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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'Love in the Time of the Climacteric' Flash by Tavia Allan

“At least I can say I've got a hot date,” he says.

Hilarious. I'm always hot. I have my own central heating that decides, independently, when to boost.

It's not stress or shame – or arousal. It's just hormones, or the lack of them. A thing my body's doing without me. It has even less to do with what I'm thinking and feeling than the autonomic responses he is attempting to provoke.

Right now, I'm so hot you could fry an egg on me. Ironic, given my own eggs are already fried.

Too hot. Call the police and the fireman.

“Call the fire fighter. The fire brigade,” he says. Trying to be more feminist than me.

He runs his fingers down my side and I shiver, my body remembering cold the way water remembers a solute. As in not at all.

Hot. Too hot. Make a dragon want to retire. Is this why we turn into dragons as we age? All the heat pent up inside.

I'm your Venus, I'm your fire. More like Hecate, or the Morrigan. Crone on fire.

Perhaps I can channel sexy witch.

Frying tonight. I'm aiming for Fenella Fielding but land somewhere nearer Kenneth Williams.

"You're smoking hot," he says, which may mean he got it.

I don't want to be touched. (Although the tickling's not bad.) I don't want to be licked or

sucked or breathed on. I want to be fanned and brought cold drinks. I don't need a lover. I need a punkah wallah.

And even though I know an orgasm sometimes washes me with a delicious cool, there's just too much hot and sticky en route.

Is this burning an eternal flame?

"Ice cubes!" he says.

And Da Vinci, Curie and Newton can all go home because that's the best idea anyone's ever had in the history of afternoon liaisons.

So now the ice man is coming.

All Rights. Tavia Allan.

Tavia Allan lives and works in the City of Westminster, London, UK. She has work published in OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters, Funny Pearls, The Hungry Ghost Project, the Pure Slush Friendship anthology, Virtual Zine and Flash Fiction Festival 4.

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Sep 14, 2022

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