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background on the excerpt
By the late eighties, Mary and I had saved up enough money in our 401k's to be able to cash them in and use the money to leave Maine, as we had five years earlier left California, traveling around North America again trying to decide where to live next.
Shortly before our departure from Maine, I came up with the idea for a new novel, my second. All I saw then was a man who had lived forever, and who occasionally, over the centuries, changed sex.
We put 20,000 miles on our car and 80 days on our lives during that journey, traveling from Maine down to Florida, across all the southern states, up the west coast into Canada, up Canada into Alaska, where Father Figure takes place, down south across most of the provinces of Canada back into the United States, and down the Mississippi states to where we eventually wound up, in Texas.
During a trip that long you spend a lot of hours staring out the windshield at the roads, and it was during those long stares the plot and details of Father Figure came to me. I wrote part one in San Antonio, in about a month. When we were unable to find jobs there we moved north to Dallas, where I devoted each Saturday to continuing the narrative. Father Figure is many things, but one of those things certainly is determination. It took five years of Saturdays to finish parts two and three, and then another year to polish it all.
In this first excerpt, which opens the novel, several themes are introduced which will be repeated throughout the novel. For those of you who enjoy this sort of detail, of which I am one, the first line, "It is wet here", is an allusion to Bartok's opera Bluebeard's Castle; the second paragraph is meant to recall Poe's The City in the Sea ("Down, down, that town shall settle hence").
it is wet here
excerpt from the novel Father Figure
It is wet here.
Beneath the glowing clouds of the night sky, below the wings beneath the clouds, over the sparkle of Anchorage, over the dark flatness of Glacier Bay, down the lanes of Seward Highway, south down the peninsula to darkness and woods, through the woods to the small town of Lodgepole, over the treetops of White Birch Park, down among the bushes, on the ground, a man climbed on top of a woman, putting her hands over her head.
She crossed her legs, thighs pressing shut.
He held her down at the elbows, sinking the angles of arm into the soft grass. Between the tops of her closed thighs lay a fold which couldn't be squeezed completely shut, a little smile of flesh covered with hair. The head of his cock angled its way easily into the smile, punching through to the hole below.
She moaned as the touch inside lengthened.
In the soft, dappled moonlight filtering down through the birch trees his raised buttocks lowered into the rhythm of a slow, sure pump.
Her mouth hung open. A long, long exhale, breath and sob.
She cocked her hips obediently.
Because her thighs stayed crossed, the flat back of his cock rubbed hard against her clitoris, until her clitoris swelled against the rubs, until her clitoris was ripe and round like a ruby grape.
Her face tilted back, eyes sinking in the shadows of her cheekbones, lips opening, rising up, framing the teeth below, twitching around breaths. When the tilt put her eyes below her chin, she looked up past the ghostly double image of her nose to his broad, wet face eclipsing the sky.
His blonde hair was dark. He smiled, sweat dripping off the curve.
Putting more of his weight on her elbows, he worked up to a faster pump, beating against her pubis with his in a left, right, center rhythm. The inner curves of her thighs began slipping in the sweat of their tight hug against each other. Her breath changed. She inhaled gulp after gulp of the cool night air.
He saw the change, and slowed down.
Now again each separate push down was felt, deep up. She shut her eyes. Arms still held down at the elbows, her hands lifted off the grass, fingers fluid, like a signing of ooh's and ah's above the green blades.
Among the stiff leaves on the ground beyond her head he saw a movement. He looked down. Her black hair was tangled around her ears and throat, her face, still beautiful in late middle-age, tight with suffering, lips forming vowels, eyes squeezed shut.
A foot away from the spread of her hair a leaf trembled, then tilted.
The leaf it overlapped tilted, then trembled.
He leaned farther forward, directly above her moans. Squinted as he pumped.
Across the dried veins of the leaf, with an undulating ripple, a brown centipede propelled itself sideways closer to her hair.
Letting go of her right elbow, crossing it with his own, he hovered his hand over the sliding movement, wetting his lips. He glanced down at her shut eyes, feeling the bang of her hips against his.
When he looked at the leaf again, it was flat and empty. He held his eyes still, waiting for movement to betray location. An outermost curl of her black hair shifted, and he saw the antennaed end of the disappearance under. Pushing the hair to one side, he grabbed the double row of legs at its middle, thumb on one side, three fingers on the other, and flung it, acting so quickly it was only after it was in an arc away that he experienced the wriggly sensation.
Her lids parted, but barely, the gleam of her wide pupils showing beneath the still-crossed lashes.
With a kiss on each lid he started pumping more attentively. She might ask later. He would tell her. She'd shudder, rub her shoulders with the opposite hands.
Now his cock slid easily in and out, oiled repeatedly by her cunt, bouncing the round ripe grape above her cunt, feeding thrust after thrust to her cunt until her cunt molded to the shape of his cock, until the smell of her cunt and the smell of his cock became one musk.
Her cunt tightened greedily around the base of his cock, keeping it deep. He let go her hands and the fingers went right away to her wet breasts, squeezing the nipples. Her thighs jerked up, long and beautiful, against the reddened fronts of his thighs.
When she was pumping up as fast as she could she took her fingertips off her nipples and ran her hands down his soaked spine, down to the swollen, hard muscles of his ass, cupping gratefully.
He propped himself with his elbows above her shoulders, put his hands on her throat. She looked up at him, pupils dilated.
On either side of her neck he placed a thumb. Both thumbs pushed inwards towards the front of her throat, trailing a wake of pulled skin, both top joints digging in deeper as the trails lengthened and widened.
Her hand touched his wrist. He hesitated. She drew her hand away. His thumbs continued advancing across her throat, passing roughly over muscle onto the sides of her windpipe, her hips jerking up harder and faster against him. When the two thumbs were so close only a massive ridge of her flesh stood between them she started banging her arms down on the grass to prevent herself from trying to pry his hands off her darkening windpipe. Finally, through the thinnest layer of pipe still not pinched shut, his thumbs could feel one another's round shape. She went rigid, her body shaking convulsively, locked knees lifting up between his legs, and as the first contraction of her orgasm was about to hit he shut her windpipe completely, shut the loud moan of orgasm inside her lungs, to let it ricochet inside forever.
Even after her eyes reopened and her tongue spilled out, her body below his still jerked up at him, pulling his own orgasm out of him into her. Even after that he kept his thumbs pushed together, even though the backs of his hands ached and felt on fire, until he was sure she was lifeless.
All became quiet. He could hear the lapping of Little Muncho Lake behind him, below the ridge of birch trees along its shore. He could feel the sweat cool on his body.
He worked his frozen hands off her throat, her head lolling back as he let it go. For a moment he felt like crying.
Leaning forward over her body, he kissed her forehead rather than her slack lips. After that he pulled himself stickily out of her, laying on top of her body with his cock across her stomach.
When he had his breath back, he looked over his shoulder.
His blonde hair was twisted into wet strands, his face splotchy, his blue eyes large and pale.
The look on his face was a request for reassurance.