Category Archives: Love

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #73

No, this will not happen.  I have a job to do.  My training and my enhancements were all gifts to me exactly for this moment.  XBA9 was tortured to death so I would have this opportunity.  This is one of those classic turning points in history when one person, one “hero” can make the difference and everything changes, forever.
End blog post #72
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Begin blog post #73

Chapter 32 – The Fight of the Beasts – Part One

The evening before the fight gives us a clear sky with glowing red clouds in a fiery sunset.  The setting sun sends off rays all the way to the meridian above the keep.  It is beautiful.  I ask my handlers if I can just stand for a while and watch the patterns in the sky, alone.  To my surprise they acquiesce to my request and two of them stand almost respectfully at some distance behind me, also staring into the beauty spread so lavishly above us.  Suddenly they both approach me and hold my arms gently.  One of them puts his hand under my chin as I instinctively bow my head in submission and makes me look into his face.  He pulls me slowly to himself and kisses me, as he’s undoubtedly seen women do with each other many times. 

This too is another of those massive breakthroughs. 

The other looks perplexed by his partner’s move, then tries it also.  I kiss him back warmly and gently.  I move my hand to his penis and it is fully erect, hard in my hand.  I fondle him.  He understands now at least one of the uses of kissing.  To him it had always been nothing more than some kind of stupid display of female emotion and weakness. 

Both of them take me around the back of the weapons cases and make love to me.  Yes, they actually make love.  They allow me to play them and arouse them fully before they come.  It is pleasant; it is good; it is like giving the finger to that terrible Force that my “high” sense keeps telling me uses the artificial world of Albaral to poison the men’s minds against women on this world.  No it’s even better than that.  It’s an awakening for the three of us. A bonding that can never be reversed.

They walk me back slowly to the cages.  Tiki is standing, a bit worried I think, maybe jealous.  I take her in my arms and for a long time after the gate has closed and the handlers have walked away we hold and caress each other.  I see many faces turned to me, to us.  On those faces closest to me I see smiles – smiles!  I smile back at them then Tiki and I slip down together into the straw and soon fall asleep.  Another dreamless, innocent sleep that ends with the morning call.  I awaken from a great distance and immediately realize what day this is.

It has been said that ‘only the dead do not know fear’ but if that is true then I must surely be dead.  I do not feel fear.  I feel as a bride on her wedding day.  This is when it comes together for me. 

So many paths, so many twists, turns, dead ends.  But this path has been the most trying.  For years I struggled on it and the thorns, thistles, broken branches and fallen trees kept blocking my advance, tripping me, crushing my bones and making me bleed.  For some days now I’ve stopped struggling and now the path is clear. 

Ahead, in a clear bright light I see one single set of stairs and two altars.  The one on the left is covered with a pure white linen cloth on which the sacrificial victim must lie to be offered in death to the god.  Beside it stands the high priest with the sacrificial knife to cut the victim’s heart out.  Yes, I remember that part.

On the other is a wonderful set of deadly blades and a knight with a golden sword half drawn waiting to knight me and hand me the blades. 

It’s a simple, age-old choice. 

One, I believe and I trust the High Priest to know better than I ever could.  In his hands I die a sacrifice to the God as I have been in the habit of doing over and over. 

Two, I walk to the Knight, kneel, accept the knighthood proffered.  I take the weapons, walk past the altar into the room where the demon in black metal armour awaits my entrance.  He is ready to fight me, dishonour me, kill and devour me along with all I have ever loved and cared for, living or dead.

That is the choice I have been moving towards since I evolved into ISSA consciousness.  This choice determines whether I graduate, or remain in obedient subservience and servitude to a Higher Power.

I choose the weapons.  I go to meet Warmo.  It is time.

End blog post #73

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #69

Tiki brushes my back with a free hand as she walks by, still sulking from thinking of herself as condemned to gorok work.  I smile, but not so she can see.  The rain begins to pelt down but warm now in this world’s summer season.  I want to stand in it and dance just as total darkness falls in the courtyard.  That would be a sight indeed.  The oldest crone in the compound dancing wildly in the rain.  I know I could get away with it just this one time, but I cannot take the chance another woman would be punished for my actions.  They do have a sense of justice here, however twisted!  Somebody always has to pay or make up the difference.

End blog post #68

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Begin blog post #69

Chapter 30 – The Gift – Doing ‘Right by Wrong’ (Compromised Morality)

Tiki finds me in the dark as we crowd inside the stone vault where the cages are mounted. She hugs me quietly and unerringly leads us to our cage. I can smell the fresh straw that she helped put in earlier in the day. I can immediately tell she managed to put extra layers in our section. It feels good to lay in it full length, let her lay on top of me as the young ones like to do and feel her warmth and slow movements. Dangerously arousing.

Tiki, how you find me so quick in the dark?”

I follow scent of you. I know it you. My nose, it knows.” She laughs low to hear herself say something funny. I laugh also.

Thank you for the fresh straw, Tiki. You are very good, very strong worker. Now I know. Now I ask for you to train as fighter. Soon, no more gorok work for Tiki.” We both laugh as she throws herself into me and wraps her short arms around my skinny, bony torso.

You say ‘thank you’ to me? To woman? Why it feel so good to hear, huh?” and before I can think of an answer she continues breathlessly, “I train for fighter now? Is true?”

Yes is true. You begin training now. Hard, tough training. You swear you be best fighter, best ever fighter, Tiki? Better than me?”

I have awakened a deeper part of her. She weighs my words carefully.

Tiki cannot say she better than you. Only when Tiki dying from blows in arena, when old, then she know if better. I say I swear to be best fighter. Then I work and I do my promise to you.”

Listen Tiki. I teach you new words. You swear means you make ‘a vow’.”

“… a vow.”

Yes. Now say this: I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti.”

I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti.”

Tiki, good words be power words. Speak new words and always you find new power in them. Power of expression. Expression is word that means how you talk, how you speak to me, how you communicate. Strong words – you know deep meaning, they make people listen. Even challenger listen, even enemy must listen to power word.”

I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti. I learn expre-shon to communicate.” She twists her lips with the sounds. She laughs quietly.

One small step for me, one giant step for the women of Malefactus, no, I must learn to use my new name for this world: T’Sing Tallala – Land of Freedom and Hope.

That is the happy part of our life here. I don’t carry the burden of ‘inloveness’ as I did with Deirdre, so have much more freedom to express myself and my compassionate heart constriction to suffering is easier to bear as it is now properly spread over the entire compound, to include all the women. In time I expect to be able to ‘push’ my compassion to include the planet and all the people on it, men, women, children. For now, that is not possible.

The thunder rumbles outside and lightning still flashes and lights the dark stones in our vault. It gives me a lightness of heart I enjoy. From somewhere an opening allows a draft to blow over us, giving us goose pimples. We bury deeper in the straw and giggle.

It is time to continue another line of teaching.

Tiki, do you remember the other day when we spoke of love and I said I would teach you of a love that does not cause pain or hurt?”

Huhmmm…” She had placed her hand under my right armpit and is twirling the hair growing profusely there. Long ago I learned that when any of these young ones share space with me, my body belongs to them. It is the body of the mother they never had. They can use it or explore it as they wish. There is so much freedom in just allowing the flesh to move with the surface feelings. I enjoy her physical company. Her silent way of seeking comfort and exploring all the feelings her body can give her by contact with mine.

It called selfless love Tiki. It means you love to make other feel good, not you. Always you love for other, not for you.”

I not Cholradil. I love if choose to love. If I not like, I not love. How can I be best fighter if love in my heart? It would hurt, make no sense.”

I do not mean as a Cholradil. What they have be not love. Is called natural empathy. Is feeling. True love not feeling. As you say, you choose to love. But true love choose to love all people same. No one special in heart. All same.”

Stupid Anti. You love Warmo? What happen if you do? He live, he go back to torture us. So, how you love us if no kill him. How you love him if kill him?”

Tiki, you be sharp, girl. You win this round hands down.” She taps my arm to indicate she doesn’t understand me. “Is OK. This what I mean. I think about what you say. Is true what you say. I not know how I love Warmo, even if possible. Have to kill Warmo? Yes, have to. Have to hurt him very, very bad, long time before I kill. Hurt him much and men watching must see hurt. Maybe even feel hurt I give Warmo. Have to give him what he give us to teach him how we feel.”

Yes indeed, if I would not become a useless sacrificial victim to Warmo I must remain of a divided personality. I must exist this portion of my time within a compromised morality context. I must continue to do ‘right by wrong.’ Some choices are not in our hands, that is, we make certain choices not by our nature or personal code of conduct but of necessity when the ‘greater good’ is at stake. And what is the ‘greater good’ that forces me to compromise my own nature?

I have resolved this moral question in my mind thus. If I perform an evil act against another to prevent a greater evil, that is acceptable providing such an act, if successful, does not in any way benefit me personally. Ideally such an act would bring about the desired effect while I, like the Phoenix, would be sacrificed in its fiery wake. It is important to understand this when faced with all such moral dilemmas. If I survive the ‘doing right by wrong’ act, I must atone for my part in it. If it benefits me, I must divest myself entirely of any and all such gain.

Having reminded myself of this process in my mind, I continue explaining these difficult concepts.

End blog post #69

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #68

I know you are all busy, and many may not have noticed even, but for those who have been waiting for more of the Manifesto, finally and finally… with one computer back on line, here’s the next instalment. Enjoy!

As I explain to them the rudiments of worship and its real purpose which at its core is always self-empowerment, I ask myself how much of what I teach I believe.  But then, if you already know something to be true and real, you don’t have to believe in it.   You never have to fear that you could be wrong about such a teaching.  I have the experience of it and experience is the greatest of all teachers.

End blog post #67
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Begin blog post #68

I know in my heart there are high-level entities who care about such as these oppressed people and will help them when they die if the connections have been made.  I’ve been there too, a helpless mendicant, lost and afraid.  I was taken care of then and that changed me forever.

I know we can “fly” without a body, go wherever our state of mind allows, I’ve done it.  I remember Altaria now without even trancing.  I remember how I manifested here in my pre-chosen form.  It’s in the remembering that one can choose the direction of one’s empowerment.

As for the prayer, well I know it is a communal exercise that brings the powerless together and in it they find a power they otherwise cannot have.  So it is good.  I am not lying and I am not making false promises or giving them false hope.  There is an immediate mutual benefit in this sharing of belief: they will be drawn closer to one-another and not see themselves so much as competitors.

The lesson is over for today and I motion to them to change places and resume exercising and practising the moves.  There is a new spring in their step which I immediately notice.  Is it the work of the Teaching?  Well, hope does powerful things, especially to people who have absolutely nothing and face death every day of their short lives; people who know with certainty they will die young and in violence.  People who know they will lose their friends and lovers to that self-same violence and, at least until now, know they are powerless to prevent it.

I move fast, push them hard to test them and release the tension I’ve created with such bold ideas.  They seem to enjoy the challenge and respond in kind.  I do not wish to hurt any of them and I parry their thrusts with blurring motions that remind me of Deirdre’s performance.  At the thought of her I feel a sudden pang of the heart.  I hold it and explore it.

‘Yes Deirdre, I remember you and I still love the memory of you.  But I know now that if you came back here I would not “fall in love” with you, nor would I take our relationship back to where it was.  I would set you free and you would have to set me free.  I think that you know this by now, wherever you are.  I thank you for the joy you gave me, but mostly for what you taught me.  I grew up with you in my life.  I became a better person because I’ve known you.  May you have the same effect on everyone you meet and may you know the bliss you were made to live in.  I release you – I release us from our bond of love.  Be forever free.’

As the training session ends for the day, the weather changes.  Dark clouds roll in and we hear distant thunder.  The air is charged with electricity, thick with ozone.  There is a flash and a discharge, followed by a deafening crash of thunder.  Lightning strikes one of the tallest eastern towers and a stone is dislodged, tumbling down the wall and through a roof.  We hear the distant yells of men.

The women look up and exchange startled glances.  I know what they are thinking, hoping.  They imagine it’s the work of their goddess beginning the destruction of the keep to set them free.  If they were allowed to cheer, what a din there would be!  I feel vindicated, somehow.  That was a timely portent.  A coincidence?  If I have learned anything from my endless wanderings it’s that there are no coincidences.  “Who” was behind that lightning bolt?

Let us just say it is the power of ‘the Teaching.’

We go to the water troughs, wash using the coarse home-made soap that feels more like the surface of a sharpening stone than a bar of soar, to scour the dust, sand and grime from ourselves.  I use the soapy water to wash my hair, now in need of cutting again.  It is matted and stiff.  As usual, we sit at the long, dark tables and wait for our evening meal.  Young trainees bring the food bowls and we eat hungrily.

Tiki brushes my back with a free hand as she walks by, still sulking from thinking of herself as condemned to gorok work.  I smile, but not so she can see.  The rain begins to pelt down but warm now in this world’s summer season.  I want to stand in it and dance just as total darkness falls in the courtyard.  That would be a sight indeed.  The oldest crone in the compound dancing wildly in the rain.  I know I could get away with it just this one time, but I cannot take the chance another woman would be punished for my actions.  They do have a sense of justice here, however twisted!  Somebody always has to pay or make up the difference.

End blog post #68
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Antierra Manifesto – blog post #66

I don’t have to explain the Inquisition or Warmo to her. She gets as much as I could tell her from her contacts which she has naturally developed as she works the kitchens, the yard and the cages. By now everybody knows her and she has had many offers to leave me and share younger flesh in other cages. She could do it, if she wanted it badly enough. Yes, she belongs to me, in a sense, but she could “trade” herself for another, say an older trainee who wanted to ingratiate herself to me for special training. This old human trading for advantage, for favours, is found everywhere except in the most advanced and evolved worlds touching the top edge of ISSA consciousness. No matter where I’ve encountered this process, I’ve always found it particularly repugnant.

End blog post #65
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Begin blog post #66

To this moment Tiki chooses to remain in my care. Undoubtedly there are many advantages for her in this choice, not the least of which is added protection. Especially now. I could literally commit a crime and I would not be molested by the men – at least not until after the fight. Tiki is no fool. Plus I think she likes me, even loves me, in her own way. We speak of the fight.

Tiki afraid for me?” I ask her.

Ah yes. Little bit afraid. That man is monster. Bad man. He hurt you, I hate him. If he kill you, when I become fighter, I kill him. Better for him you kill him, yes. Better.” So much fire in her low throaty voice; so much strength. It is I who feels strengthened by her devotion.

I kill him, Tiki. I have to, not for me, for all of us. I have to make my weapon talk to him and tell him he be very wrong about women. I show him power of woman. Then you know I true. You know I can give that power to Tiki, my full power, before I too must die in arena. You understand?”

Those round pools of luminescent black, the sad eyes of the women of Malefactus, bore into mine. There is a trace of tears in them, unusual, for women fighters do not usually shed tears. “Yes.” She whispers and I feel her warm breath on my face as she exhales heavily. “I lose you soon. Always they kill old fighters. Like young ones better; like to look at us. Like to hurt us and make fun of clumsiness. I learn from you, Anti. I not be clumsy. I be old first time I fight and kill man.” She means she will be fully trained and experienced and will fight like an old professional fighter. She means she will dedicate her training life to being the best. Now it is coming from her. Now I can begin her training in earnest. Demonstrate her spirit and abilities to interest a powerful and rich owner who will keep her for the profits she will bring him. One who will provide her that little extra edge of protection every woman desperately longs for and needs here. That I must do before I ‘leave’ Malefactus.

During the hiatus before the main event I’m given much liberty and all the training time I desire. I have full access to the forge and I make sure I have all the possible weapons ready. I do not know what Warmo will choose. They say in his fighting days as a drook he was an adept at all of them plus he handled others we have never seen here in the compound. I know he is considered a criminal now but he has deep roots in this place. Connections. Plus much money is riding on this. This fight could be fixed, or a serious attempt could be made to fix it.

Could he, somehow, find a way to by-pass the rule of equal weapon and armour? Could he show up with a new type of weapon I’ve never seen, or trained on and be allowed to use it? I try to imagine what sort of hand to hand combat weapon he could design not in our arsenal. Perhaps a poisoned throwing knife hidden in a sleeve of his armour? That is the kind of trick I must expect. Tiny balls with poisoned spikes that can be thrown at bare flesh and do their work in minutes? Those razor sharp star weapons used by Ninja warriors on Old Earth? Does he know of those? I suspect he does.

Of course there is a rule against throwing sand or any other material into another’s face but in this fight everything will be reduced to technicalities. There will be lawyers on both sides arguing the fine points of their idiotic arena fighting laws for months, perhaps even years, if any infraction is committed, or deemed to have been committed. All I know is, I have to remain within the letter of the law if I hope to demonstrate our power on that day. For us to make any impression; to leave any kind of message that can be heard, we cannot resort to subterfuge or cheating, even if we could get away with it.

And I cannot delay it any longer. I must speed up my Teaching.

End blog post #66

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #64

Yes, many of the women are frightened by my words and the ideas they create in their minds.  I have to keep reminding them that they are going to be killed violently regardless of what they do. 

End blog post #63
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Begin blog post #64

“What have you got to lose?  Some of you here will be dead next week, see?  You are afraid of whips, of torture, of punishment, of being taken down into the inquisition’s dungeons, but what is the arena after all?  Isn’t it all the same? 

“Here’s a truly revolutionary idea for you.  What if all of us, all the women, all the girls, of T’Sing Tarleyn were truly strong and courageous and if we could all communicate telepathically – I had to explain my new terms very carefully to them – we could do this: we could, in one day, stop doing all that we are doing for the men who think they be our masters. 

“Imagine, you can imagine, I know, because you are afraid of what may happen, that takes imagination – so imagine what would happen to this World of Man. It would collapse, fall, because women supply everything here.  We do most of the work and we are the main source of the economy.”

I keep on throwing these thoughts at them, confusing them and angering them.  I can hear them discussing my words in hoarse, low tones at night in the cages.  Some pass questions across to me, thus all become a little bit enlightened by the simple expedient that they must carry the exchanges across the floors of our cages.  Some are excited at the possibilities, others warn of dire consequences.  Predictably the greatest argument against my teaching is that girls and women would be tortured horribly all over the planet.  They would all be killed for refusing orders from men.

“My come-back is simple if quite ineffective.  “But what are they doing to us now already?  Are they not killing us everywhere?  Are we not sex slaves, worker slaves, fighter slaves with no right to life?  Are they not raping our girls, our ‘daughters’ as if they had no feelings?  Hurting, torturing them all the time?  Ask all the young ones here, how many have not been gang-raped?  Beaten?  Have electrical shocks applied to their vaginas, nipples and lips just to hear them scream?

“Listen, don’t you know why men love to make you scream in pain?  A woman’s voice is a necessary part of a man’s life on any world.  But here they won’t let you speak openly.  And they don’t let you sing at all under pain of death.  These men are sick from not having your love, your gentle, naturally healing  touch and from not hearing your voices.  They hate you because of their laws, not because of you.  Every day you are all around them, naked and beautiful and desirable – and they cannot have you as nature intended.  They can only desire and when their urge is too strong to hold back, they violate their own taboos on sex and they rape you.  No love for them, ever.  It is not allowed.

“The only legal way they can hear you is by hurting you.  Understand this.  It’s not only the women who are slaves on this world.  The men are even more so than us.  They want to love us but their laws and social ways forbid them from doing so.  They want to hear us sing – we have such beautiful voices!  But they cannot, ever, hear us.  So they live in their own kind of hurt, of terrible and deep heart pain – just like us! They close themselves to what is natural and normal and they live malevolent, angry lives.  They too have forgotten what it was like before the black metal demons came.  Now they blame us for their pain and they hurt us trying to make themselves feel better.

“Now listen to me on this.  Do you think I be more courageous than all of you?  Yet I speak of these things to all and do not fear.  What if one of you was to tell the men what I am telling you?  Do you know what they would do to me?  And do you think I don’t know that?  I’ve already been down in the torture dungeons and hurt more than I ever was fighting the men.  Yet as you see, I am not afraid of them.  It’s not because I am stronger.  As my young friend here pointed out to me, they will kill me too and that soon I think.  They get tired of us old ones.  We become too tough and not so much fun.  They know we kill efficiently and not so much money is made on the bets against us.  So they will do something soon and I will die there, maybe in the next killing orgy.”

I can hear their intake of breath and the terrible silence that follows my mention of the orgy.  We never speak of that terror, never.  Yet again I broke one of their rules by showing them I was ready to face my death that way.  I have to show them I am more than just another strong fighter.  I have to give them hope before I die and when I do they must know that it is not the end of me.  I am thankful for my training in Altarian logic.  And many other things these poor people do not have a clue about yet.

To all of this, much more and repetitively, Tiki listens.  I can feel her tensing at times, and wanting to speak but even here in these dreadful compounds there is an order.  When the older women engage certain topics among themselves, the young stay quiet.  They are expected to listen but may never interrupt.  Those who do are quietly but viciously “punished” by the older ones in the training compounds.  When they are punished, they know why.  Thus the women discipline ‘their’ children even under these circumstances.  Of course of those we are given, we can discipline freely.  They are our slaves.

End blog post #64

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #59

“You woman now.  What you want be?  I not understand you.”

“I want be more than what I be, Tiki.  Better.  In good ways, not evil ways.  I tired of killing.  Tired of blood and screams.  Tired all over.  Old now Tiki, very, very old.  But cannot go yet, cannot leave, cannot die.  I first find me, better me.  Good woman me.  I first do something good for another person.  If you not understand, no matter.  You remember I say this and put my words in your head.  They grow there.  Ideas.  You say to me woman thinks is stupid.  Is not stupid Tiki.  I think always.  Think, think.  I watch men, learn.  Design new weapons, train in new way for women to fight so live longer; so you live longer.  I stay here, not die because I want help women be stronger, live longer.  Is nothing else for me.”  

[end blog post #58]
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[begin blog post #59]

“You do this for me, not you????”  She shakes her head from the novelty of the idea, that someone would deliberately sacrifice herself to help others when there is possibly an easier way out.  This is a thoroughly alien concept.  I must proceed carefully.

“You know love?”  I ask for a reaction.

“Love!” she snorts and looks at me.  “I know love.  Bad thing.  Men, they love me many times.  They love girls, hurt them, kill them.  They say it making love, it good for us.  They lie.  It no good.  Only with you it good.  Different love with you; nice, warm, good.  I like love with you.” 

I am thankful for the darkness and that she isn’t Cholradil because my tears are flowing freely and I cannot speak for some time.  I wipe my face with the back of my arm.  These little characters are so simple, remain so candid even through their nightmare lives.  It’s like living in a black and white cartoon world trying to hold the little creatures together and reshaping them with a pencil and an eraser.  Matter of fact; good or bad.  No shades in-between.   I want to drop into her space, hug her… fall in love with her… and give her my heart. 

Put a check on that right now, woman.  Remember she is one of millions, perhaps billions.  You cannot help her unless you help all of them with equal power and abandon.  Can you do that?

“Love with friend is good, yes.  But when friend gone, what you do Tiki?”

“I know.  I have friend before here.  She good with me.  She have accident, die.  I know love then.  It mean very sad.  Much pain here.”  She puts my hand to her heart.

“So even with friend, lover, love still mean pain?”

“Yes.  Sometime lover taken away, or leave to go with other woman.  Then you all alone and very sad.  Hurt much.  Angry too.  Want to kill other woman.  I see this here.  Love, even good love, big trouble.  If you go now, I hurt much.  I sad and angry, I know.”

“Listen Tiki.  There is love that give no hurt, no pain.  Even if all gone, all lost, still no pain.  Just good love.  Always good love.”

She sits up then and looks into my face, notices the remaining traces of tears.  Touches them and licks the salty liquid.  “You hurt?  I hurt you?”  She is incredulous and afraid.

“No, not you.  I hurt me.  Inside, I be many people, in my heart, in my head.  Many people from many places, stars, times.  Now and long ago.  I different.  Not from this world Tiki.  We feel things.  Know things.  Often cry great sadness for what hurt people everywhere.”

“Other places?  Other worlds?  Many people inside you? Women they say you Desert Beast.  Is true this?”

“What do you know of this Desert Beast, Tiki?”

“Only what guardians say when I little.  They sing sad song in my ear.  Song of long ago before Man take this place.  Woman free then.  Have place to live, children have mother.  Run free outside, run in rain, in grass, swim in river and big water.  The man, he my handler when I be little.  He say there be bird in sky, many many, beautiful white bird.  Bird, it laugh, it very happy, like children, girls, they happy then too and laugh.  He say in song this place protected by Great Desert Beast, she mother of all children of world.

“He say Desert Beast, she very tall and she have green scales over body.  Green hair, green eyes.  Like you have green eyes too.  She fly in sky boat that make thunder and it have fire like sun to push.  Very strong boat that fly even in night sky.  See everything.  He say other Beasts like her come with her in other boats.  Talk to the people and give gifts, beautiful things, make things grow and build houses and make life happy.  It is good, he say, but one day another very dark, very big sky boat come.  It kill the people, take girls away.  In sky there is terrible battle and Great Desert Beast boat go down into ground, into desert sand with big ball of fire.  He say no one see again.  Only big black boat sail off, go away far. 

“The man he say the black sky boat have home like this one and all females put in cages there.  Much sorrow on world after.  Nothing same.  No one free.  Men crazy with anger and rage, kill women until black metal demons come out of sky boat to stop killing.  They have fire weapons, kill many men.  New law they give.  Women now slaves of men.  Woman speak, die.  Woman hit man, die.  Woman do anything displease man, die.  No more children for women.  Now we born from female, but not have mother, just strange people to care, teach, train.    

She stops as if to ponder what she just told me.  I can see her mind working, the deep frown on the pale skin of her forehead.  She blurts out angrily: “It just stupid sad story, mean nothing.  Old men talk, sad old cut men (she means eunuchs) telling stories.  I listen then, young and stupid, think maybe I believe.  Now no longer.  I strong.  This real.  I learn, I fight, I live.  I from this world. If other worlds like you say they not for me.” 

She continues with the same angry, disillusioned tone:  “Why you want to hear stupid story?  They call you Desert Beast for green eyes.  You come from desert, yes?  This they say.  But you no beast, just bigger woman, longer arm, legs, stronger.  You die too, like us, like all woman.  No different.  Same.  All same, always same.  I know.  It the way of it.”

[end blog post #59]

Gimpy

(A short story, by Sha’Tara)

I was starting my third grade year when I got to know a scrawny first grade little kid with large beautiful brown eyes everyone called “Gimp” or “Gimpy.” I just want to quickly write up how it was we actually met, I mean to talk to each other.

It was lunch time and most of the kids who didn’t go home for lunch gathered in one large room of multi-purpose usage. There were tables and benches and the odd older desk too for those who liked to sit alone and perhaps read, or draw. Remember that was a while ago, even transistor radios didn’t exist then!

I had picked one of the old desks because I wanted to continue reading a book I’d just got my hands on: Treasure Island. It promised well right from the beginning and I was eager to find out if Jim would get to go sailing.

I had opened my lunch kit and was inspecting my food when there was a bit of a commotion. A scrawny kid was being called names and laughed at. One of those at the ‘bully’ table called the kid over, dangled a chocolate bar in a wrapper in front of him, then threw it down the aisle. The kid raced after it, got it, tore open the wrapper to find that it had been stuffed with dirt.

Amidst the jeers and laughter, I looked at that kid’s sad, confused and disappointed face. He saw me looking at him and realized I wasn’t of those making fun of him. He carefully put the chocolate wrapper still filled with dirt into the garbage can and limped over to my desk. He stood there and I saw his eyes grow even bigger as he eyed my lunch.

I may have been only eight years old but I came from a large family and I knew a hungry look on a kid’s face when I saw one. I asked him to come over and sit beside me, then I offered him half of everything I had packed for myself. The kid ate every crumb and I realized that he was starving. So I gave him more and kept less. I felt, I dunno, something warm and good and powerful rising inside me as I watched him devour my lunch. I didn’t even feel hungry anymore.

We became friends, and I think he sort of adopted me as a big sister. So I decided to help him with his school work as well. He was, from my point of view, terribly slow. Obviously he’d never been shown how to read, write or even do simple arithmetic at home before coming to school. In fact, when I asked him his age, he reluctantly admitted he was also eight years old. He looked no more than five.

“How come you didn’t come to school when you were six like the rest of us then?”

“My mom said it was too much bother and she couldn’t afford to buy me new clothes, that school was useless anyway. So I stayed home and on the street until a lady called a social worker came to see my mom and after she got some clothes for me, I came to school. Is school really useless, Deena?”

“No it isn’t, Gimpy. School is like being on a holiday where you get to practice your imagination, you get to learn things only adults would normally know, and when you know how to read, oh boy, all those books, all those amazing stories you can make your own, like you can accompany those people in the stories, become one of them, play along, have endless adventures.”

“Why doesn’t my mom know this?”

I had no answer but to admit I didn’t know. My own parents loved reading all sorts of stuff and they made sure we would not be kept in the dark. I had learned about measurements from reading labels on cans and bottles. I had already tried some recipes printed on the back of cereal boxes. I knew how to tell the difference between several ‘medicines’ stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet, as well as those stored in the milk house to be used for the cows, pigs or chickens.

A couple of weeks after I had gotten to know Gimpy I had to miss a day of school. After school Gimpy came to my house crying, his jacket torn and with a terrible black eye and split lip. My heart raced when I saw that. Even more so when he told me that the bullies had assaulted him at afternoon recess and beaten him severely.

“What about Sister Blanche? Didn’t she see what was going on, or heard anything?”

“I dunno. She watched, didn’t do nothin’.”

“Did nothing… Oh, never mind, let me fix you up as best we can and we’ll deal with this tomorrow.”

As I remember that day, so many years ago now, it wasn’t one of my best days. I wanted to be a truly good person. I never wanted to get into any kind of trouble and certainly did not want to get involved in a fight with other kids, particularly bullies. But I knew I still had to confront them. After all they had assaulted my ‘little brother’ and this was a blood thing from my point of view.

I kind of started it wrong the next morning when I waylaid the chief trouble maker who had assaulted Gimpy with, “Hey chicken shit, are you so scared to take on someone your own size you gotta beat up a little kid?” And I walked right up to him, sticking my face practically in his. “That’s unfinished business you left yesterday and I’m here to make sure it is finished so you’ll know not to mess with us.”

That was the trigger. He threw down his books and came at me. Now I may have been a girl but my dad had taught me a few fighting tricks of his own, some of which he had warned me never to talk about or brag about. He taught me about men’s particular weakness down there between their legs and I saw my chance to test that particular move. Needless to say it worked like a charm. When the others saw their leader down on the ground moaning and crying, they not only backed off, they ran.

I suppose that would have been that except a sister of those bullies went to tattle to Sister Blanche who immediately stepped over to us, grabbed me by the arm, pinching as hard as she could and made me stand by the blackboard in front of the whole class. When all were settled she ordered me to bend over her desk and she certainly didn’t hold back on the strap. When I yelled that “they” had started it, I got more, so much I couldn’t sit straight the rest of that day.

I didn’t cry and swore I’d get even, not on the bullies, I knew they’d stay away from me and Gimpy from now on, oh no, my aim was Sister Blanche. Whatever was her problem I’d make her pay. And I did, though not in any way I had thought possible if quite impractical. What I needed was something practical, and that’s what I got, from a very practical source: my mother.

After school (and after I managed to give the evil eye to Sister Blanche) I took Gimpy home so I could do a bit of sewing on his clothes, and put more salve on his shiner – that left eye was almost shut by then. It happened that mom had come in from the fields and of course wanted to know the story behind the black eye. So I told her, and Gimpy haltingly told his own version, without embellishments, including my punishment at school.

I should tell you, my mom has a fiery temper. She doesn’t “take any shit” as dad would often, and proudly say and she’d tell him to “shush George.” She didn’t say anything but I knew that she was brewing something up; I heard her and dad talking later that night.

Chores done, lunches made and time to head for school and here’s mom, in her Sunday best outfit, holding the door open, then walking with me to school.

“What’s going on, mom?” I asked and got the predictable answer,

“You’ll see.” And that was it. She went in with me and stood at the back of the room until the kids were settled at their desks then walked up to Sister Blanche and stated, loudly and clearly, “I want to have a talk with you, Sister. Now, and no excuses. Either right here in front of your class, or find us an office to talk in. Just know that I’m in no mood for games, savvy?”

I liked that “savvy” the way she said it. It was like reading a novel. I was so proud of her at that moment I swore to myself that I would become just like that some day. Anyway, Sister gave the class a reading assignment, put an older girl in charge and she and my mom left the room.

Sister Blanche came back a while later and let me tell you that if looks could kill, I’d have been six feet under and Sister Blanche in prison for life! I didn’t feel uncomfortable though. I gave her the same look right back, you know the kind when you feel that palpitation in your eyelids? The danger look full of hate and anger? It was at that moment that I realized Sister Blanche was just as much of a bully as those who had beaten up Gimpy. I grew up a lot that day!

That had been a Thursday and when Saturday morning was well engaged mom told me to get dressed, that we were going to see Gimpy’s mom. I was surprised but not terribly. Mom did things like that. If she had her mind on doing something it got done, (case closed as I liked to add for myself). That was mom.

When we got there, we had to bang heavily on the door to get an answer. Gimpy’s mom (who seemed too young to be a mom by my standards) stood there, holding on to the door, bleary eyed and her hair a total mess. She didn’t smell clean either.

“Where’s Gimpy?” asked mom.

“I dunno. It’s Saturday, innit? He’s probably roaming the streets looking for stuff.”

“You mean looking for something to eat, don’t you Violet?”

“I feed him. I got food here.”

“Yeah? Let’s see what you have that your kid could eat and live off of then.”

“Not today, I just cleaned out the fridge yesterday. I was going to go shopping today.”

“But you spent the money on booze, didn’t you, Violet? Look Vi, it’s none of my business what you do with your own life, OK? But the whole village is talking – not that those hypocrites are any better – but you’re going to lose your boy sooner than later. My daughter here has been seeing to getting Gimpy food at school, but that’s not enough. We could do more, but where would be your responsibility? By the way, I need to know your kid’s real name, Vi. What is it?”

“It’s Vidal. Don’t say I told you, and please, oh please, don’t call him that, he just hates it.”

“I don’t blame him. OK, at least I know. Now is not the time but later this afternoon I want you to come over to our house for tea, and I want for you and me to have a very, very serious talk, OK? You were a good girl not so long ago Vi. You babysat my kids and did a great job. It’s never too late to get back on track. If you don’t, Gimpy will be taken away from you and there won’t be anything any of us can do. Deena and Gimpy are very good friends and I’d hate to see them separated. Promise you’ll come?”

“I promise I’ll come Mrs. Bennett, I promise.”

“Good. I have a few dollars here for you to buy some decent groceries. Do something good for your boy, it’s high time to make him proud of you just as my kids are proud of me, if that makes any sense. Go shopping, hold your head high and ignore the snotty noses. Right now you have one thing in your favour as far as I’m concerned: you’re not a pew warming hypocrite. Not much but it’s something to go on. See you later.”

We walked home together, mom and I, and I held her hand as if she’d been royalty and I’d just been adopted. That kind of pride. And she taught me a new word. She said, “there’s a name for people like Sister Blanche and that’s a bigot. She thinks Gimpy’s mom is a bad sinner because she doesn’t go to church and she ‘entertains’ on her own. That’s why she didn’t help Gimp. You don’t ever want to be like that Sister Blanche.”

That was my mom. That was the shining light of humanity I swore to myself I would learn from, and I did. My mom didn’t actually die, she just moved inside me where I had left a big part of my heart for her to live in. She is there still.

I need to finish this, so here goes. Violet, that is, Mrs. Atkinson did choose to become responsible and raised her boy properly from there on. Gimpy became Doctor Vidal Atkinson, now retired. Sister Blanche was transferred halfway through that school year – she was not regretted by anyone, and isn’t it sad to not realize when one’s character is faulty and needs changing? The ‘bullies’ grew up and did change their characters… I even dated a couple of them and we had some pretty wild times. When my dad was dying, his last words were, “Don’t take any shit, Jane” as mom sat by his bedside crying and saying, “It’s so hard all of a sudden Todd. You were my life, my whole life. What will I do now?” But he passed on without an answer for her, or me.

And me? Well I’m still Deena Bennett and I’ve been sort of a writer of stories and tales and of the stuff that any observing person can see. Some of us just know how to put it in words so that others can also remember. Have I been successful? That depends. I was there for Gimpy and how many lives did he save as a good doctor? I grew a heart big enough to accommodate my mom and I and quite a few Violet type strays over the years. I never had to beg for anything.