Here's a teaser of my new erotic short fiction, Shopped Girl. This short story was inspired by my tenure working the desk at my store, being "shopped" by customers, being perceived of as part of the inventory. Purchase the full thing here. Scroll down for a snippet.
Perdita reshelved books for a living. She’d come into the shop from 10-5 almost every day and she’d put things away, tidy up like a mother would. Very like a mother--something she’d always been told about herself. Perdita didn’t imagine herself as a matron, or round, or gently scolding, or soft. She didn’t imagine herself as anything a mother should be or was on accident. But in gesture, she supposed it was the tenderness. The way she gingerly put each book in its place, the light reflecting off her glasses as she stood on the ladder with one foot out, concentrating, her tongue just slightly protruding with effort. It was true how she took a special kind of care with the books, had a special kind of touch.
When Perdita finished at the shop she rode her bike home, not for the exercise. It was because she enjoyed how the wind enveloped her like a song. As she flew, her hair remained just as tidy a reader might have pictured, two concise braids evenly spaced like a maiden would wear. Not a matron. Maybe it was more accurate to say that Perdita was a mother in waiting, the lushness of a berry plucked and still in the hand. But, she knew her own mind and that threw spectators for a loop. For one, having a name like hers meant: know who you are.
For two, Perdita had three older sisters who’d led her around by the nose her whole life, so as an adult she insisted on the freedom to do what she pleased, as she pleased. Every once in a while, Perdita picked someone up from a bar and fucked them. She took five dollars from a nightstand or kitchen counter and didn’t say what it was for. She didn’t say anything. Perdita just left as soon as the sun itched the sky and before her lover had opened their eyes. She wasn’t choosy. If she took home a woman, Perdita aimed to fuck excellently and didn’t care so much about her own pleasure. If she took home a man, Perdita screamed and let her eyes roll back even if the performance didn’t merit the reaction. It was more fun that way.
Acting got her rocks off. Acting in the shop was a cautious glance at an oncoming customer out the window, a hushed greeting, the tenseness of attraction, juxtaposed with the sterile environment of the fact of her job. Perdita liked the details and when the customers left, she played them up. He’d looked through his eye lashes when she paused to answer: so he wants to fuck. She’d bitten her lip while asking for a book recommendation: so she wants to fuck. Maybe no one wanted to fuck but Perdita didn’t care so much about the reality. It was a game for her delight and hers alone. Sometimes, if no customers were coming in, Perdita left a “back in five minutes” sign on the door, locked up, and persisted masturbating in the bathroom until she’d cum enough to calm down.
When Steve came in, Perdita didn’t notice him at first. She had a habit of not noticing bald men, not that she’d have technically “known” Steve was bald because he always wore a hat. Maybe she could just sense that he was bald--one of those service industry 6th senses picked up over years of interacting with people she’d never know past the door jamb. Whatever the reason, it took Steve twice to get her attention. On this occurrence, Steve was not trying to get Perdita’s attention. Of course, he’d noticed her. He’d seen her like a thirsty man sees a bottle of Swedish spring water after a debilitating hike. But he was aware enough of his male privilege to not assume she was interested just because his interest was hardening in his jeans.
When Steve got Perdita’s attention, it was because he’d asked a stupid question.
“Is this the only James Baldwin you have?” He gestured with the copy of Giovanni’s Room towards an empty display.
What did he think she was, a canyon full of copies of James Baldwin books? Where else would the stock be? Did he have eyes? As she plowed through an insult laden inner monologue Perdita smiled with all her teeth.
“Yep.” She turned back to the books and whispered to them.
At that moment, if Steve had had to rate the hardness of his cock on a hardness scale he’d have compared it to an opal. Not hard enough to wear everyday, but still a solid rock.
Perdita glanced her fingers across a dust jacket and continued her work completely absorbed, not even remotely interested--even if she had noticed Steve. The Grass Roots played over a speaker and she swayed a little as music orchestrated her nimble fingers and moved her hair in an unknown breeze.
Steve spoke again. “So where’s your high end stuff. Your rare books, you know--first editions?” He was unaware that she’d noticed him and was still working towards the goal. As Perdita practically floated to the locked glass display, Steve calculated the amount in his checking.
That day, he spent two hundred and eighty dollars.