The Heart Shaped MosaicbyNigel Debonnaire©
This is a continuation of the "Heart Shaped" series: a reader requested a story about Charlie in his old age. An alternate title could be: "The Lion's Last Roar." The base relationships and local topography are from the previous three stories. Without a full scorecard, most of Charlie's children belong to his long time love Mallory; Robert and Emily are with Mallory's cousin Morgan. The dates are in European style: (dd/mm/yyyy).
It was a glorious Indian Summer afternoon; the leaves on the trees outside my front window shook with glee in the rare South breeze. Their tossing foretold an end of good weather, but at my age I am willing to savor every sweet moment I can get. A mirror in the front room shows me a man with a weathered face, sunken eyes, a long, white beard and whispy, thinning white hair on my head. My mind is still agile, my imagination still vivid after eighty years, and my body does well to get me where I need to go, with help. My morning cup of coffee sat on the stand beside the sofa half consumed while an early Mozart String Quartet filtered out of the media center. "Not bad, Charlie Fredrickson, not bad," I said to myself as I soaked up the mid morning ambiance.
It's hell getting older, as the old saying goes. I still feel the same; I look vainly in the mirror for the young man, but he's gone. My independence is what I miss most of all: my dignity was greatly wounded by needing help with everyday activities at first. Arthritis is my companion most days, and I was weak from a recent bout with pneumonia. Fortunately, I still have the juice to keep my dearest Mallory satisfied sexually, even if all I can do is lie there with my manhood pointed heavenward.
The women in my life decided they could handle all my home care needs, but I blushed at first when they gave me sponge baths and changed my clothes. In time, I came to see their love for me coming through their service, and I came to appreciate and look forward to their touch that did things I couldn't.. It was no longer a big deal for any of my daughters to bathe or dress me, or for the boys to haul me around, but it was only stimulating when Mal did it.
Emily helped me into my sweats for the impending visit that morning, then darted out the door to the University without much conversation. Prodigies were known for random accessibility, especially those who had entered University at the age of 15 two years earlier, and my youngest daughter was no different. She had been unusually glum that morning, but as much time she spent helping me with daily chores and my writing, we seldom talked about what was going on in her life. I didn't think it wasn't a father's role to inquire aggressively in a daughter's business, and my experience with her two older sisters bore that principle out.
A pert strawberry blond head strode up the front walk with a small burden on her shoulder and a fleeting shadow at her waist: my oldest daughter Elizabeth with her two children in tow. A nasal whine informed me that my namesake was doing some sort of vehicle impression in the front yard, while his mother fussed at him. She was a stunning young lady in her late twenties, and she balanced being Chief Editor of the local newspaper with her maternal duties. The door opened, and a blur launched itself my direction with the scream: "Gampa! Gampa!" Unfortunately, little Charlie tripped crossing the living room and instead of ending up in my lap, the top of his head gave my testicles a direct shot at maximum speed before he folded up on the floor. The pain was excruciating: I doubled over immediately and gently rolled off the sofa where I nursed my agony.
Quick footsteps brought Elizabeth to my side: "Dad, are you all right? Dad, Dad? Charlie, you have to be more careful around your grandfather: it's too easy to hurt him. Dad, I'll get you an icepack from the freezer, just a minute. Charlie watch your sister so she doesn't get into trouble." More quick footsteps brought cold relief just as I was able to sit up on the floor. "Are you hurt, Dad? I mean, did you hurt yourself falling on the floor?" I shook my head in negation as I let to pain of my abused genitals find respite. Baby Charlene had crawled over to me and was gazing up in concern with big, solemn blue eyes and one tiny hand perched on my knee. Moments passed, and my wits were returning as my eyes brimmed over a couple of rare tears.
Charlie stood in the middle of the floor, sobbing: "I sorry, Gampa, I sorry. Dind wanna hurt you, Gampa, I love you, Gampa, I love you." Like the women of his family for five generations, he had strawberry blond hair and blue eyes and a long, lean frame he got from his father. Tears flowed copiously down his face in sincere remorse. When he saw that I was recovering from his blow, he stumbled across and flung his arms around my neck and sobbed into my shoulder: "I love you, Gampa, I love you."
After a moment, I put my arm around and gave him a squeeze. "I love you, too, Charlie, you just have to watch where you're going, buddy. That's the key to living a long life: watch where you're going." The storm blew by quickly, and he gave me a quick kiss before moving over to the stash of toys I now kept in the corner to occupy himself. The icepack had done its work, so I moved it aside and picked up the granddaughter named after my first great love, who immediately cooed and began to play with my beard.
Elizabeth settled into a chair across from me and after checking to see that her son was harmlessly occupied, relaxed a little bit. "How's it going, Dad?"
"That's kind of like saying: 'Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?'"
"Dad," she exasperated, "I'm sorry that I didn't control Charlie better than let him burst in on you like that. Ever since Charlene was born it's been a major maneuver to get them both out of the house and keep them under control when we have to go out. In a few months, Charlene will be walking and it will be twice as hard."
I waved her off. "I'm sorry honey, don't worry about the kids. Your older brother gave me a header in the groin a couple of times when he was that age; once was the day before you were conceived. That pain goes away." I took a sip of my coffee, and made a face at the baby in my lap. "I'm all right for the most part. I've been feeling better and moving better for the past week or so, and I hardly need help with dressing myself right now. It's been tough with your mother absent so much of the time. Emily is a godsend: I don't know what I'd do without her, but I miss your mother in ways you probably don't want to hear about. She'll be back in a few days, and I hope she can stay a while."
"I got an e-mail from her yesterday about her adventures filming in Honduras. Tomorrow, she'll be in Vancouver to finish a couple of scenes and then she's coming home. I'm glad she's able to wrap production ahead of schedule."
"Amen to that. I hope she can take a long break soon."
"Oh she will, she will." Elizabeth glanced Charlie's direction and then looked back at me. "Now that's she's a successful film maker as well as an reputed author, she's entitled. How's the plans going for the big trip next month?"
She looked sidetracked and confused for a moment, then recovered: "Fine, Dad. We got the air tickets and the hotel reservation your publisher sent us, and the neighbor's set to feed the pets and look after the house. Dan and I have things lined up at work, so we'll be ready for a week in New York. Are you getting excited about it? It's not everyone who gets his life's work celebrated like this. You're an American icon; a living legend."
"A regular pain in the butt is what it will be. I hate suffering through these kind of tributes, and I've gone to far too many for too many people. By the grace of God, this will be the last one. The only good thing about this is a free family holiday where all of us can be together in a nice hotel and none of us will have to worry about who's cooking."
"Amen to that, Dad," she said, "but that's not why I wanted to talk with you this morning. It's about Emily."
"What about her?"
"A friend of mine found her on a website a couple of days ago."
"It wasn't a schoolgirl website."
I looked down at granddaughter Charlene, who had fallen asleep in my arms, then back at my daughter. Oh, great holy shitballs, I said to myself.
It was a hot day, and I was in my basement working on a new novel. The clatter of Charlene's lawn mover oscillated through the window. I took a peek out at the bright, humid morning and saw her plump form: her yellow halter top barely contained her massive mammaries, her shorts rode up to the sweep of her hips, her feet wandered bare with stray green fragments clinging to her toes, and a huge straw hat covered her grey head. People driving through the neighborhood wouldn't have looked twice at a chubby, sixty-nine year old woman working in the morning sun half-naked, but I'm not most people.
My gym shorts bulged with sudden urgency as my wild imagination contemplated tackling her on the lawn in broad daylight to strip and defile her in front of the neighbors. A relatively nimble forty-three, I could subdue her easily. The thread of my story left me, and after saving my work, I logged on to the Internet to distract my libido and refocus. She'd at least want to finish mowing before being ravished..
After checking my e-mail and deleting the avalanche of spam, several ideas for innocent surf topics wandered through my mind as I opened the search engine. Old convents, whales at play, a history of blancmange, Wall Street week all presented themselves, but I was ready for pictures of nature so I entered "Irish hillsides" as a likely topic. There were a few sites that provided lovely shots of green idyllic countrysides to rest my eyes, but one puzzled me as it appeared: "The Hills of Irish Morgan." Irish Morgan? Where the hell was that? I downloaded the first page to a stock hillside with a castle, and a notice that this was an adult site, only for those over 18.
The lawn mover ceased its erratic serenade; Charlene was finished with the chore. Something about the site jiggled my curiosity, and there was surely no harm in seeing which Rose of Tralee was willing to share her personal landscape with the world. I clicked through to the main page and it hit me: the almond eyes, the long, strawberry blond hair, the dimpled smile looking back over a bare shoulder and bare back, the perfectly rounded hips poured into a scandalous pair of cutoffs, the perfectly shaped long legs. It was Charlene's niece Morgan Sullivan who was the entreé of this feast of flesh, with three series of shots featuring diminishing coverage and six video samples in the outer area to whet the appetite for greater exposure, which could be had for a price.
I sat there dumbfounded, jaw open, hands to my sides. Sure, I found Morgan attractive: a young woman in her early twenties prime usually quickened my pulse, but I'd known her most of her life and my loyalty to Charlene made even a fantasy of the nymph beyond contemplation. I glanced at a couple of series: they were both artistic and arousing, and the culmination was beyond my browser's reach sans password. The same was true of the video clips. I didn't want to see more of this young woman I considered my niece than I had already: it seemed like incest, and it repelled me. A voice came through the door: "Hey, Charlie, what's going on?"
"Not much. You've got to come down here and see this."
The heavy plod of her feet descended the marginally carpeted wooden stairs to my basement. At the base, she struck a pose with her hat, her sunglasses and her pursed lips that drew a chuckle from me despite my mental state of disarray. "I came to see how you were doing, dahlink," she cooed in her best Garbo impression, "and see if I could persuade you to pause for some--refreshment."
"Sure, baby. You've got to see this." She pranced over and threw her left leg over my right leg, embracing me with her left arm and pulling my head toward the slick, salty, sagging breast that I loved so dearly. My eyes were turned toward the screen as I put her hand on my mouse. "See if this young lady looks familiar."
Charlene was silent as she paged through the free part of the website. The tour ended with the credits page, and she kissed the top of my head when she was done. "Yes, this is my niece Morgan. " Her voice was calm and her demeanor composed.
I looked at her in panic. "But I couldn't believe this when I found it. Aren't you shocked? Aren't you stunned? Aren't you upset?"
Her eyes searched mine for several silent moments. "Yes, I'm surprised and disappointed that she did this. My sister Andrea always gave her daughter too much latitude when she was growing up, spoiled her quite a bit, and never pried about her activities in high school. Actually, Andrea did a spread in a girlie magazine in the early Sixties that didn't leave anything to the imagination. I don't know if Morgan's told her mother she's doing this or not, but we're not the ones to blow the whistle right now."
"Would you have done something like this at her age?"
Charlene gave me wry smile. "If the money was right, in a heartbeat, baby," she said as she patted my knee. "Let me give her a call and find out what's going on; I'll get back to you."
Her feet padded wetly across the concrete floor and back up the stairs to go over to her own house a few steps away. Andrea was a lovely enough woman, and I was surprised that she would do anything of the sort. I logged off the computer and brought my coffee cup upstairs to rinse it out before brewing a pitcher of iced tea.
Fifteen minutes later, Charlene returned, still dressed in the moist yellow halter, blue shorts, and wet, grassy feet, to sit at my table and use her frosty glass to cool off. "I talked with Morgan; she was sleeping in this Saturday. She freely admits doing the website and was happy you found it so easily. Doesn't care what her mother thinks, and says that at age 24 she should be able to do as she pleases. Hopes to make massive amounts of money off the perverts downloading her naked form for future investments, and wants to update and expand the site periodically to keep the business coming in." Her matter-of-fact tone told me that she wasn't terribly concerned about Morgan's enterprise.
"Good grief, honey, it's just short of prostitution." Charlene drank in my every word as she continued to rub the frosty glass on the sides of her face and worked down her neck. I continued despite the distraction: "I'd never let a daughter of mine do anything like that; I'd be ashamed. It's objectification of the human being, the root of all evil. We are not things to be ogled at, we are people to be respected."
"And you've never looked at sites like this before?"
"Well, a couple of times out of curiosity. When you were out of town and I was missing you. I've never contemplated signing up for the inner part of the sites, and after while they all look alike to me." I patted my bare foot on the ground rapidly as I hunted for more words.
She reached out, touched my face and probed my eyes again, her wrinkles increasing with care. "I wouldn't care if you'd looked at every one in detail, Charlie, and downloaded a library of hot action; we're not married. I think your attitude is sweet and it's a shame you aren't some girl's father. But Morgan's not your responsibility or mine, thank goodness, so you are absolved from having to worry about her." She smiled and gave me a peck on the lips. "You are such a sweetheart. There's a reason that I'd do anything for you, dearie. " Leaning over, she kissed me again on the lips for several sweet moments. Pulling back, her eyebrows furrowed again: "How come you were looking at websites for Irish hills?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "It was time for a break and I looked out at you moving the grass. Your scantily clad body and wet, bare feet going by sharpened my grasscutter to a razor's edge, and I thought looking at the green hills of Ireland would blunt my urge to molest you in broad daylight in the side yard. I did want to get back to work."
The glass moved down from her neck to her left, descending the upper curves of her breast. She licked her lips. "Did it work?"
"Initially, until Morgan jammed my gears."
The glass slid its frigid trail down the side of Charlene's left breast, and moved across the fat, luscious mound. The icy dampness made the yellow fabric transparent and the brown eraser point perked outward. Staggering to my feet, I crossed behind her to undo the strap and release the huge, snow white globes of wonder. I grabbed a double handful of ice from the bucket on the table, and reached over to cool the matching nubbins as I licked and teased her right ear and neck.
My frozen hand then invaded her blue shorts, questing among the generous folds for the firepit; she responded by turning the swivel chair, pulling down my shorts and inhaling the sap dripping pole that twitched for attention. I found the goal of my quest, and when I pushed an ice fragment into her wetness, she fell off the chair in amazement. After pulling the blue shorts off her huge hips, I pushed another couple of ice cubes inside before plunging into the hot/cold, wet envelopment. The sensations of her frigid, yet warming cunt were electric: my heat built higher and higher as I thrust inside her, and she locked her legs tighter and tighter around my waist as she bucked against me, drinking in my heat. Finally, the tornado in my loins boiled over to flood her cold crevasse, and the last surges of my heat pushed her off the edge into that abyss of chaos that is carnal culmination.
11.10.2030 (early evening)
My middle daughter Sylvia brought over dinner: a medley of tastes that was so diverting that I hardly realized that it was good for me. Her red headed daughter Melissa was with her, and at the end of the meal, Melissa said in a voice far too solemn for a six year old: "Grandfather, may I be excused?"
I gave her my best grave deliberation before responding. "What is the reason you wish to be excused?"
"There's a live podcast of Peter and the Wolf in five minutes that I wish to see. It's coming from the Black Forest in Germany and one of my favorite stars is in it. I've been looking forward to it for days."
Her plate was reasonably emptied of the few morsels it had accepted at the beginning of the meal, the cloth napkin was folded neatly by the side of the plate. Her bright blue eyes betrayed her: they danced in anticipation of the program she wanted to see. Stroking my long, grey beard several times reflectively did not break her calm demeanor, so I gave her a hint of a smile. "If it's all right with your mother, then you may be excused."
Her mother was busy at the sink, and without looking over her shoulder she replied: "Did you finish your snap peas, Miss Shot-in-the-Dark?"
"Yes, Mother," came the calm, angelic reply.
"Then you may be excused, Melissa."
I nodded my head, and leaned over to her little shell-like ear. "You can use my workstation downstairs if you want to. You know how to use it, don't you?" The curly red head bobbed eagerly in agreement. I kissed her forehead and whispered: "Go ahead." She cheered and darted down the stairs to the basement.
Sylvia took the remaining dishes from the table and make quick work of washing them. She sat down heavily across the kitchen table and opened a beer with a sigh. "Long day, sweetheart?" I queried.
"Yes, Dad, after three long days. I finally got three website designs sold, but getting all the details right at the last minute wore me to a frazzle. Thank God Eddie and his wife could look after her while I was busy: she and her cousin Ben are closer than twins."