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MsTerious
June 27th, 2014, 04:48 PM
I feel like I need to explain a bit about this one. Basically, this is a dark, experimental piece inspired by Angela Carter's - The Passion of New Eve, which challenges the roles and understanding of gender. It's not fan-fiction, i've just taken inspiration from her work in terms of experimenting with gender ideals. I hope to put my own psychological spin on it and create unconscious worlds from the psyche of the main character who is originally a patriarch (as demonstrated in this piece), but forced to consider other ideals, taking him on a psychological journey through different worlds such as feminism etc (my next piece) which he's at odds with, but forced to adapt to, until the question of gender is absolved completely from his mind. Any comments will be greatly appreciated!




Part One
A Hellish Paradise

Twenty years since my first coming. Interesting how places never change. The anatomical reductionalism of the graffiti signs outside, biological differences wrinkled in paint, still gathers audiences. People never change.

Strip it. Universals never change. The youth that painted those signs passed through life in the blink of an eye. A momentary attraction, the second it took for a whore to advertise her trade, and then she was annihilated. Deliciously eradicated - left to the mercy of street rats.

I watched it from my window. Do or die! That was the rules of graffiti.

Hell…that was the rules of war!

This world was a different place back then. Our Lady of Dissolution presided over the catastrophe of the city with her castratory heels, past the searing sirens and flashing lights of martyrdom. All was in order, even if an entropic kind of order.

Freedom was slavery, and servants were made of both sexes. In our eternal city of darkness, we were slaves to insatiable pleasures; ripped from the world, from the sky, from the pools of fresh air that could cool our searing flesh. We charred from the inside out, and only the fittest amongst us whether man, woman or child, had the ability to sate the fiendish flames, if only for the length of their climax.

People had lost sight of the real problem. Forgot that we were little more than caged rats in our domed ‘skinner box’, a debasory science experiment in a town that no-one would miss.

Personally, I lost sight of my own salvation with a bite from the apple of that young whore’s breasts.

***

I waited in the shadows for the crowed to disperse from her dying body then scooped her in my arms. The smell of her blood and her aroma of youth made aquiver the languid flesh between my thighs.

I can’t tell you the precise moments my intentions blackened. But by the time I carried her to my apartment, my face was buried in her raven hair, my hand lost beneath the folds of her skirt.

It’s been twenty years, and I still hear the echoes of my lust pacing the kitchen tiles - her floor-length robe sweeping the ground with her shackles. The floor was forever dusted with hair, glitter and make-up, ensuring the metallic collision of her stilettos echoed like whip-cracks through the cold, buzzing silence of midnight; enticing, inviting - demanding her punishment. Her power was unearthly, beyond logic and reason. A power so dangerous it had to be crushed daily with my hands around her windpipe.

She was my caged-bird, my doll, my Galatea. I fixed her up and sculpted her to my ultimate desire, clothed her in sexy lingerie and a robe so black it glistened with the spectrums of twilight. Her soft receptive-flesh was smoother than the feathers that ruffled her neck, and emitted that tantalizing scent of oranges and spice. She was my dark and ominous bird of yore, my night-raven, choked to silence beneath the iron fist that ruled her.

I often thought of those women who enslaved; the ones who used their demonic powers to entice and entrap, to use and bend the powerful bodies of men. The harlots who sat in leisure while their men were sent to scavenge for food; to hunt or be hunted, by the unlawful, winged-hybrids, and the scavengers that ruled our troubled streets.

I also thought of the men who did this willingly, eager to appease the witches who would allow them to drink from the potion that promised to quench their unquenchable cravings…for all of five seconds. I laughed out loud at their foolishness.

Three years were spent in this hellish paradise, and never once did she try to escape me. This stupid girl was eternally grateful to me for rescuing her from the blessing that would have been death. I enthralled her, captivated her. I was her saviour, her captor, her God. How could I see that she subconsciously longed for salvation? That deep in the cave of her body, just beyond my reach, she harboured a hidden agenda. Harvested a single sperm which she sought to nourish and nurture, like a sand-grain in her oyster-shell.

“I’m pregnant!” She beamed one evening when I returned from my hunting rounds, having managed to scavenge some form of meat from the corpse of some discarded whore, which she never ate. I was less fussy, I only refused man-meat, and only when I could afford to do so.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” She continued, as if by some miracle the birth of a baby could cleanse the city of its problems.

That was the first time I realised her naivety was cunningness, and I felt the rage engulf me, heard the crack of the wall mirror before I could even remember moving, or register the pulsating of her slender neck beneath my grip. I enjoyed the fear in her eyes as I glared down at her, and for a moment revelled in the sound of her rasping breath which robbed the room of silence.

She meant to harness its power, to use it to entrap me, to tame me, to make me love her.

As if love could exist in such a place.

“I…I thought you’d be happy!” she choked out amongst her sobs and tears, as though already hoping to induce some form of emotion from me. I threw her to the floor in disgust and locked her out of our bedroom.

***

The next night, as she applied her make up in the broken mirror, I thought I caught a glimpse of her real self, the caricature of her beauty between the broken fragments that distorted her face. And instinctively I knew that no good would come of this baby.

Months passed, and soon it was not just the mirror that distorted her. The pregnancy began to drain her of her witchery-glamour, just as motherhood would drain her sexuality. She dreamed of the perfect child, of an innocence that could end the suffering. But she was too foolish to know that the succubus she carried would suckle her vitality, before sampling a parasitic taste of her next benefactor. Too foolish to realise that girl children are like that, succubae until sexualisation - when they chose to prey or be preyed upon. Little pearls of beauty and innocence, until the coating cracks, and the snake unfurls ready to strike.

So I let her get excited, let her while away the evenings knitting and sewing clothes for a baby she would never get to keep, because God knows she had no other use to me now.

I spent my waking hours in theatre, teaching myself the mechanics of abortion, of human alteration, of how to save the body so I could make her up again into an object I desired. I researched brainwashing, fear tactics, and tubal ligation. Practiced them without her knowledge. Never again would she have the audacity, or power to defy me!

Finally I was ready.

I walked upstairs to the second floor of the apartment, where she sat crossed-legged on the cold, marble floor, staring aimlessly out of the window at the chaos outside. Her once beautiful eyes were wide like a madwoman’s, dead and reflective, sunken into the greying flesh of her face and hollowed cheeks. Her hair was wirey and unkept, as though she did not have the ability, or reason, left to maintain herself. She repulsed me, stirred my loins with anger.

I purred her name, fingering the scalpel inside my sleeve.

Her head spun around so fast I wondered how her fragile neck had not snapped or creaked from the force of it.

Colour flooded back to her as the medicine of my voice revived her. For a moment she looked almost pretty, and the shadow of her former self returned. But that moment dispersed in a caricature of horror as she rose to reveal her pale, skeletal limbs, parodied with the bloated bump of her belly. She hastened to fasten the silk black robe around her.

My smile never wavered, but she must have missed the grimace of my face, because she positively beamed back at me as if her whole life had depended on this moment. As is her happy-ever-after had at last come true.

She somewhat limped towards me, a wisp of a thing in the cool faint light of the moon. It seeped in from the open window, and the rare breeze billowed the nets behind her like bridal veil. I reached out my arm to steady her. She grabbed it rather more zealously than I would have expected, and pressed it towards her gurgling stomach.

Something within her stirred and squirmed with unnatural vigour, as though it could somehow sense the threat that was coming. I flinched from it and it made her smile.

“She’s been waiting to meet you” she cooed, stumbling on the spot where she stood. Her face greyed with such rapidity, I feared the blow to the floor would shatter her.

Instinct told me to lift her and she wrapped her arms around my neck obligingly, nuzzling her face into my shoulder as though I carried her over the threshold of Utopia. My Utopia - a fresh start for us both. She could have no way of knowing this, but as contentment softened her features, and her breathing began to shallow, I knew this was the right thing for her. No longer would she be afflicted by the pains of this world, because she would know no different, remember nothing but her love and devotion for me, and me alone.

In the pit of myself, some long-forgotten sensation stirred; uncomfortable, intruding, at odds with my plan.

I lay her down on her back, tucking her hair from her face, wondering if she still had the strength to pull through this. But already, I knew, it was much too late to turn back. Much too dangerous; for the sins of the parents had already been cast on the child.

I noticed her breathing suddenly become raspy behind me as I sterilised the instruments. A horrible gurgling sound, as though the world was suffocating her. As she struggled for breath, I soothed her, taking her limp wrists in mine and kissing each one before softly chaining them to the operating table, careful not to wake her. I did the same to her ankles then caressed the fragile frame of her face, smelling her hair that would soon be restored to its former glory.

There was no anaesthetic. It was better she slept.

“I’m sorry” I whispered, and found that I was. That some small part of me genuinely regretted what I was about to do. In another life, things might have been different. It startled me to discover that I had some form of humanity left within me, but I also knew there had never been, or would ever be, a time when I wanted kids.

Grabbing the scalpel from the table beside me, I peeled back the silky folds that concealed her from me. What I saw made me sick. Her breasts, which should have ballooned with breast milk, lay deflated above the mountainous bump that had drained every drop of nutriance from her body.

Grasping for the bottle behind me, eyes never leaving the bloated bump of her body, I took several large swigs of vodka if only to steady myself, but wasted no time in pouring a liberal amount over the pasty flesh before me. The stench of the alcohol burned and sobered me.

This would be over soon.

I lightly pressed the scalpel to skin, and the thing inside twitched so violently, it rippled her flesh with its movement. In my horror, I broke the skin, and a screech so loud, so inhuman followed that the windows shook in their frames, and the light bulb shattered with its frequency.

Her eyes shot open, stained with so much blood that not a patch of white could be seen. A deep unnerving crimson, with a whirlpool of black at its centre, distorted the world around me. The screaming continued, reverberating the room, until I was no longer sure whether it came from my own throat or hers.

From the wound of my scalpel, tiny claws emerged, ripping and tearing a larger opening, until the thing inside was able to squeeze itself out. Tiny limbs struggled and writhed and slipped in the gore of her body, forcing opening the gash in her stomach like the zipper of an old suitcase, ruining her beyond repair. I jumped back from the grotesqueness before me, casting obscene shadows against the faint orange glow from the rising inferno below.

The screams still soaked the room, though her body was quite limp, convulsing with the emergence of black-veined wings the creature shook free from her stomach. Swiftly, they spread and took flight, lifting her chained body with it as it struggled to release itself.

It shred her body like a second skin, until finally it emerged drenched in her blood, dropping her to the table like a rag doll. Her limbs twisted and broke in the chains, her hair swept the floor from the unnatural dangle of her neck, draping surreally over the edge of the operating table.

At last the thing turned on me, human in shape, black in shadows of the hellish glow of the room. Its wings beat to the tune of her heart, screeching her wrath until my head exploded with pain. Until every blood vessel pulsated dangerously against my temples, and my world dissolved into darkness; leaving behind the memory of two shining silvery dots, like reflective wolf eyes in the vicinity of a forest.

jacyee34
June 27th, 2014, 05:43 PM
I'm sure this is an interesting story, however it's not really readable right now because it's a big block of text. The paragraphs must have disappeared when you copied it from your word processor...

LeeC
June 27th, 2014, 05:45 PM
Please bear with the poster, as they are having some editing issues.

Thank you,
LeeC

jerich100
July 2nd, 2014, 09:17 PM
I purposely did not read your intro, since your future readers won’t have it to read. I’m sure it’s wonderful, but forgive me for making comments inconsistent with it.

The sentences in your first paragraph are short and tight. In fact, many are fragments. However, I’m certain this is done on purpose. Perhaps the POV character is a machine, or someone with OCD or other mental stresses. I must read on to find out.

The philosophical path of the thoughts of the character are interesting. It is easy to read and it flows well.

You wrote, “Freedom was slavery”. I believe that’s right out of the book, “1984.” That pulled me out of the trance your story gave me up to that point. You’ll almost have to change that to something else.

Wow. “Skinner box.” I like it, but only .01% of your readers will know what those were. F.Y.I., my grandmother knew B.F. Skinner personally and he made more than a few advances on her. She thought he was a dirty old man and couldn’t stand to be around him. :)

I can find only miniscule issues. Such as, you wrote, “That was the first time I realized her naivety was cunningness, and I felt the rage engulf me, heard the crack of the wall mirror before I could even remember moving, or register the pulsating of her slender neck beneath my grip.” That’s a long sentence. When the character thinks, “...and I felt the rage engulf me.” Did that rage occur at the original experience he/she is recalling, or now when the character is recalling the experience? This is why the sentence should be broken up, i.m.o.

You make much use of metaphors, akin to Ray Bradbury. This is impressive, although it’s hard for me to read Bradbury because every line has ten or twelve metaphors and I can’t keep track of which elements are part of the story and which are imaginative descriptors. I don’t know whether the end of your story is metaphorical. I’m assuming it is. The beating wings and shiny dots, and so forth, are not literal. This only means I’m an under-distinguished reader. Still, you don’t want it so flowery that the reader starts to wonder, “Um, what am I reading here?”

Also, because the entire story is someone’s thoughts, I think it better to combine paragraphs a little more so it’s not so broken up. People can have a single thought for hours. While dialogue and actions such as nodding are broken up into little pieces, thoughts can be much longer. To keep the reader in the trance, I suggest combining some of the paragraphs.

InstituteMan
July 2nd, 2014, 09:49 PM
This is dark, and I mean that in a good way.

In terms of subject matter and style, this is one that ain't for everyone, or even for most ones, but I think that this is strong. I did a quick check in with the forums this afternoon, saw this post, and thought that I would take a quick look at what is (to my knowledge) the first piece you have submitted here before returning to work. I was entranced enough to finish the read and then comment, so you clearly did something well!

First, non-substantively, I for one appreciate when a work count is posted either in the title or at the top of the work. That way I know whether I have time to give it a read or not right away.

Beyond the minor word count issue, you create quite a setting here, one that I can almost taste. I found myself wanting more information about this dystopian vision and how it came to pass, but it may be for the best that you do not share that with the reader. I really liked the layers and symbolism . . . the black robe, the pregnant body being consumed, and then the ultimate reveal of the monster within. The sheer distastefulness of the narrator made first person a courageous choice. It may just be me, but the piece may benefit if it were shortened slightly just to give us all a bit less of him in such intimacy. The only long work with deeply icky narrator I can recall personally liking was Lolita, and there is a certainly a slight similarity between your narrator and Humbert Humbert. Perhaps a bit of word play could help the itchiness go down, but that risks being flippant if you are not Nabokov, so shortening and a tightening might serve better.

Those minor suggestions not withstanding, this is a well written and well conceived (HA! a pun!) piece. It will not work for everyone, and I can't even say that I particularly enjoyed reading it, but it challenged me with substance and elegance in a fashion that compelled me to read through it all. I look forward to your future work.

JosephineRinaldi
July 8th, 2014, 04:37 PM
I really enjoyed this! It was the perfect blend of dark elegant writing with wonderful descriptions. I'm excited to read more of your work.

John Galt
July 8th, 2014, 11:37 PM
I've never been one to like the dystopian setting, but you make it work for me. Good job!