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Welcome to the Church of Erotic Redemption and the pulpit of the
Reverend Cotton Mather. This story is the sole property of the author, and may not be copied or downloaded for the intent of profit. Permission is freely given for anyone to download or copy for their personal pleasure or use, as long as there is no intent to charge money or barter for the privilege of acquiring this material.

(copyright 2001, Rev. Cotton Mather)
by Reverend Cotton Mather

She's gone. Or, rather, once again she's not here.

For years now (How many is it now? he thinks to himself. 15?) he has
come back here, to this beach, on this day, looking for her return.

Each year hope fades. The first few times, he was certain she would be
here. When she was not, he went back to his home disappointed,
heartbroken. But then, as the anniversary approached the next year,
his heart would lighten. He knew, he KNEW, that this was the year
she would be there. When she wasn't, it was like someone had reached
in and ripped out his heart and thrown it into the sea. He went home,
to wait, inconsolable, for the next year, so he could journey again,
to this beach, on this day.

From sunup to long past sundown, he walked the beach. Rain, wind,
sun, it was all the same to him when he walked the beach. The weather
wouldn't make her come or not. It was his diligence, his
determination, his patient waiting, that would draw her out. He knew

No other woman had shared his life, had shared more than his bed for
more than one night. In his mind he was married, and he tried to be
faithful. Oh, it was hard, the hardest thing he had ever done, but
in his mind he was as faithful as he could possibly be to his
soulmate on the beach, the wife he held dear within him for these
past fifteen (has it really been 15?) years.

He remembered all their firsts. The first glance was early in the
day, a bright day with rays of light glancing off the rippled
surface of the bay and searing the eyes. He was just setting up his
spot on the beach, just up from the young mothers watching their kids
play in the sand. He heard a sound, a musical chime or something,
and he looked up to see a vision of Thetis emerging from the domain
of her parents, all about her braided in the heady foam of the sea.
She was reaching up to her temples, then brushing back her streaming
dark hair from her shoulders, smiling her secret smile. Her eyes
caught his and held them for a moment, for an eternity.

He was lost. He was found.

He stood, and she came to him. The first touch was her fingertips
on his shoulder, and a jolt passed through to his soul, imprinting
him for all time.

Her first words. Mundane, but to him they were a turning point in
history, his history. "Your skin is so fair. You'll burn unless
you are careful."

He had no reply. His lips, his tongue, his larynx were paralyzed by
her presence. She reached into his beach bag, found a tube of
lotion, opened it. She squeezed the pale ointment into her hand,
and looked into his eyes, a laughing question unformed behind her
smile. She pushed gently on his shoulder. Turn around, her fingers

He turned. The cool sensation of the lotion being spread on his
back, his neck, the meat of his shoulders made him shiver. Or was
it her touch? She slowly, thoroughly covered him, hairline to
waistline. She rubbed the lotion into his skin, rubbing until the
lotion and the skin and the fingertips were all the same temperature,
the same smoothness, the same...the same.

She put her hands on his shoulders and turned him back around. More
lotion, this time to be spread on his cheeks, his nose, his forehead,
his receding hairline. Then down onto his chest, the pectoral
muscles quivering at her touch, and down onto his stomach with its
arrow of hair pointing from his belly button down into his trunks.


He sat. She covered his legs, front and back, making the application
of suntan lotion into a feast of the senses. Forever after, every
time he caught the scent of coconut sunblock, he remembered that
day and wept inside.

As she bent over him, her breasts were in full view. Her skin, dark
and shiny as a kukui nut, was flawless, smooth and seeming to shine
with an inner glow. He could not stop from drinking in the sight of
her as she ministered to his own pale skin's needs.

"Shall we walk awhile?" she asked. He could only mutely nod. He stood,
took her hand in his (oh, what a feat of strength that took! to take
the initiative, to be so daring with this demi-goddess!) and they
walked, up and down the beach, ankle-deep in the water.

They talked. They talked about nothing, about everything. They
reached the rock outcropping that delineated the northern end of the
beach and turned around, grasped the other hand, and returned.

Food? Unthought of. Drink? Unneeded. They were nourished by each
other, the two of them. They walked, they held hands, they talked.
The sun climbed, peaked, descended. Slowly, slowly, the great ball
of the sun turned red, throwing molten rays across the beach. A sliver
was sliced off the bottom of the great red ball, then another, and
another, until there was just a dome of sun apparent. Like a lover's
sensuous touch, it lingered there, teasing and holding for one last
caress, the dome receding oh so slowly, until...

It was gone. So suddenly the moment cannot be pinpointed, there was,
and then there wasn't.

And still they walked along the beach, lovers who have yet to discover
the depth of their love.

Finally, in the moonlight, they lay down in the sand. Alone finally
(though in truth they never saw anybody else on the beach all day
long, except each other), they feel the last of the sun's warmth
leaching from the beach to comfort them.

They made love. No words, only soft caresses and gentle liftings.
they both, each separately and then each together, completed their
journey from touch to consummation and back to touch again, breathy
sighs shared by the two who became one.

Another first remembered: as his tumescence descended toward their
union, she raised her head up, held the back of his neck, pulled him
down for a warm, saline kiss that they held for an eternity, for a
duration. Little did he realize at the time that it might have to
last for a lifetime.

He slept. All the night long, unconscious, he still felt the warmth
of her long body next to him on the beach, legs and arms intertwined,
and he was happy.

The sun returned. Eyes closed, he felt the shadow of her arms, her
legs, upon him. But shadow was all that was left.

He stood. Alone on the beach, he cried out for the night to return,
but the night did not answer. He ran up and down the beach, searching,
calling. In the freshening tide, his were the only prints left to
find along the edge of the water. He ran back to the spot where they
had lain, sure he had dreamed it all.

The imprint of two bodies was there, seen briefly before the waves
scrubbed the sand flat once again. All that was left for him to find

One kukui nut, half buried where her hair had spread out across the
Fifteen times he has come back here, to this beach, on this day,
looking for her return. Fifteen times he has prayed:

Return to me.

This story was inspired by "Ghost On the Beach" by The Insiders.
If you are not familiar with the song or the artist, do yourself a
favor and find a copy and give it a listen.



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