Mind Caviar Fiction

Maggie Mountford works in the UK as a bookseller and has been writing for a number of years. She's written for the BBC and published on the Internet in Amoret, Bewrite, Cafe Irreal, 3am, Flashquake, Cenotaph, and Copperfield Review. Mountford writes both poems and short stories. She lives in Wells, Somerset, with her husband and two cats, where she began the annual Wells Literature Festival in 1992. She also runs a writer's group. 

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Mr. Woodruff and Me

Sometimes, when I’m making love and whatever is missing goes on being missed, and there’s nothing I can do to catch it again (and my husband doesn’t seem to notice) I imagine he’s Mr Woodruff.

I pretend Mr Woodruff has called and it’s around mid-day on a sultry summer afternoon. I’ve offered him a drink, and we sit in the garden, drinking it, making polite conversation. 

Suddenly, Mr Woodruff looks at me.

“You know why I’m here, don’t you?” he says.

I mean to say no, but instead I say yes, and the way I’m saying it I hardly recognise myself. I ought to be surprised, but it’s as if we’ve been lovers for a long, long time, and my body wants him.

As I lead him, very slowly, into the house, and upstairs, into the bedroom, we don’t say a word. The way he’s holding my hand is enough, and the look in his eyes. Mr Woodruff has grey eyes, very clear, very gentle. He’s tall, and thin, and seems a little frail, but it’s unbelievable, how different he is, in bed. Strong, yet not indelicate. Direct, yet subtle. Wild, yet patient. The chemistry between us is just right. His movements mirror mine, his pace is my pace, his needs my own. Not once in seven years has Mr Woodruff failed to satisfy.

“My God! Oh, my God! ” I shriek, when the door flies open and my husband is standing there.

“Minx! Hussy! Harlot!” he shouts. 

And at the sight of his face, his expressions of horror, Mr Woodruff vanishes. Poof! He’s gone.

Everything’s back as it was, myself and my husband, and we’re coming together, up, up, up, like at the opera, when the tenor and the contralto hit the highest note of the aria.

Whenever I visit my husband’s office, Mr Woodruff is seated, in the outer office.

“Good afternoon, Ma’am,” he says, in his clipped, gentle way.

“Good afternoon, Mr Woodruff,” I reply. “I’ve come to see Elroy. Is he free?”

“I’ll just check, Ma’am,” Mr Woodruff says. And as he presses the buzzer with his firm, white hand, I smile my thanks.

Copyright  ©  2003 Maggie Mountford. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post.

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