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SEX GOD • by Nik Perring

Lola met the sex god at a restaurant. She let him buy her dinner and wine and she let him drive her home. She made him coffee and then they went upstairs and Lola let the sex god do what sex gods do. It was hard and fast.

Once it was over, the sex god removed his penis from her quickly, took a swig of cold coffee while he dressed, and left. Thanks. Goodbye.

And Lola tried not to cry. But she did. She cried hard and she cried fast.

Eight months, one week and three days later, Lola gave birth to a sun. She was surprised; a son she’d expected — baby-shaped and with arms and legs and a face. A sun, round and hot, was a surprise.

The sun was small. It was red and soft to the touch. It glowed like embers and it warmed her. And every time she felt its breath on her skin, every time she smelled it, it reminded her of the father. He had his father’s breath, and she tried to not let that bother her.

The sun grew quickly and as he grew he became hotter. He could scorch when he was hungry or needed winding and Lola kept a wet flannel in the fridge, for when she needed to soothe him. It’d fizz and it’d hiss at his skin.

One night, the sun woke up screaming. Lola rushed to his room and she found his cot was singed and smoking. Now, Lola had read all of the books and she knew, quite definitely, that her sun had a fever. She picked him up with oven gloves and she placed him, gently, into a bowl she’d filled with cold water. She carried him outside, to the back of the house, where the air was clear and the breeze was cool.

Lola sat down on a garden chair and set the bowl on her lap. She rocked him and dabbed him with ice cold towels, sprayed him with water. And she sang to him, softly.

Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning.

The sun burned brightly. Once he flared up and singed her hair. But still she sang, among the crackling and screaming, among the sparks and the heat. And still she rocked him.

He crackled and spat and burned all night until, when the sky became light, he stopped.

Lola, so tired now, didn’t notice straight away. She was still singing to him, still rocking him — her eyes up at the sky. But when she did look to him she saw that he wasn’t burning anymore. No flares. No spitting. No sparks.

He’d burned himself out. He was dull and still in his bowl. And when she touched him he was cold, his skin hard like charcoal.

And when it rained and the drops hit the sun there was no fizzing, no hissing. There was nothing, and that was exactly how Lola felt inside. And she wanted to cry — wanted to cry hard and she wanted to cry fast but she couldn’t. There was nothing inside of her. So, after a moment, she started to sing. Quietly at first, her voice little more than a breath. It was all that she could manage.

Here we go ’round the mulberry bush, on a cold and frosty morning.


Nik Perring is a short story writer and author from the UK. His stories have been published in many fine places both in the UK and abroad, in print and online. They’ve been used on High School distance learning courses in the US, printed on fliers and recorded. Nik’s the author of the collection Not So Perfect (Roast Books, 2010) and the co-author of Freaks! (The Friday Project/HarperCollins, 2012). His online home is nikperring.com and he’s on Twitter as @nikperring.


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SEX GOD • by Nik Perring, 3.3 out of 5 based on 41 ratings
Posted on August 30, 2013 in Literary, Stories, Surreal
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  • Tina Wayland

    I loved the writing in this, as well as the wild imagination. So engaging and fascinating! I was a little confused by the ending, as it doesn’t seem to loop back to the beginning in any way. This was more confusing as the title speaks of the sex god, who disappears quite quickly, and not his bright sun.

    Overall, though, a very enjoyable read.

  • http://www.paulfreeman.weebly.com Paul A. Freeman

    A bit too out there for me to wrap my head around.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    How sad. A few moments of light in the morning gone down the tubes (with the diapers?)? Vinegar and brown paper probably won’t do it.

    Mulberries anyone?

  • Carl

    Sad and weird as well! I could have done without the anatomical detail in Paragraph 2, but this piece is unique and is going to stick in my memory.

  • Lillian Duggan

    Great writing and fun to read, but I felt like some sort of takeaway was missing at the end.

  • Kathy

    I may be too literal-minded to fully appreciate the internal logic of this story, but I certainly appreciate the imaginative concept and the writing otherwise. Sad, for sure.

  • http://zxvasdf.wordpress.com zxvasdf

    An one night stand leads to a child she tried to love but couldn’t; the spark was gone and all she could do was go through the motions.

  • http://nikperring.com Nik Perring

    Thanks for reading, folks, and for taking the time to comment too. It’s appreciated.
    Nik

  • Michael Stang

    The good and fast of it: Writing is good. Mother’s emotion for her son is better. Ending made no sense.

    What I do like is that you, Nik Perring, took the time to resond to us. Wish more authors would.

  • http://wordskies.wordpress.com/ Rohini Gupta

    Well written and I liked the emotion in it. Not sure I got the ending but I enjoyed reading it.

  • Mariev Finnegan

    As always, the comments are as enlightening as the story. Nik responds and so do I. Great story, great comments

  • KCN

    Weird. Pointless.

  • http://nikperring.com Nik Perring

    It’s a pleasure to reply! I do appreciate you all reading and taking the time to leave comments; it’s not something you have to do! And I think it’s important, too, to recognise and acknowledge, that without people reading stories and supporting great venues like this, then writing wouldn’t be half as much fun and the short story, or very short story, wouldn’t be doing as well as it is – and as a result people wouldn’t be aware of all the great stuff, and books, that are out there. So, really, it’s me who should be thanking you!

    Nik

  • http://lyndahaviland.com Lynda Haviland

    Sad, weird, and yet highly intriguing. The mother’s emotions are what truly set this short story in my head and won’t let go. I do have questions though. Which is a good thing. You left me wanting to know more. So if this story were longer, at this point I’m hooked. My biggest question is in the mythology side. What inspired you to have a “sun” as the product of a union between a human female and a sex god? Is this a fictional mythology…or inspired by Egyptian or Greek myths? Anyway, very intriguing read. :D

  • http://nikperring.com Nik Perring

    Thanks, Lynda.

    As far as wanting to know more – I think that’s what sets the very short story apart from most other stories. Because they’re telling (usually) just one very short moment, they should linger; stories always carry on after we, the readers, leave. I’ve said this many, many times before, in interviews and when I teach, that I think that good very short stories should feel like a bruise, or a kiss – they might not last long but they stay with you.

    What inspired me? Honestly, I can’t remember. Most of my stories come as a result of me thinking ‘what would happen if…’ or ‘wouldn’t it be cool/interesting if…’, or me seeing what I can do with metaphor. Of course, there are loads of examples of gods reproducing with mortals in mythology but I don’t think I’ve ever written anything as a result of trying to emulate another story. It was just interesting to me.

    Hope that helps!

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