First, there was a washed-up clam. He sprung a leak and was eaten by gulls or some other sort of greedy beaked thing.
Then a barefoot girl came along the shore and found him there and seeing him splayed wide open like that, all clean inside and shiny and bitter-salty-sweet in the river brine, made her think of this.
Chanterelles, tossed into a hot pan with butter and garlic, manhandled with rough tenderness, sizzling, heated to perfection, juices bubbling.
All that juice in her mind made her think of how the roughly handled man got her juices bubbling, barefoot in the kitchen, steam rising, pine-scented candle jumping inside of smokey glass. How he would turn on her in an instant as she bent, bare-assed, to pick up a sock or lie on the couch to read a book or head down the hall to pee or finish some chore in another room, and he would reach out and grab her just as she put one foot outside of the kitchen boundary. She thought of how he would lift her by her waist and fling her to the counter top. Effortlessly. How he would spread her legs. How she was always glad that there was no rustling of clothes or tugging at snaps when he did this because they were always naked. Always. And he was always ready to eat.
She dug her toes into the cool sand on the river beach and picked up the little shell and put it to her ear. She could hear the sound of juices thickening in the pan as he lowered his face between her legs. She thought of how his tongue felt as hot and satisfying as a flame and how the sound of the chanterelles in the pan and sound of his lips tasting her arousal mingled so richly together. Bel canto.
The girl took a deep breath of cool, damp air and could smell his sweat in the breeze, taste the salt of his neck, see the shine of lust in his eyes as he looked up, a hungry animal lapping at warm blood, tearing at freshly killed flesh. Survivor.
She tossed a stick into the dark water and watched it as it bobbed in the current, westward, until it disappeared around the bend.
Then, there was a flower, curled up tight and hoping against hope that the first frost would never come, hoping for spring and a crushing victory the fight against evil. The creamy white and purple curves of the bud's tight petals made the girl think about how he would take her by the shoulders. She closed her eyes and shuddered there on the path, praying before that hopeful flower and thought of how much she loved it when she could feel her hair brushing against the small of her back as she arched backwards and he lifted his wet lips to hers and thrust himself in deep. She thought of the mushroom steam rising above his head and the smell of garlic and delicate apricot-scented chanterelles and cunt.
Then the girl turned back the way she came and ran home for supper as fast as she could.