I first got a seedling of an idea for “Miss Cherry,” a short erotic romance, a few months ago. Below is an excerpt from the beginning.
It wasn’t until he’d intercepted the third portion of the manuscript that Rex Lawson decided to write back. It was there, within that volume of unchaptered pages, that the heroine, Leona Cruz, decided to poison her husband, Freddy, with an ancient tonic known throughout the town of Elan as, “snakebite.”
And she swore to unleash upon him a storm of fire, to inflict upon his body and soul the ruthless torment of love’s madness. With each dose, Freddy would fall deeper into a breathless obsession, his flesh boiled by fever, his mind seized by delusions, apparitions, and nightmares so powerful they’d curdle his insides down to the pits of his bowels. Every afternoon, when the heat of the sun reached its most sweltering point, he would cry out for Leona, but Leona would never come. Late at night, his coarse howling would fracture the silence like a splinter, tear open the skins of the stars, and send them tumbling to earth like the tatters of a broken heart. Once the stars began to rain, the whole town would know the end of the agony was near. Freddy’s love for Leona would burn dimly through his viscous veins until the last of his life had been snuffed out. A half dozen men would dispose of him quietly along the riverbed, where they would first wash away the traces of his suffering, all but two little welts that appeared like a snakebite, sitting just above the heart. That was how everyone would know another woman had gotten eternal vengeance on a man who had loved her wickedly.
The instant Rex set his eyes on that paragraph, he knew he had to stop Miss Cherry from writing an ending that would send Freddy to his grave. For as long as Freddy was alive, the mysterious and peculiar Miss Cherry would still deliver portions of her manuscript to Rex’s mailroom at 1825 Market St for packaging and delivery to a private residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico each Wednesday afternoon. And for a few hours every Wednesday, Rex got to escape the vicious mundanity of his job as a mailroom clerk at one of Philadelphia’s busiest high-rise business centers to become Freddy Cruz, husband to the wild-eyed and beautiful Leona, coveted by all the men of the town of Elan, located somewhere between the Portuguese island of Madeira and the depths of the corporeal sea. He was Freddy and Miss Cherry, the source of his intoxication. If he could only eradicate Freddy’s betrayals, he reasoned, he could keep the story alive. His story. That was how he would finally reach the elusive Miss Cherry. He would write to her. He would rewrite her ending.