Doves and Serpents
Adder Ladies and the Dawn of Ra Part 1
In those hirsute days men lived with ‘ladies’, not girlfriends. ‘Wife’ and ‘husband’ were definitively unfashionable terms, gauchely incorrect in an era of rampant nascent feminism. In the dying decades of the millennium, ‘ladies’ would come to be regarded as a term complicit in the repressive sexism of gendered class systems. ‘Woman’ eventually became the correct mode of address, after a series of tortuous passages through attempted alternatives such as ‘wimmin’, ‘wombin’, ‘sisters’ and many other words bereft of the syllable ‘men’.
‘Girl’ was as uncool as ‘chick’ was outré, except in surfing circles. All these terms jostled upon the tsunami of free love that swept the mystified world into a chaotic maelstrom of adolescent rebellion. It was an era when many in the West were young and free enough to employ their precious time exploring the meaning of existence while having hitherto unimaginably good fun. It was an era unlike most of the times before or since; but the best is always yet to come...
In ‘the decade that time forgot’ a major part of youthful rites of passage involved negotiating a mindfield of consciousness-expanding or soul numbing drugs – grass, hash, smack, speed, D.M.T., opium, various prescription and over-the-counter brands of sleeping pills and hypnotic nostrums, mescaline, psilocybin – and of course, the supreme dream itself – L.S.D.. The ascendancy of nerve-numbing dance drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy was yet to arrive.
Meanwhile, way back behind the leading edge, the silent majority went to work and paid their mortgages, intent on keeping their heads down and not rocking the boat. Men were the breadwinners and their wives were housebound and insecure, often unable to own property of their own and viewed as chattels of their husbands. Separation and divorce were social stigmata matched only by the illegitimacy of unwed birth.
A husband beating his wife was seen as normal, if unfortunate, behaviour. Children were hit with sticks and leather straps as a matter of course, and were subject to ongoing brutality and sexual interference that was widely ignored. Males beat each other up all the time in streets and pubs, on sports fields and playgrounds; it was seen as ‘normal’ behaviour - even desirable in a culture bred for war.
Almost everyone was half drunk half the time, if they weren’t totally blotto. Most people drank like Russians in the feverish years of the cold war. No-one knew when the end would come, but everyone knew it could come at any time. It was the Twentieth Century.
Into this strange tangled time the Tribe of Centraxis emerged – a clan of transcarnate adventurers who assembled into an interlocking web of kindred spirits in the freebooting realm of the wild Western World. These young artists and actors, bikers and hippies, students and anarchists were united in deploring the feudal ‘civilization’ foisted on them by self-blinded oedipal elders. They revelled in the exploration of new ways - possibilities long occulted by blinkers that held the ‘straights’ in thrall to workadaydream half-lives spent inside officious orifices and feuding financial factories.
Using magical techniques spoon fed them by renegades from Established and Ancient Orders with obscure agendas of their own, the Centraxians learned to invoke higher levels of being, bootstrapping their awareness to become greater than the sum of their constituents. They absorbed other perspectives and identities and in the process learned that possession, not possessions, are nine-tenths of arcane lore. They created a medieval Court of Peers on the brink of the New Millennium; a tribe of equals recognising each other’s inherent nobility, where rank had no privilege and hierarchy was a dirty word.
The tribe united as a living deck of playful cards, each embodying the meaning implicit in a Trump or Court card; the Centraxians were an incarnate Tarot deck, hosts to formidable archetypes. Each held a specific role (or roles) within the tribe, and all wore personal colours, tattoos and heraldic devices symbolising their distinct and self confident personae. They lived and travelled as a group; semi-nomads who made their way from place to base, protest to gathering, party to never ending party.
There were a lot of parties and festivals and gigs and happenings and street rallies to attend in that seriously fun-filled era - but most people worked, consumed, reproduced and died without attending any of them. Most people were shell-shocked survivors of a Great Depression and unending wars, embedded into a simulacrum of life on endless, pointless treadmills.
Most used alcohol or mind-numbing meaningless labour to sedate and salve their damaged minds and blood-soiled souls. Many made a virtue of ignorance, foisting their own passionless, humdrum existence upon their harried, beaten and sorely abused children. Most missed out on the one-time passing parade of the Psychedelic Revolution, the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the acid, the love-ins, the yoga and meditation, the protests and the festivals - and spent the rest of their lives regretting, denying or pretending to celebrate the fact.
It was one generation to midnight at the end of a dying Millennium.
The Lady Racheal was an Artist from a long line of artists. She was possessed by a gift for accurate visualisation. A steady hand transmitted her inner eye’s dreams to canvas in lovingly contoured, fully realised illuminations. She was the High Priestess of the Tribe of the Centrax; given to visions and dreams, portents and omens.
Most of the time, she and her Prince Ram’yana - the young tribal Hierophant - lived together in various spots around the huge continental country and wherever she went the Lady Racheal would swiftly set up her easel and oils. Works in progress piled up alongside empty wine bottles around skirting boards of rooms in a succession of unusually well-appointed squats, remote rollicking farm houses and refitted rustic barns.
The teenaged lovers enjoyed never-ending entertainments concomitant with life in communal houses shared by the tribe, where they maintained semi-permanent quarters oft returned to between sojourns and extended festivals. The Centraxians tended to hang together, even unto hitchhiking in serried groups strung out along the endless highways of the Great Southland; reassembling at prearranged rendezvous hither and yon.
Everywhere they went in those days, in every town and in every Kombi van that stopped to give them a ride, hippies offered joints and places to stay with no strings attached – and there was usually a great meal (brown rice and veges, man) and a smoke or three awaiting when you arrived at their weirdly individualistic hand-built home or dome. Life and love were free and easy and few amidst the anarchic ranks of alternative society took unfair advantage of vulnerable travellers, female or male. It was a small, loosely knit scene, and troublemaking malefactors soon became notorious among the hippy cognoscenti.
Certain books seemed to propagate upon tables and benches wherever one went. One particularly thick tome was called ‘Seed’ – a hand-penned volume hand-printed on strange non-conformist paper, produced in
Another book that seemed to lay around just about everywhere was Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching. The Book of Changes usually occupied pride of place in coffee table collections, stored in conjunction with divination tools - time-eroded square-holed Chinese coins, or, for the more avant-garde and elaborately minded, half a hundred dried sticks made from stalks of yarrow.
Most everyone drank herbal teas in alternative circles and kept a range of these tasty potables on hand if they wanted to be considered part of the New Age. Various mints and ubiquitous rose hip, chamomile and rue, dandelion and liquorice root and a cornucopia of lesser-known flavourful medicinal remedies, tonics and aphrodisiacs abounded. Some people grew their own medications - including marijuana and poppies, and even yarrow.
The I Ching was used early and often by a vast host of people, divining everything under the Sun – ranging from which shirt or skirt to wear that morning, to deciding whether to dodge the draft or fight in the ongoing Vietnam War. The Ching was pretty handy for predicting the weather, and was even better for telling you what you already knew, but were unwilling to admit to yourself.
The Taoist Book of Changes was a trusted prognostication device in the Court of Centraxis. No major decision was made unless a tribal council first consulted the tome, usually cast by or in the presence of Ram’yana, the shaman. The High Priestess Lady Racheal customarily consulted the cards as well. She preferred the archetypal simplicity of the Rider deck that had emerged from a branch of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Her beau used the Thoth deck produced under the direction of Aleister Crowley by the talented Lady Frieda Harris; a darker, deeper set than the two dimensional Christianised forms of the more popular and well-known images.
One fine spring day the Priestess and the Priest decided to fission from the tribe and rent a place together - just the two of them. The decision was run past the Ching first, of course, and subjected to much soul-searching and Tarot consultation as well. Many convincing reasons underpinned their departure from the walled compound of the tribe’s base in the
They expected their new home to inevitably become another base for the tribe. The capacious apartment they espied had spare rooms aplenty, after all. Firstly, however, they craved time to be truly alone, all one together; to be fruitful and hopefully multiply. The priest and priestess were both nineteen and a nesting urge had surely come upon them - separating them out from the band of Centraxian brothers and sisters, in a pleasingly fresh space to explore each other’s soul and mind and body; and with unprecedented privacy.
The young couple had found a fine old apartment in an upmarket backwater of the city’s deep harbour, replete with sunroom studio a scant few paces from a sandstone seawall that held back the tides. Yachts, ferries and huge cargo steamers sailed past at all hours and the
The first day and night they made love continually in every room, on any furniture or flooring available - liberating themselves with the searing heat that coursed through their teenaged bodies.
They commenced Tantric foreplay on an antique Persian rug, an ornate scroll unrolled on the polished pinewood planks of the sparsely furnished lounge room’s floor. Enthusiastically laving tongues wetted furry mammalian pelts as they supped on familiar flavours, whetting inexhaustible young appetites before an inevitable plunging rush into the heart of all mysteries. They had all the time in the world and were perfectly matched in mind, in love, in lust and esprit.
They soon sampled the roomy benefits of a deep claw-footed cast iron bathtub in the tiled Art Deco bathroom; splashing a flood of bubbly froth out of the white enamelled tub in exuberant celebration of uncommonly squeaky-clean steamy hippy flesh. They rode the smooth-planked kitchen table and the deep-set Deco lounge chairs, drowning out the creaking timbers with ebullient cries. They shielded the sensibilities of all the new neighbours from the tumult of their wild eruption and eructation with hundred watt speakers that pumped out fantastic weavings by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and a host of other choirs of angelic bards.
Priest and priestess both regarded dancing as an unnecessary allegory for the real thing; they often bypassed the customary dance floor courtship rituals of the age. Ram’yana usually stood behind protective banks of electrical cables, lighting the local rock and roll bands of the day for the Zapco Lightshow Co. while Racheal rolled numbers and sketched portraits in her diary beside him.
But within the sanctity of their ground floor flat, black vinyl disks spun thirty three and a third times a minute, and minutes swelled into hours of inspiring music for the lovers to dance along to – horizontally, vertically and at every angle in between, like most horny teens in any era.
They braced themselves against deeply grained doorjambs and cool pastel-painted pilaster walls. Racheal’s pale back and her paler buttocks were plastered to smoothly slicked surfaces by aromatically feminine perspiration as she groaned and screamed in abject ecstasy; literally hanging on her young man’s every move. They tested the strength of low wooden furnishings in the candlelit rug-strewn parlour, and finally consecrated the noisy new brass-framed sprung mattress in the high-ceilinged bedchamber.
Then, in the wee hours of their first night alone together, they noticed a smothered flare of nearby incandescence when their new neighbours peeked through a sundered screen of thick velvet curtains that covered the windows next door. The Centraxians were accustomed to similar interruptions and importunate curiosity often inspired them to extended heights of indubitably prideful and entertaining passion.
They’d blithely assigned the procurement of curtains or blinds to a later time. They were careless and carefree, immersed in the zeitgeist that swept the ‘free world’ - naked and shameless as rutting felines in candlelit strivings during every sultry or temperate night offered up to young lovers by the lustrous Land of Oz. The Lady Racheal was used to being scrutinised. She was utterly accustomed to losing all inhibition and loosing her self amid partying roomfuls of friends and acquaintances, comrades and rivals.
So, as intertwined thrills of exposure and danger rushed through the priestess – even while a frisson of latent embarrassment swarmed through her self-critical oracular mind - she proudly displayed her undeniably perfect young body to the anonymous silhouettes without any visible sign of inhibition. The tribal priestess climbed higher atop her attentively aroused young mate and artfully exposed all her candlelit charms to the strangers next door.
She gorged herself slowly on Prince Ram’yana, twisting and writhing with excruciatingly arousing movements before gliding down and down to press full-length against him - to sup on tongue and suckle on prime primate manhood while magically wandering hands caressed every flowing inch of her lily white skin. Racheal’s sun-whitened hair and her paint-stained fingers flowed across the surfaces of Ram’s matching whiteness as all her lips engulfed him, and squeezed.
The lone witch girl had come a long way since first encountering the flamboyant Centraxians. She was now utterly transformed, barely recognisable as the shy, remotely observant wallflower artist who’d become intrigued by the outrageous antics and freely loving ways of the effusive hippy tribe. The Lady Racheal had metamorphosed into an enthusiastic exponent of challenging candour and bold exhibitionism - a defiantly bold and rebellious young femme who happily trampled on outmoded mores and danced on the old bones of deadly decorum.
In an era when the ageless dream of controllable fertility finally appeared to have been fulfilled - a time of flowering, towering achievement, when all diseases seemed curable and all damages were seemingly reversible - there was no remaining reason to maintain the guilt-begrimed travesty of sexuality that had been passed down through injured and injurious ages to the new flower power generation. They could happily discard the strange patterns practised by millennia of insecure cavemen, superstitious vassals and old damaged wives and boldly go where all had feared to tread.
With each breath that passed back and forth between them, with every caress and inexorably slowing thrust, the triumphal thoughts and trumpeting emotions that streamed through the interlocked Tantric lovers began to meld to a timeless tide. He throbbed in her being as she cradled his love while the flickering candle beat time with their heartbeats.
A gilded glow suffused their beings, transfused the living, breathing night while time and form dissolved to bliss. Embarked upon a barque of joy, immersed in loving ecstasy, a soundless noise obtruded to remind them that the world still swirled and whirled on all around. Eddying twists of firefly thoughts intruded through their blessed idyll as they sensed the fevered touch of attentive gazes fixated on their twining flesh.
When the bright light went out in the bedroom next door the lovers’ interlocked eyes swept to the window as one. They stroked and suckled, squeezed and cuddled as a curtain was pulled further aside; dark silhouettes resolved into a slightly built woman and a much taller man, both limned in moonbeams behind a psychological shield of transparent glass. Asiatic eyes twinkled beneath a sleek jet sweep of cascading hair; the man who stood behind her was hidden in deeper shadow and veiled by a frosting of lead-light panels that framed the bedchamber’s window.
The lovers pretended to be unaware of the neighbourly voyeurs who seemed thoroughly entranced by their dimly lit brazen performance. Racheal rose upward and pale skins unstuck; she drew away until taut nipples swept across Ram’s virtually hairless chest and the firm round globes of her creamy breasts stroked his slender torso. Unperturbed (though further aroused) by the strangers’ interest, the young mage almost forgot they were being observed when Racheal began to move astride him. Their universe was soon circumscribed by the moulded skein of their flaring skins and the melding of hot molten membranes.
When Racheal’s mounting moaning frenzy showed her lover she was about to come again - screaming and flexing, crying and flailing in their new bed and boudoir for the first time - he rapidly lifted and lowered his bride in a sure and familiar grip. His spidery fingers carefully spread round her sleek taut flanks, lest he dig into the meat of her perfect cheeks with long wizardly fingernails.
The Lady Racheal flew erect atop him, jouncing and bouncing on bended knee as she surrendered to flowering annihilation. Ram’s hands surrounded her bobbing breasts and his hips rocked and rolled on the firm new mattress, matching her thrust for timely thrust as pleasure grew unendurable. He felt his own orgasm swelling at the behest of her lust and quelled the urgent urge to explode inside her, to make the moments last and last. She groaned and clenched and screwed herself round, twisting beneath him and swinging him atop her, pivoting around the fulcra of their loins as she silently begged him to take her all the way home like a man.
The priestess raised long white legs high into bright yellow candlelight. She gripped Ram’s undulating waist betwixt flexing thighs and squeezed his hardness with a tight steaming vice of contracting heat. Swollen tension reached immanent transcendence as they quivered together on the edge of exaltation; then her heels came down and bored into his buttocks, plunging her enraptured captive all the way into her very core. Her face was buried in his long dark locks, teeth gripping his throat as he obeyed the irresistible urgings of her insistent musculature.
It was somewhere around the two thousandth time Racheal had screamed and writhed around Ram’yana’s unearthly white body in the score of moons they’d shared bodies, minds, souls and blithe spirits; they never tired of it. They were honestly, naively, achingly, tenderly, lustily in love and they were gone, away, far beyond, together again for a timeless time, way away from all thoughts but One.
They lay inside each other’s orbit, drifting in sated Satori as racing breaths and heartbeats subsided into a seamless sea of tranquil waves. Then, while minds drifted, bodies began to gently kiss and caress in their absence. After an immeasurable time they returned as the tempo of their movements accelerated and post-orgasmic bliss was replaced by unimpeachable desire. Joined flesh rocked and rolled to the rhythm of Derek and the Dominoes; the album had begun playing again automatically, and their bodies had followed suit.
They both had the same thought and glanced to the window. It was swiftly obvious that the Oriental woman and her beau across the suburban chasm had joined in the honeymoon spirit. Inspired to commence their own personal party, they’d turned away from the window and lit a dim, low candle. Now they were dancing and stroking each other, kissing and stripping the clothes from slim yet mismatched bodies in shady semi-darkness. A flickering of yellow sheen swam through the room and ignited the young woman’s silken body into a glowing umber flare as the man sank to his knees before her. Glittering light danced on beads of perspiration that sparkled on his balding crown. His chest and arms were thatched with thickly matted patches and the slight woman seemed peculiarly diminutive and childlike against his bulky frame.
Her strident moans rose above the strains of Electric Ladyland and echoed into the bedchamber of the Centraxians, holding their attention to the couple now framed in the backlit stage of their moon-drenched window. Prince and Priestess idly watched the play unfold as they continued making love; the man slowly stood up to his full lanky height with the Asian girl wrapped round his face, gasping and crying unintelligibly as she rocked to and fro. Her surprisingly slim thighs rode athwart his shoulders and her fingers grasped a skimpy mullet at the back of his head.
Stout fingers roved from her boyish derriere to girlish teats and back again while Ram reamed his responsively bucking bride. The stranger’s hands appeared huge when they slid across the small female’s back and dove downward to clench round golden chunks of gleaming flesh. It was easy for the teenage mage to see and feel that his witch-bride was as aroused by the unexpected performance as he; Racheal clasped Ram’s shoulders and heaved upward to hold her breasts against his chest. She stared at the scene between long curly locks of his dangling hair while she clasped him with all four limbs and rolled her pelvis round and round, her cheekbone pressed into his furry throat.
They watched as the girl-woman panted and crooned, flicking dark sheets of hair from her pretty face. Gasping breaths stretched her ribcage into prominent ridges as her thighs squeezed and pressed the man’s head ever closer. His hands gripped right around her waist and he pulled her away from his face. She eagerly clambered down his muscular trunk and squirmed atop a protrusion which, though indistinct in shadowy gloom, was obviously erect and magnetised to the young woman’s inmost centre.
She seemed positively childlike as muscular arms held her against his relatively massive hairy body. In another instant her drove her slight frame downward and split her asunder with a sudden deep thrust. Racheal stopped moving when the diminutive Asian groaned and shuddered as the man ground her right down around him, shifting his grip to her buttocks and pulling her close as he sank his shaft all the way home. The girlish woman lay back and dangled from his grasp with mouth widely open. The lovers watched the man draw her up his length and plunge her back down until her eyes clenched shut and she screamed.
Even as he became faintly disquieted by the woman’s obvious helplessness, the young shaman admired the fully revealed charms of her firm conical breasts and her tightly muscular belly, the slim perfection of her limbs and the utterly feminine lines of her face. The slits of her eyes glittered in candlelight as they swivelled to glimpse the Centraxian lovers. She stared into Ram’s eyes for a frozen moment, licked her lips and smiled as Racheal began moving once more. The tableau was broken when her man pulled her rag doll body up against his belly. As he began carrying the tiny woman around the room with all her slim limbs wrapped high around his hairy torso, Racheal pushed Ram down inside her with hellion heels. She gasped as she squeezed right around his girth, but her attention remained transfixed by the other couple.
They both watched as the man flipped his dolly bird around and held her back against his chest with hands that completely surrounded her tiny midriff while he pummelled away inside her. He turned to face the window and lifted her up and down, displaying every naked inch of his exotic oriental butterfly to the new teenage neighbours. The man’s shaft seemed far too large for the girl to accommodate, yet somehow she took almost every inch.
Asiatic and Caucasian eyes stared, squeezed shut and flared open through the windows of the adjacent buildings. The stranger stood behind the gasping little female while her shimmering black waterfall of hair flew around their faces in spiralling sprays. She gasped and moaned deliriously, with her face pressed against the window as the man groaned, bucking up into her in a spasm of unrelenting thrusts. Her eyes flashed open and locked with Ram’yana’s through the glass as she was smeared up and down the windowpane, and the prince’s movements instantly quickened and deepened within his priestess bride in response.
Oriental eyes rolled back into their sockets and the couple slipped from view while the young lovers continued to climb inside each other’s limbs and loins and skins. When the strangers failed to reappear the teens became thoroughly immersed in each other. They soon tired of the bedroom and stood spooning in front of the harbour in streaming beams of moonlight. Ram’s hands fondled Racheal’s full milky breasts as he moved through her with undiminished youthful zeal while she stood on her toes before him. They gasped and gazed through glazed eyes and brine-rimed glass at the brassy lights of the
As dawn began to tint the sky with a mauve and lavender haze, Ram’yana drew his lightly bristled cheek along his beloved’s smooth cheekbone and she twisted about to face him. One of Racheal’s long legs arced around acrobatically, wrapping around his waist to ensure they remained conjoined as her sky-blue eyes glittered up at him, half veiled behind blond strands and tresses. Her features were flushed and her lips slightly swollen with ecstatic passion as she gently raked his smooth chest with tumescent pink nipples. A corner of her lips arced upward and her tongue painted a streak from his Adam’s apple to his ear. “I love you.”
“All my love.”
The psychedelic strains of electric viola squealed out the frenetic melodies of Curved Air’s Air Conditioning as sunlight filtered through the palm trees and shady overhanging eaves. Houseflies circled the white paper globe which hung above the big brass bed where the lovers entwined, embedded together beneath Ram’s green velvet cloak.
“I can hardly believe it’s just us,” Racheal breathed into her young man’s chest. The unmistakeable beginnings of a forest of chest hair circled his nipples in thin dark haloes, matted into lambent swirls by her wetly wandering tongue.
“Justice?” Ram’yana stretched and sighed, sloughing off the golden afterglow of the supine morn as her lips traced a path down his taut belly. “Or mercy?”
“I’ll show you no mercy, my mmm…”
It was another hour before they next spoke intelligibly. “Betwixt Justice and Mercy lies the heart, my true love, my wise dove, my subtle serpent…” Racheal whispered as she lay beneath him, buttocks pressed into the mattress as he suspended his upper body above her. Their noses almost touched and her fragrant breath washed over him.
“Charmed, I’m sure…” The serpent pulsated, making her gasp. “How do you do that without moving?” she asked.
“…and the heart never lies. Feel its beat inside thy pulse?”
“Oh, yes, between just us and my sea!”
“Beating as one…” Their breath commingled within their breasts. The shorthand of their words was silenced again, facile sweet nothings proving a wholly inadequate accompaniment to the illustrious mysteries of Tantra. The lovers had been almost literally inseparable night and day for two years, yet the patina of their unending loving desire still gleamed brightly, unmarred by the glorious (and occasionally traumatic) phantasmagoria of their intimately shared experiences. Words were merely a minor impediment to the entrained synchrony of their emphatic telempathy.
The sun rose a little higher. Distant traffic smeared colourless trails through their mutual absorption, barely perceived humming reminders of the bustling hive that was booming into activity, just across the deeply flooded river valley of the renowned harbour. Kookaburras laughed to one another and a ferry horn sounded warning to a screaming speedboat. Racheal smoked a cigarette – a
He thought she’d fallen asleep until the words seeped from her lips. “Ramses,” she said, “my love…” White teeth bit down on her lower lip. “I… There’s something I need to ask you.” He turned to stroke her wrist, fingers feathering up her freckly arm to alight upon a firm creamy breast. “I need to know…” Her speech was faltering, drawn from her intricately coiling mind in halting fits and starts. The shaman prince gently caressed her shoulders and neck to ease the sudden tension blossoming in his wondrous young lady. He waited with lazy post-coital patience as the words assembled themselves within her long lovely throat - which he kissed to help her bring them forth.
“Do you remember what happened… when we went away to Narrow Neck?”
“Remember? Of course…” The sudden juxtaposition of her slim throat with the narrow peninsula of land thrusting out into the deep
A year earlier they’d camped alone in a small cave on the edge of a thousand foot drop, with a view across the primordial ridges and precipitous sandstone cliffs of the
Racheal turned to him and her eyes glittered like the silver-chaised aquamarines that pierced her large earlobes. She seemed to search for some deeper meaning than that evident in his words. “You remember everything?” Her piercing gaze penetrated his languid bliss and a rush of images flowed through his mind – the trek from the nearest railway station, walking past antique tourist attractions, through thinning suburbs and gnarled mountaintop gum trees to the edge of the wilderness.
Sweaty hands had clasped in sultry heat as they shouldered heavy packs of provisions and camping gear, searching for a campsite; the sudden vistas of impassably deep gorges and crumbled cliffsides where dark maws of unreachable caverns beckoned from beneath unscaleable synclines in the brilliant sunshine; strangely wind-carved stone transformed into sentient sentinels by the bright shifting daylight and dancing into spirit forms in amber beeswax candlelight; the welcome discovery of a series of utterly private and comfortable caves opening off a long shelf of bright yellow stone, nestled beneath the summit of a landlocked peninsula - Narrow Neck.
He recalled their bemused satisfaction at discovering a functioning water tap protruding from the native stone a couple of hundred paces from their love nest, somehow left behind in full working order by the builders of a large dam-fed water pipe that passed up over one edge of the peninsula and down the other side. In his mind’s eye he saw the series of rusting ladders set into wide clefts and handy chimneys, experienced the thrill of descending to the floor of the valley on the unsafe swaying metal lattice, and abseiling together down the last stretches of rock to gently flowing streams that bubbled along beneath an unbroken canopy of gums and giant tree ferns.
He relived the long climbs back up the chimneys after expeditions in upper reaches of the valley’s tributaries - and the longer passionate sessions with Racheal on smooth sun-warmed stone, making love all night on the edge of eternity, were vividly etched into Ram’s body, heart and soul. The scent of eucalypt and scrubby hard brushwood burning in their primitive rock oven came back to him in a rush, mingled with the scorched taste of ash-baked vegetables and the sweet patchouli oil that had ornamented his lady’s native fragrance.
He smiled anew at the sudden pride he’d seen swelling in his mate at being caught in flagrante delicto by a surprised and surprising troupe of sweaty teenage schoolgirls dressed in clean regimental skirts and shady straw hats. Racheal had swivelled around upon him to present the most intimate view possible to the wide-eyed Catholic girls, who were transfixed by the sight of beautiful longhaired hippies mating in the bright sunshine - until their startled teacher noticed and hurriedly shepherded the leering, wide-eyed and obviously appreciative girls away.
Her provocative exhibition had turned him on even more than the naïve posse of gorgeously engorging girls who stood gaping around them with smoothly sun-bronzed athletic thighs protruding from short plaid skirts. Some had looked like they dearly wished they were in Racheal’s place and their presence had added a rush of enthusiasm to the lovers’ well-oiled motions. The straight young suburbanites had been roughly the same age as the naked Centraxians, yet the gulf between their experiences was as vast as the vista that formed a backdrop to their amorous embrace.
The heat of the flames on their naked flesh in the long loving nights came back to him, and the small clay figures they made and entombed in crevices and cavelets on the brink of the abyss - guardian spirits slowly baking to fruition in warm hidden darkness. And he remembered the square of silver bearing the Seal of Hermes Trismegistus that was ensconced with one of the guardians, still attached to the leather thronging torn from his neck when he had fashioned a better crafted, more accurate replacement.
He was reminded of the light plane that roared a mere handful of yards above them as they lay upon the summit, appearing from nowhere and speedily disappearing over the brim of Narrow Neck – they thought in Imperial yards in those days, a measurement descending to them from beyond the mists of Babylon’s graceful gardens; a few hundred yards from their cave they had discovered the strangely fenced-off zone at the edge of the cliff…
How could he forget Racheal’s pale lithe body painted with tan ochre stripes, dancing for him in dappled sunbeams and bright glaring moonlight? How could he fail to remember the times they’d truly come to know each other deeply, truly, reverently - or the lost child they’d conceived there, on the edge of the world?
His memory was prodigious, semi-legendary; he was Random Access Memory incarnate.
And yet… something else was shining in Racheal’s mind as her eyes bored into him, recalling his awareness to the living reality of her firm, warm thigh as it stretched across his reawakening tumescence. While they lay together in the big brass bed on the banks of a flooded river valley, on the shores of a safe harbour in the vast
“You don’t remember, do you?” The words came from her lips in a spurting rush, more plea than query. The shaman found himself on the brink of some indefinably portentous moment as her intense gaze wavered amid the mystifying swell of salty teardrops welling beneath her lashes. He wrapped his arms around her and she sank against his chest, platinum waves spilling across his belly and covering half her face. “I thought… maybe… you’d remember after all.”
As he caressed Racheal’s long spine and her heaving ribcage the meaning of her words continued to elude him. He puzzled over them for long moments as he ran his fingers through her hair and lifted her face to his. Then he lightly kissed her tears away and felt the rush of unaccountable emotions pour into him as the saltiness dissolved against his tongue.
He tasted fear.
A true story.
Further True Tales from the Prince of Centraxis -
Mandrake & the Magician – Adder Ladies and the Dawn of Ra Part 6 Watching the Watcher – Adder Ladies and the Dawn of Ra Part 7 Promises & Compromises - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 8 The Invisible Great Divide - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 9 Circles Within Circles - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 10 Three Flaming Arrows - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 11 Round Peg, Square Hole - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 12 Monkey Business - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 13
And see -
This material is published under Creative Commons Copyright – reproduction for non-profit use is permitted & encouraged, if you give attribution to the work & author - and please include a (preferably active) link to the original along with this notice. Feel free to make non-commercial hard (printed) or software copies or mirror sites - you never know how long something will stay glued to the web – but remember attribution! If you like what you see, please send a tiny donation or leave a comment – and thanks for reading this far…
The Prince of Centraxis - http://centraxis.blogspot.com