This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
It was early September, the first day of term. And that meant one thing. Well, two things but only one that excited me. The first day of the university year was the lesser fact, but it led to the important thing: Selection Day.
The lecture hall was filling with fresh students, eighteen or older and new to Medford University. All of them were scared, all of them were trying to pretend they weren’t. But having watched this ritual happen every autumn for the last nine years, I knew the signs. Laughing too loud, smiling too hard, walking in that imitation of a confident strut. Did they fool each other? Perhaps. But me, I could smell the scent of fear. As always, it amused me. But it was a distraction from my real mission and I redirected my focus to the task at hand.
As the students took their seats, I took the opportunity to examine the new class. The tiered setting provided an excellent view of the choices for my selection. There were some stand-out strong candidates immediately. A girl with wavy blonde hair and a cute button nose with a top that at first glance looked respectable, suddenly bent over her bag and gravity pushed her cleavage into view. I caught an eye full of quite a large set of breasts that might be very fun to play with. Hmm, worth consideration but you have to squeeze a few pieces of fruit before you choose the ripest. My eyes travelled to the back of the room where a tall, willowy black girl was wearing a short red skirt that pulled my focus. The legs were long, slender and I took a moment to let my eyes travel up the length of her thigh, stopping at the hem of the skirt, just shy of the place that perhaps she wanted people to think about. I took in the rest of her. She was delicately pretty and worth a second thought. I noticed that in contrast to the skirt, she was wearing a buttoned to the neck blouse. Yes, most girls knew you showed legs or breasts, but never both. Unless you wanted people to know that you were a certain type of girl.
On that thought, I saw that type of girl sitting right at the front. She was wearing denim shorts and a tiny yellow vest top, technically appropriate to the Indian summer we were having but I wondered if the season had anything to do with her wardrobe choices. Had it been raining, wasn’t she the type who would have strutted in here practically naked anyway? I took a moment to subtly assess her assets. Her hair was caramel coloured and long, falling around her slender, bitable neck. Her breasts were medium size, smaller than the Cleavage Girl’s, but more shapely. Her legs had a powerful look about them and I could picture her straddling me all too easily. Denim Shorts was quickly moving up to the top of my list. She had a certain body confidence that was alluring. Would it translate to real world experience, I wondered. Not necessarily. A girl’s dress style didn’t always speak to sexual experience. Sometimes it was only a costume. But from the way she placed her hand on the upper thigh of the boy next to her, she was unlikely to be a virgin, which was crucial. I never chose a virgin. Virgins could be tricky. They took things too seriously, clung too hard. Break it off wrong and you’re looking at a formal complaint. So far, I’d flown underneath the administrative radar with my proclivities and guidelines like the ‘no virgins’ rule had kept me safe for the last six years of seducing first years.
As I considered my choices, I could see that the room was just about settled. Time for me to make my introduction. I stood slowly for the benefit of my shortlist, not to mention the rest of the class. They could wonder any number of things about me in that moment. I could be anyone, anything. Every nightmare and every fantasy is contained in the moment before you speak. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m beautiful. That may sound arrogant but the fact is that I’ve always turned heads. And my good cheek bones, youthful skin and thick dark hair that I tend to wear down mean that although I’m thirty-six, I can pass for twenty-six. Which is, of course, helpful when sleeping with my students as it can help to blur the line between us at the moment when it needs to be blurred. But at other times, times when I need the full attention of my students and their respect for me as their professor, my no nonsense attitude keeps their eyes on me. My dress style performs both functions, giving me command whilst fulfilling certain fantasies for those inclined toward a powerful woman. My clothing is carefully selected, form-fitting and sharp: favoring black, grey and silver. I know the importance of my apparel to those who sat in my classroom. It imparts sexual longing to the few and comfort to the many in need of a firm hand on the rudder of their education. Both were important to me.
As I looked around the room, I knew that all eyes were on me, as always. I had their total focus. And in that moment, I felt my own excitement at the possibilities that the term held with my potential Seducee. It would start with a few lingering looks and ‘accidental’ hand touches and little by little, it would build to something else. Private meetings with flimsy excuses while the girl in question struggled with her attraction. Did she really feel this pull, this want? Was I feeling the same? Should she let this happen with her professor? Would that be wrong? Until one day, usually toward the end of the first semester, it would happen. It always did, sooner or later. They always gave in to their yearnings. And it would be delicious.
I stood at the front of the lecture hall and took a pause before turning to the white board behind me. I began to write my name.
‘My name is Julia Hawke and this is Writing Short Stories.’
Forty five minutes later found me in a question and answer session as we rounded the end of the class. I was answering a question from a lanky boy with the last of his teenage acne still in evidence, patiently explaining, as I did at the start of every year that no, you cannot truly teach writing but you can nourish and shape the writer to do their strongest work and find their voice, blah, blah, blah. Having trotted out this line many times, I was bored with my own voice but as I looked around the room, I saw that the class was rapt. It was always that way with my students. They were like little sponges, eager to soak up whatever droplets of wisdom I dispelled. Sometimes it would make me feel sad to see their passion, having lost that fire myself. I hadn’t written a word in years. But it didn’t mean I hadn’t learned a thing or two and I was happy to pass it on to those who still cared about writing. And it doesn’t hurt that teaching also provides me with an endless source of nubile flesh. That’s what stimulates me these days. Where I used to be excited to sit down at my keyboard and write, now my inspiration comes from the chase. The hunt and capture of a naughty little prize.
As I dismissed the class, I subtly watch Denim Shorts get up and collect her things and I catch her eye. It’s brief but I get the slightest hint that yes, she could be receptive. And with any luck, she’ll put up just enough of a fight to keep it interesting before she gives into her own desire. I watched her perky buttocks bounce across the room in the infamous shorts as I stood and collected my notes. Target acquired.
As I got up to leave, my path was suddenly blocked and I almost walked into my interceptor.
An elfin, bespectacled girl with dark blonde hair pulled back into a tight ponytail was standing in front of me. She was dressed in a conservative cardigan and skirt, both in muted colours. She looked a little parochial. I could see that she was nervous to speak to me but something had pushed her to do it anyway.
‘I’m Penny Stone. I just wanted to tell you that I found your class really inspiring.’
‘Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading your work.’
That statement inspired a blush and I could see that the prospect of me reading her work had struck fear into her. But she was trying to push it down, trying to be confident. I wasn’t unsympathetic to a new writer’s nerves about having their work appraised by me. I could recall those times in my own life when I’d been in her shoes. She dipped her head, suddenly finding her shoes fascinating.
‘I’m not very good but I hope you’ll make me better.’
It wasn’t an unusual statement from a young writer. Sometimes they believed it and sometimes it was false modesty. If it was false modesty, then the writer in question usually found out later that there was actually some truth in their proclamations of lack of talent. It was the ones who really thought they weren’t any good that did the best work because they would push themselves, demand more from themselves, work harder. I examined the girl for pretension and I didn’t detect it in her. I laughed gently at her neurosis.
‘We’ll see about that, Penny.’
She looked up at me in surprise, and I guessed that people didn’t usually remember her name and certainly not so quickly. I couldn’t see why not. Now that I was really looking at her, there was something that drew you in, a certain intriguing quality behind the shyness. That apparent innocence might have hidden depths, the kind that made for interesting work. I decided to keep a special eye on her. Aside from my sexual prey selections, I also tried hard to root out the writing gems in my class, and something was telling me that Penny Stone might be a real talent, someone to nurture. She was looking up at me and seemed to be deciding whether to say something else. I waited patiently and she suddenly looked at her watch and gasped.
‘I’ve got another class across the campus, I’d better run. I don’t know where anything is yet!’
‘You’ll get the hang of this quicker than you think.’
She smiled gratefully and scuttled out of the class. Yes, there was something about her that held a charm. She could never be selected for pursuit, she was clearly far too inexperienced and unworldly for me; but I had to admit, Penny Stone had something that intrigued me.
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Toria Danielle: I must congratulate Erin Swan on completing such a beautiful work. The Rising Sun is well rounded and leaves nothing to be wanted. ALL of the characters and their development are beautifully written. The plot is extremely well thought out. Creating a whole different type of universe is difficult ...
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