Stories from a troubled time, an examination of the present, the past and what is lost.

amoral 10: Familiarity

amoral 11 - Go to Pieces

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They had been talking about herd immunity. On the radio, I think, it must have been on the radio, or perhaps I had overheard a conversation on the bus. So many things are becoming confused and confusing. I wonder if I might be a little unwell. I wonder if I have one or other of the viruses that are thriving in the new normal. They said the politicians were, at last, being clear in the approach they were taking. Telling us there was a risk, that we can do away with our social distancing and live a life like we did in the before. We are the herd. If enough of us are immune the herd will survive. They are reducing us to animals, only concerned with hunger and sex. Hunger and sex. I know this is ignoring a great deal of the subtlety of the positions but it is what was what was preoccupying my mind as I sat quietly sipping my beer at our usual table in Aesop’s playground waiting for my friends Martha and James to arrive.

The regulars at this pub certainly behave like a herd, doing the same thing each of the last eleven Tuesdays I have come here. From the youngsters at the table in front of me, eyes down on their phones, to the old man nursing his beer at the bar counter. Perhaps on the six days a week I am not here they change it up, but I expect every weekday at four in the afternoon the same people would be found at the same tables. Repeat and repeat. Like their animal instincts the politicians are appealing to, just sex and hunger. So to prevent myself from drinking my beer before my friends arrived I drew an abstract pattern in my sketch based on my imagination of Morwena’s naked form as she leant forward to laugh, a belly laugh. I added the words the belly. I sketched Snowy’s naked form as he leaned back with approval, and of Amaro’s naked form as he examined Snowy’s response as I wrote in the words he said: and the members. I tried to work out their conversation but I had missed too much. My sketch had missed too much too, it wasn’t naked forms, it was all genitals, mouths and a few lines of form. Directions to guide the eye from penis to penis to vulva to penis to anus, partially hidden, to nipple.

I took a long look at Morwena and Amaro looking at Snowy before looking back at my picture suddenly embarrassed. I had treated these kids like my sex dolls ready to be rearranged on my page. I hurriedly started adding circles and oblongs to disguise my perversion.

“Fine form.”

Sitting at the table opposite me was Martha, James was going to the bar. I was flustered, I wanted to slam shut my sketch book but I didn’t want to bring attention to my shame so I pretended it did not exist.

“I didn’t see you check in.”

“Oh, we don’t have to this week. Didn’t you hear it is optional? Aesop can serve anyone as they are encouraging social mixing again.”

“But then no one will know anything.”

“The app will still know whose been within a certain distance of whom.”

“If your phone is on. Folks have many reasons to turn their phones off. There was that whole debacle with James last Tuesday.”

“Hello, you talking about me.”

James put a beer down in front of Martha, she smiled at him.


She touched him lightly on his hand before reaching for the beer.”

“Always. So my ears were burning.”

“We were talking about the, what did you call it, social mixing.”

“And how there are so many people avoiding the track and trace system.”

“Ah, the pingdemic.”

“Such a lazy pun.”

“Well, I think they may have something in this one.”


“Well, the thing about this pandemic is they don’t really understand it. Whatever model the scientists propose it fails within months. Not even taking into account the early mistakes, the variants came about when they said the vaccine would solve the problem. And the new virus came about when they said they had solved the variants. So what they need is to get one of those supercomputers tracking everything everyone does to find out how the pandemic is winning. Then once we have found out the how...”

“We can work out the why. But isn’t that all a little too conspiracy theorist.”

“Well, no, as knowing how does not presume the Chinese or the Americans, or the right, or the left, or anyone, indeed is behind it.”

“The thing was too many people thought the app was just lazing about doing nothing other than pinging quarantine messages to annoy so they turned off their phones.”

“Come on, don’t be naively cynical, there were serious issues. Times have not been this tough since the war.”

“Exactly, none of that war spirit. The shoppers thought the app was pointless. Business thought the app was obstructive. Entertainment thought the app was, I don’t know, a waste.”

“So now we have believe or die. But I don’t get it, where is the benefit?”

“People are turning back to the app. I have it on right now.”


Sometimes conversation between myself and James can lose its flow. It never loses its flow with Martha, but maybe that is because Martha always has the right thing to say on the tip of her tongue.

“I recon that is me.”


James was pointing at one of the penises on my doodle, and my eyes betrayed me by looking over at Snowy. Martha was looking at me and followed my glance.

“And that is Martha and that is you.”

I was mortified and not able to say anything, I stared down at my doodle.

“The Belly and the Members. Did you prepare that as it is a lesser know of Aesop’s fables?”

“No, is it?”

“Yes, a fable that fits well with the current conversation, actually. It is about the various parts of the body losing faith in the stomach thinking it just takes, takes, takes and does nothing but enjoy the food they work to give it. Of course, in the end the members realise the stomach is vital to survival, just like you were saying about the app.

“But you know what it makes me think about is a little something I may know about Morwena and Snowy, though perhaps it is something I shouldn’t know about them as they are such young little things barely on the road to discovering their sexuality.”

She smiled at me, letting me know she had understood my embarrassment and she wasn’t judging me for it. Moments of intuitive understanding like this make me love her more, make me know that Martha and I would be good together. It is fine the way she and James are so comfortable in each other’s company but they couldn’t have such deep moments. No one could.

“Oh, perhaps you are suggesting it would be indecent to repeat this little anecdote?”

“I am sure you are mature enough to handle anything I could bat in your direction.”

For once I let James and Martha play out the little game of pretending we don’t want the story. James did not last long.

“Without saving your blushes I think there may be many a missile at your disposal to blast me with.”

“So you’re saying you would like to test my armoury?”

“Oh, for there may never be a more attractive armour in so many ways.”

“Well if you insist, though I may refuse to answer any incriminating questions once I have finished my tale.”

“Are you sure you want us to think the worst?”

“I am sure you will only ever think the best of me. But let’s not dally, I am sure neither of you with your teenage children want to think about how the young use their technology, those fabulous devices that fit in the palm of your hand which are the equivalent of a studio only the most dedicated rich geeks had in our day. If I were young today I would most certainly record myself if nothing more than as a memory prompt to remind me that once I did not have my mother’s legs, with these veins and pallid skin. Say if Morwena or Snowy were to have asked my advice about nudes I would say do it, of course do it, but remain in control as much as you can. Remain in control by being a good judge of character, and most characters are good. Not just because this is a story, it is what I truly believe.

“Say Morwena took such advice and one afternoon when parents are out she led Snowy to her house and to her boudoir and left him there while she prepared in the toilet. Hers was a tidy room, of pinks and whites with a minimalist look. It was particularly tidy that day, and the lightbulb had been replaced with the brightest one in the kitchen drawer, for Morwena had a plan. A plan that included soft music with a slow beat.

“She sat him on the bed, took out her phone and held it in a questioning way at Snowy, with a cheeky smile. He wouldn’t have understood the plan at that point but who can resist her cheeky smile, look at her.”

Martha paused, we looked at Morwena who was looking down at her phone, with a slight hint of a smile.

“Morwena started to record, blew a kiss-selfie and flipped the camera, smile. Snowy smiled at the camera and Morwena turned it about passing it to him. She then moved her hips to the beat and moved immediately to the top button of her shirt. By now Snowy was in no doubt about the plan. He recorded her undoing the buttons of her shirt revealing she was not wearing her bra, though not quite showing her breasts. Morwena touched the edges of her phone and brought her face close so she was talking to Snowy through the camera: I want slow steady shots, you do that for me. Snowy didn’t reply, he just took action as Morwena twirled slowly to the music he steadied himself. Morwena undid the buttons of her skirt which dropped leaving Snowy guessing if she was wearing underwear under the long shirt. He stood to move the camera towards her and she circled backwards round the room until she was at the bed and he was standing. She undid the remaining buttons on her shirt to reveal she was naked underneath and she fell back onto the bed, lifting one leg into that classic pose of Leda, except without a swan. Snow rose to the occasion with a very long slow and steady shot that approached Morwena’s foot, the one on the bed not the one on the floor. Drifted up her smooth calves, angling up her inner thigh towards her bushy snatch and without a pause slowly passed her pussy lips to her flat stomach and the little dark hairs below her belly button and on mounting her large breasts, close enough to her nipples to see the two or three dark hairs and on up to her face, round to the side as his lips came to meet hers, slightly off camera.

“Morwena took the camera and turned it on Snowy.

“He smiled. Lifted her hips to reposition her in the middle of the bed and, after slipping off his shoes, knelt between her legs ready for his turn. He lifted his tee slowly to the music revealing his slightly round tummy with white downy hairs. When his tee reached his nipples he paused, dancing for a moment before revealing his nipples. Morwena narrowed the shot so it concentrated on his tummy then onto his small nipples, passed his smooth chin until it reached his closed eyes, with his hair flopping about. Snowy smiled, knelt up and paused a moment as Morwena took the camera back down to the trouser buttons which he undid. She focused on his crotch as he pulled down all his layers revealing a cock that sprung out, like porn but not as impressive. Thin and straight and as bleached as the rest of him. Uncircumcised with the tip forcing its way past the foreskin.

“He leant forward to rub the tip against her vulva, she moved her hips away from him and reached for his cock with the hand that wasn’t filming, and she masterfully kept her hand jerking wildly up and down his cock in shot until he came on her tummy.”

Martha’s story ended and we sat in silence, neither myself nor James asking any questions. I finished my beer and nodded my thanks to Martha and James.

“Until next week.”


And I left. Afterwards I worked out she had warned us not to ask questions because to question her story would have been to question the source, which would have lead to a boycott like in the fable, and questioning her sources would stop the stories. I am glad I left without questioning her story as I look forward to hearing another story next week.

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