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Ember and Ash

Ember And Ash

This piece was originally written for Prose, but I couldn’t resist sharing it here, as well. I hope you enjoy!


She sings with her eyes closed.

I watch, awestruck. She’s lit from within, this woman. No. This creature. Made from myth and bone, wrapped in silk and sprinkled with flame. Her fingers burn the keys. Her voice sears my flesh.

The tone warbling from her throat is smoked caramel. I stare at the mocha skin between her breasts and imagine pearlescent lungs expelling breath past her larynx, mixing with magic on the way out. A siren’s song, if you will. My eyes flicker over the scant crowd. Looks like I’m the only one paying attention to the seductress behind the piano.

The last number finished, she looks up. Our eyes meet and my life turns into 1940’s celluloid. I’m Bogart and she’s a femme fatale, all red lips and shiny tresses. I watch her stand and saunter in my direction. Of all the gin joints, in all the towns…

“Buy a lady a drink?” She points her delicate chin at the empty chair next to mine.

“It would be my pleasure,” I say, watching the slit of her dress open, allowing a glimpse of smooth thigh as she takes a seat. “What’s your poison?”

A pause before a broad smile. “Whiskey. Neat.”

“A woman after my own heart.”

Next to her, I’m damp matches, clumsy words and singed fingers – surprised I can string a sentence together. We drink top shelf whiskey and chat about unusual things: the joy of a well-tuned piano, old cars and seashells.

“The beachcombers all want conch shells, but, to me, they pale in comparison to the sand dollars. Such fragile beauties, you need to treat them with care.” She swirls her glass against the table top between flat palms. “What’s your name, handsome?”

“Ari. And yours?”


I want to tell her she’s beauty personified, but surely she’s heard enough booze soaked platitudes in her lifetime. Instead I lean in closer and whisper, “You’re the closest thing to a dream that I’ve ever met.”

“Smooth talker.” Slow motion, she steals a kiss and I taste the sea. When our tongues collide, the flavor explodes—ocean and shore and waving palms—cocoa butter on sunlit skin.

More whiskey, more kisses, hot and wet. My head is filled with buzzing hornets and my heart is a honey comb. I feel them moving through arteries until my chest is alive with motion. Punch drunk, we stumble into the night towards the beach.

“Do you want to fuck me, Ari?”

“Yes, Morgan, I do.” Hands on her waist, I nip her collarbone and taste salt.

She points north, to a tiny island I’ve never seen before. “Swim home with me.”


“A cottage I inherited from my grandmother.” She unbuttons my shirt. “Perfect for fucking.”

“Any place would be perfect with you, my lovely.”

Lilting laugh echoes across the empty stretch of beach. “You’re…different, Ari. Innocent, yet worldly, without agenda. You go where the path leads, correct?”

I run a hand over my bald head, grinning despite grim memories of IV bags, months of puking, and endless surgeries. “I do now,” I say. “Time is not on my side.”

“It is when you’re with me.” Morgan strips without shame or care, her red dress a beached sea urchin amidst the rocks. “Come on, don’t be shy, Ari. You can’t swim with your clothes on.”

How I manage to undress in front of this goddess is a mystery, baring my ravaged frame one article at a time. The old Ari ran marathons, while this shell struggles to walk. I glance at the island and judge the distance. A mile and a half, at most. I can make it. For Morgan, I will.

The water presses against my body, forcing the alcohol deeper into my bloodstream, and the head rush leaves me giddy. Full moon, gentle current, with her I’m buoyant – a bounced pebble skimming the waves. On shore, we kiss and touch. I cup her ass. She grinds her mound against my hardening cock.

“Eat me up, Ari, like a wolf,” she says.

First her neck, then each hard nipple. Licking. Sucking. Dead man walking. She’s my last meal and I savor every nuance, every hint of spice and nectar. Taut skin over ribs, hip bones, soft thighs. I kneel on the wet sand and flutter kisses over her abdomen before moving lower. Parting her plump lips, I find her clit.

“Yes, Ari.”

I suck that pearl while my fingers dive deep, massaging her target until she bucks against my hand. Moaning softly, she floods my palm with fluid sweeter than the brine of a freshly shucked oyster. I lap every drop and want more, but so does Morgan. Flat on my back, pile of sea grass for a pillow, she rides me hard while I sing her praises to the night sky.


Delirious fucking.

Inside her, I’m reborn.


“Fill me,” she says. “Give me all of you, and then take all of me.” Pussy squeezing my cock, she grinds, smiling, hands on her breasts. “All of me. All of you.”

I grip her legs and we climax together. She’s ember and I’m ash. One puff of air from her pursed lips and I would surely dissipate, my body nothing but tiny specks that float to the stars. Heavy lids. I fight sleep, wanting to live in this swoon of peace forever, but I lose the battle.


I wake bathed in sunrise, alone on the same stretch of beach. Past the shore is a thousand-mile ocean with no land in sight. Sitting up with a start, I rub my head, startled when my fingers find a full shock of hair. I leap to my feet on strong, muscled legs and shout her name.


The scar splitting my chest is gone, as are the radiation tattoos. To to my left, the island glows with green vitality, teeming with ripe fruit. I know I could search for hours and not find her, know this with absolute certainty.

I turn my head towards a splash and see a flash of tail fin. I smile. Tonight, when the moon winks back into view, Morgan will return to me.

All of me, all of her.



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