Licorice - Revised and Extended

October 06, 2003

"Not everyone likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice." J and I use "licorice" to refer to most forms of kinky sex. I felt the urge to write an erotic story without using any potty language. I revised the earlier sections after Twiddlybits gave some commentary. If I add anything more it will just go up as Licorice (Number) with a link to this entry.


The bell tinkled. Susan walked into the store and looked around. The place was dim and gloomy; rich scents came out of the dusky corners and from the display cases: chocolate of course, but below that licorice and anise tantalized her. Hints of anise, of cinnamon, and of vanilla lurked like dust motes in the air. She inhaled, carefully tasting the air and savoring its promises.

A long glass counter ran along the right side just inside the door. Shelves within the case held the ordinary confections: chocolate bark, and raspberry creams, and all the many variations on nuts and caramel. She stepped farther into the room, her head turning as she looked farther.

To the left, in the crowded clutter of the open space were a couple of small tables, looking unused and unwanted, crowded by spinning racks with boxes of salt water toffee and presentation chocolates. She went past these as well.

Towards the back of the store, deepest in the gloom, were the real treasures. This was an old case; the wood was black and glossy as if it had been old even when it was first constructed. The licorice was here. Little papers held the squares of red and black licorice, the licorice creams, drops of dusky jelly. Sleeves of anise cookies rested before the counter. Swinging above it, drying in the air like twisted sausages, were ropes of red, and black, dusted with sugar. The air here was thick, redolent. Her nose wrinkled, responded to the acrid bite, to the drying sugar, to the seeds and oils trapped in the candies.

She pressed her hands against the case, leaning forward. The tip of her tongue extended and, gently, pointedly, licked her upper lip. She inhaled again, closing her eyes to concentrate on all the odors.

"Can I help you?"

He was tall and thin and dusty and, somehow, twisted like the ropes of licorice that swayed from the motion of his recent passing. He stood still behind the counter, looking at her.

"Yes, I want ... I want to buy some licorice."

"We have licorice here." He coughed lightly; perhaps it was a chuckle, perhaps it was dried sugar in his throat.

She smiled.


The bell tinkled. Susan stood up from the little table in the back room. She walked through the curtains into the space behind the two counters. There were three of them there, standing towards the front of the room. Two were standing at the front case, looking at the chocolates and the creams, picking and choosing, speculating aloud about what they might be buying. The third wandered aimlessly, turned a white rack, looked at the dried out cookies, the boxes of toffee.

Susan began to fill orders for the first two, taking out three of these, four of those, weighing out the chocolates and putting them into little boxes and bags. While she did this, she watched the wanderer. He was thin, as she was, and looked distracted. He glanced at the back counter, then quickly looked again at the rest of the room. She rang up the order, took money, handed over change. The two left; she could not have said if they were men or women, all she had seen were the pointing fingers, the greedy voices. He was different: still here, still moving in a sort of Brownian motion through the space to the left of the door. He must have just come in at the same time as the other two; he did not leave with them, had not talked to them. They were not together after all. He was alone, except for Susan and the store.

She swung up the gate between the two counters, walked forward. He turned, surprised by her silent presence. His eyes darted to her, to the counter, to the ceiling above the back counter, and back to her again.

She smiled at him.

"Can I help you?"

"Do you sell, erm," He looked at the floor. "Licorice here?"

"Oh yes, we sell licorice. We have all kinds of licorice here. Follow me."


They sat at a small white table in white wooden chairs. She was thin, pale, blonde. Her hair hung back to her collar. He was older, thinner, and grey. He looked like he had been hung up to dry, and while drying had gathered dust in all the crevices of his face and clothing. Even his voice was dusty.

"Let me pour you some tea."

He stood, crossed to the stove, poured water from the kettle into a small blue-grey teapot. He busied himself gathering cups, spoons, and honey. She sat and watched him. The smell of the tea began to spread around the cluttered little kitchen.

He poured into two plain white teacups, placed them on saucers on the table. She took hers in her hands and brought it to her nose. She inhaled, concentrating, then turned and looked at him with raised eyebrows.

"I smell tea, black tea, and licorice root, and ... something more?" Her voice was a soft alto.
"That's most of it. There are some rose hips, a little lemon zest."
"It smells nice."
"Add honey, honey goes well."

He sat. They sipped their tea. His voice was still dry and dusty.

"So, how long has it been?"

"Since I first walked in here? Years. Time seems to stop when I am behind those counters: every moment is just right and every moment is forever."

"And do you still feel the same way?"

She looked at him, and smiled.

"I think so, yes."

"And now what will you do? Summer is almost over."

"I thought about it. State is close, and I could still work here weekends. But I think I want to get farther away."

"You had a lot of offers."

"Yes, I did. I think I will go East. They have the food chemistry, and the writing program. I will be better prepared when I come back."

"I will miss you, but your young man should be able to take over for you."

She smiled again. "My young man? He belongs to you, or to the back counter more than he does to me." She paused, then continued.
"I will miss that back counter."

"Yes, I know."

She looked at him, at the wedges and angles of his face, at the lines in his cheeks. He was ageless, without race, grey, brown and dusty. His clothing smelled of licorice. The powder he worked with had gotten into his clothing, into his skin. It was part of him now. She loved that about him.

She stood.

"I need to go, I have to finish packing, I have to tell State I won't be coming."

"Come back before you leave. Please."

"Of course." She smiled again.

She went out through the curtain. He heard the bell tinkle as the door opened and then closed. In the air disturbed by her movement he could smell licorice.


It was hot. The line in the bookstore snaked back from the ringing cash registers. Students held books, and bags, and little plastic baskets full of books and notebooks, pencils and pens. The woman in front of him was short and thin. Her blonde hair fell to the collar of her white dress, parted in the middle of her head. She was wearing an unusual perfume; he could smell licorice. They bumped as the line lurched forward.

"Sorry, lost my balance" He was apologetic, curious to see her face.
She smiled up at him.
"It's ok. It is crowded here."
She had a thin face, grey-blue eyes, strong cheekbones. Her voice was low and husky, surprising in such a small woman. Her hair was yellow and blonde and grey all shaded together, but her face was young, the eyes plain and unmarked. She wore no makeup.

He looked at her basket, hoping to see something he could use to continue the conversation. Several slim volumes of poetry were lying on top of the textbooks. He recognized psychology, and the great big textbook for introductory chemistry.

"Do you read a lot of poetry?"
"Yes, I do. I love to see words used precisely."
"I do also. Do you have any favorites?"
"I am taking the English romantics this fall. But I read all sorts. I like to read about desires and compulsions."
She looked at his eyes as she said this. Her voice dropped even lower on the last words.

Later, his friends came over to him.
"Did you get her number?"
"No, but she got mine."


He made little names for his students to help him remember which name went with which face. Susan Blonde-in-White was sitting at the front left of the class again. She was wearing a dress. She always wore a white dress. This one was short sleeved and showed a little leg; it was still very modest. The other women in the class were all dressed more casually. Susan was always very formal and she always sat very still. He could feel her eyes on him as he chatted with the students at the front right, by the door.

The bell in the tower on the other side of the quad rang the hour. He took a deep breath and began the class. He explained what they would be covering today. He drew on the board. He began to question them about the reading, and to elaborate on their fumbling answers. She sat upright and watched him teach, her pen in her hand.

After he worked through the first reading he told them to re-read the next item. While their heads turned down he walked over to the left side of the room. Her notebook was full of fine copperplate handwriting. He had never seen her pen move.

He continued to teach. She remained still and silent, watching straight-backed in her chair. He caught himself moving to the left again, and making eye contact with the front left part of the class. He forced himself to shift back to the right and look at the others.

He asked a question, and another. Hands rose, always the same hands. Susan sat very still. The sunlight had crept across the floor and onto her feet. She had slim ankles.

He paused, class was almost over now. He turned and asked her a question, ignoring the waiting hands, wanting to see what she would do. She smiled, took a breath, and answered. Her voice was low but clear. He was glad of that; so many of the skinny little women were mumblers and then he had to repeat their words to the class. She spoke on. He noticed in surprise that she was speaking in paragraphs. Most undergraduates, many professors, never mastered that skill. She finished. He raised an eyebrow, gestured with his hand. She continued to speak, elaborating her first answer. He had moved towards her as she spoke, to hear better. Partway through the paragraphs he realized that he had forgotten what he was going to ask next, had forgotten how he had planned to wrap up the class. He was very close to her now.

He tore his eyes away. She finished speaking. He managed to say a few words, to praise her thoughts, to lurch towards a wrapping point. Class ended in the usual shuffle of bags and papers. She smiled at him on her way out. As she left, he could smell licorice.


She smiled as she poured, looking at him more than at the two glasses. The liquor glistened in the tumblers, then turned white as she poured the water. She raised her glass, extended her tongue to the surface, inhaled the aroma. He held his glass in both hands but did not look at it. His eyes glanced from her to the room and back to her again.

She put her glass down and spoke.

"Aren't your friends having that party tonight?"
"We should go."
"I know. They have been bugging me about no longer seeing them. They don't know what to make of you."

She smiled.

"I am not sure what to make of me either. I think of myself as a series of straight lines, but it seems that most other people see me as a spiral."

He frowned at her, then looked down at his glass. He raised it to his lips, sipped.

She raised her glass again, inhaled the vapors again, then drank. He could see her swirling the white liquor around her mouth before swallowing. She opened her mouth and inhaled, savoring the lingering aroma of licorice.

Later he looked at her and spoke.
"Lets have one more before we go."

She raised her eyebrow.
"Are you sure. We still have to get dressed you know."

He reached past her to the bottle, lifted it, and filled the glasses again.


"Is the Prince of Darkness blowing us off again?"

"He said he would come."

"Yeah, he always says he will come. He might be coming, but he sure ain't coming here these days."

They chuckled at this.

"Man, that boy is whipped."

"What does he see in that little white chick anyhow?"

"Don't ask me. I think she look like Caspar the Ghost's grandma. So pale, wearing those little white dresses all the time. She always smells like medicine or something. But he takes one look at her and its like, BAM, nobody home."

"Maybe he likes the blonde thing?"

"Naw, if that was it he could still be going with Gina. Now there is a woman who wiggles when she walks."

"Heck, she ain't really blonde. Gina she get her hair from a bottle an her tits from the plastic store."

"Who cares where she got 'em, they sure are big enough."

"Hey, look who just walked in"

"Yo, Prince of Darkness! We ain't seen you since forever."

"Hi guys.
"Do you guys know Susan?"

Posted by Red Ted at October 6, 2003 12:42 PM | TrackBack