(What I’ve written you this week is less of role play – unless you’re super brave! – and more a ghost story. It was inspired by a favourite picture from my latest shoot. The themes here are voyeurism and masturbation. Enjoy!)

Scattered shards of sunlight dagger their way across the pool. It’s almost blinding but he’s unable to look away. The water is unexpectedly clear. Turquoise, icy cold.

It’s the second time he’s been here, pushing his way under the fence at the front, making his way back to the garden. It feels like something a teenager might do – illicit, the thrill of trespass – but here he is, a grown man, sneaking into the place like he can’t stay away.

Both times, it’s been the light that drew him here. From the house opposite – his house as of two weeks ago – he can see straight into the windows of this place. No one’s lived here for a year, he was told. The house has been abandoned, is up for sale.

So why the lights? Several times now he’s seen light flickering in one of the upstairs windows and, once, he swears he heard voices and saw flames leaping from the garden at the back. It must have been his imagination. He wife certainly thinks so. Maybe he’s been staring at a computer screen for too long.

But he is again today, gazing into the water in a state of near hypnosis. Lulled by the shimmers, the sun on the back on his neck, he’s drifting away when something brings him up with a start. A shape under the water, pale and translucent, moving fish-like beneath the surface. He rubs his eyes, looks back down. The shape is still there and is becoming more distinct.

“What the fuck,” he mutters to himself. He crouches down, watches as a form appears. It’s a woman, swimming with strong, confident strokes from one side of the pool to the other. The woman beneath the water doesn’t look quite solid; more like a reflection than a real person. He looks up, glances over his shoulder with a sudden feeling of being watched.

Back and forth the woman swims and he can’t looks away. She’s wearing a blue swimsuit and he watches the way it slips between the curve of her buttocks, riding up a little more each time she takes another stroke. She has dark hair and it streams behind her, vivid against her pale skin. The vision would be almost real if it weren’t for its luminescence, the fact that so human could stay underwater this long.

He puts his hand into the pool and stirs its surface, expecting her to disappear. She’s a mirage. Sunstroke. A trick of the light.

Instead, the woman pauses, arms stretched above her head, then rolls herself over. Suddenly, she is looking right at him, her eyes staring glassily through the water, lips curling in a smile as bubbles rise from her mouth to the surface. She holds out her hand. Her fingers reach for his.

With a cry, he leaps back, pulling his hand from the water as though it were scalding. Stumbling, he runs from the pool, crouches behind a seat with his heart pounding.

His back is to the pool and he is too afraid to turn around, finds himself shaking. What did he just see?

And then comes the unmistakable sound of a body rising from the water. In horror, he turns around.

Climbing slowly up the steps, rivulets of water stream from her. She is so solid and flesh-like now he is suddenly ashamed, makes himself small, prays she won’t see him.

The woman stands on the edge of the pool, turns her face to the sun. She stretches her fingers, flicks water from her hair. Reaching for the straps of her swimsuit, she peels it slowly from her body, steps out of it naked and glorious. He’s close enough to see the softness of her breasts, her nipples hard from the cold of the pool. Her hair is a dark coil.

The woman sits down and dangles her feet in the water, opens her legs just a little, and then a little more. With one hand, she strokes her body, running her fingers lightly across her chest and down her legs. She lingers on her inner thighs, opens her legs wider to the sun, tips back her head. Her fingers are on her cunt now. With one hand she opens the lips, dark pink and gleaming; with the other she strokes herself, her fingers following her folds. Her movements become faster. She’s pushed the fingers of one hand inside herself, the other circles her clit. She lies back, stretches her legs wide open, spread out to the sun, tense, a quiver in her thighs. She moans, an uninhibited noise, half animal, and her head jerks to the side. Suddenly her body convulses, her hand still buried between her legs, and she cries out, then goes still.

His heart is racing. He can’t look away but feels ashamed, that he’s witnessed something private and sacred. Something that doesn’t belong to him.

Slowly, she stands, gazes for a while into the turquoise pool. A little smile. She looks up; looks straight at him.

She doesn’t speak but it’s as though he hears her, finds himself standing, their eyes locked. She beckons and, like a sleepwalker, he approaches her.

She takes a step into the pool; he follows. She takes another; he’s up to his knees. Smiling, she sinks down into the water, takes a breath and dives beneath the surface. He follows.

Now everything is blue. The world is blue and silent, lit strangely from above. Everything feels very far away. Rays of sunlight cut through the water and when he turns over he can see the sun, still high in the sky above the surface. In the back of his mind he’s aware of a world out there, beyond the pool, outside the blueness, but it seems to be fading. “There’s no need to go back,” a voice whispers through the stillness. This is where he belongs now; this is where he’ll stay. A woman looks down at him through the water and smiles.