Softly sang birds all about. Inside wood waved ferns in wafting breeze and they were among them, hand in hand, slowly making way. Up between trees glimpsed small puffs of clouds against greatly blue sky. Ahead they saw their small perfect place to lie. There they fell and lay, arms round each other. Tall ferns hid these two deep in the wood from anyone. Soft like peaches the light.
This on a hill lush with thick green sloping up east to west as below was slow run river glimpsed glinting in flashes. Some men were rowing boats and some sat watching. Beyond were couples sitting, lying in each others arms while also groups of friends played laughing in sunlight, some volleyball, some catching and throwing, on grass cropped short by deer. Behind these, at tables and benches were families eating and drinking with dogs. The deer had gone and had hidden for so many people in their park.
They lay beside one another glad to be away. With closed eyes she kissed his kiss. Stopped. Carried on. With closed eyes he kissed her kiss. Hands all the while moved between the two continuous in caresses and strokes of touches. Then drew he away from her, lay alone on right side a while looking up as one leaf fluttered down from above; he reached out and took leaf before its coming to rest on wood floor and looked upon it caught within hand, sleepy, sleepily. He said leaves were falling and she murmured yes eyes still shut and he said leaf not even brown yet, when she, not opening her eyes, groped a hand for his, and it fell on his face, and she touched his soft lips with long nail of finger.
He sat up, still with her long nail upon his soft lips. Pushing he sucked nail into mouth and delicate silver ring on finger was sucked away inside also. She opened green eyes to smile at him. In her smile he slid out ring and nail from mouth, and the fingers of this, her left hand with glittering rings, went stroking to his head. Looked into he fell onto back again to lie beside her and all their eyes instead looked above to the sky through green leaves.
They listened up there. Birds sang invisible songs near around. Quiet the small songs, but broken then by flapping squawks like bright harsh parakeets from far away. Came shouts from volleyball players below. Laughter too was in the air, the voices of children running and playing. Then dogs yapped off leashes. It’s amazing what you hear when you listen said she. Yes amazing said he and his eyes closed shut to listen more.
She lay with open eyes and ears marveling at fine finger of sun poking through small spaces within leaves. She felt breeze breathing warm upon face. Another smile went through her and propping head with forehead up from ground she looked her heart into him as he lay sleepy again and said he was lovely, and it was lovely here. Yes he said. Am I? he said. Yes she said, you are. Why? he said. Because, she said. And encouraged, he began talking and talking more, saying he thought maybe this would happen and maybe that and many more such words came spurting.
But she had not listened any more. Instead with fern frond she brushed him lightly across nose tickling. Laughing he rose up and caught her tickling hand. They giggled and tickled together and grabbing away fern he tickled her funny until powerless she could no more. Stop she says and he pinned on top of her with hands pressed hard upon trembling wristfuls of bracelets. Get off she says, get off you’re hurting. He got off pulling funny faces. Laughing she jumped up and sat astride him where gentle she gave his head playful slaps. She bent her mouth down onto his, kissed and made up.
Looking upon him she undid buttons and took his hands inside shirt with hers to fondle the tits there. He held them as they hung and she said kiss them but, teasing, he said he wouldn’t so she lowered left tit and rubbed against his shut lips. She pushed hard with it and prized open as if clamped in the vice of his mouth. He nipped away on brown whorl of nipple with soft teeth that felt like pricking sparks to her so that she had to lift away and put agonized tit back inside shirt.
Can I? says he. No says she, not yet. Later. Why? says he, Why later?. Why not now?. Not here says she. Someone will hear. Who will hear?, says he. Someone says she, someone out there. Lets’ wait for tonight. I can’t says he, I want to now. And he starts to undo buckle on belt. No, says she, no. I don’t want to. I’m serious. Don’t.
And she shrugged away on side showing back to him, not wanting, in a huff. You’ve spoilt it says she talking to tree. It was lovely here says she. Now you’ve spoilt everything. Glumly he looked on, looking nowhere, trying to focus something to say. He looked on her empty back and picking up fern frond tickled again. Stop it she shouts still turned away. He tickled more, annoying more, and turning she swung a hard slap on his face.
Blood split from his bottom lip cut open by her silver rings. God, says she, God, what have I done. Are you all right?. Let me see. Come here let me see. She took his hands from off the lip and put all the fingers of her hands with their long nails around his mouth to nurse the broken lip. I’m sorry says she, I’m sorry, and with tongue to lip she licked away tenderly the drops of blood. Does it hurt? says she, let me make it better, let me. Yet it was only a slight scratch.
Sun was now behind one small puff of cloud but moving came out again stroking more fine fingers of light through the many leaflets. Deep, deep in wood the sun fingers branded deer, quivering, listening, and in his coat was held for an instant but he jumped from the touch and deeper hid within purple shade. For even here there came noises to him of people shrieking and splashing from river down below.
Out in barest light of sun was hot, too hot for some who went seeking sleep under rest of shady trees. None went as far as they, safe within wood. No one to come across them unbeknown, where, there as they lay, she was upon him still kissing the spoilt lip.
Shall we? says she. And she took his hand down inside her to where she had come open. Shall we? She wanted to, didn’t mind now who might be hearing. You’re funny says he. So you want me now? You funny curran. Come here then. And he rolled her over, undid top button of trousers, unzipped zip, opened skirt, pulled down panties off legs, and pushed his way in her deep, deep inside.
That’s lovely says she…. Don’t stop, don’t stop… more…. stay, don’t stop… I’m falling….stay here, here, be here. She was saying all this as whispers around his head. He had eyes like rays of 2 suns shining forth smiling upon her. All the little rings of her left hand shone in fingers of sunlight as silver glitters about his back. She, with eyes closed, and hidden within, then listened to all around. The sound of laughing from below, of singing from above. From between, sound of their two voices together, loving. As softly sang birds.
Deep, deep in wood, growing used to noise, the deer bent his head to nibble at fern leaf; quiet his gentle eyes.
Illustrations: Hazel Brown
Story: Ian Nisbet