Free Read: Zaftig by Sara Dalle

I have the full permission of the publisher to post this free erotic story.

(Zaftig originally appears in Little Raven One)

On the first day of Hanukkah, she let me touch.  I’d seen her that day, moving in and out of the kitchen, her plump hips sliding out of her apron. Mum tugged me from the family room and got me making latkes as she heated the oil. I sliced my fingers on the grater.

‘Miriam’s an old friend’, Mum had said in the car.

All the years of not going to synagogue had caught up with her. She was suddenly filled with plans for the holy days and didn’t want to do it alone.

‘I think she has a daughter the same age’, Mum had blurted out as a final incentive.

She had looked at me and quietened, ‘two days.’

The daughter, Rosemary, had a rough fringe and a round face that highlighted her childish face. Her eyes passed over me as Mum and I held our bags and stood at the doorway, waiting for Miriam. Rosemary wasn’t impressed with me, my loose denim jeans or the way I leaned with one leg bent, one leg straight.

But I saw Miriam. She rushed towards my mother and hauled her into a heavy embrace, and then she saw me.


‘Kate’, my usual answer.

Suddenly, Miriam’s hips were square against mine and then gone. Her hands left flour on my shirt and the smell of nutmeg lingered between my earlobe and mouth. After everyone moved into the living room, I rubbed the spice from my face and licked it off my fingertips.

I talked to Rosemary, set the table and snuck looks at my mother’s friend. Miriam rushed in and out of every room, filling drinks and bringing out food that I hadn’t seen for years: sufganiyot doughnuts, kugel and honey puffs. When she paused in front of me with a plate of blintzes, she exhaled to get her thick hair out of her eyes. I took a blintz and bit it in two, letting half of it hang out of my mouth. My fingers brushed her hair out of her eyes. She smiled slightly and walked away, her hips making a sly figure of eight as she moved.

Mum and Miriam spent the rest of the afternoon drinking gin, eating and wiping grease from the cakes onto their laps.

‘It’s only once a year’, Miriam chuckled as she handed a plate to Mum.

The rest of their conversation was about their studies together, men, and children. Miriam caught me lingering in the corner, watching them from behind

‘What are you going to study, Kate?’

I smiled and ran my finger down the side of a poster; it was for an art exhibition in Paris.

‘You have plenty of time’, she said in the reassuring tone similar to my mother.

I hid from Rosemary, who only wanted to talk about how much hard work Hanukkah was and how she’d never do it again. I spent my time in the guest room, eating smuggled cakes and hearing muffled chuckles. I thought about Miriam’s solid legs and thighs; I only got a glimpse of them when she left a room. Mum would call them ‘peasant stock’. I imagined their strength around my head and how it would feel to slide my hand up her skirt.

When I came out Mum was asleep. Her legs were splayed and head lolled back onto a beige cushion, her mouth announced itself through dry breaths. I’d never seen her this relaxed.

Noises came from the dark kitchen.

‘Out like a light’, Miriam muttered and reached for some glasses.

‘Do you want a drink?‘

She turned and looked at me.

‘How old are you, eighteen?’

I grinned at her, ‘Next week.’

Miriam turned on the dim light and searched for a bottle. Her apron was off and I could see her hips and belly. She innocently stood on her toes to reach the back of the cupboard, showing me the shape of her breasts. I hoped that when she came down, a Hanukkah miracle would rip her bra off.

‘Whiskey okay?’

‘Uh huh’, I sighed, as she held up the bottle.

Mum was snoring as I took the two, three, four steps towards Miriam. She lifted her head up when she sensed me behind her, but kept pouring drinks and adding ice. I moved in closer.

‘Aren’t you precocious?’ she laughed, but she didn’t move.

I put my hand on her knee and started to move it up her thigh. Her skirt was heavy; it scratched me as it gathered, as I felt the muscle beneath. Miriam murmured and I pressed against her. All the blood in my body rushed between my legs and I rubbed them together, but I wanted to see what she had underneath. I strummed my fingers around the cotton at the top of her legs, she grabbed my hand and kneaded it against her – harder than I thought of doing. She moved her thighs further apart and I dipped my hand into her underwear. Mum rolled over and we froze until her snores started up again.

I imagined what she would see: hands and clothes, her daughter and an old school friend. That friend was now leaning on her elbows and grinding her bottom against me.

I turned Miriam towards me and led her to the table cluttered with mixing bowls and half-eaten sweets. She lifted herself onto it, avoiding my face as she pulled her skirt up and opened her impatient legs. I started touching her again, first one finger, and then two but never reaching the top. She raised her hips and groaned as I picked up a sufganiyot and put it in her mouth, she’d been eating doughnuts all afternoon. I left my fingers in her mouth and she briefly sucked them and then pulled her mouth away, as if she’d realised her mistake. I leaned in to kiss her but she turned her head and waited. I almost laughed at the sight of her; legs wide, icing on her lips and her head lying in a packet of self-raising flour. She shot me a pleading look. Fine, she would get what she wanted.

I put her ankle on my shoulder and ran my tongue down her thighs, nibbling on a freckle and pausing just as I could smell her heat. Then I noticed the wooden spoon. I picked it up and licked off the mix of strawberry jam and butter. She looked at me.

‘What are you-’?

I turned the spoon on its side and moved its rough texture against her. She exhaled as I pressed it against the top of her. Miriam’s left leg went limp and made a thud on the table; a few forks fell off and made a tinkling sound on the floor.

‘She’ll hear.’

She groaned in response. I put the spoon back into the bowl of doughnut filling and leaned over her.

‘Be quiet or I can’t do what I want.’

She looked at me sharply for a second, and then turned her head away. She was silent the rest of the night, even when I had four fingers inside her, slowing pressing and moving deeper. She never smiled, she just moaned quietly as my hand moved into her. She felt warm and slick. Miriam grimaced, then sighed. I curled my hand and gently pushed it back and forth. The sound of her wetness met my rhythm. She shuddered silently and lay still, mumbling to herself. I leaned my mouth against her neck. She rested a hand in my hair.

‘You’re zaftig’, she said.

I smiled to myself. Juicy.

‘Mum?’ I looked up.

Rosemary. Miriam sat up and rearranged her clothes. I picked up the wooden spoon from the bowl, walked past Rosemary and gave it a long lick. Two days, Mum had said, two days.

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