Feathers and Fur (Part 2): The Climactic Conclusion

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There are characters and then there are, well, characters. Some are new and unknown to us, like Anthony Burgess’ dyspeptic poet, Enderby, or the merciless Major Woolley of Goshawk Squadron.

Others, though, seem all too familiar. Take that fetishistic fashionista, Goldie de Groot, and model turned marketer, Chad Wilcox. Don’t you just feel like you know them already?

And so you should! These two unforgettable folk star in the erotic humdinger, ‘Feathers and Fur’, the first instalment of which I posted on this very blog only weeks ago. Slipped your memory? Well, here it is again – go back and bone up on it, please.

Thing is, faithful followers, I reckon I’ve kept all seventeen of you in suspense long enough. Clearly you’re dying to know more about Golden Girl and the Chadster. I mean, what is she hiding under that boa? And how is his piece coming along?

Switch off the artificial respirator – relief has arrived. For here, impure and adulterated, is the climax of that ‘twisted tale of doctored strangelove’. First, though, a warning: this excerpt contains cats, so if our feline friends make you itch then you’d better don some protection pronto. Allergies are nothing to sneeze at, you know.

‘Yes,’ Goldie said. ‘I’m into feathers.’

I looked up and saw a coppery feather boa shimmering in the doorway. Behind it was a body, mostly naked. Butt-naked, as far as I could tell.

‘You’re in feathers,’ I pointed out, somewhat pedantically. Then I raised my eyebrows, adding, ‘And now you’re not.’

Goldie had slipped the boa over her head and was holding it before her, somehow still managing to obscure her best bits. As she stroked the plumage, I couldn’t help thinking of her puss. Hot and loose.

I shifted in my seat and peered at the notes I hadn’t made in my notebook.

All the while, Goldie kept stroking, stroking, watching me with a crooked little smile on her lips. And what good lips they were. Not too fat, not too thin. Just right.

‘Trouble is,’ I said, clearing my throat, ‘it’s usually the male birds that have the bright plumage.’

Her smile widened. ‘I like a man who knows his ornithology.’

‘Don’t get me wrong,’ I said. ‘I’m no twitcher.’

‘I’ll be the judge of that,’ Goldie said, before padding across the floor in her bare feet.

And what good feet they were. Not too big, not too small. Just right. And they led to good legs. Legs to live by.

‘Up,’ she said, with a tug at my collar. ‘And around.’

I stood with my back to her, staring unseeingly at the prints on the wall above her desk. My signature look, it seemed, had returned.

For a while I lost track of the boa. Goldie’s hands were busy with my buttons, so I suppose it had found its way back around her neck. Before long, though, the fluffy fiend made its presence felt; slowly, softly, it swept across my various nooks and crannies; then, with a murmur, it surmounted a rise, where it wavered for a while, trembling back and forth. Back and forth.

Back. And forth.

With things coming to a head, I decided to turn the tables.

‘By the way,’ Goldie murmured, as I took the boa from her. ‘I’ve never been to Brazil.’

‘Very wise,’ I replied, pivoting her until I had her back. ‘It’s overrated.’

Threading the brown boa between those taut creamy thighs, I began to run it back and forth.

‘Bingo,’ Goldie whispered. ‘Feathers and fur.’

Back and forth.

‘Surely fake emu feathers should be more moisture-proof,’ I said, after a minute or two.

‘Fake ostrich,’ Goldie replied, a little breathlessly.

Back. And forth.

Then, rounding on me, Goldie tugged the boa from my grasp.

‘Plumage is important,’ she said, ‘up to a point. But a bird has to know when to bury its head. In the sand.’

Balling up the boa, she tossed it across the room, where it fluttered to the floor like a plummeting pigeon.

‘Fake sand?’ I asked.

‘Quick sand,’ she said, and steered me towards the desk.

By the time the interview was over, my coffee was well and truly cold. Which, for some strange reason, made it just right. Best coffee I ever had.

‘What about the article?’ I said, putting away my empty notebook.

Goldie tucked the boa into the pocket of my jeans.

‘Oh, I think you’ve got enough to go on,’ she said, giving it a friendly pat. ‘If you don’t, use your imagination. That shouldn’t be hard, Mr Faraway Man.’

I checked my watch as I crossed the shop floor. Not too long, after all, and not a second too short. Just right. I grinned. With that sort of passion and professionalism, how could either of us fail?

Blowing a last kiss to the mannequins, I stepped out on to the street.

True story!

Feathers and Fur (Part 1): Doctored Strangelove or Sexual Stuntfest?

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What’s your stance on erotica? Haven’t settled on one yet? Well, don’t panic – as with sex itself, there’s an abundance of attitudes to choose from, so one is sure to take your fancy.

Let’s say you’re the upright type; well, you’re bound to be attracted to the missionary position, which means you’ll demonise any book that even hints at humpty-do. If, however, you’re more of a ‘cowgirl’ at heart, then you’ll happily bend over backwards for any old porn on the page.

My standpoint is different. When it comes to erotica, I prefer to play leapfrog. That’s right: I jump about, taking each text as it comes and trying to judge a work on its merits. Good writing excuses anything, I reckon – even a splash of the sauce.

Trouble is, I’m yet to put my approach to the test, having never really read any raunch. I like sex, so it’s not that I’m averse to its depiction in fiction; it’s just that I get bored by artless stories, of which there seem to be plenty.

What is artful erotica, then? As we writers are always being exhorted to ‘show not tell’, I’ve decided to try a little experiment. Rather than attempt to catalogue the qualities of the ideal erotic tale (as I see it), I’ll present for your delectation a purpose-written story instead.

More ‘doctored strangelove’ than sexual stuntfest, here then is the first stimulating instalment of ‘Feathers and Fur’.

‘I’m very passionate,’ she said, inspecting her nails in the light, ‘about the power of plumage.’

‘You’re into feathers?’

Goldie studied me for a moment. A long, searching moment.

‘Wait here,’ she said, before slipping from the room.

Groaning under my breath, I watched her go. She was swaddled in a sleek orange sari but had the kind of figure that would look good in a cassock. I mused for a minute, picturing her draped in a wet shower curtain. Not quite what I’d meant, but it proved my point – that for a woman she was remarkably well hung. Full and firm where it counted, like my fiancé, Christine.


I sighed and put down my pen. Fantasising about my clients wasn’t going to pay the bills. Maybe Chrissie was right – maybe the time I’d sunk into this ‘business’ of mine was all for nothing. Maybe I just didn’t have what it takes to be a freelance writer. I mean, I’d wasted an hour already this morning thanks to this woman and her cat.

‘Sorry,’ Goldie had called, as she’d come pattering across the street in her neat little sandals. ‘My puss usually wakes me at the crack of dawn, but I think she’s on heat or something. Went out through the bathroom window.’

Digging around in her shoulder bag for keys, she gave me the once-over. Twice.

We’d arranged to meet here fifty minutes ago, a full hour before opening time, so I could get some background for a puff piece I was writing on Goldie’s latest venture, a niche clothing store called ‘Feathers and Fur’.

Finding her keys at last, Goldie let us into the shop, a bright open space set out with racks of lingerie and outré outfits of all kinds.

‘So,’ she said, leading me across the room, ‘you’ve come to do a little digging.’

I dodged around one of the half-naked mannequins that dotted the room.

‘That’s the general idea,’ I said. ‘If you can still spare the time.’

She sniggered. ‘Oh, things don’t hot up here until later on. Actually, I’m kinda hoping you’ll warm these mornings up for me a little. You and your piece.’

‘I’ll do my best,’ I said, following her into a stylish office furnished with black leather couches and a desk. I glanced around. Two windows framed neat hedges and a strip of sky, while a door in the back wall opened on to what was presumably a storeroom.

‘The first thing to know,’ Goldie said, dumping her bag on the table, ‘is that this place runs on coffee. Good hot coffee.’

And she spent the next ten minutes fiddling with the espresso machine that stood on a bar fridge in the corner.

When I tried to shoot her a question, the response was swift.

‘No talking,’ she cried, over the whoosh of the machine. ‘Making coffee is my morning ritual. It grounds me for the rest of the day.’

‘Fair enough,’ I said, grinning at the pun.

Spotting my smile, Goldie decided I wasn’t taking her seriously enough, and launched into a detailed explanation of her ‘coffology’. To my discredit – I suppose I should have been taking notes – I tuned right out, preferring instead to visualise her in various forms of dress. The cassock was a flop, I decided, although the cross on a chain around her neck brought out two of her best features.

I was about to try her in a nuns’ habit when she turned and charged across the room, a cup cocked in each hand.

‘This’ll get you going,’ Goldie said, giving me one before dropping on to the couch opposite me with the other.

She drank with obvious relish.

‘Thanks,’ I said. A second later I was spluttering.

‘Some like it hot,’ Goldie said, with a smile. ‘I did warn you.’

I dabbed at my lips. ‘I’ll listen next time.’

‘Good boy. It’s the first thing a man should do. So,’ she said, settling back on the couch, ‘what’s your piercing first thrust?’

‘Well, I was going to ask about the mannequins.’

‘Wrong,’ she said. ‘People usually want to know about my name.’

‘Goldie. Right. After the actress, I suppose.’

‘Hell no,’ she said. ‘The metal.’

‘Gold. I get it.’

‘I was a weighty newborn, apparently, and soft – super soft.’

I pretended to write that down. ‘And precious too,’ I ventured.

‘Not half as valuable as my sister,’ Goldie said, with a pout. ‘Titty.’

I looked at her blankly.

‘Titanium,’ she added.

‘Of course. Atomic number 22.’

‘I’m impressed. Next question, Chemistry Man.’

‘The mannequins?’

‘Hooked on them, aren’t you. Trust me, you’re not their type. Let’s get back to my type. Your piece. Ask me something probing, about Goldie.’

‘Okay,’ I said. ‘The shop. Why’d you open it?’

And that’s when she said what she said.

‘I’m very passionate. About the power of plumage.’

And that’s when I said what I said.

‘You’re into feathers?’

And that’s when she disappeared, mysteriously, into the back room.

I sat and toyed with the idea of calling Chrissie. I’d promise to chuck this writing thing in and go back to being a photographic model. Doing shoots all the time was a drag, but at least I got paid for daydreaming. And, boy, what material I’d had to work with. Dress ’em up, dress ’em down. Back then, fantasising had actually paid off – it’d given me the hunky faraway look for which I’d become known.

‘Yes,’ Goldie said. ‘I’m into feathers.’

I looked up and saw a coppery feather boa shimmering in the doorway. Behind it was a body, mostly naked. Butt-naked, as far as I could tell.

‘You’re in feathers,’ I pointed out, somewhat pedantically. Then I raised my eyebrows, adding, ‘And now you’re not.’

To be continued, as they say, with apologies for the eroticus interruptus.

[Breaking News: ‘Feathers and Fur’ is now complete, its climax having been posted here.]