Stories by Colin Burke

Elves of Autumn

“Do you do this deed for pleasure only, with complete disregard of its proper context?”

“No. I’m not concerned about the pleasure itself. It’s mostly curiosity about sexual intercourse and wishing I had a woman of my own. When I’m in bed at night and the room is dark and Jim is quietly asleep… [He described here his occasionally, not often, imagining as if it were innocently some particular feminine presence only as company in bed at first, with no intention to be unchaste, which developed within a week or so into his fantasizing about, and so in some small sense “achieving,” without manipulation but not without some quiet movement, a version of what some teachers of Catholic doctrine have called “complete pleasure.” He asked me to paraphrase his account here, feeling his actual wording might be too explicit for the kind of reader to whom this narrative might most appeal, and indeed this paraphrase seems to me now in comparison somewhat prim. He also asked me later, somewhat wryly, to add, for the benefit perhaps of younger readers, what he did not say in the original, that “complete pleasure” is not necessarily always great pleasure and that it doesn’t satisfy curiosity about the truly feminine. VCB]

“Do you imagine different women with you?” asked Muelonfulon.

“From time to time, if I meet different women I think I might like to marry. But mostly, lately, I’ve been thinking about Mrs. Hampton, the housekeeper at the place – it’s an institution, really – where I live.