The folks over at The Alchera Project have a prompt that asks members to create lists of beautiful things. My membership there is through my fiction blog, so this is unofficial participation, in the hopes that posting about beauty just before sleep will help ease my cranky mood. The choices are, of course, totally subjective, but feel free to offer your own in the comments.

Beautiful Sounds

  1. Rain falling on a roof.
  2. A wood fire crackling merrily.
  3. The crunching of leaves under feet on a crisp autumn afternoon.
  4. The initial fizz of freshly-opened Coca Cola.
  5. The subtle hiss of sugar being poured into tea.

Beautiful Sights

  1. The ocean, on a stormy day.
  2. Morning dew, on a blade of grass.
  3. Sunflowers growing wild near a rail fence.
  4. Two people, holding hands.
  5. Pine trees, the morning after a snowfall.

Beautiful Scents

  1. Rosemary-mint body wash, especially on a hot morning.
  2. Freshly-brewed coffee.
  3. Brand new crayons.
  4. Garlic and basil, being sauteed in olive oil.
  5. The machine-oil and metal scent of a large box of straight pins.

Beautiful Tastes

  1. Bittersweet chocolate.
  2. Peach gelato, in the height of summer.
  3. Sweet corn from a garden in New Jersey.
  4. The perfect cheeseburger.
  5. Sun-warmed raspberries, fresh from the bush.

Beautiful Tactile Sensations

  1. Cool, clean, sheets after a hot bath.
  2. The soft fur of a beloved pet.
  3. The gentle press of a mother's lips on a fevered brow.
  4. Suede.
  5. Warm mud squishing between bare toes.

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In the Heat of the Night

Recently, I joined The Alchera Project, and this bit of flashfic is my first submission.

Twelve-thirty in the morning, and it's still over ninety degrees outside, the night air calm as death and twice as deep. I'm wearing as little as possible – a strappy red tank top and matching panties – and my hair is pulled up into a messy pony tail-knot-thing on the top of my head. Ugly, but effective, it keeps my hair off my neck at least. I'm trying to read, but it's too hot to focus, so I just sit in bed and watch the dog sleeping on the floor.

The phone rings, and I answer it in a voice laced with sex, âœHey handsome. Coming home soon?â

The voice on the other end, my husband, my lover, laughs softly, and tells me he's on the way. âœWait for me in bed,â he says, âœI'm ten minutes from home.â I smile into the phone, and say I will.

He doesn't speak a word to me, when he comes into the bedroom, just strips in the dim light from the stars and the street lamps. He kisses my lips, my neck, then tugs at my shirt. Minutes, and several more pieces of clothing, later, we're moving together to the beat of the music from the bar down the street.

An hour later, we're both laying in the bed, sweaty, sated, and sleepy. He whispers something about it being really good, and then, louder, murmurs, âœLove you, baby,â and rolls over.

I lie there in the bed and listen to the sound of his breathing and the dogs, mingling in the darkness. I close my eyes, then open them, and stare at the moon, shining through the frame formed by the patio doors. Moonlight always seems so cool and serene, that for a moment I wish I could reach out and capture the glow, bathe in it.

Contemplating this, I fall asleep, or at least, I think I do, because the next time I look at the clock it's blinking 6:00 in inistant red digits, and the air is, if not cooler, at least not as thick.

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