Two shorts by Scott Keene

Introducing short story writer Scott Keene of the Long Beach, California, Writing Group

Tattoos & Footsteps

by Scott Keene 27 July 2012

He woke with a start. He looked around the room with sleepy eyes. Where was he? He looked at the nightstand next to the bed. The hotel clock said 3:15. Of course, he sighed. The Marriott near the airport in St. Louis. The connection to Cleveland had been cancelled because of the storm. Southwest had tried to put him up in some crappy hotel that looked like some sort of medieval castle. He wasn't having that. He took his hotel voucher and his Marriott rewards points and gave himself an upgrade.

He lay his head back down on the pillow and let his eyes adjust to the darkness. Then he heard it again. The same sound that had awoken him. Footsteps. Except… no, it couldn't be. They sounded like they were coming from inside the room. He flipped the switch on the lamp next to his side of the bed and listened again. He could hear the faint sound of music coming from somewhere, but he couldn't make out the tune.

He got up, pulled on a t-shirt and jeans and slipped his feet into his loafers. Grabbed the key card and the ice bucket and walked down the hall.

There was a vending machine room at the end of the hall, where the ice machine was. He put the bucket in place and pressed the button. He heard the gentle whir of gears turning, but no ice. He pressed again and still nothing. He turned and walked back towards his room. As he passed room 217, he paused. The music was coming from behind this door. Still, he had trouble recognizing the tune. He leaned forward and gently pressed his ear to the door. Music, yes, but other noises too. Was that…? Yes, just beneath the sound of the music was the soft slapping and moaning of copulation.

He blushed and stepped away from the door. As he turned once again to make his way back to his room, he heard the door to room 217 open. "Hey," the woman said. He faced her, looked her up and down. She was naked he realized but covered nearly head to toe in tattoos. The music was louder now with the door open and he could still hear the sounds of love-making from inside.

Interesting. "Hey," he said, smiling.



by Scott Keene 14 April 2016

He had a lot of thoughts about breasts. He was certainly not a breast man, but when prompted to write about breasts, there were several thoughts that came to mind.

He didn’t like the way the female breast was sexualized in American culture. Women were not allowed to be topless. Unless, of course the nipples were covered up. Why was this? Why was it okay to leave the breast exposed as long as the nipple was not revealed. He just didn't get it.

The Bather, 1858, Gustav Courbet

He remembered watching a special on Discovery Health channel about breast reduction surgery. This is medical. Clinical. There is nothing sexy about breast reduction surgery. Yet when the exam begins, the doctor pulls back the paper gown to reveal the breasts and the nipples are pixelated. Ridiculous.

By contrast, he remembered another special on weight loss. Same type of scenario, only this time the subject was male. The man weighed close to 300 pounds and was about to undergo reduction surgery, including breast reduction. But this time, full male breasts, no nipple pixilation. And this man's breasts were way bigger than the woman's in the other special. He realized, of course, size had nothing to do with it. It was clearly a gender issue.

But he still didn't get it.