Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Briefs: Sealed in Stone #21

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week.

I’m continuing the story of Willem and Torrey, whose love for each other makes for an uneasy fit in an alien society. This week the prompts were: use recycling in a story or "How can you say that?" or use : swan, lake, illusion or “When did my life become a soap opera?” or use a matchmaker in your story or use: alien, growl, vendetta or “She fluttered her lashes coyly” or “I surrender, Officer...” or use time in your story in some way.


Enjoy!
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Sealed in Stone #21


“You’re not getting screwed by me!” Nomari sex madness or not, Willem couldn’t imagine doing it. Not even Rue, who almost looked like a man.

Shel snorted. “You won’t even know who—or what—you’re screwing once it gets going. Neither will we.”

“Have you gone through it before?”

“I have. Lena, too.” Lena nodded as Shel continued. “It wasn’t here, but a detail to Ghautmarga that got trapped by a queen war. Walled ourselves in a hole and waited it out. But that’s not the norm. Like we said, usually we leave the nom when a Queen’s entering her phase. It’s not just the hormonal craziness and the non-stop sex, it’s not healthy.”

Rue dug her elbow into Willem’s side. “Haven’t you noticed we’re all too old to breed? Jayn picked us for that reason. We may end up getting horny and getting some pussy fun, or even a cock or ten, but we won’t get pregnant.”

“Getting pregnant during nuptial madness is a fool’s death,” said Marda. She’d unpacked her water pipe and sucked in a long draw of aromatic mist. She exhaled slowly through tensed lips. “But you don’t have to worry about that.”

No, he just had to worry about being gang-fucked by the lot of them. Willem hunched back and appraised them anew.

Lena rolled her eyes. “Stop scaring him.”

“Kram it. He needs to know this shit.” Marda passed the pipe to Shel, who’d gestured for it. “Here’s the deal, kid. Whatever happens, your body will know what to do and your mind will be so overwhelmed by the need to screw you won’t care what hole it is or who it belongs to. You’ll get through it just fine.”

He supposed he would. More than ever, he hoped he’d be with Torrey. But if he couldn’t be with Torrey, then these women, some of whom he’d known all his life, wouldn’t be the worst recourse. Because queens, or even the Queen…

“Is it true what I heard... the nomari… their queens kill men after?”

The women exchanged glances. Lena spoke first. “It happens. Their drones die after a single sex act, you know, and… I guess some queens think that’s the hottest thing ever, to screw a man for all he can give and then gut him or slit his throat. We don’t know how often it happens because we don’t hear much about what goes on inside the nom, not unless one of our men who’s been chosen gets word out to us. But it’s rare for a chosen male to die.”

“There are stipulations in the contract,” Marda explained. “Costly ones. And if a man chosen from one of our kumbhs dies, his kumbh gets back the body or they start screaming and everyone knows.”

“See, there’s a huge loss of dominance for the queen in those cases. That’s why usually they only do it to slaves.”

“Or men they’ve stolen and no one knows they’ve got.”

Lena had the pipe now and she poked it in his direction while narrowly eyeing the other women. “Damn it, look. You’re scaring him again.” Turning back to him, she said, “Really, Willem, mostly they don’t kill them. They just fuck their brains out and keep them as pets.”

So Torrey was safe, probably. Jayn wouldn’t have sent him to certain death, and Cyrrhi wouldn’t be so reckless as to risk losing dominance by causing the death of her Chosen. Willem’s studies had revealed the nomari considered a chosen male a special kind of mate, a spiritual partnership with a goddess—or something like that. But it was powerful and the dominance loss would be severe if Cyrrhi, or any queen, harmed Torrey. So would the material loss, because the dead man’s kumbh could demand reparations. None of those protections, though, fell on Willem. He was inside the nom now and, except for the four women riding in this palanquin with him and willing to take up arms on his behalf, he might as well be naked. Even the veil he wore marked him as being a man. When nuptial madness hit, veils afforded no protection at all.

He listened to the women talk, gleaning what he could. They would be housed in the Queen Chamber, removed from other queens and that danger. The women thought they’d be safe. But Willem didn’t see anything safe about living on the edge of an orgy.

* * * *

There was no good way to tell time in the nom. The nomari tracked sunrises and sunsets, days, and the complex passings of the three moons with a precision humans built into elaborate timekeeping devices. One of the gifts given to Torrey upon his becoming Cyrrhi’s Chosen was a spring driven clock with gears and three dials. It stood on a pedestal in an alcove of his sitting chamber, allowing him to see the passing of days, moons, and ultimately of years. It was beautiful, human work.

In the hour before sunset, the clock chimed eight times before a rap on the chamber door announced a visitor. Someone had passed the scrutiny of the warriors standing guard in his antechamber. Torrey put down his pen and looked up to see Sovesa enter. The old queen had been Cyrrhi’s Voice for longer than he had been alive and Torrey liked her now, more than he had at first. He rose from his desk to greet her.

“I am honored, noble one.”

Sovesa bent her head, piled high with white hair roped with copper and pearls. “Chosen, it is I who am honored to bring you tidings. My Queen is greatly pleased by you and has decided on a gift. Come.”

“A gift? Where are we going?” He shrugged into the formal robe he’d removed earlier and looked around for the belt. Finding it, he made himself presentable for Cyrrhi’s audience chamber.

“You will see soon enough. Follow me.”


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2 comments:

  1. I like that Willem's first thought is for Torrey's safety -- not his own, even though he's the one with no protection.
    Ooo, the gift!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so glad you're enjoying the story, Thea. I have so much planned for the boys. :D

    ReplyDelete