Tara Alton's   erotic fiction has been published online in Blowfish, CleanSheets and in the popular women's magazine, PlayGirl. "Coins" is an unusual fantasy fable with a decidely adult, thrilling twist, which reminds us to be careful of what we wish for. 

Correspond with Tara Alton.

by Tara Alton

I'd never been one for throwing coins in fountains for good luck, but today as I faced my first appointment with a hypnotist, I felt I needed it. I wasn't going to a specialist because I wanted to lose weight, quit gambling or stop smoking. You see, I had been frigid for the last year, which surprised me, since up until last January I had been the owner of a healthy sex life. 

The demise of my hormonal splendor began with Marco. He was a younger man with whom I was head over heels, mad dog in love. We had sex in every conceivable position and in places I'd never thought of like elevators, dressing rooms and even a church confessional. Eventually we broke up because he said sex with me was too boring. I was too willing and slutty. He wanted someone with morals. What a creep! 

After Marco, the second blow to my sexual ego came when I dated an older guy named Rex, who had a penchant for steak houses, single malt whiskey, cigars and doggy-style sex. He left me after finally admitting he was gay and that sex with me was just not doing it for him. 

With my pride wounded beyond belief and my sex life suddenly solo, I turned to my vibrator and shower massage for consolation. I wanted to feel sexy and fuckable, but the more I thought about Marco and Rex, the more I began to think they may be right... was I too slutty? Was I too boring? My orgasms became increasingly shallow, quick bursts of bare nothingness between my legs. It just didn't feel right anymore. I stopped coming altogether. A cold spot grew in my belly whenever I thought of anything barely related to sex. 

I stood in front of the building which housed the hypnotist's office, procrastinating, gazing into the fountain. Finally, I tossed a quarter in, watched the sunlight reflecting off the surface of the silver coin as it sank to the bottom with the others, mostly pennies. A cool breeze came up behind me, brushing me as if fingers were pulling at my clothing. I wrapped my coat tighter and hurried inside the building. 

Dr. Ricardo reminded me of a mole, rather than a man. He was unusually short and wore round glasses. He kept rubbing at his palms as if they were sweaty, or maybe dirty. As I looked at him, I wondered if at any point in his life had he been attractive. Did anyone ever fancy him? I liked to think that I could find one interesting feature in any person, but he was making it really hard. His eyebrows were bushy, his fine hair hung in feathery strings. I noticed hairs growing from his ears and tried not to wince. 

I reminded myself that he had been recommended by my best friend, Tony, just so I'd somehow feel more secure, but seated in front of Dr. Ricardo, I felt like a cliché: an unmarried woman, approaching middle age, coming to a doctor because she had a sex problem. I had already read every self help book I could find on sex and self-esteem. I had even been to a workshop on repressed memories, thinking maybe some tragic kindergarten experience had made me want to date such losers and to try to find out why I would be so affected by their rejection of me. None of it had helped. I was at my wit's end. I glanced around the doctor's office, noticing most of his books were on ancient mysticism and the occult as he began to question me. 

"I just can't get the little man in the boat to stand up anymore," I explained. "I've even rented porno tapes and fallen asleep in front of the television." 

Dr. Ricardo raised his eyebrows and scribbled something on his pad. I noticed his fingers. They were broad and manly-- probably the one thing on him that wasn't hairy at all. 

"When was the last time you had intercourse?" he asked. 

"A year ago," I said. 

"What about orgasm?" he asked. 

He looked up at me from his pad. His thick lenses concealed his eyes. They were sleepy, dark and mysterious. I didn't know if he knew it, but he was giving me the same upward glance that Marco used to give me from between my legs when he was carpet munching. I felt a chill and rubbed my arms. 

"A year," I said. 

"Do you find yourself attracted to anyone? A coworker? A friend?" 

I shook my head, ‘no'. 

"The last thing I got excited about was a sale on kitty litter at the pet store," I said. 

"So you find sex unrewarding?" he asked. 

"Something like that..." I said. 

"What I would like to do is suggest some creative imagery to go along with your hypnosis," he said. 

He began with what I expected the session to be like, counting down like I'd seen on TV shows. As he spoke, I relaxed, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. This was time for me, he said. No worries, he said. Just relax, release, and let go. I felt my body become limp; I looked inside my body in my mind's eye as he instructed. 

He began suggesting the imagery: a pitcher of silver liquid was hovering over my head. It slowly tipped and began to pour warm, wet liquid over my body. The relaxing potion trickled through my body and finally gathered in my special place between my legs. My muscles relaxed more. The coldness in my body, in my groin, melted away as I drifted in and out. Stray thoughts popped up, then became forgotten. Other ideas stayed fastened to my psyche. His voice came and went. He was telling me about peculiar images and suggestions that I couldn't believe he was saying... but then I lost the images somewhere in the dreamlike state. Finally, I heard his voice clearly tell me that the feeling would stay with me. I was to open my eyes, I'd feel alert and refreshed for the new day. 

When the session was over, I paid the receptionist and left. Disappointed, I stepped outside and glanced at the fountain. What luck had my quarter brought me? I felt no different. A thought came to me-- suddenly I could remember parts of the end of the session-- vague snatches about him telling me to use the imagery of a toll booth or a parking meter in relationship to sex. Every time I had sex, I was supposed to imagine someone putting money in my meter and I would be rewarded. Good grief, I thought. I had just paid $175.00 for that. 

That night I had Tony over for dinner. As well as being my best friend, he had once been my restaurant manager when I had been the world's worst waitress. Tony was a closet spiritual surfer. He awed the world with his six pack abs and impeccable suits, but deep down inside he was a softie who called 900 psychics and collected tarot cards. Over plates of homemade spaghetti and garlic bread, he asked me about the appointment. 

I shrugged. 

"I don't feel any differently," I said. 

"Did he use creative imagery?" he asked. "My sister swears by him. He told her to imagine smoking money, and she had quit smoking within a week." 

"Oh boy, he sure did," I said. 

I slumped in my chair. 

"I'm never going to get over being frigid." 

"Yes, you will," said Tony, smiling, "Just listen to the doctor and you'll be fine." 

That night, I kept dreaming about coins and parking meters until I woke up the next morning. The last thing I wanted to see was loose change, so I skipped my black coffee from the donut shop on my way to work. I walked down the sidewalk, feeling curiously empty, when I spotted a dime on the pavement. As I passed it, a sense of heat came over me as if someone had whispered something sexy in my ear. I glanced back. I wanted that dime. It became everything to me in that moment. But it wasn't enough that I reach down and get it. As if someone had hit a gear into automatic, I pulled up my skirt, slipped down my pantyhose and underwear and crouched over the dime. It wasn't an easy trick, but the moment I took the dime inside me, intense pleasure exploded. My limbs tingled. My ears rang. 

"Oh my," said a woman who had stopped to stare at me. 

The alarm in her voice snapped me back to reality. Horrified, I fixed my clothes and fled. By the time I made it to the bathroom at work, I was out of breath. Gulping for air, I locked myself in the stall and searched for the dime. It was no where to be found. 

"Holy shit," I said. 

I went to the sink where I washed my hands. My face was flushed along with my chest, just like it did when I had an orgasm. Splashing cold water on my face, I swallowed the lump in my throat and went to my desk. I didn't get much work done that day. I kept wondering why had I done something like that, and where had the coin gone? Never in my life had I exposed myself like that, not even in the woman's locker room at the health club. I thought about calling Tony or Dr. Ricardo, but what would I tell them? I wouldn't believe it if someone told me something like that. Maybe I could tell the doctor I had bad dreams, and he could undo any suggestions he had put in my head. Picking up the phone, I called his office. Voice mail answered. I left a message with my home phone number. 

That night I curled up on my sofa, watching television. I still hadn't heard from the doctor's office. When I called again, I got an answering service. I tried Tony's number, but he wasn't home either. Letting out a deep sigh, I buried my toes under the blanket and ate another spoonful of chocolate ice cream, the cure-all for stressful days and dateless nights. Down the hall, in the laundry room, someone started pounding on a washing machine. It was followed by loud cursing. Not again, I thought, turning up the volume on the television set. The pounding got louder. This could go on all night. I threw off the blanket and went to the laundry room. 

My neighbor, Mr. Manara, was jamming the coin slot and kicking the machine at the same time. I reached in front of him and jiggled the slot to the side. The quarters slid in. The water kicked on. 

"Thank you," Mr. Manara said, "That machine always aggravates me." 

"Me too," I said. 

I noticed a quarter he had dropped on the floor. He turned to put his basket near the dryer. I clamped my foot over the coin. The moment he left, I pulled down my pajamas. Feeling dizzy, I rubbed myself on the coin, experiencing that same intense jolt of ecstasy as it slid inside me. 

I heard someone clear his throat behind me. Mr. Manara was staring me. "Thank you," he said. At first I didn't know what he meant, but the way he was looking at my legs made me blush. I pulled up my pajamas and got out of there. 

In the morning, I went straight to Dr. Ricardo's office. I was going to tell him everything, no matter what he thought. He must have done this to me! His office was locked. There were no hours posted on his door. In the lobby, I tried the security desk. The pimply faced guard didn't have a clue. I called the answering service only to be told he might be in at 10 A.M. I had two hours. Not wanting to miss him, I sat in a chair by his door and waited. I thought about the second coin that had disappeared. After I had gotten into my apartment, I had felt for the quarter. It was gone, it had disappeared just like the dime. By 10:30 A.M., Dr. Ricardo still hadn't shown. I called the answering service again, only to be given the run around. I asked for the name of an associate who might do his referrals. He didn't have one. 

Discouraged, I left the building, wondering what should I do next, when I glanced at the fountain. I walked over to it and looked at the coins. 

"A lot of good you did me," I said to the quarter I had thrown in the day before. 

As I looked at all the money in the fountain, the strange, uncontrollable feeling came over me again. This time it was worse. I wanted those coins. I kicked off my shoes, hiked up my skirt and climbed into the fountain. The water was cold as I wiggled out of my underwear and dipped beneath the surface. Just one coin had given me the orgasm of a lifetime-- all these coins filling me at once had me in a wild spell of ecstasy. I felt delirious. Up and down, I moved, water dripping from my thighs; my skin burned hot despite the cold water. 

I heard people's voices around me. The next thing I knew, a pair of rough hands was dragging me out of the fountain. Dropping to my knees on the pavement, I felt the fog in my head beginning to clear. I was looking into the face of a policeman. 

Three hours later I was released at the police station with a violation for indecent exposure and a court date the following week. My clothes were still wet. My underwear was missing along with my panty hose. Presumably they were still in the water. I had tried to explain to the officer what was happening, but he had looked at me as if I were crazy, so I kept my mouth shut and waited to be released. 

At my apartment, I tried calling Tony. He still wasn't home. I poured myself a stiff drink and took a long bath, letting the hot water ease away the knots in my shoulders. Stress, I told myself. I must be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. 

By my third whiskey, my vision was a little blurry. I tried to call Tony again. His roommate picked up the phone. 

"Thank God," I said. "I need to find Tony." 

"The last time I talked to him, he said he was going to the Silver Dollar." 

I groaned, "Not that place," I said. 

"He should be over there. You want me to take a message?" 

I started to tell him to have Tony call me when he got home, but I realized that could take hours. I didn't want to wait any longer. If Tony had recommended Dr. Ricardo to me, then maybe he knew another way to get a hold of him. 

I got off the phone, put on some clothes and walked to the Silver Dollar three blocks away. Once on a lark, Tony had bet me five dollars that I wouldn't walk into the strip joint. I had gone in to prove him wrong. It wasn't much of a place. The floors were dirty and the women weren't much to look at, but Tony said he loved the allure of a stripper, no matter where or when. 

Tonight was amateur night judging by the sign I saw when I paid my cover charge and stepped inside the bar. The place was in full swing with loud rock music, glaring lights, naked women cavorting on brass poles, and the stench of smoke, booze and sweat. I spotted Tony on the other side of the stage with a group of his friends. I tried to work my way over there, but the place was packed so tight. No one would budge. Some of the men were looking at me as if I were on the menu. 

Give me a break, I thought and glanced at the stage where a stripper hovered over a man flat on his back. Her thighs were straddled over his head. He held a silver dollar in between his lips, and she dropped herself on his face and came up with the silver dollar gone. 

"Holy cow," I said. 

I hadn't thought about the money here, and a nervous pit dropped in my belly. All around me on the tables were the silver dollars the guys were using for tips. The club went wild when the stripper on the stage fished out the coin. With some of the guys now standing as they watched, I made my way toward Tony, but the stripper bounded off the stage in front of me. She tripped on an overturned chair and knocked into me, sending me and silver dollars scattering across the floor. As I tried to get up, I kept brushing against coins. My ears started to buzz. My mouth went dry. I held a silver dollar up to my face. It wavered in and out of view. My temperature fired. Someone was helping me to my feet, but I was trying to pull down my pants. Everything seemed to spin, and then I was on the stage, by myself, naked from the waist down. I was unbuttoning my top. 

A bouncer led a man up on the stage with me. "Can you do it, sweetheart?" the man asked as he lay on his back, a silver dollar between his lips. I poised over him and snatched it so quick he didn't have time to blink. It made the fountain of money seem like kid's candy. One after another, I took silver dollars from men's mouths, all those coins hitting the jackpot. I thought I would die in ecstasy. Suddenly, Tony's face appeared before mine. 

"My God! It is you!" he said. 

He scooped me off the stage. "She's my friend," he told the bouncer as he hastily assembled my clothes and took me from the club. Inside his car, my head was starting to clear. My panties were in a knot. Squirming around on the seat, I straightened them. 

Tony glared at me, "What on earth got into you?" he asked. 

"Dr. Ricardo," I said. "Ever since I saw him, I've been acting strange, crazy. I've flashed people. I've taken a skinny dip in a public fountain, gotten arrested for it-- and now this." 

"What are you talking about?" 

I told Tony everything, even about the coins disappearing inside me. 

"Even to me, Dr. Ricardo is a very strange man," Tony said. "All I know is that he helped my sister quit smoking by making her imagine she was smoking a hundred-dollar bill instead of a cigarette. All that money going up in smoke. She quit." 

"Well, I haven't quit anything," I said. "I'm taking coins in like a jukebox and exposing myself to boot." 

Tony paused, "But look at it this way, at least you're no longer frigid." 

"I haven't even had sex. How would I know?" 

"You didn't see yourself on that stage." 

I gave him a dirty look. 

"Let's go see my sister," he said. "Maybe she has another phone number for him." 

To my relief, his sister did have a home number and an address. Tony and I drove to Ricardo's home, a two-story white house set in the middle of suburbia. There was a light on in the rear of the house, but no one answered the door. 

Feeling as if my heart was in my throat, I followed Tony around the house to the only lit window. We peered in. It looked like a den, but no one was in there. I started to say "Let's go," but Tony let out a gasp and pointed inside the house. I turned to look. At first I just saw the imposing desk and chair, but then I distinguished other shapes in the room. There were human skulls stuck with feathers, a hollow tree stump covered with beads and modern medical instruments wrapped with elaborate fetishes. I peeked in closer, my face pressed to the glass. There were more books on the occult and mystics on a nearby shelf. 

I got a chill, "I'm screwed," I said, backing away from the window, "No way can I compete with some sort of witch doctor." 

Concerned, Tony put his arm around me and led us back to the car. We didn't speak as he drove. I looked out the window as I watched the streets and tried to think. 

When we reached the city, Tony spoke, "Maybe Dr. Ricardo is some sort of nut, but I read once that no one does anything under hypnosis that they don't want to do," he said. 

"But I'm not under hypnosis when I'm doing these things." 

"Aren't you? Isn't it every time you see coins you lose control?" 

"Something like that." I moaned, "So what am I supposed to do, avoid loose change for the rest of my life?" 

"No," Tony said. "But try to understand this may be part of you as well as Dr. Ricardo's suggestions. Look at how wild you've been. Maybe you've just been in denial about what you truly want." 

I sighed, "If only it were that easy," I said. 

Rubbing my hand on my belly, I thought about how liberated I had felt in those moments when I had taken the coins. What had I been holding back? What if that was why I was finding sex so unrewarding because deep down I wanted more? I'd always thought of myself as woman who did nothing bad or wrong or kinky. What if I were a bad girl, just waiting to get out? 

Tony parked the car at our complex and walked me to my door. Giving me a kiss on the forehead, he told me we would find Dr. Ricardo tomorrow and get this straightened out. I watched him walk away and let myself inside my apartment. It was cold. Turning on the heat, I glanced lustfully at the cookie jar where I kept quarters for laundry. What would it hurt to try just one more quarter? 

I unzipped my pants, letting them fall down my legs along with my underwear. I slid the quarter in between my legs, almost to my open lips, teasing myself, waiting for the intense pleasure. A breeze crossed the room. I looked up and saw that one of my windows was opened. A shadow crossed the wall, and I heard a step from the bedroom. I startled, jumping up as the quarter dropped noisily to the floor. 

Emerging from the shadows, Dr. Ricardo looked hungrily at my naked skin. In his hand, he held a hose attached to what looked like an upright cannister vacuum cleaner. I realized it was a modified machine they used for gathering coins from parking meters. It sat on a rugged, four wheel cart with a shiny stainless steel collection box. I couldn't keep my eyes off it. 

I gasped as I noticed the fetish wrapped around the hose. It was the most elaborate one I'd ever seen. At the center was a dried ear of corn wrapped in buckskin adorned with feathers. A cord held it together; black beads dangled from one end. To my surprise, my thighs flushed with heat at the sight the machine with the long hose. I held my breath; I was liquefying. I felt as if I could barely stand. 

He took off his glasses. His eyes were like dark caramel sending me into a syrupy spin. I imagined his fingers opening my thighs, sliding the hose deep inside me, the fetish brushing my skin, making my little man in the boat stand up and shout. 

I let out my breath, my body in orbit; I had found it. My sexuality was at full fucking heat with heart-pounding, out of body bliss. Screw Marco and Rex. I wasn't boring or slutty. I was amazing! 

It was then I knew exactly what I wanted: all the coins vacuumed out of me-- those and all the new coins I could possibly find. Slowly, I unbuttoned my blouse and strolled into the bedroom, fully wet, completely naked, following the man of my dreams. 

Copyright © 2000 Tara Alton. All rights reserved.

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