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And finally … (not really)

And finally, I sat down last Sunday and forced myself to finish a first draft of the Tale of the Innocent.

I suspect that some of it is definitely a case of rushing homework just to get the damn thing out of my head. What do you expect? It’s what this place is for.

Mykhail Arkhangelskeyev, kept man, plaything. Poor lamb.

I printed it out and gave it to a friend to read. She said it was sad. (I hope she meant the story and not my writing.)

Tale of the Innocent draft v1

So much more to do, certainly more to be done to this. I also need to practice my drawing skills, ideally I would like to put some images in but fear I will fall sadly short of the task.

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Tale of the Innocent – 4

He woke and she was still beside him. It was nice to not be alone. He moved and she snuggled back against him, muttering softly under her breath. The shift had ridden up around her waist. He enjoyed the sensation of feeling her skin against his then realised there seemed to be more of him on waking than there had been when he’d fallen asleep. Though he’d seen it through the eyes of others he hadn’t fully realised what the change itself would feel like. Curious, he wondered what he looked like. All he had were second hand impressions filtered through individual circumstances. Would he cause fear? Desire? Was he unusual? Would he be able to satisfy?

When the time came, would he know what to do with this hot thing heavy and proud?

His helpful subconscious provided a confusing vocabulary and a startling array of images that he must have absorbed. He’d seen so much variation and over such a long time. Male and female, male and male, female and female. Couples, groups, singles. Singles? For some reason he was uncomfortable with that thought. Some had been excited, some afraid, some resigned to things that they believed had to be done. He realised he’d had no sense of morality. Some had been lied to, some had been coerced. Some had been children. Those who had been afraid he’d given them calm, those in pain he’d given relief. Those given over to the joy of their bodies … those he had entered and shared the flavour of their joy when he could.

Quietly he slipped out of the bed. He found moving was easier and easier. Soon he would be fully integrated with himself – whatever that meant. There was no mirror in the room. He remembered seeing some in the bathroom down the corridor. Embarrassed at the weakness and needs of his body he hadn’t bothered looking at them earlier. Now he wondered if he would be able to make it that far without disturbing Ekaterina.

“Don’t worry about what you look like. You are … perfectly made.” The voice came from the shadow in the corner. Literally. Gabriel, wearing the same dark clothes as the day before, was folded up on himself in the small chair. For a tall creature he took up remarkably little space. Surprised by the unexpected spectator the erection faded as quickly as it had come. “Allow me to assist you.” And he stretched out to his full height and was by Mykhail’s side, easing a robe around him, within a handful of heartbeats.

The journey down the grey corridor was not a long one but it still took some time as the new being struggled with the effort. He wanted to see what he could do on his own. Other doors opened into the narrow space. The shadow man explained that they were in part of an old military base some miles out from the largest city in the area. The place was largely derelict.  People like Ekaterina lived here, people who wanted to be near their angel. The community had built up around the angel centuries earlier. Gabriel had been helping them – showing them how to make use of photovoltaic panels he’d uncovered, speaking to their artist about how to represent the miraculous waking. Apparently he wanted them to be able to continue on even after the loss of their original focus. That Mykhail would leave with him seemed to be a foregone conclusion.

The bathroom was large, designed for everyone living on the corridor when it had been full. Now there were signs that it was used by only a handful of people, each marking their own space with personal items. In the same side room that Ekaterina had taken him earlier in the day Mykhail finally stood and looked at the body he was in. Pale blue eyes looked out from a face that had never been young. They saw a blonde shock of hair and broad shoulders topping a solid torso that, in turn, led to muscular legs beginning to tremble with the effort of standing. His skin, like his hair, was variations of the same warm shade all over. Head to toe he was sunlight.

“Too many centuries ago I was forced to look into a mirror and was told how special I was and how people would want me. Believe me when I say the same to you. Have no worries about what people will think when they see you. Have no fears when the time comes for sex. You will do the right thing.” The words were quietly said. An intimate whisper as his companion stooped slightly to bring his   mouth level with Mykhail’s ear.

Apart from a fragile look about his eyes the body seemed remarkably healthy. He guessed he would become as strong as his appearance suggested. He hoped it would not take long. He saw few signs of damage until Gabriel turned him around and, using a small hand mirror, helped him to see what Ekaterina had seen. Thin lines of dried blood matted in his hair and wounds criss-crossed his back from his neck down to his waist. The densest of them were in two scabbed patches starting on his shoulder blades. Where they’d taken his wings? He knew that could not be true.

“You were in the machine too long. Caught between asleep and awake your body was trying to heal while you were still plugged in.” Pale, long fingers delicately traced lines of minute puncture marks down his spine and radiating along acupuncture meridians. “I don’t think it will take much longer to finish healing. I’m afraid I had to cut you out of the life support rig. I always understood that being born from the pods could be a traumatic experience but to have been self-aware at the time. I’m sorry … I’m sorry if the release was not an easy one.”

“I have questions.” So many questions, but where to start? Mykhail closed his eyes. It was easier not to think but to follow the gentle stroke of fingers across his body. The questions seemed a long way distant from him as the taller man kissed his neck. It was so much easier just to feel. What was that sound? He realised he was moaning, small sounds of pleasure as tender lips touched the wounds on his back. It felt like energy was being transferred in the contact. The moans deepened as kissing became licking. He imagined his skin healing at each gentle touch. Finally, unable to stand by himself, he sagged back into arms that were far stronger than they should have been and was carried back to bed.

Night time again. He stretched as he woke, enjoying the feeling of being in his sunlight body and the sensations it gave. He was on his own in the bed, but not alone in the room. Like the previous night the strangely attuned woman and the first of his kind – oh, that had been one of the questions he’d forgotten earlier – were mating. This time, though, there seemed to be less restraint from both parties as if the strength of their coupling matched his physical progress.

They changed position a number of times, the woman’s voice absently expressing her desires. It seemed she had little conscious awareness of the demands she made and, though she seemed to look directly across the room at him, no idea that she was being watched. Gabriel, of course, had recognised when Mykhail was awake. He seemed to have been waiting for their spectator. The final phase appeared violent. While the woman cried out and trembled in her ecstasy Gabriel again made almost no sound, his whole body glowing as light seemed to try and escape him.

The shadow man’s eyes were on fire long after the other two were asleep.


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Tale of the Innocent – 2

Warmth. Softness. The sound of someone moving quietly, trying not to disturb him. What was that smell? Was that what a body smelled like? A strange new sensory world beckoned beyond closed eyelids. He was wary of opening his eyes. There seemed to be so much to take in after being in the void for so long.

“He’s awake?” A woman’s voice, Ekaterina he guessed, he hoped. It was reminiscent of the sound of her mind but obscured by the mechanics of speech.

“Yes, and he hears us. We’ve given him something of a shock in bringing him back to himself. Give him time. He will join us when he is ready.” The shadow voice again. The voice spoke in the same language as the people but it was not native to the speaker. How did he know that?

The warmth was a comfort. It was easier just to give in to it and sleep again.

 

Something cool against his brow. Moisture across his lips. He hadn’t realised he was thirsty. Up to the point of feeling the wetness he hadn’t understood thirst. How many more differences between the world of the body and what he had perceived from the void? He opened his mouth to the moisture, savouring the feeling of the cold liquid being dribbled across his tongue. The sensation stopped and he felt warm breath across his face. Another face close to his, another mouth close to his. That meant something, but he wasn’t sure what. He was sure he used to know.

“He says I shouldn’t give you too much at first.” Ah, that was Ekaterina again. “He’s gone out to listen for God. He says I’m to look after you but I shouldn’t give you too much of anything.” He felt the muscles in his face contract but he wasn’t sure why. “There’s only the two of us here, I’ve put most of the lights out so you won’t hurt your eyes again if you want to open them.”

There she was. Soft features in pale candlelight, eyes wide in amazement as he looked at her and continued to smile. Yes, smile was the word. It felt good to look at her. It felt good to be able to look at anyone. He tried to sit up but couldn’t quite seem to co-ordinate the order of limbs and joints. She understood what he was trying to do and came to his assistance with pillows, holding him close, making sure he felt safe on the bed.

The action disturbed the covers. He looked down at skin that was a different shade to the woman’s. He didn’t have the right words in his head and he couldn’t pick any from hers. He didn’t know why but he thought of fields of wheat ripened in the sun. This was skin, flesh. A body that could feel. She drew the covers back around him. The touch of her hand brushing against his skin was a strange sensation, almost painful in its immediacy. He couldn’t feel her mind. He hoped new pleasures would make up for the loss of the one sense that he’d had before.

“This is my room. He carried you here. You had many wounds. We cleaned you and made sure you would be comfortable. Don’t worry if you can’t speak. Don’t try to force things. He said it may take some time for everything to come back to you.” The bed creaked as she eased herself next to him and put her arms around his shoulders. “Don’t you worry. Ekaterina will keep her angel safe.”

He slept again.

 

Different sounds. A new smell. He opened his eyes again. He saw Ekaterina and a taller figure, their backs to him, talking in low voices. The taller figure turned – a man, thin body, thin face. Eyes, unguarded, that looked as old as eternity and then he blinked and the impression passed. Mykhail recognised the shadow in the ancient gaze.

“Greetings Mykhail, it has taken me many years to find you. I understand if you don’t recognise me in this body after so long.” He smiled. “It’s me … Gabriel.” Even as the name was formed he knew it was a lie. He looked from the thin man to Ekaterina. She was happy with the name so that was the name he would use when he spoke to Adam Kadmon. “Would you care to try some food? Not much, just enough while you get used to the body you have.”

Ekaterina came over and began to feed him tiny pieces of food, carefully following each morsel with sips of water. ‘Gabriel’ took a seat in the corner, saying nothing more, letting the woman fuss over her charge. Each mouthful was easier than the one before. He enjoyed the sensation of texture and flavour even though he guessed that the food was relatively bland. The woman seemed very pleased with his progress and let him rest back on the pillows when he had finally finished the last item off the plate. He turned his attention to the tall figure folded into a small chair, sat in the shadows as if hoping not to be noticed.

Why not admit that he was Adam Kadmon? Mykhail realised he would have recognised the first of his kind anywhere. Only, he had no idea who Adam Kadmon was, or who were his kind. He was certain he’d never picked the name out of a stray mind. The name felt the wrong shape to have come from the people of this land. It was something that had come from within. And then, looking at the shadow man again he knew that that might not even be a name but some kind of title.

He slept again.

 

When he woke the room was darker than before. Night time he guessed. And, like other night times, there were two intertwined bodies naked on the floor. They moved rhythmically against each other, the ghostly shape of the thin man connected at mouth and hip with Ekaterina. This was what he had experienced from inside other people. Seeing it, hearing their heavy breathing and the stifled moans of the woman, and above all smelling the sharp tang of sex in the air excited his new senses.

The woman’s eyes were closed but the man – not a man, not an angel either – was aware that they were being watched. He lifted his face from the woman below him and maintained eye contact with their entranced witness as he changed the timing of his movements. The change was enough to trigger something in the woman and she arched herself against the skinny body above her. Eternal eyes staring at him suddenly seem to burn briefly with their own light as the man, whatever he was, let out an almost inaudible sigh and relaxed onto the woman.

They all slept.