July 10th, 2009


Fiction Friday: Between Desire and the Sun-Gold Sea by Fran Walker

Between Desire and the Sun-Gold Sea
by Fran Walker

“You only get one chance,” Aihe said.

I pretended to dither, but the choice was no choice at all. I couldn’t give up my body, my entire life, forever. I’d do it for today, though. Who could resist the chance to be a dolphin temporarily? Who would be mad enough to choose to be a dolphin forever?

Aihe must’ve read it on my face. “Once is better than never,” she said.

Naked, hand in hand, we walked into the surf. Blue-green water, cool and gentle as Aihe’s fingers, caressed my calves, lingered on my knees, brushed my thighs. The waves rocked against my groin as Aihe had rocked against me, pelvis to pelvis, a scant hour ago.

The sea smelled of Aihe’s salt, Aihe’s desire, Aihe’s pleasure, like the taste of her that lingered on my tongue. I curled my toes into the sandy bottom.

She ducked under the waves. Her long, dark hair curled into seaweed tendrils that streamed over her brown shoulders. Sunlight gilded her skin like some priceless treasure.

We waded deeper. I lifted my arms for balance, turning my head away from the waves that slapped at my mouth and nose.

Aihe pressed her forehead to mine and whispered something. I watched as her face and body changed, and felt my own changing in tandem. Nostrils and breasts and shoulders became a blowhole, mammary slits, a half-moon dorsal fin.

I no longer had to fight the water. I belonged.

Aihe was the dolphin beside me. She was the sea. She was my new body. She called to me, voice to voice, mind to mind, skin to skin.

The sea lifted me like a lover. I skimmed through the silken folds of the waves as easily as I had slipped my fingers inside Aihe. I thrust into the water, and it enveloped me in a sensual, pulsating rhythm.

Pleasure without guilt. Freedom without constraint. Untrammeled joy. The sea and Aihe and I shared our bursts of ecstasy in an unending cycle.

The water changed and darkened as the sun slanted lower. I followed Aihe into the shallows. In a burst of euphoria I leaped up, arcing toward the sky in a shower of jewelled prismatic droplets.

The light sharpened. I stood waist-deep in the sea, my feet pressing into the sandy bottom. For one timeless moment the sun sparkled on the waves, and a dolphin danced on its tail. I reached out to her.

A splash of water obscured my vision. Then Aihe’s perfect half-moon dorsal fin appeared, sliced through a wave, disappeared again. The sun sank towards the horizon, its slanting rays turning the sea to a pool of molten gold.

I now understood the Maori concept of taonga. Treasure need not be gold or jewels or something that you could hold in your hand. To Aihe, the sea itself was taonga, a treasure, a sacred gift. The chance she offered me had been taonga.

Alone, I lifted a handful of Aihe’s sun-gold sea. Jewelled drops of water fell from my fingers. Like tears, like regrets, the droplets disappeared into the sea, leaving no mark.


Fran lives in New Zealand with her wife and three cats. Her short fiction has appeared in “Women of the Bite” (Ravenous Romance) and “Girl Crazy” (Cleis Press). She’s the author of “Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling Lesbian Fiction” (Bedazzled Ink).

Mirrored from Circlet Press: Welcome to Circlet 2.0.


I'm Vinnie, and I'll be your host for this weekend.

Hi, I'm Vinnie Tesla. I write dirty stories.

Writing for Circlet now is a kind of coming home for me. A little more than ten years ago, I didn't write dirty stories. I didn't write anything much at all, except for the occasional self-pitying diary entry. I did read a great deal of both smut and SF, though, so I leapt at a chance to intern with Circlet press for a semester.

At Circlet, I luuuuuved reading the slush pile (the stack of unsolicited manustripts from would-be authors). Apparently that was pretty eccentric of me. Evryone else shunned it, except for Circlet's cat, Tai Gao, who showed a great fondness for sitting in it. Some of the fiction in the sluspile was very good, and what wasn't was often bad in fascinating ways. ceciliatan eventually asked me if seeing all that terrible fiction was inspiring me write anything of my own. "Oh, absolutely," I told her, "pretty soon, I think."

A decade whizzed by before my chops and my self-confidence had blossomed enough that I wanted to take on writing a story specifically for Circlet. I'd written a bunch of naturalistic (or mundane, if you prefer) sex stories, which I'd posted to the internet, to some modest amount of very gratifying praise. I'd also been the kiss of death for a couple small anthologies which had promptly folded the moment I sent them my work.

Circlet's Steampunk ebook project intrigued me, though. So I mashed a couple different notions from my idea hopper together (more on that in a later post, I think), and banged out a rather long short story called The Ontological Engine, or, The Modern Leda. Circlet accepted it, but decided to use it in their genderqueer anthology, Up for Grabs, instead of the steampunk one. I'm excerpting the introductory section here, so it should be pretty self-explanatory. It's nicely self-contained (and reasonably filthy), but does have the downside that some of the most important characters for the subsequent story don't appear yet here. I'll tell you a little more about them later.

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sexquote courier

Barnacle pleasure slaves, free spawning, the hypodermic penis, and more!

I'm a blogger more or less by accident. I created this LiveJournal acount as a placeholder, and slid into posting to it regularly over the space of couple of years, when I was still mostly using Usenet as my bully pulpit.

Even now, I go for months without posting anything sometimes. And by far the most popular essay I ever put up wasn't even my own writing. In 2006, I invited a marine biologist friend of mine to comment on the biology of tentacle porn, and a few weeks later he sent me A Brief Essay on the Sad Lack of Imagination in Invertebrate Oriented Erotica with Brief Notes on the Lascivious Nature of Both the Lophotrochozoa and Ecdysozoa, or, Getting Beyond 'Hur hur! That Squid Tentacle Looks like Penis!' , which drew a great deal of attention, eventually being featured on BoingBoing and ErosBlog, among other places.

Here's a little sample:

Takinga brief stroll over to class gastropoda, the snails, there are a few possibilities that are not too much of a stretch for the tentacularly fixated. Namely, most snails have antennae. And not only do they have very tentacle like antennae indeed, but they are laden with sensory structures! How perfect! Go, look at a snail or limpet (whose suction ability ought not to be ignored), and examine the waving lubricated little appendages. There! It may not be truly original, but it's something. Or, you have the possibilities of a mutant nudibranch, its phallic cirri waving in the air, filled with goo sequestered from consuming some amour inducing plant. Of course, class gastropoda also adds one quite kinky opther possibility. As a crotchety old paleontologist once told me, regarding gastropod torsion (as can be seen in any volume of Brusca and Brusca), "To be a gastropod is to shit on one's head." For those of you who are in to that sort of thing, I hope I have provided some good fodder for new texts.

Balan's article also served to pique my own interest in the bizarre world of invertebrate nookie, and I've learned some amazing things about the sex lives of leopard slugs and flatworms since then. Ontological Engine features a trio of amorous flying geoduck clams--named Hubert, Dewey, and Louise--whose unusual sexual proclivities are partially the product of my own fevered mind and partially inspired by my conversations with Dr. Nusnubilis.

For this chat, I've persuaded the good doctor to acquire a LiveJournal account of his own, so dr_nusnubilus is available this weekend to answer all your nagging little questions about sex with gastropods, cephalopods, nudibranches, and lophotrochozoans. Post your questions here, and he will address them to the best of his formidable ability. Because, you know, internet porn isn't weird enough yet.

Flash-Stroke Contest-y Thing

Long, long ago, in a magic archipelago we called Usenet, on the island named alt.sex.stories.d, there was a discussion of the most disliked forms of online erotic literature. Two subgenres were particularly singled out for scorn: one was flash fiction--those stories which are written to a particular pre-defined and very short length. The other was "stroke," a somewhat less generally-used term (at least as a noun) that applied to stories that were frankly masturbatory in intent, rather than being more conventionally literary.

This discussion eventually spawned two Flash Stroke Festivals, first one organized and masterminded by Mat Twassell, then another run by myself. The project was great fun, and I've wanted to participate in another ever since. Being able to start a story and finish it in one sitting was bracing and liberating; and setting myself the goal of making it actually, wankably hot gave the project a sort of energy, of forward momentum, that I think more jokey or style-driven flash fiction can lack.

What I haven't tried yet is SF Flash Stroke, so I guess that's my next challenge. So. Sometime in the next day or so, I shall post a short-short in the comment thread for this post. You guys are invited to do the same. The bestMy favorite one posted before the end of the weekend (I am ineligible, of course) will be featured in a post here, and will win the author the Circlet Press e-book of their choice. Plus the people's ovation and fame forever.

The particular subgenre of flash in which we're working today is the Bradley, which is 18 lines long (including the title) and 70 characters wide; or the Double-Bradley, which is 35 lines long, ideally with a chapter break in the middle. It should also be SF or fantasy, and scorchingly hot. Strict adherence to these rules is not required, but it will win you points with the judge. as will the inclusion of any of the judge's favorite kinks, which are by and large not too hard to figure out