Quick and Dirty Erotica from Mammoth
I had to rearrange my bookshelves recently because I have stories in quite a lot of the annual ‘best of’ Mammoth anthologies from Maxim Jakubowski, and these books are fat!
Quick and Dirty, a one-off collection of flash fiction, is similarly fat, running to 554 pages, and doesn’t he have a sexy back? I have four stories in this volume: three brand new pieces and one reprint (although its first print publication), Violet Sex, which may be familiar to long term readers.
I’m proud to say Violet Sex opens the anthology which means, since the piece is only three pages long, you can read it in its entirety on Amazon for free: I’ve always enjoyed violent sex but then John lost our letter ‘n’ and sex turned violet.
My other pieces are Fast Burn, a story about a new, destructive relationship running on fast-forward; The Wrong Woman, a gangbang abduction fantasy which is a bit meta (yes, I am obsessed with abduction and dubious consent: see Thrill Seeker for details); and probably my favourite, Mighty Real, a high-octane story about friends fucking at a funeral in which I quote both seventies disco lyrics and John Donne. I think John would be cool with that.
I wrote these short shorts as I was writing Thrill Seeker, along with short shorts for Alison Tyler‘s Sudden Sex (UK Kindle), and some super short shorts for the fabulous porn-for-women site, For The Girls. I love writing quickies, although they’re seldom quick to write. But when you’re working on a novel and living with a huge, messy project, its particularly rewarding to be able to take a break from the forward momentum of that and work in miniature; to focus on getting the language right and feel the satisfaction of actually completing a piece. In his introduction to the anthology, Maxim describes the kind of stories featured as being ‘like fires of lust caught in amber’. Nice, no?
I’ve been umming and ahing about what to excerpt but I’m going for the beginning of The Wrong Woman. Because abduction.
The Wrong Woman
‘Someone had fucked up’ went the story. He was supposed to be handsome and charming, and they should have been in a restaurant playing footsie under the table while a waiter took their order, glass and cutlery tinkling around them.
Instead, Jody was in a dingy alley with a gun to her back, her hair awry, her stockings laddered. ‘Keep walking,’ he said. ‘Look straight ahead.’
Her legs were shaking. That wasn’t in the story. Cobbles rippled like water in the pale white sheen of a street light and in her heels, she struggled on the uneven terrain like a weak-limbed foal.
‘You’ve got the wrong woman.’ Her throat was dry, her voice a rasp.
‘Don’t get cute,’ he said. ‘Here. Left here. I’ve got some friends who want to meet you.’
Around the corner, he made her stand by a broad wooden door as he tied her hands behind her back, looping rope around her wrists in a figure of eight. Brittle strips of green paint hung like lolling tongues from the wood and six small, high windows suggested a dirty, cobwebbed interior. When Jody’s hands were secured, the man heaved on a handle to roll the doors aside, the scene opening up as it might in a theatre when the curtains were raised. Before them was a cobble-floored car repair garage, its ceiling veiled by a sagging pigeon net from which crisp, brown ivy dangled like vines in a ghostly rainforest. The light was dim and the props, if you could call them that, were scanty: a heap of old tyres, two rusty cars at the rear, an armchair sprouting stuffing and various tools scattered randomly about the place. No one was in sight.
Her heels echoed on the cobbles as they walked into the centre of the garage, and she imagined the knocking of her heart was equally loud. She breathed in smells of damp, dust, oil and scorched metal. She didn’t know if the gun at her back was real but it didn’t matter. If you thought it might be, it was.
One by one, they emerged from the shadows, five muscular men in jeans and vests, all bristling with menace and swagger. They crowded around her and she was on her knees before she knew it, the cobbles harsh and cold. The blouse she’d worn for her restaurant date tore easily. A pair of clumsy hands shoved the ripped silk around her shoulders while more hands scooped her breasts from her bra and twisted her nipples. She writhed and squealed in protest.
‘You’ve got the wrong woman,’ she said again but they only laughed.
I have a novel out tomorrow. I may have mentioned it.