Archive for June, 2007


Outtake #2: Ministrations


The boat (bed) gently rocked to and fro in waters (sheets) clear (clean) and calm (fresh). Trev felt the warmth of a breeze kiss his neck and, like fingers subtle, brush the hair from his forehead. The movement soothed, lifted, lightened and dissolved burdens as salt in water. Somewhere off in the distance, faintly, a bird called, echoes as pebbles dropped into the limpid water, each a siren call to sink deeper into the arms of nature. The sun shone bright radiating a penetrating heat as rays, upon skin taut, nestled home, giving forth life from distance measured by minds in ivory towers.

If his eyes could have rolled any further into the back of his head, they would have. Silence pervaded except for a single sound, a steady lapping of water against the hull, rhythmic like drums on a dry plain (or rain on the roof), heat rising in the distance, sounds (memories) of times past just out of reach. Louder banged the drums, just out of sight. Steady the beat on skin pulled tight, a beat that bespoke of education, of intent, of plan. Trev pushed his head into the pillow. His hips rotated with a mind of their own. He watched with sensation, seduced by forces beyond his understanding, forces of nature before and after, without beginning or end, forces that would ebb and flow.

From within a warmness grew, radiating from center outward. Legs tensed. Arms followed. Mind focused, spun, rose and sunk and still the lapping of educated friction, a sound seductive, marched on, relentless in firm purpose. Breathing increased. Lips opened and spread, softening to the tune of digits divine. Tongue flicked and smile melted into the intoxication of surrender taken. Time gave way to timelessness. Gravity took recess. And, as if by magic, the wonder of neither this nor that rose from darkness to light.

A presence hovered, not seen. Intuited. Not questioned. As cream flows, richly, inevitably, up and forward as soldiers at the whistle. Hope springs and fear pushes. United. Birth greets death as dawn emerges from night.

Cold


Kyra Journal Entry:

In a few hours we will be docking and I’ve been told our arrival is anticipated, or at least John’s is. Seems another lifetime when we set out on this mission. High hopes. Another Hynerian vessel. Full of righteousness I was, but even that is, perhaps, another illusion. Emotion flowed. How could it not. I saw it, felt it. I’m not an idiot. I just chose to ignore it, justify it, rationalize it. Not really a hard thing to do. And in the exchange, we lost Bravo, almost lost our lives, twice, put Rog and John in difficulty, all but abandoned Yul–and never saw the other vessel. I would do it all over again if given half the chance.

I sit in the captain’s chair. Everyone else is asleep, the ship on auto as we slip silently through the blackness toward two points of light. If I listen very intently, I can hear a slight hum with only starlight illuminating the bridge, giving my skin a soft bluish cast, which is about how I feel; cold. Cold of heart, not of limb. Cold of mind. Still, I long for quiet and I long for peace and I know these things come from within, not without. I am weary of searching. Weary of the burden. Weary of no place to call home. Weary of judgments not asked and of answers not given. I miss Kieran. I wonder if he misses me.

So nice to be self-indulgent. I wonder what The Unknowns would think of that. I would like to say I’ve been thinking about Yul and all she has had to suffer. I have not. I will see her soon. We’ve been told she is doing well. I will say all the right things. And she will know; and I will ask for her forgiveness as I tell her I would make the same choices. Not exactly the behavior of the chosen one, but I never asked for that appellation. I’m sorry Papa. I wish I could be more than I am. I wish I could be all you dreamed I would be. I wish I could stand in the room of mirrors and see what they would say now.

Jackassery


Rog: So you have a dream chip?

John: Von, would you tell our friend it might be best if he kept his frailing mouth shut.

Rog: Why?

John: Why! Are you shiotting me?

Rog: What?

John: Von, you want to take this one?

Von: No John, I think you’re doing just fine.

Rog: You’re not still mad are you?

John: Mad? You think I’m mad? Von?

Von: Rog, if I may, I think the fact that there is a small chance we will not regain our sight, and the fact that cause and effect points to your, how do I say it, Jackassery, well, I think that might have something to do with John’s attitude.

John: Jackassery. Thank you Von. You know what Jackassery is Rog?

Rog: (quiet)

John: I’ll tell you what Jackassery is! It’s you pulling out that las pistol. What the frail were you thinking?

Rog: You know what I was thinking . . . .

John: Well?

Rog: (raises voice) I was thinking someone was going to get off his arse and do something! You heard the same cries I did.

John: Yeah, well, did you not think maybe, just maybe, Von knew what he was talking about? Maybe, just a little? (holds out hand and uses fingers to illustrate before realizing no one could see him)

Rog: Look. I did what I did and it is what it is. I’m not going to apologize for making something happen. In fact—

John: Don’t frailing say it.

Rog: Frail you. In fact—

Kyra: Rog. John. Let it go. Intent, by both parties, was pure and I find no fault in either the action or inaction, as the case may be. Von, you were right. Rog, I love you for being yourself. I wouldn’t want to go into harm’s way without you. And John, get use to it. This won’t be the last time you see some Jackassery out of Rog. (slight pause and then she starts laughing, followed by Von, John and Em)

Rog: Kyra?

Kyra: Yes Rog?

Rog: I love you too.

Kyra: You’re welcome Rog. Now I suggest you guys get some rest. We’ll be docking in about twelve hours.

John: Kyra?

Kyra: Yes John?

John: Care to tell us what happened?

Kyra: No, not really.

John: Okay. Just thought I’d ask. You know, since, well . . . .

Kyra: Don’t push it John. Remember, I still have your chip.

Rog: Yeah John, she still has your chip.

John: Frail you.

Rog: You got that half right.

John: What?

Rog: I’m just saying.

Kyra: Hey. Enough. Lights out. See you in eight. (turns out the lights and leaves)

Rog: Nice job Disco.

John: You’re welcome, Jackassary.


Kyra held a small golden disc in her hands, not much bigger than the pad of her pinky finger.

“I bet you’re wondering what that is,” said John, rubbing the back of his head and realizing Kyra had inadvertently found and released the chip as she tightened his blindfold.

“Well, I wasn’t going to ask.”

“It’s what is called a dream chip. Kulmyk fighter pilots, for training purposes had a small chip installed in the back of their head. It recorded brain activity and allowed specialized neuronic training, a way to accelerate the learning process, or so they said.”

“I see,” said Kyra, taking the measure of John’s face. His blindfold secure. “So why do they call it a “dream chip?”

John smiled. “The chip also records dreams. Our scientists thought this was important in the evaluation process of new fighter pilots. They wanted a window into a Kulmyk’s hopes and fears, into his psyche, his dreams if you will.”

“So this chip has your dreams on it?”

“Yep.”

“And this chip allows you to view your dreams, to watch them like a movie?”

“Yes.”

“So I could, if I wanted, see your dreams?”

“Yes, you could, if you wanted.”

“And right now, in your condition, you couldn’t stop me, if I wanted?”

“I suppose that’s true.”

__________________

From Nashville for my Dear Beautiful Soul:


Kyra: (looking up into the light) What do you want from me?

Unknown #1: Be yourself.

Kyra: (looks confused)

Unknown #2: Drop everything you think you know. Knowledge will only confuse you.

Kyra: So what do I do?

Unknown #1: Be yourself.

Kyra: What does that mean?

Unknown #2: Just. No more. No less.

Kyra: I don’t understand.

Unknown #1: Understanding is an facade. Let it go.

Kyra: How?

Unknown #2: Don’t pick it up.

Kyra: (hangs head)

Unknown #1: (whispers to Unknown #2)

Unknown #2: Resistance Kyra is the source of your pain. Hold on, and you will suffer.

Kyra: (balls her fists and cries out) I am my resistance!

Unknown #1: No more than a butterfly is her cocoon.

Von’s Journal #4


No one was really sure when Von made this entry since in a very unlike Von fashion, he forgot to log a date. Time estimated based on other entries: shortly after the Kyra Incident.

There is a stillness, like the moment before dawn, in which understanding is reached; and, like the breaking of dawn, surrender to the inevitability of all hell breaking loose.

Eyes do their best work when closed.

Things are never as they seem. How can they be since “to seem” is to separate, to create beyond, to work in interpretation–the playground of the non-Janus.

First Time


Ed note: Title is a triple play. In a literal sense, this is the first time Mairi kisses Trev. From a story point of view, this is the first chapter literally written in the comment section of the preceding chapter. And, this is the first time I have used an image previously used in the story, albeit with a slightly different hue adjustment. Enjoy.

Trev’s breathing stabilized, a good sign thought Mairi. Spreading her fingers like a web on the underside of his head, she lifted with the care of a mother lifting her baby while with a gentle skill that belied her training, secured a blindfold with her right hand. As egg to crate, she lowered his head on the soft pillow, a sight, she thought, more delicious and tempting than it ought to be.

Chatelaine training taught that smell, of all the senses, caroused with memory and the moments to come, she knew, would be moments of healing that would need to be cultivated far beyond the moment of capitulation. Placing small warming tablets on either side of the bed, the sensual aroma of willowbrush gently rose as if awakened from sacred slumber. Breathing deep, she closed her eyes, and a thousand images flashed before her mind like cards shuffled. With each out breath, the images slowed until the one she needed, the one she wanted, appeared in clear focus, floating in subservience.

Slipping back into bed, her legs, smooth and neither too long nor too short, ran the length of his, her toes taking the measure of his sigh inducing muscle of youth; her hands traced lightly his wounds of days past, her eyes marveled at his chiseled jaw and angular cheek, looking more like marble than flesh. Her lips found his, the warmth, the softness, the slippery wetness, the firmness, the intensity, the passionate energy as her eyes closed and the soft warm light reflected off her eye lids reminiscent of a dual moonrise on the beaches of Valla. Her hair fell into his face, her thumbs to his temples; and her lips moved beyond skill, sucking, biting, gliding, teasing, suckling, wrapping, brushing, pushing, molding, of breath shared as moans escaped.

With lips locked in a living dance as angels or devils might in a moment of reprise, Mairi breathed her mind into his, a mind tender in abuse, aching for embrace, fearful of hurt. As a warm blanket covers a cold and frightened child, she gently began to massage his centers of pain and memory, milking them of power, kneading stress from neurons inflamed. As her tongue traced the row between his lips so did her mind dance and dart to soothe concern and hold fear at bay long enough to wrap her intent around his desire as tongue around a lollipop.

Trev’s mind begin to response and Mairi went deeper. Later Trev would write this in his journal:

Then I think about her slipping into my mind and what a good mind-frail would be like and I imagine the most delicious and intense wet dream, the utter stickiness, the musky-sweet aroma of release, taken with a caress of neurons in ways the hands can only admire. I imagine her chest heaving with life, rising with curves divine, creating their own eclipse; and in the shadow of my surrender, a tenseness rendered with the crack of a whip, the slap of a glute, the exhilaration of being rode, hard.

The kiss has an energy that sends a shock from lip to eye and stirs emotion in the gut as only first love can. Lights swirl as flesh paints with passion upon flesh and hands talk in touches like feathers on silk. Her tongue narrows and darts with a playful precision and I follows her lead to places shared by few and desired by many. The bed seems to sink, to envelope us as if the sheets rose as waterfalls port and aft. Golden hide graces porcelain digits as spoon to warm honey and endearments announce as gates open and trumpets play for an audience of two.

I lean my head back and press hard into my pillow, as if to brace myself that all before me could be but a dream. She lifts her chin and looks down from the bottom of her eyes, her regal nose triumphant, her lips slightly parted, glistening with lust raw and pure; and with a feline arching of back, tosses her short auburn locks and closes her eyes as curtains between acts. Her tongue glides over her pert upper lip as her hips settle into position, moving and rotating as if greased, as if control was quartered not granted.

Listen


“Papa, the children of the shells, they—“

Papa continued to walk, gifting Kyra space and silence.

“They seem lonely.”

Still Papa walked along the beach, a steady pace neither rushed nor purposeful, just walking to walk as he would say. He offered no opinion.

“Well?”

“Well what?”

“What do you think?”

“I think you think too much.”

Kyra kicked a shell into the surf. Papa bowed his head, placed his hands behind his back and continue to walk, his white tunic flapping in the ocean breeze. No footprints.

“I’m serious Papa.”

“I’m not.”

“What does that mean?”

“Listen to the ocean. Is it lonely? Is it serious?”

“Papa? Papa!”

Kyra gasped for breath. Her abs contracting, painfully, involuntarily as another volume of viscous blue liquid expelled itself from her bowels. Sucking for air, her throat burned. Her eyes watered such to make everything seem blurry, faded, out of focus. Pain, fear, the unknown, however, have there own way of rendering sight blind, of thought single minded. Grabbing the sides of her bed, her nails as claws, her chest heaved upward, her heart jumping as if it could escape. Her plaintive wail, both of child and adult, brought glass to tears of flickering shards as so much confetti.

“Papa!”

Papa was more distant now. His head still bowed and he walked without turning, without acknowledgment.

Kyra’s lithe body hardened, her muscles straining, against what she did not know. Her teeth ached with pains sharp and dull. Each joint, from elbow to ankle screamed as if on fire. Papa slipped from sight as if consumed by the shimmering waves of despair. Her hands slackened. The room fell quiet.

Rog looked at John, who looked at Von. “I can’t take this anymore. Back away from the door.” Before anyone could stop Rog, six rounds from his las pistol burned into the door and from six holes came light so brilliant, so blinding . . .


The concern over Kyra notwithstanding, the crew had much to celebrate. After all, prayers had been answered, how had not been discussed, but six days became seven and seven eight and everyone was just a little too overjoyed to tempt fate with questions.

John poured four glasses of amsec and handed one to Rog, one to Von and the last to Em. Lifting his crystal flute to the center, the others followed suit, the four golden glasses shinning like a chandelier as eyes looked upward for words to be spoken. A toast, he said as his voice trailed off.

What started as a slight vibration, a disturbing ripple across nectar held high, held firm, grew, exponentially; and in an instant, amsec rained down with shards of crystal and their small vessel rocked as if the hand of a giant had slapped the hull. As the four struggled to get to their feet, a second concussive wave knocked them down again as a young boy might shake a box of toy soldiers. Lights blinked and klaxons wailed and as quickly as the vessel was hit, stillness returned.

Rog yelled, although he didn’t need to, “I thought you said we had shields?”

John yelled back. “We do!” Picking himself up, his sea-legs betrayed him and only his strong arms kept his head from banging the control panel. “Our systems must be down?”

“What?” asked Rog.

“I said our systems must be down. Not a threat within a parsec, the screen is blank.”

“Blank?” said Von.

“Nada.”

Rog took the pilot’s seat. Then a low vibration, almost a moan wafted over the comms followed by a sickly gurgling sound. “What the—“

The hair on the back of Von’s neck stood up. Before anyone could react, a blood curtling scream, unmistakable in tone, permeated the room.

“My Janus,” cried Von. “Its Kyra.”

Unknown #1: We put her at great risk.

Unknown #2: We have no choice.

Unknown #1: Are you prepared to lose her?

Unknown #2: (with hesitation) Yes.

“Open the frailing door!” screamed Rog, his nerves frayed by the unworldly cries from within Kyra’s room, his hands bloodied from effort.

“It won’t budge,” screamed John back.

“Move!”

“Won’t do any good,” interjected Von.

“What?”

“The door will open when it is ready to open. You’d just as soon change the fabric of reality as to pry it apart.”

“Are you suggesting we just sit here?”

“I’m not suggesting anything. I’m telling you the matters at hand are beyond our ability to influence. Take that as you will.”

“So what do we do?”

“Bow our heads and pray we see our girl again.”

In the Ways


As Mairi had carried Trev, so John carried Kyra. Her breathing was steady, her face tranquil. John laid her in her private quarters and took a moment to trace her curves with his eyes before quietly taking his exit.

Five days later:

John: How long is she going to sleep?

Rog: We’ve seen this before, after Kieran died. Took her almost two weeks to recover.

John: (looked lost in thought) I wouldn’t think the body would need such a long time to heal. Is this a Hynerian quirk?

Von: (laughing) Hynerian? Janus no. This is a Kyra thing. You see, what is healing is not the body, although I’m sure the body is recovering from the exertion. (Von paused)

Rog: (looked from Von to John)

John: (looked from Von to Rog)

Rog: Don’t look at me.

John: Okay, you got me. What is healing?

Von: Well, we’re not sure.

John: What?

Rog: We think we know, but we don’t really know. Her grandfather was, perhaps, the most famous Hynerian of our generation, a Zing Tao master of the ninth order, protégé to the Brandonian, Ji.

John: And this means?

Von: Her grandfather, Zeke, or Papa as she calls him, had a gift. He could swim in the current of the universal in ways the rest of us only dream about.

John: The universal?

Rog: Love.

John: (laughing) Love. Okay.

Von: Laugh if you like. But ask yourself this. Could you have done what you have seen Kyra do twice now?

John: (didn’t answer)

Von: Zeke believed that Kyra’s gift, her potential, put him to shame. He dedicated his later life to developing her abilities. Unfortunately, our little planet went south before he could finish the task. Kyra swims in waters me and you will never taste.

John: (leaned forward on his knees and looked at Rog)

Rog: (nods head)

John: Okay, so I ask you again, what is healing?

Von: As Kyra might say, if you would stop interrupting me, I’ll tell you what I know. (Von winked)

John: Sorry. I’m usually the one telling fairy tales, but please, continue.

Von: (sighs)

John: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—

Von: Forget it. Most on Hynerian would have reacted the same. But then again, most have only heard tales of Ji and Zeke and the Zing Tao, and Kyra was not much more than a rumor. Anyway, what I believe is healing, according to Zeke, is neither body nor mind, but the education of the soul in the ways of the flow, the water, the universal, Love, whatever you want to call it.

John: (has a “you’re shiotting me” look on his face)

Rog: Dude, we shiott you not. And we aint’t shiooting you either (laughs)

Von: (laughs a little less than Rog and looks back at John) And we ain’t seen nothing yet.