Friday, October 21, 2016

Sweet, hypnotic body horror

picture source
So I finally got around to reading the classic SF/horror story Shambleau; and y'all, this story is so hot that it's making me go all Southern all you. C.L. Moore gets it. She gets the attraction of submitting to an evil mind controller better than any other mainstream author I know of, and she knows how to make you feel it down to your...ahem...roots:

[T]through all that was Smith the dreadful pleasure ran. And it was truly dreadful. Dimly he knew it, even as his body answered to the root-deep ecstasy, a foul and dreadful wooing from which his very soul shuddered away—and yet in the innermost depths of that soul some grinning traitor shivered with delight.

You know that grinning traitor, don't you? It lives in me, and I'll bet it lives in you too - and in C. L. Moore herself. trilby else has read all of Moore's "Jirel of Joiry" novels, and he says there's MC in some of them, too. Considering how well Moore writes, I'll have to look up those "Jirel of Joiry" stories myself soon.

But about this story, "Shambleau." It contains so many, many squirmy-hot scenes that part of me wants to just quote the whole middle section right here. Unfortunately, that would deprive you of the pleasure of discovering more hot scenes than the one I'm quoting here. But ohh, how you're going to love the description of the protagonist's late-stage enslavement! You'll have to read that here, though, along with the rest of the story. In this blog entry, I'm just going to give you  an introduction to the story and then quote the centerpiece scene (The ellipses came from C.L. Moore; I'm not leaving anything out).

First, the introduction. This is one of those space westerns that were popular before we learned what the surface of Mars and Venus were really like. Our hero is Northwest Smith, but you might as well just picture him as Han Solo circa A New Hope. They're a close enough match, and you'll have more fun imagining Han in these situations than you will if you just think of a random smuggler. At the beginning of the story, Smith/Han saves an alien girl from a mob who want to kill her. They keep chanting "Shambleau," but Smith/Han doesn't know what that means, and he takes her in. The girl has velvety brown skin; a tattered, scarlet leather garment (mmm!); emerald eyes with catlike pupils; and a tight-fitting turban. Naturally our hero is attracted to her, and once they're alone in his rented room he tries to kiss her; but some instinctual fear makes him push her back at the last second.That night he dreams about being paralyzed while something slimy but wonderful caresses his neck. He forgets it the next day.

Then, the next night, this happens:

    From deeps of sound sleep he awoke much later. He awoke suddenly and completely, and with that inner excitement that presages something momentous. He awoke to brilliant moonlight, turning the room so bright that he could see the scarlet of the girl's rags as she sat up on her pallet. She was awake, she was sitting with her shoulder half turned to him and her head bent, and some warning instinct crawled coldly up his spine as he watched what she was doing. And yet it was a very ordinary thing for a girl to do—any girl, anywhere. She was unbinding her turban . . .
    He watched, not breathing, a presentiment of something horrible stirring in his brain, inexplicably . . . The red folds loosened, and—he knew then that he had not dreamed—again a scarlet lock swung down against her cheek . . . a hair, was it? a lock of hair? . . . thick as a thick worm it fell, plumply, against that smooth cheek . . . more scarlet than blood and thick as a crawling worm . . . and like a worm it crawled.
    Smith rose on an elbow, not realizing the motion, and fixed an unwinking stare, with a sort of sick, fascinated incredulity, on that—that lock of hair. He had not dreamed. Until now he had taken it for granted that it was the segir which had made it seem to move on that evening before. But now . . . it was lengthening, stretching, moving of itself. It must be hair, but it crawled; with a sickening life of its own it squirmed down against her cheek, caressingly, revoltingly, impossibly . . . Wet, it was, and round and thick and shining . . .
    She unfastened the last fold and whipped the turban off. From what he saw then Smith would have turned his eyes away—and he had looked on dreadful things before, without flinching—but he could not stir. He could only lie there on elbow staring at the mass of scarlet, squirming—worms, hairs, what?—that writhed over her head in a dreadful mockery of ringlets. And it was lengthening, falling, somehow growing before his eyes, down over her shoulders in a spilling cascade, a mass that even at the beginning could never have been hidden under the skull-tight turban she had worn. He was beyond wondering, but he realized that. And still it squirmed and lengthened and fell, and she shook it out in a horrible travesty of a woman shaking out her unbound hair—until the unspeakable tangle of it—twisting, writhing, obscenely scarlet—hung to her waist and beyond, and still lengthened, an endless mass of crawling horror that until now, somehow, impossibly, had been hidden under the tight-bound turban. It was like a nest of blind, restless red worms . . . it was—it was like naked entrails endowed with an unnatural aliveness, terrible beyond words.
    Smith lay in the shadows, frozen without and within in a sick numbness that came of utter shock and revulsion.
    She shook out the obscene, unspeakable tangle over her shoulders, and somehow he knew that she was going to turn in a moment and that he must meet her eyes. The thought of that meeting stopped his heart with dread, more awfully than anything else in this nightmare horror; for nightmare it must be, surely. But he knew without trying that he could not wrench his eyes away—the sickened fascination of that sight held him motionless, and somehow there was a certain beauty . . .
Her head was turning. The crawling awfulness rippled and squirmed at the motion, writhing thick and wet and shining over the soft brown shoulders about which they fell now in obscene cascades that all but hid her body. Her head was turning. Smith lay numb. And very slowly he saw the round of her cheek foreshorten and her profile come into view, all the scarlet horrors twisting ominously, and the profile shortened in turn and her full face came slowly round toward the bed—moonlight shining brilliantly as day on the pretty girl-face, demure and sweet, framed in tangled obscenity that crawled . . .
    The green eyes met his. He felt a perceptible shock, and a shudder rippled down his paralyzed spine, leaving an icy numbness in its wake. He felt the goose-flesh rising. But that numbness and cold horror he scarcely realized, for the green eyes were locked with his in a long, long look that somehow presaged nameless things—not altogether unpleasant things—the voiceless voice of her mind assailing him with little murmurous promises . . .
    For a moment he went down into a blind abyss of submission; and then somehow the very sight of that obscenity in eyes that did not then realize they saw it, was dreadful enough to draw him out of the seductive darkness . . . the sight of her crawling and alive with unnamable horror.
    She rose, and down about her in a cascade fell the squirming scarlet of—of what grew upon her head. It fell in a long, alive cloak to her bare feet on the floor, hiding her in a wave of dreadful, wet, writhing life. She put up her hands and like a swimmer she parted the waterfall of it, tossing the masses back over her shoulders to reveal her own brown body, sweetly curved. She smiled exquisitely, and in starting waves back from her forehead and down about her in a hideous background writhed the snaky wetness of her living tresses. And Smith knew that he looked upon Medusa.
    The knowledge of that—the realization of vast backgrounds reaching into misted history—shook him out of his frozen horror for a moment, and in that moment he met her eyes again, smiling, green as glass in the moonlight, half hooded under drooping lids. Through the twisting scarlet she held out her arms. And there was something soul-shakingly desirable about her, so that all the blood surged to his head suddenly and he stumbled to his feet like a sleeper in a dream as she swayed toward him, infinitely graceful, infinitely sweet in her cloak of living horror.
    And somehow there was beauty in it, the wet scarlet writhings with moonlight sliding and shining along the thick, worm-round tresses and losing itself in the masses only to glint again and move silvery along writhing tendrils—an awful, shuddering beauty more dreadful than any ugliness could be.
    But all this, again, he but half realized, for the insidious murmur was coiling again through his brain, promising, caressing, alluring, sweeter than honey; and the green eyes that held his were clear and burning like the depths of a jewel, and behind the pulsing slits of darkness he was staring into a greater dark that held all things . . . He had known—dimly he had known when he first gazed into those flat animal shallows that behind them lay this—all beauty and terror, all horror and delight, in the infinite darkness upon which her eyes opened like windows, paned with emerald glass.
    Her lips moved, and in a murmur that blended indistinguishably with the silence and the sway of her body and the dreadful sway of her—her hair—she whispered—very softly, very passionately, "I shall—speak to you now—in my own tongue—oh, beloved!"
    And in her living cloak she swayed to him, the murmur swelling seductive and caressing in his innermost brain—promising, compelling, sweeter than sweet. His flesh crawled to the horror of her, but it was a perverted revulsion that clasped what it loathed. His arms slid round her under the sliding cloak, wet, wet and warm and hideously alive—and the sweet velvet body was clinging to his, her arms locked about his neck—and with a whisper and a rush the unspeakable horror closed about them both.
    In nightmares until he died he remembered that moment when the living tresses of Shambleau first folded him in their embrace. A nauseous, smothering odor as the wetness shut around him—thick, pulsing worms clasping every inch of his body, sliding, writhing, their wetness and warmth striking through his garments as if he stood naked to their embrace.
picture source
    All this in a graven instant—and after that a tangled flash of conflicting sensation before oblivion closed over him for he remembered the dream—and knew it for nightmare reality now, and the sliding, gently moving caresses of those wet, warm worms upon his flesh was an ecstasy above words—that deeper ecstasy that strikes beyond the body and beyond the mind and tickles the very roots of soul with unnatural delight. So he stood, rigid as marble, as helplessly stony as any of Medusa's victims in ancient legends were, while the terrible pleasure of Shambleau thrilled and shuddered through every fiber of him; through every atom of his body and the intangible atoms of what men call the soul, through all that was Smith the dreadful pleasure ran. And it was truly dreadful. Dimly he knew it, even as his body answered to the root-deep ecstasy, a foul and dreadful wooing from which his very soul shuddered away—and yet in the innermost depths of that soul some grinning traitor shivered with delight. But deeply, behind all this, he knew horror and revulsion and despair beyond telling, while the intimate caresses crawled obscenely in the secret places of his soul—knew that the soul should not be handled—and shook with the perilous pleasure through it all.
    And this conflict and knowledge, this mingling of rapture and revulsion all took place in the flashing of a moment while the scarlet worms coiled and crawled upon him, sending deep, obscene tremors of that infinite pleasure into every atom that made up Smith. And he could not stir in that slimy, ecstatic embrace—and a weakness was flooding that grew deeper after each succeeding wave of intense delight, and the traitor in his soul strengthened and drowned out the revulsion—and something within him ceased to struggle as he sank wholly into a blazing darkness that was oblivion to all else but that devouring rapture . . .

Sunday, October 16, 2016

If the Phantasm sphere was a mind control device

I first became aware of this video when Antjack posted some stills from it on his site. They were so intriguing that I had to look up the full video right away - and I wanted to make a post about it right away. But one thing led to another, and I'm only now getting to share it with you. I think you'll agree that it's worth the wait.

I'm not going to tell you anything about what's coming except that the actress is Rosamund Pike from the movie Gone Girl. Now, strap in tight and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Vintage - but blazing hot - MC

painting by Zdzisław Beksiński
Before there was H.P. Lovecraft, there was Robert W. Chambers. I'm betting that you don't know who Chambers is, but that you'd recognize at least some of these names: The King in Yellow, the Yellow Sign, Hastur, and Carcosa. Lovecraft and Lovecraft's followers took them all and ran with them (Well, Chambers actually took Carcosa from Ambrose Bierce and ran with it, but then Lovecraft's gang took it too and ran even further).

Chambers is a much better writer than Lovecraft. In fact, Lovecraft once said, "Chambers is like Rupert Hughes and a few other fallen Titans – equipped with the right brains and education but wholly out of the habit of using them" - by which Lovecraft meant that Chambers was a fool to stop writing weird fiction and to shift instead to romance and adventure. I wish Chambers had written more weird fiction, myself, but at least he gave us five "King in Yellow" pieces and several other good spook stories, including one called "The Case of Mr. Helmer" in which you'd swear Neil Gaiman's own famous Death makes an appearance. Just for my own pleasure, I made an e-book of Chambers' "King in Yellow" stories and some of his other best work, and you're welcome to download a free copy if you like. All his work is in the public domain, so none of us will get in trouble for it. Here's the Dropbox link. And here's a hint: The very best "King in Yellow" story is "The Yellow Sign."

But all the above is just preface. After Chambers went mainstream, he wrote a handful of other supernatural novels, including one called The Slayer of Souls. It's about a young woman named Tressa who's captured by a devil-worshiping cult and escapes after learning all their magic. She then joins the US Secret Service in an attempt to track down and eliminate the cult leaders, who can control human minds and turn them to the worship of Erlik, the devil. It's a pretty cool concept, and especially cool when you realize that the novel was written just as women were beginning to get voting rights, yet Tressa is far more powerful than any man in the story. Then there's another powerful woman, one of the villains, who has this encounter with Tressa's so-called protector, Cleves:

Now, grasping his pistol but not drawing it, he began another stealthy tour of the apartment, exploring every nook and cranny. And, at the end, had discovered nothing new.
When at length he realised that, as far as he could discover, there was not a living thing in the place excepting himself, a very faint chill grew along his neck and shoulders, and he caught his breath suddenly, deeply.
He had come back to the bedroom, now. The perfume of the orchids saturated the still air.
And, as he stood staring at them, all of a sudden he saw, where their twisted stalks rested in the transparent bowl of water, something moving—something brilliant as a live ember gliding out from among the mass of submerged stems—a living fish glowing in scarlet hues and winnowing the water with grotesquely trailing fins as delicate as filaments of scarlet lace.
To and fro swam the fish among the maze of orchid stalks. Even its eyes were hot and red as molten rubies; and as its crimson gills swelled and relaxed and swelled, tints of cherry-fire waxed and waned over its fat and glowing body.
And vaguely, now, in the perfume saturated air, Cleves seemed to sense a subtle taint of evil,—something sinister in the intense stillness of the place—in the jewelled fish gliding so silently in and out among the pallid convolutions of the drowned stems.
As he stood staring at the fish, the drugged odour of the orchids heavy in his throat and lungs, something stirred very lightly in the room.
Chills crawling over every limb, he looked around across his shoulder.
There was a figure seated cross-legged in the middle of the bed!
Then, in the perfumed silence, the girl laughed.
For a full minute neither of them moved. No sound had echoed her low laughter save the deadened pulsations of his own heart. But now there grew a faint ripple of water in the bowl where the scarlet fish, suddenly restless, was swimming hither and thither as though pursued by an invisible hand.
With the slight noise of splashing water in his ears, Cleves stood staring at the figure on the bed. Under her chinchilla the girl seemed to be all a pale golden tint—hair, skin, eyes. The scant shred of an evening gown she wore, the jewels at her throat and breast, all were yellow and amber and saffron-gold.
And now, looking him in the eyes, she leisurely disengaged the robe of silver fur from her naked shoulders and let it fall around her on the bed. For a second the lithe, willowy golden thing gathered there as gracefully as a coiled snake filled him with swift loathing. Then, almost instantly, the beauty of the lissome creature fascinated him.
She leaned forward and set her elbows on her two knees, and rested her face between her hands—like a gold rose-bud between two ivory petals, he thought, dismayed by this young thing's beauty, shaken by the dull confusion of his own heart battering his breast like the blows of a rising tide.
"What do you wish?" she inquired in her soft young voice. "Why have you come secretly into my rooms to search—and clasping in your hand a loaded pistol deep within your pocket?"
"Why have you hidden yourself until now?" he retorted in a dull and laboured voice.
"I have been here."
"Here!... Looking at you.... And watching my scarlet fish. His name is Dzelim. He is nearly a thousand years old and as wise as a magician. Look upon him, my lord! See how rapidly he darts around his tiny crystal world!—like a comet through outer star-dust, running the eternal race with Time.... And—yonder is a chair. Will my lord be seated—at his new servant's feet?"
A strange, physical weariness seemed to weight his limbs and shoulders. He seated himself near the bed, never taking his heavy gaze from the smiling, golden thing which squatted there watching him so intently....
She lifted one hand and with her forefinger made signs from right to left and then downward as though writing in Turkish and in Chinese characters.
"It is written," she said in a low voice, "that we belong to God and we return to him. Look out what you are about, my lord!"
He drew his pistol from his overcoat and, holding it, rested his hand on his knee.
"Now," he said hoarsely, "while we await the coming of Togrul Kahn, you shall remain exactly where you are, and you shall tell me exactly who you are in order that I may decide whether to arrest you as an alien enemy inciting my countrymen to murder, or to let you go as a foreigner who is able to prove her honesty and innocence."
The girl laughed:
"Be careful," she said. "My danger lies in your youth and mine—somewhere between your lips and mine lies my only danger from you, my lord."
A dull flush mounted to his temples and burned there....
Look upon me, my lord!
There was a golden light in his eyes which seemed to stiffen the muscles and confuse his vision. He heard her voice again as though very far away:
"It is written that we shall love, my lord—thou and I—this night—this night. Listen attentively. I am thy slave. My lips shall touch thy feet. Look upon me, my lord!"
There was a dazzling blindness in his eyes and in his brain. He swayed a little still striving to fix her with his failing gaze. His pistol hand slipped sideways from his knee, fell limply, and the weapon dropped to the thick carpet. He could still see the glimmering golden shape of her, still hear her distant voice:
"It is written that we belong to God.... Tokhta!..."
Over his knees was settling a snow-white [shroud]; on it, in his lap, lay a naked knife. There was not a sound in the room save the rushing and splashing of the scarlet fish in its crystal bowl.
Bending nearer, the girl fixed her yellow eyes on the man who looked back at her with dying gaze, sitting upright and knee deep in his shroud.
Then, noiselessly she uncoiled her supple golden body, extending her right arm toward the knife.
"Look upon me attentively, my lord!
Her smooth little hand closed on the hilt; the scarlet fish splashed furiously in the bowl, dislodging a blossom or two which fell to the carpet and slowly faded into mist.
Now she grasped the knife, and she slipped from the bed to the floor and stood before the dazed man.
"This is the Namaz-Ga," she said in her silky voice. "Behold, this is the appointed Place of Prayer. Gaze around you, my lord. These are the shadows of mighty men who come here to see you die in the Place of Prayer."
Cleves's head had fallen back, but his eyes were open. The Baroulass girl took his head in both hands and turned it hither and thither. And his glazing eyes seemed to sweep a throng of shadowy white-robed men crowding the room. And ... his stiffening lips parted in an uttered cry, and sagged open, flaccid and soundless.
The Baroulass sorceress lifted the shroud from his knees and spread it on the carpet, moving with leisurely grace about her business and softly intoning the Prayers for the Dead.
Then, having made her arrangements, she took her knife into her right hand again and came back to the half-conscious man, and stood close in front of him, bending near and looking curiously into his dimmed eyes.
"Ayah!" she said smilingly. "This is the Place of Prayer. And you shall add your prayer to ours before I use my knife. So! I give you back your power of speech. Pronounce the name of Erlik!"
Very slowly his dry lips moved and his dry tongue trembled. The word they formed was,

Not bad at all for a novel published in 1920, eh? And you can find The Slayer of Souls for free too, since it's in the public domain. I forgot where I found my copy, but I'll be glad to put that in my Dropbox too if anyone asks for it. Just be warned that the rest of the novel isn't anywhere near as hot as this scene; it's all very, very Christian; and Chambers thinks socialism and "lamaism" (by which I think he means Buddhism) are tools of the devil. The best thing about it, IMO, is its secret feminism. I'm not sure Chambers himself knew what he was implying by making Tressa the most powerful character in the book.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Okay, so here's the plan

I am now officially off hiatus and back to writing.

One thing that kept me from announcing this earlier is that I couldn't decide what to write. I know a lot of you are waiting for the CYOA sequel to Transfixed, and I want to give it to you as soon as possible. But writing a CYOA is like climbing Mount Everest: it's a huge task, and the events of this year had left me feeling very intimidated. Meanwhile, for about the last month, another story had sprung up in my mind without any conscious decision to write something new. It began with a vague idea I'd had for years, but then out of nowhere characters and scenes started writing themselves in my head; and they did it mostly at night while I was trying to get to sleep. That meant, of course, that I wasn't sleeping, not very well anyway.

So here's what I've decided. I'm going to do the new story first and try to use it as a base camp, acclimatizing me for the CYOA which will be my climb up Mount Everest. But right now I'll try to give you enough details about Transfixed to settle your cravings, I'll tell you a bit about the new story, and I'll offer a tease about a little side project I might do.

Transfixed first. My previous CYOA was sort of an exploration: you could do a lot of different things, sometimes just for fun; and you could reach a lot of different endings, none of which were technically wins or losses. Depending on your tastes, any of the outcomes might float your boat. But the Transfixed CYOA will work more like a game with a definite objective. If you play as Jason and Rebekah, your objective will to save Captain Sato. It can be done - and you can also save Captain Stone and stop the ticks for good, if you play well enough. Alternately, you can play as Nils (the half-crazed Swede from the refrigerator) and have a more mysterious adventure. You can only learn about Nils by playing as him, and his original objective will change as the plot moves along. His story is a bit more like a typical video game, with more strategizing and more shooting (if you want shooting, that is); and he, too, has a chance to stop the ticks for good.

Now about this new story. My working title is "Brainwashing of the Rich and Famous," but I'm not sure what percentage of my readership would get that reference. Please leave me some comments about that to help me decide, and if my plot description gives you an idea for a different title, let me know. If I use it, I'll give you full credit and a free book. This story is going to have a little bit of a trilby else/Dormignonne vibe, in that vacationers travel to an island paradise where they're gradually sucked into slavery. But in my story, the vacationers are all rich and famous, and they've come for a half hippy, half New Age retreat that promises to make them better people...and to give them lots of sex along the way. But everything they say and do, everything they eat and drink, is really designed to suck them into a cult. I'm trying to use real-world methods for this part of the story (sleep deprivation, for instance), so that will be a change for me. Then there's a second, more intensive retreat where they're completely stripped of their personalities; and since they've already been brainwashed into believing everything the retreat leaders tell them, they go along with the new, stricter agenda and never question what's happening. As for the ending, well, I think you can guess.

Finally, there's another quick project I'm contemplating. I feel sure I'll do this at some point, but I don't know when. It could be this year or next. I've said before that I have a YouTube channel, and recently I uploaded some clips from an old B&W movie called White Zombie. It can be taken as a story about MC just as much as a story about zombification, and the female lead has a wonderful trance face. Well, the movie is in the public domain, and I've been thinking about how I could edit and rearrange some scenes to erase the happy ending and give it the kind of slap-in-the-face MC ending that pervs like us prefer. But don't worry; my new story will have first priority. I might do the White Zombie thing one weekend if I need a break, but it's definitely on the back burner. You can see the original clips on my YouTube channel now, though.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Imagine I'm here
You can imagine yourself in the other tube, as long as you don't get any weird ideas about you and me together. ;-)

Yes, my blogging has gotten very spotty lately, and it's likely to continue that way for a while. I wish I could just upload my consciousness to the internet and abandon my physical life and all its problems, but I just can't. When I find a tasty picture like the one here, or when I find anything else that's irresistible, I'm sure I'll post it; but otherwise you might not hear much from me for a while.

One other thing before I go, though: all on its own, Kindle has made Willing Subject free. They told me it's because they're matching the price on another site, but I don't know what site that is. Anyway, I suppose it's a good advertisement for my work - and it also means that you can get a free copy of WS if you don't have the book already. I consider it one of my best.

Monday, August 1, 2016

On behalf of all indie writers

I have a lot of writer friends on Facebook, both under my "A. Regina Cantatis" pseudonym and under my real name. Not too long ago, one of these friends made a post advertising their latest books, and some asshole responded with a smartass comment to the effect of "nyah nyah nyah, I got a free copy from another site."

I know this happens to all writers. I know it's happened to me more than once, although only one asshole has been asshole-ish enough to brag about it. But if you're one of those people who goes that route, think about this. Indie writers tend to be young people with spouses and children - and their spouses are bringing in most of the money so that the writer can keep trying to write in hopes of one day making it big. These authors are often middle- or lower-class. Some are disabled and can't work a standard job, and this is their only way of staying afloat.

Now think of your own experiences writing. We've all had to write essays and research reports in school, so we've all had the experience of looking at a blank page wondering how the hell to put words on it. Yes, some of us have the talent to do it, but guess what? It's not easy even for the people who do have talent. The authors who publish several books a year have to work at it like Olympic athletes, pushing themselves day in and day out, to produce that kind of output.

And then, if you're a mid-level indie author and not a superstar, the most you can really expect to charge for your hard work is $2.99. And Amazon, Smashwords, or whoever will take a cut - and then you'll be taxed on what's left.

So the next time you think about stealing a free copy of some author's book, just imagine a high school bully stealing a smaller kid's money. That's you.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


If you've been following this blog for a while, you already know I love Neil Gaiman beyond words. And if you've been following the news from Comic Con and/or any of the SF/supernatural fiction-related websites, you know that Gaiman's book American Gods is being filmed as a TV series for Starz. The first trailer dropped a couple of days ago, and it was everything I could have hoped for. Gah, Peter Stormare alone, holding that sledgehammer, is American Gods brought to life.

Of course, there's nothing sexy about Peter Stormare (at least not in this role). What is sexy is the goddess Bilquis. I wasn't sure, until I saw the trailer, how much we'd see of her most memorable scene; but it looks like we're going to get an R-rated version at least. Gaiman has confirmed this, and he says that all the best scenes and lines from the book are going to be in the series. That includes the goddess Media (played by Gillian Anderson!), manifesting as Lucy from I Love Lucy, asking our protagonist if he wants to "see Lucy's tits."

I'll embed the trailer at the bottom of this post, and I'll encourage you to watch it at least twice so you can take in every amazing little detail. Notice, especially, the look of glowing satisfaction in Bilquis' eyes after she does her thing. And just in case you need a reminder, this is her thing:

He unbuttons his blue jeans and removes his olive T-shirt. She massages his white shoulders with her brown fingers; then she turns him over and begins to make love to him with her hands, and her fingers, and her tongue.

It seems to him that the lights in the red room have been dimmed, and the sole illumination comes from the candle, which burns with a bright flame.

"What's your name?" he asks her.

"Bilquis," she tells him, raising her head. "With a Q."

"A what?"

"Never mind."

He is gasping now. "Let me fuck you," he says. "I have to fuck you."

"Okay, hon," she says. "We'll do it. But will you do something for me, while you're doing it?"

"Hey," he says, suddenly tetchy. "I'm paying you, you know."

She straddles him, in one smooth movement, whispering, "I know, honey. I know, you're paying me, and I mean, look at you. I should be paying you, I'm so lucky..."

He purses his lips, trying to show that her hooker talk is having no effect on him, he can't be taken; that she's a street whore, for Chrissakes, while he's practically a producer, and he knows all about last-minute ripoffs, but she doesn't ask for money. Instead she says, "Honey, while you're giving it to me, while you're pushing that big hard thing inside of me, will you worship me?"

"Will I what?"

She is rocking back and forth on him: the engorged head of his penis is being rubbed against the wet lips of her vulva.

"Will you call me goddess? Will you pray to me? Will you worship me with your body?"

He smiles. Its that all she wants? We've all got our kinks, at the end of the day. "Sure," he says. She reaches her hand between her legs and slips him inside her.

"Is that good, is it, goddess?" he asks, gasping.

"Worship me, honey," says Bilquis, the hooker.

"Yes," he says, "I worship your breasts and your hair and your cunt. I worship your thighs and your eyes and your cherry-red lips..."

"Yes..." she croons, riding him.

"I worship your nipples, from which the milk of life flows. Your kiss is honey and your touch scorches like fire, and I worship it." His words are becoming more rhythmic now, keeping pace with the thrust and roll of their bodies. "Bring me your lust in the morning, and bring me relief and your blessing in the evening. Let me walk in dark places unharmed and let me come to you once more and sleep beside you and make love with you again. I worship you with everything that is within me, and everything inside my mind, with everywhere I've been and my dreams and my..." he breaks off, panting for breath. "What are you doing? That feels amazing. So amazing..." and he looks down at his hips, at the place where the two of them conjoin, but her forefinger touches his chin and pushes his head back, so he is looking only at her face and at the ceiling once again.

"Keep talking, honey," she says. "Don't stop. Doesn't it feel good?"

"It feels better than anything has ever felt," he tells her, meaning it as he says it. "Your eyes are stars, burning in the, shit, the firmament, and your lips are gentle waves that lick the sand, and I worship them," and now he's thrusting deeper and deeper insider her; he feels electric, as if his whole lower body has become sexually charged: priapic, engorged, blissful.

"Bring me your gift," he mutters, no longer knowing what he is saying, "your one true gift, and make me always this...always so...I pray...I..."

And then the pleasure crests into orgasm, blasting his mind into void, his head and self and entire being a perfect blank as he thrusts deeper into her and deeper still...

Eyes closed, spasming, he luxuriates in the moment; and then he feels a lurch, and it seems to him that he is hanging, head down, although the pleasure continues.

He opens his eyes.

He thinks, grasping for thought and reason again, of birth, and wonders, without fear, in a moment of perfect postcoital clarity, whether what he sees is some kind of illusion.

This is what he sees:

He is inside her to the chest, and as he stares at this in disbelief and wonder she rests both hands upon his shoulders and puts gentle pressure on his body.

He slipslides further insider her.

"How are you doing this to me?" he asks, or he thinks he asks, but perhaps it is only in his head.

"You're doing it, honey," she whispers. He feels the lips of her vulva, tight around his upper chest and back, constricting and enveloping him. He wonders what this would look like to somebody watching them. He wonders why he is not scared. And then he knows.

"I worship you with my body," he whispers, as she pushes him inside her. Her labia pull slickly across his face, and his eyes slip into darkness.

She stretches on the bed, like a huge cat, and then she yawns. "Yes," she says. "You do."