Become the Ball by Craig Sorensen

by | June 15, 2012 | General | 6 comments

I’ve watched tennis for years.  I like the sense of sparring, and the unique combination of power and beauty that it embodies.  I watch all the majors:  The Australian Open, The US Open, Wimbledon, and Roland Garros (aka the French Open.)

Of course, being an author, anything I watch can be fodder for a story or a poem, and late in May, as Roland Garros was in full swing, I was watching the women’s early rounds.  One player started strong, then began to falter, but through determination, she won it in three sets.  Her transformation, the sense of determination, the way she took charge as her game became more intense.  I love that kind of game, and my mind wandered, wandered to a man watching the same thing; a man who has been searching, trying to find what he wants in a woman.  Maybe a vanilla sex young man who lives an orderly, gentle life and knows something is missing.  Knows some stirrings, some cravings come to
him, but does not know how to express them. He sees something in the tennis player’s determination, and her frustration which becomes focus.  He admires her power and becomes even more fascinated.

Epiphanies come in strange ways.

Becoming the Ball  ©2012 Craig J. Sorensen

I want to marry a tennis player.  Perky, tactile nipples poke through bra and pastel pink top.  Her moves across the court, a dance, she looks so playful as she wins the first set so handily.  The second set is no picnic.  She struggles, fights, but ultimately loses, and as the third set starts, bright white teeth nearly puncture her lower lip.

Man she looks pissed. I lean forward, feel a bit of heaviness down low.   My eyes turn to her racket.  I absorb the grace in her swing.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it as her strokes get stronger.  Long
thighs, thick in negotiating the court, flex. Her biceps are grainy and shapely. At the point of impact, the pop of the tennis ball, my testicles get tight.

Her voice is not longer giving up soft, gentle grunts.  It explodes, deep and hard on a wicked forehand.  It is even louder on the two fisted backhand.  The ball grazes the line.  She wins the point, pumps her fist.

I am hard.

Most every ball falls inside the court, until she regains control of the match.  She taunts with
some serve and volley.  The wind up of a power stroke that results in an unexpected dropshot.  I whimper in the surprise, and the next shot is full power with no backswing.  I scream out.  My ass feels suddenly as hot as an iron.  I want it to feel hotter.

Why did it never occur to me before, how much I need a tennis player?  A golfer won’t do.  As good as it sounds to lie in the rough, or get caught in a sand trap, and as much as I might pull out a one wood to do her
bidding, let’s face it, a pitching wedge and a putter just aren’t the same.

No basketball player for me. Who wants free throws, tip offs and lay ups?

Maybe a hockey player? A slap shot sounds promising, but I’m not sure I could handle the icing.

No, I need a tennis player who strings her racket tightly.  A woman who wins well, but loses badly.  A woman who bumps me deliberately in the change over.  “You’re going down in this set,” she says with a laugh, still looking sweet and pretty as a princess.

Of course, I’ll struggle every time out on the court, and yes I’ll win a point or two.

Long may she win the matches.

Craig J. Sorensen

One evening at the close of the 1970’s, I sat on a milk crate at my job du jour and looked over Tenth Avenue in the small Idaho town where I grew up. It may not seem earth shattering now, but to a man not yet twenty years of age, the revelation of that moment was defining: There must be more to life than pumping gas. A strange answer materialized in the cold, dry, Treasure Valley air. I joined the US Army where I learned to work with computers before the introduction of the IBM PC. Armed with a blitzkrieg education in the programming language COBOL, I embarked on a journey to define myself as a programmer/analyst. Perhaps if I had been a better student in school, things might have been different. I loved writing, though I flunked my first semester of ninth grade English. Typing too. And I typed seventy words a minute. But I digress. The bottom line was that I hated school, was unmotivated and disinterested, and had problems staying focused. Had I been born twenty years later, they might have loaded me up with Ritalin. So learning a trade in the Army was my salvation from a life of disjointed jobs, searching for something I’d be satisfied with. Study for a purpose, it seemed, I could manage. Throughout the thirty plus years after leaving Idaho for military service, I honed my skills and learned to enjoy the job I stumbled into. I think that this, “path less chosen,” has something to do with my perspective and my style as an author when I delved deeper into my passion for words. I’ve lived life, not as a student, but in a constant state of trial and error. This is true in most everything I’ve done. The first story I had published was so aggressively edited, that the number of words removed was in a double digit percentile, and rightly so. I resolved that would never happen again. It hasn’t. Determination and self-teaching are a big part of me. Have I ever reached a hurdle I didn’t overcome? Of course. In my early days getting published, I submitted four stories to a particular editor before she accepted my fifth; I’ve had great results with her since. More recently, with another editor, I submitted four that I felt great about, and realized that it just wasn’t going anywhere. Another fact: I’m a lousy poker player, but I do know when to fold. Story telling has been with me my entire life. A desire to share stories is engrained in me, but as a youngster, what did I have to share? I was a boring kid, so I used to make things up. I used to hate that I’d lie. Bear in mind, these lies were limited to boasting of things I had done that I really hadn’t, or telling that the very plain house we lived in when I was young was very ornate. “Little white lies,” some might call them. I couldn’t seem to resist this desire to make people believe the stories I’d tell. When something didn’t wash, well… I suppose it is all part of how I learn things. Writing is truly my first passion as a vocation. If I could make a living at it, I’d love to, but I know what that means. I look at those authors who do this with admiration, and I’m grateful that I have been blessed to find not one, but two vocations that I love. Job one allows me to write when I’m inspired. The luxury of this is not lost on me. When I was young, I was fascinated by sex. I wrote sexual scenarios, drew sexually inspired pictures. My head was full of erotic fantasies long before my voice cracked. But writing the first stories I did after I left high school, I tried to subdue the desire to write sexual themes. Sometimes, I’d let go, but I’d eventually “come to my senses.” I wanted to be respectable, after all. It was after I had gotten some serious consideration by a literary journal, but got the response “you write very well, but your stories lack vibrancy,” that it began to settle in. My wife, partner, and most avid supporter forwarded me a call to a new “edgy” literary journal that included erotica, and suggested that I send a particularly nasty, vibrant story I had recently written when the respectability filter was disengaged. I thought, “why the hell not.” Within 24 hours I had an acceptance. Another lesson learned by example: be true to yourself. In the end, I just want to tell stories about amazing people. I want to go out on a limb. I wrote a poem once:
Only the man who goes To the edge of the branch And does not stop when it cracks Will learn the true nature Of branches
I want to turn you on, then repulse you. I want to surprise you, sometimes make you grimace, share the realities of my life and the lives of those I’ve known, but bend them through the prism of fiction. Tell about people more interesting than me, and speak universal truths, tell little white lies. I want to make you guess which is which. The three stories I am honored to share with you are examples of my testing branches. “One Sunset Stand” from M. Christian’s Sex in San Francisco collection, was written merging humor, sexuality, and romance, allows me to explore from a woman’s POV. “Severence” which appeared at the website Clean Sheets, is drawn from a difficult time in my life, where as a manager I watched members of my team and coworkers slowly, systematically get laid off. It was a hard time, a frustrating time, and I found a way to express that frustration in the words, and the characters of the story. “Two Fronts” is one of my biggest gambles as a writer, and a story I’m very proud of. In it, I not only explore my feminine side, but my lesbian side. The story, set before I was born, explores a woman dealing with her awaking to her attraction to other women is set against the backdrop of ranching in Idaho. I was particularly proud when Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia chose it for the collection Lesbian Cowboys. The version I present here is my “Director’s cut,” with the original ending. In the collection, it was made more purely romantic by dropping the last section. This ending is more of what I would call a “Craig ending,” though I’m proud of both versions. Truly, I haven’t planned much in life, just followed the river where it leads. I write the stories that come to mind, and for as long as people will read my work I will write. And if they stop reading? I will write.


  1. Donna

    Masterful job of evoking an epiphany of desire in such a brief space! I have to say the sexiest thing on earth is watching someone do what they love with great passion–but I never quite made the leap that this teaches us about ourselves, too.

  2. Lisabet Sarai

    Fantastic, Craig!

    I love the erotic intensity melded with a bit of self-conscious humor. And I especially admire your ability to portray arousal without describing a single sexual act.

  3. Craig Sorensen

    Thank you Donna. I couldn't agree more about the sexiness of watching someone do what they love. And you know me: I'm all about leaping!

  4. Craig Sorensen

    Thanks Lisabet. One of the things I love about playing with flash fiction is focusing on the arousal instead of the resolution.

  5. Janine Ashbless

    Nice one Craig! As Donna said, it's the epiphany that's really brilliantly handled. And I know exactly what you mean when you say "I like the sense of sparring" – it's what kept me watching Wimbledon for years:-)

  6. Craig Sorensen

    Thank you Janine. Wimbledon is just around the corner!

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt



Pin It on Pinterest