Forbidden Fruit

By: Ernst Luchs

A frigid, frustrated wind blew with bitter petulance against every orifice of the unbreachable stone tower. The tower was but the uppermost appendage of architecture spread out over many acres and over many unmarked graves, where restless bones quivered in the worm-riddled clay. Behind a small stained-glass window on the third floor flickered the light of a single candle, a candle lit by the delicate hands of a maiden yet unknown to the world, yet unchosen, yet unplucked in the perfumed gardens of desire. She sat near her canopied bed crocheting a new bodice to fit her young, vibrant body. Her name was Beaujolais, which was but a synonym for desire itself.

Perhaps one day, someday soon, a man (or woman, anyone!) would come to unravel her silken cocoon of isolation. Then she could turn from being a fuzzy caterpillar with too many legs into a beautiful, mature butterfly that eats everything through a long, tube-like mouth and has only a week to live. Yes, someone would come to pry open the bars of her gilded cage and then clean the cage out afterwards. The cleaning-out part would probably take several weeks but it was long overdue. She wiled away her days seeming never to notice that she had an admirer close by.

Heime was tall and beefy. His big, brown eyes were big and brown. He could always be found in the stable, shoveling, or in the smokehouse, staring at the hams with pained earnestness. As he struggled through the years to master his shoveling, Heime had watched Beaujolais from afar. She had grown out of her simple childhood clothes into the fetching fashions of young womanhood in full bloom. His codpiece grew unruly in her presence and he found that he could no longer contain himself.

She herself was not completely blind. She knew in her heart, in her bones, that Heime was the finest, purest, grandest specimen of the male animal that she’d ever seen. There was also a musky odor in the barn that thrilled her beyond belief. When at last they came face to face along a garden path one dusky twilight, they beheld in each other’s eyes the savage longing that had led them both there to that exact spot. Each felt the hold, the pull of that strange, subatomic force that had surely drawn them together.

He touched her pale neck with his hand and a shudder of delight vibrated and ricocheted through her entire body. She was like a rare, wild swan to him, from the soft, delicate down at the nape of her neck to the webbing between her toes. How she loved to nibble grain out of his cupped hands!

He was like a panda to her: soft, furry, round, with a remarkably human grip and a warm, moist muzzle that sent ripples of passion through every fiber of her being. Burning with desire, he swept her up in his arms and held her with the tenacity of a cephalopod.

“Do you love me?” he asked with the innocence of a child.

Her eyes welled up with tears and her fulsome lips swelled with passionate abandon as she gazed up at his finely chiseled, grizzled, fizzled, swizzled face.

“If love is the pain in my aching bosom, beneath my brooch, beneath my sternum, to the left of my aorta, if love is the silence I hear whenever you stop chewing whatever it is you’re chewing on, if love is the rabbit-fur mitten you use to stroke me with so softly, then yes, yes, yes I love you, Heime. Here on the 39th parallel of eternity I love you!”

“It’s peanut brittle,” said Heime. “That’s what I’ve been chewing on.”

“Oh, so that’s what’s stuck between your teeth. I thought it might be gristle from yesterday’s pork roast.”

“These peanut skins stick like glue to my gums. You know. It’s like popcorn kernels. Only I don’t like popcorn.”

“I don’t know what to say when you shower me with so much attention,” she said, wiping off a handful of peanut-brittle goo.

“Just say thank you,” he suggested. “But don’t say it in English. Say it in French. It drives me wild.”

“Bon jour,” she whispered in his ear as he swooned.

Sometime later — who knows when? — he awoke, electrified by her unearthly beauty. He could feel his jugular vein throbbing against the inside of his collar, and wished briefly he had bought the shirt a half-size larger. He could feel her wild, young, ample, generous bosom heaving under him, straining against her tightened bodice. Her breasts jostled, plunged and cavorted like two baby seals eager to test the open sea.

He and she were bound by the primal laws of physics to collide, to come together as one, not only on the astral plane but on every plane you can think of, intermingling, entwining and emulsifying each other’s molecules. He took her whole face in his mouth and graced her with the biggest, wettest kiss the world had ever known. She surrendered utterly to the sweet confusion of his raging fury. They locked tongues for an hour, breathing only through their noses.

She hadn’t known until their lips and their hearts had entwined (to awaken a memory buried deep within her psyche) that she had been an alien seed fallen from the heavens, which had lain dormant in the peat bogs for eons, finally to germinate and grow into a sinuous, seductive lie, a remarkably camouflaged beast of prey.

He didn’t know the jig was up until he felt his life’s blood being sucked out through his now-paralyzed tongue. He felt the rest of his manly physique going numb, immobile. His body gurgled the way a straw gurgles. Slowly his lungs, his entire body collapsed and was reduced to a gray, wizened parchment, which could be rolled up like a scroll, and was.


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