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This is the first in a series of stories following Ed and his adventures as a door-to-door salesman. I hope you enjoy them and please do leave me feedback — it’s always welcome. All rights reserved, © Northern_One, 2013.
The temperature was already rising. Even now, at this relatively early hour the sun beat down on the cracked, parched earth beside the pavement on which Ed sat, feet in the road, his head between his knees. He was engaged in his daily battle with inertia and distaste for what he had to do, a task made all the more Herculean today by the jumbo-sized hangover that was currently poisoning his body. Ed gingerly massaged his temples in the vain hope that his fingertips could rub away the pain caused by the tiny pneumatic drill-wielding man that he was convinced had crept in through his ear in the night and was now seemingly frantically searching for a way out of Ed’s head.
Ed groaned quietly and finished the last of the water he’d brought with him. He looked around him at the area that would be his patch for the day. The suburb looked much like the one he’d worked yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. They all looked the same: modern, identikit houses, skinny, unloved plants in perfunctory gardens, a car or two in the driveway, in this part of the world perhaps a boat. This suburb, like yesterday’s, and the one the day before, could have been almost anywhere, a node on a freeway, a highway, a motorway; one insignificant part of the sprawl of a hundred different cities in a dozen different countries. He tried to rouse himself. The first knock was always the hardest. Whether he sold anything or not, it didn’t really matter. Once that first hurdle was surmounted, that first door tried, the day could begin properly and Ed knew he would be able to turn on the charm, light up the smile, switch on the patter, but for these few minutes after the team leader had left him with his area map and no hope of rescue until the end of the day, Ed had to force himself to move.
The dry heat was turbocharging his headache, parching his dehydrated body further. Drinking more water wasn’t really an option — there were no public conveniences on housing estates – he’d only have to hold it in until dusk when he could finally hide behind a tree and relieve himself. The last few weeks of door-to-door sales had taught him to put as little as possible into his body until he knew he could safely expel it too. What was foremost in Ed’s mind, though, far worse than the headache and the aching muscles, was the scarcely conceivable level of horniness he was feeling. Normally on a hungover morning he’d have seen to himself in the shower but this morning he’d not even had time for that and now here he was, a day’s door-knocking ahead of him and no prospect of releasing the filthy, sordid sperm that were swelling his balls and clouding his thinking.
He knew he couldn’t sit there much longer, there were only so many times even his weak-will could stand the mental countdown from ten without actually acting on the implied lift-off that zero brought. He looked at the date on his watch. Just over a week until his visa expired. Whether he liked it or not he had to earn enough in the next few days to pay for his onward ticket, either that or face being ejected by the authorities who would certainly then look dimly on his plans to return in the future. Ed sighed deeply and hauled himself to his feet, pleasantly surprised by this minor triumph of mind over matter and dusted off the seat of his cheap navy blue trousers. He checked his white shirt was neatly tucked in, pulled down the clean but worn cuffs, fastened his top button, straightened his polyester tie and, smoothing out the map on his clipboard, took a deep breath, walked purposefully across the road and up the concrete drive of his first house. It was still quite possible he’d lose his nerve at this point so he made sure he walked quickly, reaching the door and extending his finger to press the doorbell before his brain caught up and realised it had been tricked into allowing him to go through this ordeal yet again. Inside the house the faint electronic chimes and approaching footsteps signalled the battle had been won. Ed took a step back so as not to intimidate the potential customer and smiled.
“Hi there, how are you this morning?”
“Whatever it is, I don’t want it.”
“No problem at all, sir. Sorry to trouble you.”
As the door closed and Ed walked back down the drive, his clipboard under his arm his day had begun.
As the morning wore on Ed’s headache gradually began to recede. He’d made a couple of sales which always helped his mood and, ahead of a nationally revered race at the weekend had had a pleasant conversation with a man in his garden about the relative merits of one major car company over another, a topic Ed knew little about but was somehow able to contribute to safe in the knowledge that a happy customer was more likely to spend more. As he walked between houses he’d been mulling bahis firmaları over the events of the night before which had mainly consisted of the consumption of beer and tequila in and outside a number of establishments popular with short-term visitors to the country determined to have as much fun as possible before the money or visa ran out or, as in Ed’s case, both. He’d been drinking with a Canadian guy who had spent several months selling door-to-door after, he said, losing a lot of money to a scam whilst he was in New Zealand. Ed’s memory was decidedly patchy but the Canadian, whose name evaded him, had had some good tips on sales technique and, judging by his generosity, had been putting them to good effect. In Ed’s current state, however, something else the Canadian had told him was of much greater interest.
“Seriously dude, it’s so easy out there. You’ve just got to look for the signals,” the Canadian had told him as they washed down another slug of tequila with yet more beer.
“Bull shit, it’s a myth,” Ed had slurred, rolling a baggy spliff on his knee beneath the table.
“I shit you not, man. I’ve lost count of the number of opportunities I’ve had in this game.” The Canadian was shouting to make himself heard over the thumping bassline of the sweaty bar’s sound system.
Ed laughed and shook his head. “It sounds like a readers’ confession in Razzle.”
“Believe what you want buddy,” the Canadian said, his eyes on the topless podium dancer writhing and jerking in time to the music. “Bored, lonely housewives are your best bet. Husband works away, they’re stuck out there in the ‘burbs, Rabbit the only fun they get.” The Canadian turned to Ed. “Just gotta keep your eyes open,” he said, a look of deadly seriousness on his face. “Right, you managed to roll that joint yet?”
“Just about,” Ed laughed, holding aloft the result of twenty minute’s drunken work.
“Fuck me, man, you really must be wasted,” said the Canadian. “Come on, let’s go. I wanna get that chick’s number before I forget how to talk.”
The spliff had been the final straw for Ed but now, as he made his way along his route, his libido soaring, the sincerity of the Canadian’s words made Ed wonder. As he walked up the next drive he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a window. Not too bad, he thought. Tall, reasonably smart, good hair — thick, blond and stylishly messy – still in decent shape despite barely eating since he started this job. Yeah, why wouldn’t an attractive young mum want to spend an illicit hour with him on a Wednesday afternoon? As he pressed the bell Ed, his mind now filled with filthy images of what he was going to do to the horny MILF he was about to meet, unconsciously adjusted the swelling in his boxer shorts and cleared his throat as the screen door opened.
“Oh, hi there,” he said, his toes curling in embarrassment at his ridiculous daydreaming. Scantily-clad the figure filling the doorframe might have been; a sexy young nymph he was not. Heartening for Ed, though, was the Star Wars logo on the stained singlet the generously-proportioned man in front of him was wearing. “I see you’re a film fan. How would you like to save fifteen per cent on your next ten cinema visits?”
Five minutes later Ed was on his way to the next house, his profit for the day greatly enhanced by the movie-going obsessive he’d just encountered; his aching desire unquenched.
The last vestiges of Ed’s hangover were still lingering but on the whole he was feeling altogether more human. His thirst had been so great that he’d even broken his own rules and accepted more than his usual two glasses of water during the afternoon figuring he was so dehydrated there wasn’t much likelihood of him needing to cross his legs. He’d met some decent people and only been told to fuck off a tolerable number of times. He’d met his target for the day and had a couple of call backs so reckoned he’d have enough cash for a few drinks that night on top of what he needed for his plane ticket. What he hadn’t had was what was now his holy grail, his ultimate goal: the mythical beast that was the woman who invited him in for more than some money-off vouchers at the local multiplex. He’d seen some attractive women, that was true, but despite his antennae being tuned to pick up any signal he might normally have overlooked he’d detected nothing more suggestive than a polite smile. Although Ed’s hungover horn was no less apparent he reminded himself that it was almost certainly male bragging on the part of the Canadian and that that sort of thing didn’t happen in the real world. After all, the closest he’d come to getting laid during this latest career was when a middle-aged man had invited him in out of the rain whilst he went to find his wallet. The seventies’ bottle-green deep pile carpet and split-level lounge had quickly set Ed’s alarm bells ringing and he’d politely but firmly made it clear he was there to sell cheap cinema tickets and nothing more. As desperate as he was he wasn’t that desperate. Besides, kaçak iddaa out of sheer embarrassment, the bloke had bought a huge bunch of vouchers so Ed had done pretty well from the whole experience.
His lift home was still an hour or so away so Ed walked the few hundred metres to revisit a woman who’d been dashing out the door earlier in the day, contenting himself as he did with the thought of some internet porn via his roommate’s laptop. How he’d found himself sharing a tiny apartment with a strict Christian from Zambia he wasn’t quite sure but as long as Charles left his computer on and logged-in Ed was quite happy. He just hoped Charles didn’t decide to check his own browsing history before Ed left the country.
Ed walked towards the front door and tried to remember who this particular woman was. Having knocked on literally hundreds of doors over the previous few hours remembering who was who was nigh on impossible. She’d obviously not been that memorable, anyway. He knocked firmly with his knuckles, wincing slightly at the sharp pain brought on through overuse. The door opened a moment or two later.
“Oh hi there, my name’s Ed. You asked me to call back. I hope now is a better time?”
“Sure, yes,” the woman said. She looked up at the bright blue sky and shielded her eyes. “Look, it’s still bloody hot. Do you want to come in?”
Ed stood in the cool, air-conditioned comfort of the woman’s kitchen and explained the deal he had to offer. He wasn’t really supposed to cross the threshold of a customer’s house but if there was a sale on the cards he was happy to bend the rules. A break from the heat was always welcome, too, and she was right, it was still bloody hot. As he spoke the woman busied herself with some washing-up, glancing at him from time to time, nodding occasionally. Dressed in a black velour leisure suit she was a little older than him, he thought, probably late twenties, quite tall, fit-looking, with blonde hair, darkened by its dampness, tied back in a ponytail. As she looked up from the dishes he saw brown eyes just visible beneath a fringe. She kept blowing air against her bottom lip and upwards to keep the hair out of her eyes. Picking up a towel from the rail beside the worktop she dried her hands and turned to look at Ed.
“Sorry, I wasn’t really paying much attention,” she said, using an index finger to flick the hair out of her eyes again. “This bloody fringe,” she laughed, “I’ve only had it a week and it needs cutting already.”
Ed smiled and took a breath to start his pitch again but the woman beat him to it.
“I’m Charlene,” she said, holding out a hand to shake his. “What’s your name?”
“Ed,” said Ed, taking her hand and giving Charlene his winningest smile. “I like the fringe, by the way.”
“Ahh thanks, Ed,” Charlene said, looking right at Ed’s green eyes. “I’m not sure myself. Still, ya gotta try these things, eh?” She had the nasally twang of a local. It wasn’t the prettiest accent and totally out of kilter with the way Charlene looked. Having, Ed assumed from the damp hair, recently showered she didn’t have a trace of makeup on but she had a naturally pretty face and a sweet smile. He was surprised at himself for not remembering her from earlier in the day.
Charlene let go of his hand and cocked her head to one side. “You’re a Pom, eh?” she asked, a hint of mockery in her tone.
“‘Fraid so,” Ed murmured. Yes, she was pretty and yes, he wanted to make a sale, but the interminable references to whinging Poms from the various comedians he met each day were growing decidedly old.
“Ahh I’m only teasing,” Charlene laughed, slapping Ed’s arm as she did. “Jeez, you Poms are so touchy! Whatcha flogging today, anyway?” she asked, lifting herself onto the worktop as she did then taking a grape from the nearby fruit bowl and popping it into her mouth.
Ed smiled thinly. He sensed a sale was unlikely so thought he’d just cut to the chase. “Cheap cinema tickets,” he said, “are you a movie-goer?”
Charlene grinned and chewed another grape. “Can’t remember the last time I went to the cinema. Anything good on?”
Ed sensed he was fighting a losing battle with this one. “You know what? I’ve no idea!” he laughed.
“Jeez, Ed,” Charlene said, a cheeky glint in her eye, “Surely you can do better than that!”
“You’re right, sorry,” Ed said sheepishly. “It’s a great deal, I can promise you that.” Ed cringed at his pathetic sales pitch. All his confidence and patter had deserted him.
“Never mind,” said Charlene. “I’ll take a couple anyway.”
Ed filled out the form and turned the clipboard over to Charlene to sign her vouchers. Charlene jumped off the worktop and went to her bag to find her purse.
“How long have you been doing this?” she asked as she rummaged.
“Oh a few months now. Not got long left, my visa expires soon.”
“Right,” Charlene responded, looking over to Ed. “Must keep you in good shape though, all that walking.”
“Yeah, I suppose so,” Ed replied. “I’ve lost a lot kaçak bahis of weight though cos I don’t get to eat during the day.”
“You look pretty good to me,” Charlene said, now in front of him, her purse in her hands.
Ed laughed bashfully. “Thanks.” Inside his mind synapses slowly started to connect. Something about this situation felt unusual. “What do you do?” he asked.
“I’m a lifeguard at the pool down the road,” Charlene told him, jerking her to one side to indicate where the pool was. As she did her ponytail bounced playfully. Ed had always liked the way ponytails bobbed and sprang in sympathy with a girl’s movements. There was something lively and spirited about them. Charlene’s was no exception.
“Oh right,” Ed said. “I guess you must be in pretty good shape, too.”
Charlene had the banknotes in her hand, ready to hand them over. Ed couldn’t be sure but he thought the zipper on her top was a little lower than before. More synapses fired inside his head. Fucking hell, he thought. Is this what the Canadian was on about? He glanced at her hand. No wedding ring, not that that meant much. His eyes flicked around the kitchen, looking for signs of a male occupant. The plain white cupboards and dark granite worktops didn’t give him much to go on. He met Charlene’s gaze. The tip of her tongue ran across her perfectly white teeth.
“I dunno. I suppose so.” All of a sudden Charlene’s voice was soft. Gone was the loud, nasally bark. She was close to Ed now. The zipper was definitely lower. It didn’t look like she had anything on underneath. “What do you think?” she asked quietly.
Ed’s mind cast back to the night before and the advice the Canadian had given him. This was just what he had been talking about, wasn’t it? Disgusted with his brain’s ineptness, Ed’s aching groin began to think for him and a charge of arousal shot through his cock and balls.
“I think I need to see some more first,” Ed found himself saying.
“Okay,” said Charlene, her voice now husky as she reached up to her zipper and slowly pulled it down.
Ed’s eyes went from Charlene’s to the slowly descending zipper. He saw that he’d been right about her having nothing on underneath. The swell of her pale breasts came into view, the skin almost white in comparison to her tanned upper chest. The opening fastener revealed more — the bottom of her tits, her stomach; a silver bar adorned her belly-button. As Charlene’s fingers paused briefly to pull the final teeth of the zipper apart Ed licked his lips at the tantalising prospect of seeing more. Only seconds had passed but already his loins sensed the chance they’d been waiting for all day; the chance to rid himself of the hot, sleazy spunk that still polluted his body. He wanted her badly. Had he really been missing opportunities like this all along?
Charlene’s teeth caught her bottom lip as the zipper finally parted. She looked at Ed whose eyes were fixed on her chest, waiting for the big reveal. Grinning, she stepped closer to him, causing Ed to look her in the eye.
“I don’t normally invite strange men in, you know?” she said, her head to one side again, her hands holding together the velour material.
“So why this time?” said Ed, trying to sound cooler than he felt.
“You looked like you might have something I’d be interested in,” she answered, her hand gently rubbing against Ed’s rapidly growing bulge.
Ed groaned at the sensation of female hand on needy cock and bent his head to kiss Charlene. She moved back, out of his reach, leaving him searching for a mouth that had gone.
“Uh uh,” she said, shaking her head. “We need to be sure we both like what’s on offer.”
“Don’t worry,” Ed said too quickly, “I like what I’ve seen already.” He made to open Charlene’s top but she skipped back another step, giggling as she did.
“Not so fast, mister,” she said, pulling her top tightly closed. “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours,” she said, nodding at Ed.
Ed paused, his composure mildly upset by Charlene’s teasing. Of course she wasn’t just gonna let you fuck her, he told himself. Play it cool, don’t mess this up. He grinned back at her, hoping his face didn’t betray his uncertainty. He was on new territory, after all and this was really happening.
He undid his tie and dropped it on the worktop then undid his top button and cuffs. He didn’t need to be fighting to pull his shirt sleeves over his hands having forgotten they were still buttoned. Looking straight at Charlene he began to undo his shirt, pausing after three or four buttons to untuck it. A wave of fear crossed his mind that Charlene might reject him once he’d revealed his torso to her, or, worse still, that the whole thing was a wind-up, but the hormones coursing through his veins told him dignity was overrated.
Ed’s shirt was unbuttoned and he slid it off his arms. Charlene looked on, her head again cocked to one side, the sandy-coloured ponytail hanging like a plumb-line. Beneath the troublesome fringe her big brown eyes took in his upper body as Ed stood, slightly awkwardly in this stranger’s kitchen. Under normal circumstances he’d have been feeling reasonably confident about his physique; these weren’t normal circumstances, though.
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