An adult speculative Christian post-armegeddon fiction
Dilemma of Dreams
Chapter Four: Complete
Facing Another Past
The bath in the room was not that big at all. Peralte came in and helped me with some things when I began complaining about the size of the tub. He had me describe the bathing area in the convent while washing my body. It was nice having control over the water temperature, as the pool in the convent was not hot at all, but the size of the bath highly disappointed me.
He had me dress in very light red outfit that was nothing like the simple linen gowns I wore in the convent or the dress that I wore earlier in the day. He then used a ribbon to tie up my hair in a cute manner that I had only seen some of the older girls wear. It made me feel good to see the smile on Peralte’s face as he looked at me. He then pointed to the bed and told me to relax whenever I felt tired, although I followed him as he opened a drawer containing his clothes while mentioning that he was going to prepare for his own bath.
“Can I wash your back?” I asked him.
“If you want.”
Just attempting to make conversation, I asked, “Do your ladies wash your back – you know, when you are home?”
“Sometimes. They can be fun; they can be annoying. I am generally glad to have them around however, so put up with them.”
“How many do you have?”
I got my outfit all wet as I listened to him speak of his home and his ladies. Peralte lived in a large house set among mountains. It sounded very lovely and pleasant with him speaking of fishing and swimming in a nearby lake, walking mountain paths beside which were a number of fruit trees, and an assortment of animals. His ladies were kept busy doing things about the house and property, although it seemed that he played with them a lot. He had rules, as he had work, but he spoke of the ladies often breaking them. All the stories were joyful with some being completely funny, and in laughing water splashed and I got wet. When Peralte told me that I would just have to sleep in the nude, I accepted the punishment.
He did not go to bed, but placed some books on a table, then sat with a pen and notebook in a nearby chair. I understood that he had work to do, but I truthfully was enjoying being with him. Even though not wearing any clothes, I moved to kneel beside his feet.
“How can you leave all those ladies?”
“They aren’t real.”
The stories sounded so wonderful that I could not accept what he said, but had to blurt out, “What?”
He methodically began writing in a notebook as he replied, “It is home. I built it, and I maintain it. They are part of it.”
“They aren’t real? They sounded real.”
He wrote for a time. I did not know if he just had not heard, or considered his time with me done. I believe that Peralte expected me to go on to bed. I did not, but stayed by his legs. When he finished setting his mind to his writing, he remembered that I was present.
“I need to see if you will remember. My ladies are real enough for what I want them to be. If they were like you or most of those outside, I would need to worry about them. I however enjoy doing what I am doing. This time with you is important, and I could not afford to do it if the ladies were real. What they are, and what they do, is enough to maintain my home while I am away. What they are, and what they do, is enough to make me enjoy returning.”
My body went rigid as the memory of the events I wrote about in my report flooded again through my mind. I could sense that I was once a man who felt a lot of pride in his surroundings. It was peaceful, serene, and I felt that Peralte was attempting to spoil my enjoyment of life. I returned from my thoughts understanding that I was naked before the man, and carefully turned my body to try and determine his thoughts as he looked at me.
“The people in my town were there for my amusement. I mostly walked about the countryside.”
With a stern voice, Peralte replied, “You walked without doing anything. You just walked. I pick fruit, move limbs, I do things to assure that everything stays regulated. Yes, it is lovely, but I don’t like static lovely. That is only a painting. You only lived in a painting. It did not live.”
“But it was the way I wanted it to be.”
“Every grass blade? Every rock? Every cloud in the sky? No, it was not the way you wanted it to be. It was just something nice you put together, then you were too lazy to do anything more.”
“But there was no need to do anything more…”
I suddenly felt memories again flood my mind. These however were horrible visions of having trouble with lessons, having arguments with fellow workers, and simply not being pleased with my life at all. I found myself not liking who I was. A feeling to cry came over me, but then I saw a vision of Peralte passing me in a corridor. He smiled and waved, nothing more, but I hated it. I focused past the emotions to seek out other memories of Peralte, but none were anything more than quick little moments of us passing. I pulled myself out of the rush of memories, then held a leg of Peralte as I tried to secure myself in this reality.
When a hand came to my back, I replied, “You were never my enemy. I hated you, but you were never my enemy.”
His hand moved from my back to play with one of my hands in an attempt to reform the twisted mix of fingers that I managed earlier. I lifted my head and tried to smile as I worked to get our digits back into position. When the combination of hands was achieved, I felt calm upon hearing Peralte’s words.
“Well, now we are friends.”
“Yes. I think that I like being Vetacha.” Suddenly worried about what I said and why Peralte was present, I asked, “Do I have to return to being Mesapher?”
“No. You don’t have to do anything. You can make a decision and change it. What we did today, do tonight, and possible do on days to come, can become ancient history. The problem is that we are playing with fantastic powers, and if you do not respect that then you can become lost. My job is to assure that you understand that you are Mesapher, but if you want to go forward as Vetacha then that is a decision that you can make.”
“I did not like those memories.”
Peralte bent down and picked me up. I considered the act strange, and finding myself in the man’s lap caused me to feel uneasy. I then looked to the bed and realized that I would be close to him all night. My eyes turned back to look into his, and I realized that I was his possession. He could do with me as he would. Peralte however claimed to now be my friend, so I laid my body against his chest. He bent to wrap his arms around me, and I found myself feeling relaxed.
“You cannot be at peace, Vetacha, without becoming at peace with yourself.”
“I am not going for peace, but only for contentment.”
I felt his chest bump in a manner that I sensed he suppressed a laugh. The action bothered me. From deep within my mind I felt a jolt of being uncomfortable in having myself against a firm chest. Very uncertain about my place, and about the thoughts of this elder, I lifted my head. Peralte had a smile on his face, as if he was amused.
“I am sorry, Vetacha, but I don’t believe that you will be allowed contentment.”
“Because contentment requires stability, and you only get that by working. It is one of those paradoxes. To be truly content, you can never be content.”
I lifted my form, and actually found myself pleased to be naked. Thinking that I had to do nothing else, I laid my body again against Peralte’s chest. While memories tried to surface that felt repulsion at my actions, a stronger sense of having some control over my present situation caused me to relax. Believing that I would gain the upper hand, I softly said the words that I completely and totally felt were proper.
“Let us not talk about religion.”
“Religion? I am sorry, Vetacha, but you and I are both far beyond religion. You might have had your reasons for going to that convent, but I can assure you that it was not a search for God.”
Even though my eyes were closed, I saw a bright light that caused me to repeat an adage often said by my elders in the convent, “The ways of the divine are unknowable.”
“That, I will not argue with. I however will not allow you to trivialize your place. Not only is it part of my assignment, but just as your friend I won’t allow it.”
I lifted my eyes to look at the man in order to again determine his thoughts behind his words. I however found his face to come very close. The contact on the lips took me by surprise. I had heard about kissing – heard a lot about kissing to be honest. The actions with Peralte however felt tender. He did not force the contact. His hands played about my face, but they did not force any movement. I however found myself wanting the signs of affection, so my hands moved about his body wanting to pull him close, although I also found such actions spoiled the true warmth of what was being done. I finally just tried to relax and enjoy the experience, but it was then that he pulled back. I looked into his eyes to try and judge his real feelings as I asked my question.
“Did I do something wrong?”
“No, but I could tell that it was a first time. Actually, what you did surprised me, so that was good. There are a lot of questions that you and I, mostly you, will have to face. There however is no reason that we have to face them right here and now. Let me put you to bed.”
I found myself trying to play with the flow of my voice as I said, “You can do with me as you will.”
“Yes, and there is a document over there making what I do with you all legal. However, let me again say that I was never your enemy, and now I am your friend. We have known each other for a long time, and I do not want to spoil our future relations. Thus, right now, I am only going to put you in the bed.”
“Are you sure?”
He put a hand over my left breast. There was no development there, as I had yet to become a woman. I however still felt the action improper. I looked into his eyes with the acceptance that he did own me, and that I just told him that he could do with me as he would. His focus was on me and not on my body, and that pleased me.
“I did not lose you, Mesapher. Whatever you hear others say, I never lost you. I however found myself wondering if you had ever been present at all. That however is not my concern. While we are who we are, life goes on, which means that further growth is ever possible. I will not force you to grow up, and I will not force you to return to being Mesapher. Others might be right about you not being completely safe with me, but I am not worried about them. However our relationship develops, I want you to feel safe with me. Thus, tonight, I am only putting you to bed. Tomorrow, well, we shall see.”
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.