Note: Readers of my story, "Advice" will remember that John Nolan is a man endowed with great personal magnetism. As I stated in "Advice" these types of individuals are uncommon, but they are not rare. People having this sort of magnetism can be either male or female. They have an innate ability to attract and influence other people. You have probably have known a person with this amazing ability or have heard of someone like them. In school, they were the most popular boys and girls, in business they come up through the ranks of the corporate world faster than their actual talent should allow; as politicians they easily win office. They exude an aura that attracts both sexes to aid them in their causes. When their cause is noble, they can bring much good into the world; however, if their desires turn to sex, they use their personalities for seduction. John Noland is a master of seduction.
This story is written in an unorthodox style. Most events are described in a present and immediate tense in an attempt to make the reader a voyeur, who is "present" as the story happens. This is not so much a descriptive narrative, as it is an impression of emotions, actions and events, which are set down, wherever feasible, in short, simple sentences.
Sam and Meg Russell have been happily married for 20 years. Meg is forty-five years old, has brown hair and blue eyes, stands five feet six inches tall and weighs one hundred and sixteen pounds. She is quite proud of her figure and works hard to ensure that she keeps it. The narrowness of her waist accentuates the width of her hips. Her breasts, while not large, have a certain sexy pertness. Sam is forty-seven, a successful accountant, a man adept at using his brain rather than his brawn. He stands six feet one inch tall, has graying black hair, hazel eyes and weighs one hundred and ninety pounds. Sam also, makes it a habit to workout and has above average strength. They are extremely proud of their two high school aged boys. If Meg has one weakness, it is handmade art and in particular, pottery. She has managed to fill a "special room" of her house, with a wide assortment of vases and other such artwork. Her husband aids her, acting as her "scout" going around to various shops, and alerting her to items that she might find interesting.
Sam is taking her to the workshop of John Nolan, an artist whose work she has long admired. Sam remembers that it was just over two months ago when he first met John Nolan. Sam had been in one of the galleries in town and had been introduced to the artist. When Sam discovered the man did not have a ride home, he offered to provide transportation. On the drive to John's home, Sam mentioned that Meg was interested in collecting pottery and had several of Nolan's works in her collection. When they arrived at John's home, Sam received a tour of the workshop where the artist produced his creations. John insisted that Sam bring Meg to visit. Meg was thrilled when she found out about the invitation. A week later, the couple came to see John. They were greatly surprised when he offered to give them free lessons. Sam gracefully declined, but Meg eagerly took John up on his offer. Almost every weekend since that first meeting, Sam has been driving Meg down to John's place for pottery lessons.
Sam turns off the main road onto a dirt side road, then down another dirt road and stops at a gate, at the foot of a hill. Up at the top of the hill, barely seen through the trees, stands a small house and several outbuildings. Sam gets out of the car and presses a button at the side of the closed gate. A short while later, a loud buzz indicates that the gate unlocked, Sam pushes the gate open and drives through.
They reach the top of the hill. Sam and Meg see another car parked beside the small cottage. John Noland appears at the door of the cottage and waves at the couple. John is approximately sixty years old, stands around six feet tall, has grey hair and green eyes, and is astoundingly physically fit. He exudes the type of personality, which makes most people want to be his friend.
"Come on in!" The John calls out. "I'm just taking a break. Let's have a beer—or maybe two, before we get down to making pots." John Nolan ushers the couple through the front door of his small home. The door enters into a living room, which is furnished with two recliner chairs and a couch. A kindly looking middle-aged woman is sitting on one of the chairs.
"Go ahead and find a seat on the couch. I'll get you both a beer," instructs John. "Jane just stopped by on her way home. She had been in town today and picked my groceries up for me." John leaves the room and goes into the kitchen, which can be seen through a doorway at the far end of the living room.
"Hi, it's good to see you again Jane." Sam smiles at the woman. Sam and Meg remember meeting Jane during one of their previous visits. Sam recalls that she lives alone and has a house about two miles away. "Meg is still learning a few pointers about the art of making pottery from John."
"I bet John can teach you a lot," Jane says to Meg. "He is an extraordinary artist."
"Oh, yes I know," Meg says. "I own several of his works. I have a lot more to learn than a few pointers. Actually, I'm just a beginner, there is so much to learn, but John is a good teacher."
"Well, is there anything else that I can get someone?" John says as he comes back into the room and hands Sam and Meg bottles of cold beer. "It is good to see you both. Have you been able to practice any at home, Meg?"
"We still don't have anyplace set up," Meg slowly shakes her head. "We were hoping to get something fixed up in the garage. I hope to get a potter's wheel. Maybe you can recommend something for a beginner like me. Ha! Here I am talking about using a wheel and we haven't even gotten to that part yet!"
"You're coming along fine. I'll have you do some work on the wheel today," John smiles as a twinkle lights up his eyes, "but that's a good idea, getting one for yourself. You want to practice as much as you can. I'll show you some of the tricks of the trade in a little while."
They sit around for half an hour talking about art and pottery. They finish their beers and John is quick to provide everyone with full bottles. Finally, John asks Sam to help him move a table in his workshop. He explains that he has a bad back, which makes it impossible for him to do heavy lifting. The two men leave the house and go to the outbuilding, where John has his workshop.
"So, what do you think of John?" asks Jane. "Is he what you imagined an artist to be like?"
"I think that he is a bit more than I imagined." Meg answers, taking a sip of her beer. "I've never met anyone like him. Have you known him long?"
"Oh, I've known him since I moved here about three years ago," Jane explains. "He is a good friend."
"You're his girlfriend?" Meg asks.
"Heavens no!" laughs Jane. "That man doesn't have a steady girlfriend. He is a total loner when it comes to that sort of thing, besides I haven't had any interest in men in a long, long time."
"He certainly has sex appeal," Meg says. "I would think that almost any woman would be attracted to him. If I were a single gal, I know I would want to get to know him better. It must be awfully frustrating for him not to have some romance in his life."
"Get to know him as well as you want," Jane winks at Meg. "I'll even help you out."
"I didn't mean to suggest that I was..." gasps Meg. "I mean, I'm a married woman and I'd never think to..."
"No need to explain, Meg."
"Still," Meg looks toward the door and drains the last of the contents of her bottle, "if I wasn't married, I'd sure be thinking about getting some special instruction from him, but that's just a silly fantasy."
"Every girl is entitled to her own fantasies and who knows, sometimes fantasies can come true."
"Not in this case," Meg shakes her head, as if trying to shake certain thoughts from her mind. "I've been happily married to the same man for twenty years, and that is that!"
The two women make small talk until the men return. John then says that he wants to have Meg start her lesson. Jane tells everyone, that she is going to sit where she is and finish her beer. The other three people leave the house and go to the workshop.
The workshop is beginning to look familiar to Meg's eyes. She sees several potter's wheels and a large kiln in the back of the room. On tables and shelves around room stand various pots, vases, and pitchers, which are either finished products or waiting to be fired in the kiln. Meg stands to the side of one of the wheels. John begins her lesson. She watches as he wets his hands, picks up a lump of clay and tosses it onto the wheel. He then pours a little water on the clay. The wheel starts in motion, and Meg watches as he forms the spinning clay with his hands. The clay beneath John's fingers seems to magically transform itself, from a shapeless blob into a graceful pot.
John asks Meg if she is ready to try and make something. John has her to wet her hands. With both her husband and John watching, Meg reaches into the crock holding the clay and puts a lump of it on the middle of the wheel. John tells her to put a little more clay on the wheel. Then, he shows her how to sprinkle just the right amount of water on the clay. Following John's instructions, she tries to shape the clay as the wheel begins to spin. At first the clay starts to take form, but then it suddenly falls apart.
.... There is more of this story ...