OUTBACK LOVE AKA MAIL ORDER LOVE

        A mail order bride and a shy Outback miner; will there be a good love, and will she discover his secret?

OUTBACK LOVE aka MAIL ORDER LOVE

Coober Pedy, South Australia; 1919

        I’d come from a lush place, of trees and wide rivers, and had sailed a long, exhaustive time, thousands upon thousands of miles from my home, a half a world away, after receiving his letters and deciding I’d be his wife; even though I’d never met him face-to-face.

        Pete’d waited several days at the port, her ship was late, and he’d wondered what she’d actually be like. People often weren’t like their letters. He’d read every one, more than once.

        I sighed; there wasn’t a tree for miles round, not even a decent bush, as Pete drove the wagon into the interior. My God this is a large country, and barren. And my future brother-in-law seems a nervous sort, as he fidgets beside me and barely speaks to me.

        The woman made Pete speechless, this soon-to-be sister-in-law. Just being beside her made him nervous. She wasn’t beautiful, but she was a fine looking woman, fine enough that—.

        “Ma’am?”

        “Pete, we’re to be brother and sister, call me Maddy.” He didn’t touch her name, as if it were too intimate a thing for him.

        “Why’re you here, ma’am, a … a fine lookin’ woman like yourself, and smart too, well spoken, you could have anyone. You even read and write, but you come all the way HERE?”

        “For your brother.” Pete was silent a long while, then quietly asked.

        “His letters that good?”

        “Well, I....” I was alone with this work-hewn stranger, hundreds of miles from any other person, whether friend or foe, so my lot was cast, as I stared at his strong, and possibly deadly hands. I’d never done such a dangerous thing before in my life, but his tone was—.

        “Your brother’s letters showed personality, wit, and vision for this land. He’d said it’d be barren, but I’d never thought—.”

        “Thought it’d look like the lifeless moon, after Armageddon?”

        “Yes. Are there neighbors?”

        “Mining’s growing, booming, and there’s new men in everyday. A few smart enough to bring a wife with them, or selfish. And there’s the Abos, some hate ’em, but I find ’em kind. They were taken care of Joe when I left. That fever was kicking his as—, um, well. He’s not so young anymore, y’know.” And he chuckled, good-naturedly, teasing a beloved and absent brother. I liked that, big brothers are a special thing in this world.

        “I’m not so young either, Pete.”

        “You don’t look it.” He blushed then, and pushed his lips tight together, as if afraid he’d say too much to me. He’d not talk after that and, an hour or so later, we camped for the night. We’d be camping for several nights before arriving.

        Pete watched her, Miss Maddy, do things only women do so well, besides cooking, that is, things like laughing as she talked, or singing softly to herself, as she brushed out her hair, or looking at him, almost as if she were here for him, and not Joe.

        Pete sighed, for it was he, who’d told Joe about the mail order bride catalog. Joe had said, “No,” but it was Pete, who’d searched through it anyway and picked out a good letter from a well-spoken woman, and he’d read it to Joe, who’d stared at the fuzzy picture, wondering if the woman herself was as fuzzy and out of focus.

        Pete looked at Ma—, Miss Maddy, now, she wasn’t fuzzy, she was clear and true and he looked off trying not to think of her, or feel for her. Joe had written his letters, but it was Pete, who’d berated him and made him write them over, and better, helping put flesh on the bare bones of his elder sibling’s sterile, lacking prose.

        No poetry, not exactly, but she was a quality woman, who wrote a really good letter. Pete’d kept that first catalog letter and the fuzzy picture locked away in a safe place, as busy and distracted Joe, after Pete’s nagging, had finally liked her enough to foot the expensive outlay to pay her passage. They were making money, but not enough for two brides. One would marry, the elder, and the other would wait his turn for warm bed.

        Pete wished his turn were now.

        “Goodnight, Pete.”

        “Goodnight, ma’am, Miss Maddy.”

        “Just Maddy, please.” He nodded and watched over her as she slept and the dingoes howled and yipped all the nights of their trip.

        Pete distracted me from thoughts of Joe. I’d ask him to tell stories of their youth; or of how to mine precious opal; of what was it like to live in a house underground, carved from rock; anything to make Pete talk, he spoke in a way that made fertile visions grow in my mind. Including one I wished with all my heart; to be here for Pete, but Joe’d written such fine letters and I’d promised.

        “You wantta stop and freshen up, M-Maddy, before I take yah to him?” Was it my own guilt or did he want home to be another day or week away, too? But it wasn’t.

        “We’d better go on now. I_I should meet … meet my husband.”

        But I never did. We’d had a funeral instead of a wedding, and poor Pete was utterly bereft, and lost, but a month later, I took his hand in mine, and neither of us has ever let go.

—00—

More Mail Order Outback Love below...


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More SHORT STORIES, NOVEL EXCERPTS, and even MORE...!

        "And, really, SEEKING SADNESS instead of SEEKING JOY is truly a sad business to be about, and a more suspicious activity than pleasure and joy seeking.

        "Joy is a SMILE, a GREAT FEELING, and ECSTASY without limits.

        "It's as seamless as an egg. 

MAIL ORDER HONEYMOON

Coober Pedy, South Australia; 1919

        Color. I miss color, especially green trees, both evergreen and deciduous, and green azalea bushes budding to spring bloom, dripping with rainwater or glistening with morning’s kiss. There is no green or dew kisses here, because in this hard place, “like the lifeless moon, after Armageddon”, we never had our honeymoon, Pete and I.

        “I’m not him, I’m not Joe, Maddy, not the man who sent you those letters that brought you here, b-but, if you’ll h-have me—?”

        “Yes. Without question,” I’d said, and he’d blushed horribly and nodded.

        We were married by a talkative preacher on hostile and diligent mission to convert and subvert the kind Aborigines to his God. Then, Pete and I spent an uncomfortable, unconsummated wedding night, lying side by side. He’d risen early, but I’d finally convinced him to sit still for breakfast only to have him seem increasingly guilty about dawdling his day away with me.

        So, without honeymoon, or physical love, he’d returned to mining the opal, and that lonely way of his was our way.

        “Maddy, y’happy here, with me?” I’d wanted to say a bold, uncontestable “yes” again, but my mute nod was not so doubtless.

        He’s a fine man, in this daunting new world—this post Great War, Australian outback, this barren place of castaways, where Pete was clearly avoiding any marital intimacy with me; a fine start that. Shouldn’t a man be happy and take relish in his new wife, especially if he truly loved?

        Still your mind and heart, Maddy girl.

        Mama always said I should curb such harsh, unfeminine thoughts and keep all such masculine tones of disappointment or superiority from my voice, lest my husband disapprove and find fault with me.

        “Maddy, you all right?”

        “I … I miss Mama, and my azaleas.”

        Pete suddenly felt ill to his soul, as if personally responsible for luring her from lush lands and blood family.

        Loving, sensitive letters, but I fell in love with Pete on the long road, from port dock to mining claim. My heart had gone out to this man after meeting him, after my heart had been taken in thrall by Joe’s letters. Why could they not be one and the same, fine man and fine letters, and all be…? I sighed away my discontent.

        Pete heard her sigh, she sighed a lot lately, and those slight sounds of exhaustive disappointment, clearly in him, said his behavior vexed her and plainly hurt her. He’d never meant to hurt—.

        “Maddy, w-what’re you doing?”

        I’d startled him; he’d been lost in thought, soaking in his bath, like every night, since marriage, after his dusty, gritty work.

        “Preparing to wash your back and whatever you cannot reach well, for a wife is a help-meet.” He’d stared, dumbfounded, then quickly averted his eyes, as I slipped nude as Aphrodite into his bath before him, and my legs touched his, briefly.

        Quandary. That was the word, wasn’t it, he thought, scrunched up to not reveal his nakedness or touch bare flesh to same, as he saw her gaze search his face for truth that he held ruthlessly hidden from her direct view. And he averted his own gaze, again, which perversely kept seeking her lush body, as the hot water brought color to her fine skin, as its heat made him near faint. She reached for him.

        “No!”

        “Why not, Pete? We’re espoused.”

        “It’s not right. Unseemly.”

        “Unusual, perhaps. There’s nothing wrong nor unseemly about my love for you, or yours for me. Now relax and I—.”

        “No!” His stern command made her flinch and his ears ring, and it made her cry, in mute silence, without sniffling, and yet she wouldn’t look away from him. God, he loved the boldness of this wo—!

        “Pete, tell me, what is wrong with me, that you—.”

        “Nothing’s wrong with you. You’re faultless. But me, I’m wrong and full of fault. And wholly beneath you, undeserving of your fine affections.”

        “Why?”

        “I’m a liar, a cheat, and an evil man. And if y’want first class back to your home—.”

        “This is my home, here, with you.” And I was silent and waited, without accusation in my heart, until he spoke his own heart’s distresses.

        “It was me. I told Joe what to write. Egged him on to send for yah. He told ME to choose. I chose WHO I WANTED. I-I don’t know what I thought, ’cept what must be evil, that you’d come for him, but be mine, too, or that you’d choose me. Or that it wouldn’t matter, you lovin’ him, and me but your friend. But my feelings ran wild in our time alone. I-I selfishly prayed, with full heart, that somehow…. And Joe died.”

        He hung his head, before abruptly rising in full wet nudity to leave.

        “My God, Pete, my Pete, you are a glorious man. And far too honorable, more so than our late Joe, who selfishly was about to take what wasn’t his to have.” I stood. “I fell in love with the man who wrote those thoughtful, heartfelt words to me, not physically wrote on paper, but wrote with his warm heart. And I fell again, when I met you; the same and only man for me.

        He cried and I kissed him, and our love has been naked, while we’ve honeymooned for a lifetime.

—00—

Continue below: Outback Honeymoon


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Made available for your pleasure and not for reposting or sale.

        "There is language, both SENSUAL AND SPIRITUAL, language constructed of words and gestures and tones and more layers of WHAT YOU FEEL AND ARE, which can lead us in and out and into so many PLEASURES and JOYS.

        "That's what I write, for print and digital content.

        "PERPETUAL, AROUSING JOY!"

--Neale Sourna

OUTBACK HONEYMOON

Coober Pedy, South Australia; 1920

        Nude, sun- and wind-kissed skin impregnated by improper, desirous thoughts and naked feeling. That’s what I was having, wasn’t I? But, love of spirit was good, and love of heart was good, so shouldn’t the open love of the body, especially the naked body of a man, who belonged to me, be as well?

        “What’s wrong, Maddy love?” Even his voice warms me.

        “Nothing. Just stupid fluff in my brain,” I said, without enough breath in me.

        “Ah, congestion of the mind, eh?” He smiled too sweetly, looking terribly smug about something.

        “Y-Yes.”

        “Well, let me help. What’s the culprit obscuring your fine, clear thoughts, girl?” I can’t lie, not to an honest face like that, with eyes…. But, I couldn’t really just say, “You,” could I?

        Pete tilted his head, silently encouraging me to proceed. I tried to swallow what felt like a dry, spiky rock. The “culprit,” the object of my open desir—. Can a man be an object of desire; women are, but men…? I digressed, to divert.

        “This p-pool’s lovely, I didn’t think there was enough water for such a thing anywhere in this country.”

        Considering all the rugged stone and dessert-edged sands we’d crossed to get here, it wasn’t hard to believe. He looked at me, silently, his thoughts his own, as I gazed off, as we stood exposed in this bush-filled area, away from the utter barrenness of our opal mine and stone home.

        We were prospering, with the new find; enough that he’d said it was time to have a proper honeymoon trip. He’d asked if I wanted to go to the luxury of the city, but I didn’t want to overdo it and be overwhelmed by the many “things” there that we still cannot as yet, or may not ever have for our home in the barren outback, if the vein dries up.

        But, I was overwhelmed now, anyway.

        “Take me to wherever it’s a pleasure to you.”

        And Pete’d brought me here, to a place more fertile, as we’d crossed journey paths with roving families of Aborigines, even those cautious ones, who’d normally avoid the company of we outsiders, but who love my Pete. Like attracts like, honest and gentle attracts same.

        “Maddy?”

        “Huh?!”

        “Didn’t mean to startle yah, but you’ve been avoiding looking at me and you’re covering your beautiful body.” My “beautiful body”; has the man never looked at his own? “You love my body, Maddy.”

        “Peter?!”

        “Well, Madelyn, we’ve been together, really together, a year now, and we’d written to each other for quite a while before that, so I know your mind well. You’re the one that came naked into my bath and bed, when I was afraid to come to yah; and it’s been a fine, lovely year together since, but now…. What’s wrong, my sweet Maddy?”

        It was horrendous. I’ve never had a shortness of words, or boldness, or I’d never have moved an entire world away from my family home, following my heart, drawn by a like heart that wrote letters that made me cry. And here we stood exposed and naked, thigh deep in the shallow end of what must be the only perfect, natural pool in all the outback, with my gaze constantly darting out and around us.

        “You’ve never been naked outside before, have yah, Maddy?” I shook my head “no.” “Well, of course she’s not, you silly blighter, Pete, you married yourself a fine lady, and fine, proper ladies, no matter how bold they may be in a corset, don’t go skinny dippin’ in the wild open, do they?

        “And I bring yah out here, and undress yah myself, under God’s own sky, before the entire world large and open around us. The wind….” And he blew his warm breath on my skin.

        “Ah.” My god! Wonderful.

        “Wait, Maddy dear, I didn’t do that properly.” He “didn’t do” it “properly”?

        And he poured a trickling handful of water down my shoulder and back, then gently stroked down my arm, as he walked around me, as I stood frozen, covering myself and hoping no arriving sheep station shepherd on horseback didn’t shout, “Hullo!”

        Or a prim minister, and his stern wife! That would be—!

        “Ahhhh.”

        I shamelessly sighed, as Pete blew along the wet area he’d just anointed me; the touch of his breath cooling me to goose bumps down my back, a reciprocal and can’t be ignored answer deep in the most woman flesh of me. He stepped even closer, so that I felt his warmth and manliness against my, ah, backside, his strong arms gently around me, as he often did when we were clothed, or at least well hidden in our stone home bedroom.

        His breath warmed my ear and kindled a fire within me.

        “It’s all right, Maddy love. I fancy this place and one day we’ll live here, all the time, and bathe here all the time, together. My letters were about private things, for you only to see, but my love for you, my Maddy dear, I want the whole world to see; that Aphrodite herself has come to Pete.”

And he let me go, to kneel before me, and to warmly kiss me … there, and THERE, and his gentle warmth became a fire in me, and I flung my arms wide to the sky, as he consumed me.

—00—

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