Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Episode 43: Better than sex

Lara was an extremely sensual woman. Not in the way that Andrew had been considering Silke to be sensual, in that front-cover-of-Cosmopolitan style of sensuality. Rather, Lara's sensuality was simply that she appreciated her senses, and since all of them were in perfect working order, she felt that it would be somehow ungrateful to the Goddess to ignore them. This is not to say that she over-indulged her senses, as real world Satanists are wont to do; for Lara, the seven deadly sins still seemed rather deadly. She just really enjoyed how things felt, smelled, looked, sounded and in the case of Granny's breakfast, tasted. She had never tasted anything so amazing in her life. And considering how her cigarette smoking had dulled her taste buds, that was really saying something.

If this was the magic she had come to learn, she was ready to sign up.

Granny and Eostre had discussed the matter over breakfast while Andrew and Silke continued to engage in a clumsy dance of socializing not merely cross-culturally, but cross-ontology. It's difficult enough to understand the differences in genders, let alone one from a world where chivalry and romance are not only not dead, but are likely living entities walking around somewhere nearby. The three older men had left the table to prepare for the coming journey. Her own crew of adventurers milled about the meadow, loading up packs, sharpening weapons, fixing arrow fletchings, and trading friendly banter.

Lara kept silent while the hare and the old woman spoke. She could tell that this was serious business, whatever she might hope about cosmically improving her baking skills. Finally Granny nodded at Eostre and turned to Lara.

"You're certainly right about the amount of power in the girl," Granny said, looking her over appraisingly. "If she can learn to harness it, that alone will be impressive enough. But if she learns how to draw upon the other energies around her..." She arched an eyebrow and looked at Lara knowingly. "There's no time to lose. Her training begins today. And whatever you might think about her safety Eostre, she needs to make the trip to the Pole, if for no other reason than to talk to Kris."

Eostre opened her mouth to object, but Granny cut in. "If my presence can't assure you of her safety, then nothing can. But if the Fates have indeed made her one of their own, then she is tied to the Tree like the boy is. And the fate of the Tree might well be dictated at the Pole."

Eostre nodded. "I think I knew all these things before coming here," she said. "But I also knew she needed a teacher."

Granny stood up from the table. "This one," she said, gesturing at Lara. "Needs only a push in the right direction. The rest should come naturally. For her, the issue won't be what to do with the power, it will be accepting that she has power. You can see in her face she doesn't really believe any of this is true."

"I think it would be more accurate to say I believe it's too good to be true," Lara said.

"So you have a tongue," Granny smiled. "And there's no difference in how disbelief affects us, regardless of its why. But a demonstration never hurts. Let's see what we can do about Eostre's broken tooth, shall we?"

She beckoned Lara to rise and come to the other side of the table. Lara hesistated a moment, then joined Granny standing beside the hare, her wrinkled hands on either side of Eostre's face. Eostre had pulled back her lips to bare her front teeth. The broken tooth was snapped off beneath the gum line in a jagged ridge.

"Do you think you can do anything about this?" Granny asked Lara.

"I wouldn't know where to start," Lara replied.

"That's a good answer," Granny replied. "The starting point is within you...and I can help you to look for it, but not with finding it." She released Eostre's face. "I want you to stand as I was, holding Eostre's face in your hands. For healing, contact is essential."

Lara took Granny's spot beside Eostre and placed her hands on the great hare's face.

"Now close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing," Granny said. "Feel the breath rushing into you...and filling you, and then releasing are breathing in everything surrounding you. You are breathing in the fabric of this are connected to it through your breathing. You are connected to the roots of the Tree in this world, and thus into all worlds..."

Granny's voice intoned on, but instead of hearing them, Lara was seeing the, not the words, the very things themselves. The words were only constructions, means of understanding the things, but as Granny spoke of the roots of the Tree, Lara could see those roots, the branches, the great trunk all in her mind's eye. She could feel the sap rising in the Tree, flowing through it like blood through her veins...and then came the realization that the sap was the blood flowing through her -- there was no barrier between them; there never had been, save for her lack of awareness.

Now that she was aware, she allowed the sap to flow through her, and out into her hands, and then into Eostre. A warm golden glow enveloped her vision, and her body tingled as though a honey liqueur were rushing through her. The warmth spread, and it was ecstasy; not like orgasm, but something greater, something higher than mere sexual pleasure. This was above sensuality. It was spiritual.

She could hear Granny's voice faintly, saying, "Good, good, now return your focus to the breathing...and when you're your eyes."

Deep breaths of fresh, sweet air were pulled deliberately, deliciously and slowly into her lungs, and then exhaled. Finally, Lara opened her eyes to see Eostre smiling at her, the broken tooth made whole...a new tooth, whiter than the one next to it.

"Thank you," Eostre said.

"You did well," Granny said, placing a hand on Lara's shoulder. "Better than I expected. It was simply a nudge that was needed. You'll learn fast."

"It was incredible," Lara said quietly. "I've never felt anything like it. Is it always so...?" Words failed her

"Let's put it this way," Granny replied with a mischievous grin. "If you've never faked it before, you will now."


Gotthammer said...

Sorry it's late again. I've had some big life events to attend to at work. Last week - 5 baptisms, and this week - 1 wedding. Time consuming enough to keep me from writing, that's for sure. Here's hoping this week's installment will be on time.

I'm increasingly frustrated that I didn't take more time back between Lara and Andrew discovering the nature of the Tree and the arrival of the Leprechauns. This storyline was never supposed to take this long...

My original plan, which will likely get worked into the revised edition for publication, was to have Andrew try to keep running the coffee shop with the damage from the Tree in place. Slowly, he and Lara would realize stranger things than just the Tree were happening in the shop. This would have culminated in the Leprechaun storyline, with more time to talk to the Fates, have pixies show up in the shop, etc.

That's the trouble with writing without any edits though...the next storylines are going to rock by way of comparison.

the philosopher one said...

Lara being trained to use her magic! Enter the 1980's training montage most likely with the musical accompanyment of Bon Jovi!

I think that your commitment to not break your writing rules is holding this story back. If you were to elaborate and edit this existing story line I think that it could be a terrific and large chunk of a full length novel.

Gotthammer said...

I agree. do I do that in such a way so as to not have the storyline strung all over the bloody place? How do I let regular readers know what's been edited and updated in past episodes?

Gotthammer said...

I suppose I could insert "scenes" like director's cuts into the places between updates and just link to that from the weekly update. Or if I do extensive editing on a past episode, (or series of episodes)then the update link would refer BACK to the episode that's been altered, and I'd put the inserted text in bold. That sound all right?

the philosopher one said...

I was thinking more about when you eventually publish it in hard copy. I view blogging, or even serialized writing in general, as notes for eventual writing. You have such interesting characters whom we only tasted tiny bits of; I think that this could explode into a huge novel if you expanded on the current themes that you've only opened the door to.

I like the way you use words, I always have, I can almost taste the food when you describe it. It is very much like the tantalizing Brian Jacques food that you made reference to. Your writing is very sensory though; your words evoke senses, feelings and memories, I just would like to see you make the reader go into sensory overload. Your underlying philosophical and spiritual ideas that are coming out in your narrative have a great deal of potential of becoming a secondary world in a Tolkienian scope. Right now I feel teased as a reader and want you to show more of this world you are creating.

the clean slate said...

this was such an awesome visual episode. the part where lara is healing eostre is awesome. it was so perfect.

i, too, am looking forward to the "extended version". you've got me hooked...

to the point where i almost obsessively check the site when you don't update it on schedule! jeez mike, priorities!

just kidding. peace out.

Gotthammer said...

Thanks for the insight Weez. Still, I've been contemplating how to expand the pre-leprechaun story now instead of later. Will save on revision/editing time come hardcopy. To both of you, thanks so much for the kudos. I am always second-guessing this project, thinking, "Shit! That was shit!" And then one of you says "best episode ever" and I'm like YAY.

I'm such a compliment whore.

Blarg said...

We should do an audio version of this. Book on know...

Gotthammer said...

Edited only one line for this installment. And for those who are still with me...we begin all new episodes again tomorrow! And the countdown to the end of the year begins!