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Give as a Gift Send this book as a Gift! Book Rating 1. Remove From Cart. Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks Date: April Duration: 8 hours 14 minutes. Members Also Liked Similar Titles. Woman Lit by Fireflies by Jim Harrison has successfully been added to your shopping cart. This title is due for release on April 30, Please Log in and add this title to your wishlist.

We will send you an email as soon as this title is available. Join the Conversation. I just sat on my bed in the Christian rooming house no smoking or drinking and had a sip of after-school peppermint schnapps. I remember I was thinking about Beatrice who was a bubble-butted waitress at a diner near the school. I guess I looked so downcast that she came over when I finished my oatmeal and said she was part black and part Italian.

I told her that to me she was the most beautiful woman in the world. So I was sitting there in my room thinking of Beatrice, and not wanting to exhaust myself on unclean thoughts I opened the letter from the church.


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It was a check made out for three hundred and ninety dollars. The possibilities hit like lightning so I dropped to my knees and prayed for strength which did not arrive. I hit the bank as if shot from a rocket, then trembled my way over to the diner for an early supper. It was irksome to sit at the counter and watch a neighbor eat ham, eggs and potatoes. For days afterwards other customers would look at me and shake their heads. She doubted I had the money, so I flashed my roll and she smiled.

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I had become handsome between breakfast and dinner. The owner even nodded to me when he saw me eating a steak. I admit I was feeling like an instant big shot when I asked Beatrice to go out. In either case, the answer is no. Well, she wrote down her address and told me to come over at nine, but not unless I had a fifty-dollar bill in my pocket. This fact and a lot more caused the next three hours to be pretty uncomfortable.

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There was a sense in my small room that I was wrestling with Satan and I somehow knew I was going to lose to His power. I felt the overwhelming heat of His presence in the room though I realized it was mostly the weather. I prayed and almost wept and even gnashed my teeth.

The guy in the next room, Fred, a poor kid from Indiana who was also a Moody Bible Institute student, heard the noise and came over to pray with me. At one point the devil made me laugh out loud. I gave Fred ten bucks and he ran out with plans to eat a whole fried chicken. My food budget was two dollars a day and his was only one.

The week before his mom had sent him cookies and he ate them all at once and puked. I worked on my term paper on Nicodemus but the bubble-butt of Beatrice seemed to arise from the page and smack my nose. How could I think of spending fifty bucks straight off the collection plate of the poor folks back home? Few unbelievers and upper-class-type Protestants understand this kind of test and the fact that deep faith is a surefire goad to lust.

Forbidden bubble-butt fruit is what I was dealing with. Years later when President Carter spoke of the lust in his heart I sure as hell knew what he was talking about. To be frank, as some of you might have guessed already, I failed the test. We started slow but soon enough we were on the fast track, me to perdition, and for her, business as usual. When I got to her small apartment the first evening she was still in her waitress uniform making late dinner for a little boy about four years old.

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While she took a shower I read the kid a book called Yertle the Turtle about ten times, which was not much of a warm-up for sex. She came out of the bathroom in a blue satin robe and white furry slippers and took the kid down the hall to a babysitter. I was known around my hometown as a first-rate fistfighter and I had dug enough eight-foot-deep well pits by hand not to take any bullying. So she came back, we went into the bedroom and it was over in less than three minutes. She took off her robe and had nothing on but a teeny pair of red undies.

I was dizzy from holding my breath without knowing it. She undid my trousers and let them drop to my ankles, went down on me for a few seconds, and when I groaned she jumped up, pulled down the undies and bent over. I had barely plugged her when I shot and fell over backwards to the floor, where I thought for a moment of my young love for Rose.

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She put her robe back on and went out to the other room still laughing. Was it for this that I had betrayed all my principles?

We sat on the couch and had a beer and I became cagey. I pointed out that at her current rate for work done she was making a thousand bucks an hour which was more than the President of the United States. I tried to slide a hand in on her breast and she slapped it away. I developed a lump in my throat and got up to leave with shame sweating out of my pores.

She stopped me and said for another twenty bucks we could transfer the deal to an hourly rate. She let a breast slip out of her robe and I agreed.

The woman lit by fireflies

I also had to do the dishes because she was sicker than shit of dishes and food. It was while washing the dishes that I realized I was in the hands of forces far larger than myself. There was a temptation to cut and run, reduce my losses to the T-bone dinner and seventy bucks I had immediately turned over the twenty for the hourly rate. I could tell the Institute that the money had been stolen from my room while I was at prayer service. I turned then to see Beatrice on the sofa, now with her robe off and only the red panties to cover herself.

She was reading Life magazine which seemed to me a coincidence. I brought her a bottle of beer and she set the cold bottom of it first on one nipple, then on the other. The nipples perked up and she shivered. Maybe twelve. She was actually number three. The first, by the name of Florence, was thin as a chicken carcass and we did it standing up against a pine tree in a cloud of mosquitoes. I have feelings. We all need pleasure, you understand.

She tugged my arm and I knelt down by the couch. She rubbed a hand through my hair and laughed. She tugged my ears, then pressed a hand on the back of my neck, pushing it downward. And thus I faced the beautiful mouth of hell. Five days of this and I had run out of money. I went over on the sixth evening and she was friendly enough but it was no dice. Her heart of gold was actual gold and not very warm at that. She was cooking spaghetti for her boyfriend and served me a single meatball before showing me the door.

I tried to get a little sentimental and she just shook her head like she did the day I tried catsup on my oatmeal. Within a week I was locked out of my room for nonpayment of rent and was bumming around the park.

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The last must have been an eye opener for the kindly old landlady, at least she was kindly until I ran out of money. I was lower than a snake dick until I cast my lot with the student radicals in the park who assured me I was one of the people. At least there was plenty to eat. Grove Press. Tags Short Stories single author. Excerpt Just before dark at the bottom of the sea I found the Indian.

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