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Short stories

A Cooler Love

A Cooler Love

The museum was almost empty, echoing like a high-ceilinged vault with her monotonous steps. She found she had no real interest in the exhibits, seeing nothing that she had not seen before, all of it duller than she remembered. The ancients fascinated her always, but today there was some change in the air, a new edge to it which she could feel in her lungs and against the back of her throat as she breathed.

She felt the dull throbbing at her temples. She had thought the Greeks would have the same soothing effect they had always had on her, the tranquillity and peace they had brought to her since she had been a small girl with her Homer, for all their cruelty and violence. This was her mistake she thought. She could have had her rest at home instead.

She glanced at a fine old bronze, small and turquoise green. The spear struck at her thought. She pressed her hands to her head and walked into another room. She started, gave a cry, then stood absolutely stock-still, all pain forgotten.

He was exquisitely beautiful, the most splendid vision of human beauty she had ever seen. With perfect features he stood facing her, inviting her. She tried to shake off the thought, tried to stop looking, but her feet were moving towards him. She found herself melting into him, his eyes. She could not resist him and his presence, this strange attraction she was feeling.

She clasped him, put her lips on his, pulling hard with her mouth. He was cool to her, unyielding. She squeezed his hard body against her own, looking into his eyes. She wore a delicious fragrance and suddenly, wildly thought, how she wanted to drown him in it. His beautiful, expressionless eyes stared back blankly.

Her own eyes flashed, all passion and smoke and fire. Her body burned with her love, her cheeks lit with red. His flesh was alabaster, the features moulded into a fixed, unrelenting profile. Still he stood, with his lips against her own and his eyes locked to hers. Her head reeling, reeling.

Everything in the world swirled and burned around her and him. She burned too. There was nothing she could see but he and nothing she could feel but his coldness and hardness.

The museum attendants were by her now and pulled at her frantically, but she couldn’t feel them. There was nothing now but her and the statue.



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