First-Rate First-Aid

September 13, 2015


Cheyenne Blue has released another outstanding collection of concupiscence, this one entitled First: Sensual Lesbian Stories of New Beginnings.

My contribution, "Soar Spot," tells the story of two women at a Safe House for survivors of domestic violence. Sick of spouses whose anthem is "Keep on Shoving You," the freshly-free femmes are committed to beating the odds their first time out. 

Here's a first look at the story: 
 
"The first time leaving may be the hardest, but so is the first blow," Lois remarks, browsing the new donations of old board games. "So if I even think about going back to him, you just slap me silly, you hear? And I'll do the same for you and--Ha! Here's one. This one's perfect for us: Stay Alive, 'The Ultimate Survival Game.' We'd better follow those instructions to the letter. What else do we have? Trouble, Aggravation, Pac-Man. There was a Pac-Man board game, really? There ought to be a Pack-Your-Bags-And-Leave-Your-Man game. Where every girl's a winner."

I chuckle, still in mouse-mode. But Lois is a chatterbox. Now that she no longer has to keep her lips zipped like a change purse, she loves putting in her two cents' worth. I for one hope that zipper stays unzipped for good. After all, better to have a busted zipper than a busted lip. Besides, I love listening to her. She's that perfect combination of soft-spoken and outspoken, a cross between Clair Huxtable and Mulan. Maybe one day I'll take my voice back from the villain too.

Lois joins me on the rectangular rug of squares in the children's playroom. We don't have kids, but we do have two other roommates, so when we can't sleep, which is often, we come to the safest room in the Safe House.

Another square appears on the carpet. "Remember Pretty Pretty Princess?" Lois asks.

I remember it well: a pastel hell of junky jewelry with a leper in the loot: the black ring. If you got stuck with it, you lost the game―and, apparently, your looks.

"Personally, I think the black ring should have been the crown jewel," Lois comments. "What's so bad about a black ring? I mean, as long as it's around your finger and not your eye. But if it is around your eye, you can always cover it, 'til he whacks the other one--"

"--and you don't dare die!"

Mangled lyrics lead to tangled limbs, and I live for these moments, where everything's child's play and I can just liberate my laughter and sigh into her softness. All the sore spots are gone now, although it does hurt emotionally, because she's too pretty and too smart and too straight for me, not to mention too close for comfort, especially now that she's humming into my hair. The instant I identify the melody, I pretend she's serenading me. I remember the first time I heard her sing this song, five years ago, when she was onstage and I was backstage and the only thing to strike was the set.

In her arms, I'm reminded of the way Snoopy hugs Woodstock, except I don't feel small at all, just hugely important. Even so, I let go, so that I won't let on that I have feelings for her. We may have met in a past life, but we've really only known each other a couple of months, and in another month we won't even be living here together anymore, so why keep in touch when we probably won't even stay in contact? And of course I'm falling for her only because she's the first woman to give me shelter from the norm. Being with Lois is completely painless. It doesn't hurt that she always has a sweet heart and a kind word and a heroic smile.

I love it when she shares that smile with me, and she probably still would be if I hadn't pulled away so quickly, like The Artful Dodger fleeing the scene after picking a pocket. Flicking the game's plastic spinner, I watch as the little gray arrow goes into a graceless pirouette. It looks as dizzy as I feel. 
When the spinner stops, it points to Lois. Or to number three.

"I'd do anything to do that show," Lois murmurs, her fingers tightening around the wooden leg of the child-size chair next to her. "I know the plot is very…funereal, but hey, so was my marriage. Right after we tied the knot, he tightened the reins, telling me I had to retire from the stage. I wasn't even professional. I was doing community theatre--for kicks. Well, those came later, but anyway…"

She flicks the spinner with a combination of force and remorse, and I watch as it revolves in revolt.

"The first time he told me I had to give up my passion, I thought he was joking. So I laughed and launched into the Lucy Ricardo act, begging and pleading with him to let me perform, and he…well, he cut me off. Clearly, he wasn't pulling my leg; he was taking a page from the stage and threatening to break it. And that is one cast I did not want to be in. Speaking of one…" She points to the arrow, which points at the aforementioned number. "Figures," she scoffs. "He always pronounced my name funny, put a T at the end of it, so that it sounded like Lowest." She shakes her head, smiles in that woeful way that really isn't a smile at all―a wordless oxymoron. "You got a three," she says. "You go first."

Now that you know the first thing about my story, please take a second to peruse the pieces of others--ladies first, then this, which will bliss you out, and finally Women and Words has the last word on First.

Curiouser and curiouser,
Allison Wonderland