Aphelion Issue 265, Volume 25
September 2021
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The Nude

by Nikhil Kshirsagar

Ever played any of those games where shedding clothing is built into the rules, and the loser ends up with nothing on? I did once, and I was glad I did. I even cheated in the end, and pulled away the final vestiges of the flimsy material preventing my unobstructed view of my prize. I'm not ashamed.

She'd walked into the party alone. I saw what she was wearing. It was couture, chic, probably designer, one of those names that the Milan or Paris stores promote, come summer or fall. The color of the season. Very flimsy though, and quite revealing. Hid just enough.

I went over. I introduced myself. These occasions are always rife with those pleasant possibilities. Would madam like to dance? Once I have her in my arms, and breathing heavy, sweating a bit and feeling flushed, is it that large a leap of the imagination to then think about ... ?

We danced, the requisite pheromones were exchanged. I proposed a game. We'd have to leave though, to play, I tell her. Your place or mine? Let's play right here, she says. You wouldn't say that if you knew the game, I said. Try her? Okay.

So the game's like this. (I said). I tell you things about yourself. If I'm right, you lower that thing you're wearing an inch each time. Deal? And if you're wrong, she asked? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I said.

You know how to know things about people? You look. It's easy to know someone, as long as they let you look at them. All you need to negotiate is permission to look.

So I looked, I looked, reader! (pleasure mixed with pleasure, stirred, shaken) and she had the most beautiful set of eyes, they told me things about her, it was so easy. I was merely a medium, gentlemen!

And things I told her. She laughed, those eyes of hers dancing and sparkling, and that thing she wore, went down, down, the straps lowered, support suspended, and a few triumphant disclosures later, I had the frontage almost at satisfactory levels. One more, and I'm going to see everything.

Then I whispered, as a last and final flourish, ".. ...... . ..... .... ... " (Of course I can't tell you), and she saw through that, immediately rejected it as a tautology, said that didn't count.

The spell I'd cast broke like one of those ballooned soapy droplets that shimmers more, more, and more and then explodes soundlessly. She made to pull up, covered her exposed skin, and said she was late for an appointment, or something.

I took my life in my hands, risked it all, nudged aside her covid-19 induced face-mask, and took a taboo look at a perfect nose, a cupid bow lip, a luscious mouth and a dimpled and delicate chin. What a face!

2020 Nikhil Kshirsagar

Nikhil Kshirsagar is a software engineer with a major IT firm. While he works mostly at night, he calls it his day job. In his spare time he writes short stories and strums a few chords. He also rapidly tires of writing about himself in the third person.

Find more by Nikhil Kshirsagar in the Author Index.

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