It was a beautiful late summer evening. The heat of the
day had gone and John Bache imagined that there were white fluffy clouds
drifting overhead propelled by a cool southeast sea breeze. He was on his way to
a rendezvous with the woman he hoped would become his future mother in law, a
Swedish woman called Selma Francis. He had fallen in love with her daughter,
Birgitta and wanted to keep on good terms with her mum. So when Selma asked to
meet him after dark at the base of Mount Coot-tha, he was intrigued but didn’t
say no for fear of offending the mother of the girl he hoped to marry.
John had met Birgitta through her father, Sergei who
owned an Austin Champ four-wheel drive; similar to the one John was driving. The
Champs were made in 1955 and in many ways were revolutionary for their day. They
were fitted with waterproof Rolls Royce engines able to ford streams six feet
deep and had a five speed all synchromesh gearbox for quick and easy gear
changes. Best of all however was their suspension. While most other four wheel
drives were still using straight axles and leaf springs up until the 1990’s
the Champs were fitted with fully independent torsion bar suspension on each
wheel. Not only did this smooth out the ride, it also lowered the centre of
gravity, allowing the Champs to hug the road well while still giving adequate
ground clearance for off-road use.
The downside to this is that was that the designers
were venturing into unfamiliar territory. It was also the era where little
post-production engineering was undertaken. Thus if a design fault was not
identified during prototype testing, it never got corrected. The Champs had
several design faults, the most serious of which was the tendency to leak oil
from the rear differential while travelling on bitumen roads. This fault usually
resulted in the differential locking up in a dramatic and dangerous incident.
This ultimately caused the Champs to have many detractors and as a consequence,
a rather short production run.
The Champs belonging to John and Brigitte’s father,
Sergei had the mild steel bolts in the rear differentials replaced in high
tensile steel. This had solved the problem of the oil leaks but Champ owners
still tended to club together to help each other out with the numerous other
difficulties involved with owning a vehicle that was very different to most
others on the road.
John had been helping Sergei one day when Birgitta had
came up and hugged him. This had taken John by surprise. Nothing like this had
happened to him before.
Up until this time John had been frustrated by the
Australian girls he had gone out with. They kept their feelings to themselves
and the only way he was able to get them to behave in a natural way, uninhibited
by their philosophies was to sexually arousing them until their instincts became
so strong that philosophies were put aside, if only for a short while. Thus when
Birgitta turned up in his life John thought his dreams had come true. He had
found a girl who fulfilled his instinctive desire for a mate. The one little
glitch was Birgitta’s age. She was twelve. He was twenty-five. Sex would have
to wait for a while yet. However John had been looking for a suitable partner
for over a decade now and the prospect of waiting for another four or five years
to consummate their relationship was not as daunting a prospect as trying to
find an Australian girl he could get along with. In the meantime they could
spend some quiet time together and that would be sufficient to keep him content.
Unfortunately Birgitta’s mother had some twists to
her philosophy that John had not anticipated. She was a beautiful woman of
thirty-eight whose thinking had been skewed somewhat by an accident. When she
was a child of eight playing in the streets of Stockholm, she had the misfortune
to be involved in a traffic accident. A truck had veered over to the edge of the
road to where she was playing. The driver had been indulging in a bit of liquid
refreshment at a time before Swedish law was tightened to the extent that no
blood alcohol was allowed while driving. Before the truck could stop Selma’s
right leg had been mangled below the knee. The young girl was taken to hospital
but the lower part of the right leg was so badly mutilated that in the end the
doctors decided to amputate.
After the wounds healed Selma was fitted with an
artificial leg and as she grew she became more and more adept at walking without
much of a limp. Now she had two artificial legs, one for flat-soled shoes, and
the other for high heels. When she wore the leg intended for flat-soled shoes
Selma walked with a slight limp, as her leg did not have the calf muscle that
would normally allow her to move her ankle as she walked. In the high-heeled leg
however she had virtually no limp at all. This was because in high heels the
calf muscle is usually in a permanent state of retraction to allow the ankle to
line up with the sloping inner sole of the shoe. In any case John had not
noticed anything unusual about Selma’s leg even though he’d seen her quite a
number of times.
Selma’s biggest problem wasn’t physical however.
Rather it was mental. One of the strongest of human instincts is the desire to
be considered an equal to others. Certain philosophies allow this instinct to be
contorted. With class systems for example this is accomplished by allowing one
class to be suppressed by another. This is usually accomplished by either having
a philosophy that suppresses instincts or by having a trade off or other type of
justification. Selma’s problem was that she considered herself to some extent
to be damaged goods. She was never going to be up there with the truly
“beautiful’ people and she resented this. In order to satisfy her instinct
for equality therefore she needed some sort of revenge and she got this by using
Selma’s husband, Sergei had a very traumatic
upbringing. His parents were Russians who lived in Stalangrad prior to World War
II. During the war his father was killed and Sergei, along with his mother were
captured by the Germans. The mother and child were placed in a concentration
camp where Sergei’s mother eventually died. Sergei would probably have met
with the same fate if it hadn’t been for the camp’s doctor who adopted
Sergei and took him to live with his family. Towards the end of the war the
doctor managed to move to neutral Sweden with his family, Sergei included. Here
the doctor found work as a dentist and the family settled down to as normal a
life as they could, given the terrible ordeal they had been through.
Sergei had been through a lot. The stress of losing his
natural parents, the harsh conditions and the near starvation caused by living
in a war zone and later in a concentration camp had stunted his growth and
weakened his constitution. In his early twenties he was diagnosed with
tuberculosis and admitted to a sanatorium for rest and treatment.
Selma in the meantime had learnt to play the piano as a
child and by the time she was a teenager was recruited to entertain at the same
sanatorium. In Sergei, Selma found a charming young man who had adapted well to
his new country but there was an added bonus. Sergei was an ethnic Russian; a
foreigner in Sweden and it went against the instincts of Swedish men to see a
beautiful Swedish girl in the company of a man from another ethnic group. This
is a perfectly natural instinct and applies to all humans but Selma saw it as a
means of getting the revenge she longed for. She was able to play off Sergei
against the Swedish men who she imagined had looked down on her because of her
injury. It kept Sergei on his toes while at the same time gave her some
notoriety. What more could a girl want? The love of a good man and the ability
to turn heads.
Of course Selma saw things very differently. To her the
story of her and Sergei was very much along the lines of a fairy tale romance.
Very soon Sergei and Selma were married. Selma got a job with a large
multinational food company and eventually Birgitta was born. Selma was content.
She had a well paid job, the respect of her girlfriends, her daughter and a
husband she could use to stir up the indignation of her countrymen.
Sergei however was becoming tired of being used to stir
up a jealous reaction among his adopted countrymen. This inhibited his ability
to form friendships with Swedish men. Most of his friends were foreigners like
himself. Sergei longed for a life where he would be fee of the very animosity
that his wife craved. He decided that the best way out of the predicament was to
move somewhere where both he and his wife were foreigners.
Eventually Sergei had his way. The three of them packed
up and moved to Australia. Here it didn’t matter that Sergei was Russian and
Selma was Swedish. In Australia they were both foreigners and nobody really
Now Sergei was happy but it was the pits as far as
Selma was concerned. She had left her family, her friends and a well-paid job to
live in a suburban prison looking after her young daughter. When Birgitta went
to school she didn’t even have that amount of company any more. Selma found it
impossible to get the sort of well-paid, respected position she had in Sweden.
Even menial jobs had eluded her. After five years of frustration she had decided
to spread the feeling to her husband by withdrawing sex from their relationship
until he either made life in their new country more bearable or had returned to
the old one.
Withholding sex is a two edged sword however. As a
survivor of war and concentration camps Sergei was well used to deprivation.
Selma was less so. Selma was fairly well addicted to sex after twenty years of
marriage. Three months without sex was about her comfortable limit. It was now
six months however since she had slept with her husband and her sex drive was
becoming very difficult to suppress.
John was completely ignorant of all this marital
intrigue. Being both young and naive he imagined that his future parents in law
had as smooth a relationship as the one they acted out for the benefit of their
daughter and others. He had noticed nothing unusual in the relationship between
Sergei and his wife and thought the marriage was sound.
The rendezvous was at the Botanical Gardens car
park at the base of Mount Coot-tha. When John arrived he found Selma’s red
Datsun waiting. He got out and approached. “Come and sit down,” said Selma,
beckoning John into the front seat beside her. “I suppose you’re wondering
why I asked you here.”
“It did cross my mind,” replied John a
“Well I am very bored during the day at home
by myself and would like to go somewhere. Only I feel silly going on my own and
I was wondering if you would like to go down to the coast with me.”
It had never occurred to John that Selma would
be bored being at home by herself. In fact he had never really thought about it
before. Now that the topic had been raised however John could imagine what
he’d feel like if he were in that position and he thought he understood
Selma’s predicament. Being deprived of adult company and even her daughter’s
company while the girl was at school must be depressing. What the hell. It would
be nice to forget about work for a day, ring in sick and just take it easy.
“OK, we can meet somewhere. If we drive in
your car I’ll buy the lunch.” he said.
The next day they met in a quiet back street in
Taragindi. John made a quick phone call to his work to say that he was sick and
wouldn’t be in until tomorrow and they set off for the little National Park
beside Tellabugerra Creek. This was one of John’s favourite places. On the way
they stopped and picked up a barbecued chicken and a bottle of ‘Summer
Wine’. This was a cheap, sweet sparkling wine. John was not much of a wine
buff. If it had bubbles, was sweet and didn’t cost much it must be good.
The little National Park was proclaimed to
protect a small area of natural rainforest that clung to the headland at the
mouth of the creek. It contained tall trees with buttress roots reaching for the
sky, lush undergrowth on the bottom storey and a myriad of other plants such as
vines and stag horns in the middle as it were, clinging to the tree trunks.
Between the buttress roots of one giant tree they found enough clear ground to
sit and start their picnic lunch.
Selma had been looking forward to this day with
feelings of apprehension and excitement. Being married and going out with
another man went against her upbringing. She had been a virgin when she married
Sergei and had been faithful to him ever since. On the other hand she was glad
to be out of the house and away from her mental struggle with Sergei over the
question of returning to Sweden. During the drive down John seemed so relaxed in
the seat beside her that the feeling soon infected her. They sat down and
prepared for their meal. Selma had brought a tablecloth, some plates and wine
glasses. A cool breeze blew from the sea but within the canopy of this small
remnant of rainforest with the abundance of greenery acting like a cosy quilt
the air was still and sweet.
John lay on the carpet of fallen leaves that
littered the ground and lent his head against a tree root. John thought it was
idyllic. Lying back against the tree he had a glass of wine in one hand, a piece
of chicken in the other and a beautiful woman with an exotic accent for company.
This was heaven.
All this was too much for Selma. She leant over
John, hugged him around the chest and kissed him on the lips. John’s body at
first stiffened noticeably. This was totally unexpected but the warmth of the
embrace had an intoxicating effect on John, flowing through him and melting his
reluctance. He relaxed and returned the hug.
John was awash with confusing emotion. Selma’s
advances had taken him by surprise. It was not at all the sort of thing he
expected his future mother-in-law to do. Selma however was not aware of the
relationship between John and her daughter so the mother-in-law aspect didn’t
enter into her calculations.
John’s emotions were in overdrive. He had been
besotted when Birgitta, a mere slip of a girl had only hugged him. Selma, by
contrast was a well-endowed woman in her prime, a sensual being well capable of
making his pulse race.
They sat there together, both enjoying the
moment despite the fact that both were engaged in something that was contrary to
their philosophies. Both had been so deprived of sexual gratification of late
that all philosophical considerations were swept aside in a rush of emotion.
Hand in hand they made their way along the narrow tracks to the headland at the
edge of the rainforest. Here the sea breeze blew strong, uninhibited by the
dense green canopy behind them. They forgot the complications of their personal
lives and indulged themselves in the sheer joy of imagining they were merely a
man and a woman together in a delightful, natural setting.
The hours passed too swiftly, as you often wish
they would when the circumstances are less appealing. Soon Birgitta would be
returning from school and Selma would have to play the part of the dutiful
mother and wife. They made their way to the car and drove back to Brisbane. John
was still hyper however. He kept fondling Selma while she drove, at one point
lifting her blouse and revealing her breasts to the oncoming traffic. Selma was
slightly taken aback by this but the look of astonishment on the face of an
oncoming truck driver and the excitement of the occasion made the moment seem so
unreal that any feeling of being embarrassed was well and truly drowned by the
The two made a date to see each other again in
two days, this time in the city for afternoon tea. John parked his Champ in the
King George Square car park and waited at the bottom of the square’s steps for
Selma to arrive. She had also parked in the underground car park and travelled
up the lift to the top of the stairs where John was waiting. With the sun
directly behind her Selma walked down towards John, who looked at her, stunned.
Selma’s long hair glowed blood red as the light streamed through it. John,
being the unobservant twit that he was had never noticed before that Selma had
auburn hair. They had usually only met before in places where the light was
subdued and he had assumed that her hair was brown. As she now walked towards
him, half silhouetted by the position of the sun, John now realised what a
beauty she really was. The light shone through her semi-translucent dress to
reveal an hourglass figure with quite a healthy bust line and the red halo was
merely the finishing touch. As they met and kissed John now noted once more the
near perfect features of her face, save the rather large mole over her left
eyebrow. Her eyes were a deep blue and her voice was so deep and sensual that it
would have done May West proud.
They walked hand in hand down Queen Street,
window-shopping and John felt ten feet tall. He was out in public with a
beautiful woman and it felt ‘sooo’ good. Most of his life he’d felt like a
bit of a loner. He had his male friends of course and the occasional girlfriend
but this woman really knew how to make him feel alive. Perhaps it was her beauty
or her attentiveness towards him. He didn’t quite know. All he did know was
that no other woman had ever made him feel this euphoric.
Selma felt rather excited also, but for slightly
different reasons. John was reasonably good looking but this wasn’t what made
being with him exciting. It was the lure of the forbidden. She was out on a
secret date with another man. Like legendary Swedish actress Greta Garbo she was
playing around behind her husband’s back. Greta ran off with an Italian and
ended up having children with him. How tantalisingly wicked. During her life
Selma had read of the extramarital exploits of the rich and famous and it all
seemed so exciting to a conservative individual such as herself. Sure she was a
bit of a flirt at times but that was as far as she had allowed it to go. Now
that she had gone this far however a whole new world of excitingly wicked
possibilities appeared within her reach.
The couple of hours they had managed to snatch
together evaporated all too quickly and soon they were heading back to their
respective families. In the following weeks they arranged to snatch a little
more time together, mostly in Selma’s house.
John would drive to Selma’s house when Sergei
and Brigitta were out but they did not consummate the relationship. Selma did
not want to have sex in the house she shared with Sergei and John was still torn
between Selma and Birgitta.
On these visits John often took his pet possum
with him. Despite it being a female she was called Charlie and would sit on top
of John’s head as he drove the Champ. Dogs had killed Charlie’s mother and
the orphaned baby had to be rescued from a tree in which it had taken refuge.
When it was very young it had been fed milk from a doll’s bottle but now it
was almost fully grown and would eat anything it happened to find on John’s
plate at mealtime. Possums are usually nocturnal but Charlie would happily play
during the day if she had company. One particular day she was given the run of
Selma’s house while the humans busied themselves in each other’s company.
When it came time to go however Charlie had disappeared. John and Selma searched
high and low and feared that the little animal had escaped outside and had
either been killed or would never be seen again. Thus it happened that John was
still in the house when Birgitta returned from her friend’s place. Birgitta
had become attached to the possum and so Selma sat down with her.
“We think Charlie has been lost Birgitta, we
had her in the house but now we can’t find her.” With that Birgitta rushed
off to her room and pulled back the quilt. Curled up in a ball in the middle of
the bed was Charlie. She had apparently became bored and decided to return to
her nocturnal ways. Birgitta had seen her do this sort of thing before and
solved the riddle instantly.
This incident had other ramifications apart from
the mystery of the disappearing marsupial. Birgitta’s suspicions were now
aroused about John. What were he and her mother doing alone together in the
house before she came home? Could it be that John was two timing her. Birgitta
began to distance herself from John. Not a word on the subject was spoken but
John felt the wall building between them. She was no longer close and friendly
towards him, she was distant and aloof. A great weight had now been lifted from
John’s shoulders. He no longer had to decide between Birgitta and Selma.
Birgitta had made that decision for him. As for the choice between John’s
friendship with Sergei and John’s relationship with Selma, John reconciled
himself with the thought that he had a deeper friendship with Selma and so if he
had to break off one friendship in order to maintain the other, it would be
better if he broke the weakest one. However John was a little shell shocked by
these events and was uncertain of what to do next.
Selma also had a great deal to lose if her
relationship with John went any further. Her marriage would be compromised to
say the very least and her daughter could suffer enormous emotional damage as a
result. At heart though Selma ran very much on instinct, as indeed did John.
Selma’s interest in John had grown since their first kiss and now she had an
almost irrepressible desire to be with him. Every time they met Selma’s
instincts rewarded her with a feeling of joy and serenity. In order to break
things off at this stage she would have to override these instincts and the
natural punishment for that would be misery. However, like John, Selma was
unsure. At their next meeting they agreed to break off their relationship. Both
felt bad about their betrayal of Sergei and John was still upset about ending
his relationship with Birgitta. John and Selma agreed to stay away from each
other and try to forget.
This separation worked well enough for a while.
Both Selma and John were lonely and sad but this was nothing new to either of
them. However after a month or so Sergei began to wonder why he had not seen his
friend lately. Before this John used to drop in to see them every weekend and
sometimes even during the week but lately John was nowhere to be seen. The
brakes on Sergei’s Champ required some work. Perhaps he could would visit John
and ask him for some help.
Meanwhile John had been using all his willpower
to resist the urge to see Selma. When Sergei dropped in and asked for some help
however it was too much. He could not refuse.
Selma heard John’s Champ arrive. The Champs
had a distinctive note that was unmistakable. Selma, like John, had been
fighting her desire in order to maintain their separation and John’s arrival
did not help her resolve. She went down stairs and asked Sergei why John was
there. “He’s come to help me bleed the brakes.”
‘Bloody man!’ thought Selma. ‘Things are
difficult enough without my husband inviting my love interest around.’
Sergei picked up on his wife’s irritation and
this gave him a sense of satisfaction. She had not been very loving lately.
Perhaps this would act as some form of revenge for her inattention.
With Birgitta now suspicious, things were
getting a little too hot for further meetings at Selma’s place. The two agreed
to see each other back at Mount Coot-tha again. Instead of rendezvousing near
the Botanical Gardens however, this time they would meet on the part of the road
above the quarry. Here the road had been widened to allow for future
encroachment by the quarry and in the process provided an ideal parking area
with sweeping views over the city. Selma made an excuse to leave home and met
John about an hour after dark. They adjourned to the back seat of Selma’s
Datsun 1600 but unlike their previous encounters there was nothing holding them
back. John had made his break with Birgitta and had decided to forsake his
friendship with Sergei while Selma felt freer now she was outside the confines
of her and her husband’s home. They kissed and cuddled and before long their
instinctive sexual desires were too strong to deny. John’s hands found their
way under Selma’s bra and caressed her ample breasts. This in turn brought
Selma’s excitement to fever pitch and she could feel that John was in a
similar state. ‘Just put your tip in.” she said. She had intended that the
two of them should engage in a bit of heavy petting but John was unfamiliar with
that sort of thing. Before long they were both as deeply involved in sexual
passion as was possible.
After what amounted to a couple of months of
foreplay the result was the best sex that John had encountered thus far in his
young life and some of the most rewarding carnal pleasure Selma had experienced
for a long while.
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