Thursday, October 10, 2013


           Movement catches his attention as he passes her door. He pauses, peering through the narrow crack. She stands facing her dresser, her head bent as she searches her drawer, and her blonde hair a curtain protecting her face from his scrutiny. His eyes fixate on her private dressing. His pulse kicks up its pace as he finally steps back in embarrassment. He creeps soundlessly down the hallway to his own room.
           Weeks later, she stands at the pool’s edge, dipping her toe into the water to test its coolness against the fever of summer. Swiftly, she pulls her tight t-shirt over her head, slips out of her denim shorts, and then tosses her underclothes carelessly into the messy pile. Her dark tan, which covers every inch of her lithe body, proves her worship of the sun. She dives smoothly into the coolness, surfacing midway in the pool, her long hair drifting in golden tendrils around her shoulders. She tilts backward, trusting the water to hold her afloat.
           Upstairs, he watches her peaceful moonlit swim for only a moment. Then, before the rules of society bind him in place, he dashes down the stairs, shedding his clothing in haste. He hits the back door at a full run, bare feet pounding on grass and patio. Airborne for only a second, his muscles constrict in anticipation.
           Startled by the splash, she whips her legs downward, treading water as she spins to locate her predator. His hands snag her right leg, and he tugs her under, using the cover of play to skim his hands over her thighs and whisper them across her breasts. She surfaces, exploding with irritation at his surprise attack, pleased that she lured him into the pool. She bats his hands away, squawking in mock indignation as they play their childhood game in adult bodies, the undercurrents hot with each brush of skin.
           Feeling powerful and cruel, she slips out of his reach and swims to the ladder. She pulls herself up, pausing for effect with her head thrown back, neck kissed by moonlight. His scalding gaze burns her skin, and suddenly shame flames her cheeks. She gathers her clothing clumsily, clutching the t-shirt and shorts tightly to her chest as she quickly runs to the back door. She flies up the stairs, mortified by this sibling skinny dipping. With resolution, she slams and locks her bedroom door, thwarting all temptation.

from Swimming Pool Series by Dmitriy Kedrin

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


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