Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Blood Bather: Chapter 2

The Blood Bather
Chapter 2

            Audra remembered trying to explain the hierarchy that exists in sororities to her new friend Belinda in her Victorian Studies class just that very morning; how the president as a senior soon to graduate with her "MRS" (and become engaged to her handsome pre-med boyfriend Micah Ballantree), how Audra as a junior is now the vice-president with the likelihood of being the president next year, how she was paired with a freshman when she was a sophomore and how her freshman - now a sophomore - would soon be paired with her own "little", a freshman, as soon as rush week got underway, creating an unified chain of sisterhood through the years.
            "It's like the military" Belinda had breathed, stunned. "Yeah, but more deadly," cackled her boyfriend Edward, the requisite skinny emo kid from a small town that had come to university and fallen hopelessly in love with the first pre-Raphaelite redhead that had spoken to him. Belinda was stunning, though, Audra had to admit. And so nice. She was pleased to have taken this course if only to meet new people on campus like Belinda. Ironically, the Greek crowd could be oh-so-xenophobic.
            "Oh, you're just jealous, Eddy. No one invites you to any bikini keggers or lawn raleighs", Belinda quipped. "No," he acknowledged maturely, "but that is certain to change now that we know Audra". Audra smiled without showing her teeth and dropped her gaze. It wasn't the first time men had asked to be invited to a Greek party but it was getting very old. He seemed like the type to give his heart to a sorority and have it stomped on. If he did anything to upset Belinda, Audra would feel responsible.
            Audra was an international relations major, but had decided to spread her wings and take this class to satisfy a humanities requirement. It had proven to be a good choice. The professor Dr. Elzbeta Nadasdy was actually the department head of Ancient Languages, and typically only taught graduate level work. It was a treat to get a lecturer of her calibre. It wasn't only her skill as a teacher, she was exquisitely beautiful too. She stood 5'5" with waist length black hair that hung loose and slightly wavy at the ends. Ink black eyes in a heart shaped face of burnished gold, with a smattering of dark brown freckles across the bridge of her nose that was somehow girlish. A curvy figure that moved like with the grace of a ballerina. Her waist to hip ratio was perfect. The air of health, sophistication and sensuality that surrounded her was intoxicating, and made Audra feel like a girl next to a full grown woman, almost a type of jealousy, despite knowing that she was younger and thinner. In small but important ways, this woman was every man's fantasy. Predictably, the class had attracted more than its fair share of red-blooded males, despite the fact that it focused on corsetry, falconry, Spiritualism and books by the Bronte sisters.
            It was only because Audra was listening so intently that she noticed a small noise, the sound of a chair scraping to her immediate left. Then the deep audible sigh. Then the smell of stale food. Oh no. The unformed man.
            Audra looked to her left and gazed upon a truly pathetic sight, Darryl. If Dr. Nadasdy was the epitome of womanhood, then this poor person was her polar opposite. Not just in gender but in every way possible. Here was a boy who stood at a man's height, carrying far too much weight in his middle. He looked like an overgrown school yard bully with a giant lincoln green backpack full of god-knows-what and a slightly dingy nondescript uniform of white shirt and powder blue jeans, with a baggy seat. Jagged red stretch marks irrigated the pasty white skin of he belly when his pants fell low or his shirt pulled up, which for some reason happened a lot. They are your clothes, Audra thought irritably, why don't they fit. 

Darryl sported a full head of greasy black hair deeply in need of a haircut. He had a defeated air and a small nasal voice that still managed to be monotonous.
Darryl was shy and sensitive but overly convinced of his own genius. He had a theory about everything. He had all the right answers and while he did not talk too much, but still the room shifted uncomfortably when the put up his hand to answer. He had the phenomenal ability of putting everyone at unease. Often he could be found wandering the quad seemingly muttering to himself, gently touching the fuzzy toque he wore even on warm days. Audra was not sure why or even when she began calling him the unformed man, but it just seemed to fit.
            Darryl did not always have bad breath, but today was especially bad. Something must be making him nervous, thought Audra. That was what always happened when she took her cat to the vet, he would get bad breath from stress. Or fart.
            "Hi Audra" he wheezed, as he sat down revealing plumbers butt and a good bit of butt hair. The visual shock and miasma of smell took her a moment to recover. Audra made eye contact and nodded, while imperceptibly holding her breath. Then her eyes glided to the professor to indicate she was taking the class seriously. Darryl was not to be so easily swayed.
"Did you have a good summer, Audra?"
In return she smiled and nodded that yes, she did, bringing a small silk neckerchief to her nose. It was infused with her perfume and she inhaled deeply. "We'll talk after, okay, Darryl?"
            He seemed satisfied and lean over - another big sigh and resultant air pollution - to unpack his giant bag with little to no room to maneuver in his chair. He pulled out paper and pens and a pencil case, only to have it crash to the ground. The room turned in their direction and Audra quickly ducked to retrieve it, thereby killing two birds with one stone - staying out of sight and fixing the problem.
            "Here." she said, handing it back to him. Darryl took it and stared at her hand without moving. They were almost touching, linked by a pencil case. She forced the case over to the surface of the desk and let go.
"Thank you" Darryl breathed, very quietly. Not nasal at all.

Audra looked up and was startled to see that the professor was stopped - stone still - not speaking; ink black eyes boring hard into her own. She was momentarily taken aback. There were like dead shark eyes, full of something, some malevolent emotion. No, not emotion. Instinct. Like when her cat was terrified and his pupils expanded to cover the iris entirely. She knew in those moments to avoid him or she would get a nasty scratch. Audra's mouth went dry. Then the professor blinked and continued to speak, smoothly as though there had been no pause and the moment was gone.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Blood Bather: Chapter 1

The Blood Bather

Chapter 1 - 

Imagine long perfectly manicured lawns before magnificent Victorian homes lovingly retrofitted with updated plumbing and heating. Greek letters one after the other displayed above the doors; the music, lights and female chatter and laughter spill into the street attracting no small amount of attention. The view is low and feral, a heartbeat begins to become apparent, first quickening then slowing. The sound of breathing, slow and laboured as it drinks in all that it surveys.
            "Girls, ...girls!" The president is tapping her champagne glass filled with whiskey with an equally long manicured fingernail, her iPad balanced precariously upon her ultra skinny legs in suede cashmere boots and micro pleather mini, her perky ultrablonde ponytail bouncing with effort.
            "Pay. Attention!" each word enunciated carefully to mask a slight slur. She continues reading: "The Panhellenic Association of this university does not condone the use of alcohol at parties. So all drinking must be done off campus..."
            Stifled giggles all around as each female takes a shot of tequila from a selection of ugly shot glasses, souvenirs of spring break vacations with favorite frats on campus.  Like a debauched nun, a sister is pouring from a carafe for those who seem too sober. The president punches the screen with her finger and reads the next regulation. "The university recognizes the signs of alcohol abuse as the following: "Drinking every day" - shot -  "Drinking to get drunk" - shot - "Drinking to manage stress" - shot...
            Tucked into a corner of the overstuffed couch, beside the president but not infringing on her status by bearing too close, Audra sat lip-syncing each regulation as it was read aloud. Her "little sis" Song Le giggled as Audra timed it with a small nip from her own silver flask, and then gave Song a playful wink. Little sisters, or "littles" as they were known, were not in the biological sense related but rather in the sorority sense meaning Song Le, now a sophmore, had been paired with Audra last fall after becoming a full-fledged Omega after rush week. The president, one Whitney Rose Hessian-Hamilton, who preferred to be known as White Rose noticed the wink but said nothing.
            White Rose continued reading from the primer on alcohol and then moved on to some new business. "As you know, there was that unfortunate incident last year resulting in the new anti-hazing regulations. Even though the girl no longer attends this school, we still have to abide by it. There are to be no, NO!, members of the opposite sex in the house during rush week" - a small smattering of groans came from behind Audra - "and there are to be no, NO!, incidents of public nudity from yourselves." This was followed my some more giggling.
            "And if you are going to jump in that fountain, you are going to have to do it fully clothed, bitches. Better yet, no one jump in that fountain and none of us will have to be treated for chlamydia this year, you disgusting whores."
            White Rose, who could swear like a sailor but lacked basic impulse control, was referring to a truly unfortunate incident last September where a house decided to parade their rushes in front of a frat wearing only their bra and thongs, then gave the brothers sharpies and told them to "circle the fat". The resultant mayhem, from feminists, administration, and the general public led to the entire group of rushes running toward a public fountain in a misguided attempt to rinse off the evidence of permanent marker, creating a truly memorable photo shoot of college coeds - most underaged- in wet cotton unmentionables soaking wet, freezing cold, crying with make up running and an ravenous audience of lacrosse players hooting and recording it all for youtube and posterity. The president of that house was summarily expelled, the house lost its charter for three years and most of the rushes are now rushing different sororities at different colleges. The lawsuits were still ongoing.
            "Finally, you ugly retards, go upstairs and put on some goddamn make-up. For those of you still at loss, they have makeup tutorials online. Or better yet, hire a fucking professional! Look perfect, be friendly, talk about positive things and for Christsakes DO NOT EAT anything. You freaks drink all your calories anyway... she paused to lift her glass and finished in a singsong voice "and that's exactly how we like it". Audra was quite sure White Rose was drunk now. Everyone took a shot.
            The girls staggered to their feet and dispersed throughout the house to change and ready themselves for the first soiree of the new semester. It was  with their unofficial brother house, DKE, known as "Deek". Former members of the house included several US Presidents and currently comprised the most eligible bachelors on campus.
            Because she was vice-president, Audra stayed behind to have an executive meeting with the other chairs of the house. The grand salon, with its thick blush carpet and heavy ceiling to floor voile curtains covering giant picture windows grew very still as soon as it emptied. Almost eerie, or somehow sacred. Like a church, thought Audra, and we are the sisters of unmercy. The softest shell pink lacquer covered the walls. It had clearly been decorated in the mid-80s by some Laura Ashley-loving sisters.
            "I saw what you did there" White Rose spat, as soon as they were alone. "I can not allow you to undermine my authority in meetings. Especially during rush week!"
            "Rush week hasn't started yet and it's not a big deal" sighed Audra. White Rose was a pain in the ass, more so when she was hungry making her an angry drunk. A hangry drunk.
            "Rush week hasn't started yet" White Rose squeaked in a mocking voice. "I'll tell you what hasn't start fucking period,"
So that was it.
"How are things with Micah?" Audra asked, looking at her nails.
"Micah? Fine. He's probably taking shots from between the breasts of freshmen cunts right now..."
A mixed metaphor with an interesting visual, thought Audra ruefully.
            Last spring, when some of her abusive emails to her sisters were leaked to the on campus newspaper, then to the internet and then the world, White Rose had been taken to task for her words and her behaviour. But her father was a very successful litigation lawyer and she managed to hang on to her spot at college, her spot in the pre-law program, and was still voted President of their house. Which proves that some women are just asking for it.
            Just then White Rose produced a two-toned blue pill in the palm of her hand, like a magic trick, and quickly chased it with a belt of single malt scotch from her champagne glass. She stared forward the entire time, pretending Audra could not see her.
            This is new, Audra thought. "What was that?" she ventured. And it was then she heard White Rose's thoughts. A single word, amplified by fear: LIE.
White Rose: "Caffeine pill. Micah has a lot of energy before the season starts, y'know." She shrugged like Olympic sex marathons were her major. Which actually might be true, they just didn't include her boyfriend.
            Audra looked at her nails again and nodded. One was broken, the ring finger on the left hand. She would have to get that fixed. Audra really wanted to ask why White Rose had switched from her preferred champagne to scotch but it was more effort than she could bear at the moment.
"Where are those fucking bitch-"
            Sherisse Pinto bounced down beside Audra, the beads in her perfectly coiled dreads swinging. Sherisse was Treasurer and Secretary of their chapter, and the daughter of a local news anchor, who specialized in true crime shows that aired late at night. She was slightly famous, very privileged and intended to become a clinical child psychologist. That is, if she could ever shut up about her horses.
            White Rose always changed slightly in Sherisse's presence. She became softer and less volatile. Audra thought it was because Sherisse was black or slightly richer or more well-travelled than White Rose, but honestly she couldn't put her finger on it. Audra focused her mind on White Rose, trying to hear something but just got white noise. Airhead, thought Audra.
            "Hiiiiyyyyyeeeee" breathed Bronwyn as she glided in the door. "I just did a double hot yoga class and I feel ahhhhmazzzziinnnggg" Browyn Olsen was the Social Chair, rounding out the four positions. Her ultra slim noodle body seemed to disintegrate on the floor and arange itself in a crosslegged sit with perfect posture. "Are you high?!?" spat White Rose.
            "Not yet..." Bronwyn pulled a small joint from her sports bra - bra being a more impressive word than what it was holding up; stark-naked Bronwyn could be confused for an undernourished adolescent boy - and smiled with all her teeth. It was like she had double the amount of a normal person. Her father was an orthodontist and they were all perfectly straight and even, like Christy Turlington in the early nineties. Audra wondered if she hid a lot of emotion behind that extreme smile. No one could be that chill.
            "Oh what the actual fuck. Let's bring this fucking pathetic meeting to fucking order", began White Rose...

Remember, a chapter will be posted every Friday. Add your email address in the "Follow by email" option on the right side of the blog to receive it hot off the presses each week!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Coming Soon! The Blood Bather

Or you can have it with cheese.

Dearest Reader

I'm writing a book, actually three books! 

The first book is called 
and I'm going to share it with you a chapter at a time.

Stay tuned for the release of a chapter every week starting Good Friday...

But I wanted to include a preview here, so feel free tell me what you think, including plot suggestions in the comment section below. 

Writing is hard work and it takes a lot of time. If you feel the stories are worth a donation, please request my email address in the comment section to make an e-money transfer.

~elle, Persephone 

Preview of The Blood Bather

She was neither beautiful nor ugly, neither fat nor thin. She was definitely more short than she was tall. Her eyes were neither green nor yellow nor blue, though depending on who was looking and when and the weather outside she had been accused of having all three. She was definitely a brunette, except when she wasn't and after all it's hair and it grows back, and was neither long nor short.
The circumstances of her birth, she firmly believed, were the seeds if her destiny. If she had not been born, if instead her mothers first pregnancy had not been terminated, for certainly her mother would not have been so stupid as to have two children out of wedlock, then it would have accelerated the natural demise of her parents relationship and thus led them all on a more authentic path. Had her mother been fallen from the beginning rather than giving up a baby for a marriage four years later to a man who by now hated her, another soul would have lived as her parents first born child and her soul would be free if the burden of being falsely legitimate and truly cursed...

Poetry for the Deeply Shallow

In an effort to follow through on my 2016 resolution to practice emotional vulnerability, I'm going to post those bits of poetry that embarrass me. 
It's okay to laugh. 
The point of this exercise is to get to know myself and get completely comfortable with myself, at all times in every way. My goal is to really know myself. 

Another way to practice emotional vulnerability is to clearly state your needs and/or let others do the same without making a big deal about it. For example, this week a women with an alarming amount of facial hair clad all in red jumped off her driveway, asked if I was a Christian, if she could give me a hug and whether I had heard of Isis. I took a deep breath, answered yes to all and let this crimson crusader touch me. She needed human interaction and I got out of my own way and gave it to her. I was exceptionally proud of myself and she was actually really nice, if a little paranoid. But it's not for me to judge. It's really never for me to judge. The universe was testing my resolve and I passed with flying colors. Now it's time to level up...

Here's one, (apparently in response to flat earth truthers) ...

It is the very curvature of the earth that turns us humans to wanderers, explorers;
ever wondering what is just beyond the horizon line. 
Drawing us further away from each other, drawing us closer to ourselves. 

... And a love poem!

I asked you 
to take the relationship beyond 
the four posters of your gothic bed; 
where tied with soft straps 
you stretched my 
and other things 
and took by force 
what I gave you 
with eager arch of my spine 
and toss of pretty head 
and moan of fickle heart. 
And you asked, truly bewildered, 
where do you want to go? 
In the strange dark country 
of your man's mind 
where the poison hormone had diminished to a dull roar, 
you could reason
but all the thoughts were sad.

Dear Reader, I encourage you to get slightly out of your comfort zone this year and try talking to a stranger. You might feel like a fool, have an irrational fear of rejection. Start with Hello.
And be glad I'm not asking you to write a poem.