Mona and Lisa disrobe; cast their sodden clothes in the old bathtub. The downpour from the woods to home had soaked them as drowned kittens. The pond and fond memories to keep and hold. The kiss and cuddles and the explorations. Chill in bone and flesh. The shivers. They rub with old off-white towels; see the nakedness as Adam and Eve may have done; look away in thought and wonder. Warmth with the rubbing. The touch of towelling on flesh, redness and warmth. Then pausing, breathe the air. Smell of soap and damp clothes. Hair plastered down to head; eyes bright with the sparkle of it all; the excitement lingering just beneath the surface of towels and their blushes slight. Thoughts and desires aflame. Memories of the changing room gym kiss at school. Now this. Heaven sent no doubt. Hope.
- I've a chill in my bones.
Mona stops drying; stares at Lisa.
- Then rub harder, my sweet.
- I'd rather you rubbed me.
- And who'd rub me?
Lisa smiles. Never seen such. Never in my life. The beauty of her. Angel's blessed.
- One at a time. You and then me. Before we chill and die of cold.
Mona takes the towel; rubs Lisa closely. Feels the sensation of closeness. The welcome sight. The flesh beneath the cloth. The kiss waiting to be planted. Rub a dub dub. May Saint Bridget herself be praised.
Lisa breathes in deeply; closes the eyes in dreamlike state for
the wanting of this and more and maybe it will, and maybe it
won't. The hand against my skin, heaven's kiss and so. She leans
back wanting the closeness more, the feel of fingers motion, and
the breath on her naked neck lingering near and warm.
Mona moves as if in a trance; feels and breathes as if in love's grip. Her lips linger close to the neck, but hold back; part slightly; teeth white and small, show in a bliss; want and waiting to bite and kiss.
- Is that better?
- Paradise would be scant beside that. Here, let me rub you now.
Lisa takes the towel, moves it in a gentle motion, and breathes in the smell of flesh and blood unspoilt, but near; ready for the kiss and tell of it all. Her fingers make marks of wanting and wishing; the kiss of lips wait as servants for the other's word of come and be my sweet and bed me soon.
- More now.
- Sister Bridget'd cross herself silly with the sight of this.
- So'd my da and a hand across my bare backside and yours, too, no doubt.
- Ah, but heaven's kiss comes with hell's revenge, so says the Bridget.
The girls laugh. The rubbing ceases. The gazing moves from each to each in silence. They gaze at the sodden clothes in the tub.
Then after a few moments, they robe themselves and rush across the landing to the bedroom, where Mona closes the door and leans against it gazing at Lisa against the bed. Venus in her shell. The handwork of beauty. Captured.
Lisa feels the rough blanket against her thigh. Senses the room's scent of dampened flesh and soap. She walks to the window and stares at the garden below. So near. Blessed be the saint of storms and rain. May the God of Heaven look down in love, peace, and a little understanding and his fingering grace and mercy plunge our soft flesh with a closed eye.
Mona searches through the wardrobe for dresses. She removes two. One green and one red.
- Red or green?
Lisa looks around at the held out dresses.
- Red. For danger. I'm dangerous, my sweet.
Mona lays the dress on the chair by the bed. She takes the other dress and lays it on top. She opens a draw of the dressing table and searches for underclothes. She takes a clean bra and knickers out and hands them to Lisa.
- These are new.
- Of course. My Mammy bought them last month.
- She'd not want me wearing your new clothes now.
- She said.
- Not new.
- Not my old ones.
- Why not?
- Why so?
Lisa smiles. Hands back the new items.
- They're clean aren't they? Washed?
- They are.
- Then there's no problem. They'll be fine.
Mona replaces the new and takes out old. Hands them to Lisa.
- What time will tea be?
- Not yet a while.
Lisa nods; sits on the bed; taps the space beside her. She how she stands the sweet innocent. The blush gone now from her cheeks. Gone like the kiss on the wind. The skin, the breasts, the lips, the hair. Let me dwell there.
Mona moves slowly to the bed; sits down next to Lisa. Silence. Stillness. Breath is stilled. Hands pause in mid air. Eyes gaze as if tranced by the charms of witches. Limbs brace against the bed's springs.
Then they kiss and embrace; fall into the passion of spent and unspent; release the pent up; hidden down below joys and fears of wants and wishes, in one deep and fingering love of touch and feel and swoon and sweep.
And down below the soft sounds of far-off cows in fields; the wind and rain on the windowpane; Caitlin's radio downstairs playing music faint and thin; the voice of Mammy singing some song out of tune, but sweet as a kiss on a damp morn; lovely as the lush grass to lie and dream and plant a thousand kisses before we die.