“Yes dear, of course you are. Now go and sit in the corner for a bit and I’ll talk to you when I’m ready.”

He looks like he wants to argue, but sits, sullen and sulking.

“Did I mention I’m brand new?” he asks.

I raise an eyebrow at him, and his face drops a little.

“It’s true though. I’m brand new. I’ve still got bubble wrap hanging around somewhere.”

Sighing, I put my book down. I knew I should have gone to bed an hour ago and left the great reveal for the morning when at least I had caffeine to buoy me up.

“So. You wanted to talk to me?”

His eyes light up. “Of course! It’s my job to hear about your resolutions. I’m a cheerleader, you know.”

God. Why were all the New Years like this? For once, I’d like a scruffy no nonsense kind of bloke to show up and tell me what was going to happen. Instead I kept getting golden boys prettier than I was hanging around my heels, telling me how awesome I was. And then on the 2nd of January, they’d all just disappear, like magic. POOF gone. Where were my cheerleaders in February when everything was hard again?

“Resolutions. God. I don’t know.” I paused, thinking. “Do you know, it was only last year I even started making resolutions? I’ve never been good at following the crowd.”

He looked pained. “I do know. You’re well known.”

“Oh.”

Well then. I didn’t realise my bah humbug attitude would cause them so many issues.

He tapped his foot on the floor, waiting for me.

“Fine. I’ll make some resolutions this year.” I thought about it. “How about: Write more?”

He shook his head in disgust, hair flopping over his forehead.

“Not good enough?” I asked.

“What about lose weight? Or quit drinking? Or exercise more? Those are the normal things.” He replied.

“Yeah, but I bet they all fail after a week.”

He shrugged. “Sure they do, but it’s the thought that counts. And I get to cheer you on.”

“For like, two days.” I grumbled. “Also, are you saying I need to lose weight? Because that’s just rude.”

His eyes roamed over my body, making me feel slightly uncomfortable.

“Well I personally wouldn’t say you need to lose weight. But it’s the done thing. It’s expected.

I stuck my tongue out at him.

“I’m not losing weight. And I’m not quitting anything either. I like my lifestyle.”

I thought about it some more while I wondered what he looked like with his clothes off. Where exactly was he keeping his bubble wrap for instance? The thought of a bubble wrapped penis made me snicker out loud. He looked offended.

“I can tell what you’re thinking you know.”

“Really?” I was a little shocked. I hadn’t realised that the harbingers had mind reading powers.

“Of course.” He waggled his fingers at me. “Magic you know. We’re powerful in January.”

I blushed. Last year’s Adonis had been something else. I didn’t want to think about him seeing inside my head. This year’s Adonis tutted at me.

“Dude, if you can read my mind, why do you need me to tell you my resolutions? Why do we keep doing this every year?”

“Something something, actualisation of goals, something something, speaking things out loud makes them real?”

I rolled my eyes. Standard ‘ask and ye shall receive’ crap. Imagine it, and receive it.

“It’s crap I know, but I’m just doing my job. Speak the words and I can leave.”

Oh great. I’d managed to offend the New Year already. That must be a record for me. Fine. I’d go along with it, and then … I pictured Pretty Boy over there in bed with me as hard as I could. I wanted to know if the mind reading was real. His eyebrows shot right up as his cheeks coloured slightly. Huh. What do you know.

“Fine. Here are my resolutions: Have more good sex.” I winked at him and he looked interested. “Write more. Read more. That’s it.”

“That’s it?”

I nodded and he breathed a sigh of relief. His job here was done. Or maybe not.

“You know, you’re meant to help me achieve my goals, right?” I let my voice trail off.

“I am. You’re right.”

“So technically, anything we do tonight counts as ‘helping’, doesn’t it?” I smiled at him, and leaned forwards, granting him a view of my cleavage. His eyes glazed over slightly. “Come on pretty boy. Let’s ring in the New Year properly.”

He smiled.

Standing, I led the way to my bedroom. This New Year was going to be the best one yet.

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