Shiva's Messenger

Sprite of May and September’s Satyr

Chapter 15

Sprite of May and September’s Satyr

 

“We’re safe now,” the rescued girl wasn’t content with just a hug: she kissed him deeply on the lips, “and we’re together at last.”
“Uh-huh.” The passionate kiss had both surprised and befuddled him.
“Get a room,” a younger ruffian had rounded the corner and broke the mood with a rude comment, “or maybe the tart needs a virile stud instead.”
“Hop on back.” The programmer ignored the unwanted intrusion.
“Hey babe,” another street guy chirped in, “you want to get two bangs for the price of none?” He grabbed his crotch. “I got a big one right here.”
“Ditch your dad,” the first boy laughed raucously, “and come with us.”
“I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle like this before.” Lyra slipped the spare helmet over her long hair. Scooters were common in her previous home in Phuket but the comparison to a high performance 750cc Kawasaki twin cylinder Vulcan was as a Shetland pony is to a thoroughbred stallion.
“Going off with an old geezer is lame.” The taunt was accompanied by a guffaw. “Look what you’ll be missing out on.” The one man in his early twenties turned and dropped his pants and shorts to his lower thighs.
“Yah,” the other one chortled and showed a similar full moon, “doesn’t my prime ass meat have your girlie juices gurgling?”
[If you won’t, I will.] Loki took control and swiftly drew the paintball gun. [Take that!] The first round projectile struck a globe of buttocks and it splattered yellow. [It would’ve been a shame,] the trickster god kept the trigger depressed, [not to get some fun with this toy:] a mag of thirty balls peppered the exposed rumps. The hooligans danced to the music of their own shrieks and scrambled to get pants back onto two power painted butts.
On regaining control of his body, Tariq put the gun into its pouch. He squeezed the clutch and stepped the pedal into gear, then rolled the throttle. The tires spun several revolutions and then the rubber grabbed the asphalt.
“Where should we go?” Tariq asked over the wind and engine roar.
With her physical connection with the seat, Lyra’s inner thighs felt the mechanical action of his two quick up shifts as brief hesitations and the pedal clunks were followed by her inertia accelerating. The vibration of the motor was sexually exciting: like riding a gasoline-powered dildo.
“Second star on the left.” She felt him lean briefly to the right and back again to bend the wheels around the hump of a roughly set manhole cover.
“Then straight on until morning.” Tariq finished the quote as it was the directions to Neverland as given by Peter Pan. I feel like a boy who never grew up—nor wants to. A young woman glued to his back seemed to be cycling back the number of his days with each rotation of a tire. At least in my mind she might be, but the mental theater is where that stays.
[You’re kidding yourself.] Loki mentally smirked: that was true in two ways but he meant the second. [In matters of sex, women always choose.]
“How utterly weird am I?” Lyra tickled to the delightful sensations in her flesh pressed solidly against the man in front. A gorgeous boy of near my age held my naked body and I felt nothing. Currently the motorbike’s transmission was in fourth but her female sex drive had just kicked into passing gear. Almost of their own accord, her hands explored his midriff and her fingers evoked a tightening of his abdominal muscles. Now a man probably twice as old as I am, has me nearly dripping.
“What’s that?” Tariq heard a mutter but over the noise, but with his thoughts tracking the fingers moving on his belly, he didn’t catch the words. He could barely spare any attention to his riding.
[Her proximity evokes images from her video clips.]
Take your nose out of my mind’s gutter.
“Find us a motel.” Lyra shouted.
“Well, what should—.” The programmer began small talk as the door swung shut but he didn’t finish as a frantic pair of lips locked onto his.
Lyra’s hands sought a way into his clothing as she aggressively walked him backwards to collapse on the bed. He didn’t expect a connection like this but I need it. The woman detected hesitancy in him but she ignored it.
Tariq’s male instincts responded as predictable in the sensual situation. Conversely, his mental functions edged towards panic and trying to predict the future. The girl wants this now but where will we be afterwards?
[You’ll be in a Windsor motel room—the same place as you are now.]
Her current pique could be a one-time reaction to the sudden release of pent up—liberation?
[Shut your stupid brain off and let your body do your thinking for you.]

shivasmessenger

Reclined on his side, Tariq had both his elbow and a pillow under his ear: he could think of nothing worth saying. His eyes were fastened on the woman’s pupils—that were focused on his.
“Thank you.” The girl broke the conversational ice.
“I think I’m the one that should’ve said that.” The Iranian laughed at the absurdity of an incredibly beautiful young female thanking an older man for a bedroom romp. Lauren was—. He began a thought but then decided to speak it instead. “My last lover wasn’t as young as you are but I felt the generation difference between us was vast.”
“The older men I’ve willingly been with have all paid me for it,” Lyra didn’t factor in the men involved in the rapes: they didn’t count, “but this time was for free.” It was for no charge and for the girl who called herself by that name. She took a heavy breath and let it out in a soft sigh.
“You are,” the man rolled his face forward to touch noses: he had meant to before her admission and it didn’t stop him, “or were a hooker?”
“I’ve taken money for sex,” Lyra’s hand moved to his neck and she ran fingertips in the back of his scalp, seeking for nerve bundles to send shocks of ecstasy, “but only when I really wanted to do it anyways.”
“Let’s do something.” He endured her sensual ministrations only until it seemed they were headed towards something else. He sat up sharply.
[Does your battery need more than ten minutes of recovery time?]
“I was just getting warmed up again.” Lyra pouted.
“I didn’t expect to cross over into Canada and I don’t have my gear.” Tariq went on to tell of a Detroit motel room and a leased car there. “The motorcycle was just a day rental to follow in traffic.”
“I didn’t get much sleep last night. Why don’t you go back and pack your stuff. I can nap and then maybe,” she traced a finger over his chest, “we can go to dinner after you get back.” But despite his reservations, I don’t intend to celebrate my freedom day celibately.

shivasmessenger

“America is purported to be a land of liberty.” Lyra noted after the drinks arrived but before the food was served. They were dining in one of the bigger gambling establishments but hadn’t tried their luck. “Yet, I was in captivity during each moment I was there.”
“You’re not the first to come north to Canada seeking freedom.” Tariq mentioned the underground railroad of the black slaves and the draft-dodgers evading compulsory military service in Vietnam. “It’s just as well you were secreted out of the U.S. as the laws are slightly more liberal here. In Detroit, you would’ve needed to be 21 to have a drink with our meal.”
“With disparity in legal drinking age,” the girl tilted her glass then put it to her ironic smile, “I would be less at liberty there to exercise my choice on whether or not to take alcohol.”
“Freedom is a relative term no matter where one resides.”
“I don’t think that should be so,” the previously owned girl pensively swirled wine glass, “but that’s a discussion far too deep for this situation.”
“While you prefer me just as your dumb boy toy.” The programmer found this turn-about hilarious. “I suspect I can mentally keep up.”
“The booming casino business here in Windsor,” Lyra’s eyes strayed around, “is also do to freedom of choice. The puritanical lawmakers in the U.S. haven’t deemed fit to allowed supposedly free folk to gamble there.”
“Those politicians do represent the majority that elected them.” Tariq spouted a socially acceptable response to her observation, but he didn’t feel quite as comfortable in its truth, as he once did. “Actually,” the Canadian chuckled, “I think you’re right. This is too complex a topic for just now.”
“The banks of slot machines have enticing bells and music.” Lyra couldn’t resist playing her situation interpretation game. “Watch how our fellow diners are affected by the jingle tunes. Their eyes turn askance, and nudged by the sounds of winning, they feel an induced compulsion to gamble, instead of simply enjoying their repast.”
“They are free not to participate.”
“Are they really at liberty to decline?”
“In the 1960’s, an experimental form of subliminal advertising was put in practice. Messages too subtle for the eye to directly catch were sent to the subconscious mind. It was ultimately banned as unconscionable.”
“But as the corporate culture gained greater sway over the politicians, a greater lenience was quietly granted.” Lyra suggested. “Now, subliminal advertising seems to be everywhere.”
“I concur with that.” Tariq snagged a cigarette girl and bought a pack.
“I didn’t know you smoked.”
“I don’t anymore, but the cigarette manufacturers sure do want me to.” He showed her the packaging. “Advertisers found that hiding words like death in smoke or ice graphics was an effective way to promote harmful products.” He pointed to the gruesome health warning. “Now, tobacco companies are allowed to put images in right in bold sight. It targets the subconscious and people just don’t realize that it’s still advertising.”
“The anti-smoking lobbyists pushed for those shocking photos.” Lyra pulled her elbows off the table to allow a waiter to set out her food order.
“So the naive believe but how did an under-funded anti-smoking group win against the well-established influence of the tobacco companies—if those didn’t actually want the legislation?”
“This discussion seems to be headed in the same general direction,” she picked up her fork, but just stirred her food, “as the one I wished to avoid.”
“Let’s try it then.”
“You told me of a spirit you have inside.” She intently gazed as if to find Loki in his eyes. “Did you acquire him when you drowned?”
“Yes.”
“I had a death experience too. It was in the Boxing Day tsunami.”
“Did you bring back anyone with you?”
“I’ve been envious since you told me: someone internal would’ve been awesome while Bob had me in solitary. If possible, I would’ve brought my mom back, but I didn’t found her either alive, dead or in a spirit form.”
“I didn’t pick Loki: he jumped in uninvited like a homeless windshield washer. But, I’m a bit lost here. How does our talking of freedom and subliminal ads lead to afterlife experiences that we’ve both had?
“I’ve never felt so free and happy—as I did when I was briefly dead.”
“As I was paddling away from Bob’s boat in a life ring,” he admitted, “I was genuinely tempted to just let it go and drown again.”
“Subliminal advertising’s death messages are targeting our souls. Those want to die and go home—because here, they are not free enough.”
“That is too deep. Can I go back to being the dumb boy-toy now?”
[Chicken!]
“You can,” she touched a forkful of mashed potato to her lower lip, “if I can be the teenybopper looking for your big daddy-long-legs.”
[Mink!]
“People seated nearby often covertly look this way and jealousy flashes over faces.” They had eaten in silence for a few minutes but Lyra had been surreptitiously observing the restaurant’s other diners. “They all have the freedom to mind their own affairs but choose to consider ours instead.”
“Polite society seems to promote loutish behavior in response to a perceived breach of a societal taboo.”
“I don’t mind and in fact I enjoy it.” The girl described her game of interpreting social situations and gave her impression of this one. “Due to our age disparity, most probably think I’m a courtesan. The men looking at us may be wishing they could rent my services. While the women try to hide their true expression with one of mild disgust, they also feel envious.”
“Because a winsome young female,” Tariq speculated, “has usurped a mate who should belong to a woman of their generation?”
“Would you say our rapt audience is more offended by your being a lecherous chicken hawk, or by my status as a professional escort?” Her eyes turned mirthful, as the mature waitress had arrived just in time to hear Lyra’s seeming admission of being a paid strumpet.
[The serving wench’s nose is wrinkled: as if she just dipped her stork’s beak into a longboat’s bilge bucket.]
“I imagine I get the double dose.” Tariq exercised decorum by waiting until the server left, before continuing. “I’m perceived as an aged punter with a forbidden taste for cherry-flavored tarts.” The programmer took a bite of his juicy rare steak. “Did prostitution bring you to the Russian mob, or did the mafia take you into the sex trade?
“Neither one.” The girl chuckled lustily and decided to play a different game. Under the table, she slipped off her one shoe.
“After losing your mother, I imagine you didn’t have many options.”
“I had some and the ones I made were deliberate.” Lyra began tickling her toes up her date’s pant leg. “My first John was of about your age.”
“Did he teach you anything?”
“I know now that steroids, nicotine, alcohol and Viagra,” Lyra giggled and her toes tugged at the top of his sock, “are not a such good combo.”
“Do tell.”
“He was quite buffed,” she grinned as she relating the tale she hadn’t shared with Dmitri—or anyone else, “but I later saw a bottle of anabolic steroids in his shaving kit, that I suspect assisted his bulking up.”
“Steroids have been linked to impotence and a reduced libido.”
“So has nicotine and the man smoked like a freighter’s funnel.” Under the table, her ploy took a stronger tack with her foot leaving the confined space of the pant leg and climbing to the inside of the programmer’s knee. “It’s odd how people often do things that defeat their own purposes.”
“He was presumably using steroids to make himself more physically attractive—to impress women,” the Iranian guessed, “but his methods were defeating his ability to perform at the optimum—when he got one in bed.”
“While we unsuccessfully tried, he bemoaned over some alcohol.” The girl’s mischievous toes found his inner thigh. “My John stoked his firebox with Viagra and had two more drinks while waiting for it to take effect.”
“Alcohol and nicotine are both depressants.”
“As I found out shortly after the drug kicked in.” Under the table, her foot found its target: she planted her heel to facilitate further wiggling toe-play. “He was yawning by then and so asked me to go on top.”
“Oh, he didn’t fall asleep.” The programmer laughed. “Did he?”
“He snored like an outboard motor but his banner stanchion remained standing firm and proud.” She grinned as her inquisitive foot discovered it had achieved a Viagra effect. “I tied my white g-string panties to his mast like a surrender flag, took the money, and I left.”
“There’s my capitulation marker for the naughty footsy game.” Tariq placed a napkin atop his empty water glass. “If we don’t pay our bill and leave, I’ll soon be ravishing you under the table.”
“The man in Bangkok,” Lyra removed her provocative foot and her face fell a notch as she realized the man from the pool also highlighted how her lack of life experience could be a hindrance, “and I didn’t have common subjects to talk about.” Obviously, a mature male found a young female desirable but sex wasn’t enough.
“After I was finished high school,” Tariq reminisced as they waited on the bill, “I worked for several years while deciding on a career: I stayed in my parent’s house. My younger sister’s friend developed a crush on me.”
“I hope this tale has full body contact—as your spider story didn’t.”
“We were physical—often.” He flirted his eyebrow but omitted details. “In truth, sex was really all we did together. Eventually, she met another guy whom she felt more kinship with and we both moved on. We learned that physicality is only part of what a man and a woman need to share.”
“She was too young to know about what interested you.”
“Her youthful age only really factored into her using sex as a lure and my immaturity had me biting too hard on that hook. As our time spent as a couple passed, we found we liked different things and were we of identical ages, we still wouldn’t be happy together.”
“Neither of you were harmed by the affair,” her face brightened, “but you couldn’t of known unless you tried.”
“We also both gained in our carnal knowledge.” The Iranian noted the music and he laughed at a small coincidence of this moment. “In fact, each time I hear the song that’s playing right now,” it was Night Moves by Bob Seger, “I’m reminded of some wonderful times with her.”
“What song will make you think of me?”
“Probably this one.” The Canadian was again nonplussed by a perfect choice from the canned music: it was a Bob Seger medley and Main Street had come up next. “The lyrics are poignant to your lifesaving dance on the yacht, but the tune’s haunting quality can linger forever in a mind’s ear.”
“I might’ve picked Night Moves to remind me of you,” Lyra pondered, ‘but it’s already taken.” And my Tantra will likely have me as the bedroom skills instructor. “I’ll devote my mind to finding an ideal selection.”
“Shall we leave,” the programmer had paid the bill, “or should we play some games and waste some money?’
“I’ve never been to a casino.” Lyra finished her fourth glass of wine.
“The peanut shaped tables are mostly for blackjack, but there are other card games played there too.” He explained as they strolled. “Roulette is over there,” he pointed, “and Poker is in that compartmented off room.”
“The numerous banks of slot machines seem to be the most popular.”
“The one-armed-bandits aren’t well named anymore as the mechanical handles of early machines have been replaced by buttons or touch screens.”
“Armless robbery is a crime in most States, but it’s legal in Canada.”
“It would be illegal here too,” he wryly noted, “but for the government taking a whopping skim-off in return for legitimacy.”
“Let’s try this game.” She saw one with a sword and fantasy theme.
“I’ll kiss this goodbye now.” The Iranian slid a fifty note into the slot and the credits tallied up accordingly.
“Does Loki talk to you constantly?” Lyra pulled a chair up close to his machine: she had no money of her own but took her turn pushing buttons.
“He’s disappeared altogether once,” Tariq recalled the long hours of total absence when he was working in his Seattle apartment, “but usually he chatters away while trying to engage me in a conversation.
[Lately, the booming reverberations of my words echoing on the walls of your empty skull have been frightening me into silence.]
“When I’m with you,” as doubtlessly intended, Loki’s insult prompted Tariq’s noticing, “I don’t often speak to myself in my mind either.”
“Khik mai mach.” The previous slave chuckled: the condition was one she had also excessively experienced. “It means don’t think too much.”
“It’s comfortable being sufficiently at ease with someone for unguarded openness.” The Canadian recalled how a self-commentary was necessary in his interactions with Lauren and also awkwardly with Tamara.
[HELLO—hello—hello—hello]
“I’ll treat you the same way.” The young woman thought of her father. “This slot machine lured me because I’ve characterized myself as a hobbit in the Lord of the Rings and I envisioned my father as Gandalf.”
“There’s another commonality.” Tariq thought of his escape from the tower, but his didn’t seem to fit the current conversation. “I’ve identified with a Tolkien character too, but you used a past tense on being a hobbit.”
“Now, I’m looking forward through Aragorn’s perspective.”
“I’m intrigued at the masculine figure,” Tariq’s eyes hinted downwards at the decidedly female package below, “but I’m more absorbed in who I am in your personifications. The wizard helped Strider in claiming Middle Earth’s throne but there was also the Elvish Lady Arwen.”
“She was much older than he,” the girl’s eyes focused on the gambling screen, where credits were dwindling, “but timeless until she relinquished her immortality. Then his spring and her autumn merged for a summer.”
[I’m taking my turn at pushing the button.] The wheels spun and came to rest with five dragons in a line. The jingle from the speaker mounted to a crescendo and a hitherto unseen bonus game materialized.
“Let me select.” The young woman squirmed excitedly and touched one of the four treasure chests. A large amount showed and then the other three opened to display what she might’ve taken—one was a nasty goblin.
[Now me.] Through Tariq’s finger, Loki touched a chest—win all. The tally climbed by the total in the other three chests.
Lyra and Loki took the turns for the next three bonus rounds and each avoided the goblins to win big rewards. The screen said call attendant.
“I hate it when he does that to me.” The programmer’s mind returned to the perfect swing at the driving range. His fifty dollars had multiplied by 50 into $2500 but that was an irritant too. “I’m much more comfortable thinking of my mind’s hitchhiker as just my brain’s sickness.”
“What is the song playing now?” While waiting for the payout, the girl ordered more drinks and the canned music regained her attention.
“It’s Bright Side of the Road,” the Iranian signed for, and collected the winnings, but he didn’t feel like any more alcohol, “by Van Morrison.”
“I’ve picked the song that will remind me of you.” She finished her last drink and then bolted his down too. “There’s no sense in wasting it.”
“Come sit closer to me.” In the back seat of a taxi, Lyra felt her liquor.
“I don’t think so.” Tariq recalled her public footsy game and he didn’t want something similar happening in a cab.
“You’re not as dumb,” she slurred, “as I want you to be.”

shivasmessenger

Her eyes opened to slits and through the fuzzy black bars of the heavy mascara on her lashes, Zafira viewed a man’s chest: her head was nestled against it. Abdi’s mind replayed the now consummated dangerous tryst.
‘It’s unseemly for us to be observed together for more than a meal,’ she had cautioned after his hand found hers—Zafira hadn’t drawn back, ‘as we make an unlikely pairing. Your Stryker Group is well known for swaying American politicians—but they staunchly back my opponents.’
‘My companies are well suspected,’ Bernard had warmly squeezed her hand, ‘but that’s a world of difference from well known. Bring a small bag to my jet tonight and we’ll discuss our desires far away from scrutiny.’
Desires. Zafira smiled and her fingers idly combed the sparse tangle of grey hairs between his taunt pectorals. That one spoken word toppled any resolve I could’ve found to refuse him with. She had both a physical desire that was stirred up in the elevator and political yearning that he could sate.
‘I found your Hundred Years War speech interesting,’ aboard his jet, Stryker resumed their conversation, ‘but the Norman Conquest was exactly the reverse with Frenchmen sacking the English countryside. Other than love-struck Joan of Arc’s fanatical quest to reinstall her Dauphin, French commanders in the century long conflict were also financially motivated.’
‘I can’t hope to change human nature,’ Zafira Abdi had retorted, ‘but I would consider it a victory when a people’s government, as opposed to the government’s army, controls happenings on my state’s sensitive borders.’
‘A victory condition for my human nature,’ Bernard had set his hand on her knee, ‘involves my influencing goings-on in your state of sensitivity.’
“Are you hungry for a bite of breakfast?” The Pakistani woman felt her caresses had awakened him. I’m not even sure of where the flight landed.
“Here in Vienna it’s called früstück,” Bernard rolled to face her, “and the English translation is literally an early piece: why don’t we enjoy a big früstück of morning glory and then consider what we might wish to eat.

shivasmessenger

“I can certainly see why Bob saw such slave potential in you.” Tariq was on his back and the girl prone on her belly: she had seemingly kissed his foot but a dry spit told of her having just bitten out his toe’s hangnail.
“You really needed this,” Lyra looked up from his foot manicure, “and I enjoy caring for people I’m close to. You’re wrong though,” she returned her attention to the clippers, “he just wanted one type of personal service.”
“Am I really that different?” Since they were at his face anyways, the programmer grabbed her bare feet and awkwardly massaged them. Days had blended into a blur of bliss. The time had been spent in talking about the events in their lives—interspaced frequently with awesome sex.
“You’re just tickling them.” She pulled her legs away.
[A gift always belongs to the giver.]
You know what’s going on in my mind. The Iranian reverted to his old habit speaking internally. Why don’t you tell me so we both do?
[I’ll only give you a hint—the same is happening in hers too.]
“This isn’t me.” The Iranian-Canadian’s eyes swept the hotel room.
“Then who is it?” She gave a last quick file and blew away the dust.
“I mean this isn’t who I am. Let’s go somewhere I can be myself.”
“Okay.” She had no idea what he was babbling about.
Southwestern Ontario is an area of urban centers, rural acreages, roads orchards, industry and civilization. There are places everywhere though, where nature remains and as he drove, that’s precisely what he looked for.

shivasmessenger

Across the Atlantic, it was early evening and Zafira Abdi admired her reflection in a lobby mirror. Her gown was shimmering blue and trimmed with sterling silver lace. It fit her as if tailor made to her measurements—it was: Bernard’s staff had taken digital dimensions from recent new videos. After Stryker had left the suite, a team of dressers, make-up artists and stylists had unexpectedly arrived to get her ready for tonight.
“Do you like it?” Bernard materialized behind, as if from nowhere.
“It’s wonderful.” The Pakistani woman’s fingers caressed the silky veil perfectly matching both her style and the chic evening dress. “You look elegant as well.” She nodded approvingly at his pitch-black tuxedo.
“Our carriage awaits.” Stryker’s statement wasn’t a figure of speech: an open landau teamed by dapple-grey horses stood at the hotel’s door.
“We should be more careful than this.” As they traveled to the Vienna opera house, Abdi worried. “I’m a publically known figure, and married.”
“If there are Paparazzi about, my people will have possession of the film.” Bernard smiled enigmatically: they would be photographed together and his staff was taking them. “The major wire services know better than to publish anything about me that I haven’t approved. As to smaller ones, I can quickly squash anything the press tries to push into the public’s face.”
“You’re confident.” It wasn’t a question. Zafira took assurance from just his demeanor. Bernard’s perfect coifed hair and trimmed beard lends him a regal quality: his looks and personal power call Czar Nicholas to mind—albeit older than the last Romanov was when assassinated.
“Princess Diana rode with me in a landau to this opera house.” Stryker nodded to the driver and after a whip crack, the horse’s hoofs clattered on the cobblestones. “Did the tabloids feature any shocking photos of us?”
The open carriage rounded a corner and was bathed in the evening sun. As a strong gust of wind fluttered her hair and veil: the Pakistani woman hugged his arm and shivered. He can pave the highway to my ambitions.

shivasmessenger

“Now this,” the best place Tariq could find was a wooded gully with a clear stream running through it, “is where I live.” They had hiked a half a kilometer and chanced upon an oxbow with pool of still water.
“In other words,” she chuckled, “you’re homeless. Where’s your tent?”
“I left it in my shopping cart.” He stripped to his undershorts.
“I’ll move here too.” With a grin, she peeled off her jeans.
“It’s a bit shallow for swimming,” the Canadian waded into the pond: at the middle, it was only up to his thighs, “but that’s deep enough to get wet.” He ducked in up to his neck and sat on the squishy bottom.
Lyra splashed out to the middle and dropped on her knees. She slowly turned a circle to take in the setting. The highway noise was a distant hum, and birds and insects could be heard over it. “Why are we here?”
“I’ll tell you that secret after we’ve mucked in that mud hole.” In the old streambed, he had spotted a place where a slight depression was filled with water. “Dance with me?” Tariq trundled into the mud: its depth was up to his ankles. “This is called the grape-stomper’s tango.”
After an hour of dancing, laughing, tramping, stumbling and sometimes falling, the two were filthy. Their play had widened the wallow to the size of a compact car. It was now over the girl’s knees and each step was as if walking on a planet with triple the gravity.
“I’m a swine and this mud is my home sweet home.” The Iranian had fallen over backwards and the muck was over his thighs. “Come sit on my best sofa.” As an invitation, he slapped the mud beside him.
“It also comes with,” she plunked down, then turned with an evil titter and whopped his cheeks with double handfuls, “free mud facials.”
Tariq stretched on his back and smeared dirt ooze onto his chest. The girl snuggled under an arm: they were blanketed in a sun-warmed bed and it was amazingly comfortable.
“I’ve been sorting out my feelings towards you,” Tariq’s voice grew serious, “and being in a natural place helps me to think clearly.”
“Did you arrive at any conclusions?” She slopped a sticky arm over his belly and put her chin on his chest, to watch his lips.
“I chased after Lauren and I tried to be what she wanted from me.”
“From what you’ve told me, she was pursuing you as well.”
“Lauren had hidden motives,” the programmer continued, “but what’s important is what I did wrong—I won’t make the same mistake again. If I try to win you again everyday, then eventually I’m sure I would lose.”
“Unlike her,” Lyra felt his words sting, “I have no secondary agenda.”
“My relationship with my late wife was similar. I even took a job that I didn’t like or want, just to give Brenda the future she wanted.”
“I like you the way you already are.”
“That’s good because the sentiment is reciprocal.” The Canadian gave her a strong hug that squeezed ooze up between them. “I’ll just be who I really am. If you can find what you want in me—then it’s yours to take.”
“If what we’re both seeking isn’t in each other,” Lyra agreed, “then our being together wouldn’t be true to ourselves and we should really split up.”
“That’s a deal we can put into concrete.”
“If we stay put until the mud dries it’ll be almost as cement.”
Lyra left first to rinse off in the deeper pool. She peeled off her panties and bra to wash them. The Iranian delayed a minute. When he emerged, his legs were thickly muck coated but his upper body had only a patchy second skin of dried slime: the sides of his face still had the mud-clod goat horns that she had slapped there.
“I’m the sprite of May,” the naked nymph stood up in the water and pointed at his seemingly fur-covered legs, “and you’re September’s satyr.”

 

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