this is what’s come out of the last few days of the 15 minute write.

honesty, here – life’s been kicking my ass a little, this week.  nothing serious, there’s just a little bit of transitioning going on at home, and i’m in desperate need of a holiday.  well – at least in desperate need of just not having to go to work for a week.


the upshot is that i’ve actually been saving up my 15 minutses, and have used a few days’ worth today.  but it’s like pulling teeth.

tell me now and tell me true, dear reader:  am i wasting my time on this one? (pleasepleaseplease tell me if you think i *am* wasting my time!  i’m totally ambivalent…)


He was warm.  Definitely.

Despite the rain and the bitter, icy wind, the strength of his righteousness protected him from the elements, surely sent to try him.  His fingers curled more tightly against the placard he held.  Knuckles whitening, he couldn’t feel the cold.


Couldn’t feel the cold at all.  Couldn’t feel a gosh darned thing, as it happened.  But that was a blessing, right?  He was blessed that his fingers were so cold he could no longer feel them.  Counting his blessings helped take his mind from the icy trickle that had somehow found its way down between his neatly-cut hair and neatly-turned shirt collar.  Despite his neatly-fastened coat.  But, he reminded himself, he wasn’t here to be comfortable.  He and his fellow protestors were here at the encouragement of their pastor.  He, in particular was on a mission to confront and defeat his demons.

He’d gone to see Pastor Jones a few days ago, with a problem.  After much um-ing and ah-ing, and much beating about the bush (which thought made him blush, and grow warm with embarrassment), he had finally, much to the pastor’s relief, got to the point.  He had told the pastor that his thoughts, of late, had been occupied with things that were not…  pure.  His dreams had been populated by lewd images.  A glimpse of soft flesh gilded by sunshine and soft as a ripe peach had consumed his dreams for three nights in a row.  Each night, the glimpsed flesh had spread to fill his vision.  He had felt it brushing his face, his torso…and…Well…  here he had blushed more furiously than ever, before muttering about “elsewhere”.  He was a good boy.  He swore he was.  He loved his family and he loved his creator.  It was just that, lately, there seemed to be a demon taking ahold of his mind and thoughts, and…Well…um…  this time, he really had stopped.

The pastor had been grateful that the young man was staring at the floor.  It gave him time to compose his features into the correct fatherly expression, hiding the smile that threatened to spoil his image.  It also gave him time to stifle the tiny sigh of frustration at conservative parents, and how unrealistic and sometimes borderline cruel their morals could be on their blossoming youngsters.

So here he was.  Standing outside of a small club in the drizzling cold, holding a placard exhorting entrants to the club to think again about their immortal souls.  He was alone.  The handful of his congregation that had come with him to try and save a few sinners had given up one by one.  As the drizzle became more insidious, each had made their excuses and left.  But he could not.  He felt the more souls he saved, the more likely he was to be forgiven for his sinful thoughts.

He sighed.  Pastor Jones had tried to tell him that what he was feeling was natural, and a part of the way things should be, but he was not convinced.  Oh, no.  What he was thinking of was so shameful that he could not bring himself to admit it to the pastor.  Therefore, it couldn’t be natural, surely?  Not that.

Staring out into the halos around the streetlights, sunk in misery that he refused to admit, he was startled when his vision was clouded by red.  Auburn hair framing a porcelain face, and red lipstick framing the most delectable smile he’d ever…

Eyes screwed shut, he shook his head to clear it of this new demon-inspired vision.  When he opened his eyes and it was still there, he panicked slightly.

“Hello, honey, you look cold – are you all right?”  The concern was evident in her voice, and the tiny crease between perfectly-shaped brows.

He took in her warm, hooded coat, tall shiny boots, and the glow of her cheeks.  Felt even colder.  “I…  I’m fine, thank you.  The cold is momentary.  Just a distraction.  Here – have a leaflet.”  He tried to uncurl his fingers from the stem of his placard in order to peel off a sodden leaflet from the wedge o them held in his other hand.  They wouldn’t, so he thrust the lot towards her sheepishly, in the faint hope that she might take one.

“Ummm…  Ok…”  She reached a delicately-gloved hand out to the sodden lump, and peeled a corner up from the pile, which then came away in her fingers.  “Oops!  Oh, dear – looks like they’ve had it.”  She glanced up at his face, pale and pinched.  “Oh, honey – so do you!”  The crease between her brows grew a little deeper, and she bit her bottom lip in thought.  Her plump, succulent…

“I’m fine – really!” he squeaked, looking resolutely away.

“No.  No you’re not.” She countered, firmly.  “You can’t do the good work if you’re freezing to death, now, can you?  What kind of a way to treat this fine body you’ve been given is that, huh? Giving it the flu out of pride?”  She quirked a brow at him.

His eyes flew to her face.  “P…  Pride?”

“Yup.  My momma brought me up good, and I know all about the Seven Deadlies.  So why don’t y’all let me help you?”  Her lips curved upwards in encouragement.

As the smile reached her eyes, it made him want to do things to keep it on her face.  To keep that warmth coming his way on this frigid night.  “Well, I…  uh…”

“Why don’t you let me make you a cup of tea, honey, huh?  C’mon.  Come with me.”

Stupefied by the waft of her perfume as she leaned forward, he didn’t protest when she took the sodden wedge of leaflets and dropped them in a nearby bin.  He almost jumped out of his skin when the smooth, delicate leather of her gloves curled around his frozen fingers and levered them from the stem of his placard.  Leaning it against the wall, she tugged on his hand insistently, until he followed.