Too Close for Comfort

Click the pic for the original challenge. Written for Ermilia's Picture It & Write.

Yay! This is my 100th post! It’s kind of cool that it coincides with Picture It & Write! Part of me wants to be really excited about it, but some of my posts aren’t stories, so I don’t know if that’s like a party dance yay or just a yay.


Leon relaxed his head into my tummy. Probably no other man on Earth would trust me to draw a razor upon his throat such. Probably no other man on Earth should. I love Leon dearly. He’s the only man who ever treats me like a person. He’s the only man I call my friend, as comfortable against my womb as the child it will never bear.

“No need to cut too close now, Miss Kate,” his handsome face flashed its quick smile.

“Shush your mouth while I’m workin,” I scolded. “Less you want more than your beard missin.”

Miss Kate is how he’s addressed me since I first came under Abbie’s employ. He addresses all of us with the same title of respect, but I know he means it with me. The other girls consider it unfashionable to openly show my fondness for him the way I do, being a man of color and all. But I don’t see as how it matters much what they or anyone else think.

The wind blew the strap down from my shoulder, but I paid it no mind. Leon’s no stranger to my skin. More than once he’s been called into my room to remove a customer who felt his dollars were of a higher worth than most. I’ve seen him glance my way. He’d have me if I asked. He would be so sweet. Abbie would have him lynched if she learned of it though. And I’d be on the street. Folks won’t pay for a girl’s been with a Negro.

I wonder how it would be to lay with a man who loves me the way Leon does. Judge Millen insists he’s bona fide, but lips tell lies that eyes can’t tell, and I’m sure he makes no such mention to his wife. I suppose after nine years of it, I should just be glad no one loves me the way my Daddy did. At least Judge is clean. But Leon’s clean, and he smells like a man, not like sour mash and the foul perfume of an aristocrat’s indigestion.

The scent of Leon’s sweat mixed with the dry grasses of the meadow. I pushed his head firmer against me, and imagined his smell embracing me now as I pulled the blade across his skin in gentle, even strokes. He would be sweet alright.

Leon held me once while I cried. I was fifteen when Daddy sold me to Abbie’s brothel so she could turn me as a virgin. My very first customer busted up my cheek over the pretense before Leon threw him out. It was Abbie’s rage, though, that left me in tears.

“God damn it, Kate! You tell them what they want to hear,” she screamed. “You think they’re comin back cause you’re pretty? No wonder your daddy wanted rid of you!”

It was Leon sneaked back into my room and held me until I was done sobbing. “You never her mind, Miss Kate,” he told me. “You’re as pretty as they come.”

They say you can’t lay with a man and still be his friend.

I drew the last cross against his strong, full lips, the only ones I ever dare dream of kissing. I trickled the water down on his cheeks while he watched up at me with his beautiful dark eyes. My hands stroked his face as I dried it, and then I buried it again in my womb.

“There now, you’re all smooth,” I said.

Whatever the smell of me means to him, I made him linger there to endure it. Perfectly smooth… like the baby I’ll never call my own. I love Leon dearly.

© 2012 Anne Schilde

Read more about Kate…

About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
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39 Responses to Too Close for Comfort

  1. Scriptor Obscura says:

    I really liked this story, Anne. I really enjoyed it. Very well-written. I want more! 🙂

    I really liked what you did with this prompt here. Two thumbs up! 😀

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I wrote about Kate once before, but as part of a book so I don’t think I should blog it. It was a bit disturbing, maybe a little less so than Kneeling but a similar kind of pain. I’m really glad you liked it! Thanks!

  2. Sunshine says:

    Another wonderful tale you spun together Miss Anne! Yes, more please!

  3. Paprika says:

    YOU ROCK!!! \m/ have you published yet??? I want your book! =D

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    CONGRATULATIONS 🙂 100th post is fantastic. Huge congrats!

    Your intros are always attention grabbing – 100% of the time. Excellent. Loved this one, could so much picture it. I like the way you said never “lay with a man” and be his friend.

    I feel enormously for women with a womb incapable of bearing a child. Though, it just means you need to find another way. Great stuff, Anne.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Yay! Thanks, Noeleen! I’ve read this one through a few times now, and I’m starting to think I love it too. Kate’s story is pretty tragic, so it feels really good to give her this touching moment. I’m glad you liked it!

  5. cindy says:

    aww, love it Anne! ❤

    kind of sad too why they can't be together. 😦

    i really love it, affected me much that am sad right now lol. great one again girl! ❤

  6. Congrats on the 100th post! It’s pretty neat that your 100th is a Pi&W post :]

    I love the way that Kate is so pretty and yet she talks all rough: “Shush your mouth while I’m workin … Less you want more than your beard missin.” Great story, Anne!

  7. Ermilia says:

    Thank you for contributing in Picture it & write, as always, Annie. An exquisite story. One of my favourite yet. 😉

    – Ermisenda

  8. natasiarose says:

    Oooh 100! congrats girl and it’s a great one!

  9. Nanda says:

    I love it! Really! I want more of Leon & Kate!
    Very good job, Annie… Let people wanting more! 😉 Not a lot can be proud of that! Congrats! And congrats for your 100th post! I know how good it is for us! ❤

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Thanks so much, Nanda! Kate’s story is not often a happy one. She and Leon latch onto each other in a world where neither of them has any other friends, but their lives don’t really intertwine that much. I do want to write about when her daddy “sold” her to the brothel at 15. I really do appreciate the great comments! ♥

  10. Anna says:

    I love it! You picture the scene so clearly. Even if the picture hadn’t been there I would have been stood in the middle of a field, watchin’ from a bush. Which is probably a little perverted. Where was I? Oh, yes. I love it!

    And congratulations on your 100th post, here’s to 100 more! 🙂

  11. I have always wanted to write a historical or geographical piece, but I am afraid I could never pull off the “voice” of the time period or location. YOU NAILED IT! I loved this one.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      You know, I have no idea whether or not I “nail” these things, Adam. I know how Kate sounds in my head, so I just write her on faith. That’s really a great compliment though and thank you very much!

  12. First of all, Congrats on your 100th post! 😀

    Secondly, please write the sequel to this story…or the prequel. I don’t care. Just write more! 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Thank you, Christy!

      For those requesting more of Kate: I can write more about her, but she’s sorely lacking a plot. I can’t promise anything like an actual story. I’ll write another short and see if maybe by writing it, something more comes to me.

  13. Congrats for your 100th post! It’s a great achievement 🙂
    It’s so sad when we look back at the life of people some time ago, when girls had to earn a living by selling their body, when blacks were considered as inferior, animals… Beautiful story!

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Thanks, MD! I really appreciate your support!
      It truly is sad, but I think it’s good to reflect on it too. Kate might not be real but her story is very real, even today.

  14. 5 stars! This was such a beautiful read. I, too, am requesting more of Kate. I hope we get to read more of her. Congrats on the 100th post! 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Haha, I had to see what that looked like. No one ever gave me stars before. 🙂 Thanks, Kat! I started putting down notes for a story line for Kate. I’ll write a longer one soon.

  15. lorrelee1970 says:

    Like a spider with a web. Quick and clever.

  16. Tincup says:

    That is awesome…you got the idea to write this series from Picture it and Write it? I like that you are going this route on your blog. I think it would be hard for Kate to ever want to be with a man based on what happened in here youth…but I am happy she has found feelings for Leon. Sounds like the ingredients for a tragedy.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      So yes and no… I found the courage to start writing it in this picture. I first wrote about Kate, Abbie and Leon as part of another story more than a year ago. Hopefully, I’ll do a good enough job with Kate’s feelings that they will make sense. My readers’ comments chose this route for my blog. ♥

  17. Diane Turner says:

    Wow! I just read this and am amazed at how much I learned about the characters by the little bit you presented here. Can’t wait to read the rest of the chapters. Excellent writing.

  18. poetshide says:

    Just discovered “Kate” & this blog. Absolutely fantastic! Have you, by any chance, read “Redeemed” by Francine Rivers? Totally recommend it, a similar theme to “Kate”

  19. joetwo says:

    “Foul perfume of an aristocrat’s indigestion” I’m stealing that!

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