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F is for Funghi
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“Absolutely,” he said as he showed her his arms and legs, letting her inspect every square inch of his exposed flesh. She nodded satisfied as she stood up and glanced again at the back door.
“Did you finish?”
“Still have to cut the grass, I’m gonna take care of it,” he said, his earlier fear having evaporated.
It was nothing, he sought to convince himself as Nadine turned and walked across the kitchen.
“I’m going down to work out while you finish, how does Chicken Cordon Bleu sound for dinner?”
“Fabulous,” he said.
She glanced back at him with a wide smile before she vanished down the stairs to the basement.
The root of the problems between them lay with him. It was only natural that he would want to go out, after all he didn’t have the same problems she did. While he found her fascinating and exciting, as well as quite sexy, he had to interact with other people. At first she fought against his need to just get out of the house, demanding that he stay with her. A couple of times, in the early days of their relationship he had moved out, but she would call, begging him to come back, and he would always relent.
Before long they came to an understanding. He would do all the shopping, eliminating the need to have things delivered. While running his errands he could mingle with other people. Hang out with his friends for an hour or so, and so on. As long as he always kept in touch, and came home to her, she was happy. It was an agreement he could live with, and while his friends might have teased him about the short leash she kept him on, he was happy, what they didn’t know about, was the size of her sexual appetite.
It may have been the chemical imbalance in her brain that caused it, or the array of drugs she took to counter that imbalance. Whatever the cause. every so often she would become overwhelmed with a need he found difficult to satisfy no matter how long or hard he tried. She once described it as an itch he could just barely reach, as they lay side by side in her king size bed after a long night of very passionate sex. She was an animal in bed, the exact opposite of how she portrayed herself to everyone else.
As the sound of her running on the treadmill came from the basement he stepped outside. She would spend an hour or so in her fully equipped gym that took up one half of the basement. It was the only room in the house he was not allowed to enter and he had only ever been in it once, when she showed it to him after they first got together. It was her sanctuary and Eric had always kept his promise to her to respect her privacy while she was working out.
The remainder of the day passed uneventfully. He finished the grass without further incident though he did keep a close eye on that hole as he cut the rest of the yard. By the time dinner was finished and they were watching one of Nadine’s favorite shows, Grays Anatomy, he had completely forgotten about the hole along the fence in the back yard.
Later that night with Nadine fast asleep beside him, he was startled awake by a strange sound. He lay in bed listening, trying to determine what the sound was, and where it might be coming from. The pale light of a full moon painted the shadowy branches of the tree behind their house on the wall across from the bed, and Eric watched them moving back and forth in time with that rhythmic sound that lay just at the edge of his consciousness.
Quietly slipping out of bed, so as not to disturb Nadine who was snoring quietly, he crossed to the French doors that led out onto a small balcony overlooking their back yard. Here the sound was louder and he recognized it as faint music that seemed to have no source.
He opened the door carefully and stepped out onto the balcony, pulling the door shut behind him. Outside it was obvious the sound was music, and it appeared to be coming from his back yard neighbors, the Morison’s house. But there were no lights on, and the house had an abandoned, neglected air about it. The overgrown yard, the shades pulled down at all the windows. It looked as if they had just up and left in the middle of the night.
The sound of the music grew louder, a soft lilting melody that was unlike anything he’d ever heard before. It wasn’t classical, modern, rock, or even rap. Just a gentle melody that immediately put him at ease even though he was standing on the balcony in the middle of the nigh wearing only a pair of boxers. The moon emerged from behind a bank of clouds, filling the yard below with a pale effervescent light, and in it he thought he detected movement.
Something shifted in that soft white light and he immediately latched onto the word undulate. It hadn’t moved in the traditional sense. He rubbed his eyes as he peered down at the back yard, near the fence where that hole was, and again he spotted movement. A flowing, rolling motion undulating in time with the music. It spread out and withdrew like the waves of the ocean as it flowed back and forth across the lawn.
What was it? He wondered as he rubbed his tired eyes again, peering into that eerie glow, trying to make out any detail that might give him a clue to what he was looking at. As the sound of the music washed through him he felt his eyelids growing heavier with every passing moment.
“Wake up sunshine,” Nadine said as she pulled back the drapes, filling the room with bright morning sunlight. He sat up in bed, rubbing his eyes as he tried to remember when he had come in from the balcony.
To be continued!
That's 2 complete novels and a
collection of short stories.