Erotic Fiction: Mourning Sun

Morning Sun by Edward Hopper (1952)

Morning Sun by Edward Hopper (1952)

His heart beats so hard she’s afraid it will shatter. It’s such a fragile thing. A hunk of meat and tenacity. It will stop one day, she knows. It will stop and he will leave her.

She is young and strong. He is not so young. The men in his family thrive until they don’t. They stop, without warning, when the machinery gives out. She wants to reach in and cradle his heart. She wants hold it in her hands and hide it from the day that he will leave.

They have talked about children. They’ve talked for years. Some day, they’ve said. When the time is right. She is still young, after all. But he is getting older. There is silver in his hair. Not much, but enough—enough for her to imagine his father dying at his age.

She hadn’t known him then. She’d been in college, drinking too much and playing too hard, while he’d been deep in his career. She hadn’t known he existed to be lost. She hadn’t known that, when they’d buried his father, this man, her man, would be next in line.

He shifts in his sleep, restless in the thick, yellow sun where they nap. Beyond the open window, the city hums like locusts, feeding off the heat. There is nothing to do. No child to tend. No errands to run. He gets tired sometimes, so they sleep. They are sleeping away his life. She feels a muted, desperate panic as she strokes his chest.

She sits up and unbuckles his belt. Her hands are nimble and quiet, as if she’s trying to wake him up without disturbing his sleep. He opens his eyes and smiles, sweet like a boy. It makes her ache in places she can’t name. The ache spreads through her. It passes through nerve and tissue and bone until she becomes that ache; the aching, inevitable loss of him, anticipatory and sharp.

He touches her face. His bright eyes are framed by a fan of lines that make him look “distinguished”. A man of a certain age. She wishes she were of a certain age too. She wishes she would die first. It’s a selfish wish and it shames her, but she would happily give him the ache of her loss to avoid the loss of him. She feels small and tight for wishing it, but fear is leaking out of her, red and raw, too swollen for her chest.

“Hey love,” he murmurs, but she shakes her head.

She doesn’t want to talk. His smile is sad now as he lifts up his hips so she can slide the denim down. His Levi’s are ancient, from before they met, broken in just right. She will remember him wearing them when he is gone…when she rocks a baby and kisses a scraped knee. The memories are stacked like tiles in her brain. She feels them, waiting to be used.

She unbuttons her dress and tosses it aside with unnecessary force. She’s fractious and keen. She feels the absence of his touch. She wants every barrier gone.

He watches her, stroking her thighs, her flat belly, her soft, heavy breasts. She lets him work a finger between her too-hot skin and the thin cotton band that holds her panties up. He tugs a little, playful, but she doesn’t smile back. She is too full of purpose as she rests her hand on his, and pushes her panties down.

She straddles him, hovering over his cock with no pretense at play. Normally, she would want to taste him, salty with Sunday laziness and sunshine sweat, but she is driven now. She wants a part of him, whole and holdable. Somewhere to put her love in the days when he is gone.

It’s a dangerous want. She knows it, even as she sinks down.

Her cunt is wet with the tears she knows she will cry. She closes her eyes and focuses on him beneath her, their rightness, his pulse, the feathery beat of his heart. He rolls her over and presses her into the bed. She is crying and he lets her. He will ask her why after, when they are sated, when his come is safe between her legs, when there’s hope that something will grow in the sunlight of their bed, in the city that sounds like locusts.

33 Comments

  1. I got goosebumps reading this. I stopped partway, almost too nervous to go on in case he slipped away too soon. I am so glad I took a breath and read more.

    • Thank you, Honey. I wanted it to do exactly that but I wasn’t sure I’d pulled it off until I read your comment. It’s one thing to make myself tense, but a whole different thing to make someone else feel it. You’re wonderful and I’m very happy.

  2. Oh wow, Malin. This is incredibly, incredibly moving. I love the way you drizzle out details until we’re holding the weight of the whole story at the end. It’s beautiful as a reader to be included and trusted like that.

  3. this is so beautiful, i can barely even stand it. you are a MASTER!

  4. wonderful! such wonderful prose…

  5. Wow! So powerful. Beautifully written. I often get melancholy that time is going too fast.

  6. Just gorgeous prose. And makes me rethink something I said about your essay work a while back. In this piece in particular, I love how the emotion is what not so much drives the story forward, but rather it takes you away into it as a river takes a fallen leaf;feeling every twist and turn whether you want to or not.

  7. This is beyond beautiful. Goosebumps and tears. You are a brilliant writer!

    Rebel xox

  8. The makes my whole body burn with recognition. Without the baby bit but everything else….i am so often this woman. *cries a little
    Thank you for this
    Mollyxxx

  9. “She hadn’t known he existed to be lost”

    What a marvelous thing to read on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I’m not either of these people, and yet you brought me so close to both of them. Thank you. I love the subtle but deft way you’ve made time fluid. I love how you have left them somehow still opaque to each other. For me this is true ‘romance’ and it is hardly ever written this way.

    • Thank you – a lot. I love that you read it as a romance. I wrote it as one. Oddly, the intense fear of loss has always signaled the deepest love for me. I’m not sure how healthy that is, nor is it necessarily comforting, but feeling that kind of love is how I experience romance in real life. Though I struggle with it, that includes the reality that eventually one of you will be left to carry on alone.

  10. Truly gorgeous. A difficult pleasure to fall into.
    Here’s a funny thing. In another, slightly more greyed place, you know the respite she seeks is also temporary. We build our emotional lives on deficit spending, and at some point we start paying in loss. The richer the life, the deeper the debt.

    • Thank you. And you’re very right – she’s looking for solace in a sort of delusion. The real hook that she’s struggling on is that the inevitable can’t be avoided. He’s going to die. That’s a pain that could theoretically be soothed with a child, but the reality is that it won’t be. Her situation is emotionally tenuous because her debt is so deep.

      • And – even if she succeeds in this attempt to fend off one pain, she creates a new front. A child leaves in 18 short years, give or take – and the losses a child incurs along the way are incalculable. Each milestone of independence a child achieves is a heartrending loss for a parent, no matter how wonderful and celebratory, whether they realizes it, or admits it, or not.

        For me, knowing this makes the story doubly bittersweet, as I read the woman in the story as still to young to know.

        • That’s it exactly. She’s relying on a sort of delusion to help her through the pain she’s anticipating. She doesn’t understand that she’ll vey likely feel his loss twice as a result – once when he dies, and again when their child leaves to begin his own life. That emptiness she’s trying to fill is inescapable but she’s fighting because we’re afraid to confront that kind of pain. That avoidance is a kind of impulse, I think..it’s very easy to lose perspective and get caught in it.

  11. And with this I am undone.

  12. You have a gift for putting words to the things we mere mortals only grasp at, but cannot name.

  13. Pointed towards this piece through various mentions at Eroticon 2015 – goddamnit, Malin, this is a beautiful, heart-breaking piece that makes me want to cry so much, I can’t even.

    • That’s lovely of you to say. Thank you, Jillian. I feel very lucky that Stella wanted to work with this story. She’s incredible. I’m just happy it seems to resonate with people. In the end, that’s all I really want 🙂

  14. Wonderfully written piece. I enjoy erotica so much more when there’s a connection between people that goes beyond the surface. It can be thrilling to read about people simply having sex, but when deeper feelings are present — that’s a step above. Your story speaks of heart rather than just sexual organs.

    • Thank you – that’s the best compliment I could hope for. I’m happy it spoke to you, and I really appreciate your taking the time to leave such a lovely comment.

  15. When I read a story like this I wonder if I’ve ever written an erotic story worth reading. Beautifully written.

  16. Hopper is one of my favorites, and I’ve seen this painting. It is always a thrill to see one in person, as was reading your sweet piece. I think this is one of my favorites of the stories I’ve read of yours, Malin.

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