One thing often inspires another.
Be it buying a new dress, decorating your house, planning a meal, or even a quick trip to the grocery store! Writing a story is no different. Lucky for me, the release date for Legends of Lust~ Erotic Myths from around the World is not until January 8, 2019. So far away, right?! But it does give me plenty of time to expand upon a short story that was just begging to be told.
When a story talks ( more like shouting), I listen! One character in particular had me itching to telling her whole story. This famous, or infamous according to some accounts, woman is cloaked in mystery, legends, and myths, which made here whole story even more compelling to write. Of course, that meant delving into three conflicting accounts: Christian, Jewish, and Ethiopian. Have you guess who it is?
The web is good place to start research but I find the best information comes from old books ( usually ) no longer in print. I took a gamble on one such book and—bingo! Amazing information and it had gorgeous photographs of topography and artifacts.
I’ll be working on this historical erotica all summer. Here’s a rough draft of the first few pages. Don’t mind the typos, they get fixed eventually. I’m still debating titles as well!
I was born during a sandstorm. Momma said no one heard her screams as she squatted on the mat in the tent and pushed me from her womb. Before she had swaddled me a fine layer of sand had already clung to my sticky newborn skin.
“You didn’t breathe.” Momma would always touch her throat and shake her head during this part of the story of my birth. “So I breathed my life fire into you. Once. Twice. The third time, your tiny mouth opened and you gulped so much air I worried the sand in the air would choke you.” Here, momma always gasped for effect. “But you were determined and wailed to the heavens. And your face changed from purple to the golden color of resin from the myrrh tree.”
“And then what happened?” I asked each time despite knowing the story of my portentous birth since I was two years old.
“The next day an old Wise Woman walked out of the desert to tell my daughter, Bilqīs, was destined for greatness.” Momma always kissed my forehead at this point of the birth story.
“Did she know about you?” I did not ask this question until I was seven-years-old.
My momma, my beautiful dark-haired momma with ebony skin would press me to her abundant soft bosom and stroked my hair. “I doubt she knew I was once Queen Ismenie of Ophir—that was another time and place—but I suspected she did recognize the spirit of my smokeless fire.”
At this point in my birth story—told every year on my birthday—I would crinkle my eyes in search of the slightest deviation from momma’s version. “Was the Wise Woman afraid?”
“Terrified. She knew I could snap her neck in an instant.” Momma snapped her fingers. “Or fling her back to whatever desert hovel she came from with one throw.” Momma would take me in her strong djinn arms, lift me over her head, and spin me about. When I was little I squealed, half afraid of the speed at which my body whirled, half thrilling in the sensation. When I was older, I begged momma to spin me faster. Spiraling. Whirling. The blur of my surroundings. What could more exhilarating than the world slipping into the capricious realm of the divine? Or at least, that’s what if felt like it.
Momma spun me over her head until the day I became a woman.
“No more spinning, Bilqīs,” she said after I showed her the blood smeared between my thighs. “You’re a woman now.” Momma lifted the lid on a coffer and drew out length of fabric. “And you’re not just any woman, you are part djinn.”
I frowned. “What does my half djinn-ness have to do becoming a woman?”
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