Something for March.... It doesn't say M/F, F/M or whatever as I've deliberately made it non gender specific - possibly at the cost of straining the language in places. No disclaimer as there's not really any action in it, just something I wanted to write. I hope it rings home for one or two readers at least.

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Naked in the Face of Mine Enemies

At the top of the stairs, just where they turn, is a creaky step. I know I shall stop there as my courage drains away, unable to to face the announcement of my impending arrival. The alarm will have sounded, expectations sharpened. You will know I am coming.

Will you remain where you are, lying relaxed and at ease, or walk out to greet me, arms open to receive me? I will be there, naked and vulnerable, poised on the brink.

I inhale slowly, deeply, seeking to overwhelm the jittering of my heart in a crushing embrace of the cool night air. A chill is settling in but my skin is burning with a fire of its own devising. I look again up the stairs but I cannot conceive how I may bring myself to climb them.

Is it the cool air that now makes me shiver, or doubt's incisors pricking at flesh; opening the gates to fear, ripping my composure to shreds? Fear, doubt, uncertainty these are my enemies. Not fear of the pain but fear borne on a tide of incomprehesion, fear of the unknown. Doubt. Not that I doubt myself: I know I am I not in the wrong. But doubt as to what my darling will be thinking: what thoughts will be running through that sweet head when the moment is upon us. And uncertainty, God such uncertainty. How can I begin to contemplate what it will be like? Can things ever be the same afterwards or are these deep waters which will drown us both?

How much longer can I even stand here? If I wait much longer my darling may come down to see what is holding me down here and I know I could never then go through with this - and yet that could surely wreck us as much as my boldest facing against this unknown. And that has propelled me to the first step.

My enemies, briefly repelled are drifting back and their formless horror taunts me. Formless, for I know not what is the worst threat they hold out. Surely nothing as commonplace as this - and yes I am sure I am now convinced that this is not the precursor of some howling descent into a corrupt wasteland - need be the cause of a rift between us. And I am now half way up.

I seem to be be chilled and sweating at the same time. The polished wood of the clothes brush is slick in my hand. I have nothing to wipe it on, but it can't be used in this state, it's ..unclean..dirty, not fit for the clean and loving rite I feel it must be, if it is to happen at all. I cup my hands and blow gently into them ..so cool.. and the sweat damp slick ghosts away in the breeze. And I also have drifted, almost to the turn of the stairs.

A scrabbling at my ankles - my enemies are making a last bid to hold me, to pull me back down into the darkness, away from my beloved, from sharing and from support. Unfulfilled dreams, grievances unspoken, sharing witheld. These things hide in the dark, grow pallid and unwholesome, consume us and turn us into strangers. I will have none of it: I will advance into the open and the light. I have made the turn and the moment is upon me.

Is that the blood pounding in my ears or the howling of my enemies seeing defeat before them? It is too late for them and too late for me as I stand before my darling, heart pounding, naked and ready to make that final leap.

The polished wood catches a glint from the bedside lamp, lighting up my love's face with a sudden dart of light as I proffer the brush. "Darling, please try to understand me, I want you to use this on me. Here. Now. Please....please........"

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