A few days ago, I posted a status on my Facebook author page, and I said that I'd been chatting with my cousin about something really embarrassing that had happened to me a few days before that. Well, we laughed until we cried, and then we moved on. Now and then, one of us would randomly burst out in helpless giggles all over again, but still, we had left it sort of behind. You know, the usual. But then, we were talking about a concept I had heard of recently from a friend of mine (Hi, Felita!) ... the concept was to take a short moment in real life, a memory, and write it as if it were fiction.
So then, the wheels started turning. Seriously, though, you guys, this is a really embarrassing story. For a while, I almost didn't post it, even though several people really seemed to want me to. But then, because I had said on my facebook page to "Click like on this status if you think I should tell it anyway," and some people actually really bothered to click like ... I'm posting it here. For all the world to see.
Flashbulb Fiction, Based on a True Story
She had slept well that night, turning a few times maybe, but mostly lost in the relaxation that only truly comes with sleep. It had been a long day, and she was in desperate need of the rest; when it is the spirit which is tired, and not only the body, there is really nothing like giving oneself over to slumber.
Maybe she dreamed, maybe not. There she lay though, peaceful, dark hair spilling over her pillows. Her shirt had twisted around her in her sleep, rucked up around wide ribs, opened by the growth of her children during their pregnancies, to reveal creamy white skin, once smooth and taut but now striped with the scars of age, weight change, and childbirth. She wore shorts, and the glow of white thigh in the dark made it clear to anyone looking that shorts were not part of her daily uniform. The legs were strong though -- short maybe, but thick and heavy with muscle. An eight inch shadow marked the oversized boutonniere tattooed on the curve of one round calf muscle, a tribute to the children sleeping quietly nearby.
For all its flaws, it was a strong body, and she had spent many long years learning to love it for what it was.
It was flawed though; she slept on one side, her face turned away from the fan, subconsciously protecting a sensitive ear, one that would ache painfully if exposed to the breeze. Narrow nostrils and the slack-jawed posture of sleep left her mouth slightly open, lips parted to allow more easy breathing -- and the escape of a slick trail of saliva that pooled over the back of her hand, resting just beneath one round, slightly freckled cheek.
It was perhaps a dream that woke her suddenly, or some unexplained noise of the night. Whichever; when she awoke, she was immediately aware of the cool moisture slimed against her cheek. Grimacing in revulsion, she scraped her face against the pillow, firmly pressing her lips together in a futile hope that they might stay that way. She moved the offending hand, sliding it down behind her, beneath the blanket that swathed impossibly round hips. The frown of disgust still pulling at the corners of her mouth, she slept again -- for a time.
Now though, the peace had departed; the sleep was light and shallow -- and increasingly fitful. The thought of drool repulsed her even in sleep, and she woke continuously, reminding herself to press her lips together. It didn't take long for her sense of comfort to flee completely, and she turned over, the blanket rustling softly as it slipped over the bare skin of her right knee.
She leapt out of bed in a flurry of activity, the blanket falling away as she stumbled to the floor. On the other side of the bed, the dog opened his eyes and looked up at her, startled awake by the sudden movement.
So frantic was she, she hardly took notice of the dog -- it was almost as if he wasn't there with her at all. All she could think of just then was the cold wet spot on the blanket that had slipped over her knee. Had she wet the bed somehow, in her sleep? Surely not; a questioning hand slipped between her thighs to find the same dry cotton she had been wearing all night. But the blanket was wet, and there was no mistaking that.
She looked down, disbelieving, at her dry hand, now falling away from dry cotton shorts. She took notice of the dog, still watching from beneath a wrinkled brow, floppy ears perked up in question. The dog? Could the dog have done it? She flared her nostrils, scenting the air, searching for the ammoniac smell of dog urine. No, the air was fine, smelling of cool night and body heat, of shampoo in her hair. She smelled soap in the bedsheets, and the faint doggy musk of the animal in the bed.
But then, she remembered -- it was as if a movie flashed before her eyes, playing at hyperspeed. Her senses remembered the tangy scent of saliva pooled beneath her cheek, the quick flash of disgust, the sensation of the blanket on her arm as she moved the slimed hand away from her face. It must have rubbed off on the blanket, must have been hidden in the folds of the blanket while she slept, only to be uncovered by chance as she had turned to change positions.
Chest still heaving with momentary panic, she closed her eyes, thankful that no one had seen her foolishness, that aside from the dog, no one knew what had transpired in those few short moments.
She shook her head, embarrassed, and climbed back into the bed, careful to avoid the wet corner of the blanket as she pulled it close and slipped beneath it. And then, again, she slept.
So there you have it. You're laughing, I'm embarrassed, but hey. It was worth it. What should I tell you about next?
P.S. "She" is ... me. In case you might have missed that part.