Mind Fields – My award winning story

Sex and the Triple Znar-Foot

Winner of Playboy Magazine’s Best Story of The Year

     Sitting indolently in his gravity couch, Nerl Forfeech was lasciviously eyeing this month’s Plaything centerfold. Two of his tongues hung out from his upper crease as the shiny cellulose pages fell all the way to the floor. Such a lavish display was essential on the planet Znar-foot, a world where six genders struggle to reach alliances and make trysts. The photo that Nerl studied included all the erotic subtypes, built up into naked pyramids of hair, tumescences and  orifices.

     In this issue, as always, a gorgeous nude six sprawled in the typically suggestive pile, gravity being so low on Znar-foot that any other arrangement would have resulted in the lovers floating away. Their faces were lit with the ecstasy of romantic communion, their organs photographed to be all but fully visible. Nerl, idly fondling one of his protuberances, sighed as he viewed the tinted nipples, the arousing half-glimpses of fur-covered apertures.

     Then, suddenly, the door-iris swooshed open and Cloong walked in.  Nerl, hastily stuffing the segments back into the magazine, almost fell from the couch as he attempted to hide the issue under some cushions.

    Cloong giggled at her embarassed partial lover. “Oh, go ahead,“ she piped,  “You can unfold the layout again. I don’t care. They ARE rather lovely… but so impossible, don’t you think?”

     Nerl threw down the magazine in disgust. “I wish you weren’t so right. I’ve had only two sixes in my entire life, and both of them got weird right away… right after….”

     His voice trailed off at the memory of it. The ecstasy! And then, inevitably, confusion.

     Cloong took Nerl by the trunk nooks, and they clung together in mutual frustration. Cloong was Nerl’s Two. And together they had a tentative Three with Albolon Farfing, who, unfortunately, was doing a loose sort of thing with a Two, Three and Four down in the Freesex District, the swinger’s playground in the city of Fichi Forfoot. Albolon had a tendency to be unreliable and he slipped in and out of identities like six-sided dice. He was a Her Two, but no… she is a her3Him… or sometimes a 4femmhe. Albolon was sketchy but still they loved him, if a bit reservedly, in return.

     “What do you want to do tonight?” Cloong asked, licking Nerl’s eyeknobs playfully. To Nerl it only made the craving for someone to be inserting into his side slits more powerful. Cloong was only a quasi-femguy, good for sucking and the like… but he shouldn’t be too unfair to her. After all, he was only a quasi-himgalhim, and had limited abilities, as well. Like it or not, it was the way nature made them. With dozens of erogenous zones, the Znar-feet needed flesh on all sides, working in combination to produce the orgasmic culmination of multiple personalities. You could get off with Three; Four and Five were even better. But being a Six was the ultimate, and pitifully elusive, Total Turn-on.

      “What can we do?” Nerl echoed distractedly. “Is there anything we can actually do to remedy this feeling?”

      “Sure,” Cloong cheerfully volunteered. “We can go pick up Albolon and cruise a Triples Bar. You never know what might happen.”

      “Not again,” Nerl groaned. “I can’t take it, the futile games, the flash and glitter. I’m a simple person. All I need is a good, simple five-to-one relationship. That’s not so much to ask.”

“Come on, “ urged Cloong, lifting her appendages in his trunk nooks. The effect was sufficiently erotic. “You’ll never meet anybody if you don’t show your faces. What can you lose? Would you rather stay home all night and masturbate in the washing machine?”

     “Okay okay,” Nerl gave in. “Let me get my threads on. I’ll wear my jewel-studded trunk shapers and my simulated-tumescence trouser pads.”

     “That’s the way!” Cried Cloong, getting up off Nerl’s abdominal folds. “Dress up sexy!”

     Later the three of them strode snout in snout down the flamboyant promenades of Flesh-Bargain City, the accepted cruising ground for Znar-Foot’s frustrated sexuals.

     Cloong was bouyed up between her partial lovers, dressed in a revealing mini-suit that left quite a few of her tubes exposed. The night was torpid, just right for the ongoing voyeurism of Gendervender Plaza. (Sometimes known as Six Sex Street.) Of course Albolon and Nerl were elegant beyond compare in their striped priapic enhancers. As they progressed down the brightly lit avenue, they caught the envious stares of  lonely Ones or Twos, and occasionally the pitying glances of bustling Fours and Fives. But there were no Sixes. The Sixes would undoubtedly be at someone’s apartment, in bed. Or else arguing.

     Cloong, Nerl and Albolon stopped to peer into various clubs and bars, to see which ones were running Threes that night. The formats always changed, rotating a nightclub’s patronage through the various combinations, Two-Fours, Five-Ones, Singles Night, and so forth. Of course, no one EVER went to a Single Night. Too humiliating.

     As they walked, peering through the transparent view bubbles of the different clubs, they were accosted by street hustlers making suggestive offers: “Say honeys,”a gaudily dressed Non-specific eyed them speculatively. “I got just the Three for you, never been Sixed before, any of them. Got a taste for some fresh action?” Or another: “Need a massage, sports? Got a lovely pair, just juicin’ to get their trunks on you.”

     Ignoring the lascivious stares and remarks, Cloong, Nerl and Albolon arrived at their favorite place, The Sexagram Club, and saw that it was running Triples that night. The house band, The Numbers Racket,  could be heard raucously blaring, and their pulses raced with anticipation at the wild action within. The Numbers Racket, a successful Four offstage, never failed to turn on the audiences with their erotogymnastics and jerk’n’jell music. Cloong, Nerl and Albolon showed their IDs and entered the crowded room that smelled of trunk-pit persp and stimu-mist. 

     “Hey babies,” a Triple, rocking past in an orbiting dance, called out. “Hey hey, let’s get it on.”

     Cloong pulled back. “How unsubtle. Come on, boys, this is no place to meet nice people. Let’s get out of here.”

      But Nerl and Albolon had already spotted some promising looking action. “No, let’s stay, Cloong. It was your idea in the first place. If we don’t like it after a while, we can go someplace else.” They pulled her farther into the seething mass, where dancing bodies yanked and plopped spasmodically, simulating sex.

      Onstage, The Numbers Racket had sprawled atop one another in an explicit orogenital configuration, while, up front, dancing Threes screamed their shock and delight.

       Against the walls of the room, stimu-mist vendors lined up next to sensory-enhancement dealers, exchanging money balls for popular brands of dope. The rest of the room was all dance floor, with sufficient space in which to flirt, writhe and show off simul-sex aptitude.

        Cloong and her hims moved onto the dance floor, their eyes constantly shifting across the room, taking in the more attractive groups, canceling out the ones who held no appeal. Since their tastes were relatively alike, they intuitively crossed through the various combinations until they were close to another sexy Three who seemed alone.

        Perfect! A Three with two fems. Cloong lowered her tubes a trifle suggestively at the him of the group. Meanwhile, Nerl had shown a definite tumescence at the she-she-it in the flaming orange trunk gripper. They danced up closer, coyly initiatiing eyes contact. Albolon, however, didn’t move correspondingly. He was too busy eyeing a fem in a different Three altogether.

        Cloong jerked at him and he staggered forward. “Idiot,” she hissed, but the cute Three had caught the little interchange and had indifferently moved away through the crowd.

       Nerl reprimanded Albolon. “You blew it for us, man. Didn’t you see those gorgeous fems? Himwit! We would have been perfect. I just know it.”

      Albolon cursed. “Ah, the one in the dotted tube-throttler was a pig. I almost scored another Three for us all by myself until you pulled at me so obviously.”

       Cloong waved her eyeknobs impatiently. “Look over there. Do you think we can all agree on one Three to come on to? How about that short-tall-tall number in the corner?”

       Al and Nerl furtively checked it out. “Okay.  Let’s go.”

       Again, they spasmed across the dance floor, dodging single and double Triples to get near the attractive Three that Cloong had pointed out. This one was a good dancer, doing all the most fashionable orifice-openers among several maneuvering Threes. They were dressed in one of the latest cozy-suits, a gauzy garment that joined the three bodies in a spacious but intimate arrangement. There was an obvious zipper where another Three suit could easily be hooked in.

       “We don’t have one of those suits,” Nerl commented negatively. “This Three’s too uptown for us. And look at the competition. I hate standing in line.”

        “Don’t be a onesyhead,” said Albolon, who lusted after high class liaisons. “We’re artists.  Rich Threes need us.”

         “Now that I think about it,” said Cloong abjectly, “rich people have no sensitivity. Maybe we should go check out that long-haired Three over there in the middle.”

         By the time they were in close, Albolon was dragging the others. The music lulled for a moment. Agressively, he leered at the Three and said, “Hey, babies, didn’t we meet at a sensory-awareness clinic in Big Stir?”

         The chic threesome laughed disdainfully and, without even answering, lost itself in the crowd.

         Nerl and Cloong clung to each other in utter embarassment.

         “Albolon,”  she said sadly, “if we don’t get our relationship together, pretty soon we’ll be a Two.”

         Albolon farted from his side vents in frustration.

         “Would that be so bad? I’ve heard you two talking together, I know what you think. You think I care about that Trip up in Snort Beach, the one you guys can’t stand.”

         He was beating his trunks up and down laboredly. Cloong stroked the pits with tender solicitation.

         “No, no,” they said, “we’re not jealous of them, Albolon. It’s just that sometimes your crude come-on ruins our chances.”

         Albolon backed away petulantly. “You’re just possessive, that’s what. Just because I have my style and like to check out things on my own.”

         He turned, broke away from them, while they stood there, stunned. All around, Threes were watching them and giggling.

         “And you know,” Albolon said stingingly, “I do get off on my other Trip. At least my Snort Beach floozy gives me plenty of space. Not only that, but they give better trunk, too.”

         “Albolon, you’re crazy,” protested Cloong.

         “You see,” he said, his eye nooks wide, “that’s what you really think of me when I’m being honest. Well, goodbye.”
       He pivoted and was lost in the whirling bodies. Cloong and Nerl tried to catch him, but the door of the club hissed shut and Albolon was gone.

         Shocked, under the mortifying gaze of  twittering Threes, they left the club. Outside, the street was empty of Albolon. With tears rolling down their face-folds, they made their way across the livid avenue, but the lights and gaiety had lost their charm.

        “Let’s go home, Nerl,” Cloong said mournfully. “This is no way to find your nice, simple five to one relationship.”

        Nerl stood stubbornly in one spot. “Go home? You must be kidding! We just lost our Three. I don’t want to go home alone tonight. I’m just not ready for it.”

        “You’re NOT alone,” said Cloong, a trifle peeved.

        “You know what I mean,” said Nerl, regretting his spite.

        “I guess I do,” she said, fatalistically.

        Nerl gazed up into the dimly visible heavens, reddish in the glow of the street lights. All his anguish at the way they had been constructed poured out of his heart and flailed weakly against the indifference of the cosmos.

       “There are are some worlds out there,” he said distantly, “where I’ll bet they have only three genders, or maybe even just two. Different arrangements entirely.”
       Cloong laughed and took his center trunk with her snout. “Come on, Nerl. That’s absurd. Think how dull life would be. It would all be too simple.”

        He shook his shaggy mane, as if to dispel the far-flung fantasy. Taking his girlfriend by one of her more exposed tubes, he led her down the hysterical walkways in search of a Four-Two club.

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Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

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Mind Fields: A Summer Of Love

Mind Fields

A Summer of Love

or

On The Horns Of A Dilemma

1967.  Muir Beach, California

Robert had taken LSD three hours ago and now he was trapped in the bathroom. It was a small bathroom in a small beach house. The place looked out over the Pacific Ocean and could only be reached by climbing a hundred wooden steps or riding a cable-driven cargo trolley. The place belonged to Linda, Robert’s acquaintance, a woman who made tie dye and batik clothing.

Robert wasn’t a casual taker of psychedelic drugs, but he was with good people: yoga practitioners, Tai Chi enthusiasts. He felt safe. His friend Pam was at the party, and his room mate Steve.

It was an intimate gathering, about a dozen people agreeing to share an experience in a beautiful setting. Linda dispensed a tab of LSD to each arrival. Now it was getting towards evening and the group had settled into serious tripping. There was a bit of talk. Some giggles from a couple on the sofa. It was quiet.

The sound of the surf tumbled in the background.

Robert was hallucinating but when nature called she could not be denied. He viewed the act of taking a shit as a comedic episode, a meeting of the sacred and profane. He made a little mantra from it, mentally chanting the words to a samba beat: how could a thing so huge still have to take a poo. He danced a little samba step as he crossed the room to the bathroom. How could a thing so huge… still have to take a poo. The Huge was himself, in his expanded universe, the hyper-galactic infinite divine. And yet, way way down there in the microcosmic world, his body still had to eliminate the dross from his intestine. It all came down to the most common things.

The bathroom was a cubby hole. It had a toilet, a small window and a wooden stand that held an incense burner and a couple of magazines. An old tarnished mirror hung on the wall opposite the throne.

Before the toilet episode began, Robert had been watching Linda move about, with her bun of blonde hair trailing cute little wisps. She wore a sleeveless batik dress of luminous green and a necklace of silver and turquoise. Robert liked the shape of her. She was well toned, contained in a nice little parcel of soft firmness. Her breasts lifted the neckline of the dress and the effect was mesmerizing. Linda was single, Linda was beautiful, and Linda had given him a smile as she dispensed the tablet of LSD. Robert interpreted this smile as an invitation. He thought Linda was conveying a message. “Ask me to make love,” he thought she was beaming at him, “ask me.”

The problem…. that is, the problem before getting trapped in the bathroom, was working up the nerve to ask Linda to make love. Other couples were pairing up and vanishing into various nooks on the property, riding the sound of the mighty surf into psychedelic splendor. 

The party’s social math, the indices of affinity seemed to put Robert and Linda together. Robert had never done this kind of thing before. He had never approached a woman to ask if she wanted to “go somewhere quiet”. The complexities of an LSD high built a scaffold atop Robert’s shyness. How do I do that? he wondered, how do I come right out and ask a woman to make love? He wondered and feared, and wondered and feared, and tried to engage Linda in pleasant conversation but an acid conversation can be very weird. There are multiple interpretations layered on every word and phrase.

If he said, “Hi,” well, okay, there you go. Was he greeting her or was he making an insipid observation on his state of psychic elevation? 

“You’re beautiful” he said, at one point. “You look stunning in that dress.” That was not ambiguous. Linda merely said “Thank You” and the conversation jumped off a cliff and went splat. If only she would make things easier for him! Maybe he was wrong. Maybe she didn’t send the signal he thought she sent. But her fingers had lingered on his hand as she offered him the white tablet. She had given him a deep soulful look.

Then his stomach sent him another kind of signal. The bathroom was directly off the one large room of the house. The room was virtually the entire living space. There was a counter, a kitchenette, and a short fight of stairs that led to a loft bedroom. A thin plywood door separated the bathroom from everything else. 

Robert’s poo was a loose disgusting mess and he was about to turn the flush handle when the thought occurred to him: what if the sound of the toilet flushing sends someone into a bad trip? Or worse, what if it sends everyone into a bad trip? 

The house was high on the bluff and the toilet flushed with a distinct sound as the water forcefully drained. Sploosh! it said, splodda splodda splodda splodda, and all the pipes in the house rumbled and whooshed for what seemed hours.

Everyone is so high! Robert thought. If I suddenly introduce these sounds with all their associations, they will drown out the Ravi Shankar on the record player and they will enter people’s LSD-saturated inner landscapes as a downward spiral that will carry them into the underworld! People on acid are so suggestible! I’ll ruin the party!

He couldn’t look at the poo. He had closed the lid and was frantically using a National Geographic to fan the fumes outside. He was on the verge of puking, which would add another dimension to his problem. There was a box of incense and a pack of matches, which he now used as he attempted to work his way out of this mess.

What am I going to do? What am I going to do?

Another part of Robert’s psyche was laughing at him, saying, oh this is pathetic, you’re wasting your whole fucking trip on idiotic paranoia. Robert fought back. It’s unselfish paranoia! he replied. I just don’t want to send anyone down the toilet. Acid’s unpredictable. It can be a catalyst for deeply buried psychic material. I can’t take that chance!

It seemed that hours passed. Robert fanned fumes out the window, lit incense, lit matches until the pack was gone. There finally came a breaking point.

Fuck this, Robert decided. It’s inevitable. I have to flush the toilet. He reached out and touched the cold metal handle with its contoured shape. He caressed it for a moment. Then, in an act of passionate courage, he pressed down and released the water.

Sploosh! Oh god it was deafening! Splodda splodda splodda, down down and down into the depths of the underworld. The pipes went Whhhsssssh like Boeing 707’s lining up on a runway before takeoff. There were at least eight people just a few feet away from this sonic pandemonium. They might tear him to pieces when he emerged. He, personally, had bummed their trip! They might ostracize him forever, banish him from other weekend retreats at other beautiful houses full of beautiful women.

His heart was beating frantically. Okay, he decided, let’s face the consequences of my irresistible evacuation. Robert turned the knob and exited the bathroom, closing the door with the barest of clicks.

It was almost dark. Sitar music came gently through the speakers, playing an evening raga. Candles were lit and most of the group sat rocking to and fro, lying on beanbag chairs or prone on yoga mats. Nothing had happened as a result of Robert’s flush. Nothing at all.

A candle had been set in the middle of the room. Linda was alone on a cushion, sitting in yoga posture, meditating on the flickering light. Her eyes were open and appeared radiant and enormous. She glanced at Robert without reproach. The whole episode had passed without a ripple, it was a product of Robert’s self-conscious agony.

What the hell, he thought, just do it. He found a cushion and sat next to Linda, replicating her full lotus, displaying his credentials as a yogi. His feet rested easily on his thighs and his spine straightened as he gathered the nerve to approach this gorgeous woman.

Linda’s shoulder looked velvety in the candle light. Robert gently put his fingers on her body, just the four tips of the fingers of his right hand, touching her oh so lightly. He watched Linda’s response. She didn’t flinch or move away from him. Nor did she move towards him. She was set in her own center. That’s okay, Robert thought. That’s okay. Again, his heart beat fast, his stomach turned over with anxiety. I’ve got to do this, he urged himself. I’ve got to break through my fear. You get nothing when you don’t ask. So just ask while you have the chance.

“Linda,” he said, “You’re beautiful. Your skin is amazing.”

She smiled a subtle little smile but remained facing forward. Robert was about to commit himself but he realized that he hadn’t prepared his words. How should he put it? “Linda, will you make love with me?” Or more commanding. “Linda, make love with me.” That might seem too aggressive. How about “I would love to make love to you, Linda.” Oh, that was clumsy. Love to make love. Oh fuck it. He leaned close to her and quietly spoke into her ear.  “Linda, love make me, oh, uh, you know, I really dig you, um, um, this is hard. What I mean to say is I want you to make love to you. I mean me.. I want.to make love to you. There! Whew!”

Linda’s head turned with agonizing slowness. The huge shining eyes rotated until they met Robert’s eyes. She was a sacred dakini, a deva, a goddess!

“Robert,” she said, “you’re sweet, but you’re just not my type.”

Robert squeezed the pillow, almost pulling it out from under himself. “Okay, okay, that’s cool, I understand that, it’s just that, well, okay… thanks.”

He stood up holding the pillow in front of his body, then dropped it back to the floor and walked onto the deck. He could see the last of the sun’s rays as they vanished into the starry night. His vulnerable heart opened and wept. After a time, as he watched the sky, he realized that at last he was free from all the ridiculous bullshit he had just put himself through. He didn’t have to hook up with Linda. He didn’t have to hook up with anyone.

The Milky Way was alive, writhing with creative force as gods and Buddhas contemplated the infinite void. The sky was the most beautiful thing Robert had ever seen. 

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Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

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Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


Book Review: Mudflap – A character concept many of us can identify with

In Mudflap, by Jay Alden Bailey the character’s name isn’t really Mudflap, but that is the name he identifies with because life always seems to be throwing him under the bus. We’ve all been there, so the character concept is easy to identify with. Every time Mudflap gets up, life knocks him back down again. But he just keeps getting back up again, even starting over from step one when necessary. This story makes a suttle social commentary as Mudflap’s tale unravels that readers with a keen eye will be sure to pick up on.

Sharing in the life and experiences of Mudflap makes one appreciate the circumstances in one’s own life more. If you need cheering up or are just looking for a chuckle, this story is for you. I give Mudflap four quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.