Origins-Scene 4

“Memory is the scribe of the soul”  ― Aristotle

6-4 ROD

Memories

 

   The visions of Rose convulsing under the comforter played out like a movie on a faded screen as I stared up at the ceiling.  My mind tried to make sense of it. Why would the Dragons hold onto the sadomasochist ways of the past unless they too were part of the old hegemony that had collapsed under the weight of cruelty, hypocrisy, and corruption? Faith was living proof they had not abandoned their secrets or their ideology of the past.

  I shuddered to think what Faith endured in those formative years as an orphaned child in the care of a tortured prostitute. She said she also took the DNA therapy.  I reached over and touched her hip and ran my hand down her thigh. There was no doubt of her femininity, her cultured grace, and charm yet my hand told me underneath smooth skin was dense muscle accustomed to labor.

   The palm of her hand settled on top of my fingers calming my thoughts. Fingers intertwined and took me to her breast. She held on as she turned away on her side pulling my arm over her. We clung to each other in the edge of exhausted sleep.

  My last thoughts were to continue to hear my Dragon Yobo as she unburdened her heart of the darkness she carried from her past. Her life was full of reminders that her destiny was in the hands of others whose intent toward her and me seemed nebulous at best.

  The next day we slept in and discussed whether to go down to the protected harbor for a swim then buy fish for dinner from one of the boats coming in that afternoon. Faith decided we should start working out together each morning before any other activities.

  She was relentless.  I sweated like a whore in a confessional. We started in the courtyard with meditative stretching exercises. It was like a slow ballet together. We stretched every muscle and strained every joint as we twisted into contortions that would disable some of the favorite TV fitness trainers.

  Next, we moved inside and put on our gear for fight training. My strength was no match for Faith’s speed and accuracy. Her kicks and punches landed with just enough penetration to hurt allowing me the critical feedback that my defenses failed. We stopped, reviewed, practiced at half speed then full speed, over, and over, and over again.

  After training, we showered outside, cleaning the soil of our intense training from our bodies before sinking almost neck deep into a wooden tub of water.  The hot water poured in from the mouth of a dragon fixture and out of a decorative pipe into a tank where the water was filtered and reheated before it poured over the dragon’s teeth and tongue into the tub.   

  Faith sat next to me with her hair pinned up and a towel draped over the top of her head. The soreness seeped out of my muscles as my Yobo massaged my back, neck, and thighs in the hot water. She remained silent and soon her taciturn mood left my mind wandering through the many questions I hoped to find answers to when her voice returned.

  After some time staring out over the hillsides and outcrops to the sea, Faith stood and let the water cascade off her sloping curves. She wiped her face with the towel and let her hair down, shaking it out and letting it hang to the curve of her back.

   Looking out over the garden, she reached down to me and accepted my hand lifting me to my feet. She grabbed a towel and handed me one.  We dried each other off, wrapped the towels around us, and made our way out to the garden.

  As we strolled along the pathways, we came to a bench under the shade of a willow tree next to the Koi pond.  I placed my towel on the bench. We wrapped our arms around each other and used Faith’s Turkish cloth as a cover.

  “Nae Yong,” she whispered against my cheek to get my attention.

  “Yes, Yobo.”

  “Does it hurt when I hit you?” The voice in my ear sounded intimate, innocent, and concerned.

  “It hurts enough to get my attention.”

  She placed her hand on my heart. “I mean, does it hurt you inside for a woman to hit you.”

  “No, of course not. It’s necessary if the training is to have any meaning. There is no intent other than skill mastery, and that involves a lot of sweat and a good bit of pain. It doesn’t matter who hits me or how they hit me. It’s the intent behind it that’s important to me.”

  “What if a woman hit you with the intent to harm you?” She asked in a halting voice as if she were afraid of my answer.

  “If a woman’s intent is to harm me, I’d kill her,” I said with no emotion.

  The killing was no longer a spirit-crushing event for me. It was as natural as breathing, eating, and making love. It was at times more enjoyable than anything a man could do including sex. The killing brought with it extremes in emotion because the act held consequences one could not escape. It was better to enjoy the taking of life than die in agony from hesitation and fear.  It was my intent to live and leave the suffering to others.

  “Would you kill me if I made you angry?”

  “No, Yobo. Anger is not a dangerous offense. Emotions, good or bad are a part of being human.”

  Faith looked out across the ridges trying to see what I saw.  Shouts of anger, screams of injured men, and the mocking silence of the dead played in my mind. Those memories were alive when I cared who lived or died. Caring about life and death no longer held my heart and soul captive. I was satisfied that it was always my choice who lived or died, even my own life seemed within my control. Perhaps I was deluded about that.

  “Nae Yong.”

  I didn’t answer her call for my attention. I looked down into her dark eyes wet with the pain of her memories; memories I couldn’t fathom yet.

  “I will tell you more about my life and treatments if you wish to hear it.”

  “I do, Yobo.”

  “You understand the necessity for pain as a teacher and as a mentor. Joy is our reward for enduring our pain. It is paid in small moments to prevent our corruption. I tell this so you will understand that it is the unbearable pain carried with the body and savored in the mind that bears the soul away from the corruption of simple minded living to the divine mountains of the warrior ethos.”  

  I listened as Faith’s voice took on a cadence and tone of one whose mind is distant from the body. She looked out beyond the horizon and paused to gather her thoughts.  I slipped my arm around her shoulders as her hand rested in my lap. Her fingers sought asylum from the darkness of her past that rushed to the light in her eyes and found her voice.

  “Rose was like a mother to me. She was beautiful, and her heart was pure. Rose did as she was instructed and gave comfort to men the Dragons told her to take as her clients. She treated them well but often their intent was to find their pleasure in her pain. She endured much pain from men, but she never wanted that for me.”

  I listened to every word with the strange feeling, I knew this story. I lived it myself. I felt Faith and I was together for a reason. One we would not be allowed to know until the time was right. Her voice continued in that soft melody of hers. Her story unfolded in whispers and touches as the words hammered my heart like a drummer with heavy batons.

  “She began to change over time. She would get aggressive when the men hurt her. She seemed like an animal when they took her to bed. It frightened me. Before she was in control and she brought the men to their climax with particular skill leaving them whimpering and sleepy at her side.”

  “She would fix them tea while they slept and hurry them away afterward. I always hid in the alcove. I would lay on the floor and watch under the curtain. Sometimes while the men were on top of her sweating and grunting like a pig, she would look over at me and smile. She knew I was watching her.”

  “When the treatments changed her, she was no longer passive toward the men. She dominated them. Some liked it, but most of her clients left and didn’t return.  That is when the Dragons decided to bring in another girl older than I was. She already had her blood and was like ripe fruit for the clients to devour.  

  Her name was Jasmine and she was taking the treatments too. Later, Rose and Jasmine decided it was my turn to accept the dragon’s blood and learn the secrets of the dragon. This was when my life changed.”

  Faith’s words cut into my heart. My grip on her tightened as her story spilled out of her like a confession of the condemned.

* * *

Image source: Artist Antonio Mora.

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27 thoughts on “Origins-Scene 4

  1. ” She was relentless. I sweated like a whore in a confessional.” Reading some of this had me thinking about the weekly boot camp classes I lead now. There’s a fine line between working the women hard enough but also making them want to come back for more. I call them my warriors. 🙂 You’d be proud!

    So it’s about to be Faith’s turn. I’m eager to see things through her perspective with the treatments, but also feel horrified for her. As Natasha brought up, it really is interesting how you weave in your military background. It’s part of what makes this story come to life. I’m honored to be reading material from a true warrior who spent time on the battlefield!

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    1. Ah, Lauren. It’s time for me to confess. Reading your comment brought memories and tears. I am proud of you. More than I have the ability to say. You are a true Dragon Sister for which I have the utmost respect. You are the best chance your warriors will ever have to achieve their goals.

      I think you’ll see that hard training in Faith’s story. Clearly, she survived and is an Apex Predator like Gloria who hasn’t been born yet at this time. Rose and her perseverance and intelligence saved Faith from a similar fate as Rose. But, it was no easy path to the Dragon.

      And thank you so much for recognizing my effort to give some of those martial experiences a voice in a way I hope finds meaning. I trained to a high degree for years and never felt I couldn’t pull my weight in any circumstance. I thrived in chaos. What I had no defense against was the suffering of others I witnessed when humanity and civility were lost. Staying on the leash of discipline, duty, and honor was the most difficult thing to do in those circumstance. The blind rage of vengeance is a human attribute once unleashed is a genie that rarely goes back into the bottle. Our Dragons must face that demon too.
      Don’t let our Dragon Sister trainees give up. The future needs them. Young women that come up behind them need an example to look up to. You are changing lives one drop of sweat and conquered fear at a time. Who better to show them the way, right? 😀

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      1. Aww. Thank you! It’s been an interesting journey. I have another class this evening to teach (goth girls this time). “Hate me now, love me later” I like to say. That’s amazing that you trained like that for a long time and felt as powerful as you could be. And tragic to have to witnessed such suffering, though I’m sure you learned a lot about yourself in the process. Even in your comments you’re so poetic talking about these experiences.

        Yes! When progress is made and they see what they are capable of it leaves a lasting impression.

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        1. That’s the Drill Dragon Sister spirit, Lauren! And glad to hear from you. I think training Goth Girls might be one of my bucket list items. I love their darkness, clothes included. Hmmmm. What about a story about crime fighting Warrior Goth Girls? That has to be a best seller just waiting for a writer. And, thank you for understanding my digression to the good old days. Luckily, life is all chocolate cake and red fruit toppings now. All that hard work paid off. 😀 It will for you and your girls too. If one can conquer themselves, nothing else in life will make one sweat. Well, there are exceptions to the rule, but that’s another story. 😀

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          1. Yes we were joking during the last session because one of the goth girl’s mothers had given her these bright neon socks to add more color to her life, so she was wearing them with her black workout clothes and rolling her eyes. I did kind of post a story about crime fighting goth girls a couple years back, just using my friends as characters. I might have to do that again soon. Save some chocolate cake and fruit for me!

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            1. Oh, Kool! I’d pay a cover charge to see that. Goth Girls in neon socks with sassy looks and tattoos working out. That would blow The Blue Men show right off the stage. Chocolate cake and fruit is a health food and I always have plenty to share 😛

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                1. LOL! That’s awesome, Lauren. I have a picture in my mind that won’t go away of your girls protesting your smartphone camera poised to catch them in the act of growing buns of steel. It is an indelicate and arduous process difficult to achieve in a black leather corset. Not that I’ve tried that, mind you. 😀

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  2. I certainly feel the military experience coming through in this chapter. I guess because I know that you were in the army, I saw it more clearly, particularly when you explained how the experience of killing someone changes you and you start looking at it differently. I am fascinated by it because our surroundings truly change us. If you were never in the army you would cringe at the thought of it, as you mentioned (a spirit crushing event), but when the choice is to kill or to die, it changes your feelings about it. I totally understand, although I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to have to endure such psychological changes. Again, thank you for your service, Daniel. You experience brings life to the story, and it is beautifully written.

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    1. Thank you so much, Natasha. Your understanding and appreciation is a balm to me and all veterans who for whatever reason took up arms and endured the worst sins of man and tried to survive it and for those who did survive to make sense of what their experience meant. You are correct and intuitive in your understanding of that transformation. Hyperion is at first critical and condemning because of his perspective. Faith does not disabuse him of his views with argument but takes him on the journey to a new understanding. She knows that words will not sway him but his new experiences and her example through actions will change him and bring him the enlightenment to understand himself and her. I believe we are formed by a wonderfully complex life that depends on many factors in our environment, family, society, and so on. For the Warrior, training and mental and physical development is the foundation of learning to survive in battle and live with the outcomes. But the secret to staying sane is in having a deep connection to brothers and sisters in arms, good leadership, and unwavering support from friends, family, and one’s country they sacrificed for. When these things are not well balanced the human mind will balance it in any number of ways to include insanity. We see the seeds of this insanity in many people who have suffered deep traumas without the necessary means to make it through the trauma without significant impact. We see this in Hyperion and Faith. They deal with their past in ways that ultimately redeem them-together and in love.

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        1. Thank you, Natasha. There is a lot to manage and no one can do it alone. One finds them self attached to characters one would never choose to associate with in a normal life. But there we all are, fast friends and in many cases feeling a true love for the person next to you as in close family. Your team is your family and no one need suffer alone. The burden is shared. There are wonderful memories formed this way and the difficult times lose their grip once over lived. That said we are all individuals and each person takes away a certain unique experience that becomes who they are for the rest of their life. We’ll see this bonding process throughout the story. The Dragon Masters ensure the right people are bonded. This is similar to the old practice of arranged marriage but with the added effort to carefully match the bonds to the right people. We’ll explore this as a central conflict in loyalty to each other or loyalty to the Masters. 🐉🐉

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            1. This is very true, Natasha. After I left the military, I worked my way up to senior management and hired all my Army brothers I served with. I also hired my Dragon Sisters. We’re still going strong and doing amazing things.

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        1. I do hope you like it. There are many clues and subtle hints I believe you will enjoy. Number 7 is coming out soon and it will explore how Rose, Jasmine, and Faith were bonded by the instincts of the dragon they inherited from their treatments. Similar to a Wolfpack mentality. This is that process I talked about in the military regarding unlikely bonds.

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    1. Unfortunate for our humanity, that part is not fiction but an intrinsic truth only known to humans. Thankfully, known only to a smaller demographic than the whole population. But it is there in everyone waiting to be unleashed.

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