Lily saw her Fathers phallus perhaps fifteen times in her total life span of twenty-four years to date. He never aimed and fired it in her hole but couldn’t help getting it out and waving it around from time to time. This pastime prepossessed Lily, her behaviour inherent with the disturbing showboat of a childhood peppered with penile curiosity. The fact that Lily was so at ease with his flesh gavel was however not the problem. The fact that Frederick, for this was the Fathers name, was so uneasy about his thoughts each time it was close to naked near his young nubile daughter was.
For as long as Frederick was able to keep his thoughts in line, he and Lily were the best of friends, and he taught her lots of valuable life skills like the Cleopatra Grip, offside rule and why birds do not fall out of the sky. Life was perfect for some time.
Every Sunday Frederick would take Lily crabbing at the rock pool by the seaside. Sitting her down between his legs, sand-saggy pants and bare back pressed up against his body, he’d show her how best to attach bait to a line and hook the unassuming crustaceans from their watery hole. Lily became quite the crabbing enthusiast, but she loved the little crabs dearly, and did not much want to hurt them, that once caught, she would empty the crab bucket back over the shingle so they could clatter crawl down into the pool again.
The futility of this act enraged Frederick and made him want to swing Lily round by her ankles and smash her head into the shingle.
He managed to keep the feeling in.
One time, after a record catch, Lily contrived a crab race, urging the crabs to crawl all the way down the bank together. Sadly, on the cusp of safety, a rather feral seagull swooped down stabbing all the little fuckers to death. Pecking from the outside in, white meat, brown meat, crab meat everywhere. Lily felt the blood fill her brain. She despised those seagulls. Frederick grinned into the wind.
Happy that the crabs had met their maker, sad at his daughters upset, guilty at his own feelings, Frederick bought Lily a blue and yellow airplane from the joke shop to compensate. The airplane had a mechanised engine, and Frederick told Lily, holding her hand all the way back to their yolk yellow Ford Cortina, that one day they’d fly away in that plane. Lies, obviously.
As she grew bigger, lily imagined that unlike most fathers entrusted with the product of their blood, spit and spermaceti not to slip a finger in whilst nappy changing, Frederick probably did. And what of it? At only three hundred and ninety five days spat into our world Lily was a mere blip on the sexual radar. Let him have his slippery finger test to curb any possible future fiddling, not to mention the hundreds of pounds in sex crime counselling it would have incurred. But the end soon came: one dreary Sunday morning, sat astride the family couch with a fusty bowl of sodden cereal, Lily was playing the bored game, kicking her tiny legs baff baff, baff baff into the stubbly upholstery. Fredrick begrudgingly rose from his slumber to tell Lily to pack it in, shut the fuck up, stop it before he broke those little legs into pieces.
Reaching his final hurried footfall the tatty beach towel he’d snatched up upon leaving the bedroom unravelled itself to land in a pouting scrunch on the floor, the garish embroidered words ‘Who’s The Skipper?’ screaming face up into the trapped heat of the sunroom, Frederick’s semi-on, head on, a mere touch from Lily’s lips.
Distracted from the fabric drop by the closeness of his pink thing Lily turned her gaze from woollen text to morning meaty glory. Such was the way that visual association dealt the girl a card consigning every cock from that day forward be named Skipper. Frederick aghast, there he stood, naked in the sunroom, his eight year old daughter in her beige training bra, budding breasts resembling baked beans, his half erect penis moments away from her little lips. He twitched. His cock twitched. This had to stop.
Frederick did not speak to Lily so much after the incident, and she gathered that one final peep show spelled the end of their relationship. She approached her teenage years stifled, silenced and all but already spent. Her Mother fucked off and Frederick fell foul of a nasty road accident. This might be for the sake of the story, but that’s the way it is. Lily dragged on. Five or six times she practised their games with other men, five or six times slaying their bacon. It didn’t matter. The dull flicker of rejection continued to dance under her eyelashes, even when she held her head down and got to task. It weighed heavy across her face. The boys never noticed which she supposed was good, but sucking through them like a trooper was not all it was cracked up to be. Nothing was ever as consuming to Lily as that first sight of paternal truncheon, and it wasn’t so easy to make good friends anymore.
Some barren years passed -aside from self discovery in the fingers and thumbs sense– and Lily finally settled with a butcher’s son of acceptable description. Stringy and masculine, with trite Cartland features that won over old aged pensioners and young gays alike, Michael himself was not a butcher but a motor mechanic, kind and reliable in the most mundane way possible, and unfortunately a bit of a dullard. Michael devoted his life to lily. He was a basic man of simple description. Of course he never understood her make-up; he’d never hankered after his Fathers sex and he definitely never went crabbing, so how could he?
Lily supplied Michael with a dutiful companionship and paid her dues in biding time, never really wanting for much more than a sunroom, the seaside and a little companion of her own. Each time a difficult situation would present itself to her in glorious Technicolor she learnt to bite her tongue, and instead of bludgeon the man to a sticky end, here was Lily as good as gold, enough to cater for inside her mind that silence continued to suffice. In those infrequent puddles of loneliness talking to the fridge didn’t offer much in the way of conversation but she was comforted by its hum. Slowly she managed to alienate Michael in the same way she had already shut out the rest of the world.
Michael was confused. He woke thinking of Lily, went to sleep worrying about lily, slept dreaming of Lily. Lily did the same. No one thought about Michael. Her cruel silences soon forced him to turn for comfort elsewhere, and little Michael, the sun-starved pot plant of a male started stuffing his stack into an unattractive but sympathetic broad named Fionne.
Michael visited Fionne weekly, offloading his tales of malheuresment and mal-practise, and she listened. In between the tears, tantrums and most pragmatic of missionary sex, Fionne suggested that perhaps a baby might help graft over the chasm of their relationship? Michael pondered, panicked, but played ball nonetheless, and replaced Lily’s fridge talks for a child of her very own.
A boy of course, Skipper, the fiend developed fast in steady cycles inside Lily’s belly. As she ticked through her textbook pregnancy she bound herself to the limpet that sucked her inside out, the laboratory creation she nurtured inside. Lily knew when the time came to drop; she could feel baby tickles on the inside of her undercarriage, almost as if her head was on a diverted pro-lapse. From steady stumble to flat full-stop he flopped into the world, anchored by the seat of his rashed raw baby suit, cleaned and aired and glued firmly to lily’s breast.
Arriving soon after, the full regalia of wails and washes, white trophies and trinkets, all praise and retarded cooing, as if Lily herself had taken a tumble and landed an automatic cripple with the wheelchair break locked on. Lily punched on the fast forward in her mind and blocked out the sounds, only stopped and ejected the tape when the extended rabble tired of the baby and found something else to coo at.
Lily had Michael redecorate the house. He was more than happy to have been appointed this temporary masculine commission and almost felt needed for a short while. Lily demanded a throwback to that sunroom of her childhood, the same yellowed wallpaper and meringue paint, the same scuffed couch or as close a model as he could find, and, short of scraping her father back up off the motorway floor, Michael got it pretty much picture perfect. Lily was slightly grateful. All she wanted was the sunroom, the seaside and Skipper. She sent Michael out to buy some crabbing line, exacting him not to return until it was found. Michael asked no questions and when the job was done he sought refuge once again from the boring banger, Fionne. Lily was glad to have Michael out of sight as well as mind.
Now Lily and her companion, every Sunday they go out to the seaside, the same spot where Frederick first took Lily crabbing. She sits Skipper down in between her legs, spreads her fingers over the lower portion of his tummy, tickling and teasing and stroking. Skipper giggles full moon in her face and tilts his large head to one side. Lily always wondered how it didn’t just plop off of his neck. She knew she’d been that small once but couldn’t remember her head feeling as heavy as his looked. It’s safe when you’re small, of course he wouldn’t worry about it. Together they recovered the yellow and blue airplane, found suspended from a crabbing line at the bottom of the rock pool, just where Lily had abandoned it the day she stopped being Frederick’s friend.
Michael calls her telephone. She passes it to Skipper and he drops it into the crabbing pool. Lily smiles. They understand each other. Points to the plane. Skipper cranks up the clockwork engine and adds his own brrm brrm sound childish burr. His five fingers and the automaton come rumbling her way. Curling up the corner of her sun towel lily coaxes him in through the fibrous hanger onto newly epilated runway. He rumbles along and Lily reclines against the shingle to view a thick, cloud blotted sky.
Across fleshy valleys his podgy fingers roam, the five unclipped fingernails snagging at lily’s bikini, cheap nylon it is, and it frays. The wheels on the plane treading light over her leg, circling the same baby hairs of her youth and tickling inside her scissor split thighs. By Skippers hand, the aircraft mows down across denser thickets, zigzagging and repeating in the place where she first ejected Skipper, screaming, into the world. His hands were getting messy. It would be ok. They’d would have a bath together later and maybe watch a video while Daddy made their tea.
Clouds as magic lanterns of indexed memories bob past; the sodden bowl of cereal, the tomato plant smell of the sunroom, that giant specimen of her fathers, why it made her hot, spit swapping and dutifully administered blowjobs (parties sometimes willing, sometimes not,) the first clandestine viewing of that Nicolas Roeg film, the one where the Dad goes mad and takes the kids out to the desert and you’re not quite sure whether he wants to shoot them or fuck them, or both. The first time Lily saw it her hands went down her pants and she didn’t know whether she wanted to rip her thing out or play with it either.
Now on this Sunday service, pink forms dance and twist through Lily’s projected flick-book: fingers snapping and toes treading, slapping and slippery, the tongues retreating and pudenda puckering in the sea breeze. Skipper runs the plane over her upper body now and latches his mouth over the goose-pimpled aureole that has slipped loose from its lodgings. Lily’s fingertips tickle under his chin, clutches the hand around his diminutive body while the other reaches down between her thighs. She convulses and extends both legs, stretching hard, recalling the first time she saw a bird in a cage and then she felt she was in the cage and men walked up the cage and put their fingers through the bars and she opened her legs and they looked inside. Skipper clambers up to her neck lifting up her birth-battered breasts, plays with them a while. Lily studies Skippers face. It’s the first time she’s felt ok in a while.
When the alfresco slick arrives between her thighs it is to no tune of lazed Sunday cup’n’curl sprawling, it’s a party crash, her backroom relief suddenly spotted by six or seven old aged pensioners, their elephant trail of middle England frowning down on her semi-naked figure, Skipper astride her neck, breast in one hand, airplane in the other. Snatching up his fingertips she smiles and waves hello to the sun shrouded silhouettes, gathering all exposed flesh up to her chest, smuggling it under Skipper’s blanket. The airplane is knocked from Skipper’s grasp, flying unaided, spiralling through the backdrop of flat seaside cancer and open mouthed faces in their varying arrangements of nausea, landing in perfect up-ending, yellow and blue fuselage wrapped around splintered cuttlefish and a perished prophylactic.
The pensioners trot on, heads shaking, mumbling something about being ashamed and social services. Lily coils into recovery, spooning the sunshade, the broken airplane and Skipper. Gurgling cross-legged beside her, idly searching the inside of his left nostril, Skipper is now all but consumed by nearby semi-spastic scrapping seagulls. He points to the plane and the stones and seagulls, perpetually confused. Lily thought hard, her childhood becoming clearer, her morals becoming worse. It would probably have turned out better had Frederick been a man and stuck it down her throat all those years ago. She put it to the back of her mind, where most thoughts belong these days. Lily picked herself and Skipper up and they walk hand in hand to their yolk yellow Ford Cortina, Lily telling Skipper they would fly away together one day. She wondered if Michael already had the tea on the stove. They might watch a video later. Yes, they probably would.