I'm a Swedish writer, artist, and historian of ideas, writing fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an aikido instructor. More about me here.
The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Chinese classic, translated and extensively commented by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
by Stefan Stenudd. Qi, prana, spirit, and other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Vaguely erotic short story
he teenage schoolgirl stares in secrecy at the boy with such a happy smile, and with such agility when running up the hill at their class field trip, his feet never stumbling, his pace never slowing down one bit, no matter the trees and bushes he has to avoid on the way up. Her eyes could not turn away from him, even if she tried to force them, but she would not dream of it. She stares, and there is in her chest a movement as of a sigh, but her breath does not express it, her mouth remains closed.
And while her eyes stare with such intensity, they ache as if they were trying to jump out of their sockets, to fly straight up the hill and land on the boy, stick to him like a well chewed gum when secretly attached to the underside of a table.
She stiffens, right in the middle of a breath, and it feels like her face will crack in panic, as if it were of glass and his gaze were a stone thrown at it. His eyes have jumped from one classmate to another, but now they stop. They meet hers straight on, as if immediately knowing how long they have been fixed on him.
A full second passes, and it's a long one. She is sure that her face will crack. She has no idea what expression it shows, but whatever it is she is not able to change it. Not a single one of her facial muscles can she control, only hope that her face is not frozen in a deformed, grotesque position.
Now, two seconds must have passed. His eyes are still locked on hers. She can sense - without knowing how - that his face is preparing to rearrange. All the tiny muscles beneath the skin relax, from the hairline at the top of the forehead down to the tip of his chin. They go into neutral, so that they can freely adjust into the expression he has already decided upon. Yes, his face is forming, in accordance with the attitude his mind has already adopted. The girl braces herself, as if about to be hit by a speeding car she has no time to escape.
The curve of his lips is moving, his eyebrows too, even the angle of his head, ever so slightly. He smiles.
Immediately she feels a warmth inside, and strange processes start inside her body, like a wind blowing hither and thither, around as well as inside of her. The tension is gone, just like that. Every muscle is softened, so much that her legs nearly fold under the weight of her body. She inhales, suddenly and deeply, which makes the wind increase and weakens her muscles more. But her eyes have widened, to take it all in.
This lasts only a short moment, but one of stillness, as if time itself halted, so that its duration could not be measured. Then the boy turns his head, to resume his gesturing and his shouts of encouragement to the others.
She has completely lost her pace. She just stands there in the middle of the slope. In her mouth, in the air that enters and exits her lungs by each breath, in the tickling sensation on her skin from top to toe, she can taste this drunkenness, this dizzy spell, induced by the boy's smile. While it lasts, she will do nothing else than indulge in it.
And it lasts. All the other kids have reached the top of the hill. They stare at the view, gesture and comment it in excited words and voices, push playfully at each other. Only when some of them begin to notice that she alone has yet to climb the hill, does her dizzy spell subside and she starts marching - with light, energetic steps that bring her to the top in no time.
It's not easy, in this bundle of joyous kids raving at the view, toying around with each other and making all kinds of noises. But there he is, chatting and laughing with a group of the other boys. Her eyes again stick to him and she can feel how they, as well as the rest of her body, start pulling, sort of scratching at him from a distance. He seems not to notice. The boys are occupied with each other, as usual, and he gives no sign of having anything else on his mind.
At first she impatiently waits for him to notice her. She is sure that he will, if only he has a quick glance around. Her whole body is anticipating that moment, prepared to be swept into a new wind, a new dizzy-spell. But the boy does not look around even once. He is fully occupied by his pals, as they joke and half-wrestle and kid around. They behave like there is no one else on the hilltop.
She intensifies her stare, as if with that alone to push him, knock on him like on a door. Now, her breathing is deep. Still nothing. His happy smile is there, but for his pals only.
She sighs. Her breathing becomes light, quite normal. She turns around, slowly, and now her eyes are moistened from the strain she has just put them through. Her body relaxes, but this time it is heavy and fatigued. She is sure that the march back will be tiresome, although it starts downhill. Maybe she should begin the descent herself, so that she will not have the whole class crowding her.
She does not have to wait for long. Actually it happens so quickly, it's like his head is bouncing right back towards her, this time in a sudden move - and his eyes meet hers. No smile this time, but it is not needed - she can feel it anyway, sense it in the way his eyes hurried towards her, the way his lips tighten firmly as if not permitting themselves to smile, then doing the very opposite - as a way of still expressing what a smile would. His stiff lips express a smile as clearly as a real smile would. And she is once again drunken by delight.
This time she can feel her skin blush, all over her body, with a warmth so intense that it could very well set fire to her clothes. It makes her feel shiny, as much as the sun in the sky. Also, her senses are all of a sudden stronger and more alert, so that she feels not only the heat of her body rising, but the thin layer of soil on the hilltop, and the mighty mountain below it - although she has her shoes on, and their soles are not thin. The air, too, she feels very concretely, although it is not windy at all. The air she inhales has got a freshness and an invigorating taste to it. She is surprised not to have noticed it before. Maybe it is only up here on the hilltop? Every breath brings a tickling chill to her chest, which the increased warmth inside of her not only neutralizes in no time, but also enjoys doing, so that the breathing becomes like a joyous tug of war, a playful battle between friends.
Although she is herself radiant, all over her blushing skin, she can still feel the rays of the sun, like discreet fingertips touching her on her forehead, cheeks and hands, to attract her attention. Her nose can smell the vegetation in the woods around the hill, the dry soil on which she stands, yes, the very stone hidden under the thin layer of soil and moss.
She smiles so widely that the corners of her mouth almost ache. All through, she is convinced that the way she now feels, the way she perceives it all, is the right way. This is how it is. She hopes they will stay on top of this hill forever.
WavesA man, the sea, and a distant woman.
My Fiction Books
Science fiction novel about a quest through the universe for a perfect world. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Thoughts on life, death, and the meaning of it all, explored by anecdotes and mythological fragments. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.