Summer Dress

Catherine Winther

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The clickety-clack of the rails is hypnotizing. I waver on the edge of sleep. The images of fields outside fly by in blurs of gold and green, images hazed over by long, lazy blinks and shadowed by the heavy smear of my dark lashes.

 

My head rocks against the window whilst my nimble little fingers toy with the smooth, dry pages of my book, the black ink words bleeding in and out with my concentration. The carriage rolls back and forth, creaking and groaning like a beast pushed beyond breaking, relentlessly swinging, praying to topple over and die. Everything hovers on threshold in this strange dreamy… nightmarish, state.

 

It’s late summer, peach light drifts through the dusty glass casting the scene in sepia tones. Hot and humid. The musty carriage has become a suffocating cradle, my lungs struggle to draw in breath, heat swarms and burns down my little throat. I let my head loll back to try and find some relief, some damned air. I shift my thighs together with tiny, agitated jitters, the skin sticking and pulling wherever it touches. A bead of sweat trickles from behind my ear, down the lines of my throat, between the small swell of my breasts, and down over the curve of my abdomen. It tingles and cools like I imagine the lick of his tongue would.

 

It’s late summer, my last summer as a girl, and the stranger across the carriage is looking at me with frightened blue eyes as he swipes his tongue across his lips.

 

I don’t just scare men, I terrify them. I make them want to touch me, even when they know they can’t, not yet, not until this summer is over. Time is my power and my little chest expands and lightens with the thrill of it. Another bead of sweat tickles down my chest, each push of perspiration dampens the white cloth of my dress, slowly turning it transparent. Looking down, I can see the pink shadows off my nipples through the material.

 

I hold the stranger’s gaze as I put my book down, leaving it forgotten on the seat while I slowly move to stand. As I peel myself away from the seat, the cracked leather clutches at the back of my thighs like clammy worn hands that feel so deliciously rough against my tight, young skin. My wet, little mouth parts with a wanton, silent sigh, eyes heavy lidded as I draw out the gripping sensation, sliding and grinding my buttocks down before finally standing.

 

The stranger across the carriage is still watching me, his brow pinched with worry as he lowers his newspaper. His brow only tightens more as I drift up the length of the carriage towards him, gently bouncing from bench seat to bench seat, my hand brushing each one as I go by, fondling each curve of leather and bead of brass.

 

The beat of my kitten-heels as they click across the boards runs in time with the clack of the rails that vibrates up through the wooden boards underfoot. My little hips undulate with each little swaying step – a slow dance towards the stranger, right up through the belly of the rickety beast.

 

Sweat runs from the crease of my buttock, down back of my thigh, over the back of my knee and into my sock. The way the stranger’s tongue darts out and licks his top lip, it is almost as if he can taste my rosy musk on the air. I want his mouth on me. But more than that, I want to terrorize him.

 

With one foot still in the aisle I come to a stop. I am stranding almost in front of him, a few inches back and just off to his right side, looking down and silently waiting for him to put his paper away. And he does. He can’t help himself. I can tell by his rapidly blinking eyes and trembling hands that he is scared of what he might do, and what he might not.

 

My dress is white and it’s pleated. The ruffles stop mid-way down my thigh, my fingers flick back and forth over the hem, teasing him with the possibility of more. The dress is horrifically risqué, but there is no one to tell me no, and even if they could, they wouldn’t anyway. No one ever does. I tilt my head to the side, honey blonde hair flowing over my bare shoulder, thin white straps just barely holding on as my collarbones pivot and dip.

 

I smile warmly and nudge my left knee out, just an inch, but enough that my thigh brushes the back of his right hand, just along his knuckles. Hot skin rests against hot skin. I can feel his fingers twitching, itching to move.

 

The carriage doors open with a whoosh and a bang. The conductor wades through, his grey suit straining around his perfectly round and bloated body. His face is fierce, brow heavy with a permanent scowl and cheeks puffed out and cherry red. Tiny black holes are drilled into his skull where his eyes should be. His lower lip pouts, while his mouth opens and closes like a gasping fish. The lines of his unhappiness are etched deep in his saggy jowls that sway as he shuffles towards us. He grunts demanding to see our tickets, meaty hand held out with a greedy wave of fingers.

 

As we both turn our hands out, tickets held between forefingers and thumbs, the conductor doesn’t notice the way my thigh slips to rest between the stranger’s hand and the outside of his thigh, my kneecap leaning against the seat, teasing him further with the smooth, tantalizing feel of my sun-kissed flesh.

 

With a satisfied grunt the conductor waddles off, the sound of his footsteps fading under the clatter of the carriage. I turn back to face the stranger, his eyes are focused on my knee and the way it gently rolls back and forth between the back of his thumb and the starchy fabric of his pants.

 

I wait. Time does all the work for me.

 

The pad of his thumb is smooth as it tentatively runs under my knee, fine currents of electricity trail up from where he touches me, up into my deepest, most secret places that clench wet and aching. He must be an office worker, or perhaps he doesn’t work at all. He could be a baron or a lord dressed down for the day, a layman’s mask slipped on as he explores the unusual world of the everyday.

 

I encourage him further, my mouth falling open with a soft gasp before I bite my lip, silencing myself leaving only the hint of a kittenish smile tugging at the corner of my eyes. My hand brushes over my tummy, stretching the damp fabric as my fingers gently claw and drag the cotton up, revealing more of my thigh, inch by agonizing inch. The sensation of cotton sliding up my thigh teases at my own senses with little sparks of soft pleasure, pleasure that leaves my core throbbing and wanting for more of his hands on me.

 

The stranger’s right hand turns and cups the back of my calf, his palm smooths up behind my knee, his fingertips gliding back and forth through the sweat. The slick caresses leave me whimpering, the sensation mimics my imagination where those same fingers are running the length of my wet folds. With a sharp tug he brings me closer, my body jolts forward a step, my free palm pressed to the tacky seat, and a thrill rocks up my spine. All the fingers of sweat running the course of my body and all of its small curves turn to hot chills that wake my skin up with prickling desire. He is everywhere over me, and nowhere.

 

My head falls forward, a wave of golden hair spilling down my front as I watch his hand move up, fingertips sweeping the back of my thigh and the gentle curve of muscle there. My eyes fall closed as every sensation is amplified, it is almost as if I can feel each touch over every inch of me, each little touch bringing my skin to life with aching ecstasy. The contrast between his big hands against my slim thighs. He knows he could take me, if he wanted to. And he knows I would let him. The gradual passage of my palm as it slides down towards the apex of my thighs is an open invitation.

 

The stifling heat of the carriage compounds the wet heat between my thighs. The air wakes my nerves where it touches on the wet silk of my panties, like the ghostliest kiss of a stranger’s breath and the sensation leaves me shivering and needy, the jewels of moisture that drip from the lace lining only make me quiver in greater desperation. Now I am the one sweeping my tongue over my lips, wetting them and imagining what he would taste like. I know there would be tobacco. The bitterness of smoke rises on his breath, both us are panting hard through open mouths now.

 

When I blink open my eyes he isn’t looking at me, he just looks at the way my dress lifts with each minute movement of my fingers as they pull the material up, everything a show for him. A performance of tiny, dangerous temptations. And even though I see the way his eyes turn from something frightened to a darker shade of longing, I know I am the one with the power and it excites me, it drives me on to snatch my dress higher, almost up to my narrow, little hips.

 

The span of his hand cups my entire thigh. His thumb slides up the inside of my thigh and presses – threatening to bruise. I crave that brutal touch. I want to be marked, to wear flowers of blue and red and indigo all over my skin, living, aching memories of wrongful desire.

 

His hand dares to creep higher and I hold my breath until it feels like my lungs might be two great red wet balloons ready to burst. His forefinger brushes the crevasse of my buttock, his blunt nail carving a thin line of fire against my flesh. Air rushes out of my burning lungs with a breathy moan. I moan and I rock my hips forward while pushing my leg back into his hand, my spine arching violently, like a serpent rising and my smile is just as sharp as fangs when he finally looks up at me again.

 

The carriage shunts to a sudden stop and I tumble backwards, out of his grasp.

 

He reaches.

 

I laugh and I turn.

 

Walking away, I pick up my book, and breeze up the carriage, exiting with a whoosh and a bang, echoes of fire dying on my skin like the cooling coals tossed out with the spluttering smoke of the engine huffing up the line.

Catherine Winther ©