Here is the full text of my Smut Marathon round #6 entry. I had to cut a lot of it to get to the required 650 words (I have posted that version at the bottom). 


The Fortune Cookie
(title in Smut Marathon was “Your Fortune Awaits”)


From outside, the restaurant looked inauspicious: brick, painted glossy black, glimmered in the sun, a traditional red awning hung over the red door, and a neon sign above silently announced its identity as The Fortune Cookie.

Amile looked at the business card he held shakily between his thumb and forefinger and then at the numbers beside the door. This was it. Placing his right foot in front of his left, he willed his body to move toward the door.

The windows were tinted, so even as he moved closer he could not see inside. Somehow, that made him feel calmer. The darkness drew him.

He wrapped his hand around the handle of the door, pulling the latch down with his thumb, and pushed it open. The hostess looked up from behind her podium and smiled at him, in a suit of charcoal gray and matching fedora, framed by light from the outside.

“Welcome to The Fortune Cookie,” she said in her small twinkling voice, “Do you have a reservation?”

“Yes,” he said, a bit too quickly, sounding shaky and unsure.

Her head tilted a bit, and her eyes glittered. The softness of her unmarked youthful features and the absence of make-up, sans the long black lashes and classic red lipstick made the whole situation feel unreal to him.

“Your name?”

“Amile…Amile Juneot…” he stuttered.

She smiled and looked down at her register, running her red nail down the side of the page and then stopping to check a box next to what he presumed was his name.

“Right this way, Mr. Juneot,” she turned and walked slowly and confidently, her small frame swaying like a snake as she led him down the red carpeted hall. She stopped at a door on the right and opened it, standing beside it once inside to let Amile pass.

“Your server will be with you shortly,” she smiled again and bowed her head before she left the room and closed the door behind her.

Amile glanced around the room. Each wall boasted what appeared to be a classic Chinese scroll painting, centered perfectly; however, upon closer inspection, he realized they were reproductions of ancient Chinese pornography. A large oval table in the middle of the room was surrounded by six chairs, and a red leather-bound menu sat in front of one of them. He moved toward it, pulled out the chair, sat, and took the menu in his hands, opening it and moving his eyes up and down and over the contents inside.

There was a light knock at the door, and then a man, dressed in black, entered and walked toward him, stopping at his right side.

“Have you decided, Mr. Juneot?”

“Y-yes,” Amile stammered, “I think I’ll try the number eight.”

“Very good, sir.”

The server took his menu and left him alone in the room again.

Moments later, another knock at the door announced her presence, and as the door began to open, Amile straightened up, clasping his hands on the table before him in an effort to control their shaking.

She was clothed in a knee-length cheongsam, patterned with yellow and black embroidery, her hair braided and collected at the base of her neck, decorated with yellow and white blossoms.

She smiled, but said nothing, as she walked, barefooted, toward the table and pulled out the chair opposite him, fluidly stepping into it and then crawling across the table to kneel before him. Reaching to either side of her cheongsam, she hooked her fingers beneath each of the side slits and pulled the dress slowly up her thighs, leaning forward a bit to slip the fabric over her backside. She let her body slide to the side and moved her feet out from beneath her, spreading her legs. Leaning backward on to her elbows, a demure smile on her red lips, the young woman presented her perfectly shaved mound to Amile.

His eyes widened, and he licked his lips, pressed them together and breathed in deeply, gathering his wits.

He reached out and touched the inside of her smooth thigh, allowing himself to rest his entire palm there. His skin was warmer than hers, and slightly damp, but he’d stopped considering his own anxiety. Carefully, he inched his hand downward, placing his other hand on the outside of her other thigh.

And that is when he lost his composure. Both of his hands wrapped around her hips, pulling her toward his face. He kissed her there, between her legs, as if he were kissing her mouth, taking her labia between his lips and running his tongue along their wet, pink insides. He sucked on her clitoris as if it were the tiny dip between the peaks of her upper lip, and he looked up at her face with longing. Her lips parted, and the corners of her black-brown eyes creased upward in a smile. She exhaled deeply, and he felt her whole body offer itself up to him. Amile closed his eyes and let his tongue find her by the heady gardenia scent of her skin. He licked her from taint to clitoris, up and down, pushing his tongue in deeper with each pass, until he finally reached the doorway to her inner depths. He let his tongue enter her, curling it to fit and move deeper. His cock pressed uncomfortably against the fabric of his pants, begging to breath, begging to follow the path of his tongue. Every cell within him wanted to follow that path.

But that option was not on the menu. Nothing could penetrate her but his tongue. And he wasn’t to mark her skin with his hungry grip. The hunger in his hands warned him that not grabbing her would be impossible, and so he moved his hands to grip the table cloth on either side of her, bunching it behind her and using it as a strap to pull her closer, pressing her pelvis against his face as he rubbed his nose against her clit and his cheeks and chin against her mounting wetness, covering himself in her glistening perfume.

Amile kissed and licked and sucked until the young woman was dripping and wriggling and wimpering. Her back arched and her head fell back, exposing her porcelain neck. He felt her hips tilting upward, her thighs tightening against the sides of his head, as she lifted her body to writhe against his mouth. Her orgasm exploded, sweet molten lava spread across his tongue and gushed to fill his cheeks. And he held her there, the perfect circles of her bottom in the palms of his hands, inches from the table.

Amile held her juices in his mouth and kept his lips sealed against her until her movements quelled, her weight increasing in his hands as the orgasm released her. Gently, he lowered her body to the table, slid his lips together, and sat back in his chair, swallowing the sweet nectar.

She sat up, letting her legs and feet dangle over the edge of the table. A few tendrils of her hair had fallen loose and a light sheen of perspiration glistened on her forehead.

Scooting forward, she slipped off the table to stand before him, where she pulled her cheongsam down over her hips and straightened it. She smiled at him, took hold of a napkin from the table, and reached forward to wipe the corners of Amile’s mouth. He was breathing heavily, and his hair was disheveled, his skin still slick with her wetness.

Setting the napkin back on the table, the young woman turned and, with one quick smiling glance back, left the room.

Amile ran his fingers through his own hair, and pressed his hand against his erection, adjusting it uncomfortably and wishing, with sudden intensity, that he could release it.

He heard the door open, and the his server entered, holding a small silver platter, upon which rested one fortune cookie, centered on a white paper doily. He placed it before Amile, bowed his head quickly, and backed out of the room. Amile reached out and took the cookie between two fingers. Breaking it in half, he uncovered the tiny white slip of paper held within. It read, “Before you receive, you must give.”

He looked back at the young woman, who smiled and stood on tip-toes to whisper in his ear, “You have given well…”

She planted her feet on the floor, her black-brown eyes offering a whole new hidden menu of delicacies to enjoy.

 


Here is what it became with the necessary cuts to reach 650 words…


The hostess’s small frame swayed like a snake as she led Amile down a red-carpeted hallway. She stopped, opened a door, and stood beside it, inviting Amile to enter.

“Your server will be with you shortly,” she bowed her head and closed the door behind her, leaving Amile to survey the room and find his seat at the head of the table. There awaited a leather-bound menu, which he collected and opened.

There was a light knock at the door, and the server entered, “Have you decided, Mr. Juneot?”

“Yes,” Amile replied, “Number eight.”

“Very good, sir,” the server bowed, took the menu, and exited.

Moments later, she entered, clothed in a cheongsam, patterned with yellow and black embroidery, her hair braided and collected at the base of her neck.

She smiled and dropped her gaze as she walked, barefooted, toward the table, fluidly stepping into the chair opposite Amile, then crawling across the table to kneel before him. Hooking her fingers beneath each of the side slits, she pulled her dress slowly up her thighs and leaned her body to the side to move her feet out from beneath her. Bending backward on to her elbows, the young woman spread her legs and presented her perfectly shaved mound to Amile.

He reached out and touched the inside of her smooth thigh, allowing himself a moment to rest his entire palm there. And then he wrapped both of his hands around her hips, pulling her toward his face. He kissed her there, as if he were kissing her mouth, taking her labia between his lips and running his tongue along her wet, pink folds. He looked up at her face with longing and then sucked at her clitoris as if it were the tiny dip between the peaks of her upper lip. Amile closed his eyes and licked her from taint to clitoris, up and down, pushing his tongue in deeper with each pass, curling it and entering her as far as his mouth would allow. His cock pressed uncomfortably against the fabric of his pants, begging to follow the path of his tongue.

But that option was not on the menu. And because he also wasn’t to mark her skin, he gripped the table cloth on either side of her, bunching it behind her, using it to pull her closer, pressing her pelvis against his face as he rubbed the bridge of his nose against her clit and his cheeks and chin against her mounting wetness.

Amile kissed and licked and sucked until the young woman was dripping and wriggling. Her back arched, and her head fell back. He felt her hips tilting upward, her thighs tightening against the sides of his head, as she lifted her body to writhe against his mouth. When her orgasm exploded, sweet molten lava spread across his tongue and gushed to fill his cheeks. He held her there, the perfect circles of her bottom in the palms of his hands.

Amile kept his lips sealed against her until the twitching quelled. Swallowing her sweet nectar, he gently lowered her body to the table and released her.

She sat up, scooted forward, and slipped off the table, where she straightened her dress and stood before him. Smiling up at him, she took hold of a napkin from the table and reached forward to wipe the corners of Amile’s mouth.

That is when the server returned, holding a small silver platter, upon which rested one fortune cookie. Amile picked it up, broke it, and retrieved the slip of paper held within: “Before you receive, you must give.”

He looked back at the young woman, who smiled and stood on tip-toes to whisper in his ear, “You have given well…”

She planted her feet on the floor, her black-brown eyes offering a whole new hidden menu.

 


Here was the feedback I received:


Very nice! You have well developed the atmosphere of a high class oriental bordello, without giving away too much. Also, your story hinted at a bigger plot. (nbrplaza)

This might sound petty, but we’re told what the server was wearing the second time she entered the room. That felt odd, like she might have changed since she took his order. (And then I got nearly to the end and found out that the “she” in the cheongsam was someone new, not the server. I would have liked to have been told that, because I automatically applied the pronoun to the ‘nearest’ character, the server). The smut seemed awkward: him looking at her face while she’s bending over backwards, rubbing his cheeks and chin against her wetness like he’s motorboating her fanny, not even touching her to pull her closer because he mustn’t “mark her skin” but then lifting her anyway, etc. There was an implausibility/inconsistency barrier between me and any eroticism. (Marsha Adams)

I just couldn’t connect with this character. Who is he, why is he there? And I think because the young woman in this is not engaged in the sex in anyway discernible I didn’t particularly find it a sexy read. (Molly Moore)

This one I really like! I can appreciate using a quick backstory to get you into the action so you have more words to dedicate to the eroticism. Description was fantastic, and although I had to google what a cheongsan is, I’m glad I did. It made my experience all the better. There’s really nothing I can complain about. Well done! (forbiddenwriter)

Goodness this was a fantastic story. It was original and made this kitty purr! I voted for this one! (crapkittenwrites)

I liked the way you inverted the traditional narrative here by having him be the one who serves the woman first. Sadly, I didn’t personally find this erotic, but that may well be a personal taste thing. (Charlie Powell)

Beautifully erotic. The beginning made me expect an obvious story line, but then the twist was fantastic! (Aurora Glory)

A good use of the prompt, but even though this is a good story, it didn’t do it for me. There was something missing to it. I cannot decide whether it might be because I wanted to know about the fortune cookie earlier or whether it was something else. (Marie Rebelle)

 


As you can see, the feedback is very mixed, which tells me…I just need to keep doing what I do. It works for some and doesn’t for others…for seemingly arbitrary reasons. I guess that is the nature of writing (and reading) fiction, eh? But, in a challenge like this, it can be particularly frustrating for the writers.

Mostly, what I find, is that the judges don’t really love my writing. It either isn’t erotic enough in the right way, or it’s too sad. In fact, because of that, I specifically avoided anything sad and tried to step up the explicit sex this time. It didn’t help. The judges still didn’t like it. The public votes tend to be the thing that keep me in the game. And, without giving anything away, the next prompt really sets me up for writing exactly what the judges seem to dislike. So, wish me luck! I’m going to need it. And I think what I’m going with is this…

 

 

 

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https://brigitdelaney.com/2018/07/fortunecookie/

16 Replies to “The Fortune Cookie (full text)”

  1. I concur with all your thoughts. It’s tough having to chop a really good story [as your original draft was/is] just to meet an arbitrary word limit. But then, on the other hand I also accept that for competition fairness there must be a word limit (otherwise we’d have to chose between [say] 500 and 1500 word entries).

    I often ‘waste’ 500 words just on setting up the story! 😉

    1. Yes…there is no way around the word limit. And I don’t really have a problem with it. I think I just need to start writing in a program where the word limit shows while I am writing so I don’t have to cut so much. I need to work “toward” the limit and within it, rather than just letting myself be free and then cutting all the good stuff.

  2. Brigit, I like the long version much more. The feel is much nicer, and I do find it a very erotic story.
    It is a pity to cut the branches of the stem to make a good story fit it into 650 words.

    However, you could have written it more compact without losing the fine details I think.

    Thank you for a wonderfull story and good fortune for the next assignment!

    P.S. I keep wondering where he did get the business-card

    1. Cutting is always hard. I tried to keep the essence of the story…but more than anything, I went against my better judgement and kept the sex in tact rather than the story, because I seem to never be “erotic” or “hot” enough in my entries. I guess at this point, I don’t really care if I win, if I can’t be true to my own writing.

  3. Very descriptive tale and certainly an original use of the “Fortune Cookie” theme. I did smile when I read “sweet molten lava” – that must be why my man loves to go down on me so much 😉

  4. I think cutting a story harshly, as in losing a good chunk of it is always a huge risk as the result is often that you lose the guts of your story and I think this shows that. The full version is exquisite and sexy. I am there with him, his nerves, his arousal, it is palatable but I just didn’t get that from the cut version. I think it is totally possibly to cut 200+ words from a story and it still work but much more than that and I think you are in dangerous territory.

    If I know there is a word count I always make sure I can see how many words I have as I write and if it gets way beyond the limit then I will keep that for something else and start over rather than cut it but seeing the word count as I write does help to concentrate the mind and help you round things off closer to the limit in my experience

    Mollyx

    1. I usually do write to the word count in a program that keeps me in line with it…but this time I had no motivation and decided just to write what came to me. Unfortunately both stories were well over 1000 words. And of course, because I procrastinated, I had to just cut and go with what I had. I had enough points that I wasn’t worried about being knocked out, so there’s that, too. I’m going to have to step my game back up from here on out, though.

    1. I wasn’t as fond of the shortened piece either, but that’s what I get when I wait until the last second, right? And I wrote two stories to choose from…I just never know which is best, and since I can’t share it with anyone to get prior feedback, I’m stuck with my own sometimes crappy instincts.

  5. The longer version is enticing and erotic. Tight word limits are a bitch, but I’ve found that you just have to find a story that works for whatever the word limit is. In this case, you ended up cutting all the character development so the reader misses out on his nervous anticipation and doesn’t connect with him. Very often what’s most erotic is what the character is feeling/thinking, not what he or she does. Vivid descriptions of sex acts without the emotional component aren’t as effective at arousing readers — at least, not in my experience. Best of luck with the Smut Marathon! 🙂

    1. I agree, but I’ve gotten some feedback that has said my stuff isn’t sexy enough…or hot enough…that there isn’t enough explicit sex. So that’s what I went for on this one. I know there are plenty of readers who don’t need that, but I was testing the waters with readers and judges on this one.

  6. I really liked your entry, but do like the original even better. I seem to be the opposite to you in that the judges are keeping me in the competition, whereas the public never seem to be fans. I feel confident you will at least make it to the final round, you’re a fantastic writer. I also definitely agree that we should write for ourselves, though whilst trying new things.
    Thank you so much for the thorough feedback on my entry this last round. I found it so helpful and you were the only one who mentioned the final sentence, which had been worrying me as I didn’t love it either.
    Good luck in the next round!
    Aurora x

    1. Thanks, Aurora! It’s been challenging to write for the Marathon, but I’ve had a lot of fun with it. I never know what an audience is going to like, and I’ve never really been able to pin it down over the years. Deep feedback would help, so I try to give it to others when I can.

  7. It’s true you can’t please everyone. You’re not Nutella. You must have noticed that the judges don’t agree on their voting either. Personally, I like ‘sad’ stories, and I disagree that erotica should always contain explicit sex.
    The best thing you can do is to keep the content close to you, and listen to the more technical tips. Your story stood out, because it was original, and I strongly believe that that is most important.
    Good luck on the next round!

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