The Cliff House Curse

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Note to Reader: This story is not a formulaic stroker, it’s a fictionalized account of real life events based on investigative reporting published in the Coast Weekly in 2002. It’s written as a first person account because I spent several summers working on a construction crew down at Big Sur, which made the telling of this story that much more relevant to my own life. Plus, I did grow up with a younger sister. I used some of my more unusual experiences with her as a guide for fleshing out the details not contained in the news reports.

The Cliff House was built by some rich Hollywood mogul back in the late 50’s. Unfortunately, he ended up throwing his lovely wife off the third floor deck. It’s a hundred-and-fifty feet to the rocks below, so, needless to say, she did not survive. Each successive owner has suffered a similar untimely demise — suicide, car going off the cliff, overdose — and that’s how the Cliff House Curse was born.

The current owners, Redcloud and Zephyr, were unconcerned about the curse, saying it could be appeased with love and purity. In pursuit of that end, they put up their god’s eyes hanging in the windows, and their wind chimes tinkling in the trees, turning the place into a reasonable facsimile of a 60’s hippie heaven.

Redcloud is not a Native American, but he is a nationally known artist. His specialty is erotic studies. They’re all the rage in places like New York City and LA. He’s used my sister Caroline as a model a few times. Models get paid $100 per day, plus they get to keep one of the preliminary charcoal sketches he does prior to committing the work to canvas. Caroline recommended me for this gig. She knew I was off for the summer, wasting my time picking up odd jobs here and there until junior college resumed in the fall.

Parking for the Cliff House is a little dirt pullout on Highway One. there’s no way of knowing you’re in the right place, other than the small numbers on the mailbox. There’s no Cliff House sign, no flag waving (flags are big in California right now) just the rusty gate with an oversized padlock on the chain. Even when it’s locked, anyone can walk around either side as long as they don’t mind getting stickers in their shoelaces.


Day One: I lock up my Ford F-150 and hop the gate. As I trudge down the dirt road, the Cliff House suddenly appears from around the bend. It’s majestic, a three-story monstrosity of redwood and glass clinging to the rocky coast just south of Nepenthe. It’s not a Frank Lloyd Wright, but with the jutting angles and the copper roof over the entry way, it could be.

Catching my breath at the bottom of the hill, I shove my hair back, hitch up my jeans, and rap lightly on the massive redwood slab door. In a matter of moments, it creaks open.

“Pete!” he beams, “You’re Caroline’s brother. I can see the resemblance.” He shakes my hand vigorously. He’s got the Robert Redford features and a glistening Colgate smile. Must’ve had his teeth capped. Men his age don’t have glistening Colgate smiles, they have dull yellow ones. “Glad you could make it,” he sputters, his fish oil breath hanging in the air like wet laundry. “Your aura’s looking outstanding.” He places a gnarly hand on my shoulder and guides me into his wooden castle.

The place takes your breath away. The main floor must have at least twenty-four foot ceilings, with a loft on one side and a stained glass window on the other. Off to the right is a sunken living room with a cinematic ocean view and a huge stone fireplace. His gaudy artwork hangs everywhere; breasts, pussies, legs spread wide open, asses in the air. You can almost smell the wet fragrance of sex just by looking at them.

“The studio’s this way,” he announces, pointing to the stairs, but I don’t notice. I’m staring at this huge painting on the wall directly opposite the front door. It’s more realistic than the other stuff; big bronze breasts, flowing auburn hair, deep green eyes, perfect pink pussy with oversized red labia all spread open like a stepped-on tiger lilly.

“You like this piece?” he asks, grinning.

“Yeah.’ I stammer.

“That’s Zephyr, my wife. She’s really something, isn’t she?”

“Oh, sorry,” I mumble, looking at my shoes, hoping Redcloud doesn’t mind young guys like me ogling his hot wife. I had heard she was once a Penthouse Pet, but it’s a little awkward lusting over a Penthouse Pet right in front of her husband. He chuckles, and it makes me wonder what kind of pervert wants everyone to see his wife naked? Not that I’m complaining, but…

“The studio’s upstairs,” he says, “follow me.”

Whatever dude. I’m down with your naked wife. No problem, bro.

I chase him up the spiral staircase, watching his gray ponytail bob behind him. He appears to be in pretty good shape for a man in his fifties. The spring in his step is cat-like, and his shoulders are broad and beefy, not all hunched up like you’d expect from an artist.

We reach the top of the stairs and once again, I’m overwhelmed by the rustic opulence of the studio. It has high keçiören escort open beam ceilings like an A-frame, with a sliding glass door to the deck. There’s a black futon couch, a couple of antique floor lamps, several directors chairs, and of course, art supplies everywhere. I’m guessing he’s working with acrylics, since there’s no smell of turpentine. There is the faintest odor of incense, mixed with the scent of freshly oiled wood and the the smell of stripper cologne, probably coming from the beautiful twenty-something hippie chick perched on a stool.

“You’ll be posing with Monique today,” he says, a gleam in his beady eyes. “Have you two met?”

Monique is wearing nothing but a towel draped carelessly across her lap. She’s long and lanky, doe-eyed and alluring, dark skinned and exotic, not Hispanic, not Oriental, not African, something in between. Her smile, with those big pouty lips, is so warm, so wet, I’m reduced to a bumbling idiot in about two seconds. She reaches out to shake my hand and her round, brown breasts quiver deliciously.

“Pleased to meet you Monique.” I mumble, “I’m Pete, Caroline’s brother.” I try to look her in the eye, but those little brown nipples have captured my gaze, much like a bright light in the darkness captures the moths.

“Yeah,” Monique drawls, in her exotic accent, “she told me all about you.”

She lets go of my hand and relaxes on her stool. I can see her brown curly bush sticking up above the edge of her white towel. It’s a nice contrast, the brown against and the white. That’s why I’m staring at it.

“You can change over there, Pete.” Redcloud points to a wicker screen off to the side of the room.

Monique’s clothes are draped across the top; jeans, sweatshirt, and a purple thong. I get behind the screen and start to strip. The thong is hanging right in my face. I catch the faintest whiff of vanilla pussy. I pull my shorts off, and my dick springs up, looking for where that luscious smell is coming from, no doubt. Oh great. I take a few deep breaths, trying to calm down, but that only makes the vanilla pussy smell stronger. Completely mortified, I wrap the towel around my waist and stride bravely out into the middle of the room. Redcloud surveys me like a buyer at an auction. A slave auction.

“Perfect!” he exclaims. He clasps his hands together and looks over his spectacles at me, pleased with my sinewy physique. I’m one of those guys who was born to be a Greek God, with the narrow waist and wide shoulders, and it doesn’t take much work for me to stay in shape. “How old are you, Pete?”

“Twenty” I answer, a little nervously. I’m already starting to sweat. I hope I don’t smell.

“You’ve seen a naked woman before right?”

I can tell he’s getting a kick out of asking the question. “I think I can handle it” I reply, sauntering up next to my brown goddess, who looks like she’s bored out of her mind.

“OK,” Redcloud pronounces, in a profoundly professorial tone, “what we’re going for today is sort of a Yin and Yang kind of a thing. Give me your towels and we’ll set up the scene.”

We oblige and suddenly, Monique and I are naked, side by side, like a couple of school kids in PE class waiting for our showers. I feel my dick shrinking. I feel like I have to take a crap.

“Monique,” Redcloud intones, “you face me on the stool, one knee up, one foot on the floor.”

He gets her situated while I try not to stare. God she’s gorgeous. Almost as tall as me, and, I’d guess, about twenty, with that clear, luminous skin, and that angular, athletic look of unspoiled youth.

“Now Pete, you’ll be facing away from me on your stool, with your arm wrapped around Monique’s waist.”

I gladly comply, my hand slithering softly across my new girlfriend’s perfect skin. She let’s out a quiet giggle.


“Now,” Redcloud says, “you want to look at each other, but actually, you’ll be looking past each other and down at the floor so we can accentuate the alienation and the intimacy at the same time.”

I happily stare down at Monique’s chest, trying to estimate the size of her small brown nipples. I’m going with seven-eighths of an inch. I could be more precise, but I didn’t bring my tape measure.

“Can you hold that for a while?” Redcloud asks

“Sure,” I volunteer.

Monique nods her head in agreement.

As I listen to the squeaking of Redcloud’s chalk on the sketch pad, I can smell her cinnamon breath. Between the cinnamon and the vanilla, and the faintest hint of her stripper cologne (why is it that all strippers smell the same?) I’m luxuriating in a virtual cornucopia of odors. This is the life, I tell ya.

“I don’t know.” Redcloud’s voice breaks the eerie silence. “There’s something missing.” He strides up to us and removes my hand from Monique’s waist. “Like this,” he says, cupping my hand under her left breast.

I like the weight of her boob. It’s like it floats there on her chest, but it needs my hand to keep it in place.

Redcloud keçiören escort bayan takes a step back, eyeing us intently. “Monique, you need to open up a little bit. Show us you’re a woman. Do you mind?”

“Oh no,” she sighs, like a Hollywood actress when the costume department adjusts her pretty red gown, “That’s fine.”

We both watch as Redcloud spreads her legs apart. He ponders the scene for a moment, and then gets down on one knee and gently spreads her labia out a little. She lets out a little gasp when he touches her, but she doesn’t protest. By the time he’s done, my dick is about three-quarters hard, and I thank God I’m facing away from him. Of course, Monique is totally aware of what’s going on between my legs. She gives me a little smirk.

I try to smile back, but she just rolls her eyes. But really, who’s winning here? I do, after all, have my hand on her boob. The sound of footsteps on the stairs bursts the bubble of my fantasy, and I look to my left, right into the eyes of Zephyr, his ex-Penthouse Pet wife.

“Phone call Hon,” she says to her hubby. “I told him you were working, but he insisted. Said to tell you it’s Christenson, from New York.” She shrugs her shoulders, but it looks like it’s a real chore, what with those gorgeous tits weighing her down.

Oh Fuck, what a babe. Sorry Monique, you’re history. “Pete, right?” Zephyr asks, “Caroline’s brother?” Her hips go Ba Dum! Ba Dum! as she walks over to me. Her tits jiggle like a pair of frisky ferrets fighting to escape from her little spaghetti strap summer dress. She may be middle-aged, but her body doesn’t know it. Or her face either; Scandinavian looking, high cheekbones, big lower lip, nose job nose. She glances approvingly at my almost-hard-on as her hand lands birdlike on my thigh. “So glad you could finally make it down here.”

I gasp quietly, as my dick stands up straight and tall to meet her.

“Take five,” Redcloud announces, “I’ll be right back.” He hustles down the stairs, and Zephyr blocks his view of my embarrassing condition.

“Would you two like some tea?” she asks, her hand sliding nonchalantly down inside my leg. Instantly, my dick grows another inch.

“Sure,” Monique answers from somewhere far far away. “Uh…, Pete?” she intones, shooting me a disgusted look. Apparently, I’m still cupping her boob. She removes my sweaty hand from her tit and gets up to stretch.

“Sorry,” I stammer, glued to my stool, about twenty seconds away from ejaculation.

“Caroline was right,” Zephyr smiles approvingly, “you are built.” Her hand leaves my leg and traces around my pecks and down the middle of my stomach. “I’ll bet there’s at least a couple of broken hearts lurking in your past, huh?” Her fingers end up down in my pubic hair, and I have to pinch down hard to keep from squirting. I start to stammer again, and she laughs a little quiet laugh, like it’s just between the two of us. “You want regular tea? Green tea? Mint?”

“Regular’s fine,” I answer bravely, but my voice sounds odd, like a little kid trying to act like a grown up.

“And you Monique?”

The bronze beauty is standing at the window, staring out at the Pacific. Her perfect round butt — the very same one I was worshipping like a Holy Deity a few minutes ago — suddenly seems kind of inadequate compared to the bombshell standing next to me.

“Same,” she looks over her shoulder at us, her pert little breast silhouetted against the blue horizon. Too bad it’s so small. Too bad she’ll never be a Penthouse Pet, like Zephyr. Just then, Redcloud bounds back up the stairs.

“How about you Hon?” Zephyr asks her husband, who is heading for his easel. “Want some tea?” He ignores her.

What a shit.

“OK,” she acknowledges his telepathic answer. “Let me know when it’s break time honey, and I’ll bring the tea up.”

Zephyr Ba Dum Ba Dums down the stairs and then Monique and I are back to our position. Redcloud works in silence. He’s already told us that conversation is impossible while he’s creating his art. It breaks his concentration.

Just as my erection subsides he claps his hands together and proclaims “I think I’ve got it!” Acting a little overly pleased with himself, he brings the sketch over. “Zephyr Hon,” he calls out, glancing towards the stairs, “we’re ready now.” His velvety baritone voice floats across the room like a message from God. I hold the sketch in my lap and marvel at his rendition of our nakedness. It’s really pretty good, especially the detail in Monique’s crotch.

Zephyr glides in with a tray of cups. She grabs my abandoned towel and throws it in my lap and hands me my tea. Then she’s staring at our naked sketch. “Oh yeah honey,” she says enthusiastically to her asshole husband, “these look great. You’re so talented.” She slides her arm around her old man’s waist and gives him a peck on the cheek.

“You two might want to stretch a little bit,” he says, ignoring his wife’s affection. “We’re going to be going for two hours straight, if you can handle escort keçiören it.” He raises his bushy eyebrows, like this is a big challenge for us. Monique sets down her tea and wanders out onto the deck to limber up.

I sit there with my mouth hanging open as she stands on one leg and pulls the other one up behind her head like a demented ballerina. No wonder she didn’t put her towel on. It wouldn’t stay if she did. Then she bends down till her hair is dangling on the redwood deck, and the pink of her pussy pokes out between the cheeks of her bubble butt.

“A real beauty, huh?” Zephyr startles me out of my stupor and. clutz that I am, I spill some tea on my bare leg. “Is this your first modeling session?” she asks, as she takes the corner of my towel and dabs at my thigh.

“Yeah” I look down sheepishly.

“I thought so. You need to get up and move around a little. Two hours is a long time to sit still.” She takes my tea and I get up, wrap my towel so it won’t come loose, and head out to the deck. Monique lays her ankle up on the railing and bends her head down to her knee, and Zephyr looks over, startled. “Careful honey,” she says, “that board’s about to fall off, and it’s a long way down.”

“Oh, OK.” Monique goes over to the other side of the deck and continues her routine. All this stretching is similar to what my sister used to do when she was a gymnast, only Monique is much more graceful. My sister would just look like a duck doing this stuff, but Monique looks like a swan, so elegant, so graceful.

Redcloud seems to be brooding about something. “I don’t know if I’m going to get this whole thing done today. If I don’t, which one of you can come back tomorrow?” He studies Monique as she stretches her legs wide apart on the deck.

“I’m supposed to be in Carmel tomorrow,” she answers, squinting over at him.

“How about you Pete?” He looks at me like he’s disappointed that he doesn’t get to leer at this dark-skinned goddess for another day.

“Sure, I can come back.”

Zephyr gives me an approving glance, and I move around, pretending to do what models do when they’re on break, stretching this way and that, trying to catch another glimpse of Monique’s luscious little pink pussy.

The waves lap at the rocks below us, and I’m suddenly extremely envious of this old hippie couple living this idyllic life out here in Never Never land. I’ll be going back to college in a few weeks, and they’ll be going back to the hot tub. Oh well, maybe someday I’ll have my own place down here. In fact, maybe I’ll buy this one after they throw each others possessions into the sea and get a divorce, which is what happens to everyone who lives here.

“Okay kids,” Redcould announces, “back to work.” He slaps me on the back and I gulp down my tea.

“Can you eat vegetarian for lunch?” Zephyr asks, looking over her shoulder at me as she heads for the stairs.

“Sure,” I smile back. I watch the back side of her right tit peeking out of her dress as she bounces down the stairs. I sigh.

“Positions, please,” Redcloud announces.

I wonder if he’s noticed that I’m infatuated with his wife. Five minutes and I feel like I’ve known her forever. I realize I’m going to have to concentrate on Monique so he doesn’t get jealous. Unless maybe Monique is his girlfriend? Oh man, this is complicated. But then my hand is cupping Monique’s boob, and suddenly it’s all very simple.

The two hours take an eternity, and when Redcloud finally tells us it’s lunch time, I can hardly move. I feel Monique’s hands on my shoulders. “Feeling a little stiff, Pete?” she asks. I groan as she kneads the kinks out of my back. Her touch is firm and clinical, and there’s no way for it to be misconstrued.

“Thanks,” I moan when she’s finished. “Want me to do you?” I look over my shoulder at her, but she’s already walking across the room, wrapping her towel around her waist.

“No thanks, I’m fine,” she says, disappearing down the stairs like an angel receding into the mist of a dream.

I creak off my stool, grab my towel, and follow weakly, like an eighty-year-old man trying to keep up with the grandkids. I ache all over. No wonder models are such prima-donnas. It’s hard work.

Zephyr’s got the massive table set for four, with big ceramic goblets, mismatched pottery plates, and a bouquet of weeds for the centerpiece. Redcloud is at the head of the table, and there’s a place set to his left. Just as I’m trying to figure out where I’m supposed to sit, Monique comes around the corner, still topless and gorgeous, and plops down in the chair next to him. Figuring he’s going to want Zephyr next to him, I sit down at the other end.

Everybody’s looking out the plate glass windows at the ridiculously blue ocean and the wispy white clouds out on the horizon. It’s quiet, except for the faint tinkling of the wind chimes out on the porch. I’m wondering if conversation ruins Redcloud’s appetite the way it ruins his concentration for painting. A seagull flies by out the window.

Zephyr appears with salad plates, and when she puts mine down, I can’t help but peek down the front of her dress. She catches my eye and smiles. “Swiss cheese and avocado OK for everybody?” She gathers her answer from the silence, and in another minute she joins us at the table, sitting between Redcloud and me.

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