Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jingleballs by Suz Korb Excerpt

Jingleballs by Suz Korb

A magical Christmas story that brings the past alive for Isla. Who knew doing a dodgy favour for a friend could lead to such joy at Christmas time?

It's Christmas Eve and it’s a lonesome one for Isla. She split with her boyfriend a year ago and now she really regrets it. As she peruses the sex shops (as you do) on the lookout for a sex toy she needs to purchase as a favour for a friend, Isla meets a strange woman. The woman in question runs a certain kind of boutique that specialises in more than just hot body lingerie.

Isla’s evening takes a surprise turn and she gets to relive that special Christmas moment from a year ago. The glowing jiggle balls have given her a magical new opportunity. Will Isla make the right decision this time round?


A lonely Christmas Eve wandering the High Street in search of last minute gifts. One thing’s different about this year though, and it’s the fact that I’m seeking out a sex toy.
It’s not for me. It’s for a mate. My friend Simon said his wife just finished reading the Fifty Shades trilogy and now she desperately wants a set of jiggle balls for Christmas.
I must be a saint doing this favour for Simon. Either that or a born sucker. Everyone’s always getting me to do their dirty work for them. I don’t understand why he couldn’t just get over his embarrassment of going into Ann Summers on his own.
Whatever. I just want to find the damn sex toy shop and get this over and done with. I’ve got an empty flat to get home to, after all.
Oh who am I kidding? The fact of the matter is; I always do favours for friends at a second’s notice because I never have anything else to do in my spare time. Not since last year when my boyfriend and I split up.
I admit it; I regret not accepting his proposal of marriage a year ago. In fact, I feel so overwhelmed by sadness; I can’t help resenting the holiday season quite a lot.
When I get to Ann Summers I discover the shop is closed.
This can’t be happening. Why would the lingerie shop be closed on the busiest shopping night of the year? Every other store on the High Street is open till late.
Glancing in the reflection of the glass door I notice my blonde hair is sticking out at odd angles from underneath my woolly hat. I poke the strands back in and lean towards the shop window.
It’s completely dark inside so I press my forehead against the glass to get a better look.
Seriously?” I say out loud. “This can’t be happening!” Stamping my foot once in anger brings my boot down onto the pavement. When I stamp it second time though, it lands on someone else’s foot.
Yeeeooowwww!” The woman, whose foot I probably just broke, starts howling in pain.
Oh my god! Are you all right?” In a panic I grab the woman by the arm to steady her as she hops around on one foot. “Come sit down on this bench.” Guiding her forward I make sure she sits down promptly.
Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.” I hear the woman mumble. She’s got blonde hair like me that’s also sticking out of her own woolly hat, but her hair is curly to the point of poodle perm frizzy. She’s dressed in many warm layers, like me and everyone else who’s out tonight, braving the cold weather for last minute Christmas gifts.
I beg your pardon?” Maybe I didn’t hear her right. Why would she say something like that? Come to think of it; why the hell was she standing close enough to me to get stepped on in the first place?
Oh nothing,” she says, shaking out her foot. “I’m perfectly fine.” She puts her leg down and stands up. “I was just noticing you looking in the Ann Summers window. I’m on my way back to my boutique and thought you might be looking for a sex shop that was actually open.”
Oh. So that’s why she was standing so close to me when I’d… “I’m so sorry about your foot. Honestly, I don’t know what came over me. It’s just that I need to get something for a friend… and tomorrow’s Christmas… I mean, I don’t particularly like Christmas right now…”
My monologue ceases because I don’t know what I’m doing spilling my guts to this woman who just wants to make a few pennies off me by selling me some naughty toys.
Sorry,” I mutter.
Don’t be. I’m not exactly thrilled with Christmas either. Not after my boyfriend dumped me last year.”
He did?” I’m astounded. What are the odds I’d step on the foot of another woman pretty much in the same predicament I am?
Yes, he did, the arse.” She frowns, but changes tact quickly. “Anyway, not to worry. Would you like to have a look round my boutique?” She sticks out her gloved hand. “I’m Cherry.”
Taking her hand I give it a shake. “Nice to meet you, Cherry.” I’m polite, even though I’m convinced Cherry can’t be her real name. It’s a sexy fruit, isn’t it? Goes well with someone who runs a sex toy shop. Visions of red lips licking a cherry on a stem flit across my mind.
Blinking the image away, I introduce myself. “I’m Isla and if your store is open I’d be very grateful.”
It is indeed open.” She looks behind me at the closed Ann Summers shop. “Honestly, I don’t know what they’re thinking closing up on Christmas Eve. Anyway, if you’ll come with me, Isla, my shop is just down this way.”
Cherry guides us off the High Street. We wind our way down quite a few alleys, between shops, and through courtyards. By the time we arrive at her boutique, I’m not sure I’ll be able to find my way back to the car park on my own.
Cherry opens the glass front door and we enter her tiny boutique, although I’m not sure this place is a shop at all. There isn’t a bra and knickers set in sight. I’ll admit to having watery eyes when I’ve looked at the massive dildo sizes in stock at Ann Summers, but this place takes leaving-it-to-the-imagination to a whole different level.
All I’m seeing in this weird place are jars of endless potpourri on shelves. There are polished stones in open boxes. Herbs and dried spices hanging everywhere. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if this Cherry chick has tricked me into becoming the next victim at her fortune-teller shop.
Umm… I mumble. “I thought you said you sold sex toys.”
Cherry removes her woolly hat and all her bushy, frizzy blonde hair bounces outwards. “I do!” She says exuberantly. “All my stock is in the back. Just tell me the item you want and I’ll get it for you.”
Seriously? I’m just supposed to tell her what I need? What kind of lingerie store is run like this? “Well…” I pause. “What if I wanted to have a look at some underwear?”
Cherry smirks at me. “That’s not what you want to do though, is it, Isla?”
I’m taken aback. How on earth would she know what I want to do?
I harrumph slightly. “Okay, you’re right; I don’t want to try anything on.”
Cherry grins and pushes a beaded curtain aside causing a jingling sound to tinkle through the shop.
If you really do have sex toys back there, I need some jingle balls…”
Cherry’s smile turns into a frown. “Jingle balls?”
Huh? What’s she asking me? I’m so distracted by all the witchcraft looking paraphernalia around the place. “Oh! No… I meant jiggle balls! Is that what they’re called?”
That’s what I thought you meant.”
And with that Cherry glides through the beaded curtain to the back of her shop. “I’ll be just a second!” I hear her shout from a back room somewhere.
Oh dear. What have I got myself into? Lord knows what kind of germ infested sex toy I’m going to end up with. Maybe I should just leave right now. I’ve got a chance to escape while that Cherry woman is out of sight.
Tiptoeing towards the door I’m careful not to brush against any dangling objects, like the wind chimes to my right for example, that might indicated to the woman that I’m on the move.
Here we are!”
Damn. I was moving too slow.
Turning, I see Cherry floating out of the back room. She’s removed her coat and is wearing a very baggy, long blue jumper that swishes from side to side as she comes out from around the till counter.
I think you’ll find these are what you’re looking for.”
Oh dear lord, I’m so embarrassed. I don’t even know if the objects Cherry is holding are the kinky items Simon wants for his wife. In his text he told me to just tell the Ann Summers rep what I needed and they’d sort me out.
In her hand Cherry holds a small velvet lined box. Inside the box are two balls connected to each other by a pink rubbery looking substance. At the end of this strange device is a string. Also, there’s a cheery looking yellow star pattern on the balls themselves.
What are these for?” Quickly, I glance at Cherry. “Never mind!” I hold up a gloved hand. “I don’t want to know. I’ll just… I’ll take them.”
Cherry hops away behind the counter. “It’s not for you, anyway.”
What’s this? I don’t remember telling her these diabolical objects were for a friend. Dear me. This day is just getting stranger by the second. I just want to take my jingle balls and leave! I mean jiggle balls. Whatever.
Flustered, I move towards the counter and pay the woman £30.99 which Simon will most definitely be reimbursing me for.
Cherry slides my bagged purchase toward me. “Enjoy, and have a lovely Christmas, Isla.” She smiles cheerily at me.
But they’re not for me.” I frown at her. She really is confusing. One minute I’m thinking she knows too much and the next I’m wondering if she’s a mental patient.
Do insane asylums even exist anymore? Well, if they did, I’m pretty sure this woman recently escaped from one.
You’ll have a merry Christmas this time round, Isla, I’m sure of it.” She winks.
I’m creeped out. I dash out the door never to return.

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