Adventure Fantasy Romance

Carla looked out into the quickly gathering storm, watching the lightning flash. She had always been fascinated by lightning. All that power, unleashed in a moment, never knowing where it might strike next. It reminded her of her partner, Shawn. His was a mercurial personality, someone you never knew what to expect from.

It wasn’t the angry skies that brought him to her mind, but the unpredictability of it. Shawn was a wild card at best, at worst a loose cannon. That very daring and bravery was what the resistance needed, and it made him a great soldier, and an even better assassin and saboteur. She hadn’t known what he did when they met. By the time he trusted her with his secret, it was too late. She had fallen in love with the man.

There were times, like today, when she questioned her own judgement. Because of Shawn she had joined the resistance as well, even though she had previously had few objections to her country’s form of government. Few that she dared to express, or act on. It was the impassioned way Shawn had presented his arguments for the downfall of the fascist regime that had convinced her. That and his piercing blue eyes. Those eyes should be declared a lethal weapon, she thought ruefully. Just another in his arsenal, yet it had brought her to this moment.

Carla looked at him as he slept and checked her watch. Just another half an hour on guard, and she could wake him and get some rest herself. Rubbing her bleary eyes, she yawned widely. She could use a few weeks of sleep, but they had to leave before dawn. They were camped in an abandoned factory on the edge of Milan. The remains of buildings that had been struck by the bombs of the allies most recent attack surrounded them. Shawn had insisted it was the safest place to camp, but she had her doubts.

What was to stop another bombing run? There was still the former Ferrari factory that had been repurposed to make tanks. It was to be their target, but Carla couldn’t help feeling that being so close to it at night made them a target too. She shook her sleepy head, telling herself that worrying about a bomb falling on top of them wouldn’t stop it. It was also the thought of the nightmares that sometimes disturbed her that made her try to think of something, anything else.

She closed her eyes for a moment and thought of the small fishing village where she lived as a child. God, Italy had been beautiful before Mussolini came. She felt a wave of resentment wash over her when she thought of that peaceful place becoming a port for U-Boats. Her grandfather had tried to fight against it, but the only thing that had gotten him was 3 years in a Nazi work camp, building new routes through the alps. He had come out a shell of his former self, beaten down by the backbreaking work and the brutality. That was the other reason she had chosen to fight.

A simple, peaceful man, her grandfather had seen more than his sanity could take. His sleep was disturbed by the memories of the men who hadn’t come back, worked to death, or shot for attempted escape. He was a haunted soul for the rest of his life, which hadn’t been long. He had seen too much for his peace of mind, and soon after his release he had just given up. It’s not like they let him go because they wanted to, he was just too old to work as hard as they demanded.

Carla felt a wave of hate for all Nazis wash over her, and she was surer than ever that she was doing the right thing fighting for the resistance as a saboteur. The more destruction she and Shawn could inflict, the sooner old Hitler would go to the hell he surely deserved. If she ever had the chance, she would be more than glad to dispatch the old despot herself. But those jobs were reserved for the best assassins, and her aim was faulty. Her specialty was luring wealthy businessmen who were suspected of collaboration to a rendezvous, gaining valuable intelligence. She never went further than a few glasses of wine at an expensive restaurant. She was no temptress. Furthermore, she loathed those turncoats so much that the mere thought of doing anything more was revolting.

After she had joined up with Shawn, she had eaten her last gourmet meal and drank her last glass of Merlot. She didn’t miss it. But this sort of strange half life she led frightened her. She tried not to let her partner see how scared she really was. He seemed so brave, so devil-may-care. The thought of him seeing her as a coward was unappealing. She hid her misgivings and acted as if this wandering life and the constant danger didn’t make her feel helpless. These long night watches were the only time she could indulge in some self-pity, let herself feel the precarious position they were in.

Carla blinked her eyes rapidly as the scenery changed from World War II Italy’s bombed out countryside to the factories and warehouses that surrounded her home in New Jersey. She shook her head to clear away the cobwebs, and her first thought was, “Damn, I did it again.” She turned over in bed and looked at her sleeping spouse, snoring gently at her side. His name was Sean, but there the similarities between him and the man she fought beside in her dreams ended.

Why did she keep doing this to herself? He was a good man, an excellent provider, a gentle yet thorough lover. Everything she wanted in a mate. Yet the fantasies came every night. What was missing in her life that made her want to change the personality of the man she loved? He was no daring spy, he worked as an accountant in a well-respected firm in New York City. He made a decent living, provided well for her and their 3 children. Maybe the problem was that he was a bit boring and predictable. In fact, those adjectives could well describe her entire life. When she was awake, she car-pooled the kids to their various activities, shopped for groceries, and did the chores.

Her fantasy life had everything her real life did not. Danger, romance, suspense. Never knowing what could or would happen to her next.

Shawn the spy from her dreams was the kind of man she had wanted as an immature teen! He had no resemblance to the flesh-and-blood man she had married. When she slept with him in her dreams, he was wild, passionate, unpredictable. When her true husband deigned to descend from the level of high finance for long enough to fulfill his “marital duties” (Yes, he called it that) he was, to be blunt, swift. She went to sleep many a night still longing for release. In her fantasies, she got that and then some. If only Shawn and Sean didn’t have the same face, and yet differ so in their approach to life. Sean was predictable, ordinary, humdrum. He liked it that way, in fact any attempt to alter the routine of their life was met with a quick “no, thank you”.

Shawn was the alter-ego who she sometimes wished were real. If only she could switch their personalities, life would be perfect. Sean didn’t realize how boring she found him, and she wasn’t about to burst his selfish little bubble. She could make love to his alter-ego in the night. What if he wasn’t real? She could care less. The orgasms were real enough to keep her coming back for more night after night. Sometimes she wished she was the Carla of her dreams, brave enough to fight the Nazis and beat them at their own game. Sean wasn’t the only one who fell short of his dream-twin.

Carla of Italy was beautiful enough to catch the attention of a rich businessman, a seductress. Carla of New Jersey wore ratty old sweats and her hair ended up in a messy bun most days. She wasn’t brave or daring, sensual or a risk taker. She was a typical suburban housewife. Suddenly she realized that she found her own self wanting too. She longed to be all those things as much as she wanted Sean to be Shawn. But she couldn’t just slumber her life away. With a rueful sigh, she arose and began the day, her lips still tingling pleasurably from the kiss she had shared with Shawn before she woke. Perhaps neither of them were the people she wanted them to be, but there was always tonight. She would see her fantasy lover, be his partner in crime, and live the life of her dreams. Literally.

October 11, 2022 19:26

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Delbert Griffith
10:03 Oct 20, 2022

I liked the writing, Dawn. It conveyed a sense of reality and unreality at the same time. Good job! BTW, I'm also from Texas. Let's keep writing from the Lone Star state!


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AnneMarie Miles
04:14 Oct 12, 2022

I like how this ends. I don't think it's uncommon to want more from our partners, and fantasize about a different life, especially if you've been together for many years. But in the end, your MC is able to realize that in her fantasy world, she is also a different person, someone she isn't living up to, either. I wonder if she would see changes in Sean if she acted more like her counterpart, Carla? Thanks for a quick and enjoyable read!


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