Ringlets, fiction by Jim Parks

Rosalie's hair is glossy and black, as glossy and black as a raven's wing. It hangs down over her sun-bronzed shoul­ders and back in ringlets she makes with a curl­ing iron.

She reach­es up and back to grasp a sheaf of these ringlets and there is the brisk metal­lic sound of a spring-loaded hair clip snap­ping closed. Her arms and hands briefly form a cir­cle. She fin­gers a bright­ly chromed nip­ple ring, throw­ing back her shoul­ders, smiles into the mir­ror, blows me a kiss.

There are col­or­ful and lady­like tat­toos, ivy wrapped around a tri­dent on her right shoul­der blade, a fish burst­ing from a mul­ti­col­ored dial on the small of her back where a linen robe is pud­dled around her hips where she is perched on the lit­tle van­i­ty stool.

She glances at me in the mir­ror as she wets a fin­ger­tip and smooths the seam in a joint she just lit, hand­ing it to me, then blot­ting her lip­stick with a tis­sue in one motion before she glances in the mir­ror over her shoul­der and smiles at our lover lolling naked on the bed in an evening breeze com­ing in through the screens from the sleep­ing porch.

It's a secret woman to woman glance, a brief smile with no nod from one to anoth­er whose repro­duc­tive and neu­ro­log­i­cal chem­istry is syn­chro­nized through prox­im­i­ty.

Their skin tex­ture is so sim­i­lar one can hard­ly tell the dif­fer­ence with eyes closed in the dark stroking gen­tly and lov­ing­ly along the lines of smooth mus­cu­la­ture and swoop­ing lady sub­cu­ta­neous mys­tery over hips strong enough to birth, fight, flight, bear and kick, climb and run for cov­er.

I have mas­saged them dai­ly now for a fort­night after yoga and med­i­ta­tion in the morn­ings, eyes closed, smooth­ing in the oil and cocoa but­ter. I know every tick­lish spot and rough­ened area where straps and elas­tic take a hol­i­day in their nudi­ty.

We are togeth­er, Ros­alie, Gwen and I, try­ing to for­get the win­ter and the approach­ing end of spring.

We loaded and cleaned the pis­tols and a shot­gun, gassed up the car and got ready for the run for the har­bor.

Tomor­row at dawn we will learn what we wait­ed for.

We smile, feel­ing our puls­es quick­en. We will do it just the way we planned, the boat, the load, the mon­ey, the get­away, as sim­ple as that.

We smile once more. One, anoth­er, amid the Span­ish moss in the old oaks, we smile once more.

Out­laws, out­side the pro­tec­tion of the law, we wait the time.

Jim Parks is a news­man, deck­hand, farm hand, ram­blin' man and truck dri­vin' man.  Keep him away from the fire­wa­ter and don't mess with his food or his woman.

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