This is a bit of fun dreamed up between myself and the notorious pink-haired part-time pornographer Helen Scott. Kinda. See, I challenged her to a duel, and she was like: “OK – 500 words? Tacos.” So here is my entry. Please read both mine and H’s (linky above, obvs) and like the one you like best – and be rude about the other on twitter…
The rambling house that Harry Arsenault had built on the western shore of Weeks Island sat hidden in bottle-green shade under a canopy of liveoaks and pecans, about thirty feet back from the water in an encircling overgrown yard, full of grass and self-seeded lilacs. The kitchen extended across the rear of the cabin, its iron-hard logs sheathed in white-painted wood. There were two china sinks and a eight-burner range that had come from a wreck in 1914, a colossal oak table and an enormous damp-speckled mirror, deep-bevelled, with a rococo gold frame as deep as a hand.
His great-grand-daughter Carmelita is working at dough on that table, thinning out discs with a glass rolling pin. Messy bunned hair pinned up with a chopstick and steel spoon, flour smears on brow and one cheek, her hands dusted with flour and masa harina, little scrolls of dough stuck to her knuckles and to her apron and a dusting of handprints on her blue t-shirt dress.
And now here is Lt JG Ding Chavez cursing his foolishness in his now-ruined dress whites, stepping out of the rooster tail of pick-up dust onto the last stretch of road leading him back, back to reunion with his home thoughts from abroad. He is sweaty and filthy, his knife-creases damp and grimy, great hoops of sweat at each armpit and staining his back.
Officer and a Gentleman huh?, he thinks to himself, and shakes his wet head and squares himself up and strides on.
Carmelita stands back from the table with a tall glass of water and looks at the stacks of tortilla and the neat bowls of filling. She’s made far too much. She always does. And would he even want her mex shit anymore? Would he be changed?
Her eyes grow wide and black as stones as the screen door slams and footsteps ring through the empty house.
My god, has he changed. He stands in the kitchen doorway, filling it from the cap on his head to the braid on his shoulders to the glossy shoes on his feet. The sun has burned him, burned him so tan, burned him so his face is hidden in shadow all but those bright eyes and the flash of teeth as he mutters her name as if it were song.
And he sweeps into the kitchen all shoulders and smile and picks her right up and sits her down on the table, their foreheads pressed sweaty together and staring into each others eyes.
And she undoes his jacket and frees his roll-pin belt and swoons at the smell of him as he spills out of the fly, pink, pink against the damp black hair and the astonishing darkness of the skin on his chest and with eager tugs she guids him inward, biingt a moan into his shoulder boards and watches transfixed in the mirror the thrusts of his glossy dark muscular rump, framed by his half undone whites and her eager clasped thighs.