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Editor’s note: this story contains scenes of non-consensual or reluctant sex.
Author’s notes: I wanted to write a short piece in the style of a “bodice ripper” except with a male “heroine” as the main character. Since such works are invariably historical romances this story is too, though I decided to set it in the Bronze Age instead any of the more popular periods just for fun.
Disclaimer: The following is a piece of fiction. Fiction (in case you don’t know) means it’s made up, not real, a bunch of lies. The characters in the story are all fictional too, meaning they don’t exist. While non-existent, if they existed and had an age they would be over 18.
Furthermore, since the characters aren’t real they can’t possibly be harmed by the stuff they do or that happens to them in the story. This would not be true in reality, meaning you should not think you can do the same things safely, legally, or ethically in real life. Just because bullets bounce off Superman (he’s fictional) that doesn’t mean they’re going to bounce off you, got it? If you believe that the things fictional characters do in a pornographic story are a valid guide to behavior in the real world, then you have much bigger psychological problems than a story could ever cause and you should stop reading this and seek medical help immediately.
Danili wakes with dawn’s light playing into the chamber. Rising from bed Danili makes the first obeisance of the day, toward the archway which opens onto the main shrine where the god lives. Danili stretches and pads naked over the tile floor to the door of the other entryway and goes outside to void. After this Danili uses the clyster, the same as every morning. This is not a day when the temple calendar calls for the channel to be clean, but at times the god unexpectedly indicates his desire for such usage and it is better to be prepared.
Danili returns to the bedchamber, goes to the wash-corner and fills the basin there from the pitcher to bathe. Next comes the sharp bronze razor to shave any stray hair that grew overnight. There is not much to deal with for Danili had tweezed just five days before at the new moon, as is customary. The long dark head of hair is combed out with a little oil to make it supple, then twisted it into a braid and wound to the top of the head. The silver wreath that both serves as fillet and marks the wearer as the god’s servant goes in.
A light perfume over the body, after which Danili uses the polished metal mirror to apply lip rouge, followed by kohl around the eyes. Only when all these preparation are done does Danili don a summer chiton made of sheerest Coan silk, so thin that it almost floats as it falls to mid-calf length. Some ceremonies call for more elaborate robes, but today chiton and silver wreath will be Danili’s sole clothing aside from leather sandals after leaving the temple. Danili is finally ready to enter the presence of the god.
Danili walks through the archway into the central shrine, lights the candles and incense on the altar, and prostrates before the graven image, all the while chanting the morning prayer. When this is done Danili remains face-down, waiting to see if a sign will be vouchsafed. But this morning there is nothing, no inner urge or outer portent indicating the god’s desires. Danili rises, bows, and slowly backs out of the shrine.
Besides the bedchamber and the shrine there are only a few other rooms making up the small hilltop temple. Danili goes to the one that serves as both store-room and kitchen for a breakfast of dried figs and yesterday’s flatbread. The supply of figs is already running low. Danili sighs because soon all the fruit left will be a few handfuls of raisins and the Egyptian dates. Hopefully the ship from home bringing the necessarily supplies will come earlier than usual this month.
After eating Danili goes to the front door of the temple, takes the silver ewer and steps into sandals. The cistern that supplies Danili’s own water is full, but the god’s rituals require fresh water from the sacred spring at the foot of the hill each and every day. The weather is already getting hot, so Danili quickly walks away from the temple into the shade of the trees. Not just for comfort but because the god demands pale skin on his servants. Danili cannot remain out in the sun for long or else he might tan.
Danili walks down the wooded slope, picking his way because there are no roads or trails on the island. Nor for that matter are there any structures aside from the temple, nor dwellers aside from Danili. It is too holy a place for ordinary men to live. In addition the isle is quite small and rocky, almost entirely surrounded by reefs which make navigation dangerous, and has no large patches of flat land that might be farmed. Danili barely has a herb garden for his own use, he couldn’t possible grow enough food to support himself.
Danili once served the god in the great temple in Ugarit. It was a much different Çankaya Escort existence, living as part of a community of priests in a bustling city, but it is a signal honor to be the god’s sole servant here on his holy island. Danili cannot regret that being chosen, though lately he’s felt more and more lonely.
Perhaps it is because Danili is thinking about such things rather than his duty to the god that he stumbles unaware upon the intruders. There is an open space half way to the spring. He steps out of the scrubby woods into the full daylight and sees them. More than a half-dozen, some lounging on the ground, others trying unsuccessfully to start a fire with twirled stick. Most are half-naked, all are unkempt.
Fear that they are marauders shoots through Danili. The crew of the supply ship has told him how renegades, lawbreakers, and escaped slaves have become more frequent in the nearby waters in recent times.
They spot Danili at the same time he sees them. “A woman!” one of them shouts. Immediately they are on their feet, advancing on him.
Danili takes a breath to calm himself and holds his ground. He counts eight of them now, the one in the lead taller than the rest. This one is not so rough-looking as the others and he smiles, flashing white teeth and holding out empty hands to show Danili his peaceful intentions. This is reassuring, though the others still look very roguish.
“Good meeting, priestess,” the tall man calls out, coming forward.
“Priest,” Danili corrects gently. Their expressions as they look more closely at his white-robed form are rather comical, Danili suppresses a laugh. “I am the priest of Dagon on this, his holy and sacrosanct isle. And who are you?”
“Why, we are poor shipwrecked sailors, looking for help,” the tall one says smoothly. “We meant no sacrilege coming here, we were cast ashore by the waves.”
Now that they are close the truth to the man’s words is obvious. The men wear salt-stained sailor’s garb, or the rags of such, and are as gnarled, hairy, and unattractive as Danili has come to expect from men who work the sea.
Their leader looks different. His clothes were once of higher quality, and he is taller and straight-limbed with curly hair and a well-trimmed beard, while his skin is tanned but unblemished. He looks and moves like an athlete, or even one of the old heroic demi-gods. Danili cannot help but feel friendly towards him.
Danili notes too that the sailors are not armed like raiders as he’d first feared. Some but not all wear belt knives, the other things they carry are various ropes and pieces of timber obviously salvaged from the wreck. Only the leader bears a sword, through Danili knows the weapon must have greatly burdened him as he swam away from his sinking ship. Danili imagines him fighting the waves while bravely refusing to part with his blade, it was the way a true hero would act.
Still, Danili has responsibilities and it is prudent question strangers. “It is lucky you were able to reach here at all. The island’s reefs are very dangerous and ships rarely sail this route. Where was your craft headed?”
“It’s not like we wanted to come this way, we were forced,” one of the sailors mutters.
Their leader interrupts before the man can continue. “As captain the fault is mine. A storm that I did not expect drove us here.”
Danili knits his brow. “I have seen no sign of storms.”
“Storms at sea come and go swiftly,” the captain says with a disarming grin. “Or perhaps it was the hand of your god that brought us to this place. Dagon is a sea god, is he not?”
“In part. He is god of the fisherman’s catch, but also god of the harvest of the land,” Danili says. “He is not a storm god, though. That is his son, Ba’al-hadad.”
“All well and good, but we’re dying of thirst,” another sailor breaks in. “D’you have water in that urn, by any chance?”
Danili explains that it is empty but that he is going to the sacred spring to fill it. This brings loud expressions of thankfulness from the men, and the captain asks politely if you will lead them to the spring. “If it is acceptable for the god to share his water,” he adds.
“Dagon’s grace is the succor and blessing of men, and he will be happy to quench your thirst as long as you behave with respect,” Danili replies formally. “I will lead you to the spring.”
Danili resumes his interrupted walk, though not before one of the sailors insists on taking the silver ewer from him.
“No sense in a weak little thing like you having to strain, I’ll carry it for you,” he laughs, wresting it from the priest’s hands. Though the empty vessel is no burden Danili decides not to make an issue of it.
Along the way the captain walks beside Danili asking questions. Danili is happy for the chance to enlighten a willing mind, and tells the man how Dagon is the god of fertility and sustenance, who invented the net to harvest Keçiören Escort the waters and the plow to seed the land. His metal is silver, like the scales of fishes, and his color white, like the moon.
The captain asks about the temple here and Danili describes it and its wonders, also that by tradition it has a sole priest who lives alone. He also finds himself telling the man about the ship that comes from the mainland each month, and how long it has been and will be until Danili sees another friendly face.
The captain smiles at this. “I’ll be happy to relieve your loneliness for as long as I’m able,” he says. An innocent enough comment but he gazes in the priest’s eyes as he says it, bringing a warmth to Danili’s heart.
Being a sea-captain it seems natural for him to want to know about the reefs around the island. Danili describes to him how the way through them is marked, and the location of the sole beach where ships may safely land.
There is a commotion. One of the sailors calls that he’s seen a goat, and two men chase off through the brush, hoping to capture it for meat. As the only goats on the isle are Danili’s two milkers and those are tethered behind the temple he knows they must be mistaken. Then Danili realizes they might have glimpsed one of the great pelicans which are the only other large beasts on the island. Danili quickly informs the captain that the birds are holy to Dagon and insists they must not be harmed. The captain seems nonplused at first but then heads off after his truants while Danili continues to lead the others toward the spring.
Now that Danili is no longer conversing with the captain he can hear the sailors following behind mutter and whisper among themselves. He wonders what they could be discussing that they seem so ardent yet secretive about.
Danili has no idea of the show he is putting on for the sailors. The way his hips sway slightly as he walks in the way taught in the temple. The way his slim arms and ankles tempt the rough sailors as he moves. The way shafts of sunlight penetrating the trees strike through his diaphanous chiton to reveal tantalizing glimpses of white, smooth flesh.
The heel strap of Danili’s right sandal suddenly breaks. A bad omen on any trip, even one as short as this, and he wonders what warning the god is trying to send. He halts and bends over at the waist to re-tie the broken thong. When he does this, from behind him comes the sudden intake of breaths and some strangled gasps.
The murmuring resumes, louder and harsher. As Danili is finishing with the knot a calloused hand lands on his out-thrust bottom, squeezing his right rear cheek roughly through the thin silk of his robe.
Danili is trained to suppresses his natural reactions. Instead of crying out in surprise or screeching an objection he wills himself to remain serene and calmly stands upright. “What exactly do you think you are doing?” he cooly asks the sailor, whose hand is still on Danili’s rump.
“Just checking what’s on offer, sweets,” the sailor replies with a lewd wink, giving another firm squeeze and showing no intention of removing the offending grasp.
It is his tone and manner more than his words that bring a blush to Danili’s face. There is raucous laughter from the others.
Just then the captain and the men he went to retrieve arrive. He sharply orders the sailor groping Danili to stop. Next he apologizes.
“My men are sailors after all. Rude and unused to polite company, I’m afraid,” he says with his white smile. “I hope what happened was not too bothersome.”
The captain seems so concerned and sincere that Danili smiles and tells him he didn’t mind the sailor’s action. He did, of course, but doesn’t want the captain to worry. An inner voice whispers to Danili that perhaps he might not have minded at all if it had been the captain’s hand rather that of the rough sailor, but he thrusts the thought away.
The spring is near now, a small but constant upwelling from the living rock near the base of the hill. Those who built the temple here also created a small artificial pool to collect the water from the sacred spring. On seeing this the sailors rush down, shouting.
There’s just enough room for each to drink, and most plunge their faces directly into the water. Danili sees that their captain does not, politely bringing water to his mouth with a cupped hand instead. The priest frets that the men may muddy the pool and wishes that they had let him fill the ewer with the sacred water first. But clearly their thirst is great.
What happens next though is unacceptable. Satisfying their initial thirst, several of the sailors now begin using the pool to wet their rags and wash their salt-crusted heads and bodies, even to dip their filthy feet into the water from the holy spring! Danili yells at them to stop, to have respect for the god, but they ignore him. He rushes to the captain, Etimesgut Escort who has drunk his fill, and demands that he order his men to stop their defilement.
The taller man shrugs. “I’m their leader, not their master. Why should I give a command that might not be obeyed? Besides, if the water is so holy then surely the god will see to it that it stays that way after the boys finish.”
Danili stares at him in shock, then goes and try to pull the sailors out of the pool himself. They curse at the priest, who becomes shrill. “You are villains and defilers! You should fear the displeasure of the god!”
They continue to ignore him. Next Danili tries to pry the ewer back from the man who has it, but he fends the priest off easily, laughing all the while..
The captain approaches the priest struggling with the sailor holding the ewer. Danili turns and demands that he make the man give the temple vessel back.
The captain grins. “Don’t worry your pretty head, priest. My man here will keep it nice and safe. He’ll even carry it back to the temple for you when you lead us there.”
Danili draws himself erect. “After such ill behavior I cannot allow these men to enter the temple. They have already committed sacrilege, I shudder to think what they might do there!”
The captain’s smile grows broader, but this time there’s a threat in it. “You do not have a choice in that, little priest. You will take us to your temple.”
Danili suddenly feels a chill and swallows against a tight throat. “No. I will not.”
The captain once more shrugs. “Then I suppose we’ll have to persuade you.”
Before Danili can even draw breath the hard strong hands of the sailors seize him. The silver wreath is yanked from his head and his long hair falls down around his face as he struggles. Other hands pull at his chiton, trying to yank if off his body.
At this the captain sharply tells them to be more careful. “That’s an expensive bit of fabric there, fools. Don’t tear it apart!”
They’re less rough after that but even so it is only a moment before Danili is naked except for his sandals. Some of the lengths of cordage they carry are used to lash his wrists to each end of a short wooden spar. Faster than the priest had imagined possible the spar is tied to a longer rope thrown over a tree limb, and his nude body is hoisted into the air, legs kicking.
A sailor goes to the pool with yet another piece of rope, doubled so that it is only the length of his arms, and wets it. Danili is confused why he does this until the sailor uses the wet rope as a whip, striking the suspended priest hard across the nipples. Danili screams as a red line appears on his pale hairless chest.
The captain shouts at Danili’s tormentor, berating him and telling him he’s risking a flogging for himself. For a moment Danili believes the captain is saving him from this fate, but it rapidly becomes clear the captain is not blaming the man for his intentions, only his choice of target.
“Leave a scar on that fine white skin and I’ll put twice as many on you, dolt,” he instructs. “We don’t want to lower the price. So don’t draw blood, and avoid any bony parts.”
The whipping resumes, this time limited to Danili’s lower back, bottom, and thighs. The priest tells himself to be strong, but he’s soon wailing with pain. The sailors scoff and mock, letting Danili know that the lashes which make him yelp and struggle would be mere caresses to their tough hides.
Before long the priest is sobbing helplessly and the captain orders a stop. “Are you ready to lead us to the temple now, priest?”
Despite the pain Danili clenches his mouth shut, refusing to answer. Then a pair of harsh hands force apart his thighs, roughly seize his smooth testicles and yank. Danili shrieks in shock and pain.
“He don’t really need these, do he, cap’n?” the sailor suggests. “I could lay the whip on them next.”
At the threat Danili breaks. He begs for mercy, saying he will do anything they ask. The sailors release the suspending rope, dropping the priest down to the ground in a sprawled heap.
Before Danili can get up himself strong hands seize him and pull him to his feet. Working swiftly Danili is unfastened from the spar and his arms firmly re-tied behind his back, wrist to elbow which forces him to keep them high. Another rope is made into a halter for Danili’s neck to ensure he has no chance to get away.
While this is happening Danili tries to reason with the captain, who strikes him as far more intelligent than the others. “You’re stranded here without your ship, and the only vessel which calls here is the one which brings supplies for the temple. By disrespecting me in this way you only harm yourselves, don’t you see that? The captain of the supply ship will think you are pirates if I do not defend you to him. If he does not find me he’ll accuse you of murder. Your only hope is to free me now and beg for the god’s forgiveness.”
The captain is unimpressed and unconcerned. “I believe our luck is about to change. You see, we’d taken a fat trader out of Kypros. I had all the survivors chained on my own deck and was aboard our capture setting on a prize crew to take her and her cargo to port for sale when a gods-cursed Minoan cruiser shows up,” he relates nonchalantly.
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