Marc Manther: The Ferris Wheel

During a visit to a fair, Stefan discovers a woman who fascinates him: slim, tall, long hair. She is walking alone. He observes her and follows her.
But in this game of the sexes, who is the hunter and who is the prey? When they climb a gondola of the Ferris wheel together, the woman very quickly takes over the active part. And Stefan realizes that she has lured him here quite deliberately. She blindfolds him. On the floor of the gondola they make love. But that’s not the last surprise of the day.

This is what it’s all about:

A man strolls aimlessly across Hamburg Cathedral. In front of him, a brunette who captivates him from the first moment. But he is married. Even if not happily. A moral dilemma: He cannot look at this woman without thinking of his marriage and its slow decline.
Briefly, he loses sight of his new dream woman. And realizes that this encounter will set the course for his future. All the more crucial to find her again in the crush of the folk festival.

Reading sample:

The summer sun shone mildly on booths and rides. The Thursday afternoon glided along uneventfully. Steven thought of adultery. Attracted by the Ferris wheel, he drifted through the crowd. It had been so long since he last strolled through Hamburg’s largest fairground …
Regina was probably still on the set. Some insignificant television production was on the shooting schedule.

It didn’t bother him that she had gotten this role without any trouble, while he hadn’t been able to find producers for his film projects for quite some time. It didn’t even bother him that this young makeup artist would be prancing around her all the time again. He wasn’t jealous. He was greedy for life. He longed for an erotic encounter, for new sexual experiences, in short, for an escape from the dreariness of his married life. Fourteen years was a hell of a long time.

A brunette walked in front of him in the crowd, and he liked her. The first thing he noticed about her was her lengthy hair, which reached over her shoulder blades and was cut in a semicircle. It almost seemed as if the sunlight reflected in it. He knew such hairstyles, which only worked if the hair was constantly groomed, at most from television commercials. Did such women really exist?

Her bottom. Not J. Lo., but well-toned. He wasn’t into those chubby buttocks anyway. The woman’s butts formed a distinct curve, and he saw in his mind’s eye the bare horizontal crease with which her rump contrasted with her thighs. The fit of her jeans gave him a hint.

It wasn’t often that he stared at a woman’s ass for any length of time. For the life of him, he couldn’t have described what Regina’s rear end looked like. Which was perhaps because she didn’t wear tight pants. Or if she did, then that kind of pleated pants that completely concealed her butt. But maybe his disinterest in his wife’s physique was just the result of years of habituation. The days when he watched her undress with fascination before going to bed were long gone.

A colorful striped silk scarf wrapped around the brunette’s neck. The woman wore her beige blouse open. She moved quickly, and the fabric billowed and blew to the side with each step. As soon as she slowed her pace or stopped, and as soon as the thin fabric clung to her waist again, he could see that while she was not skinny, she was slim. The legs in the tight jeans also point to that. Legs whose length was further emphasized by the pencil heels of her pumps. He wondered if Regina ever went to the pedicure. She probably had to, just for her movie roles. Just as she had her teeth whitened regularly. These were things he had long since considered normal.

Why did he think of it now? He realized that his gaze was glued to the feet of the woman in front of him. Smooth, lightly tanned skin, no signs of pressure marks or even calluses. She had to walk almost on tiptoe in those shoes. But she did it elegantly and naturally. And he, he imagined taking off this woman’s shoes in the evening, carefully, gently, caressing her and covering her with kisses, focusing his attention on each of her toes. He would massage those feet when she came home after a hard day while they sat together on the couch watching some meaningless program on TV.

Funny, it’s always the same kind of woman that attracts you, he thought. He shouldn’t have gotten married so early. At twenty, you’re just too young for that. Had the woman just looked at him? Or just happened to be looking in his direction? He wasn’t sure. Not wanting to attract negative attention, he turned away from her and looked at the displays of the candy stand he was standing in front of. He had loved waffles as a child. So had roasted almonds. Oddly enough, as an adult, he had gotten out of the habit of buying such treats. Why actually? Because of the unnecessary calories? Well, he wasn’t slim, but he kept his weight without any real problems. Maybe because he abstained from such extravagances.

His gaze lingered on the candy apples. In German, they were called love apples. As a child, he had never understood what this name meant. Later, in confirmation class, he heard the story of Adam, Eve and the apple and got an idea of the connection. But was it really love or rather the longing for the forbidden that led Eve to offer Adam the apple? For a long time, love had remained a mystery to him. In the meantime, he suspects that the expression „love apples“ has another meaning: a thick layer of sugar icing made something special out of the average fruit. Just like love. Stendhal had called this enchantment „crystallization.“

He was tempted to buy two apples and offer one to the brunette. Why not? She could do no more than kindly refuse or ignore him.

[from: Marc Manther: The Ferris Wheel]

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