HCL Writing Contests

Valentine’s 2023 Contest

We asked SCAD Atlanta writers to send in any story that explored any emotions connected to love and relationships of any kind.

G.C. Elizabeth

G.C. Elizabeth is a 2006 graduate of the University of Central Florida and currently working on her Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing with The Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. By day she’s a Creative Strategist who has written story beats for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including: Dreamworks, Build-a-Bear, Hasbro (Peppa Pig, Monopoly, and Transformers and Potato Heads), and FELD Entertainment (Disney on Ice, Trolls Experience, Kung Fu Panda ideations and more). G.C. is also a published author of Erotic Romance whose short stories appear in current CLEIS Press anthologies like, On Fire, and Bondage Bites. Her earlier works appear in The 12 Days of Kinkmas, and Just for Him: Erotic Stories for Men.

Shower Thoughts

Friendly Warning: explicit content involving sex 

I’ve had a fun relationship with sex. So fun that I find myself visiting old adventures frequently in the wee hours… when I’m alone. While the world says I shouldn’t love it as much as I do. I sneak mentally into the corners of my memory reliving every single escapade, good and bad, with the hopes of reviving a time in my life when I answered only to my inner Aquarian. The woman who thrived roaming about planet Earth led by the whims of her desires— whether trying out a new coffee shop, or new men. A playground of opportunity that sometimes finds me weak when affection is reciprocated. 

I am careful with the memories I have because they can get me into trouble. Good trouble  depending on how you look at it. So I manage them as best I can. File them where they can be  retrieved. A library of memories for when I want to replay them— like a vintage record  collection beckoning me from a quiet corner to reminisce.  

Peeling away the layers of the day, I shimmy and wiggle out of my Spanx, find myself  expanding back to my real size. I’m like a reverse sausage, fleshy raw meat freed from the  confines of tight, barely malleable lining. There was a time when undressing wasn’t such an  ordeal. When disrobing didn’t require un-straightjacketing myself from compression garments.  But I’m getting used to my new body now. More of a problem or me than for Damien. The truth  is I don’t trust myself— which is likely the culprit behind losing weight at a snail’s pace. If I turn fine, I may not be strong enough to resist the temptation. 

Sex has always been detached from love to me. Unrelated to love. It’s difficult to articulate such an agnostic point of view when the world insists on characterizing sexual pleasure as only  attainable where love is present as opposed to a component of mental and physical health. Like  brushing your teeth or meditating. 

When I think about love, I think about emotional partnership held together unconditionally.  Mutual support and the idea that we exist to experience all that we can in this massive world;  uniquely bonded by a sense of purpose beyond our physical self. A spiritual connection that  doesn’t always involve a physical expression. And while I don’t expect anyone to agree with me,  it is the best way I can describe this idea that sex can be separate from love. It can, in its simplest  form, just serve the purpose of arousal and release—whether initiated by a spouse, or partner, my  own fingers, or a toy. 

It’s a mild, sunny and breezy late winter day with the promise of spring in the air. I step into the shower eager to open the window and let the cool air hit my nakedness. I turn on the faucet. Stare out to the trees as warm water pours over me. A comforting feeling in my aloneness, like an old friend welcoming me to come in and sit down for a while…  

I’m in my mind. My safe place. Free to sit and pull from my collection of memories and spin a track or two. And while I could be more productive with my time, the late afternoon sun and leaves flickering in the breeze have me wanting the track from Montreal. 

I lean against the tile and begin to lather haphazardly over my new body, quietly remembering— marveling at a time when I was eighty pounds lighter. The Canadian eases back comfortably into my mind… Little bubbles everywhere. Turn, lather. Turn again to rinse. Suds drip down my waist… lower back… and instantly I’m back in the shower we’d had together that day. After The Canadian lit up my ass with his bare hand. The sting so good, lingering so long that I felt branded. His wide stance behind me soothing the imprint of his hand which we were surprised to see. The light trickle of low water pressure seemed to know how sensitive the patch of red was, stinging just a little beneath his slow, careful circles. 

“Did you like that?” I remember his voice behind me, comforting and reassuring. It’d been my first time subbing for anyone. My first time enduring the blows of a proper spanking— a  completely different experience from the lustful taps and instinctual swats of everyday sex. He  wanted to watch my ass turn red, to glow with his mark. Claim me for the weekend as we’d  discussed when I asserted my eagerness to engage his kinky fuckery.  

“I want it again,” I offered, signaling my desire to turn the dial up. 

Water crashed lightly into the drain, almost mimicking the crack of his open hand over my flesh. How every time I wriggled, I got it again… 

“Still,” he’d said later that afternoon, pressing my chest to the kitchen counter, kicking my feet apart wider knowingly—- skillfully to heighten the sensation between my thighs increasing the need for penetration.  

I come to as two squirrels tumble into my view. A playful ball of fluffy tails scurrying across the backyard. I’ve been staring out of the window, daydreaming so long that I can’t remember what parts I have or haven’t washed. I start over, flipping the mental album to side B, lathering up again. 


“So, I’m going with Shawna tonight.” We finish up supper. The Canadian and his wife have graciously prepared a hearty meal: grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and an oil & vinegar slaw I made that they couldn’t believe packed so much flavor.. They insisted on having me over before heading back to the states. We’re loose on the back deck. Unraveled by multiple rounds  of Highland 12 scotch. It’s late summer in Montreal. Cool enough at sunset for me to slip into a  light sweater over my maxi dress. I toss their Labrador retriever one last tennis ball before  calling it an evening. We all clear the table, scrunch together to take a group picture. He kisses  his wife goodnight. Takes my hand as we head back to my rental.  

He’s on top of me. Perusing my body with his fingers as we settle into bed for the night. “What happened here?” He asks, finding a thin scar near my nipple.

“I burned my tit taking potatoes out of the oven.” 

“Oh, no,” he growls, “Do be careful with these tits.”  

This isn’t a suggestion, it’s an order, a requirement as he takes hold of both breasts, gives them a firm squeeze and then a kiss. 

“Doop?” I hear the front door followed by heavy footsteps. Cut away instantly from the  memory now that Damien is home. 

“I’m in here, Snubs!” I yell loudly enough for him to know I’m in the bathroom. Hurry to  finish showering because we have plans to do Valentine’s Dinner at Kevin Rathbun’s  Steakhouse. A welcomed break from the cadence of the everyday.