Squeeze out yellow paint. Add a bit of red, tiny touches of blue for shading, green for stems. Mix and mingle, swirl into circles with pebbled textures. Stack them high – ripe and delicious. My “Bowl of Oranges” is shaping up nicely, when a knock on the door startles me.

I quickly wash my brushes, fling open the door, and there she stands, a slender stranger swaying to distant music. She’s dressed in a low-cut bodice and loose-fitting, fluid skirt a shade or two redder than my bowl of fruit. Behind her, falling snow creates a curtain of white.

“Come in out of the blizzard.”

Her bare skin is warm to the touch, lit by an inner fire.

“I could paint you,” I stammer, nearly struck dumb by the sight of her.

“I came to dance!” She holds out her arms, kicks the door shut with one well-clad foot. Her high heels begin tapping exotic rhythms. The slowly burgeoning music drowns out the sleet slashing at the window.

“Tango,” she whispers in my ear. “From the Latin tangere, which means to touch.”

Cheek to cheek, shoulder to shoulder, thigh to burning thigh, I lead her in the dance. Somehow I know every step, every bend and twirl.

I was born to feel my own heartbeat throbbing in her scented wrists and hair.

“What a gorgeous painting!” she cries.

I dance us over to my still-wet canvas, carefully remove one orange from the precarious pile, hand it to her with a Latin flourish. She peels it without missing a beat, holds a segment between her teeth. I reach for it with my mouth. Her lips and the moist fruit both taste sweet with a hint of tartness.

I was born to kiss those ripe lips.

The screaming gale outside, the crescendo of hypnotic music, our stamping feet and whirling bodies all create an avalanche of sound and motion. My “Bowl of Oranges” tumbles out of the canvas, filling the floor with fruit. I dissolve into laughter.

Ripe oranges, swirling red skirts, blizzard seeping through the door – I was truly born for this!

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    3 months ago

    Your writing was very sensual. I so much wanted to eat one of the delicious oranges. I like the blend of music, humour and tango, Julie.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    3 months ago

    Hello Julie. How are you? I like how you play the five senses in your story. And Oh, your story and picture makes me crave for oranges. Well done. 

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    2 months ago

    What a very stirring and sensual story, Julie. When I saw the word ‘tangere’ my brain leapt to tangerine. I must have oranges on the brain. Beautifully narrated. Love it!

    Deborah Goulding
    Deborah Goulding(@deborah-goulding)
    1 month ago

    You’ve really incorporated all the senses quite well in this fast moving sensual tale! I enjoyed your interpretation of the ‘tango’! Well done , Julie.

    1 month ago

    What a nice blend of art, music and fantasy! Your picture drew me in, as I studied the brush strokes and textures in the painting. The story totally lived up to the promise of the painting, and to the prompt. Five senses, all tingling, in spite of a blizzard. Nice work, Julie.

    1 month ago

    I really enjoyed this story Julie, the sensual blend of colour and sound, the evocative tango with the scent and feel of the dancers and the taste of oranges within their kiss. Lovely writing!

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    1 month ago

    Wow, powerful writing, Julie! Your story jumps from the page in a whirl of colour, music and dance! In my junior dancing days, the tango was a favourite of mine although it was not, as you can imagine, as sensual as described in your story! I absolutely loved this story and it’s one I could read over and over. It certainly stirred my senses, all five of them!

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    1 month ago

    I enjoy reading this story, Julie, filled to the brim with sensual descriptions of sound, sight and touch. There certainly is a lot of movement in this canvas!

    Susan Giles
    Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
    27 days ago

    Wonderful joining of all the senses. There should be a word that means “use of all the senses at one time.” It would be this story.

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