(Advisory- this is a graphic story, X-rated really.)
Mad Noah can’t give me what I want.
Mad Noah stands in his tent and shouts at me in the doorway- “Incubus of Satan! If you had SEEN the holy holy holy as I have, if you had SEEN!”
And I leave.
Mad Noah comes to me at night and between his whisperings of a world gone mad he slips his fingers between my thighs, and while he tells the story of the one eyed fox that learnt to fly above the second flood, he strokes me, and I do what?
This proud woman, tall, strong, I do what to this little man above me?
I do nothing to stop him at all.
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It’s the second day of New Lent when the man comes that drives my Mad Noah into a rage. And this was a rage. He foamed. The man left, for all I know, he didn’t even speak, in that purplish tent dyed with elderberry juice, my Noah’s tabernacle.
That night my Noah came to me and he made me bleed and at the end he cursed me for the Whore of Babylon and asked if I had no shame, his seed swimming in my stomach, had I no shame to be such a way. I pointed at the blood that had flowed from my body, and he flinched. I made for him then, to show him the dagger that had caused the wound, to grasp it and hold it up ’til he stood on tip toes and begged me not to squeeze so hard, and I would shout- “OH THIS? WAS IT THIS LITTLE THING?!” And then I’d wait for him to beat me to the ground.
But instead he cloaked himself in pajamas and ran from the tabernacle. Such a holy place. I lay there sighing, my own dried blood on the sheets rasping against my skin, thinking, my Mad Noah, such a holy place.
The man came back the next day. I was spinning wool in the shade of a baobab with the other women, little cripple Mimsy and her twins Mule and Ass, Karitas the mute, bowed-down Ruth from Bolivia, and Siobhan who once sang on Broadway but now had no tongue. In the shade we twined the coarse fluff through our nimble fingers and spooled it onto the wheel that Mule and Ass drove. So I was looking down when he came, I only saw his silhouette, cutting across the coconut tree shadows, striding up to my Noah’s mud and wattle daub cellar. He was in their sotting himself. I know. I found his still.
I saw him as he left. A tall man, and dark. He bore no mark of Cain on his arm. And I knew then what he was, and what he’d come for. I said nothing to the others.
It was twilight when we stopped, and hung up the days threads to dry overnight, all dyed through with green Aloe or red clay dust, stringing round the Baobab like Christmas tinsel. I didn’t go to the root cellar. I knew well what I would find.
He came to the tabernacle that night. I was lying in wait. I’d spent the last hour preparing myself, anointing with crushed coconut oil and pomegranate pulp the garlands of my body, my fingers juicy with pap. When he came in, that tall dark man with no mark of Cain, I knew what to do. I flung myself at his feet and pledged to be the vessel for his one true seed for ever and ever Amen. He laughed. Of course he laughed.
“Woman,” he said, his voice a rumble like far off drums, beating a warpath, trembling the earth, “you’ll have no babe from me. I’ll stuff your every crevice to bursting with my seed, but never will you bear me a child.” Then he slapped my face, spun me over, and the first long night began.
Despite the oil and the efforts I’d made, I bled again. He laughed when he saw it. He held a finger before my eyes, covered in my blood, and he laughed as he thrust again and again, spiking my guts with his blade.
My Noah they buried the day after next. I was unable to move. I was blind and deaf and dumb, for he’d followed his promise. He filled my guts with his seed, so I was too heavy to move. He filled my eyes so I could not see. He filled my mouth and my belly and my nostrils so I could scarce breathe, and he soiled my ears so I could not hear, then he lashed me over and over ’til I was encased in a hardening white shell.
He twisted me so I could watch through the blinding sheen, as they dragged the blue corpse of my Noah from his drinking pit. The women howled, those that could. Without me to guide them, Mule and Ass dug the grave right next to the fire. Nobody said any words. My Noah had had them all, in his time, hiding his mark until the last, and there was no love lost.
Except by me. For though he was sterile, he’d promised me a child.
So when they tossed the dirt in over him, I only wanted to weep but couldn’t. I only tried to scream. For the man was now come.
I saw him like a vision. Time passed for me like the desert. Dunes. Shifting. Winds. No change.
I watched sand. Grains of it, scuttering with the blast of his hot breath over my shoulder. Trembling as he pounded my body beneath him, ground his hips into mine, tore welts in the skin of my flesh with his fingernails, then slipped his jabbering man against them, sealing them over with his drying juice, sealing my lips and gumming up my eyes. He thrust and he pumped and he filled my body everywhere he could, but for the place he knew I wanted.
“Not until I’m ready,” he said, as he stopped up my breath. “Not until I say.”
I became meat. Living, thinking, obedient meat. I failed in nothing he asked. I gave my body to him, as I’d given it to my Noah before, with his jealous and violent rages, his pain at the mark of Cain on his thigh, burning his flesh. But I gave it to this man more, for he demanded more.
He whipped me. He beat me. He thrashed the hills and vales of my body long into the night until they were ripe and purpled with welts and blossoming with bruises. And still I took him within me, my mouth, my guts, took him in and became his receptacle, his chalice, his grail. Because I knew soon. Soon he would have to give me a child. And then it would be over.
I woke and through my veil I saw stars.
And the clearing, with the ironshod cedar tripod hanging over the firepit. My Noah’s grave alongside, un-marked but for a slight mound. Small flickers of flame from the blackened supper-time ashes. And before the entrance, the man, raping Siobhan in the moonlight.
His thrusting body occluded stars. They winked in and out around him.
She was bound hand and foot. He’d tied her with our own woven Aloe threads.
Mule and Ass were watching from their tent, their mother Mimsy huddled behind them. They saw me. They closed the flap.
Me and Siobhan and him.
She wasn’t screaming because she had no tongue. But she was barking. Like a dog. And this amused him more. He beat her with a rock and she barked, and he thrust into her and she barked. He mauled her body, and she strained and struggled weakly to be free, and she barked, and he laughed, and held her tighter, firmer, against his loins.
I stabbed him through with my Noah’s scythe. His hands loosened on Siobhan and I tugged the blade free. He fell with his mouth open and I stuffed it with a rag of tabernacle cloth, then I plugged his wounds too and watched as he writhed and struggled to breath. I sliced Siobhan free and took the string and knelt at his blade and tied it tight enough round the base to keep the blood in and hard. He tried to speak to me, but he could not muster the air for words.
I heard a hissing from his chest. There was blood everywhere. His lips began to bubble.
I straddled him and shoved him within me. I rode him as he died, his death throes shooting the seed up and into me, and when he was spent, before he could breathe his last in pleasure, I put out both his eyes with my thumbs, and stuffed them in his mouth. Gasping, he sucked them in, and choked to death.
I rolled to my back alongside Siobhan and I took her hand in mine. She was panting and terrified and her eyes told me she had gone mad.
But I knew.
This was just the price. As I raised my legs above me to hold inside his precious seed, curling my knees and rocking back and forth, I watched her lips work themselves into a frenzy of froth and insane soundless mutterings, only their wet smacking punctuating the stillness of the desert.
I stared at her and knew the price of life, and it was madness.
I thanked God I wasn’t mad.
Then I stabbed Siobhan through the eye with my finger, past gristle and into her brain. She stopped struggling.
I lay back on my Noah’s grave, watching Siobhan’s dead eye. She was no longer mad, and that made me happy. For though the price of life is madness, the reward is immortality.
I lay there all through the night, rocking like a baby’s cradle back and forth, all the way until the dawn. And by the dawn I knew. My Noah had kept his vow.
I would have a son.
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