The Vessel


Mariel told him to open it when he was alone, in that sexy French accent that made it sound like the gift was something secret, something personal. She’d given it to him at their last dinner. She was all dolled up in a low-cut green silk dress that showed off her curves. He’d thought about taking her back to his place and fucking her. But of course, he didn’t make a move, he just accepted the gift, his fingers brushing hers, his hands caressing her shoulders as he helped her on with her coat.

Troy took the small box out of the bag and placed it on his table. It was impeccably wrapped, in keeping with what he’d come to think of as Mariel’s artistry. She was amazing at everything she did. She’d given him several of the CDs her former band had made. He played them all the time. Often stroking his cock to her mellifluous voice.

From time to time he’d visited her home, a cabin in the woods. Her refuge, she told him, but he wasn’t sure what it was a refuge from and he hadn’t been brave enough to ask. He felt honoured whenever she invited him. It was full of artwork she’d made herself: paintings, sculpture and pottery. He loved it all, but especially the pottery. The truth was Troy worshiped Mariel but he could never admit his feelings to her. He knew he was simply not worthy of such a talented, interesting and beautiful woman.

Mariel had a wood-burning kiln in her back yard. She made graceful Raku vases and robust and comforting stoneware. He’d admired a bowl once, couldn’t resist touching it, weighing its heft in his hands, caressing its round curves. It felt intimate to hold it. It felt like he was holding her. Mariel gave him a look that hardened his cock instantly.

Troy had wanted to take her in his arms at that moment, but he didn’t. He knew she didn’t think of him that way, couldn’t possibly. His mother had always told him he was a worthless little brat and he couldn’t disagree with her. He assumed all women would think the same.

He was a dozen years younger than Mariel, with two pathetic attempts at relationships behind him. Both women had told him he was cold and distant. He made no attempt to argue with them. After all that was what he’d been going for: to numb himself. To not show any feeling. Feeling makes you vulnerable. If you show you care, every good thing is taken away from you.

He used to hide in his room during his parents’ brawls, hoping that neither one of them would notice him. And afterward, he learned to be a good little actor. Play the quiet, well-behaved child, while figuring out ways not to care.

Now he was adept at playing the role. Just a guy with a high tech job. No one and especially not Mariel needed to know he went back to his apartment every night and jerked off to thoughts of her, the gorgeous Quebec bombshell. She seemed to get him. But that was probably just his overactive imagination.

Before unwrapping the box, he conjured up images of Mariel sitting on her bed in a short nightgown and no panties, wrapping up the gift, holding the long red ribbon in her hands and binding the box with it, her tongue between her teeth in concentration. He thought of her leaning over to tie the bow, her generous tits peeking out of the nightie. He imagined pressing his face into her full cleavage.

He poured himself a healthy dose of Grant’s Whisky, the cheap stuff, because that was all he deserved. What a jerk for thinking of a good friend that way. What would Mariel think if she knew even the thought of her wrapping the gift made him hard? Maybe she would punish him, take his cock in her hand and run her fingernails on it, slap it around, use her teeth on it.

Jeezus he was stiff. He downed the whisky in one gulp and went to the head to take a piss, which was impossible because of his erection. He leaned against the wall and jerked himself into the toilet, thinking of Mariel’s tits poking through the flimsy silk of her dress. He imagined kneeling down and licking her nipples with his tongue, kissing them all over.

He’d caught a glimpse of her nipples once through the thin blouse she’d been wearing during one of their dinners al fresco the summer before. They were firm, high and erect. Mariel often came to their dinners braless. He just assumed it was a personal preference thing. She had fairly large tits, but they didn’t sag. He thought of how good they would feel in his hands, in his mouth, wrapped around his cock.

With a groan, he dumped his load into the toilet. He loved the way it felt to let go, to release, to shoot his cum in the toilet bowl. His unworthy rotten cum. He was a scum bag.

He wished Mariel would whip his ass hard, punish him for what he did. He didn’t have a whip so he took off his belt and pulled down his pants and boxers. Troy held the belt in his hand for a few seconds, then looped it in half, testing it first on his open palm. He sat down on the toilet and spread his legs. Once more he thought of what a worthless jerk he was, how disgusting it was for him to get hard thinking of his friend.

He was a pervert and perverts deserved to be punished. He lashed his left thigh with the belt, stared at the bright red stripe on his white skin. He lashed the other thigh. His dick swelled. He lashed his hard cock. And lashed it again and again until the red marks mixed with the white of his cum. He crawled out of the bathroom and into bed, falling into an uneasy asleep.

* * * * *

Mariel unlocked the door of her Jeep and climbed out, being careful not to get any dirt on her silk dress. She knew she was foolish for wearing such a piece of frippery to her dinner with Troy. It’s not like he noticed her and why would he? She was more than a decade older than him. She’d wondered before if he were gay, but he never seemed to show any interest in men either, in anyone really and certainly not in her.

They’d been going out to dinner for over a year now and he’d never made a move. Of course, neither had she. But she hadn’t been with a man for years, not since Brad, her ex boyfriend, had destroyed her on tour. She’d been the lead singer in his band. He took every opportunity to belittle her whenever she was praised by fans or the media. He seldom received any attention, nor did the band, for that matter, with the exception of Mariel.

One minute Brad was all over her, telling her how much he needed her, the next he was yelling at her, accusing her of being a slut if she wore a revealing outfit on stage. He’d even referred to her at gigs as my girlfriend, the ho. The rest of the band, a group of guys who’d been nice to her at first, picked up on his lack of respect and began treating her like shit as well. It got to the point where she faltered during performances, messed up her words. The reviews got worse and worse. Brad blamed her.

At one point when a fan had approached her after a concert to compliment her on her performance, Brad and the other band members cornered her in the dressing room and Brad tried to make her suck the cocks of the other band members. She was able to escape, but she could no longer remain in the group after that. She left him and she left the band, seeking refuge in her grandmère’s quaint little cottage in the Eastern Townships.

She wasn’t ready to date again, or so she’d thought until she encountered Troy at a party with friends one night. Both of them were off to the side, fending off inquiries from raucous party guests with small talk. She noticed he was intent on his plate of foie gras and figs, seemed to be enjoying it, and she somehow managed to get up the gumption to strike up a conversation with him about local gourmet food shops in the area.

They’d hit it off immediately. His love of music, her stories of partying with famous rock icons; their mutual love of zombie films, of texture, Mark Rothko paintings, video games and haute cuisine. It was a strange combination of preferences. They began to dine together regularly whenever one of them read a review of some hot new restaurant in the city.

Sometimes she invited him over for dinner. At first he refused, but Mariel won him over with tempting descriptions of her specialities. Mariel was a great cook and she knew that Troy, as a bachelor and overworked high tech slave, didn’t have home-cooked meals often.

When he’d come to visit her, he’d admired her pottery. Mariel made earthy organic bowls with her hands. She decided then, while she watched him caress a dark green and black bowl that she would make one for him.

One night after he left, she took out a small hunk of clay. While moulding it in her palm, she thought of what it would feel like to have his hands roving over her body, her fingers around his cock. She caressed the clay while imagining his strong, gentle fingers pressing lightly on her nipples. She deliberately went out braless, hoping he would get the hint and touch her. But it never happened.

* * * * *

The next morning Troy nursed a heavy head from the previous night’s whisky. His body was sore from the self flagellation. He had to get to work, was in too much of a rush to even take the time for breakfast, but as he was about to put his coat on , the red and black box caught his eye. He felt like such a self-absorbed asshole, he hadn’t even opened the gift, something Mariel had given him out of the kindness of her heart.

He walked to the table and sat down. Taking a deep breath, he could still smell the spicy sandalwood perfume she used. As he held the ribbon between his fingers, he thought of caressing her smooth white shoulders. As he untied the ribbon, he imagined he was lowering the zipper of her dress, pressing his cool lips to the nape of her neck and down over the heat of her breasts, licking her nipples with his tongue, tweaking them with his fingers. His cell phone rang.

With a shake of his head, he snapped out of his reverie.

“Troy, where the heck are you? We have a meeting in half an hour, dolt.”

It was the quality control officer at his office.

“Sorry, Jake. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“You’d better be, Troy. I wouldn’t want to report this to Mr. Johansen.”

Troy hung up. He hated his job. He was a cog in a wheel and not even a very well paid cog at that.

* * * * *

Mariel sliced off a hunk of clay, warmed it briefly, then rolled it into a ball the size of her cupped hand. She was making a match for the bowl she’d given Troy. He had yet to call her to thank her for it. She figured he’d taken it out of courtesy rather than because he wanted it. Why would anyone be thankful for a gift she’d made?

“You’re a worthless slut,” Brad had said to her over and over again. Sometimes she still believed his belittlement of her. Her shoulders stooped as she returned to the task at hand. Hand-building always relaxed her, took her mind off her feelings of worthlessness, for a while.

She pinched the edges of the bowl to make them even and thought of Troy’s fingers pinching her nipples. Her sex grew wet as she fantasized about those fingers being sucked by her hot wet mouth, as she imagined kneeling and engulfing his cock with her lips. The bowl was finished. She tipped it upside down to let it harden.

Mariel wiped her hands, covered the rest of the clay, hung her apron on a hook and moved back into the main house to her bedroom. She threw off her sweatpants and t-shirt and rolled onto the bed on her stomach, pressing her hips against the pillow, torturing herself with the thought of Troy’s hard cock replacing the pillow, entering her, filling her with his cum.

* * * * *

Troy was tired when he got home, but the first thing he did was finally open the box. Inside was this beautiful green and black bowl. It was so lovely, made for him by Mariel. With her hands. He pressed the bowl against his cheek, caressed it, opened his shirt to feel its cool stone surface against his naked chest, letting its cold smoothness harden his nipples. Before he could think, he moved the small bowl down further, unzipped his pants. His cock was hard. The bowl was small and round with a wide mouth. He held it against his dick and thought about fucking Mariel, lifting her up against a wall and ramming himself into her. He jerked off with one hand while holding the cool bowl against his cum-filled balls. he groaned as he came, emptying himself into the vessel.

* * * * *

At dinner the next week, Troy stumbled a quiet thanks to Mariel. She didn’t understand why he seemed embarrassed. She realized that he probably didn’t have the heart to tell her the bowl was completely useless to him, purely decorative. Just as she was useless. She’d made it too small to do much but sit on a shelf and remind him of her. Or that’s what she’d hoped. That he’d think of her. That he’d want her, but of course, he didn’t. Why would he?

* * * * *

Troy gazed at her beauty, too enamoured and wild with lust to make coherent conversation. He felt like such a graceless fool. No wonder she wasn’t interested in him.

For the rest of the evening the two made awkward conversation.

* * * * *

Mariel went home to her lonely cottage and humped her pillow, thinking of Troy. Troy went home to his lonely apartment and fucked the bowl, thinking of Mariel.

© 2013 Amanda Earl. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

About the Author Amanda Earl

Amanda Earl is a Canadian poet, publisher and fiction writer who lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband, Charles. Her books include “A World of Yes” (DevilHouse, 2015) about a woman who falls asleep during her thirty-fifth birthday party and misses an orgy; “Kiki” (Chaudiere Books, 2014), a poetic celebration of Montparnasse between the wars; and “Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl (Coming Together, 2014), a collection of short, erotic tales edited by Lisabet Sarai, all proceeds going to GMHC, worldwide AIDS/HIV health organization. Amanda is the managing editor of and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. Amanda is an ardent fan of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, even though she is no longer a member. The editing help, mentoring and guidance she received from members was invaluable, as was the friendship. More information is available on her site:

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