Alarmingly Strange Stories

Strings Attached
Cyndi Kirkpatrick

She has been fighting it for weeks now, the broody, hungry emotion that came to her when it was past time to have a man. She had ignored the feeling as long as she could because she didn't want it. She had never liked the consequences of fulfillment but her body would not listen to intellectual denial - it never did. Once upon her, the instinct increased until it tortured her days and ruined her sleep. She was at that point now. She knew that when a man came she would take him, as she had before, as she would again. She had no choice. It had become her nature.

She dressed casually this afternoon, waiting for the sun to set. It didn't matter how she looked. The need always drew a mate when he was wanted. She thought maybe something about her smell changed at these times because nothing about her appearance was different. Standing before a mirror, she examined her familiar self. Her olive skinned face was just as always, beautiful in its individual features except for the boldly hooked nose, yet mismatched somehow so it was not pretty overall. She was short, just under five feet, which often made her feel dwarfed by the tall people she lived among. When she was dressed, her rounded figure appeared to be unfashionably chunky, her arms and legs a little too long and thin to be in proportion to her hourglass torso. Her lovers never complained. Naked she was revealed to be womanly and firm, all sleek curves and hidden places to be traced and explored.

In the general course of things when people complimented her appearance, it was usually her hands they mentioned as noticeable. Quick fingered and sensitive, they let her be skillful with many delicate crafts. She sincerely wished that wasn't so. At one point in life, her deft hands and arrogant pride had brought her punishment and the sentence destroyed her, even today. She kept her skill because it was part of her to the bone - she could not be rid of it, but there had been no pride ever since.

She distracted herself from thinking too deeply of ugly things by running her graceful fingers through her short, black curls, twisting them, fluffing them into place. She had grown up wearing her hair long, hanging down to her waist in the night, braided and looped in a weighty, gleaming pile on her head during the public hours of day. She had felt so daringly liberated when she cropped it and even now, the freedom of it being short lightened her spirits.


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