Friday, March 4, 2016

Free fiction: Pain in the Back

Oscar tried to stretch out his back, but the lower muscles remained tired and angry from hunching over his desk all day. "Schematics," he muttered. "This is all because of those damn drawings and their little tiny squiggly lines. Once every five years I have to do something like this. How do people do this kind of stuff every day?"

'They're very unlucky." Phillip made a tsking noise, empathetic and understanding. "What do you want? Hot shower? Heating pad? Anti-inflammatory?"

Phillip ran his hands lightly across Oscar's back, not quite massaging but giving a substantial level of touch. It was soothing and Oscar's stress level dropped, even if his back remained sore.

"All of the above," said Oscar. "And a beer."

Phillip reached up to flutter his fingers across Oscar's neck. "Done. But first, let's go for a ten minute walk."

Oscar groaned.

"Seriously," Phillip said. "What you need more than anything, is to make those muscles active. Warm them up. Let's go." Oscar groaned again, but Phillip shook his head. "You know I'm right."

"I know." Oscar followed Phillip out the door.

His back protested the extra movement, reminding him he'd spent hours leaning over a desk, squinting to see small writing. But after a minute of moving, the tension released a little. He still felt tight and achy, and wanted to do nothing but curl up on the couch with a drink, but the exercise felt good. By the time they circled the neighborhood and returned home, Oscar's back felt very much improved.

"Thank you," Oscar said as he closed the door behind them. "You were right."

Phillip reached up to touch Oscar's shoulder. He moved his hand and gently pinched the corded muscle at the base of his neck, and then ran his hand down the length of Oscar's arm. The hint of kneading of Oscar's muscles felt like a promise of heavenly delights. "Go run yourself a bath. I'll bring you a beer. And if you don't complain too much, I'll give you a massage to work out the knots."

"You're an angel," Oscar said.

"I need you in working order," Philip said. "And if I hear one more word about sketches or etchings—"


"—or anything like that, I'll come down there and burn them myself."

Oscar pulled Phillip into a hug and kissed him. "You're a devil. And I love it."

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