Please give a snuggly warm welcome to the lovely Tabitha Rayne, she’s telling us more about her story in Smut in the City!
Thanks for having me this lovely Friday Victoria!
I wanted to talk about my inspiration for my story The Conjurer which is included in Smut In The City anthology. I loved the theme and wanted to try and experience the sounds, smells and sights of the city in a deeply sensual way and try to see things from a different point of view.
A close relative of mine has been progressively losing their sight and I find myself often wondering how that would feel – how would you recognise colours, places or even your lover? I know that a lot of people make love in the dark or kiss with their eyes closed, so we do use our other senses in a huge way as part of our sensuality – but I wanted to spill that over into the city. I wanted to be right there with my hero, Carla, as she navigates her way through her world and into the arms of a lover who promises to heal her…
Here’s a little taster- I hope you’ll be tempted to read more of this fab anthology…
He pauses, I can see him from a mirror placed serendipitously on the wall so my eyes can give the impression of looking right at him while he paints, but I am able to catch a woozy reflected glimpse from the side.
“Perhaps not to everyone,” he says very gently, “but I study things. Everything. I can’t look at even a glass without being fascinated by how the light strikes it – both piercing and reflecting, causing shadows to make it look whole.” He pauses to load up his brush and perhaps, I think, he might be a little embarrassed about what he might say next.
“Go on,” I urge.
“Well, it’s just that, most people can’t handle my scrutiny. Most people find it… me… creepy.”
My skin bristles and I’m suddenly panicky. What the hell and I doing here, naked, in a strange man’s flat, drunk and almost blind? I feel a little sick. Creepy? I hold my breath and the air grows static between us. He must see the change in my posture. Self preservation screams at me to shatter the suddenly weird atmosphere. He beats me to it. “I mean, I can’t help staring that’s all,” he says, the slight uneven tone in his voice alerting me to the fact that he knows he’s said something to scare me. “I’m still like a child in that way. It gets hard to cultivate good social skills when you’re talking to someone and all you want to do is study the way their skin skates and moves over the bones beneath.” He manages a soft nervous laugh, trying to soothe me. “I’m not really… I mean… I shouldn’t have said the word creepy.” He is terribly flustered now and through the mirror I see he is mixing colours frantically on his palette.
“It’s all right,” I say, choosing to stick with my initial impression of this man. I hesitate, desperately wanting to ask him the question that no-one will answer, but not wanting to hear the truth either. I have to know. “So how exactly did you know?” I ask the question in a way that I hope he understands what knowledge I’m seeking and that I don’t want to admit that I want to know. I brace myself, thinking he’s going to give a description of my strange looking eyes.
He puts down his brushes and steps out from behind the easel walking quickly towards me. Before I can work out what’s going on, he lifts my face by my chin and through my blinkered vision I feel him looking right into me.
“Because you didn’t look away,” he whispers.