88: Sweet Blasphemies

on October 27, 2007 in 04: The Body Politick

In Which Two Different Conversations Take Place

When the class ended, Steff and I headed by a kind of mutual unspoken agreement down the edge of the field, walking along the edge of the forest, heading away from the main campus and towards nothing in particular. I wanted to tell her about Ian… I’d managed to forget about all of that somehow… it seemed incredible to think it had only been a few hours before… but now, there was Steff and there was I, and the need to confide was welling up within me so quickly I thought I was going to burst.

You would have thought that would make it easy for me to open my mouth and say something about it, but it didn’t.

“So, I saw you squaring off with the Pelagian princess,” Steff said after we’d walked in silence for a while. “What’d you think of her?”

“She seemed… nice,” I said. Maybe not completely, but I didn’t have anything I could put into words, and didn’t want to say anything against her that I couldn’t back up. “Very focused. Is she really a princess?”

“No idea… don’t think so,” Steff said. “That’s just what I call her. The attitude, you know? Honestly, I can’t stand her. Nobody with as big a stick up their ass as she’s got has any right to complain as much as she does.”

“What did she complain about?” I asked.

“Getting sorted into Dobbs’s group, the first day,” Steff said.

“She seemed really good,” I said.

“Compared to you?” Steff asked, snorting and giving me a not-so-gentle gentle punch on the shoulder that almost made me trip over my feet. “She’s better than a lot of the newbs, but she’s got a lot of bad habits that really need to be ironed out before she’s in serious combat.”

“She told me she learned to fight from watching her brothers,” I said.

Steff nodded.

“Figured it would be something like that,” Steff said. “She wields her sword like somebody who’s spent a lot of time brandishing sticks against invisible enemies… very flourishy, you know? She’s got grace and she’s got talent, though… I’m no expert, but I think she’s going to be a stone killer, if she works at it.”

Stone killer. I shivered, remembering the look in her eyes after she’d “killed” me.

“So, why were you late?” I asked, changing the subject.

“I was lookin’ for you,” she said.

“I was there,” I said.

“Yeah… always the last place you look, right?” she said, giggling. “No, I thought I’d have to put you over my knee and then drag you there… I mean, after you avoided me all day, I figured you were planning on ditching.”

“I wasn’t avoiding you!” I said.

“You weren’t at breakfast or lunch,” she said, accusingly. “And Amy said she didn’t know where you were.”

“I just had… stuff… to do,” I said.

“Oh, look at that blush,” Steff cooed, which of course made me blush more. “Look at that blush! You must have been doing something positively disgusting, you wicked little beast. What was it?”

Disgusting. I was so wicked I disgusted her… and it was twice as disgusting, ten times as disgusting, because I liked it so much. That thought was too much for me. I bowed my head and hid my face in my hands, only remembering a moment later to stop moving forward. Steff moved around in front of me… I could tell she was actually there because I could feel her hot breath in close on the top of my head, though her voice seemed to circle slowly around me as she spoke.

“Were you touching yourself?” she asked, her voice charged with excitement. “Were you sticking your fingers around down there? Oh, that’s it, isn’t it? You were off debasing yourself, you filthy little hussy, weren’t you?”

“No!” I shouted, uncovering my face. I was completely repulsed at the thought… but strangely giddy at the thought of Steff thinking it of me. “No,” I repeated, more quietly. “Not that.”

“Well, what, then?” she asked. “Amy was with me, so then…”

I watched a smile spread slowly across her face as comprehension dawned.

“Ian,” she said. “That boy. You were off debasing yourself with him. So, a mere nymph isn’t enough to satisfy you any more, you raging little nympho… now you’re doing men, too. What’d you do… jack him off? Let him jack himself on you?”

“Um… more than that,” I mumbled.

“You fucked!” she squealed. “Oh, you fucked him, you fucked him!”

“Less,” I said, squeezing my eyes shut as tightly as I could, thinking how much easier it would have been to say this next part if there was no wide world around us, and it was just me and Steff. Or just me. “I… um… went down… on him.”


I sort of wondered for a moment if I had somehow banished the world, but I could feel a slight breeze. I opened my eyes. Steff was looking at me with a blank expression.

“Oh,” she said, finally. “That’s… good.”

Not quite the reaction I’d hoped for.

“What?” I asked, confused… Steff had been elated to think of all the other things I might have done. Why did this one bother her? I knew from offhand comments that she and Amaranth had done oral on each other, so it would seem hypocritical for her to have a problem with blowjobs. She didn’t sound grossed out, though… just… hurt, somehow. “What’s wrong?”

“I just… I’d kind of hoped to be the first to experience that distinct pleasure,” she said, brushing her knuckles against my lower lip.

I looked away. I couldn’t face her… I couldn’t stand to see that look. I was a fucking coward. I could pretend otherwise when I was letting Barley hassle me, or when I’d let Puddy bully me into running for student senate, or when I’d refused to take the opening that Gloria gave me… but I couldn’t pretend now.

Not when I was faced with how badly I’d disappointed Steff… and how much worse I was about to disappoint her.

“Steff, I… can’t,” I said, searching my mind for better words, for kinder words. I wasn’t having much luck. “Not with you… like that.”

“Let me guess?” she said resignedly. “It’s just a little too weird for you to handle.”

“No!” I said. “Oh, never that… it’s just… it took some pretty extreme mental redecorating to do that with a boy. I really don’t think I’d ever be able to do it with a girl. I mean, no matter what kind of an affinity, or… or fondness I might seem to have for other women, I just… I can’t. It’s not something I could do.”

“Even considering how I’m… special?” Steff asked.

How badly had it hurt her that Amaranth had told us to take it slow? And then, she’d thought I’d been avoiding her… I took her hands in mine and made myself look up at her, into her face, my eyes locking with hers. It wasn’t easy… there was so much in her eyes, so much want and pain and hope, that there was hardly any room left for mine to look up into them.

“Steff, you’re more than special,” I said. “But… in some ways… in many ways… I can’t help but think of you as any other girl.” I watched tears welling up in the corners of her eyes, big and bright. “I’m sorry, Steff… I’m really, really…”

She pulled her hands out of mine as I was apologizing, and halted me with a finger on my lips.

“Don’t,” she said, smiling a wide, thin, sad smile. “Just, don’t. You don’t have any idea how much… oh, fuck,” she said, throwing back her head and giving a bitter laugh which turned into an exultant scream. And I’d thought my emotions were complex. “You have no idea how much I’ve wanted to hear those words… and no idea how frustrated I am right now.”

She unshushed me.

“I’m sorry,” I said again.

“Don’t,” she repeated. She laughed again, and groaned. “I have got to start being more specific in my prayers.”

“You pray?” I asked, surprised. Steff hardly seemed the pious type.

Steff nodded.

“Who do you pray to?” I asked.

“Nobody in particular,” she said. She gave a hollow chuckle. “But I don’t think he or she is really listening.”

“I tried praying to Khersis, after I… turned,” I said. “I wanted him to turn me back, to take away the badness. It burned… it felt like somebody was stabbing my tongue. So, I tried praying to nobody in particular, for a while, but my grandmother caught me at it and told me I was being obscene.”

“Asshole,” Steff said.

I stared at her.

“Khersis,” Steff said. “Not you… or your grandmother. I wouldn’t know her well enough to say… but him, spurning your prayers like that.”

“That’s blasphemy,” I said, horrified. I instinctively looked around to make sure nobody was in earshot, but we were completely alone.

Steff laughed.

“Look at you,” she said. “All caring about blasphemy.”

“Well, I don’t… not really,” I protested. “But other people do. You could get in serious trouble, saying things like that.”

“It’s not a crime,” she said.

“It doesn’t have to be,” I said. “There’s places where people still get stoned, or strung up, for blaspheming.”

“We’re way north of the Librum Line, sweetie,” Steff said. “And this ain’t the outer provinces, either.”

“Well, even if you won’t get lynched for it, it’s still offensive,” I said.

“If I had time to care about what offends some uptight fundamentalists, I wouldn’t even bother getting dressed,” Steff said. “If saying a word against Lord Khersis or the Great Star Drake or whoever the hell else I want to seems like the right thing to do, I will… and if that’s all I finally get lynched for, I’ll be very surprised. What kind of protector god smites a scared little girl who asks for his help, anyway?”

“It’s not like it’s something he chose to do,” I said. “It’s just… how it works. Prayer opens a conduit to the divine realms. Anyway, I don’t think I exactly fall under his protection.”

“You’re half-human,” Steff said. “Don’t those stupid scriptures say something about ‘human blood, human soul’?”

“That’s kind of a contested interpretation,” I said. “And anyway, you said it: half-human. I think the other half is more than enough to cancel that out, don’t you?”

“No, I don’t!” Steff said, and she sounded more seriously pissed off than any time since I’d met her. Maybe her eyes were still just watery from before, but it almost seemed like she was crying with rage now. “You are the most horribly, awfully, stupidly good person that I know, and any god who doesn’t see that isn’t worthy of the name!”

I stared at her, confused as much as I was offended on anybody’s behalf. How could she even say things like that? That I was good, that the gods were wrong… had our friendship made her that blind, or was this just her existing prejudices against religion? I could see how being a half-human bisexual polyamorous sadomasochist might have given her a dim view of the Khersian religion, especially if she paid attention to the most vocal and visible subsections of it… but she was going kind of far.

“I’m sorry,” she said, sheepishly. “Let’s talk about something else, okay?”

“Okay,” I said. “Um…”

“How about, what exactly happened with you and Ian?” Steff asked.

I blushed.

“Oh, come on,” she teased. “No reason to be shy about it.”

“Well, the first time I don’t think I did so well,” I said. “But…”

“Wait, first time?” Steff asked. “I thought this was just today.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Over lunch. But I wasn’t sure I did it right, so I tried a second time…”

“Why, you cheap little whore,” Steff purred. She put an arm around my shoulders and drew me in close to her side, leaning in cozeningly close as she steered us back towards the campus proper. “Just couldn’t get enough, could you, you shameless little slut? You had to go back for seconds…”

I blushed, and stumbled over the details of the encounter… I was almost as inept in describing my first time as I had been in actually doing it, and I couldn’t seem to find the words to describe the second time… but Steff listened attentively, her hand moving around my body so deftly that I only barely had time to register the fact that she was touching my breast or squeezing my ass or brushing my thigh before she had moved on, alternating caresses with cajoles.

She mostly used variations of the same, now-familiar themes, though when she asked me was I proud to let myself be turned into a cum dumpster, it was like a red-hot skewer rammed through the length of my body… but in a good way.
Messed up, I know… but I couldn’t help it.

I loved it.

I loved Steff, too.

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Ever wonder what Tales of MU would be like, without all the kink and sexual themes? If it took place in a modern earth setting but with fantasy overtones? If it was in fact a completely different story that only happened to be written by the same author? If it was updated every other day in individual bite-sized chunks of exactly 333 words each? If it was called Tribe: Fantasy In Miniature?

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This story has been compared–by people who are not myself–to the works of legendary fantasy graphic novelists/authors Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Neverwhere)and Bill Willingham (Fables). Remember: if you have to be derivative, be derivative of genius!

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5 Responses to “88: Sweet Blasphemies”

  1. Anthony says:

    Ho… ly… crap. Steff makes it *that* blatant and Mackenzie still. Doesn’t. Get it.

    Current score: 1
    • Ell says:

      I’m re-reading, and I’ve seen a lot of comments like this. The thing is, speaking as someone who came from a _very_ sheltered background, I didn’t ‘get it’ until Mackenzie does. Just thought I’d throw that out there…If something’s completely off your radar, you’re probably just not going to see it.

      Current score: 10
      • zeel says:

        Ditto. It is obvious if you come from the right background. But I know I didn’t get it my first read either, it wasn’t something I even realized could be a thing. Heck, the first time I read this story I barely knew what homosexuality was, much less all the other various things that come up in the course of this tale.

        On the other hand, we only hear and see what Mackenzie tells us. I get the feeling Amaranth and Steff talk about things that should give it away constantly if Mackenzie was paying attention – but she isn’t.

        Current score: 6
        • Leishycat says:

          I first read this story in 2008. In 2010, I transitioned.

          I didn’t get it until Mackenzie did, either. 😛

          Then again, I’m almost as oblivious as she is.

          Current score: 5
          • Francesca says:

            Yeah. I used to read *a lot* of stories with transgender themes, and to scour Wikipedia about anything related to that, but still, I managed to realize that transition was possible only around February of this year.

            I’m dense. :-/

            Current score: 0