pines and needles – a Christmastide treat

The sheet slips across my skin, soft as it feels in the stillness and motion barely making a whispering sound as it glides and slides from my limbs.

First my shoulders, then my arms, past my fingers and from my waist unveiling my hips, slower now, imperceptible, no longer inching but millimetreing, hinting, suggesting, wondering, should I or shouldn’t I, though who the ‘I’ is isn’t clear in this lost-light enveloped in deepest grey but for a chink of the moon that sneaks around the edge of the winter curtains, itself as full as a moon can get bouncing its beam off the hoarfrost now coating the world beyond the window that’s absconded with any suggestion of warmth, though there’s plenty inside, in here, where my sheet, as sheer, sidles down my half-awake body and half-asleep mind grazing my oversized red nightshirt and pink laced cotton knickers, though colour doesn’t matter in the here and now among the shadows among quivers of light that barely alight on the corners of my room.

There’s a glimpse then there isn’t, a splinter of presence conspicuous by its absence, there’s only me here, there’s only me here. Or is there? I move and I don’t, I breathe and I don’t. There’s only my breath and there isn’t only my breath. Is this the space between life and death, the gap in which choices are made, or unmade, where temptation is offered from both sides of the drape that drapes invisible, a shimmer, come forth the sinner, the join where nature begins.

My hips are exposed as the sheet gathers its folds shifting down my thighs, as bare as the night outside devoid of cloud where satellites move among shooting stars both being sure to avoid the other, which they manage most of the time. The sound is of silence, which can be as violent as noise but not this night, this silent night which perhaps just an unquiet slight.

There’s a warmth as the sheet creeps ever further down over my knees, down over my calves, down over my ankles and over my feet from where my toes now peek. Gone, the sheet descends from the edge of the mattress where it rests on the floor no longer a part of me where I lay, still lay, laying still as a statue carved out of mist, except I’m not mist, I skin and sinew, muscle and bone, blood and breath, I’m every inhalation and every exhalation and between the two exhilaration growing by the tick and the tock of the ornate brass clock that perches atop my dresser blessing each second by keeping time with time as it keeps finding time to become.

I know there’s frost in the outside, cold and crisp and even beyond the walls, beyond this moment where I lay now uncovered there’s nothing but me except there is when a touch touches here and a touch touches there, a frisson of air yuletide expires leaving room for another and another.

The tiny faint hairs on my arms stand to attention. I don’t move. Can’t move. Soft, a fleck of first contact against my throat moving a lock of my hair to one side. Soft, caress, impressing my skin without leaving a trace except for a tension inside that expands and contracts with my lungs, a scent of oranges, mixed spice, a titillation of cinnamon.

The bed holds me firm on my back; stops me from spinning away, from tumbling into Space, into a somewhere just beyond the next blink.

I don’t blink with these closed eyes.

My oversized bedshirt ripples as though fingers teasing the surface of an undisturbed pond. My oversized bedshirt rises, tugged, over my tummy, over my navel, the curves where it follows my ribs until it’s below my breasts. I swallow tremors of air. My nipples exposed to the heady aromas which covet this room. Against my knickers a pressure, a probing, a slither of fingertips criss- and then cross.

A tapping at the window, so faint the breeze beckons carols from beyond, bells town-crying midnight. Ivy dangles from the holly, swaying as it does sending Morse code through the pane: dot dot dot, dot dot dash, dot dash dot, dot dash dot, dot, dash dot, dash dot dot, dot, dot dash dot, over and over. Through the thin material more pressure, finding the spot, small indentations, circles, strokes, brushing, pressure, pressure, all of my internal heat rushing to one spot; a softening, moistening, quivering, counting the beat, the rhythm that keeps metronome time.

Dot dot dot, dot dot dash, dot dash dot, dot dash dot, dot, dash dot, dash dot dot, dot, dot dash dot.

Can you hear snow? I think I hear snow. How quiet it can be, like an untrained sound wanting to be shown how to make music. Show me how, show me how. An essence arouses my nipples, aureoles tingle moving my breasts to playful unrest. There are knots inside and out, nurturing bindings; open my eyes, open my eyes. Pressure, more against my thighs, into my groin, along my mound tracing the line of my intimate needs, now firmer, now deeper. I’m feeling a stain of desire beginning to rain from within, I’m shaking, I’m shuddering, I’m cracking, a parting of clouds.

The pressure increases, pushing, pushing. Open my thighs, open my thighs. I’m prised apart, my pulse is the hare which drags me behind; catch up, catch up. Pins and needles, a pine-scented scene, the tinsel glints at the merest hint of light, flicker the fire the pressure inspires, requires, desires, sinks deeper, fuller, rawer. Knees raised, resolve erased, dot dot dot, dot dot dash, dot dash dot, dot dash dot, dot, dash dot, dash dot dot, dot, dot dash dot.

A crumple of linen gathers around me, how my body unfolds, unravels into a moment of trust. I become a sacrifice to a winter’s pagan rites where cold and warm meet just too agree to disagree: middle ground.

How my body feels what is and isn’t there, how my body takes what is and isn’t there, the weight, the pressure, the pressure now deeper, now deeper, the fabric moved to allow ingress. I’m willing; am I willing? My invitation, my gift, my offering, letting it flow, letting it flow into me, through me, how thin this resistance.

I hear ice forming in puddles outside enchanted by frost-ridden air. How many souls will perish this holy night?

The shadows inside me grow and grow, feel their way, a voice, my voice, is as thin as a single fine hair. I do, I do: dot dot dot, dot dot dash, dot dash dot, dot dash dot, dot, dash dot, dash dot dot, dot, dot dash dot. Soundlessly louder, my body collapsing in on itself, pressure, pressure, keeps growing until it fills me completely, an irrevocable flow. I’m holding on while coming apart as I take and I take what’s given not once, but twice, not twice but three times, three wishes, the stars have aligned this midwinter night.

© Emmaleela


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