Shy Wolf by Nina Quigley
On a recent visit to Ireland I met my friend Nina Quigley and we had a great chat on the topic of writing. I learned that Nina had branched out from writing poetry and had written some short stories. When I told her about the Sad and Happy Summer Stories and Poems I had been adding to my website, she contributed her captivating story – Shy Wolf.
She’s standing at the cooker, just back from the beach, making an omelette for lunch, frying potatoes, onions, peppers and garlic. She’s waiting for the cubed potatoes to soften in the hot olive oil, so she can add the eggs she’s just beaten to a froth. The extractor fan is blowing hard just above her head, and she’s getting hot and sticky all over again. She can feel the beginnings of a sun headache start at the base of her skull. She’s tired and achy with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
She sighs and looks down at her slightly-tanned, sandy feet on the cool kitchen tiles. They look good, even through the lenses of her reading glasses which she’s forgotten to take off. Her feet are slender and long-toed, a dancer’s feet, someone once told her. The plum-coloured polish gleams richly on her toe nails, and she thinks, “Mm, good enough to eat”. She closes her eyes, and tastes high-summer berries in her mouth, warm, fat and woody. She imagines herself holding them there for a while, delaying the moment she finally swallows the soft, juicy pulp. She licks her lips, and sighs with satisfaction.
And that’s when she becomes aware that her feet are being licked by a warm, slightly rough tongue, gently, insistently, thoroughly. She opens her eyes, and looks down in alarm. An animal, a dog, no, a wolf has emanated from beneath the ground, and is calmly going about his business there. His long, wet, clever tongue is finding the secret places in her that ache, have ached. His grey eyes fix her with a calm stare, as he continues with his work. He seems to be telling her there’s nothing to fear.
She closes her eyes once more and surrenders to the intense pleasure of his touch. Her feet feel as if they are dematerialising, and a warm blush begins to rise to her knees and beyond. She begins to moan with contentment, even as she tells herself this can’t really be happening. Too soon the licking stops. She looks down to find the wolf has gone, his task completed. She thinks she detects a hint of spittle on her left toe nail, but it quickly evaporates before her eyes.
“What was that all about,” she wonders. Did she imagine it? Hardly. Maybe. But there are two things for certain; her incipient headache has miraculously disappeared; and the potatoes are burnt to a frazzle before her in the pan.
Nina Quigley, Summer, 2016
This section: Seasonal Stories and Poems by Glasgow Writers, Writing
- Starchild: a memory of Adoption, Race and Family by Michaela Foster Marsh
- Murder at the Mela by Leela Soma
- Bloody Scotland 2020 – Debut Shortlist and McIlvanney Prize Longlist
- Anna (Young Adults Book) by Laura Guthrie
- Ghazal: the phone – poem by Rizwan Akhtar
- A Walk in the Kilpatricks – poem by Christina Byrne
- ‘Doors tae Naewye’ poetry by Christie Williamson
- Glasgow Film Festival 2020 – Jazz on a Summer’s Day review by Pat Byrne
- Blessed Assurance by Stewart Ennis
- John Byrne’s 80th Birthday Bash, Paisley Book Festival 2020 review by Pat Byrne
- In Times of Self-Isolation poem by Rizwan Akhtar
- ‘Where God put the West’ – travelling through the land of the Navajo Ian R Mitchell
- Performance Cancelled by Pat Byrne
- Corona Virus Stew – poem by Leela Soma
- Baked With Love – a poem by Leela Soma
- ‘the lactic acid in the calves of your despair’ poetry collection by Ali Whitelock
- cocoon by Russell Jones – collection of poems and comic poems
- New Collection of Poems: Poor Wurld by Jim Ferguson
- The Clearing: A memoir of art, family and mental health by Samantha Clark
- David Craig, Scottish Writer – free book offer