By Chazakiël Ignatius Fenderson Rodenburg
It was akin to a dream. As if someone had taken a tiny, specific slice out of conceptual space and distilled it down into fantasy.
“The men speak of this place with hushed voices,” she explained. “A masculine fantasy. Women running around, bare and naked. To be taken.”
“You’re so strange,” Dandelion giggled, instinctively reaching for her ears when saying ‘you’, as if to emphasize Ivy’s otherness. She knew she wasn’t doing it on purpose, so she took no offense. “Taken where?”
The innocence of the inhabitants, Ivy had assumed at first, was part of the fantasy. Conjured up by a mad demon- dreamt up by dark desire.
Now she knew better. To see it as that was to stain it. It was a masculine thinking. Refined and condensed as this place was, such thinking might as well have been the anti-matter.
It raised some troubling theological questions.
Lust had nothing to do with it. Sex, in any form, barely had anything to do with it. For the lithe, willowy inhabitants, it was merely another form of play.
“You should come to the river,” Dandelion said, standing so close to Ivy.
It wasn’t, of course, until she’d seen the two massive trees in the eastern part of the garden, that she understood it.
With no sense of right or wrong, there was nothing to drive Dandelion to cover herself, to hide her breasts and vulva.
She stood so close to Ivy.
“Nay, I won’t,” she said. “The river is cold and I don’t feel well at all.”
“Aw,” Dandelion said as she leaned over Ivy’s bed to ruffle her hair, her breasts almost pressing into her face. Almost.
She hated herself. She had chastised herself for such thoughts even before coming here. She averted her eyes from Dandelion, and confessed her sins in silence.
They were barely human. Their overtly slender form, the lack of any single hair below the eyes. The sharp and pointed ears. They were too soft, too pristine. Unstained. Her breasts-
Ivy cut herself off. Dandelion had moved away from the bed, and a small breeze of relief washed over herself. Not enough to relieve her fully of this clammy, sweaty, feverish desire, almost worse than this flu she was coming down with.
It was easier, most of these days. Barely did she let her eyes drift over the supple and soft-looking bodies of the girls anymore, to fixate between their legs and fantasize from a distance.
But sick and feverish it became easy to rationalize such quiet, internal sins. As if some minor physical discomfort gave her the right to let go, just for once, and slightly clench her hand while trying to imagine the soft, plump breast of Dandelion giving way to her fingers, a hard nipple pressing into her palm. Imagining their mutual friend Lily watching. Imagining herself saying ‘no’, but not really meaning it as fingers pried into her.
She wouldn’t have it, she asserted as she poured her glass of water over her face. Back to reality.
Dandelion was looking over her shoulder, standing in the door to her room. “What are you doing?” She asked. “I’ll bring some new water. I’ll get Lily and Aylin, too.”
Before Ivy could ask “why”, Dandelion had left.
She rolled over in bed, to stare at the wall. Our Father, who art in heaven-
Paradise really was just like hell to the sinful, she thought.
She heard the door open, and the innocent laughter of the three girls as they approached her bedside. It was tempting to roll over, to look back. To see the three girls so close to each other, breasts pressing against breasts, but she wouldn’t. She would deny herself. Knowing right and wrong, she would not stain this place.
Suddenly she felt hands and more on her body, as Dandelion almost climbed in bed with her.
“Do you want to play?” She whispered.
“It’ll make you feel better. It’s nice when you’re feverish.”
A hand caressed her shoulder.
“No,” she yelled out quickly, her voice breaking.
“Alright,” Dandelion said. “We’ll leave you to sleep it off then.”
The three left, and no matter how hard Ivy would beg in her mind, they wouldn’t return.
It wasn’t fair. Back home “no” didn’t stop anyone. That it did here, now that she wanted it, was unfair.
This too, was sin, she realized. She wanted to be taken, so it wasn’t her burden to bear. So she wouldn’t be responsible. So she could rationalize not having sinned, while enjoying it.
Tears streamed down her warm cheeks. This unstained heaven was her own personal hell.