James Holden: Coitus

Gary sat bolt upright in bed. He had been woken by a howling noise which had slowly entered his dreams and sounded like someone being mortally wounded. Getting out of bed, he grabbed his mobile in case he needed to ring the police and crept to the window. Gingerly opening the curtains he was surprised that instead of being witness to a vicious attack being perpetrated in the modest back garden, there were two foxes mating.

He crawled back into bed and lay listening to the piercing mewling, struggling to get back to sleep. For the next few nights he woke up at around the same time, and looking outside was continually greeted by animals full of the joys of spring. One night it was a pair of ducks, another it was tabby cats. He witnessed a pair of tatty-looking pigeons having sex, and one night watched a pair of hares humping. Gary felt mocked by the animals every time he returned to his empty bed.

At the end of the week there was silence in the back garden. He peeked through the curtains, expecting to find some animal on the verge of coitus. Instead a naked woman was sat in the middle of the garden, bathed in moonlight. She looked like she had stepped out of a pre-Raphaelite painting: long ginger curly hair brushed her shoulders’ milky skin.

Gary walked downstairs to the back door, pulled his boxer shorts off and stepped out into the night.


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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