More than 100 of you entered our erotic-fiction competition earlier this year. Winner Ashleigh Tordiffe was selected by our judge, author Thabise Mahlape, owner of Blackbird Books. Here’s an excerpt from her steamy romp
Istruggle to sleep. My mind presses against things, practicalities – like what are we going to do about the low step off the stoep? How can I make the kitchen more accessible for him? What will we do about the shower? For a place that advertises itself as wheelchair-friendly, they haven’t given much thought to how wheelchair occupants are supposed to get clean – there’s a brick lip between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, and there’s no seat or ledge in the shower at all.
Next to me he sleeps like the dead, rumbling gently. I nudge him. The snoring stops. I doze and wake and worry and doze again. 4am arrives. I wake again. This time, there’s a natural reason, and something I can do about it. I creep out of bed and quietly open the bedroom door.
Being in the desert, with scant risk of rain, the designers of our little hideaway opted for an open-air bathroom. As I sit on the loo, the only thing separating me from the sky heavy with stars is a low stone wall. I walk back to our room, noting how incredibly quiet it is. Nothing moves or sings. Not an insect. Not a bird. And as I crawl back into bed my brain finally shuts up too. That’s when I realise how loud my body is. Every nerve is taut. I begin to relive, sensation by sensation, what had happened earlier. The urgency that had driven me onto my husband’s lap, under his clothes, onto his cock. What is happening to me? Perhaps because it’s 4am, the question doesn’t demand an answer – just seeks my attention. Something different about you, it says. I see that, I note. My hand seeks him under the covers, craving contact with his chest. I allow myself to play – gently, idly – as the sky begins to lighten. His breathing changes. He murmurs. Rolls onto his back. Opens his eyes. Look, I say. I gesture with my head through the floor-to-ceiling glass separating our bed from the pre-dawn glow beginning to outline the stark, desolate valley – our refuge for the next few days.
Our testing ground. How much will this change things? Will we survive? He turns towards me a little, then drags his body up with his arms, propping himself higher on his pillow. My hand stills. The way he’s moved was so unconscious, so unplanned. So unnatural for him. And I’m confronted again with the difference. Aware how much my husband has been hiding in an effort to shield me. The kids. Perhaps himself. He’s valiantly fought change. But change is winning.
He notices me watching. His mouth twists into a wry grimace. Something uncoils deep inside me. Something that makes my gut twist, and my heart thump, and my vagina wet. I cup his face and kiss his forehead. He smiles, but then looks away.
He goes back to watching glowing pink light playing over shadowy hills far, far away. I watch too, but I slowly go back to my own playing. My fingers find the waistband of his pants. I slip them in. Coil them in the curls at the base of his already thickening cock. He sighs. His eyes close. I groan.
Next to me he sleeps like the dead, rumbling gently