CHAPTER FIVE: A FATAL SLIP
Peter Morrison was waiting with mounting impatience for Julie to arrive, as the small alarm clock in his room showed one-thirty on the Thursday afternoon. That morning he had hardly been able to concentrate on the essay he was writing, so much did her impending visit play on his mind. He had struggled for about two hours with the future transformation of man, but the prospect that he would soon be seeing Julie again had continued to obsess him and interfere with his concentration. He was conscious now, as never before, of his great need of female company, and could only half-heartedly attend to the business at hand. He realized - how poignantly! - that he was still in love with her and could think of no-one else. The years of solitude may have toughened his spirit, but they hadn't done away with the weakness of the flesh, and his flesh was sorely in need of satisfaction. He was no saint to live all those years in voluntary celibacy, and felt that much precious time had been wasted. He ought to have taken her for his wife from the day he fell in love with her, instead of living alone all that time. Ah, what a misfortune was prolonged solitude! It could only be to one's detriment, no matter what countrified writers like John Cowper Powys happened to think. Depression was its inevitable corollary. And few men could have been more depressed than him!
The minutes ticked by and still she hadn't come. He began to grow panicky, wondering whether she had changed her mind and decided to keep her distance. How foolish of him not to have taken her address or telephone number the other day! Then he could at least have got in touch with her. As things stood, he was completely at her mercy, not knowing whether she would show him any. But then, just as he was on the point of giving-up all hope, the door-bell rang and who should it be at the door but Julie, looking every bit the beautiful woman he had always known her to be. He was more than a little relieved to see her again, and quickly led her up the winding staircase and along the dark, carpetless corridor into his room.
"I'm so glad you could make it," he impulsively declared, as soon as she was safely across the threshold.
"I had no intentions of deceiving you," she calmly assured him. "I was looking forward to returning here." She removed her leather coat, this time a full-length one, and, taking it from her, he hung it against the door. Underneath, she was wearing a pale-pink nylon blouse, which was semi-transparent, and a short black cotton skirt with a gentle flounce. It was a skirt she didn't wear very often these days, but had opted for partly because she hoped it would remind him of how she used to dress when he first knew her. Yet it seemed to have the desired effect, since he quickly drew attention to it, remarking how it had always excited him.
"In fact, everything about you always excited me," he added, "including the way you dressed." He stood back to admire her. "Where women one is in love with are concerned," he went on, turning philosophical, "there's always this pleasure, it seems to me, in their clothing, a feeling that if one were a woman oneself one would dress in exactly the same way. You never once wore anything that turned me off, like the majority of women did and, for that matter, still do. I always admired your tastes."
Julie couldn't help blushing on the reception of this generous compliment which, in any case, came as a surprise to her, especially since she had only just arrived and not yet made herself at home. Nevertheless she returned him a grateful smile, which had the effect of making him feel even more romantic.
"Come over here," he coaxed her, leading the way to where his ten-bar electric fire stood, just in front of the blocked-up fireplace.
She nervously obeyed him and, when they were standing close to it, allowed him to place a delicate exploratory kiss on her lips, closing her eyes in the process. Gently, ever so gently, he placed another, then another, and, finally, a fourth one there, which lingered on to twice the duration of the other three put together. Then he drew her closer to himself and, holding her about the waist, applied a series of gentle kisses to her cheeks and neck, noting all the while the additional satisfaction this apparently gave her. For a moment they stood simply looking into each other's eyes. There appeared to be a faint glow of pleasure in hers, which was attributable to more than just the warming effects of the electric fire, and he took comfort from it, steeling himself for his next move. She waited patiently, continuing to gaze at him, while he gently detached his hands from round her waist and reached for the zip to her skirt, located on her right-hand side. It slid down without too much effort on his part and, kneeling down in front of her, he tugged at the skirt, which came down even more easily than the zip, forming a small pile of material around her feet. Curiously she made no attempt to step out of it, and neither did he bother to free her. Instead he cast his attention over her legs, noting, with quickening heartbeat, the enticing seductiveness of her thighs which, though not too expansive, were sufficiently firm and fleshy to testify to the beauty of a mature woman. They were, for the most part, covered in black nylons, while pink suspenders stretched from the stocking-tops to the matching suspender-belt above. Pink was also the colour of her panties, which, like the stockings, were nylon and semi-transparent. There was a band of patterning around their edges, but more eye-catching by far was the dark mound of pubic hair which her panties evidently weren't designed to hide! He stared at it in fascination awhile, before placing a firm kiss on each of her thighs, to one side of the suspenders. A glance up her body revealed that she was still gazing down at him, though beginning to blush ever so endearingly. He stood up to unbutton her blouse, a gentle smile on his face from fear she might obstruct him. But she remained completely passive, as before.
Casting her blouse to one side, he took an appreciative glance at the upper halves of her breasts, decided he would like to stroke them and, having planted a fresh kiss on her lips, betook himself to her rear, where he proceeded to unclip her bra strap. With that removed, he gave-in to his designs on her breasts, gently stroking and cupping them from behind. Then he kneeled down to allow his gaze to wander over her rear, which had always struck him as being one of her chief assets. Yes, it was still as beautifully curvaceous as ever, and it wasn't long before his visual exploration gave way to a tactile one, as he lightly played the fingers of each hand across its nylon-clad expanse. Ever so gently he slid the panties down her legs until they joined the little pile of cotton skirt at her feet. It was a veritable revelation for him to be looking at her thus, her flesh bare to his avid curiosity, and, more from thanksgiving than anything else, he applied a kiss to each of her buttocks, taking care to inhale the fragrance of her skin in the process. That done, he once more climbed to his feet and gently ran a hand between her thighs, backwards and forwards along the groove of her crotch, as though to reassure himself, after all these years of fantasy and solitude, that she actually had something there.
Yes, she evidently enjoyed having it stroked, for she half-turned her head towards him, and there was a cute little smile on her lips. He nervously kissed her on the cheek, as much from gratitude as desire. Then, feeling his lust quicken as his hands slid over her breasts, he turned her fully round and passionately embraced her, obliging her to stagger free of her clothing as she turned towards him.
"Ah, Julie, how good it is to have you in my arms after all this time!" he declared, while she gave herself up to his embrace. "So good!" Nervously, he led her to his single bed and, pulling back the quilt, requested her to lie down on top of it, her flesh against its nylon sheet. "Now open your legs as wide apart as possible," he added, impatient to get a good look at everything.
She felt slightly embarrassed at the prospect of completely exposing herself to his gaze, but found herself obeying him even so, until her ordinarily private parts were rendered as conspicuously unprivate as possible, which was evidently all he needed to get rid of his own modesty and free his rapidly-rearing member from its cotton prison. He had never seen it look so positive! For this was an erection with a purpose, whereas all his previous erections had been futile because entirely divorced from vaginal stimulation, even voyeuristically. He felt, for the first time in his life, the pride of his engorged masculinity with Julie's body completely at his mercy, and lost no time in approaching her with a view to burying himself in it up to the hilt.
Once inside her, he knew that he had found his long-lost companion, his beloved sweetheart. He rode himself to a pulsating climax, reaching his orgasmic destination within barely four minutes of the starting gate and causing her to squirm with unconcealed pleasure beneath him. Predictably there wasn't all that much pleasure in the climax itself, since he had long been accustomed to rather lukewarm wet-dreams and had grown to regard himself as virtually impotent. But the main pleasure, if anywhere, came from the fact that he was actually riding the woman with whom he had long been in love and was no longer technically a virgin. The real pleasure came from the satisfaction of having sex in reality instead of in imagination for once, and it was a pleasure he greatly relished! It didn't occur to him to wonder whether Julie had achieved orgasmic release, under the circumstances of his relatively quick discharge, since she wasn't now being particularly demonstrative and had more-or-less relapsed into squirmless quiescence with the termination of his ride. He took it for granted that a mutual agreement had been reached.
But he wasn't personally satisfied that he had done everything he wanted to and, withdrawing his inflamed and by-now quite sticky member from its nesting place, he requested that she lick it clean for him, though not before he had repositioned himself, so that they were facing in opposite directions. Would she respond, he wondered, or ought he to take the initiative and plunge tongue-first, as it were, into her voluptuous trench? Thankfully she obliged him by lowering it to his mouth while proceeding to stroke and gently suck his member, licking away the stickiness which coated the greater part of its glossy length.
Feeling freshly excited by this unprecedented experience, he likewise applied his tongue to an oral adventure, at first tentatively and with a twinge of disgust but, as he gradually acclimatized himself to it, by degrees becoming bolder, proceeding to prod between her inner labia in pursuance of her clitoris, that cynosure of her sex. Ah, what satisfaction it gave him to be looking up her from such close range, to be in such voyeuristic possession of everything normally hidden to the eye! His tongue growing tired of prodding and tasting her most secret flesh, he thumbed her labia as far apart as possible, while his nose inhaled the musty spermatic odour which issued from the cavernous depths in between them. It was slightly disgusting and yet, at the same time, distinctly fascinating to be in this advantageous oral position for the first time in his life, especially since it was with the only woman who had ever really mattered to him, and she was not only beautiful but intelligent and cultured as well - a lady, such as his mother, with her plebeian instincts, had never been!
Yes, he needed the company of a lady as opposed to an uncultivated woman. He would have been incapable of taking an interest in an ordinary woman, for her lack of culture or interest in intellectual matters would quickly have bored and offended him. Only someone like Julie could keep his interest alive, making him feel that he was consorting with an equal or, at any rate, a suitable companion. And if he had an 'accident' with her ... well, he would know it was with the right person. Indeed, an 'accident' would hardly be possible where she was concerned. He couldn't have begrudged her a child.
Removing his nose from her gaping sex, he applied it, by contrast, to her clenched anus, which smelt faintly excremental, although he thought he could also detect some perfume on it. That being the case, he involuntarily planted a terse but fairly firm kiss to one side of it, and Julie, completely taken by surprise and forgetting herself for a moment, exclaimed: "Why, you're almost as bad as my husband!"
The words shot through Morrison's brain like a thunderbolt from the blue, causing him to break off his oral explorations and open his mouth wide in horror. Had he heard correctly or was it simply his imagination? Frantically he pushed her body away from himself and sat up to confront her, obliging her to abandon her fondlings and lickings. "What was that you said?" he imperatively demanded, on a mounting wave of foreboding.
She immediately realized that she had made a grave mistake, but pretended to treat it lightly. "Only that my husband is also given to kissing my arsehole," she replied, modifying her response.
Morrison was beyond himself with anger. "Why didn't you tell me you were married?" he snapped, his voice breaking under the sudden strain of the situation.
She stared at him aghast. "But I couldn't ..." was all she managed to say.
"Couldn't?" he echoed, becoming even more furious. "What d'you mean, you couldn't? You've a sodding tongue in your bloody head, haven't you?"
"Yes, but you wouldn't have been pleased to hear that I was married," she protested, becoming distinctly nervous.
"That's not the point!" he snapped, his face distraught. "I'd never have invited you back to my room in the first place and thereby ran the risk of getting sexually involved with you, had I known you were married. I'd have said goodbye to you outside the restaurant and gone about my own wretched business. But you tricked me and induced me to think that you were still Julie Phillips, so that I was unaware of the exact position. You just wanted to see what you could get out of me, didn't you?"
"No, not at all, Peter, I just wanted to help you," Julie protested, on the verge of tears.
"Help me? D'you think this has helped me - obliging me to make a fucking fool of myself for your sexual benefit?" he exploded. "Why, you dirty little slut, you're nothing more than a base opportunist and exploiter of other people's passions!"
"No, don't say that!" cried Julie, as tears came into her eyes. "I love you."
"Love me?" Morrison sneered. "Which is why you're married to someone else, is it?" He had reached the zenith of his anger and frustration by now, and was trembling like a leaf in the autumnal wind. All those years of solitude were crowding-in upon him, making him aware that his depression was largely a consequence of the fact that he had suffered unrequited love at the hands of this very woman, and become completely cut off from congenial company. He had suffered on account of her all right, but had she suffered on account of him? Not if her husband was anything to judge by! And now she had the audacity to say she loved him - as if he could be expected to believe it!
Furious, he struck her across the face and threw himself upon her, gripping her throat in both hands and pressing against her windpipe for all he was worth. It took her a while to wake up to what was actually happening, so unprepared was she for anything so drastic. Yet when it became clear to her that he wasn't bluffing or joking but was in deadly earnest, she put up a ferocious struggle with him, bucking and twisting like a wild bronco. However, his hands were too powerful to be dislodged and, slowly but surely, as the minutes ticked by, they squeezed the life out of her. She gave a last pitiful gasp, succumbed to a tortuous spasm, and was no more. He had killed the thing he loved!
There were tears in his eyes as he bent over her dead body, and his heart and the blood vessels in his head were beating in a wild frenzy of inverted passion. For a moment he thought he was dreaming, that he had become a prisoner of some ghastly nightmare, caught-up in a sequence of unreal events completely beyond conscious control. But this illusion was quickly shattered by the sound of pop music coming-up from the nearest of the downstairs neighbours, who was evidently at her usual inconsiderate and irresponsible tricks again. She must have been playing her radiogram for the past half-hour, he supposed. Though, for once, the novelty of his preoccupations with another person had distracted his attention from it, making him oblivious of external interferences. Yet now they were patently back again, thus testifying to the resumption of the noise-ridden hell in which he was ordinarily obliged to live - a prisoner of circumstances beyond his control. Even the Pyrenees mountain dog had started to bark gruffly from its kennel by the adjoining alley behind the house, and that was just as bad, if not worse, than the pounding drumbeat coming up from below, as though from Hell itself. Really, it was enough to drive one mad sometimes! What rotten luck he had always had, being surrounded and thwarted in his work by such empty-headed idiots as the neighbour in question! No wonder he had often failed to concentrate properly and produce the sort of literary results he knew he was capable of! He frowned sullenly and cursed to himself but, remembering there had been quite a lot of noise in his own room prior to the violent termination of Julie's life, decided that perhaps it was just as well, for once, that the adolescent's radiogram had been on, after all. At least it would prevent her from having any untoward suspicions about him, he supposed.
Turning back towards Julie's lifeless body, he felt overcome by a wave of remorse and automatically smacked a compassionate kiss on her brow. He knew she was really an 'it' now, but he preferred to regard her as in some sense ‘she’ for comfort's sake. After all, her flesh was still warm and scarcely less beautiful in death than it had been in life.
Goaded on by years of celibacy, he decided to make the most of the opportunity for impersonal curiosity and sexual experimentation which her corpse now afforded him, and so lost no time in looking it over from head to toe, dwelling on its various physical characteristics with the patient care for detail which only a lover can muster. Her arms had always been a highpoint of her physical beauty, being fleshy, smooth, and soft as well as delicately shaped, and he found himself becoming newly conscious of their feminine charm as he scanned them at leisure - something which her live presence would probably have inhibited or even precluded. Likewise her legs still fascinated him, especially her thighs, partially clad in dark stockings and rendered more alluring by the pink suspenders. He stared at them long and hard and, becoming aroused by their fleshy seductiveness, duly decided to expose her sex to his scrutiny again. Thus he pulled her legs as far apart as circumstances would allow, so that it seemed as though her clitoris would pop out, like the bird of a cuckoo clock.
Giving way to the perverse temptation to mount her, however, wasn't so easy. But after dismissing his moral qualms and convincing himself that her body was now completely his to do with as he liked, he forced himself upon her and entered it for the pleasure of a fresh orgasmic assault. However, he quickly grew tired of this and, turning her onto her stomach, renewed his carnal assault from behind, gripping a breast in each hand and pumping away like a piston-engine in full steam. Then, deciding on a spot of manipulative adventure, he thrust a hand into her sex in the wake of his member, curious to see how far it would go. But here, too, he felt a qualm, this time on the basis of what he might encounter in the depths of her womb, as it were, if he pushed the hand in too far, and consequently was unable to bury more than the length of his fingers in her. He had always rather childishly, and some would say irrationally, felt that a hand pushed too far into the vagina might encounter some kind of obstacle or even bite from an insect-like creature lying in wait at the mouth of the womb, like a temple guardian, and was still to some extent a victim of this rather puerile notion. Thus he withdrew the hand after a few seconds' tentative exploration and contented himself, instead, with caressing her buttocks and back. His curious psychology, he reflected, was probably shared by other men, too!
Later on, after he had brewed some tea and listened to a couple of records through his headphones, he began to wonder what to do with the corpse. For in a day or two it would begin to smell most unsavoury and become extremely disagreeable to live with. He would have to set about getting rid of it tomorrow at the latest ... for his neighbours' sakes as well as his own. But tonight, at any rate, his only real desire was to experiment with it and have what pleasure he could at its physical expense. He had lived long enough without any real sexual satisfaction and could hardly blame himself for wanting to get what pleasure he could from Julie's lifeless body while the opportunity prevailed. And now he had an idea in his head that he saw no reason not to translate into action. He would dress Julie in her clothes and amuse himself by putting her body into a variety of alluring positions, treating her as a model whom he was intent on making as seductive as possible.
He had long been interested in soft pornography but, these days, could ill-afford to buy any, not even from the local newsagents. Also, he had grown to despise a majority of magazines for their bourgeois advertising content and the unsatisfactory way in which models were generally portrayed. He had long come to the conclusion that the only magazine he would be tempted to buy, even at the risk of being left short of money, would be one in which Julie was to be seen. But, of course, he knew only too well that she wasn't the kind of woman to go in for pornography, even when soft, and that there would be no opportunity, in consequence, for him to buy a magazine with her in it. Now, however, he realized that, with her body at his disposal, he could make his own pornography free-of-charge, as it were, simply by arranging her appearance to suit his tastes and then taking photos of her. He was still in possession of an old instamatic, a gift of several birthdays ago, and had enough prints left over from his jerk-shy past to last him through the evening. With a number of snaps of Julie's body, he would have easy access to a private pornographic world which would mean more to him than any number of glossy magazines ever could. And if, in later years, he wanted to remind himself of how beautiful she had once been, all he need do would be to turn to the photos and reassure himself to his heart's content. And no-one else need ever know anything about it.
Eagerly, he lifted Julie off the bed and carried her over to the centre of his room, directly under the powerful electric light which dangled, in shadeless severity, several inches from the cream-coloured ceiling, like an inquisitive spider. There he dressed her in the clothes he had personally removed from her body no more than a few hours before, putting everything back into place except for her leather coat which, at this point, he preferred to use as a kind of rug beneath her. With that accomplished, he applied himself to her hair, combing it down either side of her pallid face, so that she seemed as if bathed in a halo of wavy-blonde light. Then, free to attend to the erotic side of things, he hitched up her skirt until the bulk of her thighs was exposed, leaving her legs stretched out in front. Her arms he placed at her sides, as though she were sunbathing. At length, she was ready to be snapped!
The photographic aspect of things was relatively straightforward but, not altogether surprisingly, there were more than a few hitches to what followed, during the course of the evening. For her body, becoming increasingly subject to rigor mortis, would sometimes refuse to stay in a given position, but had a tendency to flop down or back from the increasingly erotic demands he was making on it. Nevertheless, through sheer perseverance, Morrison succeeded in producing some fairly satisfactory results, and, by , he was beginning to regard his venture with a degree of almost professional pride. One would hardly have suspected that what he held in his hands were snaps of a corpse, especially where the ones focusing on the middle to lower parts of it were concerned! And these, naturally enough, were the ones which predominated, since they served his pornographic purposes the most.
There was something about looking up a woman's skirt which had fascinated him as a young child, not least in respect of his mother, and now that he was an adult this same tendency held no less fascination for him than before. In fact, its erotic element was now much sharper than it had been in those distant days, when he was simply led by infantile curiosity to peer up his mother's dark-stockinged legs from the floor with toy car or soldier in hand, to ascertain what mystery her skirt ordinarily concealed from him. By positioning himself with camera in hand at Julie's feet, he could capture the subtle eroticism of a pair of panties glimpsed under the shadow of a hitched-up skirt, reminiscent in a way of his mother's beige knickers, and by parting her legs slightly, as he now did, this glimpse could be expanded to include the dense mound of public hair which lay compressed beneath the tightly-fitting panties in question, something which his mother's knickers had always concealed from him even when he had been bold enough to gaze up between her legs while pretending to retrieve a toy car from under them, as on more than one occasion. The one thing he couldn't get Julie to do, however, was to stand up!
But he could turn her onto her stomach and photograph her from the rear ... with particular emphasis on her rump and thighs, as well as remove various items of clothing in order to expose her naked flesh to his camera lens. Of the dozen or so photos he took that evening, at least eight showed her bare flesh to clear erotic advantage, some of them concentrating on her vagina, others on her thighs and rump. In one, he managed to capture all three together by pinioning her legs back under the weight of a wooden chair, while he sat on it and photographed them from above. That was such an erotic position, that he felt tempted, in spite of his qualms, to indulge in a renewed bout of oral sex with her.
Thus, freeing her from the clamp-like hold of the chair, and putting his instamatic to one side, he lifted her legs back until they were parallel with her ears and squatted down on them, so that the slightly-upended rump was exposed to his eager hands. Her flesh had by now become somewhat colder, though the heat of his electric fire partly compensated him for this inconvenience and enabled him to proceed with his activities without undue disgust. By swivelling her round, so that her upended rump was directly in front of the fire, he was able to warm up her vagina and thus make it more inviting to himself, whether for purposes of kissing, prodding, or stroking. Not content with that, he permitted his mischievous fingers access to her anus as well, tugging on the surrounding flesh until its sphincter expanded sufficiently far in every direction to enable him to peer down into a dark fleshy recess.
However, close-up the smell wasn't particularly pleasant, so he quickly abandoned this experiment in favour of a closer look at her urethra, pulling at and stretching the surrounding flesh in like-manner. He wondered whether he oughtn't to pour lots of water down her throat, to see if she could be induced to urinate in due course. But, much as it intrigued him to discover whether a corpse could be made to pass water, on second thoughts the idea didn't really appeal to him all that much and he easily abandoned it, fearing it would only cause him additional inconvenience. After all, she might make a lot of noise in the process, and that would hardly be to his advantage, what with the neighbours to consider. Besides, watching a corpse piss didn't strike him, on further reflection, as likely to be a particularly interesting experience. It would be wiser to concentrate on her vagina, as at present, and thereby save himself additional bad smells.
And so he continued to play with it, opening it out as far as he could and peering into its sticky crevice. But soon this game tired him too, and he gave up the pursuit of further carnal pleasure, resigning himself to the fact that a dead woman could never match a live one where oral satisfaction was concerned! A corpse was simply something whose basic anatomy quickly bored or disgusted one. Wearily, and not without a degree of self-contempt, he covered Julie's stiffening body with a few items of clothing and retired to bed.
Under the circumstances of having a corpse in the room, sleep didn't come too easily to him. But when at last it did, he was mercifully spared any recollection of the terrible things he had done. The next morning, however, was to bring all that back to him, and with a vengeance!