For two days it rained and my flower shop kiosk remained closed. There was no Ravel and no lilies for him to pluck from my crop of flowers and give to me. The third day, I was back on the street. It was five after three in the afternoon and I was almost frantic because I’d not see the man that had captured my heart—and my imagination—so exclusively. When I heard the church bell chimed the hour, I feared he wouldn’t be coming. But then distracted by another customer, when I at last turned around, there he was. Grabbing a pink lily, he paid the dollar and forced it on me once again.
“I have something stronger than the claret I want to give you,” he said.
“Are you planning to drug me?” I asked.
“No, simply entice the desire from you. But only when you’re ready. I see you’re much too afraid right now.”
“I am not afraid,” I objected indignantly.
He won me over with his smile and a touch to my cheek so I was smiling for him again.
“You must trust me implicitly,” he said.
“And that I do,” I said, though I had no reason to trust him or not trust him.
“So, when you’re ready,” he replied, and he then left me to my flowers.
Ravel did not declare me ready until one afternoon some weeks later. I had almost given up on his favorable judgment of my worthiness, though he remained as attentive to his flower ritual as he’d been every other day for months. I’m afraid I was not so attentive to him however. Sexually bereft for days, with fantasies pouring into my mind, I was thinking of resuming my affair with Todd, even though it was Ravel I longed for.
Just in the nick of time, my new lover rescued me from that fate. As Ravel handed me my lily, his message was brief but affectionately delivered. “The red door will be open for you when you’re ready to leave work today.”
Swept up by his sudden gesture, I didn’t reply. But he knew what I was thinking. He knew my heart and my desire, and he knew how I’d respond.
I was there at the red door at ten minutes after five. Though I’d been inside his place before, I was more fearful this time without him at my side. My hand shook before I placed it on the doorknob. Afraid. Then for an instant I stopped and ran a hand over the outside of my dress, down my belly to my pubis. Pressing it against the throbbing place between my legs, I was reminded how much my suitor aroused my body. How much I’d regret it if I didn’t turn that doorknob.
Inside, my heart beat fast as I climbed the stairs. At the top, I struggled to remain on my feet. I wore my pink heels as I had before, thinking that they might give me courage. But they were annoying. Feeling dizzy, I had to hold myself against the banister for a second, afraid I’d faint and fall to my death. When at last I opened the door to Ravel’s loft, all that fear suddenly vanished. I almost laughed thinking how silly I’d been.
There was nothing on the other side of the door save the sight of Ravel’s antiques blocking my vision of our love nest. Making my way beyond the tall wardrobes and mirrors, I glanced in one glass to see myself. My short hair was flying about as if it was windy in the loft. My lips were pale, the lipstick worn away from my day. And my hazel, yellow-green eyes looked expectant and tense. Taking a deep breath, I relaxed, but not altogether. I was especially concerned finding Ravel nowhere about the alcove where we made love. Staring at the table I noted a new bottle of claret, freshly opened. Surely he’d be back soon. I sat for a while on the bed waiting. Then in a chair. By the time a half hour ticked away, I wondered if I was mistaken. I had risen to my feet and was about to go search for him when I ran smack into his firm chest as he turned the corner of one massive antique wardrobe.
“Ah, you are here,” he exclaimed happily.
“And you’re late,” I said, remembering how I greeted him the day we made love.
“So, I am. And you’ve been waiting, and are probably nervous from my tardiness.”
He led me back to the table and sat me down with a firm shove. Pouring me a glass of wine, he nodded for me to drink it down.
“All of it quickly,” he said. “Let your panic subside.”
I welcomed the bittersweet liquid soothing my throat and anxiety. Gulping it fast, I was ready for another glass. Feeling it go straight to my head, feeling my sexual arousal supplant my fears, I boldly stood before Ravel and stripped down to nothing before him. I was ready for sex.
“There, I feel much better,” I declared.
He smiled. “How lovely you look, and so wet.” He felt at my crotch to find the stickiness clinging to my skin.
The music behind our interlude wasn’t opera this time but something more earthy. There was a heavily beating drum and I was thinking of hands, dark and mysterious. Unable to help myself, my own hand was on my crotch along with Ravel’s. Though suddenly catching his gaze, I pulled it away; Ravel’s hand dropped away too.
“No, let me see,” he said. “Keep playing.”
I hesitated. But then fastening my fingers to the succulent spot between my labia, I began to rub the familiar territory. The crudity of this act didn’t faze me. I enjoyed it as much as I was enjoying the inebriation. Soon, Ravel pulled me to the bed where I spread my legs expecting him to go down between them with his face or his cock. Instead, he backed off not ready to make love. “No, my dear, you play. I want to see you play.”
While he stood over me, I swam in the sensations of my own clitoris getting off. I had no point to my massage or the thoughts within in me save the physical pleasure. All rational thought seemed to vanish and it was only the sound of drums I was hearing in my head and through my hands. I was hardly aware that Ravel was watching me. His body seemed to disappear, as did the room. Then I felt tremendous heat like that of fire scorching the skin from coming too close. My body danced before that fire, and when I opened my eyes, I stared around to see a dozen savage faces dancing around me. I was in the center closest to the fire. Naked, I burned from within as much as my skin burned from without. When my head dropped back, there were long flowing tresses floating down my back and when I gazed down at my chest there were twin orbs of flesh three times my normal size swaying against me. Inky lines painted on the surface looked liked permanent tattoos. My hips were full. My skin, the color of brown dirt, glowed in the golden hues from dancing flames
My crotch was hot, prickly sensations of longing skirting everywhere, so I moved closer to the men that swarmed around me, and flaunted my genitals before them. With my hands, I opened my sex wide as though I was begging them to enter me. When my hands roved my body, I pressed my tits from underneath into a tremendous cleavage to taunt them more.
Heat, drums, sweat and lust … all consumed me. The bodies swarming near came closer still … until I could feel their hands on my flesh driving toward my cleft, both from the front and back. Lifted by strong arms, with my legs flung wide apart, I was impaled by a hefty cock. I collapsed against a hard chest and felt myself danced around on the stiff erection. With one cock in me, there was another at my back, tapping at the back door, at my uninitiated ass. Somewhere my psyche screamed, feeling fingers penetrate the barrier. But that was brief and unnecessary, I seemed to open as though I’d been ass-fucked many times. Pressed between two male bodies, impaled on two male erections, hammered by these urgent weapons, there was no peace in me. But peace was superfluous now. They would take me and I would relent; I knew that without having to think it. I was in another culture where women like me were bodily servants to the pleasures of men and pricks.
I spent the night being fucked before the fire. On my back, and then on my hands and knees. Raised again as I was at first, and then held down as a man drove his penis into my mouth like it was a cunt. I was slippery with cum when I slipped off to sleep. At some hour before dawn—I could see by the light in the sky—I was left alone. The last of my lovers had moved away, leaving me in the sand, on a deserted beach. No one cared if my limbs would still hold my body, or that my cunt had been used until it was sore. It satisfied me to be pummeled like that—I might have even taken another hard fucking. But it satisfied me even more to fall asleep and let the hours of my abuse fall away in favor of a peace filled slumber.
When I woke from my dream—that wasn’t a dream at all, but something far more real—I was in Ravel’s house, in his bed, in the loft.
I screamed when my eyes briefly closed and all I saw was the beach again and my sweating body. Then, when I opened my eyes a second time, I screamed more loudly. Even with my eyes wide I could see nothing but the beach and my darker, more voluptuous nakedness. I blinked, and blinked again. And it was Ravel’s room in front of my eyes, Ravel, sitting in a chair beside me, looking down at me kindly.
Afraid and disoriented, I wailed again, panicked. Then jumping from bed, I grabbed for my clothes, which were folded over the chair. Quickly dressing, I snatched my purse and started through the maze of wardrobes to the stairway.
“I can’t stay here,” I called to him.
“But you can’t leave, Lily,” he called to me.
“Oh, but I can.”
I turned around and looked at his face, at the look of worry in his sorry gaze.
“You must come back.” He reached out for me, appealing to me with his eyes and hands. Then he followed me as I moved to the door and took the knob in my fist. “You can’t leave,” he implored me again, looking as desperate as I’d ever seen him.
Still, I refused to listen to him. Dashing down the stairs, not caring that my pink heels were slipping from my feet, I reached the landing, flung open the door, and darted into the alley letting the door close behind me with a decided click.
Breathing a sign of relief at my escape, I focused my eyes to find that I was not in Ravel’s alley at all. Turning around, I saw that the door I just exited was not the red door. Panic hit me again. Grabbing for the knob of this brown tattered entrance, it was loose, yet quite locked. Jostling it, jiggling it, jarring it, it wouldn’t give way My shoulder to the door, it wouldn’t budge. Pounding on the aged wood, I cried for Ravel, but had no answer. All the while, the teeming smells and noises of a city far different than the one I lived in hovered about my raving mind, begging for the attention I wouldn’t give them.
In my panic, I refused to acknowledge the danger about to greet me. Not until I felt a mean hand grabbing my hair did I turn around. By then it was too late. Jerked from my futile attempt to get back inside the door, I was flung to the ground, left there to gaze up at an angry face staring into mine with coal black eyes.
“You thief!” he roared. “You think you can get away from me? You’ll be in shackles before this night is out!” His scowl terrified me. Grabbing me where I lay shivering at his feet, he practically wrenched my arm from its socket as he made me stand. Clutched by hands that vowed they knew me, he took me through the unknown streets of an unknown city, in a time I couldn’t place, to an unknown destination.
I was in prison. Wearing tattered clothes, my hair was a stringy mass of tangled red curls that dangled down my face. I sat on cold bare stone feeling the chill creep into my bones. For a second time in a day, my consciousness shifted to another plane, perhaps a different planet, certainly another reality than my own. The body that bore my mind wasn’t even mine. Unlike the vision of myself on the beach as a voluptuous dark-skinned woman, this time I was more slender. My breasts were more gracious than my own, but not as large as my body on the beach. My hips were far broader, and my nose and lips were foreign to me. I couldn’t see my eyes. The only similarity to the Lily I know was the burning soreness between my legs from the savage screwing on the beach. My whole crotch still stung with sensation and desire—but then perhaps in this lifetime too I had just been wholly satisfied by a dozen men.
I spent a lonely night in my cell, shivering with no blanket to cover me. Cool winds darted about my shoulders as I huddled in the corner with my head against a stone wall. What fate had driven me here? I wondered for hours before I finally slept. What had Ravel done to me? What hateful man could manufacture this kind of horror? His warning of danger was far too mild.
At dawn I was led to a magistrate where with a brutal scowl and words that I couldn’t understand and a pen dipped in ink, he signed my fate. I was lucky I wasn’t taken to the gallows, so I was told. Instead, I was to be whipped for my crime, though with some unknown stranger paying by debt, I’d be given to this man as his servant. What fate lay ahead, I could not imagine.
I waited for my punishment in a cell as gloomy as the one that held me during the night. It was bizarre how I couldn’t connect what was happening to my body, while my mind still belonged to another world. I found a ready cure for that dilemma, however. Led to the prison yard for my punishment, the reality of this world began to settle in.
Dozens of men and a few curious women looked on at the spectacle. I wasn’t the only one chastised with a whip that day, just the third—though I was the first female. Taken to a whipping post, my hands were tied high above my head, secured so I couldn’t move them. Then with the swiftness of a brutal hand, my dress was ripped from my body. Utterly naked, I closed my eyes to close out the stares of the throng around me. I heard jeers, mockery, taunts of encouragement from a dozen voices. Worse still, my legs were jerked wide apart, no modesty remaining. I’d been readied for the whip.
The scourge was vicious. Again and again stinging lashes flailed my back and ass, the administrator working up and down my entire backside. I writhed in pain.
I heard my screams rising above me—though they seemed hollow and disconnected from my soul as if this wasn’t happening to me. Truly this punishment belonged to the woman whose body I’d stolen. But then, was this my crime? This my theft? I told myself a hundred times, it wasn’t me taking this beating. And yet … the pain was too real to disavow.
At first the sensation was excruciating, lash after lash cutting me like lightning cuts the sky. Then there was heat, as though I was being burnished by the sun above, and the sky and the eyes around me. The rhythm of repeated blows danced my shackled form within its bindings, twisting, jerking, seeking with every wrench to find relief. There was none. My eyes were dry for a long time. Not because I refused to cry—as though I had some honor to protect. Such pain simply didn’t warrant tears. Tears belong to sadness and despondency. To that point, I was still too astonished by the circumstances of my predicament to feel either of those things. My howls were indignant, not agonized, my screams a wail to the gods beyond myself for relief. I knew these bastards about me had nothing to do with my plight. I was the victim of some grotesque twist of the natural order.
I thought those things while I still had a mind to think. But foolishly I opened my eyes for just seconds. Seeing the staring satisfied faces looking at my punishment with glee, many begging for my death, many writhing in the juices of their sadistic pleasure…I felt their judgment move inside me, and that judgment turned to shame.
Each stroke of the lash thereafter was laced with woe, greeted with my cry for mercy. My tears flowed, my sobs increased. I looked into the eyes of the spectators with my imploring ones, hoping they’d give me their compassion.
Desperate to the end, I waited for just one kind soul to appear out of that throng. But even to the end, I saw nothing but an angry mob with sadistic, hollow eyes.
Oh, dear Lord, would this vision would ever end? Would I ever see my home again? I tucked my head to my chest and sobbed.