As they went ‘Oh’ Cherine told Sam to stop dawdling and go for a shower. I turned my back to the curtain so that she can surprise me, but I must have been too obvious for she came in giggling.
“Well wife, what are you doing here?”
“I’ve come for you to wash me sir.”
“Good. Cleanliness next to godliness or some such saying.”
She giggled. “You’re hopeless! Cleanliness makes flowers sweeter is the correct answer.”
“You’ve got a flower! Can I see it please?”
Laughter kept us from getting too intense, but just looking at my tiny Sam, my sweet dictator and goddess, made the blood congregate at my shaft of adoration. In this religion, unlike others, it is important of course that the worshipper keeps himself stiff and does not wilt too early.
I raised her on to the stool and patted her dry. It is rarely that my Sam comes to me at this young an age (about eight) so I took my time, filling my heart with her tender beauty. I looked at her face and she had such a tender look of adoration it made me want to weep or at least fall to my knees before her.
As usual I tried to use humour to hide from my feelings. “When we get back to Earth I’ll get you a new washer.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your tap is leaking, it needs a new washer.”
She put her hands to my cheeks. “I don’t need a new washer, the one I’ve got usually works quite well and I’ve grown rather fond of him.”
I could feel she was not so fragile anymore, not as she’d been the previous night, though her younger age, I thought, was a hint she needs me to be extra tender. With the feelings that are drowning me, making my heart ache, it will not be other than what I too want. I raised her, to carry her to our bed and she put her arms around my neck. I felt her breath on my neck. She giggled as she felt me and pulling her away I kissed her lips softly and walked into the bedroom. The other girls had washed themselves which tends to be more efficient time-wise and were waiting for us. Sam felt them and she shivered.
“Our Samantha just acquired two new daughters without our participation. I think we should do something about that, even if it is after the event. Anybody want to help?”
I placed her on the bed, expecting them to be all over her, but they all sat there, looking from her to me and back to her.
*Get on with it you silly washer, we can’t wait all night for you. Can’t you feel it is you she wants right now?*
I sat on the bed and passed my hands above her body, like a fake psychic, saying, “Let’s see what part of her wants to be loved.” I bent over and licked the underside of her big toe. She jerked and I grinned. “I guessed right, I suppose that means every itsy-bitsy part of you needs to be loved. This is going to be fun!”
After playing with her toes I pulled away and turning her over began to massage her back. I took my time, first helping her relax and then stoking the fires again until she was literally quivering like a violin humming in response to music.
Afterwards, Sam immediately curled up against me, happy with my happiness. Gently I stroked her, enjoying the feel of her within my arms. It was not long before we reacted to each other again and turning I placed her on the sheets. I needed to look, feel, smell and taste my love. Primitive needs for enjoying something so celestially beautiful! I yearned to make this tender loving of her, my worship of all that is physical of her and yet almost belonging to an impossible dream that lasts forever. Our bodies do not listen to our hearts and blood pulsed, chemicals were released that made our needs more earthy and sharply defined. Now the girls lightly touched us, their fingers and lips like butterfly wings teasing forth sensation after sensation.
I stared at her tiny perfection and was held in thrall for a time. I looked into her eyes and told her breathlessly, “God but you’re so beautiful!” She can feel the ecstasy her beauty awakes in me and as it reaches into those parts of her mind that have so recently suffered, we sense she is made whole again. The trembling passion in both of us were almost as nothing compared to my joy at feeling my baby whole again and for the first time I wept from joy during lovemaking.
The night was filled with impressions of love and girl after girl reaching her own heavenly bliss and Sam was kept part of it till early morning. As Goldi had guessed, Sam was made to sweetly pay for the love in our hearts.
You really are one degenerate son of a bitch! We do not write of our loving for your pleasure Arthur, and I find your remark offensive. Okay, I admit, I was trying to find a creative way to explain my feelings, but I’m no writer.
Everyone is - you know by now every time you start chatting to any of us we all come to watch. What do you want?
Learnt!? What are you talking about? All I learnt is how terrible pain can be and I don’t need that kind of lesson.
Cherine began to giggle and when we saw the picture in her mind we soon joined her. She’d decided Arthur might make a good couple with Mama Jo. The picture is of a short bald white man being held tightly on the ample lap of a huge black woman and they sit with looks of adoration at each other as they exchange cryptic remarks.
I’m still fuming about his commenting on our lovemaking. However, I think Arthur made the point he wanted to. He obviously prefers Sam’s style of writing, so we will return to reading the thoughts of a little girl who talks about herself all the time.
<<Comment: Shiyra does not strictly belong here, but thought you might be curious - do you like her cat eyes? As you see she got Robbie to change her body age to about sixteen.>>
Gosh! That is an ugly picture of Shiyra you used, nothing as lovely as she is - can’t you find anything better? Didn’t you notice she has dark hair? At least you gave Goldi lavender eyes - I guess you cannot find a girl with golden hair .
You may have thought Robert’s description of last night strange, but Robert was not amused when he found out Cherine had shared, sending our emoting and physical sensations to Shiyra.
“Did my sleeping in the same house as you make me feel you last night?”
He glowered, his eyes on Cherine, as he replied, “No, you have Cherine to thank for that, she was manipulating you.”
She frowned a moment, but then gave Cherine a tentative smile. “You have angered him, he did not know?”
“Whether I’m angry or not with Cherine is our business Shiyra, what I need to know is how it affected you.”
I saw Cherine give her a wink when Shiyra just as curtly replied, “Perhaps how I reacted is my business Robert?”
It was the first time, in a long time, we’ve seen him at a loss for words and his face turned a deep red. “I apologise Shiyra, I had no right to ask you. I was worried we might have upset you, or even angered you.”
“Apology accepted Robert. Cherine did not upset me in the sense you mean. It was interesting feeling what it is like for your species. I am curious though, is it the way of your species that those of the same sex pleasure each other? At times I thought Sam was going to die from too much happiness.”
It was my turn to blush and then I saw all of us were blushing. Shiyra noticed and was curious. “What does the change of colour signify?”
“Embarrassment. Shiyra, thank you, it is not often I see my loves looking so pretty.” He really should not do that; Shiyra took him seriously.
Annavi was eager to change the subject so she jumped the gun and asked, “Are you going to tell her Robbie?”
“Why not? Shiyra, we have to finish the telling, but afterwards we are returning to the time some of your people still lived in bodies. I’ll need you to help give me an idea how long ago you left your bodies. I presume you know where your planets were?”
It did not take her too long to find the craziest thoughts constricting her breathing so that she asked almost breathlessly, “What are you planning?”
He told her. “What I am doing is for both you and Dark Cloud. It might help if she sees what your people were like, why you allowed one man to lead you into taking such a barbaric action and the effect it had on your people."
Aganthi said, “I don’t think it will help Roberto, she will see them through her own eyes. If she is not willing to understand, she will not see any redeeming emotions, only confirmation of the evil they did and her hate will grow stronger.”
“That is true.” Dommi said, agreeing with Aganthi. “If she does not want to see, she will not.”
“Perhaps, we are not going there for that only. We need to see them, make our own decisions about them. Girls, we are not talking about one or two planets. From what Shiyra has told us they covered many solar systems and were a number of species. Have any of you thought of how massive a job it will be?”
That made me curious. “Shiyra, the souls you are made up of, are they all from one species?”
“We no longer notice which species a soul comes from Sam. Most of us have lived as different species, sometimes repeating a life on a planet, but often changing to another species. Even in the Ii we tend to gather in groups that have a special liking for each other, not according to species. In many cases vestiges of family groups have survived.”
“These groups, they are in a constant flux, changing with time?”
“Not that often Robert. When you know yourself from the beginning of your time to the end, you already know all those you loved or will love.”
Cherine exclaimed, “That must be terrible! I have a daughter growing within me and day by day I am discovering her, my love for her growing. She feels like a miracle to me, how terrible to know her, not to discover the magic of loving her.”
“I do not recall what it was like when we had bodies Cherine, we do not dwell on that part of our existence as it brings, with the memories, too much pain. Perhaps it is also wonderful to know all the time of love for your daughter to come?”
While we waited for evening to do our storytelling we spent the day with Shiyra, asking her questions about her people. As she talked, memories returned to her and she described for us different species. What was more interesting to us was learning how the species differed from each other in their thinking, instincts and customs, and yet they were able to find common ground so that they lived and shared, strengthening each other.
To me, just that will be worth bringing them back for, we can learn so much from them, giving us a better chance of surviving and binding all species to us as one family - sorry, I should have said, ‘to bind ourselves to all species’; see? I’m already learning. Seeing where they went wrong will also prove to be valuable, I’m certain.
Shiyra has obviously succeeded to some degree in melding her slivers into one soul and mind and it seems she has been influenced by the body she is in, for we are starting to feel a sweetness in her that suggests she is growing stronger, her mind fusing. Her feelings of guilt and self-hate are perhaps her greatest handicap for now, but we are determined to help her see beyond the past and into a future where they can earn the forgiveness they need as a group of species.
I am amazed that though not all the species they are made up of took part in the attack, they all share the guilt as one, no one species blaming another for their predicament - could it be that it is Shiyra who sees it that way, that in reality there was some finger-pointing? Unless they were as Cherinians, what she shares with us does not seem possible…it feels unreal! I guess it is how our Normals will feel about us when they find out about our existence.
The storytelling was painful for all of us, even those born afterwards. Seeing Robbie suffer through his lessons again, his torture re-lived, it was shattering. Having to live through his suffering on the penal world almost directly afterwards, all in the same night (for us) was heart breaking. I must admit that the pain the girls send to their audience is nowhere as powerful as the reality was, despite Goldi, for the girls were muting it, but those beautiful moments when Robbie declared our friends to be family; the new loves and the weddings were a balm that sweetened our hearts again.
They made our experimentations, using tails for sex, funny, while also showing how they affected us. A minor clarification is due as I deliberately did not explain so as to intrigue Arthur. I expected him to comment, but it seems he will not and has accepted it as if it makes no difference. When the girls show scenes from our sexual activities, they do broadcast most of the emotions tied to the visual images of the love and the passion, but the images are edited.
What is seen is more a vague representation, as if through heavy mist, than the actual scenes - none of us would have been comfortable otherwise (never mind that Robert is very possessive/prudish and hates the idea of anyone seeing our bodies in detail). What is shown more clearly are the ages/sizes so that it is easy for all to know (and be shocked the first times). We felt the keen interest as Robbie talked with his family of his dreams and fears for the future. The telling ended with the freeing of Emmie.
As Dark Cloud walked away she was emoting a great anger and we wondered at it. Since she was not likely to explain, we made a mental note of it and turned our attention to Shiyra. She came to the taverna and I showed her I’d kept a seat for her at our table. She sat down and stared at Robbie without speaking.
“What have I done now?”
“You’re staring at me as if I’ve done something wrong.”
“I apologise, I was deep in my thoughts. This is the second time I’ve watched the storytelling and I find it different. Why is that?”
“It is different every time Shiyra. The girls use emotions to project the story and they feel different every time. This time they are also trying to slant the story in a way they hope will open the minds of yourself and Dark Cloud.” He smiled at her. “You could say this telling is for an audience of two.”
“That explains why the others are so affected, they have not seen the story this way before?”
“Correct. Having Goldi help them, changed it also.”
She had a broody look to her. “You are moving too fast Robert. I need time to think between the lessons.”
As usual he answered honestly, not interested in what he should say to be polite. “Shiyra, we have to. We are not trying to teach you anything, we are trying to bombard you with sensations and emotions so as to awaken your own. That cannot be done slowly, leisurely. You’ve had a long time to teach yourself to shut off your feelings so we have to assault the walls you built and blast them to dust.”
“You make us sound so violent Robert. What if she is right, if she is not used to emotions we could end up causing damage.” Cherine then mindspoke, *We don’t want her to seek refuge in insanity Robert.*
“Shiyra, how about a few days on your own somewhere out there. We have a spot by the river which is beautiful and you can walk all day without seeing another human. There is a waterfall Sam loves - she discovered a hiding hole there. The pool is cool and refreshing if you want to swim. Do you know how to swim?”
“To float on water.” Wendy added.
“I do not. It sounds like a good place to be alone and think.”
I put my arm around her shoulders. “Shiyra, don’t just think. Try to remember how to feel. It hurts in the beginning, but you will be glad afterwards. At any time you feel you need me or any one of us, even if it is just to talk to or to sit quietly with our arms around you, call out a name and we’ll come. Sometimes it helps to have someone who loves you at your side, even if they can’t help with what is going on inside you.”
Freddie kept a permanent link open for us to watch her. I was worried, even with Freddie watching over her, that she may come to some harm, since she is only a normal girl. She can even fall or cut herself. She did give us a few anxious moments and laughs when she decided to try swimming and choked as she swallowed water. I’ll teach her later. (I don’t think Robbie was really laughing; I bet he was too busy getting a good look at her body).
On the third day Freddie warned us Dark Cloud is moving in the direction of Shiyra.
“Let her. It will be interesting to see what she does.”
Dommi stood over him. “Don’t you dare let them meet without you being there.”
“They’re just two normal girls Dommi, what can happen?” He looked at her for a moment. “Right, I better go.”
Dark Cloud had not expected to find Shiyra and she quickly stepped back, peering at her from behind a tree. She looked around until she was certain there was no one else close by and finding a thick broken branch she walked to within a couple of metres of Shiyra before she was seen.
“You are of the ….. I’m glad you found us, we need to talk.”
Dark Cloud swung the branch and it knocked Shiyra over with an audible smack. She looked in surprise and with pain at her arm that was bleeding and then back up at Dark Cloud. “You are going to kill me? That is good. We owe it to you.”
The rage cleared. “You want me to kill the body they made for you so as to escape.” Her eyes were cold and hard. She stood over her without moving and Shiyra waited. “I know what can kill your body and what won’t. You are going to wish I had.” She swung with all her strength and the wood hit Shiyra’s shin. Shiyra screamed from the sudden pain as she collapsed to the ground and we looked for a sign of pleasure in Dark Cloud’s eyes, but there was nothing, just a cold calculating look. We expected Robbie to interfere, but he did not.
I think if Dark Cloud had swung the piece of wood in a fury without stop we would have found it easier to bear. Instead she waited between blows, watching the result of her last blow and calculating where to hit her next. By now Shiyra was bleeding and we thought she might have a broken bone in her arm and yet Robbie did not appear. Shiyra was weeping, the pain a shock to her.
She was not the only one crying, so were we. We were mostly crying because we were shocked by this display of vicious violence, none of us born-Cherinians had believed it is possible, convincing ourselves that what we see in movies is not real, that they are exaggerating. Dommi muttered and made to jump. She stood in shock and then others also tried, but they could not. They were furious.
Cherine spoke softly, “What was it you said about Dark Cloud? Something about being squeamish? Even if he lets me jump I will not, I trust him. How can I do otherwise when I know what this is costing him?”
After a blow across the face, her nose gushing blood and Shiyra screaming and sobbing from the pain, Robbie appeared. He was to the one side and did not move to stop Dark Cloud.
“She is like you, not used to her body. You hit her again and her body will go into shock and she’ll die. I won’t bring her back Dark Cloud, I’ll let her return to her mother soul.” She turned to him in a furious shock. “What? You thought she is the Ii or a substantial part of it? Why should I bring them all here? I did the same with her as I did with you.”
She screamed and ran at him swinging wildly and hit him. He stood without moving and let her carry on until she was exhausted.
“You’ve had a small measure of vengeance today Dark Cloud. Take a walk now, I have a body in pain to repair. I think you did Shiyra a favour and I thank you on her behalf, she was agonising over finding a way to help you to pay her back for what her people did to you. You do realise the souls within her were just ordinary people, not those who sent the bombs to you?”
He carefully raised Shiyra and resting her head against his chest he jumped home. When Robbie makes comments, as he did about the souls in Shiyra, he knows Dark Cloud will neither care nor really listen, but he believes that by repeatedly mentioning facts, her mind is storing the information and they are bound to have an effect on her.
Robbie will not allow any of our healers to help her. He sent his healer with strict instructions. Nothing that is causing her pain but is not life threatening is to be repaired. He left Goldi with her in the bedroom and came out to us. He stared at those who were crying without pretending he does not understand, and his shoulders slumped.
“We are not to take away her pain or heal her until she asks us to.”
“But why!?” Irene begged.
He turned away from us, in a sudden fury. “You think it is for her my heart weeps? She wanted it! It is for my loves I weep. It is not fair you have to go through this just because she needs it. Cherine, block our baby.” He jumped to the shelf near the top of the dome where he goes to for solitude while the girls looked at each other helplessly and in shock.
Cherine was the first to say it. “He is right!” Tears coursed down her cheeks. “I’m so scared, the two of them are destroying us.”
Dommi spoke forcefully. “No Cherine, they will not. Do you recall how Roberto agonised over having to allow you to make mistakes and pay for them so that you can mature? Have we not had to bear that for each of our children? We will bear it for these two. You speak of them as being elderly entities, they are not. Both of them are like small children in their ways of thinking. We must force them to grow up or else they will cause much pain and this mutual hatred will spread.” As always, Cherine found comfort in Dommi’s words.
Did Robbie know it will happen? I have a suspicion he did and when we dance or visit each others minds I’ll know. While he sat on his shelf and we sat silently wishing we can stop the pain, Goldi disobeyed Robbie and sent her healer. She was clever enough to tell it to take her pain away gradually, so it was a while before we realised what she had done. We waited for Robbie nervously, but he did not react.
Latreia said in a scared voice, “I think she’s in trouble.”
Dommi shrugged. “Robert tells us what he wants or why he does. If any of us decide differently, he will not be angry Latreia. From the youngest to Cherine, we each have the right to act according to our conscience. Do not do it lightly love, to do so will show disrespect.”
After some time Goldi came out, no longer able to bear her anxiety, preferring to be told off now. Soon as she left the room, Robbie jumped, grabbed Shiyra and returned to the shelf. Since he left his mind open we all shared with him.
“Goldi has begun the process, do you want me to heal you?” He saw the answer in her eyes and sent his healer to her. She was shocked to feel the remaining pain subside and disappear within seconds. Wounds closed and bones re-knit.
“You are not afraid of heights? Come sit with me.” He hung his legs over the edge and when she emulated him, he put his arm around her shoulders. “I used to be terrified of heights. The girls will show you, oh, you’ve seen it, the part where I forced myself to climb a cliff to get over my phobia. It only made matters worse for me.” He laughed. “Do you know how I got over it? I used my healer and lots of determination. After all, it was stupid. I jump across the endless gulf between worlds and realities, I go to the void, but soon as I was more than five metres above the surface of a planet I quaked with fear.”
She looked up at his face, waiting for him to continue and then seeing he was not going to speak just yet, she looked down at our world.
“If this had been natural I would have said the god who made it is an artist.”
He chuckled. “Not a god Shiyra, just an excited child who found himself with gifts he did not deserve or know the limits of, and whose dreams are often far too grandiose. I’m glad you see the artist in me. That was an exciting time. Since creating this, all I seem to be doing is meddling in the lives of others.”
“You were born without your gifts, just an ordinary person?”
“You are thinking of the pain? Even after the gifts came with my Cherine, I still had occasion to experience some…I’ve come to the conclusion that pain per se is not always bad. However, the cause or reason for our submitting to it can be bad.”
She looked into the distance, a Sparkler or cloud of them dancing across her vision now and then and she had a haunted look to her. Robbie looked away, not wanting to invade her privacy.
Almost in a whisper, but an angry whisper, she said, “She got no pleasure out of hurting me!”
“You wanted her to?”
“At least some satisfaction!”
He nodded. “I’ve been thinking about that.” He tightened his arm about her and she looked up. “I’m worried about her Shiyra, but it is you who is the problem right now. If you want to help heal Dark Cloud and her people, you have to heal yourself first. I suppose letting her hit you met some deep-rooted need in you, but I can tell you, it did not help her. The more ways she finds to hurt you, the worse she will become.”
“Robert, everything in the universe is balanced. We acted and now they need to react. They must have their vengeance to return the balance.”
He widened his eyes in surprise as he looked at her and his surprise was genuine, for his own beliefs are so different. “Who told you that Shiyra! What a terrible place your worlds must have been if that was your philosophy. I suppose that means you also subscribe to the concept that children must pay for the sins of their parents?”
“I do not understand the last concept. Robert, we are not talking of a normal harm done by one individual to another. We wiped out a whole species!”
His voice was tense and almost angry, deliberately leaking pain. “Damn it, then help me Shiyra! Open yourself to emotions. Learn to love at least one other person and you’ve taken the right step.”
She froze for a moment. Shyly, but with a smile to her voice she asked, “Just one?”
He nodded, still serious. Suddenly he gave her a grin. “Come, we better leave before you make me forget you’re an alien and I kiss you. I think you want to get me into trouble with my wives.” His words did not affect us since we can feel he had not really been tempted, he is playing a game, still trying to make her open herself.
Ordinx sounded vexed. “How can I answer you Robert? With you nothing is as we perceive is normal. If the leader of any nation wanted my advice, I am vain enough to think I am able to analyse the possibilities and chose the one that is also politically expedient. You need a psychologist to advise you.”
Robbie grinned. “Ah, now you are a political advisor? Ordinx,” his voice serious again, “I do not need anything but a Cherinian….”
“In that case why not ask Candy?”
“I was hoping for a little wisdom also, but I’ll take your advice. Candy baby?” He explained to her.
We’ve never seen Candy looking so serious, her sweet face screwed up in her effort to think it through, desperate not to disappoint Robbie.
“You know what I prefer Robbie? We bring back the children and we take Dark Cloud to them and leave her with them. She must look after them. I think they will teach her how to love.”
Robbie stared at her, looked at Ordinx and then roared with laughter. He grabbed her and as he took her in his arms his body rose and swirled in a mad spin of joy. Peals of her childish laughter were heard, but it was her heart that moved us all to tears. She realised she’d done far better than Robbie expected of her and she was bursting with joy.
“Does anybody object or have a better idea?” As if anyone was likely to say anything. How could we even think of stealing her moment of glory?
*Sam, speak, I feel it and the others will soon.*
*It can boomerang on us Robert.*
*We have to do something Sam. Sometimes it is worse doing nothing than doing the wrong thing. You do not believe she will love the children?*
*I fear she will and turn into a warrior for them, determined to exterminate all who can be a risk to them. That includes us Robert.*
*A long chance, I’ll take it. I still like Candy’s idea best.*
Chapter One Hundred and Sixty Two
Robbie asked that no one approach the screen where Dark Cloud stood watching. She was obviously fascinated by the solar systems appearing and disappearing so quickly.
We first returned to the reality of Shiyra’s ‘mother’ soul, Robbie released the stasis and allowed a part of her to enter and show them all that has occurred and ask for clear directions to the solar systems occupied by Dark Cloud’s people. When the soul part from Shiyra returned, we saw Shiyra is worried.
“Robert, it is not a trick, they really don’t know where we are so they can’t help us find even our own planets. They also say that over the millions of years all the systems have drifted and the stellar configurations they saw in my mind have all changed.”
“If we first return in time, will they recognise their whereabouts?”
“I don’t know.”
“Shiyra, do you believe me by now if I give you my word on something?”
She stared into his eyes and he blushed. “Yes Robert, I will.”
“Ask that the soul of your greatest astronomer travel with us. One soul Shiyra and he or she will have a separate body. I think that with the assistance of the Sparklers and the other scientists here, we have a chance. I promise to return him afterwards.”
It was a male and Solomon gave him a body and appearance stolen from our minds I suspect. He was similar to Solomon in some ways; tall, thin and wise-looking. He has a long beard and looks more like a wizard, all he needs is a magic staff.
Robbie saw what was in our minds and was tickled by the idea. He cut a dry piece of wood, carved a strange knob at the end of it and, as the void, bound the staff with energy. Robbie asked the astronomer to hold it in his hands while Robbie adjusts the energy for it to bind with him and on one mental command to respond.
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
4th December, 2019
- posted: 4th December, 2019
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