“Dick Tea,” by Ariel Castagna

Apr 20th, 2023 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Anita envied the wind-chimes. Their moans taunted her as she knocked on the oak door. She needed to steady her breath, so she allowed herself to slump, back flat, against the frame of the house. She hadn’t made much progress when the door creaked open. Anita leapt off of the siding, but she didn’t see who she was expecting. “Sorry. I must have made a mistake. I—”

She was standing in front of a shirtless man with thick brown curls. He stayed silent, but Anita heard a familiar voice from inside of the house.

“Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to invite her in?!”

Shirtless slid to the side and gestured toward the foyer. Anita transitioned into the room slowly, to give her eyes time to adjust to the candlelight. Once it did, she saw Serenity sitting down in an arm chair.

“You found it,” she said, gesturing around herself. There were about thirty-five bangle bracelets on her left arm and they clinked together as she did so.

Anita nodded. “Yes. Thank you.” She stayed frozen in the entryway.

“Don’t be shy. Please.” Serenity snapped her fingers.

The sound echoed against the wooden floors. Shirtless sprang to action, latching onto Anita’s arm and guiding her toward the seating area. Anita’s breath hitched in her chest. She didn’t exhale again until she was sinking into the upholstery of the seat across from Serenity.

“So, what can I help you with? You didn’t say much over the phone.”

“Well…” There wasn’t an easy way for Anita to explain it. Beyond that, she was distracted by the sight of Shirtless shrinking down on all fours so that Serenity could prop her feet up onto his back.

“I promise. There’s nothing you can tell me that I haven’t heard before.”

“It didn’t work,” Anita muttered.

Serenity’ eyes widened. “I stand corrected.”

The word ‘stand’ triggered Shirtless to shift, but Serenity was quick to dismiss it.

“Not you.”

He sunk back down.

“Okay: Who’s the mark?”

“His name is Tom.”

“Star sign?”

Anita’s foray into this area of expertise was infantile. “Scoooorpio?”

“What’s his hair look like?”

“Kind of short, but kind of—”

“Pieces,” Serenity concluded. “Alright, realistically: we probably just need to tweak the formula according to his pH. But to make sure: I need you to tell me exactly what happened last night.”

Anita took a deep breath in. “I asked Tom to come over to my apartment for dessert.” She made air quotes with her fingers. “But then he said he’d had a big dinner. So I sent him a picture of my vagina, and then he said he’d be over in twenty minutes.”

Serenity clenched her jaw together.

“I started to get the room ready. I followed all of your instructions.” Anita pulled a small piece of paper out of her purse and unfolded it. “Five spritzes of vanilla essential oil in the air. Sprinkle of cinnamon around the bedframe.” She listed a couple of more highlights before coming to the most important point, “And then I started the tea.”

“Were you stressed at that point?” asked Serenity. “The steeping process is very sensitive to your chakra.”

“No. Honestly, I think I was…” Anita giggled, and her hand shot up to stifle it. “Excited.”  Tom was the most elusive man from her office. The idea of sharing an intimate moment with him made her stomach do a backflip. “He texted me for my apartment number right when finished brewing.”

Serenity instinctively leaned in at this point of the story.

“When he came to the door, I took his coat, and offered him something to drink. He asked for water at first, but then I pitched him the tea.”

“Sorry,” Serenity held her hand up to interrupt. “Can we go over that part again?”

“I… I told him I’d just made some tea I thought he would like.” Anita shrunk down in her seat a bit, sensing that she had just made a mistake. “He said he’d like to try a cup, and I went and grabbed it.”

“You brought him the tea. In a cup?”


“And he drank it?”


“What the hell is wrong with you?!” Serenity’s outburst caused Shirtless to leap up from the floor. He snatched a handheld fan off of the end table and batted it in her direction at a hummingbird’s pace. “It’s not for his mouth. It’s for his penis.”

“I… I didn’t…” Anita looked at her list of instructions again, but that particular detail was missing.

“Christ, Anita. It’s called ‘Dick Tea.’ What’d you have for lunch, today? A ballsack sandwich?”

“I didn’t know ‘dick tea’ was the technical term,” said Anita, barely above a whisper.

“Well, it is. It most definitely is.” Serenity exhaled deeply. Shirtless yanked a hankie out of his shirt pocket and wiped her forehead clean of sweat. “I can’t finish this conversation unless I have some snacks.”

It was Shirtless’ cue again. He fled to the kitchen and brought back a tray of various finger foods. Serenity sucked down six chocolate covered strawberries while Anita nibbled on a cracker with a smear of hummus on top.

“Aright, how invested are we in this ‘Tom’ character?”


“My advice?” said Serenity. “Start from scratch. Tom’s body chemistry has been comprised. It’ll be hard to bounce back.” She pointed down at the coffee table between them. “There’s a drawer on your side. Open it.”

Anita found the drawer and inched it open. There was a thick accordion folder inside, and she began fingering through its contents. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of photos and fact sheets of various men from across the country.

“Take your pick. All personally curated to optimize your success.”

“I don’t know,” said Anita, thumbing through her first few options.

Some juice from the strawberries had dripped down the front of Serenity’ blouse. She waved Shirtless over. He unbuttoned her top and went to work slurping up the mess.

Anita accidentally glanced up from the pages of her potential admirers. She tried to look away again, but her eyes only widened instead.

“I know it’s scary,” said Serenity. “After all, results like these,” she patted Shirtless’ back as he finished licking the outside of her breasts. “require a huge time commitment.”

“How long?” croaked Anita, reaching for the snack tray again. She decided on a tortilla chip with guacamole. A glob of the latter fell onto her open-toed shoe when she took a bite.

“Oh, this one’s been on the Dick Tea for a long time. But trust me: it’s worth it.” Serenity jerked the napkins away from Anita’s reach and pointed out the spill to Shirtless.

The man plopped to the ground and crawled toward her feet.

“Oh! No!” Anita crossed her legs in the other direction and held her hands out in an attempt to prevent him from getting any closer. “You don’t have to…”

“It’sth my pleathsure, missth,” said Shirtless, mid-lick of Anita’s big toe.

“What was that?” Serenity stood up from her seat, causing everyone else to freeze. “Did you just speak without permission?”

Shirtless flattened himself against the floor, a stance that Anita guessed was an apology. She hastened to verbalize one on his behalf. “It was my fault. I—”

“Nope! It’s clearly time for another dose.” Serenity made her way to the curio cabinet across the room. Its shelves were lined with teas from all gestation periods. Loose-leaf tea ingredients, tea that had been bagged, and tea that had been brewed. She grabbed a jar of the last variety and turned back toward her company. “Drop your pants because I’m about to drown your Semon Demon in this Dick Tea!”

Shirtless launched to his full height and reached for his belt buckle.

Anita gasped for breath. She fumbled for her purse, and headed toward the front door to get some air.

Serenity met her halfway and placed the jar of tea in her hands. “Wait. What’s your wildest sexual fantasy?”

She had already felt weak. With the added weight, Anita nearly crumbled. “I…” She snuck a glance toward Shirtless, who had his jeans around his ankles and his thumbs hooked around the top of his boxer-briefs. Her cheeks warmed from the temperature of boiling water to that of molten lava. “…Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be a flower and have a bee pollinate my vagina.”

Bangles flew in every direction as Serenity ripped her shirt open the rest of the way. She addressed Shirtless (now Pantless) again. “And after your swim, you’re going to buzz your bumble-ass over here and plow my secret garden into the next solstice!”

A strange noise escaped out of Anita’s lips. She scurried over to the curio cabinet, flung her entire wallet onto the counter, and scooped up every iteration of the Dick Tea that she could carry before bolting out of the house.

“Pleasure doing business with you!” Serenity called out after her. “And you,” she added to Shirtless.

The man’s pants were back on. He sauntered over to the counter and took the majority of the cash out of Anita’s wallet.

Serenity joined him by the cabinet. “Wow! Greedy much?”

“I licked that chick’s toe,” the man reminded her. “You’re lucky you’re getting anything.”

Serenity shrugged, and took a sip of tea.


Ariel Castagna is a technical writer from Southern California. She makes a living by drafting operating guides for heavy machinery, and moonlighting as a professor of essay writing. Her creative work (which has been previously published in The Aerie and California’s Emerging Writers) is always looking for its chance to shine.

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