This absolutely free collection of twenty-one stories about kisses, [A Slip of the Lip] all under 1,000 words, is a must-read. Here are sweet kisses, sour kisses, kisses that promise more intense sensual delights to come, and kisses meant to end a relationship from which the magic has ebbed away.
As the editor, Remittance Girl, says in her introduction:
“In erotic fiction, the kiss is too often described in passing on the way to more overtly sexual acts. This collection of kisses grew out of a challenge thrown down in the ‘Writers’ section of the Erotica Readers and Writers mail list: write the best, most innovative and original description of a kiss.”
A remarkable number of these short pieces look self-contained in the way that an acorn is a self-contained object that has potential to grow into a mighty oak tree. In several pieces, the kiss is an event or a goal in itself.
In Bob Buckley’s bittersweet story, “Goodbye Kiss,” a young man has recently learned that the girl who drives him crazy regards him as a close friend and nothing more. Both of them are in a cabin in the woods with a posse of friends, and he realizes that he must leave at dawn – but first, he can’t resist kissing her as she lies sleeping: “Her lips part, perfect cupid’s bows. I lean over and press my lips ever so slightly, a brush of moth’s wings, to hers.” This is the way that the Greek god Cupid is described kissing his innocent human bride Psyche in the dark. In Buckley’s story, the male narrator has no hope of changing the girl’s feelings, so he drives away. And the kiss they once shared will linger in his memory.
Several other stories deal with more complicated situations: adulterous attraction (sometimes across a generation gap), same-sex attraction (in an era when this was highly taboo), smoldering attraction laced with the bitterness of a lover scorned.
In “At His Mercy” by tCj a.k.a. Pillow Talk, the female narrator believes that she and her male companion are “friends with benefits.” She claims: “he was the friend that held her after every hard breakup,” so she consents to a friendly kiss. But the experience is so much more that she expected: “Her mind whirled as the kiss deepened, and his arms drifted, one up to her shoulder, the other down to her ass.” By the end of this brief story, the relationship – like the kiss – has deepened.
In the more bizarre “You Must Remember This” by Don Roper, a woman is persuaded by her Dominant boyfriend to kiss an anonymous pair of lips that appear at a hole in a wall: “She stared at the lips framed by the hole. They were drooling, dripping with their own saliva and hers, mingled together. Suddenly she was afraid the lips might speak, and she couldn’t bear that. It would break the spell to hear a voice. What she felt was too deep for words.” It seems that lips, as well as the kisses they impart, can seem completely self-contained.
In the whimsical “The Fuse Box” by Cervo, the male narrator finds the mysteries of electricity to be parallel to the mysteries of intimacy – and especially to the taste of a kiss.
In the amusing “Physical Attraction: A Scientific Kiss” by Fiona MacLaren, the attraction between two people is described thus: “The distance between them closed, neither knowing who initiated the movement. Electricity arced between them like impulses between synapses.”
“I Kissed a Girl” by Laura Thorne and “Sugar High” by Allison Wonderland both capture the spirit of adventure in the Katy Perry song, “I Kissed a Girl.” In Thorne’s story, a woman seduces another woman with a kiss, and in Wonderland’s story, a nameless (apparently ungendered) narrator thinks: “I wonder if I can get a sugar high just from kissing her.”
Riccardo Berra has several stories in this collection, all high-voltage. In “Screen Kiss,” a woman understands the significance of kissing in old Hollywood movies: “She’d never understood and assumed they [movie stars] were just acting. Kisses. Who knew?”
In “Last Kiss” by Angela Caperton, an aging showgirl who strutted her stuff on a stage in the 1920s remembers sharing a magical kiss with Annie, her fellow-dancer, who seems to have come back for her:
“‘Are you death?’ she asked, her heart tripping, skipping, failing the last steps of the long number.
‘No.’ Annie shook her head. ‘Remember me,’ she whispered and stroked Goldie’s thin white hair.”
“What the Moon Saw” by Shoe the Pixie is a remarkably concise historical fantasy about a daring highwayman who intercepts a carriage and rescues a young lady from her loveless engagement by kissing her. “At the Faire” by Tyna Culbertson is a fantasy-within-a-fantasy about a parallel oral seduction at a Renaissance Festival.
The editor has the last word. “Once Bitten” by Remittance Girl is an edgy tale of intense, seemingly irrational attraction between strangers at a rock concert. The narrator’s friend Lizzie is concerned: “She wrapped an arm around my neck and yelled into my ear, ‘Who is that guy? Do you know him?’
“I glanced back, to ask his name, but he was gone.”
Some of the best experiences are short-lived, so check out this collection while it is available. And enjoy the relevant photographs that illustrate, or at least decorate, every story. The pictures are as expressive as the words.
Printed-out, this collection makes an excellent picture-book, the kind that is excellent for giving. You might even get a kiss in return.
A Slip of the Lip
(ERWA-RG Publishing, September 2009; Free ebook)
Available Free (yes, free!) at: Slip of the Lip
© 2009 Jean Roberta. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.