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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Micro-fiction: 269 words
By Arthur Klepchukov

afterglow

 

She wonders aloud what his orgasms are like. He lacks the clarity to inhabit what just happened, but he wants to try before the sweat dries.

He shuts his eyes, and reopens them defiantly. No, darkness makes it easier to fill the void with anything but the present. And he wants to linger.

The best orgasms—she didn’t ask for the best, but he feels compelled to describe the ideal—came from wanting her to experience the same bliss. Eyes wide open, grasping for seconds fracturing into moments uncountably tiny.

It begins with a point of no return. A foundational rumble from a cavernous within, below his belly, but reaching deeper—a satisfying scoop of ice cream—and he knows what follows is sweet inevitability.

A tender canon fires. World briefly muted in a tickling bliss that slithers with sharp nails along untangling stretches of every dawning nerve. A tiny spark of pain, chased with a gasp—often inaudible yet louder than any possible thought—is the boundary between universes. Before & after.

Then, a fleeing tide. The endless ocean sipping at the shores of his body. All muscles forfeiting form, strength, will. Falling, often into her. Hopefully, her exhausted bliss. A blooming frost replaces all that was just ablaze and is now cinders smoking goodbye breaths.

One by one, he finds the phrases as he reaches back into her embrace, into his own body’s oft disconnected motions through a sprinting life. She listens, divides lips in wonder, conjures her own smiling comparisons.

They lie together, extinguished.

Finally, she sighs. “That’s nice, but mine still seem better.”

Arthur Klepchukov
Issue 6, January 2021

found words between Black Seas, Virginian Beaches, and San Franciscan waves. He adores trains, swing sets, and music that tears him outta time. Follow Art’s writing journey on Twitter, ArsenalOfWords, or read his words in places like Glimmer Train, The Common, Necessary Fiction, and The Best American Mystery Stories 2019.

Author’s blog: Arsenal of Words

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

“afterglow” and “Dialing Islands” Published in MacQueen’s Quinterly, in the author’s blog, Arsenal of Words (1 January 2021)

lying is the girl, a one-hundred-word story by Klepchukov in KYSO Flash (Issue 10, Fall 2018)

 
 
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