LITTLE BEAN

I was on my way home from my daily walk this crisp October morning. The sky was a startling blue with the sun burning so brightly it could have been August in Vermont. Only the brisk wind that swirled through the red and orange Autumn leaves reminded me that it was Fall. I wrapped my favorite wooly scarf around my neck, tucking my long hair inside, and instantly felt a welcoming warmth.

Earlier in the week I spotted a group of white-tailed deer and hoped I would see them again today. I never go out walking in the woods without my old Nikon – a rare find at a local tag sale. It was in surprisingly good working condition. Now the walls of my little cabin were strewn with framed black and whites – memories of my treks throughout the changing seasons.  

As I made my way down the trail toward my house, I noticed droplets of blood on the dirt – a sign that the white-tailed does were in estrus. By May the fawns would be here. I instinctively patted my belly where my own “Little Bean” was beginning to grow. I was just twelve weeks along with the most precious gift from my husband Jeremy, no doubt the result of his recent shore leave in August. My baby and the fawns would arrive at the same time.  

Rounding a bend in the trail I spotted a white-tailed buck and doe under the trees. They were rubbing the sides of their faces together, possibly whispering words of affection. As quietly as possible I slid open the front of my camera case and began snapping photos. When the deer noticed me, they leapt away as gracefully as the falling leaves.  

I continued down the path to my cabin which was now in sight. I stopped to pick up a few particularly beautiful maple leaves; even now, nearing the end of their lives, they were perfect creations. I thought again of the fawns and “Little Bean”.

The house was chilly; I lit a fire and prepared myself a cappuccino. I was certain I was able to get a dozen photos of the deer which I would develop later in the afternoon. There was something I needed to do first. After placing my things on the table, I sat down to write to Jeremy. He’ll laugh when he reads that I finally captured the canoodling white-tailed deer. I kissed one of the red leaves and tucked it into his letter. I smiled as I read my closing line: “My darling, be home soon! All our love, Maggie & Little Bean”.  

NAR © 2022

 FFFC # 189, hosted by Fandango

SECRETS ON MYLAR

Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Free love and hooking up. No strings, no regrets, no jealousy – just consenting adults getting stoned and getting it on. There was a clear understanding: never get romantically involved with someone else’s spouse.

The year was 1973.

Four young friends, Nathan and Brooke and Michael and April, lived in an apartment building in Riverdale. The girls were sexy and fashionable in their halter tops, tight low-rise jeans and platform shoes. The guys were good-looking and cool in their faded jeans, crisp white t-shirts and leather blazers. They had many similar interests and traveled in the same circle of friends.

Brooke and Michael broke all the rules. Their attraction was instantaneous. Everyone else was so out of it they never noticed that the duo always ended up together.

Brooke was one of those girls who was innately sensual and completely oblivious to the power she had over men. She was electric. Michael was handsome, smart, funny, sexy and vain, confident and fully aware of the effect he had on women.

Michael was a photographer; Brooke taught piano. They had the luxury of working locally while their spouses April and Nathan worked in Manhattan. It was very convenient for Brooke and Michael to get together whenever they wanted. He loved taking photos of her – hundreds of erotic nudes. He even let her take one of him, something he never let anyone do. She kept the photo tucked away in an inconspicuous compartment in her wallet.

For April’s 25th birthday she and Michael had a party with a lot of guests which gave Michael the opportunity to display his new photographs. One piece was an intriguing black and copper image on glossy Mylar poster paper. As Nathan and Brooke admired the print, Michael sidled up to her and whispered “That’s you.” She stared intently, tilting her head a bit. Then she saw it – the sultry vision of a face and woman’s body! Brooke was annoyed that Michael would display something so personal but also felt a rush; only they knew about the image hidden on the Mylar.

Time passed as it always does, lifestyles changed and the four friends slowly drifted apart. Brooke got pregnant and she and Nathan moved to Connecticut. Michael and April got divorced. Out of the blue one night Nathan and Brooke got a call from April: Michael was dead; he crashed his Corvette into a tree, dying on impact. The news was devastating, especially for Brooke. She barely slept that night thinking of all the times she shared with Michael.

A few days later Brooke received a package in the mail; a neatly typed address label was attached. Removing the wrapping, she was shocked to see Michael’s Mylar poster and the image of her naked body. Taped to the back of the poster was a large manila envelope full of Brooke’s nude photos and a note: “Consider this a gift; the negatives come with a price. Imagine Nathan’s reaction.”

The note freaked her out. Who sent this? There was no return address but the postmark read “Riverdale”. Brooke immediately thought of April and knew she had to get the negatives from her, regardless the cost. Nathan could never find out.

Brooke gathered everything, grabbed her purse and started driving towards Riverdale, towards April. All she could think about was Nathan and getting the negatives back. Michael promised he would destroy everything and she couldn’t believe he would lie to her. April must have known found the photos while going through Michael’s belongings or she knew about Brooke and Michael’s affair all along. Her mind on the past, Brooke almost missed the Riverdale exit and swerved erratically back onto the highway. She never saw the oncoming truck; Brooke died instantly in the crash.

At that exact moment Nathan sat in his Manhattan office opening a large manila envelope with a neatly typed address label. Stuffed inside were hundreds of negatives.

One must wonder which was more devastating for unsuspecting Nathan – the shocking news of his wife’s death or the gut-wrenching revelation of her infidelity?

NAR © 2020