It had inevitably led to this. Or at least that was what he
kept telling himself. On the brink of an ungodly state of potential happiness
and sexual bliss, all of his desires soon to be fulfilled, yet why was he so
His mind returned to Dante: “Midway along the journey of
our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the
And it was true. Though the living room in which he sat
could hardly be called Avernus, that secret wooded mountain rift in obscure Italy
that supposedly led into the Infernal Realm. No. It was not that.
It was the living room of Goddess Deva. He was here, in
this place secreted so perfectly away, concealed in plain sight within the
seaside hamlet of Belfast, a picturesque Maine town if ever there was, waiting
to be interviewed. Not for a job. For a lifestyle adjustment. It had come to
this after years of medication and false self-esteem exercises forced upon him
by a series of CBT experts, MSWs, and genuine headshrinkers. None of it had worked.
And though he’d had enough scratch to manage these adhesive bandage fixes, he’d
never been solvent enough to effect real change: major jaw realignment surgery;
the elective cardiothoracic Nuss procedure; the straightening of his wayward
nose; and so on. True cosmetic change, real change, remained beyond his
And so here he was at forty-five. Crooked, graying,
protuberant, hollow. And lonely. Midlife crisis had driven him over the edge.
The first thing he’d tried were the razorblades in the bathtub but after
slitting the left wrist and watching the rich crimson dye the steaming water,
he’d had an epiphany. A spiritual awakening for a person who all his life had
decried the idiocy of religious practice. But still, some small part of him had
wondered at it, as he’d watched his life leak slowly out and already dizzy from
the half-empty bottle of Macallan 25 on the nearby toilet seat. Could it be
true that one might find bliss and self-acceptance in the arms of one whose
mission and pleasure were to eradicate the endless cycle of self-hate by
replacing it with a constant knife-edge state of hyper-awareness wherein
pleasure and pain became inextricably mixed?
It was worth a try, he’d decided, before opening up the
other wrist. And then attempting to rise, he’d fallen out of the tub and
Goddess Deva would be tough to
impress, he knew, but when he saw her on ALT.com he knew she had to be the one.
She was more impressive in person than in her photos, and he felt himself
hardening even as he stood to shake her hand and be ushered into the master
bedroom that served for her inner office.
From that point on, he had failed
interview in every conceivable way. He was sweating and shivering at once. The
slim fit linen shirt proved ill-chosen because it was sticking to the crevice
of his sternum, emphasizing his funnel chest. He was probably forgetting his
Tuesday Smile as well so the jig was up on his overbite. And though he was tan
from June days spent on Moody Beach, he looked positively pallid before her
He was vomiting up everything, his
whole miserable existence as a failed science experiment, all the way back to
those halcyon days that for most boys are fondly remembered before the angst of
adolescence sets in, when she stopped him with a cursory wave of her beautiful
brown hand. Her nails were long and sharp and perfectly manicured and lacquered
in maroon. He could feel his balls constrict at the thought of her gripping him
there hard and pulling. When he finally looked again into her amber irises, he
saw pools of gentle empathy.
“I’ve heard enough,”
she said. “You’re
the one, Nick.”
“Why do you think you are here,
“I honestly don’t know
CRACK! The whip was fur-lined so the
force of impact was softened, but if he forgot again she might bring out the
“WHAT WAS THAT, SLAVE!?”
“I honestly don’t know.
“Don’t apologize to me,
weak! Look at you, with your sissy boy cock-and-balls and that hole in your
chest and those big buck teeth. Are you some kinda FAGGOT that you like this?”
She gripped his balls
were secured in place by a series of rubber rings to present them better for
punishment—and slapped them hard with her other hand. But the slap almost felt
like a caress to him now.
“Oh you like that!” She
there again. And he knew that if she stuck her pinky up snug against his
prostate again he’d probably cum.
He begged her to stop. His balls were
already aching from the effort of the three shots she’d already got out of him.
It would hurt beyond anything he’d ever imagined to be made to do it again.
“You are here to debase yourself
before your Mistress and please Me when I desire it. It pleases me to have you
ejaculate again. Would you deny Me this?”
“No Mistress, but...”
She slapped his balls again, raking
them with the maroon nails on the backswing, and he lurched into orgasmic
“That’s for forgetting
slave. That looks nice.”
She admired the seed that shot, white
with prostate fluid, from his member to collect in the aluminum baking tray
that was perfectly angled on the floor beneath to receive his expulsions. It
was positioned amid a nest of recycling bags spread on the floor some three
feet below the black leather swing apparatus from which he hung suspended.
“Good boy,” Goddess Deva
He realized, back in his own bed in
Topsham with his father snoring contentedly down the hall, the ice pack on his
aching testicles lulling him to sleep, that it was the humiliation more than
anything that was making him cum. Goddess Deva, a goddess made flesh if ever
there was, would not have been able to elicit the same response were it not for
her other gifts. The warmth of her brahmin hands and the sharpness of her nails
were enough to convince him that in the small hours of the night, when she was
done collecting his seed, she was roaming the streets of Belfast as Kali’s
earthly incarnation seeking for blood. She was the consummate predator. And he,
her prey. Mistress to Slave. Dominant to Submissive. He was what she decreed.
Her approval was what he craved.
His need, for forty-five years too horrid to admit to his
deepest self, was to explore the darkest layers of the abyss beneath his waking
mind in search of the truth that lay hidden and dormant in extreme erotic
release. And it had taken a woman of such transcendent outer beauty and
loathsome internal ugliness to bring it out of him. Literally drain it out of
him. She was a godsend.
He fell asleep dreaming of a wedding cake in the shape of
the cosmic yoni. The angst, the eternal angst of his physical existence, had
been subjugated by the brutal ministrations of his goddess. Finally he could
cast it into the Tartarus of his subconscious, where the Olympians had cast the
Giants for their perversions against the True Gods. He had found bliss in the
emptiness of his testicles. Finally he could breathe.
It was only Wednesday but he couldn’t
wait any longer. It was not the angst built up in him over the intervening
week, again demanding release. He’d bought the ring in all haste, emptying out
his TD Ameritrade account after selling his remaining three thousand dollars of
Berkshire stock. It would be worth it, he told himself as he drove.
When he rang the doorbell and she
stood on the threshold staring at him, wrapped in a fluffy velvet robe with
curling irons suspended atop a midnight crown, the hand cradling his prize
began to sweat. She looked not at all happy to see him.
She sipped from a cup
though it was three in the afternoon. She glimpsed the little black box in his
hand before he could formally present it.
“Oh God,” she said. Completely
He raised his palm with trembling
effort and opened it. The box stuck there in a nest of congealing sweat.
“I know this is... sudden...”
She lifted a commanding hand and he
shut up. He stared at the gorgeous appendage, so perfect in the gloom of the
dungeon, and saw that one of the pristine maroon fingernails was chipped.
“Your hand...” he said,
of it all wavering for a glimmering moment before his eyes.
“You better come inside,”
“You can’t be serious.”
She led him
into the kitchen and motioned him to a chair. Uncharacteristically, as it
seemed to him, she inquired whether he wanted milk or sugar in his Sanka.
“Just sugar, please, Mist--”
“Let’s drop that for now.
He affirmed with a nod that yes indeed
his name was Nick. She nodded at the prize still clutched in his hand.
“Let me see that.”
He tentatively pushed the sweaty
little black box across the table and she peremptorily snatched it up. She
cracked it open and examined the contents. Then closed her eyes as though a
sudden migraine was coming on. She pushed the box back toward him, the jeweled
bauble inside untouched, unloved. He stared at the ring. It was a tiny speck of
a diamond in a setting of pink gold. The gem quality was there, but in the end
it was an unimpressive, pathetic little thing. Like him.
“You read our contract?”
He nodded as sudden tears of
realization welled. An epiphany was wracking his spine.
“Good. Then you understand that
is not acceptable. I know that the line can grow blurry. That’s why the
contract is there. To protect you and I from misunderstandings like this. Are
you hearing me?”
She was looking hard into his eyes
now. And for all of her Goddess Beauty she did not stir his loins. For when he
finally stared back, what he saw was disdain writ plain. She had the expression
of a woman who’d inadvertently squashed an especially pulpy insect beneath the
heel of her brand new Manolo Blahnik.
He trembled to utter the words.
“Are... you... going to stop seeing me?”
She seemed to consider this at length.
“Assuming we can put this behind
No. I think, Nick, that the best thing right now is to return this to the
jewelry store where you bought it. And to instead use the money to purchase
more sessions. Professional sessions with Goddess Deva. We can go even further
than we’ve yet gone. But it will take a serious commitment on your part.”
Nick was nodding emphatically and
tear managed to leak out. A joyous tear. She would not dismiss him for this.
She would give him a chance to make it right.
“You’ve already paid in
She patted his hand then. “Good
When he arrived the following evening,
the apparatus was arranged in the living room as he remembered. It was clean.
Polished to a disinfected sheen. Like the strapon she had threatened to peg him
with last week had he been unable to manage a fifth expulsion.
She emerged from the bedroom in her uniform of office, a
black vinyl bodysuit slashed down the front in a broad swath to bare caramel
breasts, the heavy brown nipples pierced with thick platinum rings.
“Hello...” he began, the
yesterday’s misadventure still clouding his thoughts, though in the end he’d
been able to get a full refund on the engagement ring.
“WHAT WAS THAT!?”
She strode across the lime-green
carpet and walloped him one with a lilac-scented open palm and his training
suddenly came back to him. He was instantly erect and howling the required
honorific when the phone rang. It was an old rotary number in faded cream. He
remembered seeing it during his interview, perched on the little white oak desk
of her bedroom office. She curtly excused herself, heaving the door to behind
her. But it caught on the brass deadbolt and remained open a crack.
The interaction with her “real”
yesterday over his pathetic offering had begotten in him a sort of morbid
curiosity. What else was painfully ordinary about her? He had begun to wonder.
He padded over to the bedroom door and peered through the crack. She was
standing by the desk, back to him, receiver at her ear. The conversation on her
end was animated. Heated. The language was alien. He guessed Hindi or Gujarati.
What else about Goddess Deva was
painfully ordinary? Recalling the Sanka she’d served him and wondering why at
two hundred dollars a session she couldn’t afford an espresso machine, he stole
away from the bedroom and wandered back through the living room and into the
open kitchen of faded mauve linoleum. He’d not noticed it yesterday, likely
owing to his state at the time, but his host was clearly willing to pay up for
refrigeration because her unit was a behemoth: a huge double-panelled titanium
number complete with exterior icemaker. So that’s where the espresso maker had
Knowing he was violating some obscure sub-article of his
slave contract but unable to suppress his curiosity, he heaved open one of the
great metal portals. And the answer to his reasoning brain’s unspoken query sat
plainly before him above the cold cuts and the V8 and the Hunan Balcony takeout
containers, their white cardstock flaps stained with soy sauce dregs and an
errant chow fun noodle.
The unit was evidently a custom job
because the entire top half housed an open freezer emitting a sub-arctic chill.
There were his samples, in amongst who knew how many others, in neat rows of
clear glass bottles that he could only describe, with a rising surge of horribly
delirious hilarity, as milk jugs. Each was painstakingly labeled. He found his.
Beneath his name were his vital
EDUCATION: DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
He peered along the rows at the other labels. All white.
All middle-aged. All Ivy League, excepting the occasional Stanford or MIT or
CalTech. Christ. He did a quick count. There were nearly two dozen in all. A
larder of man-milk rimed with frost.
The refrigerator door slammed shut,
nearly clipping his nose before he could jerk it back. She snatched the milk
jug from his hands before he could drop it in shock. She was crowding his space
now, hellfire glimmering in those amber irises, silently demanding an
explanation for this colossal act of impertinence.
His mouth was sagging open in shock. But no halting jumble
of words was forthcoming. He was still processing her ungodly collection.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE
But he couldn’t get into it.
implications of the freezer stockpile had irrevocably shattered his fantastical
vision of mystic erotic transformation and left him marooned forever on the
lonely isle of drab cumstained reality. And the waves were breaking heavy over
Goddess Deva was presenting his sample like the smoking gun
it was and he snatched it away from her. He stood to his full gawky height.
“What is this?” he said.
“This is MY BUSINESS!”
imagined that varying her pitch and tone would shock him back into submission,
that blissful state of illusion, but he had seen too much.
“Give me that and get your twink
into that harness before I REALLY punish you!”
She made to snatch the bottle away
he retreated, easily holding her at arm’s length. When he was himself and not
her slave, he was much stronger, he realized.
He glanced at the sticky note designating his sample once
more, just to confirm for the last time the soul-crushing reality of it all,
and hurled the jug at the puke-green linoleum floor. It shattered into a
hundred pieces. He had literally cum all over her kitchen.
“You little fucker!”
And she was on him in a rage, those beautiful maroon
fingernails, so hard and sharp, clawing for his eyes. He slipped in his own
seed and landed painfully in the broken sea of milk glass and she went down
with him. She was screaming incoherently, and full psychological sobriety made
clear to him why. Sperm clinics paid upwards of fifty dollars a shot for
so-called “Ivy League sperm,” and whoever her fixer was in India, he guessed
his broken jug had set her back at least five hundred bucks.
Goddess Deva, more hellbeast now that
her divine aura had completely abandoned her, was diligently attempting to
mount him in this sea of jagged glass and warming man-cream, fully intent on
clawing his eyes from his head.
But he gathered himself and threw
aside easily. She slipped, cursing fluently, and now there was blood from a
lacerated knee intermingling in the white sea. Scrambling for poise she
snatched up a shard in the shape of a tiny stiletto and presented it to him.
He was oddly unfazed. “I’m
“You pathetic little shit!”
Goddess Deva brandished the glass
knife to strike. But lunging forward slipped in her own blood and fell, with a
grotesque squelching sound, into his lap. The little crimson pool, fed by the
geyser now issuing from her throat where she’d inadvertently impaled herself,
was slowly becoming Lake Sebago.
She expired and they lay there together a long moment, both
victims of the reptilian drivers that define our basest humanity. In our own
innermost worlds, implacable within the crenellated vaults of our skulls, we
are all victims of the awesome hopelessness that defines the present moment.
As that rather poetic string of thoughts filtered through
Nick’s head, he found another shard amongst the wreckage, this one also handily
hewn in the form of a knife, and contemplated it. Was this, then, to be the
portal to his ultimate demise?
He laughed and shook his head ruefully. It was pure cosmic
comedy. Dante would have been amused.
Starobin is a new writer with Black Petals.
He spends his free time traveling to little known corners of the world seeking
inspiration for his stories. He worked for many years in the financial services
industry until his muse finally ordered him to stop. He currently resides in