Sunday, October 08, 2006

Undressing the heroine





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Survival is more than a matter of making out.

Djetth and Martia-Djulia have been dropped into an alien sea, and are marooned on a deserted island.


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“Haven’t you got a simple petticoat or shift under all that? No, I don’t suppose you have.” He tilted his head to one side and seemed to consider. “My T-shirt is bone dry. I could lend it to you.”

“I would not be seen dead in male underwear.”

“If you die, I’ll take it off you.”

Martia-Djulia hadn’t expected to laugh. Djetth’s warped sense of humor took her completely by surprise. She found herself laughing aloud before she could reflect on the unwisdom of encouraging him.

“That would be acceptable,” she said formally.

As they neared the fire, she straightened her back and lifted her chin. “Owing to the action of the sea water, I may require some assistance,” she said with as much dignity and detachment as possible under the humiliating circumstances.

“Of course,” Djetth said urbanely. “Your things have shrunk. I should have thought of that.”

“Why should you?” she questioned, wondering whether he was mocking her. It was, after all, quite implausible that her clothes had really shrunk.

He threw her a disquieting look.

“Are we as close to the fire as we want to be for this exercise?” he asked. “Some of this stuff you are wearing could conceivably be flammable.”

Martia-Djulia inclined her head in acknowledgement of his concern for her safety, then turned her back to him.

Nothing happened.

“My sleeves seem tight. I cannot reach between my shoulder blades. Please unfasten my dress at the back.”

“Oh, yes, of course. Happy to.” He sounded distracted.

Martia-Djulia felt his breath on the bare skin above her scooped neckline. His warm, clumsy fingers brushed the curve of her hips and curled around the back of her waist. It was almost as if he held her from behind at arms’ length while he bent to study the intricacies of her fastenings.

“Start at the top,” Martia-Djulia suggested.

“Hmmm,” he commented obscurely. Instead of obeying a simple instruction, he stroked his fingers up either side of her sensitive spine. “It seems to me that this fabric has not shrunk evenly. I think that there would be less strain if I were to alternate.”

Martia-Djulia didn’t know what to say. She could hardly contradict herself and tell him that the fabric had not shrunk. Yet, he seemed to be using shrinkage as a pretext to gently and firmly stroke her body around each successive —or alternating— fastening.

Up. And down. Up… It was most unnecessary.

INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL will be in bookstores as of January 31st 2007.

1 comment:

  1. David gray5:19 PM EDT

    Oh, of course. Very unnecessary. *snork*

    ReplyDelete