The Enormous Experience

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A fantastic tale of sex and decadence, starring the people of Atlantis!


Published : Thursday, February 07, 2013
Reading/s : 28
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Licence : All rights reserved
EAN13 : 9781626574915
Number of pages: unknown
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The Enormous Experience

Salambo Forest

This page copyright © 2005 Olympia Press.

ONE

David Whalen walked down the endless beach, occupied not by the haunting breaking of summer waves, the kiss of sand and sea, but by his sagging pride, by his sudden unfought encounter with temptation. The darkness of midnight grew around him, fragrant salt and inky waves bearing white blossoms at the tops of their huge, shattered stalks. He watched as the waves grew larger, goaded by the wind, breaking coldly, deathly, over his large feet. Shivering, he withdrew towards the towering ghosts of white, wind-swept rocks, leaving the galloping water behind. The rocks formed a natural barricade against the wind's onslaught, protecting the spoiled resort people who dwelled beyond them. David tightened his full lips in a sneer, thinking of his fiance Diane who at this very moment was probably back there, lifting her expensive skirts in a disdainful dance. The gaunt and icily lovely Diane. A sudden buffeting wind flung open the twin blue doors of his shirt as he entered the maze of rocks. He could feel the angry wind reach for him, slam against the rocks, crying after his escape.

He stopped, bitterness tossing his stallion's head, undecided whether or not he should head back to the fool's gold of the resort. In disgust he made up his mind and sat, heavily, weighted with his self-hatred, on a short, smooth boulder. His black eyes roamed over the rocky white towers, trailing the distant stars and their eternal message. Wasn't he the same David who had loved nature, who had written volumes of poetry? Wasn't he the same David who would design and build nothing at all if it couldn't meet his own high ideals? Wasn't he the same man, the struggling architect with... dreams?

Dreams? A lyrical voice sang the question.

David leaped to his feet, legs wide apart, fear a porcupine down his broad back. He was pressed between anger and surprise. Who dared to invade his private... thoughts? Thoughts... Had he spoken aloud? It was eerie... imagination.

No imagination. The music words lilted, fragmented by the silence.

Greedy fear stole his heart. He had not spoken out loud! What kind of trickery was this? His... or someone else's? Quickly, he began to walk back towards the unreal but somehow sane resort, dodging the white shadows of rocks.

Please don't go. I didn't mean to frighten you. I am up here... Please look.

Unable to resist, David lifted his shaggy blond head and peered upwards, outlining rocky towers. This was crazy! No one could possibly get up there. He inhaled ice into his lungs, his face frozen in astonishment. On the tallest pinnacle of rock, a sheer jagged point fingering the sky, she stood, a vision of dream stuff. Hair glittering with star-shine, green eyes iridescently visible even from his lowly position. He forgot his fear. His thoughts ran like dyes, touching, coloring one another. Did she need help? How did she get up there? Then, at once he remembered.

This was the creature who had spoken his thoughts. Fear called him, told him to run from this unknown moment... but curiosity outlawed that fear and he watched, unable to believe, unable to settle his mind as he saw the beautiful creature take a step—about to plummet to earth, a ghastly suicide.

“No! My God!” His scream rent the night air... and would have died lonely, if she had fallen. “Oh my God! Oh no!” His mouth hung slack as she walked downwards on the very air itself, her shimmering garment struggling against the wind, her arms curious, stretched outwards, stepping as if a great chiseled staircase had formed of the very air molecules, down, closer and closer to him. His mouth opened and a scream tore his throat, ripping membrane as he whirled around and around, smashing his body into rocks as he sought to escape. Blackness closed about him and the faint gently cradled his horror, erasing all knowledge of the moment.

When the blackness turned to gray, parted, turned to lighter gray, clearing the sudden sleep from his brain, he opened his eyes, meeting instantly the flash of concerned green, the most incredible orbs he had ever encountered. The horror that had caused his blackout returned, choking him. He struggled upwards against softly strong white arms. The greeny-gold hair shook and the word stop entered his mind, formed a picture of the most tender moments, the-softest images. Never would he be able to explain those thought forms, but he did understand them. There was perfume, love on summer beaches, reel after reel of smells and images, whirling phantasmagoria in the large pool of his mind. After a long time it stopped and he opened his eyes to stare again into those two smaller oceans. God, he thought, how beautiful were his nightmares. Such perfection belonged to Greek statues, belonged to another time.

He lay docile in the white arms, touched by long silken fingers, soothed, calmed, smelling the body heat, the jasmine and salt sea smells that oozed from her pores. Each fear that leaped past her beauty, swallowing his heart, she blocked with new expressions of softness, of picture promises guaranteeing herself harmless.

“You can road my mind.'“ His words stuck dryly in his throat.

Without speaking, the thought yes touched him and released him. Her hand smoothed his chest, moving against the many curled wires of blond hairs, soothing, heating his flesh. He should leave here, should get away now, he thought, aware of the insistent pressure of her hands on him. He felt hugely dumb, lying there while this goddess touched him, behaving as if she had always touched him. The magic was too dominant here, was too incredible. He began to envision her as she had looked, walking on the air.

“Stop.” Lilting, the voice of brooks. He stared to make sure her lips moved and she laughed, delighted, her hands smoothing him.

“Should a man run from magic, as you call it, simply because it is rare?”

David stared at her full lips, the pink point of her tongue as she licked the residue of her words from her bottom lip. He felt robbed by these few words... robbed of any decision.

David sat up, his large hands moving to her shoulder, feeling the silken garment under his fingers. He felt light-headed and dizzy as he touched her. She was so incredibly warm. Dozens of questions rushed into his mind, fought their way to his lips. One slender whiteness of finger pressed his mouth, pushing back the questions. He accepted, closed his eyes, increasingly aware of her enchantment, her very real beauty so close to him. The silencing finger moved from his mouth, drew open his shirt, pulled the summer fabric back from his shoulders, hands caressing and indenting his back. Hot wind rushed from his nose, dried his mouth.

“Name... Your name?” He inhaled the words.

“Lilly... and no more words now, David.”

That too he accepted, letting her slender weight press him back into the suddenly warm sand, feeling the full loose breasts, large for her slender shape, swing against him. weighting him as she moved her mouth over his. Salty lips, but sweet. He groaned, aware of his increasing need, rope-muscled arms closing around the woman, gathering the flimsy fabric of her dress and pulling it free of her shoulders, exposing those goddess breasts to the moonlight and to his mouth. Hungrily he grasped them in his hands, pulling her body after them, drew one to his lips, teeth caressing, tongue quick and mercurial over the tiny pinnacle of flesh. She was real.

Outside the rocky barricade the wind howled, slapping rocks in its anger. David rolled over on top of her, working his hands in her dress, aware of the sudden heat that suffused his body. God, but she was hot, even her fingers, as if each digit carried its own furnace. The green eyes half closed, the wonderful mouth showing her glittering teeth. David freed her body from the dress, then removed his own pants, flinging them to the side. Straddling her hips he sat, his breath a cyclone as he stared down at her moon-white body, wondering for an instant at the strange color of her hair. He pushed that from his mind... it belonged to her other possibilities... the frightening ones. She smiled up at him, reminding him that he had no secrets from her. Spreading his fingers on her small belly, he felt her hot flesh grow, amazingly enough, more heated under his fingers. He prowled over her body, lifting her breasts, deliberately teasing himself. Whatever payment would be exacted from him later, would be well worth paying... he hoped.

“None,” she whispered, reaching hands to his back, pressing and releasing his flesh until she reached his hard buttocks, grasping a cheek in each hand, fingers running, long fingernails pressing into the crack of his ass, David groaned. lowering his chest to hers, mashing her voluptuous breasts beneath his mass, covering her mouth with his. A fragrance blossomed from her flesh and she began to move beneath him, spreading her long legs wide apart, raising her hips, insisting the furry content of her pussy against his hard cock. The long fingers left his ass, moved under his pelvis, grasped his balls, one in either hand, rolling the eggs in their silken coverings back and forth, driving him mad with desire. He forced his tongue into her mouth, pressing it hard, driving it down her throat, moving it with fierce abandon while she worked his flesh, fingers now moving around his huge cock, riding up and down against the ridges.

His tongue spiraled up from her mouth, licking the wetness from her full lips. Did they taste now like honey... or was that imagination? He closed his eyes tightly, enjoying her hands on him, nails scraping over the hard red cock, now a fingernail pressed tightly into the slit opening, while her long legs stretched and moved beneath him, undulating, her belly vibrating impossibly under his. He grated his hips into her, trapping her hands as they played him. Moaning, she tossed her long unruly hair, closing her eyes as she pulled her hands from him, squeezing them from underneath his massive weight, gripping his sides. The animal rose inside him; he could smell the musk that her body now produced, driving his desires, guiding him. His hands sought the furry pussy, parted the fat, juicy little lips, pulled far and painfully apart the opening, injecting a finger deep within her, twisting it, turning it, driving it against membrane walls, screwing her with his thick finger. She writhed, twisted under this treatment, loving it, forcing her body upwards, swallowing his finger. He added a finger, wriggling both of them inside her now, stirring juices that would smooth the path his cock would soon take.

“Oh baby, you are ready... so ready.” He exhaled against her mouth, sucking upwards on her bottom lip, chewing it gently. He yanked his fingers from her with a sudden jerk, bit her lip in his frenzy. Her small hands reached for his massive sex, pulled its thick red head down to the oozing cunt and inserted it easily, quickly, riding her lithe body up over it, swallowing it in its entirety, crying out with sweet pain as it hit her ending wall. Madness and the smell of moss filled David. He swore, crashing his hard hips into hers, lifting her ass high into the air, and pumped her with his cannon-like cock, aiming against side walls, rushing her opening, filling her with his wholeness. Lilly cried out, still musical, her belly shaking frantically as she began to gyrate. He groaned, still pumping her, drilling his human well, unable to believe her movements. No woman could do such a thing, no woman could move like that! But it was happening and all he could do was enjoy it, for it shook and vibrated his cock within her, massaged and demanded from him all that he could possibly give. His hands bit deep into her thighs, lifted her even higher as he knelt in the sand, relentless, sinking his cock within her, leaving it deep, touching bottom, to enjoy the vibrations that no human could possibly create. Her breasts quivered, white jelly globes with bright red nipples. David moved slowly, swaggering within her, aware that the movements were ceasing, were slowing down. He bit his lips so hard he drew blood. The new sensation! She was tightening around him, her cunt puckering up, drawing itself inward... making herself virginal. Magic, he thought and then could think no further, for it was too delicious, demanding his entire attention. His bulky cock was trapped within her, and when he moved the sensation was virginal, each rib of his sex outlined by her tightness, each rib grating, sensually irritated by the membrane walls. Slowly now he fucked her, dragging himself with effort in and out of her tightness. Each time he left the tightness, re-entering was more difficult, but still more rewarding. Her body writhed slowly under him, snake-like and silvery in the moonlight, slowly, arms brushing his sides, heating his ribs. As he strained to enter her again, she was suddenly loose. He fell in her, crashing up against the tight drum-covering that ended her, only to feel her tighten around him again. Her knees pressed his sides, tight, hard against his flesh, the mossy smell returning, pervading his nostrils with forest smells, sea algae and the dank of rainy mushrooms. He rode her expanding, contracting cunt, giving himself to the whirlpool of Lilly, drowning in her supernatural femininity. The stirrings within him, the ending climax threatening, horrified him. Usually he could suspend the ending, could for-stall a sudden climax, but not now, not this time; her pleasure was too much, her intimate and magical movements demanded his finish. He tried to grow still, stopping his own movements, waiting until the moment passed, but this silvery woman, who had in-sides of liquid mercury, vibrated, drawing up from ancient depths all the juices his body had harbored. Holding her underneath her ass, he drove his now even larger cock hard up inside her, his mind filled with blood as he spurted in harsh gushes all he had to offer. Underneath him, her silky inner flesh all around him, she met his force, vibration after vibration calling the last of his sperm from him.

David groaned, his voice shaking the silence, matching towards the end a new bleating of wind against rock. He released her buttocks, lowering her gently into the sand. Her green eyes, open wide now, and pleased, watched him, silvery flecks spotting the irises, shooting moonlight back at him. She lay silent as he gently removed his withering cock, lay silent as he drew his legs up under him, moving close to her warmth, his hands touching her breasts. Reaching a finger upwards, she smoothed the frown from his brow.

The questions... the millions of questions rushed him again, she shook her lovely head at him, denying her answers.

“Just tell me where you come from,” he pleaded.

“From far away.” She sat up suddenly, reaching for her garment.

“Why...” David began, wondering at her giving her body so easily.

She stood, her tall body almost as white as the rocks, staring at him, as if she could not quite understand him, her eyes curious.

“I was close by...” She formed the words carefully, so carefully David wondered if she was used to speaking. “... and I heard your pain.”

“Pain?” Pride interfered with his listening.

She shook her head yes and embarrassed, turned from him as she slid her gauzy garment over her head. “Pain has its own wave length, and I... being given to need... and bearing the title Mistress of Love... answered your need. The way I have always answered,” she explained, turning her large, slanted eyes on his again.

David shook his head in bewilderment. He felt for a moment as if he were being put on and then his mind crossed the vision of her, walking on the air. New questions took him and he grabbed her shoulders, demanding with his eyes new explanations.

She stood still under his hard and brutal fingers, her eyes gazing at him tenderly, the look of a mother as she wonders at her too impatient child.

“You must tell me about yourself. If you can really do these things... read minds... I mean, My god! Do you realize what you could do?” His fingers grew tighter, painful on her slim shoulders. “You must explain to me...”

She held up one silvery beautiful hand and smiled sadly at him. “1 must tell you nothing...” And a noise like a popped balloon...

“Oh!” David stared at the empty place in front of him, stared in new and sudden horror at his strangely twisted fingers, gripping that same empty space.

TWO

The rain beat the earth with thousands of tiny fingers, still adamant in its fifth hour. Mada sat in her little unofficial office, wondering why she was not tucked in her comfortable bed. It was two o'clock in the morning and sleep kept offering itself to her, a vague surrender. She really ought to sleep. Tomorrow the world would be fresh, the first tiny green un-foldings of spring would be apparent. She could set up her easel down by the brook, could begin another one of her unfinished masterpieces. She smiled, thinking of the hundreds of not-quite-finished works. The smile did not belong entirely to her own amusement. It belonged to the dead man, her husband.... It was his amusement at her, she felt now.

Mada rose slowly, her hand lingering over the opened book of Grimm's fairy tales, brushing gently against the page number as she left her swivel chair. She pushed aside the curtains, wondering why she considered the rain a part of waiting. Ever since Joe had died, five long years ago, she had found herself sitting up beyond her sleeping hour, waiting, waiting for some new mystery, some new wonder to roll forth from the rain, unveiled. She was thirty-eight years old and had a son of nineteen. She still read fairy tales and believed in everything. Even after life, whose sunlit realities she worshipped, had stolen her most prized possession, Joe. Her small nose pressed into the window pane, enjoying the cold wetness, her large blue eyes peered into the rain, and she waited there ten full minutes, in some part of her secret self, a little girl awaiting Santa Claus. She drew back from the window, drawing children's faces on the foggy canvas, adding to the most minute detail with her long red nails.

“I'm going to bed!” she said out loud, with false determination. Instead, she returned to her desk, propping her feet up on the large, square top. It had been Joe's desk. She searched in the top drawer and found a nail file, began trimming her nails, humming a little tune as she thought of May. This was the middle, of April, the time of rain. Soon she would be yanked out of her loneliness, stolen from her expectancy. Joe had bought the little tangled group of cabins, had smiled at the little glittering brook, had hugged her close, whispering in her ear that he was going to buy the place for her. Mada stopped filing and stared at her nails. Had it been some premonition of his? Had he foreseen the accident that had ripped him from her life forever? This colony, now an artists' retreat, was a bond against loneliness. Joe had always done the best by her, even when he did not realize it. Even his mistakes had pleased her. As soon as May rolled around, all her old artist friends and new ones would fill these cabins with laughter, would occupy her heart and mind, would enforce new creative thoughts upon her. She smiled. Just a few more weeks of this barren existence.

The rain drove at the earth, increasing its solid, steady drone. The back of her neck prickled and she laid down the nail file, picked it up again. What the hell was she waiting for? She was so tired that her eyelids drooped, her left eye almost closing as was its habit when she grew fatigued. She slammed the small nail file down with a bang and went to the window again. One more look at the rainy sheet outside and she would go to sleep, lulled by the rippling thunder on her tiled roof. Jackson had been sleeping for hours already. She would look in at him before she went to bed, would see Joe relaxed in the young face, would be reminded of the only kind of immortality she could understand. The children.

She sighed, running her slim hands through her short curly hair, her eyes shutting tight for a moment. Yes, she would go to bed now. She was growing into middle age, obsessed by the thought that rain would bring her something. Something she did not even know how to define. All rain brought were new buds, leaves, crisp vegetation, and that was quite a bit. With determination she let the crispy pink curtains flow back over the fogged window, turned out the small desk lamp, walked slowly through the dark dining room, ignoring the lonely shadows that threatened to swallow the remainder of her youth. The only sound in here, competing with the humming rain, was the thick swing of pendulums on the immense grandfather clock. She passed through the hall and tiptoed to Jackson's room, opening the door gently, smiling as the dim light cast a glow over her son's face. The black hair was hers, but the sharp features were Joe's, the black eyes that slept under the mounds of slanted eyelids were Joe's. She blew a kiss to the long, lanky shape and closed the door again, retreating further down the hall to her room. Her hand on the knob, her still beautiful face and trim, voluptuous figure reflected in the door's mirror, she turned the cold brass knob...

Bang! Bang! Bang! Mada stopped, the sudden noise sending a porcupine of fear up her back. She turned and ran through the dining room, stooping over the desk, out of breath, to light the small lamp.

The banging continued. She approached the door cautiously, lifting the curtain that blocked the four small panes of glass. Outside a bedraggled figure motioned for her to unlock the door. Mada complied, feeling the damp enter with the stranger.

Laughing, she helped him off with his coat, not yet seeing him in the flurry of wetness and chilled air. The coat over her arm, she finally looked at his face, her heart moving in her throat.

“I hope you have a room,” he said, his voice a strange kind of vibration. She did not quite hear him, so engrossed was she in separating and trying to identify his features. God! Where did he come by those eyes... those iridescent eyes, like two slanted green seas, sparkled by flecks of blue and silver. His features were a part of some statue she had long ago seen in a Greek ruin, sharp and proud, his body a slim elegant column supporting his long neck, a pedestal for that head! His hair was longish, curling over his trim shirt collar, gold, not blond, but gold and... was it her imagination that there was more than a hint of green, burnished, reflecting those eyes.... Imagination? She shook herself, suddenly aware of her rudeness.

“Oh, I'm sorry. Your appearance startled me,” she blurted with her usual disarming honesty. He smiled at her. “I have a room, as a matter of fact, I have many rooms. There's no one here but myself.” She realized the provocation in her words. She would have to learn dishonesty... just a hair's worth. “And my son,” she added, thinking of how Joe had tried to teach her caution.

“I'm glad you have room. I've come a long way... and I'm tired.”

Mada smiled again, offering him the register and a pen. At first he looked at it strangely and then at her. Suddenly he smiled as if he had just realized its use. She took the register back from him and looked.

“Blend?” She shot him a quizzical glance. “Just Blend?”

He nodded. She shrugged, motioned for him to follow her, chatting about breakfast and not bothering him till late, until they reached the end of the long dining room. She gave him an umbrella and led the way to the nearest cabin, out into the pouring rain. This was the unexpected-guest cabin she always kept in good shape. For what the rain would bring, she thought, amused at her own sense of mystery. She watched the stranger move around the room, inspecting the quaint furnishings, the ancient dark Spanish woods. He finished and turned to her, nodding. She smiled, caught for a moment on the spear of his deepening eyes. My god! It felt as if he had dipped into her soul, had swooped down clean inside of her and had examined her contents... all with one look. There was a sexual something, a quiver of need, a smell of emotion that emanated from him too. She grew nervous, and withdrew her lovely body from the cabin, bidding him a hurried goodnight.

She folded the umbrella up under her arm, letting the rain wash the excitement from her as she slowly walked back to her room. She closed the hall door behind her and leaned against the warm wood. Excitement fluttered back, free of the cleansing rain. A great moth leaped within her full breasts. This was it, she thought, this was something. Something wonderful was in her house, was close to her. For the first time since Joe, for the first time in many years, something else moved besides her own natural joy, something else lived, apart from her. She was about to become involved; just how she was not sure, but there was that message, was that link already between the stranger and herself.

She took her tired body and over-excited mind to bed, lay for hours knowing she would not be able to sleep tonight, that she would still be awake at dawn. Her body thought differently, hushed her emotions gently under its relaxation and moved within the black box of sleep.

The next thing she knew, the sunlight was shining against her closed eyelids, was warming her thoughts, nudging them awake. She opened her eyes, closed them, opened them again, squinting against the harshness of daylight. She sat up, smiling, all at once awake, aware that this was a day of adventure, was a special day, when all the loneliness of everyday life would be removed, would be scraped from her soul. Blend, the man from far away—he had said—was in her keeping, was here in cabin number one, bringing his strangeness, his keen manner and sea-like vision to sweep all the sack-of-woe cobwebs from her mind.

She dressed carefully, wearing-her new dungarees for the occasion and a sweetly clinging sweater. She brushed her hair a hundred strokes and looked at her blue eyes with their dark fringe of lashes, smiling at herself in her vanity mirror. She was like a child, expecting too much. Was she going to seduce this man? Was she going to make him responsible for all her various hungers? She was crazy.... Just like Joe had always said, she was a crazy, wildly creative woman, living just inside the rim of her own possibilities, her own fantastic world. She arrived at the dining room to find her son, engrossed in a science-fiction masterpiece and orange juice. He bid her a grumpy good morning and promptly ignored her, until he stood, his book under his arm, telling her he had to go to town.

“Got a date with Charon. Movies. Later, Mom.” And he was off, a handsome lanky boy wearing his dead father's face. Mada wrinkled her nose at the thought of Charon and her prudish face, her up-tight family who disapproved of the crazy artists' colony, who thought nice young Jackson's mother a bit odd. She wanted her son to marry a bit of strangeness, a wisp of fairy smoke, not a normal, religious little phoney like Charon. Mada brushed the thought from her mind and drank her morning coffee. After that, still driven by her expectancy, she gave orders to the cook and gathered up her easel and materials. She would head for the brook and begin painting, calm her wild spirits, try to remember she was thirty-eight years old and a mother. She arrived at the brook, set up her equipment and promptly forgot that she was thirty-eight and a mother.

THREE

Blend found her by the brook, her crazy emotional sparks shooting his pattern with her thoughts and desires. He stood, watching her mix a panorama of paints, enjoying the smells and colors she created with her stirrings. She was already well into her work, not yet noticing him, although her vibrations frenzied the very woods around her. She was a beautiful woman with her trim body and beautiful face.' She was lit from within by a thousand candles, and although her thoughts were laid bare to him, he could not understand her at all. She amazed and delighted him at the same time and was therefore unique. She was a part of that strange, hidden thing called creativity. The one thing his land did not possess, the one factor that was missing. It was, by itself, an excellent reason why it was so important to bother with this deluded land. The sunlight turned the woman's hair to blue, sparkled it with hidden purples and lights. Her long lashes threw a fringe of shadows on her cheek and he smiled at her, watching her deft brush outline the trees. If he could only put his finger on the trigger of her creative spark, if he could only trace the outlines of the hidden factor that gave birth to creativity! He found his thoughts fluctuating from her creative process back to her earthly beauty. It was a change from the gold and green of Saland's women. It was also a change from all the horror he had seen on her world. She was separate and apart. This visit found everything the same, the very same as three hundred years ago. It was sad that a land so beautiful contained so much violence, contained so many blind people who destroyed nature, who killed each other, people who could not communicate. The artists were the ones apart.

“Hello?” Her voce followed her sudden discovery of him, her smile radiant, lovely perfect teeth against the blush of lipstick she had put on especially for him.

He moved in, sucked by the smile, the poised brush she held in mid-air, above the soft blooming trees of paint. Blend sat on a sawed-off tree stump and motioned for her to continue painting. She smiled once more at him and returned to her work, her face growing serious as her eyes met the canvas. The wonderful earthly music of birds filled the still damp air, their various movements rattling the branches at the top of the trees. Blend looked into the quickly moving brook, watching it wind down the mountain.

“I have always admired creative people,” he told the busy Mada.

Without looking at him she replied, “That's strange.”

“Why is it strange to be admired?” he asked, reading her thoughts as they unpeeled from a vortex of patterns.

“You do not paint or write... or do anything like this?” She waved the paint brush at him.

He shook his head negatively.

Her eyes met his, nailing him with their bright blue color. “Most people who aren't creative cannot understand it. They think to be creative is to be... well, kind of crazy.”

“And what do you think?” he prodded, thinking that perhaps she could supply him with a key that would unlock his own race's barrenness.

She laughed loud. It was a joyful, filled-to-the-brim noise that stirred him. He hadn't found much laughter on this topland. At least not spontaneous laughter like hers.

“To be creative...” She paused, savoring the words, “is to be possessed by demons and angels, is to have blue marbles clattering back and forth in your head, the underbellies of deer, is to have giant, towering crystal cities bloom in your mind while you sleep. We are inhabited by millions of creatures, fairies that hinder and help us at the same time. We would float away like balloons if we did not find ballast... did not weight ourselves with substances that keep us tied to the earth.” Her breath ran out and she gasped for air, her smile returning, her sweet pointed arrow of a tongue licking the residue of words from her full mouth. A beautiful mouth, he thought. He would taste that mouth soon, would investigate her... would make her a form of research.

“What kind...

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