Elizabeth Lister

Hard Limit, Monday Flash Fiction, Nov. 13


“No. No, no, no. Not athletic socks,” I protested, trembling with horror.

Ralph looked at me funny. “I’m sorry, what?”

I backed away, shaking my head from side to side. “I can’t do this.”

“What do you mean? I thought we were gonna…”

“Well, we were, before you took your boots off.” I sat down on the sofa and put my head in my hands, not looking at him. “I’m sorry but I can’t deal with this. I forgot to tell you that athletic socks are a hard limit for me.”

He stared at me. “Do you want me to put the boots back on?”

“Dear God. If you want any chance of this evening getting good, yes, you need to put the boots back on.”

He stared at me for a moment and I knew he thought I was crazy. Then he put his very sexy leather boots back on.

Thank. God.

I sighed with relief and slumped against the back of the couch. “Thank you.”

Of course, now he was naked except for the boots. I peeked out from between my hands and took in that marvelous sight, trying to erase the memory of the athletic socks. But it was no good. As sexy as he was, it was no good.

“It’s no good. I can’t. I can’t look at you.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake!”

“I’m sorry.”

“Look, this is completely crazy.”

“I know.”

“I really thought tonight was going to be epic.”

“I know. Me too.”

“What if I take the socks off and put the boots on?”

I nodded. That might work. “Okay. Yeah, do that. Do you mind?”

He laughed but there was some bitterness there as well. “No, not at all. I guess a hard limit is a hard limit. I wish you’d told me before.”

“I’m sorry, I just assumed you’d be wearing something sexier.”

He stared at me. “Like what?”

“I don’t know. Lumberjack socks. Or even black socks.”

“Black socks!!!”

“No, not black socks. You’re right. They’re almost as bad as athletic socks.”

“Worse, in my opinion. So. Lumberjack socks, hmm?”

I nodded, feeling better now that he was sock-less in his boots. “Yeah, you know, they’re grey with red stripes at the top?”

“Those are acceptable?”

“Oh yeah. Cause, well, lumberjacks.”

He stared at me and I could tell he thought I was a little nuts. Mea culpa. I shrugged.

“I’m glad we got that cleared up,” he said.

“Me too!”

“Now where were we?”

I grinned and undid my pants, pushing them down.

“Oh no!” Ralph said.


“You’re wearing actual boxer shorts.”


“I don’t do boxer shorts. Boxer briefs, briefs, sure, but not boxer shorts. They’re just so, baggy.”

I looked at him. I think he was making fun of me.

“Hard limit,” he said. “You’ll have to take them right off.”

I smirked. “Maybe we should both get naked.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?”