..and she closed her eyes.
Their lips were locked onto each other in a mindless frenzy of passion, her arms around his neck and his hands squeezing on her butt – as her tongue entered his mouth, and a gratuitous amount of saliva dripped from their mouths to the floor. Their tongues kept exploring each other’s mouths, as their bodies were pressed hard against each other, the warmth of the flesh and the warmth of their breaths exchanged bodies.
They broke the kiss, and looked at each other. She smiled big and wide, looking as beautiful as ever he had seen her. But suddenly two drops of tear were seen in her eyes, filling up to the brim and then rolling down her cheeks even before her smile could disappear.
He grabbed her again, with her cheeks between his palms, “Hey Chloe, what happened to you?”
“I’m scared, Barry,” she said, “the last few days with you have been really beautiful, and I’m scared that they’ll come to an end.”
They were standing at the deck of the spaceship, gazing through the panoramic glass window at the iridescent gas clouds outside. They had been here together on this ship for a while now, and had formed a connection they didn’t think was possible before.
They stood on the edge, admiring the spectacle of vibrant nebulae and constellations, as the spaceship moved through the inky blackness of interstellar space that was lit up by the neon greens and vivid oranges of the luminous gas clouds.
He reached out and kissed her eyelids, wiping the tear away with his lips, “Why does anything have to end? You know a few days ago, we didn’t even think we’d ever have a kiss. Few days ago we were just fellow travelers on this ship who liked each other’s company and now here we are.”
“Yes,” she smiled softly and hugged him tight.
“You know what I do when I feel scared?” he told her, “I tell myself a story. And I feel great again, in fact it’s one of my superpowers.” He chuckled.
She giggled and raised her eyebrows, “Superpower? Are you sure?”
“Yes. See, stories take you into a fantasy world, where you can be whoever you want to be, you can be a hero and you can do whatever you want to do. In your stories, you are the hero who can find solutions to every problem. Then you come back to real life, and it just seems a bit easier, because you know you have done it in your story.”
“So.. my superhero, what’s your fantasy about me? About us? What are we gonna do?” She smiled and brushed her nose against his, still holding him tight.
“I’ll tell it to you in a story,” he handed her a piece of equipment that looked a bit like old-time clunky headphones. As she put it on, he took out his own pair and settled it around his head.
“Now, give me your hand and close your eyes…”
..and she closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes.
“Where are we?” She asked him, the surroundings looked cold but she didn’t feel a thing. There was only a slight chill under her skin and she moved closer to him.
He put an arm around her, “We are on Earth, somewhere near the arctic circle.”
“Did we just come here?”
“No, we’re in a story. See this.”
They stood on the deck of a sailing ship, as the icy waves of the Arctic rocked it back and forth. There were a few men and women on the ship, huddled together under a bearskin trying to keep themselves warm, as the piercing cold chilled their bones and the rime frosted their faces. The sail flapped violently in the blizzard, as a crackling stroke of thunder ripped apart the steel grey overcast sky.
“Look at these people,” Barry said, “They are here, travelling through hail and thunder, to the edge of the world, to the Americas, where they hope to find treasure, shelter and a new world, a new life.”
“Many of them will die on this quest, but the only thing that keeps them going is a story they carry with them. The story of a powerful being in the sky, Thor the God of Thunder. He drives their boats forward, he makes way for them through the icebergs, he brings them rain, and he drives fear into the heart of their enemies. He gives them hope.”
There appeared a young woman on the deck, with a folded sail in her hand and suggested to her folk that they wrap it around the bearskin blanket for heat insulation. An elderly man got up, snatched the bundle from her hand and threw it under the deck. It seemed that he was telling her that she had lost her mind, that it’d fly away in the blizzard and she’d make them lose the extra sail they had for the rest of the journey. He shouted and shouted at her constantly, nothing could be heard in the fierce wind.
The man told her to stay put and didn’t allow her inside the bearskin. The young woman, with her blue eyes and her red freckled face, stood aghast in the biting wind, her damp blond hair fluttering along with the flitting snowflakes.
“What is she gonna do? Should we help her?” Chloe asked and moved forward.
Barry reached out, grabbed her hand and pulled her back. “We can’t help her, Chloe. She’ll find a way to help herself once she knows who she really is. We should get out of here..”
Suddenly a thunderbolt hit the sail, ripped it apart and pushed the boat forward. The sail, electrically charged, dragged itself along the polar wind at incredible speed towards an iceberg, impact imminent, a certain death – and Chloe and Barry found themselves fallen among the waves, before they could teleport from there.
..and they sunk into the ocean, holding each other’s hands – delving deeper and deeper into the stark darkness, relying only on each other to find a way. They reached a geothermal vent, a watersprout, the rarity of nature that came as a gift to them and it launched them out of the ocean high into the sky.
With their hands still clasped together, they floated in the air – then with a click of his fingers, they disappeared.
In one of the human-inhabited towns on a planet named Inexakt, there lay a girl in her virtual reality rig. She sat naked in a VR chair with her eyes closed, just an electrode cap stapled to her shaved head, her eyebrows were shaven too, and she had long curly eyelashes. Her breasts were small and infirm, and her skin seemed to have a dull sallow tinge that gave her a look of a lanky wax statue hurriedly made by an artist who had been given a tight deadline.
Both of them appeared near her in her room, with a loud gasp of breath and a sensation of falling as they had teleported to a strange planet from the Earth sky within a flash.
“Hey, where are we? What about that girl on the boat?” Chloe exclaimed as she caught her breath and noticed the girl in the rig and the room around them.
Room was lit by a faint red light coming from all the walls. The girl lay peacefully, but her eyeballs seemed to move quickly under her closed eyelids. Her body quivered, and tiny sweat drops appeared on her skin. Her hands moved in a mechanical motion and she grabbed her own breasts and started to squeeze them.
“We’ll get to her later, see now we have reached here just in time. See, this girl is having sex in her virtual reality,” Barry went closer to the girl, placed his hand on the top of her electrode cap.
Suddenly, both of them were inside a crystal dome with hanging disco balls flickering to the beat of disturbingly catchy electronic music that seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. There were thousands of people inside the large dome, moving about and dancing, some of them naked and some of them dressed ostentatiously – in a corner there was an orgy going on.
“What are you doing now? And how are you doing this?” Chloe asked in exasperation.
“What do you mean?”
“You just touched her head in that room, and suddenly we are here in this place. What is it? A story inside a story?”
Barry chuckled, “Yes, yes, it is. It is the story this girl tells herself. You see, this is the virtual reality of these people, this is a whole different world. This dome is only for sexual stuff. Come, I’ll show you,” he held her hand and took her towards the orgy.
There was a girl there, looking strangely similar to the girl in the rig. But here, she had black flowing hair and round supple breasts, and her skin had a golden sheen that was pleasant to the eyes. She was bent over on a couch, riding a dick in her pussy while another guy stood behind her and fucked her ass, she had two cocks in her mouth at once and she shook another two with both her hands. She moaned loud, and the wet sounds of dicks moving inside her holes was loud enough to be heard over the music.
“Is it the same girl? I think it’s the same girl,” Chloe remarked.
“Yes, it is her virtual personality,” said Barry. “You see this is a sexually repressive world, here everything related to sex is a taboo. And the girl over there,” he gestured Chloe to move closer to her and peer at the girl’s face, “in her real life she is a shy silent girl, with insecurities about her sexuality and low self-esteem about her body. She thinks she is not attractive and perhaps would never be desired by a man.”
“So she tells herself a story, in this virtual world. Here she is no longer an ordinary-looking shy girl. Here, she is a sexy diva, here she is desired by thousands of men. Here she has created a story where she is the hero, the master of her own sexuality. Her story gives her the acceptance of herself.”
“But that doesn’t mean anything,” said Chloe, “This is a virtual world, what happens here wouldn’t really improve her life. What is her salvation?”
“She’ll find her salvation once she knows who she really is,” answered Barry and moved forward.
While Chloe and Barry talked, the orgy reached its climax. All the guys drained their cum inside her and left the place, without giving her as much as a gesture of gratitude or even a second glance. Suddenly she noticed Barry coming closer to her.
“What do you want? I cannot do anything with you right now. Come later,” she said.
“It’s okay, I’m only here to tell you a story,” Barry placed his hand on her head, “Now close your eyes..”
..and she closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes.
She found herself in his arms, in the middle of a deep, passionate, wet kiss… with a vivid memory of being together with this man for a last few days aboard a spaceship. She saw that she was standing on the deck of the spaceship, misty-eyed and sad, telling him that she’s scared about their days coming to an end.
She felt his hands holding her cheeks, kissing her tears and telling that they’ll find a solution. She heard him saying that he tells himself a story whenever he feels scared, and that he was going to tell her a story. She took a headphone-like device that he handed to her, put it on her head as he told her.
..and she closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes.
She was on a boat, and she saw her family near the deck of the ship, huddled under a blanket of bearskin as frigid cold wind slapped across their faces. On the other side of the ship, she saw a strange man and woman dressed in plain blue jackets, they didn’t seem to be cold, and they were talking to each other but nothing could be heard in the fierce wind.
A sudden thunderclap, and the wrath of mighty Thor rained down on them, ripping apart the sail as the broken mast hit her and flung her to the side. She saw her reflection in the icy water – blue eyes, red freckles on her pale face, her damp blond hair dangling into the water.
She got back up, the strange couple was gone. The ship was heading towards a formidable gigantic iceberg that stood tall and looming near a volcanic island, impact imminent, certain death.
The thunder struck again, driving fear into the hearts of those who worshiped the God of Thunder. They went down on their knees, cried in fear and asked his forgiveness – the only one standing was the young woman they had cast out of their blanket. She stood stern, partly because of defiance and partly because she was trying to find a solution.
Suddenly the rudder of ship hit against something hard, the sailors cowering further in fear, when she went forward and peered through the mist. The water was shallow here, and sharp outcrops of igneous rock protruded from the ocean bed, most of them submerged under water. But enough of them were out in the open that they would rip the ship apart even before the wind could slam the ship into the iceberg.
And the thunder struck again, illuminating in a brief flash the complete view ahead of the ship. She rushed forward and grabbed a bundle of rope, “Come on, everyone. I know what to do.”
“You brute,” the elderly man got up again and scowled at her, “Thor’s vengeance is upon us, and you choose to defy him instead of accepting your judgment?”
“I did nothing to die like this,” she said, “Thor might be the deciding your fate, but not mine.”
She beckoned to the young men and women, who came forward despite the moans and grunts of disapproval from their older folk.
“What are you going to do? What can you do?” of them asked.
“We’re doing a bootleg turn,” she shouted.
“What the hell is a bootleg turn?” shouted the elderly man.
“Never mind what it is. I know what I’m doing. There is a tall pointy rock coming out of the water, we’ll put this rope around it like a lasso and turn the ship around it. Then the wind will drive us away from the rocks and the iceberg.”
..as soon as the ship turned away from the perilous path, she heard her name being hailed by all her shipmates as they welcomed her into the blanket that they soon layered with the extra sail for insulation. She clambered inside it, it was warmer than before… and suddenly a vision of the strange man flashed before her eyes. He seemed to speak to her inside her mind, he said to her that he was here to tell her that she can come out of this story, she has already discovered who she is…
She felt dizziness take over her as she curled up inside the blanket, a sudden oncoming of sleep, and she closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes.
She was in a strange room, illuminated by eerie red light. A strange man had his hand over her head and the woman with him stood behind him, looking at her with an expressionless face.
“Who are you?” she asked.
Barry withdrew his hand from her head, “I’m Barry, and she is..”
“Wait, I remember. You were there in my VR, you came to me and you said you were going to tell me a story. You touched my head and then everything went in a haze, I can’t remember anything. What did you do?”
“I did nothing,” replied Barry, “I just logged you out of your VR.”
She got up from the chair, took her electrode cap off, and walked around the room looking skeptically at Chloe and then at Barry. “Now it’s all coming back to me, I was on a spaceship and I was kissing you, man. Who the fuck are you? What did you do to me?”
“I’m just a storyteller. You want to know what I did? I logged you out and then I took you into the spaceship and then…”
“And then to the boat, I was the girl on the boat. It was going to crash into ice. My family was there too. They made fun of me and underestimated me, and I showed them. There I did the bootleg turn I studied in my engineering class here. How did you make me do that?”
“I did nothing,” smiled Barry, “I only put you in a story. Everything you did, every choice you made, it was all you. Even the problems that you faced were materialized from your own subconscious.”
“So I just knew how to sail, how to handle and turn a ship?”
“It was your story and you were the hero of the story. You could have done anything you wanted. You could have flown into the iceberg and shattered it. You could have picked up the ship and dropped it on the shore of America. You could have dueled with Thor in the clouds. You could have done anything. But you did the most difficult part.”
“What was that?”
“It was something most people cannot do, even in their stories. You stood up for yourself. You stood up for what you believed in.”
The girl stood there in awe, looking at this strange man in his outlandish blue jacket telling her bizarre things. But she believed him, and in a difficult motion of facial muscles she made an expression that could have been called a smile – it seemed as if she had forgotten to smile, until this stranger showed her true self to her in a story.
She stood in front of the mirror in her room and gazed at her naked body. Strangely enough, she didn’t feel any shame in being naked before them, it just didn’t matter. She looked at her smooth shaved head, long curly eyelashes, small pointy breasts, and the pearly glow of her skin that she often described as sallow. Maybe it’s not so bad after all, she thought; and behind that beautiful frame there was a beautiful mind, she knew.
And perhaps for the first time in a long long while, her lips curved themselves, her jaw loosened itself and her eyes squinted, and there was seen a glint of joy there – she smiled the most genuine, the most beautiful smile ever.
“That was a nice thing you said to her,” Chloe smiled and held Barry’s hand.
Barry smiled back at her, “Our job here is done, let’s get out of here.”
And they disappeared.
As the girl in front of the mirror moved towards her bed saw a vision of the strange man flash before her eyes. He seemed to speak to her inside her mind, he said to her that he was here to tell her that she can come out of this story, she has already discovered who she is…
She felt dizziness take over her as soon as she got into the bed, a sudden oncoming of sleep, and she closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes.
She saw Barry in front of him, she was Chloe. She took the device off her head, and sat down on the floor – at an utter loss of words. Barry sat next to her and put an arm around her shoulder.
She exhaled loudly and exclaimed, “What the hell was that? All those stories, were they playing inside my mind?”
“Yes,” he said softly.
“And.. and all those girls, every girl in every story, it was me?”
“Wow, you truly have a superpower, don’t you?”
Barry chuckled gently and stroked her shoulder, taking her hand into his other hand and kissed it. “It’s not specific to me. Everyone has it. People tell themselves stories all the time, they just don’t realize it. At our heart, we all are storytellers. It is our greatest source of strength, hope and inspiration.”
“But that doesn’t answer our question, does it bae? What are we gonna do about us?”
“The stories have already shown it to us. At the heart and soul of every story, there is one very simple idea – that you can be the hero of your story, that we can be heroes in our own lives.”
“Oh you wizard of words, you still didn’t answer my question,” she nuzzled into his face.
He gently stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. “I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that, sweetheart. I’m scared that’s why I told you those stories. We are still in a story right now and we can only find a solution once we know who we really are. And I’m telling this story because I’m scared.”
“Don’t be scared, bae,” she kissed his eyes, and hugged him tight, “We’ll find out. Come let’s sleep.”
They got up, moved towards their sleeping pod. There was no vision that flashed before their eyes.
They felt dizziness take over them as soon as they crawled into their pod, a sudden oncoming of sleep, and they closed their eyes.
He opened his eyes, logged into wordpress and started typing the words –
“..and she closed her eyes.
Their lips were locked onto each other…”
She opened her eyes. And she read this story.