A Writer’s Dilemma and the Muse

Info silverhawk
17 Sep. '22

I suppose all writers go through periods when they can’t think of anything to write.  I know from experience it happens without any warning at all.  It happens when I sit down to start a new novel and think, “What can I write about that will sell”.  

Don’t get me wrong here.  All writers, well, good writers, the writers that get published, are artists who paint pictures with words, but along with weaving words into sentences and paragraphs that generate pictures in the reader’s mind, all writers are concerned with writing something that will be published and sell.  It’s how we make our livings.

Well, that day that I sat down at my computer and asked myself that question, nothing came to mind.  When I mean nothing, I mean exactly that – nothing, not even an inkling of an idea.

I wasn’t too worried because it had happened before.  It happened right after I wrote my first novel that was actually accepted by a publisher and made it all the way to the shelves of mainstream bookstores.  I sat down to hopefully repeat my success but couldn’t think of a thing to write.  

That time I’d chalked it up to the fact that I was living in a one-bedroom apartment in the city and it was never really quiet.  My upstairs neighbor liked heavy metal music and played it from morning until midnight.  About all I could hear was the bass track, but that constant “dum, dum, dum” made it really hard to concentrate.  

I solved that with some noise canceling headphones plugged into my stereo system.  I could write and listen to Brahms and Mozart and not hear anything else.

After that first novel, a murder mystery about a woman who kills her husband by poisoning him with ant poison after he starts physically abusing her, I sat down to write the next and drew a blank as far as a plot.  I couldn’t think of anything, so I watched a little television hoping to come up with an idea.  Thankfully, my upstairs neighbor was gone so there was no bass track interfering with my television watching.  Instead, I was listening to the police, fire, and ambulance sirens outside.  That’s when I decided I had to move somewhere quiet.

I had enough money from the first novel to do that, so I started looking at places in the country.  After a month, I found what I was looking for.  It was a three bedroom, two story farmhouse on two acres.  The house wasn’t in great shape, but the price was right and I figured I could fix the house.

Well, I did fix the house and in the process got an idea for a novel about a landscaping contractor who specialized in tree removal.  He’d come and take down your tree or clean up any fallen branches and take them to his place of business and feed them through his big wood chipper.  He let the pile of wood chips compost for a while and then sold the composted wood chips to other landscape contractors.

He also performed another service to certain people in the city who had dead bodies that needed disposing of in a manner that would eliminate the possibility of said body turning up at a later date.  The wood chipper ground those bodies into mulch that he mixed with the wood chips.  He probably would have never been caught had one of those other landscapers not found what looked like a human molar in his load of wood chip mulch.

That novel sold pretty well so I congratulated myself on finding the answer by buying the house.  That’s when the owner of the adjacent twenty acres decided he could make more money by selling it instead of by farming it.  He sold the twenty acres to a developer who started building houses on three quarter acre lots, the closest of which was only about a hundred feet from my house.

The couple who bought that house were young but seemed to be friendly.  It wasn’t until the Fourth of July that I decided they weren’t very good neighbors.  That night, they had a party with about twenty people in their back yard.  It wasn’t too bad while it was still daylight.  There was a low buzz of conversation that I really couldn’t hear except for this one woman’s shrieking laugh, but it was tolerable.  At about nine though, they started their own private fireworks show and the damned booms and bangs kept on until almost midnight.

Well, at least that gave me the start of a new novel that started with the house being bought by a weird looking couple.  Right after that, there were several murders in the nearby city, murders that were unique in that the victims were all missing all their fingers.  The police were having trouble solving those crimes because while they had DNA from all of them only one victim’s DNA was in the NCIC database.  She’d been arrested for prostitution, so the police figured the other victims were as well and that they had a serial killer operating in the city.

That’s where everything stopped because they had no leads to follow.  It wasn’t until the neighbor remembered the couple next door doing something in their garden at about one in the morning the day after the last murder that the case broke.  

He called the police who ran the couple through NCIC and discovered they both had records.  The man had been accused of murder but hadn’t been convicted because they couldn’t find a body.  The wife had a record too.  She’d been tried and convicted of assault on another woman who happened to be a prostitute.  The assault was she’d tried to cut off the prostitute’s little finger with a pair of scissors.  According to her confession, her father had been a client of that same prostitute and that cause her mother to divorce him.  She’d sworn to make the prostitute pay in some way and thought if she cut off the prostitute’s pinky finger she wouldn’t get any more customers.

That ultimately led to the police digging up the garden.  When they did, they found a bunch of fingers buried in between the tomato plants and green beans.  Only one set of fingers had any fingerprints left, but they were able to match the DNA of each set of fingers to the murder victims.  At the end of the novel, the couple is convicted of serial murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

That book sold reasonably well too, so I started to write my fourth novel, another murder mystery.  That’s when I realized I had no ideas.

I sat at my computer for an hour every day for a month with the same results – no ideas, no plot, no nothing except frustration.  It was at the end of that month I saw the realtor’s sign in the front yard of the house next door.  Two weeks after that, a moving van pulled up at the house and two guys carried boxes for half a day from the house to the van.  A week later, another moving van parked in the drive and two guys carried boxes from the van to the house while a woman of maybe late forties, early fifties watched.

I figured the woman was my new neighbor so I kept watching for an opportunity to meet her and her husband.  That opportunity came one Saturday when I was mowing my grass.  I was almost done when the woman came out, went to the little storage building at the back of the lot and pulled out a push mower.  

She got it started and started mowing the back yard, but she wasn’t making much headway because she had a lot to mow.  I waited until she was close to the lot line and then rode my mower over to where she was.

She smiled and waved at me when I stopped, and then let go of the handle on her mower so the engine would stop.  I shut off my mower then too, and got off and walked over to introduce myself.

“Hi there, Ma’am.  I’m Todd Kelly and it looks like you’re my new neighbor.  Welcome to the country.”

When I held out my hand, she smiled and shook it.  

“Yes, I wanted to get out of the city and as soon as I had the chance I did.  I think I’m going to like it out here.  It seems quiet so far.  I can hardly wait to start a flower garden.  I’m Marion, by the way, Marion James.”

I nodded.

“Same reason I moved out here.  I need quiet so I can work.”

“Oh”, she said.  “What type of work do you do?”

I always liked it when people asked me that.  I grinned.

“I’m a writer.  I have three novels published so far.  What does your husband do for a living?”

She chuckled.

“Well, I’m not sure.  He used to be a high school principal, but after the divorce he got fired.”

“You’re divorced?”

She grinned.

“Yeah, finally.  Took a while, but it turned out pretty good for me, not so good for Bob.  I got the house, the newest car, the savings and checking accounts and half of his 401K and his teacher’s retirement.  He had to pay all the legal expenses too, so that wiped out most of his half of the 401K.  That’s how I could move out here.  I sold the house in the city and had enough to buy this place free and clear.”

I was a little confused.

“He got fired just because you divorced him?  That seems like an odd reason to get fired.”

Marion laughed then.

“He didn’t get fired because I divorced him.  He got fired because of the reason I divorced him.  He was screwing one of the senior girls at his high school and got her pregnant.  Man, was her father ever pissed.  The girl was eighteen so he couldn’t have Bob charged with statutory rape, so he sued Bob, the school, and the entire school board.  The school board ended up firing Bob and settling out of court for what I heard was a quarter million.  

Bob didn’t have any money left after the divorce so the father dropped the suit against him, but he did get a judgment that Bob will have pay child support until the kid is eighteen.  

“The daughter says she loves Bob and she’s keeping the baby so he’ll marry her, but I don’t think it’s going to work that way.  As soon as Bob got the divorce papers, he left town and didn’t tell anybody where he was going.  I feel sorry for the girl, well, a little.  Bob’s forty-nine.  You’d think by the time she’s eighteen a girl would have more sense than to let some guy old enough to be her grandfather screw her, but Bob has this way of convincing women that he’s pretty special.  I should know.  That’s why I married him.

“How about you?  You have a wife I can have coffee with in the afternoons?”

I shook my head.

“No, no wife.  I used to think about having a wife, but once I start writing, I can’t seem to stop.  I lost two girlfriends that way.  We’d agree to go somewhere, and I’d figure out where my plot had to go and lose all track of time.  After the second girl called me at one in the morning to ask what happened to me, well, it wasn’t worth all the fighting about why was my writing more important to me than her.  Since then, I haven’t really been looking.”

Marion smiled again.

“Well, I probably need to get my butt working on this yard again.  I didn’t realize how big three-quarters of an acre really is.  I think this weekend I’ll go buy a riding mower like you have.”

I liked Marion.  She didn’t seem shy at all, and I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to be doing anything that would distract me from writing.  I also found her to be a pretty woman with that mature beauty women develop once they turn forty or so.  There were a few silver strands in her dark brown hair and her mature figure looked good even in the oversize T-shirt and jeans she was wearing.  For all those reasons, I said if she didn’t mind, I’d do her back yard.

“Marion, you’ll never finish your back yard before dark with that push mower.  I’m about done with mine.  Why don’t I just keep mowing and finish yours too?  You can do your front yard while I do the back.”

She said that would be great, but she didn’t know what she could do to repay me.  I just smiled and said she didn’t need to do anything and that I was just being a good neighbor.  She thanked me and then started pushing her mower to her front yard.

It only took half an hour to finish her back yard after the fifteen minutes it took me to finish mine.  That’s about how long it took Marion to finish her front yard.  She was pushing her mower back around her house when I shut off my blades.

She looked at her back yard, smiled, and then said, “I’m definitely getting a rider this weekend.  What kind would you suggest?”

Well, to tell the truth, I had no idea which rider was the best.  I’d bought mine because it was on sale and it looked big enough I wouldn’t spend all day mowing.  I tried to seem like I knew what I was talking about though.

“Well, it depends on you, I suppose, how much you can afford and how easy it is to drive.  I like my Husqvarna, but it’s not the only one out there.  If I were you, I’d stop by Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart.  Sit on one and see if you can reach the controls easily.  That’s probably the main thing.  Most of the mowers out there will probably do a good job.”

Marion shook her head.

“I’m not mechanical at all so I wouldn’t know the difference.  Bob always did all that kind of thing.”

She smiled then.

“Hey, I know we just met, but would you come with me on Saturday and help me decide?  I’ll buy lunch.  It’s the least I can do after you mowed my yard for me.”

I couldn’t very well tell her I didn’t want to, so that Saturday at eleven, I got in Marion’s passenger seat and she drove us into town.  Lunch was actually pretty good.  We ate at Golden Corral.  I ate way too much, but when I told Marion that, she just chuckled.

“Don’t worry about it.  You don’t look like you’re the type to get fat.  Now, let’s go find me a lawn mower.”

We hit all three places.  At each one, I explained to Marion how the controls worked, though they were actually all about the same.  She tried pushing in the clutch and the pedal for forward and reverse and didn’t seem to have any trouble with any of them.  I showed her where to fill them up with gas and she said she thought she could manage that .

When we finished up at Walmart, Marion looked at me and said, “I think I like the same one you have.  It’s orange and I think it’s prettier than the others.”

As we drove back to Lowe’s to buy the Husqvarna, I was thinking that I’d just wasted half a day because Marion had made her decision based on the color of the mower and not anything I’d helped her with.  It had been fun though, and I hadn’t really wasted anything because I still didn’t have any ideas for my next novel.

Marion paid for the mower with her credit card and asked when it would be delivered.  The mower guy said she’d have it by Friday and when they delivered it, they set it up for her.  

As we were driving home, Marion asked me about the novels I’d written.

“What do you write about?”

I said I’d written a murder mystery about a woman who poisoned her husband, one about a family of serial killers, and another one about a tree removal guy who chopped up people in his wood chipper.  

She grinned then.

“I read romance novels, but what’s the title of the one about the woman who killed her husband?  I’d like to read it and maybe pick up some pointers about what to do if I marry another jerk again.”

I said she didn’t need to buy one because the publisher always gives the author several copies to give to friends.

“I’ll give you one when we get home.  It’s only fair to warn you that the woman gets caught and goes to prison.”

Marion sighed.

“Yeah, I know I’d get caught, but prison couldn’t be any worse than knowing your husband is sleeping with a girl young enough to be his daughter.  You have no idea how that affects a woman.  I mean, we all know we’re going to get older and that we won’t be as sexy as when we were twenty, but to have your husband do that is just a slap in the face.”

Marion turned to look at me then.

“Sorry.  That’s probably a lot more than you wanted to hear, isn’t it?”

Well, actually it wasn’t, and that’s what I said.

“No it isn’t, because one of the hardest parts about being a writer is making your characters real.  You have to give them the personality a real person would have and then make them act according to how that personality would likely cause them to act.  It’s like in my first novel.  When you read it you’ll see how the wife’s personality caused her to do what she did.”

When we got home, I gave Marion a copy of “Never Again”.  She said she’d read it and then tell me what she thought.  I fell asleep that night hoping she’d like it.

I saw Marion again on Monday afternoon.  Where we live the mail is delivered to a mailbox out next to the county road.  I walked out to get my mail at about four and saw her planting some flowers around her mailbox.

When she saw me, she waved, then put down her trowel and walked over.

“I’m about half way through your book and it’s pretty good.  I see what you mean about the wife’s personality too.  One thing though…you didn’t put in enough sex. Do you ever read romance novels?  They have lots of romance, guy meets girl and they fall in love and all that, but it’s the hot, steamy sex scenes that draw women in.  We like to imagine we’re the girl that he’s making love to.  Any novel needs at least a couple hot sex scenes if women are going to want to read it.”

I chuckled.

“No, I’ve never read a romance novel and I’m not sure how well I could write a sex scene.  I have a somewhat limited experience in that sort of thing.”

Marion smiled.

“Maybe you should do some research then.  Well, I need to get the rest of my flowers in the ground and then go fix my dinner.  You have a great night.  Oh, and you think about putting a lot more sex into what you’re working on now.  I promise it’ll sell better.”

My house has one bedroom on the first floor and three on the second.  Two of those second story bedrooms are empty except for a little storage of things I don’t need and probably should throw away or sell.  The third is what I call my writer’s den.  It has a desk for my computer, a couch where I take an occasional nap, and a small library.  It also has a window that faces Marion’s back yard.

I spent all morning in my writer’s den trying to come up with something to write about.  About six false starts later, I went downstairs and fixed myself a sandwich for lunch.  After I ate, I went back upstairs.  When I still hadn’t thought of anything worth writing, I stretched out on my couch to think.  

I was thinking maybe Marion had been right.  My three novels had sold well enough I didn’t have to get a second job to survive, but none had even gotten close to being a best seller.  My agent had even said kind of the same thing as Marion.  He said he could sell my books, but not to expect any rave reviews by any critics.  He didn’t say why other than I was still an unknown.  Maybe the way to get known was to put a little more sex into my writing.

When I made the decision I was going to become an author, I’d bought some best sellers in an attempt to see what made them sell so well.  When I thought back about those novels, they did all have some sex in them, some more than others, but there was at least one scene in each where the main characters have sex.  It wasn’t necessarily with each other, but they still had sex with somebody.

I went back to my computer to try to start something again, and when I went past the window, I saw Marion talking with a man just outside her back door.  A few minutes later, the guy left, and a couple minutes after that, a pickup with “Jordan’s Pool Sales and Service” pulled around the house and into the back yard.

Marion’s house didn’t have a pool, so I assumed she’d bought one.  It was then that the idea hit me that maybe I could write a murder mystery about a woman who buys a pool and has a guy set it up for her.  He comes back once a week to make sure the water quality is up to snuff.

I’d write the guy as a man who is really a psychopath who hated his prostitute  mother and transferred that hate to all women.  I’d write the woman as a middle aged, pretty brunette with big breasts and wide hips who liked wearing shorts and halter tops.  Secretly, she knew how she looked and liked turning men on while knowing she’d never do anything with any man other than her husband.  

Seeing her flaunting herself like she was would make the pool guy remember his mother.  On one of his visits to clean the pool, he’d force her into the house, force her to have sex, and then realize he’d have to kill her so she wouldn’t go to the police.  Once he had, he’d take her to his pool shop on the outskirts of town and bury her at the back of the property.

I wasn’t sure how the police would finally tag him with the crime, but I could do that later.  What I needed to do right then was watch the guy set up Marion’s pool so I could put that detail into my novel.  I was going to have my female character  watch him while he worked.  My pool guy would be working but staring at the woman at the same time and figuring out a way he could force her to have sex with him.  

Marion did watch her pool getting set up but there were two guys.  They used sand to level off a spot and then set up a circular steel framework.  Once that was up, they put the plastic liner inside the framework and then secured it to the edges of the framework.  Then they left.

About half an hour later, they came back, this time with a water truck.  It took an hour, but when they left this time, Marion’s pool was full and there was water bubbling from a hose at the top edge.

It was about four by then, so I figured I’d start writing.  I was starting to wheel my chair back to my desk when the back door of Marion’s house opened and she came out in a blue two-piece swimsuit.

When I first met Marion, I couldn’t really tell much about her figure, but it was obvious she had some curves.  In that blue swimsuit, those curves were pretty fantastic.  Her breasts looked pretty heavy, her hips the hips of a mature woman, and her waist maybe a little thick but not out of proportion.  It wasn’t just that either.  When she climbed up the ladder at the side of the pool, her ass did some fantastic things.  

It felt a little weird to be sitting there watching her but I couldn’t make myself leave the window.  Well, I did leave for a few seconds to get my binoculars out of my desk, but then I was right back at my window and looking out and down at Marion.

She didn’t stay in the water very long, maybe fifteen minutes but that was enough time for me to decide Marion was pretty sexy in her swimsuit.  When she climbed back up the ladder to get out, she stopped a the top and turned around, then pulled the leg of her bottoms up over one butt cheek and let the water drain out.  Her butt cheek looked pretty firm through my binoculars.

When she got to the bottom of the ladder she turned and looked up at my house, smiled, and then went back through her back door.  I thought I was sitting far enough away from my window that she couldn’t see me, but I wondered why she’d smiled.

I started writing after dinner that night.  My usual way of starting a murder mystery is to describe what happened in broad terms to the reader.  That way the reader has some idea about what the police might find when they investigate and they can play detective right along with the detectives in the book.

After I described the crime, I wrote that the woman’s husband came home and found his wife gone.  Since they had only one car and he’d driven it to work, she couldn’t be shopping.  After checking with the neighbors on both sides and finding they hadn’t seen her since that morning, he called the police.

When the detectives talked to the husband they wanted as much information about the wife as he could tell them.  That was when I began describing the wife.  I got into the description as far as physical characteristics – about forty five, dark brown, medium length hair, full figure, about five feet six and a hundred and thirty pounds – when I realized I was describing Marion.

That wouldn’t normally be a problem.  Probably half the women in the US would fit at least parts of that description.  The problem was Marion was my next door neighbor and she knew I wrote novels.  If she read this novel and saw the description of the victim, she might decide I’d written about her and sue me.  It had happened before to other authors.

I deleted that description and started to change it, but that was hard to do.  What I needed for my victim was a good looking and sexy normal woman of average size that a man could easily overpower, but who was big enough to fight back.  My intention was to have the autopsy of the victim’s body indicate that she’d put up a fight before she was killed, however that was.  I wasn’t sure at that point.

I must have tried writing that description a hundred times, but none of them fit what I wanted the reader to see except the description of Marion.  At midnight, I decided to take a chance and wrote Marion’s description into the novel.

The next morning I woke up about seven, had a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee for breakfast and then went back upstairs.  I read what I’d written so far and then started with the police investigation.  By about ten, I’d gotten to the point where the detectives begin canvassing the neighborhood to see if any of the residents had seen anything unusual that day.  Since my house had a view of Marion’s back yard, I started writing what I’d have told the police if my novel had been real and they’d come to talk to me.

I started writing that dialogue and realized I hadn’t really looked at any of Marion’s back yard from my window.  I’d been concentrating on her in her pool.  I rolled my chair back to the window to see just how much I could see.

Well, what I saw was Marion out in her back yard in little shorts and a T-shirt and running shoes.  She was trying to carry something that looked really heavy and she was struggling.  I thought about just going back to my computer, but then thought maybe I should go help her.

When I walked outside Marion hadn’t gotten much further.  I walked over and asked her if she needed some help.

“Hi Marion.  I came outside to take a walk when I saw you.  It looks like you could use some help.”

She put down this post thing made of concrete and then wiped a strand of hair from her face.

“I went to town today and bought a bird bath.  The garden center put it in my trunk and I didn’t know how heavy it was until I tried to get it out here.  This is just the bottom part.  The rest is still in my car trunk and it’s heavier.”

I asked her where she wanted to put it, and she walked over to a place about in the middle of her back yard.

“I was thinking here would be a good place.  I want to put some iris and daffodils on both sides and then some annuals in front of them.”

The damned base must have weighed fifty pounds and there wasn’t a good way to grab it because the column was over six inches in diameter and base was at least two feet.  I finally grabbed the column with both hands, straddled the base  and sort of duck-walked it over to where Marion was standing.

When I put it down and looked up, Marion frowned and said, “Maybe a foot or so to the left”.  I picked it up and moved it and then looked up again.  Marion was still frowning.

“I think maybe a foot to the right and a foot closer to the house.”

After a couple more iterations of that, she was satisfied.  She smiled then and said, “All we have to do is get the other part from my trunk and we’ll be all done.”

The other part was a big dish shaped bowl almost three feet in diameter that probably weighed at least sixty pounds.  I tried picking it up out of her trunk, but there was no way.  I asked her if one guy put it in her trunk and she shook her head.

“No, there were two.  Maybe I should help you with this part.”

Between the two of us, we got the dish thing out of her trunk and started for her back yard.  It was touch and go there until I started matching her steps.  After that, it just took a while to get all the way around her house and out to where the base sat.  

We put it down on the base and I held it while Marion looked underneath to see if it was lined up right.  She stood back up and said, “It’s almost right.  We just need to move it an inch or so toward the house.  You move it and I’ll tell you when to stop.

That took another five minutes, five minutes of me using everything I had to inch the top around on the base until Marion said it looked right.  I gingerly ease up my grip, and said a silent prayer when the top stayed put.  I tried jiggling it a little but it didn’t move so I figured barring an earthquake or a tornado, it would stay there forever.

Now all that work wasn’t without it’s rewards.  Like I said, Marion was wearing a T-shirt so when I was setting the top on the base, she was bent over.  The T-shirt had a low cut neck, and when she was bent over it fell open enough I could see down the open neck to the breasts nestled in her bra cups.  

I hadn’t been looking to get involved with a woman in several years, but that didn’t mean I was immune.  Marion’s big breasts were definitely causing a reaction.  It was only because of the effort of moving the top of that birdbath around that it didn’t get too obvious.

Marion walked about ten feet away and then shrugged.

“I won’t know for sure until I get my flowers planted, but it’s good enough for now.  Thank you so much for coming over and helping me, Todd.  I could never have done it by myself.”

She looked at her watch then.

“This took longer than I expected.  Let me make us some lunch to pay you back for your time.”

During lunch we talked about a lot of thing, but mostly about me.  Marion wanted to know where I got my ideas for novels and I told her sometimes from something I’d read, but more often from watching people and what they did.  She grinned then.

“So, are you going to put me in one of your books?”

I didn’t know how to answer that since I already was, well, sort of.  I just smiled and said it depended.  She asked what it depended on.

“Do I need to kill somebody?  I’m not sure I could do that, though I did consider it with Bob.  I thought about it for just a minute though.  Then I decided it would be better if I just took everything we had together.”

I said, no, I probably wouldn’t make her one of my killers because I didn’t think she was that kind of person.  She grinned again.

“So, what kind of person do you think I am?”

I was getting the feeling like I was in one of my interrogation room scenes and being questioned by a gruff old detective trying to make me say things I didn’t want to say.  After watching her in her swimsuit and then in her back yard today, I’d had a lot of thoughts about Marion that she probably didn’t want to hear.

“Well, I don’t know you very well yet, but so far, I know you’re a nice woman who likes flowers and birdbaths and orange lawnmowers…Oh, and that you read romance novels.”

Marion chuckled.

“Well, that’s not all I am.  I guess you’ll learn more as time goes on.  Oh…I finished your book.  I kind of felt sorry for the woman because I know how she felt.  Bob never hit me, but what he did to me hurt almost as bad as if he had.  I don’t think you put enough of how she felt into the book.  Of course, you being a man, you can’t think like a woman.”

I had to agree with Marion about that, and nodded.

“Yes, that’s something I struggled with when I was writing that one.  I did a lot of research into women who have killed their husbands or lovers and that’s how I wrote her.”

Marion smiled.

“Most women in her situation would have thought it was somehow her fault and she’d have tried to fix it, not just kill him. Other than that, it was pretty good, well, except there wasn’t enough sex.  You said you’ve written another one.  You wouldn’t happen to have a copy of it too, would you?”

I gave Marion a copy of “Bits and Pieces”, the novel about the contractor with the woodchipper that afternoon, and then went back upstairs to write.  Out of curiosity, I glanced out the window before I sat down at my computer.  After I pulled my chair over to the window and sat down, I made a mental note to not look out that window again.  I knew if I did, I wouldn’t be able to write anything.

Marion had walked out to her pool and was in the process of climbing the ladder to get in.  Her swimsuit was still a two-piece but there wasn’t as much to this one.  All I could see as she climbed up the ladder was that instead of the bottoms reaching down far enough to cover her ass cheeks, the bottoms were cut a lot higher, high enough I could see where her ass cheeks met the back of her thigh.  It also looked like the bottoms fit tighter because there was a definite bulge between her thighs.

That was enough to make me reach for my binoculars again.  When she turned around, I pretty much forgot about writing.

The top of her suit was cut really low so her big breasts flowed over the top of the cups a little.  Those cups weren’t very supportive either.  Her breasts pushed the cups out at her sides, and as she climbed down the ladder into the pool, they swayed back and forth.  

I couldn’t take my eyes off her when she started swimming in circles again.  She was on her stomach and after a while of kicking her legs, the bottom of her suit worked its way up into her ass crack.  It was like she was wearing a thong bikini and she was starting to stir my cock.

After a couple minutes, Marion stood up and pulled the shoulder straps of her top down her arms and then dipped down so only her head was above the water.  I saw her doing something with her hands, and a second later, she draped to top of her suit over the side.

She was standing by the pipe from the filter that pumped water back into the pool so I couldn’t really see anything, but I could imagine and what I was imagining forced me to unzip my jeans to give my cock some room.

Marion swam around in circles for a while after that.  I was hoping she’d do the backstroke, but she didn’t.  She just made a few more rounds of her pool, stopped by the water hose thing again and put her top back on.  Just like the day before, she climbed up the ladder, pulled the bottoms out of her ass crack to drain the water in them, and then turned around and came back down.  Also like the day before, she looked at my house and grinned before going back into her house.

I sat at my computer for half an hour wondering two things.  Did Marion know I’d been watching her, and if she did, was that why she’d taken off her top?  I was pretty sure she couldn’t see me since I didn’t have to be close to my window to see her.  If she couldn’t see me watching her, maybe she just liked swimming with no top on.  If she did know I was watching, did she take her top off to tease me?  I couldn’t think of any reason she’d do that because we didn’t know each other all that well.  

All I finally figured out after all that thought was that Marion was proving to be more of a distraction than my former neighbors.  At least with them I could block out the noise.  There was no way I could block what I’d seen of Marion out of my head.  I shut down my computer and went downstairs to fix some dinner.  After I ate, I watched a movie on TV and then went to bed.

I didn’t see Marion again until Saturday.  Saturday is when I mow my yard and evidently Marion had decided that would be her mowing day too.  I was thankful when she didn’t have trouble getting her rider started.  I knew I’d just be staring at her instead of helping her.

The reason was she was wearing another pair of little shorts and a halter top that obviously didn’t have a built-in bra.  Her big breasts sat a little lower and they were jiggling and swaying all over the place every time she hit a bump in the ground or turned.  It was distracting enough I ran into a tree in my yard.  

I looked up to see if she’d been watching when I did that, but she just kept mowing, so I figured she hadn’t.  

At one point we were both mowing down our property lines and when we were side to side, Marion waved, shut off her blades and then shut off her mower.  It looked like she wanted to talk so I shut down my mower too.  When I did, she walked over smiling.

“Did you miss me”, she asked.

I said I’d noticed she wasn’t around much and she grinned.

“I don’t really need the money, but I had to have something to do so I got a job.  I work at the garden center where I bought my plants and my birdbath.  I only work three days a week and I only get paid ten dollars an hour, but I get a ten percent discount on anything I buy there.”

I chuckled and said she’d probably be buying more stuff that she needed help with.  Marion just grinned.

“Well, as a matter of fact, we had grills on sale and I bought one.  I love the taste of hamburgers and steaks cooked on a grill but we couldn’t have one in the city.  It wouldn’t fit in my trunk if they put it together for me.  I bought some charcoal and lighter, and some hamburger, buns, some chips, and some sodas on my way home.  If you have the time to put it together for me, I’ll cook us some burgers tonight.  If you’d rather have beer, I still have time to get some.  I just need to know what kind you like.  I already have a case of Corona and some limes because that’s what I like.”

I told Marion that Corona was fine and she didn’t have to make a second trip.  She smiled and said she’d open the trunk for me.

I figured what she called a grill would be one of those round grills with a cover.  What Marion had bought was a grill that would probably cook thirty hamburgers at a time.  I didn’t try to carry the damned thing.  It had two cutouts in the sides of the box to use as handles, so I dragged it from her car to the patio behind her house.  After I opened the box, I went back to my house for some tools because I was going to need them.

About an hour later, I had the grill put together while Marion watched.  She did help hold things a few times, but that was worse then if she’d just watched.  Like I said, her halter top didn’t appear to have much support.  When she bent over, her big breasts would well up and threaten to come out of the top.  I’m sure that at least once I saw the darker pink of her nipple beds when that happened.

Marion didn’t seem to notice when that happened.  She just kept holding up the part I was working on.  She didn’t even pull the top back up once I was done.   She just used both hands to sort of move her breasts around until they slipped back down into the top, then said she’d go get the charcoal and the lighter.

While she was gone, I took the opportunity to rearrange my cock from down my leg to up towards my belly.  When I looked down after that, it didn’t show much.

Marion came out with the charcoal in one hand and the lighter in the other, sat them on the ground beside her picnic table and then said she’d go get us a beer while I started the grill.  When she came back out with two bottles of Corona, each with a wedge of lime in the mouth, I had charcoal in the grill and lit.

We talked while the charcoal was burning down to coals.  Marion wanted to know more about me, so it was kind of like an interrogation again.

“So, Todd, what’s it like to write a novel?  I mean, I know you type it out and then send it in to a publisher, but do you start and write until you finish, or do you write a little and then read what you wrote, and then write some more until you finish?”

I shrugged.

“Well, I suppose every author is different.  Some say they start writing and don’t stop until they finish and then go back to see if everything makes sense.  I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work for me.  I keep thinking that if I write this particular thing, I need to go back and set it up earlier in the book.”

“So, you change it as you go along?”

I nodded.

“Yeah.  Like if I’m going to have it look like my murder victim probably knew his or her killer, I have to make sure to introduce some possible suspects earlier in the book.  Depending upon the location of the murder, I’ll usually go back and add a couple people a man works with.  If it’s a woman, I’ll usually go back and have her meet some guy or break up with a guy and then find a new one.”

Marion smiled.

“Sounds pretty complicated.  How’s our grill doing?”

The grill was ready and so was Marion.  She went into her house and brought out a plate of hamburgers and a long spatula.  She put the burgers on the grill and then said she’d go get us the rest and another beer.

I had to admit that Marion knew how to grill a hamburger.  I turned her down when she offered me a third.

“Marion, if I eat anything more, I’m going to explode.  Your burgers were great though.  I don’t remember having any this good before, but then most of my burgers come from Burger King.”

She cocked her head at me.

“You don’t cook for yourself?”

I shook my head.

“No.  I’m usually too busy writing to cook much.  If my microwave died, I’d starve to death.”

She chuckled then

“I’ll have to remember to feed you once in a while then.  I like cooking for a man…among other thing I can do.”

I had to think about that for a while, so I took a drink of Corona.  Marion didn’t give me much time to think though.

“Don’t you want to know what those other things are?  You said you needed to know people before you wrote about them.  How are you going to put me into one of your novels if you don’t know about me?”

Well, before, I’d been worried that Marion might sue my ass if I did put her in my novel.  Now, she was telling me she wanted to be in one.

“OK, what else can you do?”

Marion grinned.

“Do you want the normal things, or the other things?”

“I think the normal things to start out.”

She grinned again.

“OK, but the other things would make for a more interesting novel.

“I can keep house and I can work to a budget.  Bob made a lot of money, but it was me that saved so much of it.  I don’t go buying expensive clothes all the time and I always put a set amount of what he earned into savings.  The only saving Bob did was his 401K and his teacher’s retirement and that was only because the school automatically deducted both from his paycheck every month.  He’d have spent every cent if I’d let him.”

“It sounds like you were pretty much in charge of everything.”

Marion looked at the Corona in her hands then.

“Yes, I was, except for what must have counted the most for Bob.  I couldn’t help it that I got bigger.  It just happened and nothing I could do stopped it.  I mean, how was I supposed to keep my boobs from growing like they did, and how was I supposed to keep my hips from getting wider after Nancy and Jack were born?  I didn’t get fat like some women do after they have kids, but I didn’t look like I did when I was twenty anymore.  

“I guess that’s what Bob wanted.  I saw the girl once.  She didn’t have big enough boobs to really need a bra and her butt looked like a boy’s butt.  I always thought men liked women with a figure.”
I needed to leave, but I couldn’t leave Marion like that.

“Well, most men do.  I don’t understand why he’d have gone with such a young girl.  I’ve never had the urge to be with a woman much younger than I am, and after I was about twenty, those high school girls didn’t do a thing for me.”

Marion looked up then and smiled.

“So, what type of woman does do it for you?”

Well, here we went again with the questions I didn’t want to answer because in my experience there was no right answer.

“Well…that’s a hard thing to describe.  I suppose it’s about like when a woman sees a man she likes.”

“What do you think a woman sees in a man that makes her like him?”

I shrugged.

“I don’t really know.  I just think it’s probably about the same.”

Marion drained her Corona and then said, “You didn’t answer my question about what you like in a woman.  You think about it while I go get us another beer.”

When Marion came back, she sat my Corona on the table, sat back down and then grinned.

“Well, did you think of an answer that’ll make me feel good but won’t be committing you to anything?”

It was then that I changed the plot on my novel.  Instead of being my victim, Marion was going to be a detective questioning suspects in the murder.

I shrugged.

“What I look for, if I was looking and I’m not, is a woman who looks good in her clothes.  She doesn’t have to be gorgeous.  She just has to look good.  She also would have to be nice to other people and she’d have to…well, I’d have to know that she likes me a lot more than she likes any other man she knows.”

Marion chuckled.

“Well, that was a pretty good answer.  You didn’t say you’d look for a woman who looks like I do because I might think you were thinking about doing something with me.  You didn’t say you wouldn’t like a woman like me so you wouldn’t hurt my feelings.”

It was about nine then, so I said I probably should be getting out of her hair.  Marion just smiled.

“It’s still early for me since I don’t have to work tomorrow.  It’s also pretty warm and there’s a full moon tonight.  I think I’ll spend a little time in my pool.  Thank you for setting up my grill.  We’ll have to do this again sometime.”

I couldn’t help going upstairs to my writer’s den when I got home.  I didn’t turn on the light.  I just wheeled my chair over to the window to watch Marion.

I was surprised that when she came out to her pool with a blown-up air mattress, she was still wearing her halter top and shorts.  I figured she’d have changed into a swimsuit.  She tossed the air mattress into the pool and then really surprised me when she walked around to the ladder, took of her haltertop, shorts, and panties, and then climbed the ladder to get in her pool.  

I couldn’t stop looking at her.  Marion’s ass was really erotic when she climbed up that ladder, and when she turned around, her heavy breasts swayed gently.  I undid my belt and unzipped to give my cock more room.

When Marion got in the water, she didn’t swim in circles like she had before.  She climbed up on the air mattress, lay there on her back and just floated around.

I couldn’t see very well even though my binoculars because the light of the moon was reflecting off the rippled surface of the pool, but I was sure I saw a patch of dark hair on her mound.

It got really interesting when Marion cupped her right breast with her left hand, squeezed it a little, and then closed two fingers around that nipple.  She then stroked down over her stomach with her right hand.  I watched that hand go lower and lower until her fingers curled between her thighs.  Marion was fingering herself right there in her pool.

It was like watching a porn movie except porn movies are just acting and Marion was obviously not acting.  She was consciously arousing herself.  She kept moving the fingers between her thighs, and after a while she moved her legs as far apart as she could and still keep them on the air mattress.  All the time, she was either stroking her breasts or stroking her nipples or pinching them.

I don’t know how long it took her.  I was glued to my binoculars and couldn’t take time to look at a clock.  I watched as she started to arch her back a little and then jerk when she pinched her nipple.  I watched as her thighs quivered and then relaxed, then quivered again.  I watched as she suddenly jerked her head back and then started rocking her hips into her fluttering finger.

For a while, Marion lay there on her air mattress slowly stroking between her thighs and occasionally fondling her breasts.  From time to time, she’d make a little jerking motion and then smile.  When that stopped, she rolled off the air mattress, walked to the ladder and climbed out of her pool.  

She didn’t bother with her panties.  She just pulled on her shorts and halter top, picked up her panties, and then walked back inside her house.  

Well, Marion had said she did some other things and that those things would be more interesting.  I hadn’t found her nude swim interesting.  I’d found it to be the most erotic thing I’d ever seen a woman do.  Watching her give herself an orgasm was more than erotic.  I didn’t know of one word that described it, but I knew what it did to me.  I had to make a trip downstairs to the bathroom to take care of what she'd done to me.

I did go back upstairs, but once I sat down, I realized I wasn’t going to write anything useful.  I couldn’t get that vision of Marion out of my head, the vision of her casually taking off all her clothes like it was something she did often, then floating around on an air mattress and bringing herself to an orgasm.  I finally gave up staring at my computer screen but seeing Marion in her pool instead of the last words I’d written on my novel.  I was still seeing her when I went to bed and closed my eyes.

It was Sunday afternoon when I next saw Marion.  She came out to fill her birdbath and waved when she saw me washing my car.  When she finished filling her birdbath, she shut of the faucet at her house and wound the garden hose up on a reel, and then walked over.

“Hi, Todd.  I take my car to one of those drive through car washes.  Do you always wash your car?”

I grinned and said authors live on a pretty tight budget between novels, so yes, I washed my car myself.

“It saves me some money and it’s not that bad a job, especially if it’s hot like it is today.  If I get too hot, I just hose myself down.”

Marion laughed.

“That’s another reason I started taking my car to a car wash instead of washing it myself.  Bob always thought it was funny to turn the hose on me and soak me to the skin.  I mean, I didn’t mind Bob seeing me that way, but we had neighbors on both sides.  I didn’t want them seeing me like that.”

I wondered what Marion would think if she knew I’d watched her the night before.  I put that thought out of my head then because I was starting to grin.  I quickly changed that grin to what I hoped was a normal face.

“Well, you have neighbors out here too, but I don’t think you’d have to worry about Mr. Jenkins, your other neighbor.  He’s seventy-eight and probably past thinking about anything like that.  You don’t have to worry about me either.  I spend most of my time writing, not watching my neighbors.”

Marion just smiled.

“Well, I need to go do some shopping and I have to work Monday through Wednesday, so I probably won’t see you again until Thursday.  I uh…I might need you to help me on Thursday if you have time.”

I said I’d be more than glad to help her.  Marion thanked me and then walked back to her house.

I finished washing my car and then went upstairs to write.  I changed my victim to a blonde who was a few pounds heavier than she liked, but that gave her enough size to fight back against the pool guy.

Then I turned Marion into a no-nonsense detective with ten years on the force as she and a younger, male detective named Ted England began investigating.  My intention was to paint Ted as a guy who’d been a good police officer but had a lot to learn about being a detective.  Marion, well, I called her Randy Draves, was the detective who was going to teach him the ropes.

It was at that point that I started having trouble again.  I’d always written my characters based upon people I’d known in real life.  Often I had to sort of dissect two or three and pick the parts I wanted my character to have, but they were always based on real people.  That’s really the only way to make characters seem real.

When I started writing about how Randy was teaching Ted what to look for, I was having trouble giving her a soft side since she was supposed to be pretty tough.  I could write her teaching Ted as I thought Marion would probably act if teaching someone how to do something, but I couldn’t keep her as tough as I wanted her to be in an interrogation room.  Marion could ask some very pointed questions, but she was never aggressive about it like my detective would have been.  If I tried writing her as a tough detective teaching a new detective, she kept coming out over-critical of Ted instead of helping him learn.

After four hours, I realize I couldn’t make Marion into anything except what she was, a very nice woman who had been hurt by her husband but hadn’t gotten hardened by that.  

The writing went a little easier once I took Marion out of the novel.  I went back to two male detectives, one the “good cop” who was an older man who’d investigated more murders than he’d admit, and the “bad cop” who’d seen enough murders to know what made sense in a crime scene and what didn’t.  

My good cop would try to empathize with each suspect they interrogated in order to put them at ease and get them to talk.  He was everybody’s Grandpa.  My bad cop would take over as soon a the good cop caused the suspect to slip up and reveal knowledge of something the police hadn’t released to the public.  He’d be nice at first, but become more and more aggressive in hopes of frightening the suspect into confessing.

I’d written a couple thousand words about the investigation of the crime scene when I remembered that Marion had asked if I was going to put her into my novel.  I thought I had just the place.  She’d be Mary Conners, a crime scene technician who would arrive at the scene to collect evidence and then analyze it back at the crime lab.  I could keep her as a nice woman of about forty who was divorced and looked pretty good to both my detectives.  I’d also make her the one who found the evidence that resulted in the arrest of the pool guy.  

I’d written in her arrival at the crime scene and had written that the younger detective remarked to the older detective that she was a real looker, when I realized I’d given Mary only a bit part in my novel.  She’d float into the crime scene, gather her evidence, give that evidence to my detectives, and then disappear from the novel.  I thought that would probably disappoint Marion.  

I wasn’t sure why pleasing Marion was important to me, but it was.  I sat there reading what I’d written so far for two more hours before giving up and going downstairs for dinner.

The good thing about an author who has written and sold three novels is that the publishers are aware of you and are more willing to chance publishing the next one you’ve written.  The bad thing about being an author who has written and sold only three novels is no publisher is holding their breath waiting on the fourth and no publisher has given you an advance with a deadline.  

In my case, not having a deadline was actually a good thing since I was still muddling around with my plot and my characters.  I decided I needed to just think for a few days about my original plan.  Maybe that original plan was all wrong and I needed to start fresh.  

That’s what it was looking like the next morning, so I decided to take some time off.  I saved my original file and then shut down my computer, picked up my notebook and a couple pens and went out to the lawn chair and table in my back yard.

I sketched out a novel on Monday that I thought would work.  It was based on an actual crime that happened in the 1920’s updated to today.  Marion was going to be a uniformed patrol officer who responded to a 911 call.

On Tuesday, I sat down to start writing it and after four pages, decided I didn’t like it.  I couldn’t fit what I knew about Marion into a blue uniform with a service belt, pistol, handcuffs, and a nightstick.  That afternoon, I sketched out a second version of the same story.  Marion would be an EMT who responded to the 911 call.

On Wednesday morning, I didn’t like it either.  I couldn’t picture Marion with her hair pulled back in a pony tail, wearing a blue ball cap and after feeling the victim for a pulse, nonchalantly announcing to the detectives that the victim was dead as a hammer.  I spent Wednesday afternoon trying to find a role in my novel that Marion could fill just like I saw her.  I didn’t come up with anything except the realization as I was lying in bed that the problem wasn’t my plots.  My problem was trying to fit Marion into my plots.

Thursday morning, I didn’t try to think.  I went to buy some groceries and fill up my car.  When I got back home, Marion was out in her back yard with her garden hose laid out in curving lines on the ground.  I put my groceries away and then walked over to see what she was doing.  When I walked up, she frowned.

“This is harder than I thought it would be.  You’re supposed to use a garden hose to outline your flower beds.  That way you can see how it’s going to look before you dig anything up.  I keep moving it around and then looking at it and deciding I need to change it, but it’s hard to see since I’m running back and forth.”

She smiled then.

“Would I be taking you away from your novel if I asked you to help me?”

I couldn’t very well tell her I hadn’t written anything usable in almost a week and that I’d decided the reason was her.

“I do take a break from time to time.  What do you need me to do?”

What followed was two hours of Marion saying, “Move the middle part to the left…a little more…that’s about right.  Now move the right side a little more toward the house…no, that’s too much.  Go back a little”.

It was twelve thirty when Marion was satisfied.  

“I think that’s what I want.  Now all we have to do is drive in some of the stakes I bought so we’ll know where to dig up the grass.  I’ll fix us some lunch before we do that, though.”

Lunch was cold cut sandwiches and potato chips washed down with a soda.  After that, I walked out to Marion’s car with her.  I should have known that driving in the stakes I saw in her trunk wasn’t all she needed help with.  In a box that filled up most of her trunk was a small tiller, except a tiller wouldn’t have fit into that box unless it was disassembled.  I asked Marion if she needed help with the tiller too, and she looked at her feet.

“Well, probably.  I just didn’t want to ask you for everything all at once.”

Driving in the stakes was easy.  In an hour, we had her flowerbed laid out and the garden hose put away.  I went back for the tiller, horsed the box out of her trunk and then dragged it out to her back yard.  It wasn’t all that heavy, but it was awkward as hell because all the weight was on one end.  When I opened the box, I decided I probably needed some tools, so I told Marion to take everything out of the box while I went to get them.

I took me an hour and a half to put the damned thing together.  I figured my next task would be to dig up the flower beds, but I didn’t have the slightest idea how to do that.  Marion said it would be easy.  All I had to do was fill it up with gas, start it and then follow the stakes.  The tiller would do all the work.

Filling it up with oil and gas was easy.  Starting it was pretty easy too.  It only took four pulls on the starter rope.  That’s when it got not so easy.

I learned that day that running a tiller with the tines on the front is like trying to ride a bucking horse.  The problem as I saw it was that the tines didn’t really cut down into the grass.  They’d bite into it and then the tiller would jerk up because the rotation of the tines was designed to pull it forward.  

I finally got the hang of adjusting the bar on the back deep enough to keep the tiller from lurching forward all the time, but I still had to keep holding it back and steer.

Two hours later, Marion’s flowerbed was mostly tilled about six inches deep and there was chopped grass all over the place.  She was happy though.

“This looks just like I wanted it to look.  Tomorrow, I’ll go buy my daffodils and iris.  I’ll also get some annuals because the daffodils and iris won’t come up until next spring.  Say, it’s almost five.  Want a burger for dinner?  If you’ll start the grill, I’ll go get everything ready.”

By seven, we were sitting at Marion’s picnic table and starting our third Corona.  Marion poked the lime wedge down the neck of hers, took a drink and then smiled at me.

“So, how’s your novel coming?”

I shrugged.

“About like they all have so far.  I haven’t written a lot.  I haven’t found my  groove yet, I guess.  I will one of these days and it’ll go pretty fast after that.”

“Am I in it?”, she asked.

“Well, I’ve been looking at where you’d fit, but it’s a difficult thing to do.  I usually make up my characters out of people I’ve known in the past.  I take a little from this one, something else from that one, and something else from another one.  It’s hard to fit someone I know pretty well into a character because characters have to end up being what a reader wants read about, not someone who’s exactly real.  

Real people aren’t…well, real people are normal and normal people don’t commit murders and normal people aren’t usually cops.  I mean, cops are normal people but they’re different than other normal people.  Normal people wouldn’t put themselves at risk to protect someone else and they wouldn’t want to see all the things cops see almost every day.”

Marion chuckled.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to be a murdered…or is it murderess…I don’t know which is right.  Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be a person who kills another person, and as for being a cop…I don’t think I’m cut out to do something like that.  I can do other things you could write about though, and it would fix your other problem.”

I knew what she was talking about.  She was talking about the fact that I’ve never put much sex into my novels.

“You must be talking about me putting more sex into my story.”

Marion grinned.

“Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.”

I smiled.

“Well, I could try that I suppose.  I could make you a prostitute who witnessed a murder.”

Marion laughed.

“I’m too old to be a prostitute.  I’ve seen them on the cop shows on TV.  They’re all in their twenties with perky boobs and tight butts.  I guess I’ll have to wait until the novel you write after this one.”

Marion looked at me then.

“You know, Todd.  You’ve made moving out here a lot easier for me by helping me with everything.  I watched you today running my tiller.  You were hot and sweaty but you didn’t give up like I would have.  Right now, you look tired.  You deserve something for that.  Hey, I know.  Lets go for a swim in my pool.  That always relaxes me.  I’ll bet it’ll make you feel better too.

I said I didn’t have a pair of trunks, which was true.  I’ve never been much of a swimmer.  Marion just waved her hand at me.

“You’re wearing underwear, aren’t you?  Most men’s underwear covers as much as swimming trunks and more than some do.  Besides, it’s almost dark so nobody will see us.  I’ll go change while you get in the water.”

Marion jumped up before I had a chance to say anything.  

If I hadn’t just finished that third Corona, I might have acted differently.  My tolerance for alcohol is about two beers, three if I’ve had something to eat and I’m not tired.  I was pretty tired, but I kept thinking about the nights I’d watched Marion in her pool.  

Taking off my shirt was easy.  Taking off my shoes and socks was easy.  I was still working up the courage to take off my jeans when Marion came back in another two-piece suit.  She was carrying two more Coronas.  She looked at me and grinned.

“I brought us another beer.  You’re not gonna chicken out on me, are you?”

She handed me my beer and then climbed the ladder and got into her pool, then looked over the side and said, “It’s dark and I can’t see you.  What are you waiting for?”

Well, it did feel good to set my Corona on the edge of the pool like Marion had, and then climb the ladder back down into the water, but it wasn’t very relaxing.  As soon as I was in, I felt the water moving around me until Marion touched me…on my chest.

“Now, that wasn’t so bad, now was it?  We’ll just stay here until we’re both all relaxed.  I’m pretty relaxed right now.  How about you?”

I was anything but relaxed.  Marion’s soft fingers were starting to raise my cock.  It didn’t help any at all when she move her hand down a little.  When I shivered, she giggled.

“Are you cold?  I’m not.”

“No, it’s just that it’s been a while since a woman touched me like that.”

Marion giggled again.

“Am I doing something to you that you don’t like?”

I couldn’t answer right away because Marion put her other hand on my shoulder.  I didn’t shiver, but I knew my cock was about half-hard.  If she got any closer, she’d probably feel it against her stomach.

“It’s not that I don’t like it.  It’s just…well…like I said, it hasn’t happened for a while.”

Marion pulled her hands away and I felt the water moving around me a little, then her hands on my shoulders again.  When she pulled her self a little closer, I realized she’d take off the top of her suit.

She sighed as she pressed her heavy breasts into my chest.

“It’s been a long time for me too, long enough I’d almost forgotten how this feels.”

She got a little closer, close enough I felt her smooth thigh slip between my legs, and she chuckled then.

“I’d forgotten how that feels too.  It makes me feel good that I’m doing this to you.  After Bob found his bimbo, I thought it was probably just me.  Part of you is telling me it wasn’t me at all.”

There was absolutely nothing wrong with Marion, but she’d surprised me again.  It was obvious what she wanted, or at least I thought it was pretty obvious since she’d taken off her top.  I knew it was obvious when she moved her right hand down my chest, then my belly, and then slipped it inside the waistband of my underwear.

She stroked my rigid shaft a few times, and then said, “I need you to kiss me now.”

That kiss sealed my fate, I guess.  Between Marion’s soft lips on mine, her wet little tongue touching mine, and her soft hands gently rubbing my cock, I gave in and cupped her hips with my hands.  She moaned into my mouth when I did that.  When she pulled gently away, she whispered, “Let’s go in my house.  I’ve tried this in a swimming pool before and it’s not like they show it in the movies.”

Marion didn’t bother to put her top back on.  She just got out of the pool and stood by the ladder while I climbed out, then put her arms around my neck and pressed her breasts into my chest again.  After she kissed my earlobe, she whispered, “Don’t put your clothes back on.  I want to see you in the light just like you are now.”

Well, Marion got her wish.  I followed her though her back door and into her kitchen.  When I was through the door, she closed it, locked it and then asked me to stay in the kitchen while she got us a towel.  A couple minutes later, she came back, tossed me a blue bath towel, and then took of the bottoms of her swimsuit.

She grinned when she started drying herself and pointed to my underwear.

“I showed you mine.  Now I want to see yours.  Show me.”

By that time, I was past thinking about anything except Marion’s heavy breasts, her dark, stiff nipples and the patch of dark brown hair on her mound.  She’d trimmed it, I suppose so the hair wouldn’t stick out from the swimsuit, trimmed it in a triangle on her mound, but her lips were shaved bare.  I slipped my underwear off my ass and then down my legs.  I dried my legs with the towel and then my balls and stiff cock.

Marion stepped out of her bottoms, wiped that triangle of hair and between her thighs with the towel, and then tossed the towel on a kitchen chair.  She was smiling when she put her arms around my neck and pressed her breasts into my chest again.

“When I moved out here, I didn’t expect to have a single man as my neighbor.  I figured I’d be the odd duck in a pond full of married couples.  When I met you and you said you weren’t married, I wondered if I could convince you that I need help in ways that aren’t just carrying things or putting a grill together or running a tiller.  Todd, I need to feel needed again, like I felt needed a long time ago.  I don’t care if it’s just for tonight.  I just need to feel like a man is still interested in me.  You seem to be interested.”

I was interested, for two reasons.  One, obviously, was Marion’s breasts against my chest and the hair that was gently pressing against my cock.  I don’t know many men who wouldn’t be interested if that was going on.

The other reason was that I thought I was seeing the true Marion now, not the Marion who’d talked me into doing a lot of things for her, and not the Marion who seemed to really hate her ex-husband.  This was the Marion who was a woman who appeared to be very strong on the outside, but was really pretty fragile on the inside.  That was a Marion who made sense to the writer in me, and also the Marion who had just become a very special person in my life.

I put my arms around Marion and smiled.

“Maybe we should see if I can do that for you.”

If I had any reservations about whether Marion was serious or not, they went away as soon as we walked into her bedroom.  She’d already pulled the blankets and sheets down to the foot of the bed so she must have planned on this happening.  She stopped at the edge of the bed, put her arms around my neck again, and whispered, “Kiss me again.”

That kiss led me to easing her down on the bed and when she rolled over onto her back, I laid down beside her.  Marion snuggled up to me then, lifted her left breast up to sit it on my chest, and pushing her hairy mound into my thigh.  I kissed her again then while stroking her big breast.  When my fingertips brushed Marion’s nipple, she caught her breath for a second and then moaned into my mouth.

Marion pulled away for a second then to lift her left breast up and push it toward my mouth.  I didn’t need her to tell me what she wanted.  When I closed my lips around that nipple and mouthed it, Marion shuddered and I felt her start rubbing her mound against my thigh.  I pinched her nipple between my lips and then sucked gently while I slipped my hand down to her mound.

Marion moaned again when I cupped my fingers enough I felt her bare, soft, puffy lips, and she caught her breath again when my middle finger slipped between those lips.  She breathed, “Oh God”, and then found my cock.

Marion seemed pretty dry, but that would be because of the time we’d spent in the pool.  I licked my fingers and then started stroking her clit very lightly, and after a while, she wasn’t dry anymore.  Her inner lips were warm and wet and stuck to my finger when I moved my finger down.

When my finger reached her entrance, I slipped it inside her a little and then started moving it in and out.  Marion locked her lips to mine, found my tongue with hers, and then moaned when I curled my finger up.

She was open enough by then that I slipped two fingers inside her, found the little pad just inside the tight spot in her entrance, and curled up my fingers again.  Marion jerked a little when I began massaging that little pad, then moaned loudly and I felt a little wet warmth flow onto my fingers.

Marion stopped kissing me long enough to whisper, “Oh God” again and then started rocking her body up into my stroking fingers.  She gasped when I pinched her nipple lightly between my teeth, and the hand that had been gently stroking my cock suddenly tightened and began stroking faster.

I let her do that until it was getting hard to not just let go.  I gave her clit a few rubs with my thumb and then said, “Marion, slow down a little or I’m going to disappoint you.”

Marion just raised her thigh a little higher, turned her body, and then guided my cock head to her entrance.

“I’m ready”, she whispered.  “Let’s do it like this.”

She was pretty slippery inside, but she was also a pretty tight fit.  My cock isn’t huge, but I was still feeling every little ripple inside Marion as I stroked in and out.  That was going fine until she caught her breath and I felt her passage squeezing my cock.  When I groaned a little, Marion whispered, “I told you there are things I can do that are more interesting.  This helps me too.”

The more I sucked on Marion’s nipple and the more I stroked my cock in and out of her, the more frequent and stronger those squeezes were.  Every time I felt one of those squeezes Marion seemed to get wetter and more slippery inside.  I was thankful for that.  It was getting harder and harder to keep from ramming my cock inside Marion and letting myself cum.

I knew Marion was catching up with me when she started to push her body into my strokes and then shudder a little when I pulled out.  A few strokes later, I felt her left hand, the hand that had been stroking my shoulder and chest, I felt her grip my shoulder and gasp.  That hand relaxed when I eased my cock out of her, but on the next stroke, her body jerked into me and she dug her fingernails into my shoulder.  She gasped out a little moan and then squeezed my thighs between hers.

After three more strokes, Marion made a little soft cry and her thighs began to shake.  One more stroke was all it took.  Marion cried out and thrust her body into mine, then began rocking herself over my cock.  I couldn’t hold out any longer.  I groaned and let things happen as they would.  I groaned again when the first stream raced up my shaft and deep inside Marion.  I tried to pull out before ramming my cock inside her for the second, but that was useless.  She had me locked between her thighs and she was doing everything she could to stroke herself over my cock.

Spurts two and three left me gasping for breath, but Marion wasn’t done yet.  She kept making little whimpering cries and rocking her body against me while I was feeling contractions around my cock.  After a while, that rocking was only once in a while and accompanied by a little moan from Marion.  It wasn’t until my cock softened enough it slipped out of her wet, grasping passage that she stopped.

Marion took a few deep breaths and then giggled.

“Wow…I knew I was in bad shape, but I didn’t think it was that bad.”

I stroked Marion’s back and asked her what she meant by being in bad shape.  She kissed my neck and her voice was low and sultry.

“I’ve always liked sex, probably too much for my own good.  Before Bob found his girlfriend, we did it every night.  When that stopped, I started feeling really tense all the time.  I knew why because it had happened once before when Bob had to take a trip for a week.  That time just wasn’t as bad as this time.

“I tried doing it myself and that helped, but it wasn’t the same.  I knew I needed a man to do it for me.  When I moved out here and met you, I thought maybe I’d found that man.  That’s why I kept asking you to help me.  I wanted to see just how far you’d go.

“That’s why I dressed like I did and why I took off my top that night you watched me from your window.  I wanted to tell you that I wanted this, but I didn’t know how to do it without you thinking I’m some sort of slut.  I thought showing you my boobs might make you want me.  When that didn’t do it, I took off everything the next time.  I know you watched me that night too.  You never close the door to your writing room do you?  Well, even with the room lights out, the hall light shines in enough you make a silhouette that I could see.

“I saw you getting hard a few times so I knew it wasn’t me.  I figured you were too nice of a guy to start anything, so I’d have to.”

Marion kissed my chest again and then stroked my cheek.

“I was afraid you’d think I was a bad woman and turn me down, but you were the only man I trusted enough to ask.  I feel a lot better now.”

I felt Marion’s hand slide down my belly then until she was holding my cock.  She gave it a couple shakes and then giggled again.

“Could I talk you into letting me fix breakfast for us both tomorrow morning?  You can just stay here tonight and help me again.”

Well, that night one thing led to another and that led me to be on my knees behind Marion and fondling her big breasts and nipples while she pushed herself back and forth over my cock.  Right at the end, her legs were shaking so hard she started to fall down on the bed.  I grabbed her hips to hold her up and then just held on while she kept shaking.  I managed three spurts that time, and each one left me panting.  Like the time before, Marion kept going for a few seconds.

When she stopped squeezing my cock with her passage, I let Marion ease back down and then rolled over beside her.  She raised up, turned on her side, and then snuggled up to me.

“I feel a lot better now.  I might need you to help me tomorrow morning though.  I have a lot of time to make up.”

Well, that night was the start of something I don’t want to end and something I don’t think I could end even if I wanted to.  It just got better the more I got to know Marion.  

I’m still writing my next novel, but only on the three days a week that Marion works at the garden center.  It’s changed since Marion asked me how I was doing.  She happened by lying in bed beside me at the time.

“So, did you figure out how to put me in your novel yet?”

I said I was still having trouble with that because I couldn’t picture her being involved in a murder in any way.  She smiled then.

“Maybe you’re writing the wrong kind of novel then.”

I said murder mysteries were my style and I couldn’t change that.  Marion stroked my chest then.

“Well, you could still write a murder mystery, but couldn’t your detective have a girlfriend, you know, a woman he comes home to who helps him with all the stress of his job?  If you were a cop, I bet I could relieve your stress for you.”

I was three weeks into the novel when I told Marion she was my muse.  She just laughed.

“All I did was suggest you give your detective a girlfriend.  Let’s see what you’ve written so far.”

She read through the first two chapters and then grinned.

“Now, this novel will sell.  Women will want to read it because they’ll be able to identify with the girlfriend.”

She grinned then and pulled her top over her head.

“As a matter of fact, I’m identifying with her right now.  I’d like to see how it feels to be on top like you wrote her in the second chapter.”
Well, that novel did sell and it sold a lot better than the other three I’d written.  My agent asked me how I could write the sex so well.

“It’s like you know how a woman feels.  Not many male authors can do that.  What happened to change you?  If you keep writing novels like this one, I’ll have publishers knocking on my door and wanting to publish your next novel.  If you can write in even more sex, we’ll change your name to a woman’s name and I’ll submit it to Harlequin.”

I said nothing had really changed.  I’d just decided that I didn’t have enough sex in my novels and had asked a friend to help me.

She grinned.

“If what she helps you with is what you write, I’d be interested in giving you a little help too.”

I just smiled and said I had all the help I needed.

Well, I’ve started novel number five.  I’ve decided my detective and his girlfriend are going to be permanent characters in my novels.  Marion likes that idea, and keeps helping me figure out ways they can have sex to reduce the detectives stress level.

On Thursday afternoon, we did a little weeding on her flowerbed and then had a couple steaks she cooked on the grill.  It was dark by the time we finished and Marion said she wondered what the detective and his girlfriend would do on a warm night when they were out on his patio.

“They’re really into each other and you always write her as wanting to try new things.  I think she might do something like this.”

Marion grinned as she took off her clothes.  Then she told me to sit on top of her picnic table.  When I did, she pushed me back on the table and started to unbuckle my belt.  When she had my pants and underwear down to my knees, she climbed up on top of me.

“You just hold still and I’ll show you what I think the girlfriend would do.”

That was interesting, although I think when I write it I’ll have it be on a chaise lounge.  That picnic table was hard and I got a splinter in my ass.  I didn’t realize it until we went inside.  Marion saw it and said she’d pull it out for me.

She got her tweezers and sat down in a chair with me in front of her.  

“Now hold still so I can get it out.”

I felt her hand on my cock.

“Marion, that’s not where the splinter is.”

She giggled.

“I know, but this is so you don’t feel it when I pull the splinter out.”

I don’t remember her pulling out the splinter.  To tell the truth, I don’t think there was ever a splinter in my ass.  I think Marion just wanted an excuse to jack my cock until it got hard so we could have sex again.  It did, and we did right there on her kitchen table except this time Marion was on her back and I was standing on the floor.  She said it felt like I was in her deeper than the other ways.  I don’t know about that.  When she was riding my cock, it felt like I was in pretty deep.  I could see her lips spread out around my cock when she was all the way down.

I don’t know about how my detective would feel about something like that.  He’s a pretty conservative guy.  I’ll have to think about that for a while.  I have my muse to help me and I’m sure she’ll be more than willing.