Water: Chapter 1
a novel excerpt by Kevin Dolgin

Horton Flask was conceived in four-foot waves during a moment of wild abandon on the part of his parents. It was only the second sexual experience in Violet Flask’s life;  the first had occurred some fourteen hours before, on her wedding night. The two occasions were hardly comparable. Walter Flask, although hungry for the milky flesh of his new bride, had all the same reined in his desire during her de-flowering—a ceremony at which he had never previously presided, having only ever had sex with more worldly women in the past. The evening’s intimacies had therefore been quite delicate. On the following day however, Violet Flask had undergone a double transformation in her husband’s eyes. First, she was definitively his in some inexplicable way; and second (and more importantly), she was no longer a virgin. Hence, when they found themselves together in the rolling surf off the coast of Normandy on the first full day of their honeymoon he didn’t hesitate to surrender to his lust and swim after her dick-first, as it were.

Violet Flask, who had only become Violet Flask so recently, was under the pall of a strange obedience, which would have been fairly short-lived if she herself had lived long enough to outgrow it. It must be said that while fate had dealt her a modicum of beauty, it had not offered her much strength of character, and this had been exacerbated by her sheltered upbringing in, of all places, Kansas. When, therefore, she was courted and wedded by an eccentric Englishman whom she met through a train of circumstances which are far too complicated to be properly explained quite yet (dealing as they do with gastropods, a pair of fifteenth-century pliers, and Old Mister Burble’s ex-mushroom cellar) she was understandably swept off her proverbial feet. Their wedding and its attendant ceremonies (such as her above-mentioned deflowering) had occurred in a whirlwind of time and space, leaving her quite breathless and muddled. Had this not been the case, she never would have followed her new husband into the sea at all (she didn’t have much experience with seas, being from Kansas), let alone into conditions such as these.

Thus was the stage set for the particular bout of copulation that was to be the source of Horton Flask. Violet Flask was floundering about in the waves, confused about everything—her identity, seawater, her sexuality, the exchange rate, her future—everything. As for Walter Flask, well Walter was most definitely sure of what he wanted as he saw Violet thrash about in a surprisingly sensual way. He swam up to her and she immediately clasped all of her appendages around him in an act of survival which stirred his libido to unexpected excesses. He began to fondle her under the surface of the water, causing her to writhe in an un-measurable mix of surprise, dismay and excitement. When he moved aside the slight strip of bathing suit that covered her fuzzy little mound she gasped and writhed more violently and before she quite knew what he was doing Walter Flask had slipped out his own sexual paraphernalia and slipped it into hers.

So they copulated like sea otters, bobbing unknowingly over the exact spot where Walter Flask’s father had been blown into a constellation of fleshy shards on that fatal day when he and thousands of other Englishmen stormed this very beach in 1944. The wind whipped through the couple’s hair, and the waves tossed them about, and Violet tried simultaneously to get away and to bear down on Walter’s thrusting pelvis, while Walter himself had a great deal of difficulty maintaining their physical union given all the forces of nature and womanhood which sought to rip them apart. Violet, in her inexperience, wasn’t sure whether she was having orgasms or just drowning, while Walter found himself surprisingly excited by the sheer chaos of the whole thing, so that he reached climax quite quickly and powerfully, exploding in a fountain of physical desire and screaming out loud, thereby attracting the attention of the sunbathers on the beach and causing the ghost of his father to spurt ectoplasm from his paranormal hard-on (interestingly, the blob of ectoplasm later washed onto the beach some three hundred yards to the west, where it was avoided all day long by prudent French bathers who thought it might be a jellyfish).

Walter Flask had wanted to tell Horton that he had probably been conceived in the sea from the moment the boy was old enough to understand, but he went insane before he could and after that he had better things to talk about. As for Violet, she had never told anybody about it, largely due to the mortification she had always felt, given the attention that Walter had drawn to themselves in what was already a traumatic situation by his wild shout of triumph/orgasm. In fact, on the day she went to her early grave, nearly everyone assumed that she was smiling because she was thinking of her handsome little boy—when in fact she was thinking of his conception, finally reconciled to Walter’s impetuousness, which had, when all was said and done, provided the most memorable occasion in her soon-to-be-snuffed life.

"Walter…" she called, as her life slipped away into the little plastic tubes sprouting from her nose.

"Darling," he replied, heartbroken, as he bent over to hear what she had to say.

"Horton..." But she said no more. The effort of trying to determine the most energy-efficient way of forgiving Walter for screaming while he was pumping Horton into her at a beach in 1963 was too much for her and she expired.

It was a great shame that she didn’t finish her sentence, for Horton Flask would grow up with the awesome responsibility of knowing that his name constituted the last words on his mother’s lips, while Walter Flask would forever suffer from a pernicious reverse-Oedipus complex stemming from exactly the same fact. The degree to which this double trauma was responsible for their poor relationship is unclear but their relationship was poor indeed. Walter Flask, who had never completely come to terms with adulthood himself, didn’t have the slightest idea how to guide his son towards it; and Horton Flask, without the calming influence that his mother would undoubtedly have provided, had only his father’s erratic behavior upon which to build his model of manhood.

It was almost inevitable, therefore, that he either entirely accept or entirely reject his father’s example—and he rejected it. The only thing he even vaguely admired in his father was the latter’s undeniable success in business but Horton Flask considered this to be solely a function of the vagaries of chance, and even a proof of the injustice of destiny. For his part, Walter Flask had few opinions of his son, since he barely knew him and certainly didn’t understand him. At the earliest possible age, his father had entrusted him to the type of English boarding school that makes proper (i.e. rich) Englishmen out of boys. Walter Flask assumed that Horton would learn the skills necessary for pecuniary success from the example of his masters and from the "rubbing off" of the necessary manners from his schoolmates through some kind of social osmosis. He was right, of course. The only real contribution that Walter Flask made to his son’s education was that he had turned the family library into Horton’s bedroom. The room was quite large—as was the house, in West Kensington—and it was stuffed, filled, brimming with books. In fact, there was little else save a small cot for Horton, a table, and a lamp. Walter Flask hoped that, by this arrangement, even if Horton turned out to be a complete fuck-up he would at least learn the titles of the world’s great works of literature for lack of better wallpaper. In the meantime, Walter Flask occupied himself with increasing the family fortune by helping to make hundreds of millions of tiny balls.

   

©1999 Kevin Dolgin

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