Ivy (18+ only)

For #WickedWednesday, and the prompt of ‘tattoo’, I have done something I don’t normally do on my blog. The following story is embryonic, and began life inspired by the tattooed ladies of the Victorian era; it is a short, compact version (and maybe even alternative) of a dark story that I am sure has much more to offer as a longer, more involved piece of work. I’ll be interested to see what you think.

Happy reading!

Ina x


I’ve watched her arrive and leave with the circus every year for six years. I know every curve of her body, every flicker of her eyes, every false smile she offers each customer as they run their fingers over the winding vine. Every time she visits, there are more inked ivy leaves; the vine seems longer. I want to bash the pennies out of the hands of each and every one who stands in line to play with the curiosity. Cut off their fingers. But she has to eat. They all do. I understand that.

She sees me, still watching, even when the field is nothing but a ghost town, and only the chattering of the performers mingles with the grumble of a circling, caged tiger. The Big Top is already dismantled.

Without a sound, she comes to me. Takes my hand.


“Why don’t you touch? Everyone else does.

I detect the confusion in her eyes as I pull away. “Because you’re not a curio, a novelty. Not to me. You’re so much more than that.”

My thumb follows the curve of her cheekbone as she stands naked before me, the vine of ivy imprinted wherever I hold her.

“Did he start here?” Her head falls back as my lips trace the vine that starts just in front of her ear. She flinches, but she doesn’t push me away.

“Yes. A knife. He didn’t stop.”

I pull her to me, hold her with enveloping, tender hands. “I don’t have one. I promise.”

“No. You hold me like a butterfly. That’s how I know.”

“Know what?”

I feel her quiver. “That I can trust you. With my body.”

The vine bulges beneath my tongue; each kiss takes me on a journey down her body. Tattoos fall over her breast, and I stroke each in turn, drawing her nipple between my lips, evoking her arousal, tiny and peaked as I suck. Whimpers accompany the roaming hands that pull my shirt over my head, push my trousers away so she can feel my hardness in her palm.

“Why? Why do you ink yourself?”

“People need to see the freak. It’s better if they see the woman who grows ivy on her vine body. Better than seeing the girl who was sliced up by a drunken uncle.”

“Do they touch you? Those bastards who gawp?”

She smells of roses. Her back arches in my hands as she pulls me down to her little makeshift bed. Kneeling at her side, I make love to her ribs, her tummy, her hips with my mouth and my fingertips, following the passage of her pain.

“Why are you kissing it? It’s poison, ivy. I’m poison. No good.”

“I’ll kiss every single leaf. Because they’re a part of you. And I want to know every…little…bit…” My cock is so hard against the outside of her thigh. The need to mark her is all-encompassing. But I can wait. I’ll wait as long as she needs. “You are not your scars.”

“But the ivy’s not scars.”

 “Are you sure about that?” I catch her eyes, aflame with something I don’t recognise, as she opens her thighs to me. Every movement I make, every motion to ease her further, is in response to hers.

Her pussy lays open to my gaze. I watch it, pink and pulsing, glistening. I want to put my lips to it so badly. Explore her, unfurl her.

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong with me?”

“There’s nothing wrong with you. I — I suppose I expected a tattoo there.” My fingertip dips to the flesh surrounding her beautiful little clit. Like a tiny unfurling bud. With a tentative fingertip, I touch, and she whimpers.

“I won’t let anyone touch. Haven’t done. Before.” Her lips turn up in the corners. Her eyes hold no reflection of her efforts. “Those scars you talk of? Some have no need to be inked on my skin. I feel them every day.”

A tear slips from her lashes and trickles down the side of her face. It’s salty, bitter on my tongue. I kiss her eyelid; whisper, “Let them fall. Let me gather them. Give all your tears to me. Then they won’t make you sad anymore.”

Her fingers grip me, desperate, urgent. “Will you come back? Next year, when the circus comes to town?”

“Does anyone ever come back?”

“Only to stare. And they bring their friends.”

“I don’t want…oh, I wish I could make you fly away from all of them.” I sink my mouth onto her mound; I am surrounded by ivy as her thighs clasp my head. My words are guttural, and I mean every one: “I want to come back for you.”

“I want you to come. Next time I’m here. I want you…to come…now. So you never forget.”

She pulls me in, my finger sliding inside her, her wetness growing, gathering, until I’m sure she can take me. I ease myself into her, and she grasps me, thrusts against me, her legs entwined around my back, her moans driving my orgasm until I can’t resist the glorious feeling of her around me any longer. My desire, my love, my everything explodes into her.

I lay still, afterwards, her ivy wrapping around me. And, in that moment, I know I’ll crumble in the morning, and every day until her return. I feel her, buried in my soul.


I watch the men, shirtless, erecting the tents. The others are milling all over the field. I have no need to seek her out; I feel her presence. She is the circus for me.

A squidgy little woman, like my granny but with a snake, eyes me. Shakes her head.

“She’s gone.” Fat fingers wrap around my wrist. Sad little eyes, wet, pink, stare at me. “She got an infection. Doc says it got into her blood. Nothing any one of us could do. I looked after her. I did all I could.”

A cold, ghostly tendril threads its way around my skin, with every move evoking a memory: the flesh that smelled like roses; the satin beneath my lips, warm, arching as I brushed my mouth against her; the echo of her soft moans as my tongue took her scars and I slid inside her, in the hope that I could erase every trace of her pain.

“She told me, she did. When we come back here, I’m to give you this.”

All I can do is stare, as the edges of the cream envelope become blurred, and the scalding sting streams down my face. The salt hits my lips. All I know is how she felt in my arms as I took her tears away, and she opened her body up to me. “How do you know it’s for me?”

She gives me a small smile. “Because you’d be waiting. She said you would. Hell of a job keeping this from prying eyes. But it’s yours now.”

Away she goes, leaving me with my missive. A trembling finger flicks open the envelope and removes a photograph. Ivy, on a blanket covered in images of roses, smiles back at me. Her thighs lay wide open and there, covering every intimate part of her, is a rainbow-coloured butterfly. Her beautiful little clit forms its head, her depths mark its body.

I flip it, hoping to see she signed her name. Hoping for — something.

Your love gives me the gift of life. You let my soul fly. It flutters for you now.

Until we meet again.


Ivy: Its tendril roots search, find a place to enter, winding, until they overwhelm their host entirely. It penetrates the very essence of the one it becomes attached to. Kill it, and the roots have already done what they do best. Sometimes it’s poison, sometimes it covers the horrors beneath. But don’t we all have ivy tattooed on our hearts, somewhere?

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29 thoughts on “Ivy (18+ only)

  1. lurvspanking says:

    Before I get into your story, I instantly compared this to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which I read several years ago.

    First of all, the use of ivy tattoos as a metaphor that strangles the life out of the her leaf by leaf and poisons her emotional state, is quite brilliant. The man, her one-time lover could have reacted as all the others, with pruning shears and fire attempting to burn out the ivy. Even in the short story, the characters leap from the screen and demand to be heard. This could easily become a full-length novel, even w/ the tragic ending.

    Your stories always pack an emotional wallop, especially when you go over to the Dark Side. That’s not a bad thing. There are many dark things that lurk in plain sight and writing fiction blurs the lines between negligence and awareness. Damaged people are everywhere and when all we see is the external ‘freak’, we miss the opportunity for intimate connections. I’m glad you posted this. It’s wonderful in it’s poisonous seductive way that evokes vines snaking up brick walls and seeking a way through the tiniest of cracks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ina Morata says:

      To my shame, I have not yet read The Night Circus. I have been to buy it on numerous occasions, and always come out of the bookshops with something else. I have no idea why!

      I am extremely glad that you appreciated the metaphor, and that the characters made such an impact. What you say about damaged people is so very true, and it’s something I am very concerned with, at a personal and a writerly level. You are right: Fiction is a tool of awareness. While I’m not an advocate of ‘a writer’s responsibility’ to the reader (how can a writer be responsible for the intellectual, emotional and physical response of a reader to their work?), I strongly believe that a writer’s job is to be authentic, to write honestly in how they view the world, even if that writing draws dark and uncomfortable things to the surface. Writing, including fiction, is a record — of society, of the individuals who inhabit it, of the psychological processes that form its workings. Of the light and the dark.

      The Dark Side, huh? Are you going to start calling me Anakin Skywalker?Now there’s the truest and most intrinsic of lights, hidden deep in the conditioned darkness… Nature v. Nurture at its very best.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. May says:

    I found this short story extremely powerful – I saw the metaphor and was engrossed from start until finish. Reading a second time immediately. I would love to see this as a longer piece, I can almost already see what else could be included. Fantastic – Thank you…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. missy says:

    I absolutely love your writing and this story was no exception. I love the way you combine the erotic and the dark but also incorporate the mystery and the beauty. It was really powerful and left its images and its characters on my mind. I agree with the other comments that this would work well as a longer piece although I also liked the fact that it left so much unsaid too. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ina Morata says:

      Awww, thank you so much, missy! That’s so lovely of you.
      You’ve put your finger on why I love writing — and reading — short stories so much. The story beyond the story always intrigues me. Short stories capture a moment in time. If it’s done well, the reader is left with, not only the experience of the story itself, but many things to ponder about the bigger picture for the characters in it. (One of the many reason’s I love Lurv Spanking’s Kismet of Submission so much).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. books1799 says:

    I absolutely adored this story. Full of atmosphere, mystery and poignancy. It came to life as I read it as if I was watching a film. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the sexual tension was palpable and the description of the buttefly at the end – well I almost cried.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ina Morata says:

      Thank you! I’m delighted that you enjoyed it so much. Stories with this kind of emotive nature are among my favourite to write. Interesting that you mention reading it as if you were watching a film; the filmic quality of the scenes in my stories is something I’ve found myself gravitating towards.
      Little secret: I had wet eyes when wrote the butterfly at the end. The imagery meant a lot to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. collaredmichael says:

    Sad and so well written. His love both freed and killed her! Or that’s my interpretation. The infection received when getting the butterfly tattoo. But it’s bittersweet. As everyone should experience unconditional love. Even if it kills us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ina Morata says:

      Thank you so much! Your interpretation aligns with my own intentions when writing it. I completely agree with you about unconditional love. Often bittersweet, but one of the most powerful forms of love that exists, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • collaredmichael says:

        I have now read all the other comments. While a longer version has merit I think I prefer it this way. A short version allows the reader to imagine the rest! Each reader filling in the details in a way that works for them. I like that aspect of this story too.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ina Morata says:

        It’s interesting you should say that. I have thought about it a lot and, while I can see I could create a much longer piece, I actually like the contained nature of this story and the emotions it holds. Because I was writing for Wicked Wednesday specifically, I was curtailed by the word count specifications, and really felt there were places in the story that would have benefitted from some addition to detail. But, being such a strong advocate of the short story as a reader and a writer, I do wonder if the emphasis on the importance of this moment will be lost in a bigger piece. What I love about short stories is the way they capture a fleeting moment in time. They can be all the more powerful for leaving work to be done by the reader, I agree. I guess I’ll make my mind up — eventually!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Life of Elliott... says:

    Oh my. I don’t know what to say. This is a moving story created a great sadness in me, as I had become invested in the narrator and the tattooed lady. This is the line that started it for me… the vine of ivy imprinted wherever I hold her. A beautiful story.

    Two moods captured from my experience. The mystic style of The Night Circus, I was pleased to see Lurvs thought that too. And, the grittiness and life of Carnivàle,, one of my favorite shows. If you do not have a copy of Night Circus, let me know and I’ll send you one, I bought some copies to give to friends after I read it and still have one extra.

    I am looking forward to reading Can You See Me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ina Morata says:

      Thank you so much. I’m glad it managed to have an impact on you. I usually judge the possible impact of my sadder pieces by the effect they have on me as I’m writing. This one brought tears to my eyes while I was working on it.

      That’s such a lovely offer regarding the book! You’re so sweet! After LS’s comment (which sometimes I need to jog my memory), I did get a copy. Now all I need to do is find time to read it. 🙂

      Oooh, Can You See Me? How exciting that you’re looking forward to it! Hope you find it worth the wait!

      Liked by 1 person

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