The story so far:
“How about ‘turgid member’?” Gage was working on her third book in a four book romance series, and was quickly running out of euphemisms for penis.
“If someone came at me in the dark with a ‘turgid member’ I think I’d go running for the cops or at the least a doctor.” Marianne, Gage’s muse/housekeeper, always had sage advice when it came to this subject. Gage rubbed her eyes tiredly,
“Well I can’t just keep saying penis, penis, penis, it gets boring after awhile”.
“How about tally-wacker, johnson, or tom-tom?”
“If you want to go that route, why don’t I just call it a ‘throbbing tomahawk of love’?”
Gage sighed again and pushed away from her computer.
“That’s it for today, Marianne. It is too nice of a day to be cooped up inside, I’m going out to the porch.” Marianne made a rude noise and said “what you need to do is find you a man! I mean it girl, even if it’s for a dinner or two and a bedroom scene, find you a man to unblock that pretty little head of yours”.
Gage shook her head at her friends words and wandered through the old cottage and out on to the sloping porch. What she really needed right now was a dose of Dad’s good advice. She missed her parents terribly. When they had their accident last year it was a shock that she didn’t think she could ever overcome. Imagine, taking a Sunday drive at four in the afternoon, then WHAM! Being hit by a drunk driver on his way home from an all-nighter at the crap shack the locals here call a bar.
Gage had spent six heartbreaking months picking up the pieces and settling her parent’s estate. John and Jeff, her younger twin brothers had been away at college and she hadn’t wanted to delay their studies, so she’d sifted through thirty years worth of possessions, pictures, paperwork, and financial documents. She'd put her career on hold and broke off what may have been a promising relationship, to move into her parent’s small cottage on Casey Key, and also to be closer to her father’s construction company. Gage found herself unable to leave, even after the company was sold. It was something about the air here. Anytime she felt like she wasn’t able to continue on with her life, she took a few deep breaths and was able to regain her strength. There was also the oddly comforting feeling that her parents had never left this place, like they were always just in the next room with a glass of sweet tea, waiting for her.
Marianne opened the screen door and gestured to the phone in her hand, “it’s your agent” she mouthed. Gage returned from her internal contemplation, and took the phone. With a deep breath she put on her cheeriest mask and said “Hello, this is Gage Waller speaking.” Marianne watched at the door hoping that this was the call Gage had been expecting for almost a month. Her heart quickened as she saw the color drain from Gage’s face and her hands start to tremble. “Thank you sir, I’ll get to it as soon as possible. Yes sir, I understand. I will be waiting for your call tomorrow.” Gage hung up and slowly lifted her eyes to Marianne’s face. “That was it! They’ve finalized the contract! We’re going to make millions! Well... thousands anyway!!”
Gage felt the shivers of excitement run up and down her spine. Her big break had come at last. Her new agent had really come through for her by showing her latest mystery/mayhem manuscript to his contact at Bumblebee Publishing House. It turns out they had been waiting for a novel like hers to cross the desk so they could launch a new murder mystery line geared to contemporary women.
“Marianne, its Saturday right? Lets go down to the beach and join in the drum circle, we‘ll celebrate Nokomis style!” Clapping her hands in glee, Gage threw her arms in the air and danced a joyful jig oblivious to the staring bikini clad tourists.
When Gage’s parents first moved to the small island off of the gulf coast of Florida, Gage had stumbled onto the small Saturday night drum circle. Beautiful belly dancing women, the dizzying throb of drums in all shapes, sizes, and materials; it seemed a special sort of magic for her younger self.
Marianne declined Gage’s offer, citing a reality show premier she’d been waiting on since the end of spring. Gage knew how addicted Marianne was to those shows, and she laughed quietly to herself as she gathered her grass mat and her small bongo drum.
The sun had not quite set, and the locals were milling around chatting with one another setting up their various instruments. Gage wandered over to a spot in between two tiki-torches burning sweet smelling lavender and citronella oils to ward off the famous Floridian pterodactyl sized mosquitoes. As she folded her long legs onto the grass mat, she watched the dancers stretch gracefully, as if this ritual were a dance in itself. The sun was just painting the tops of the waves orange with beautiful soft undertones of reds, pinks, and yellows; when the first soft beats of the big kettle drums signaled the beginning beat of this night’s enchanting melody. Gage waited until the first dancer chimed her castanets and took her first swaying step into a dance that promised to take you on a voyage that you’re never wont to forget. Gage stroked her drum feeling the vibrations of the haunting music in her soul and letting it translate onto her drum, staying always on the softer side of the beat, enjoying the music more than she was adding to it. As the dancers made their way around the intersecting circles, Gage found herself mesmerized by their movements, her eyes drifting downward, being pulled into a dreamlike state allowing her imagination to run rampant.
She saw herself laying in a cabana on a deserted beach gazing at the relentless waves, the surf trying again and again to make its way to her and pull her out into the ocean beyond. A shadow made its way slowly to the front of her gloriously shaded figure, and she found herself studying it in a lazy dreamy fashion, deciding that it had to be a man. “He’s probably bringing me one of those wonderful mojito’s they serve around here” she mused aloud. “Hmmm, it’s my dream, why shouldn’t a beautiful man bring me a drink to ward off the heat”. The shadow slowly materialized into a curly brown head with soft hazel eyes. Her eyes drifted down to soak in a perfectly nude chest and abdomen. As the mystery man stepped closer, Gage found her eyes slip unhesitatingly to the ties of his blue and green board shorts and beyond to his tightly reined tally-whacker (as Marianne would have supplied), then further still to take in two tightly muscled legs and naked, manicured feet. Gage had never seen a pair of feet that she would call attractive but those two feet were beautiful. The well tanned model of a man spoke, and she slid her gaze back to his face with some difficulty.
“I’m sorry, did you say something? I wasn’t paying any attention”
“Honey it isn’t time yet.”
“Where is my drink? It’s my dream, right? I thought you were bringing me a mojito. You know, the lime and salt and whatever the other stuff is.”
“I’m sorry, here’s your drink ma‘am.”
“Wait! Where are you going? What if I need a refill?”
“You’ll find me when it’s time.”
“That’s what they all say! How do I know that you’re different?”
As she was speaking, his shadow was quickly withdrawing out of sight. She made a rude noise aloud. Who does he think this dream belongs to anyway? The heat of the sun, and the strength of the drink Anono-Man had handed her, caused her eyes to grow heavier and a refueling sleep swept its way through her sun warmed body.
Gage was suddenly cold, and there was something crawling over her calf. She sat up suddenly and yelped as the crab that was using her leg as a causeway, pinched her toe as he scuttled away from the bridge that was not a bridge. Looking around Gage realized that she’d spent the night on her grass mat using her bongo as a makeshift pillow. Remembering her strange dream she rationalized that the musicians must have been burning more then citronella and lavender oil. Gage wrapped up her mat, grabbed her drum and hurried down the beach to the cottage.