Saturday 4 December 2010

Self's Blossom

Self's Blossom by David Russell
David Russell's romantic, erotic novel is a vivid portrayal of the quest for> inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching> for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. It contains many flashbacks> from the heroine's past life.

Selene is intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist.> Emotionally, she has been scarred by unhappy relationships. Part of the> unhappiness has been caused by her very sensitivity, and her unwillingness> to make materially beneficial 'career moves' in terms of relationships. She> has been riled and taunted through the years by her former college room-mate> Janice - a cynic and a materialist who always seems to 'land on her feet' -> including being able to have gratifying casual affairs when she needs them. Selene develops a long-term desire to 'get one back' at Janice by having a> passionate holiday encounter. (There are some similarities with the plot of> Shirley Valentine)

When Selene arrives in the Central American holiday Paradise, she is immediately drawn to the sea. After making love to the brutal, sensual>waves, she feels the first deep stirrings of her passionate soul. She seduces a young boy on another deserted beach. Once she meets the mature and> powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. This is a slow process, accentuated by Selene's shyness, introspection and circumspection. There is a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and> rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row, a> possible drowning, and at last, the final ritual undressing leads to the> ultimate flowering of Selene'senraptured Self, and then Selene, liberated and independent, rejecting Hudson.

There is much emphasis on the workings of Selene's mind, and portrayal of the factors which have oppressed her. The novel contains social observations, and being set in a Third World country, some political ones.


Sample 1: The green leather of the seat of the taxi in which she arrived was a double bolster, pliant and resilient, yielding under her weight, but still sustaining her. She could not tell whether it had down or foam rubber inside. The airport precinct gave her clouded brain a full illusion of mist on a clear day. Real human forms scurrying in transit to and from pinpoints on the globe, failed to rivet her attention. The images, which presided over her half-dream, shone strong and clear, polished and yet shallow. The aircraft's cabin had shrouded her like a magnified bed, its sensory> associations filing past her, a meandering column. . . The aircraft took> off, coming to life, as she would take off in heart.> The imaginary mist, which she had conjured up for her own dramatic effect at> Heathrow, stayed with her throughout the flight. It was thinned out a bit by> the landing, customs, and passport control. So now she had a souvenir stamp> of an exotic country on her passport. The first one she'd had since she> renewed it. Then back she went to the taxi where her vanity was deepened by> that gorgeous upholstery. The cab driver wore a navy blue uniform that was> quite tasteful - dazzlingly incongruous with those of the hotel staff, who> wore blancmange pink with dark blue braid. Their uniforms were the only> grotesque element in a setting of excellent taste, blending sandstone,> granite, marble, teak, mahogany, porcelain, feathery shrubs, palms, ponds,> and ornamental birds. But driver and staff alike illuminated their contrasting uniforms from within. They had probably won them in the face of keen competition, and it was with them that they would flaunt their own defiance of poverty; whatever degree of servility was obligatory beneath its façade.

For right now, Selene put all that complex business at a distance. Here, she was on a beach, pure and simple. Now the sea breathed heavily, whispering and murmuring to her. It was returning her stare, speaking to her. It was the spirit of love, beckoning her with a pulsing, sinewy body. In all its lines, shades, and fleeting forms, Selene saw the essence of pure beauty,all grace of form, flesh, limb and feature. It was in one all the lovers of whom she could possibly dream, conflated into one elemental ideal. He, pure love in soul, bade her enter his domain, and make it hers. His arms moved her hands to unclasp, unbutton, and unzip . . . the blossom emerged. The sun became the eye of all that was not earth, and Selene loved fully, though the pallor of her skin left her momentarily abashed. At first she lay in the tide's path, the top of her head at its most extreme mark. The sand bank a soft bed. The sea lover smoothly caressed her calves, thighs, hips, breasts, shoulders, and cheeks before retreating for a pause to his mossy pinnacles. Three times this action was repeated, then Selene stood up and waded in, her arms outstretched. Her arms were linked as she> stood up to her neck in the saline flow, the balls and heels of her feet> wobbling, slithering on the moss. With the next wave, she lost her balance> -her breath prepared in unison with the hissing around her. She threw her> head back, once again horizontal, and launched into a backstroke, sweeping> and circling. She parted her legs wide with each thrust of motion, each> sweep of self-propulsion pushing out to answer the cavernous currents of his> passion. Seven circles gave her a delicious, warm bliss - then the sea> lover, well pleased, carried her back to a near-dry bed. Aching and> contented, Selene dozed a while.> That could have been everything happening at once, the essence of it all. In> its light, anything subsequent to it, confined to human form, might pale> ever after into insignificance, but maybe not. After all, elements were not> evolved to the level of flesh and their spirit seemed hollow across that gap. But things would go on, for tides look linear . . . earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanoes - all were on the cards here. Though most of the scars of recent damage had healed for Selene, here their throbbing was numbed. She jotted down a few impressions in her notebook. Through the years, she had put a lot into words. At first they had emerged clogged, and then were coagulated into dry seminars. Then they found their tunnels, growing limpid and live, making a three-cornered, ding-dong battle. Words that caught unguarded, un-thought emotions unawares; thoughts, double-knocked, giving form and point to shapeless passion, until she sheer power of concussion would project the ball upwards and downwards to the depths of desire. Selene had never wanted to write anything out of her system, but rather to work into it, to engender new experiences. The experiences, perhaps, could best be celebrated in a vacuum, in silence, unless dialogue was opened in true passion. Selene was a honed journalist. She could skim surfaces, always edging round the thin ice. She had been doing that for years, and had grown brittle in the process. But now she must cut deeper, at the risk of freezing immersion, in one direction or its contrary, knowing that the two contraries could ultimately be one - each other's mirrors. If one alternative was made material, the other would be all the more firmly secured in the realm of> dream. But if she attempted to do the total two-in-one, then her system would be unseamed and she fancied neither suicide nor accidents.

Final Chapter Six-thirty p.m. in the lounge - the prearranged rendezvous time if things had been normal. Selene was first to arrive. Would Hudson now feel inclined to turn up? Would he be in any state to turn up? She noticed on her way that his key had not been returned to reception. In fact, he arrived at seven, looking incredibly coy, bashful and apologetic - just like Selene felt. He was carrying a gold lacquered gift box. She gave him a nod and a smile, beckoning him to sit down beside her. They kissed tentatively - reticently. "Oh Selene, I really am sorry I got carried away like that. It was dreadful of me." Selene patted him on the knee. "Darling, I should be apologising for getting all hysterical like that." He put the box in front of her. "I went diving, wanted to come to my end in the depths; felt I couldn't live with myself, but I was obviously called to find something. I guess I realised one of my ambitions." He opened the box. In it was an oyster containing a huge pearl. Selene gave him a hug, tearful in her appreciation of his courage. "I've had to reflect an awful lot on my past experiences, you know. I've had to study feminism, and I really feel that if both sides - both sexes open up more, accepting more of each other, then life will be so full and enriching. I know that an awful lot happened between us . . ." he hesitated. "And?" A dreamy glow came over Hudson. "We've got so close, taken plunges together;> you were so magnetic in that costume." A lump came to his throat. Selene was now aquiver with suspense. They were at the point of that final something> for which she had yearned so desperately for so long. Selene took the words out of his mouth. " Let's make everything perfect - the absolute right time, the absolute right place, and in the perfect way. Let's take the bridal> suite together for our last night here!" The final overt proposition synchronised absolutely with Selene's memory tensions. A split second before her utterance, she had a vision of being at a ceremonial hair shearing before becoming a nun, and then of a mythical white wedding (the reality of which had never come near her). She thought of the flying buttresses of a cathedral, stained glass tinted in the morning sun, angled to the light of daring love, lifting to heaven. Hudson had at last uttered the key word to the elusive combination of the ideal seduction! This just had to have one fragment of impulse and spontaneity in the context of everything else being utterly premeditated.> The peak of experience had been rehearsed to the finest detail. True seduction was total theatre. To hell with all those 'ideals' of 'naturalness'! She had seen through them in that turgid forest. The true> ideal lay in laced artifice!> Here was the final trigger. Ages ago, they had talked away all thought of marriage and domesticity. But Hudson's superb artistry in taking hold of the last remnant of conventionality for the final act of defiance against it. The flouting, the inversion of all the oppressive concomitants of a straight wedding night, was genius. They went into a torrid clinch nearly upsetting one of the tables in the process. "Oh darling," said Selene in a half-whisper, "you've done everything right;> let's go!"
* * * *

The suite was, of course, available, and the deposit no problem for Hudson. The labyrinth of corridors in the hotel did not slow them down. Having located the apartment, they rushed back to their separate rooms for their belongings. Selene was the quickest to pack, but had a little delay with the lift. They arrived at the suite door simultaneously. What a scene of luxury for the dénouement. Selene now took firm control. "OK Hudson, you go and take a bath while I get ready, and get fully dressed again when you've finished. I've got some special things in store for you!" Now all of Selene's fantasies came flooding in to her. Tonight she was the> greatest actress, singer, ballerina, priestess-demagogue. She would dazzle the universe in the visual sphere, and then go on to the realm of touch. Her mastery of the lovely art of dressing and undressing would now be shown to the full. In a flash, her clothes were off. As she fitted her cap, she got a tingling premonition of what was to come. When one had meditated on the art of love as deeply as she had, one knew that the extra precautions, far from detracting from the experience, could enhance it, by stretching the> partner's anticipation. The outfit to replace her casuals was all in order in her expanding suitcase. First, her brief white satin underwear, then a pale blue body stocking, easy to confuse in the half light with a bathing costume, over it her diaphanous slip, then three petticoats - crisp, archaic, Latin and lusciously provocative, sheer white stockings, and then the purple ball gown in all its splendour. She stepped into a pair of white, lacquered high-heels. A touch of eye shadow and lipstick completed a breathtaking work of art. Hudson had seen her in her other gown, in a bikini, and a variety of outer garments. Now he would know all the stages im between, and then beyond, as she would of him. The bath water lapped mutely in the background.> "Ready now, darling." The waste pipe gurgled for a few seconds, then Hudson entered. Crisp, white suite approached purple gown, as moon to tropical night sky. They embraced, near-chastely. Then Hudson drew back, a suspicion of anxiety on this face.> "Darling, are you . . .?" His question needed no verbal answer, for Selene> had left her packet of pills conspicuously on the dresser. "Shall we?" Come on." So now for that languorous, full-drawn-out unrobing, decelerating to the depths of frenzy. For a few seconds, they both felt an adolescent shyness - quite naturally, for this was to be an eighteen-year-old's dream brought to fruition. They tiptoed. For all their obvious freedom, they each had a slight twinge about the hazard of being overheard. Selene's wardrobe planning had been right; something would have been lost if Hudson had started the encounter in a bathrobe. After Selene's hips propelled a last, tantalizing, elevated swirl of her gown, the grand undress began.

Knowing their beauty and proud of it, they matched each other's motions with caresses of sight. Shoes, stockings and socks peeled gracefully off to open the gambit. Hudson's jacket broadened his shoulders as it left his body. The buckle of his belt harmonised with the front clasp of Selene's gown as they were both undone, then the zip of his trousers with the back zip of the gown. Hudson's fine, tapered legs were now revealed. His torso was bared in two stages: shirt and vest thrust back, and pulled over his head without a> struggle, revealing gleaming white briefs - or were they bathing trunks? Selene loved those half way garments. She lit up. Great minds had thought alike about foundation garments for this occasion! Hudson had led in one stage of revelation. Selene was transported by his wonderful body control, with ballet assurance - this smooth, eased, arched shedding of reticence. The dream had come to roost. Who rules love, if anybody? The one who strips first, or the one with more finery to shed? But what did rules matter now anyway? The loose gown was ready. Gentle touches on the shoulder straps lowered it, shimmering, to rest. After that departure from simultaneity, action embroidered the first dream. Selene stepped out of the gown, cast it in the corner, and moved towards Hudson, holding him tightly in her beaming, commanding gaze - him with legs astride, deep chest out, briefs gleaming in the light from the open window. At his deft touch, petticoats flowered, rose and fell, floating to make a crest upon the gown. With a ripple of biceps, and lissom forward thrust of legs and hips, the cloudy slip came up head high, and was suspended for a second in the suspicion of a breeze, then, too, wafted to rest. Now they faced each other, almost as if for a first swim. Selene thrust her breasts forward, and tossed her head, making her hair cascade. Hudson took her hips and swung her round. With an almost imperceptible stroke, the zip of the one-piece parted. Hudson swirled her round to face him again, and> slid the garment down the front. "Bikini belle," said Hudson, with a giggle. He sensed the precise moment when his briefs were redundant, enhanced his looks no more for her, or for himself. They dropped, with a thrust of thighs and swing of hips. By being> deferred, prepared so well, Hudson's nudity, for Selene, now became suffused> with total beauty. "Undo me," she half-sang, raising her arms. Hudson's unerring hand tended the clip of her bra, which tumbled asunder and fell on the chair. A breeze kissed Selene's rising breasts as they were bared. Her own hands removed her briefs, finalising her own nakedness. The execution of those actions had been faultless on both sides. "What a fantastic sense of timing!" cried Selene. Each, to the other, became universe god and goddess. After so many times in their pasts when the brakes had been applied, when both had been frozen by reticence, or had their yearnings derided, the soul's - the universe's currents now galvanised their bodies. Now words could be uttered in acceptance of total immersion. With their slow speed they generated maelstroms, their every part revealed with deep exuberance, two bodies showing themselves as two complete presences. Now there was a full, tight-clinched embrace - thigh to thigh, torso to breasts, groin to groin. Hudson, a bit taller, took Selene round the shoulder with his right arm; his left beneath her buttocks, as he swung her on to the bed. "Now for the real backstroke" cried Selene. She pulled Hudson on top of her, thrusting her breasts alternately in his armpits. Gradually, Hudson hardened, as if with muscle and bone. He entered Selene delicately. When he had penetrated to full depth, he made a clockwise rotation. Fully erected, fully aroused, Selene responded to him anticlockwise. Slowly the two built up, using all their bodies, legs and groins, repeating the motions of their past swims. Bodies were kneaded, relishing their stately, relentless build-up, making love total in its depth, undulating, higher and lower alternately. Then full and strong it reared! There were two sighs, a lunge, slow whirlpools, swimmers' wakes. Hudson paused, then put all his weight on his torso. Then, recharged by Selene's breasts, now fully swollen, build up his speed and depth of thrust, had a body-absorbing struggle through some moments of near-exhaustion. Then the knowledge of certainty shone, flooded on them both, hips in friction - dams' swinging sluicegates, volcanoes' glows and thunder's shudders, glands pumping to fire's, water's synthesis, all metaphors blown by that endocrine cataract! At the end of the flow, Selene held Hudson in, turning him again on his back. Sleep claimed them, breathless, riding over their peak.
 * * * *

Sweating and still clinched, they arose as a maroon dawn unveiled the night skies, lending a mellowed rosiness to their tanned bodies. With restored light, passion revived. Being two, they had to enact their fulfilment's wholeness twice. Tempered by one satiation's level, they went smoothly and took their time - finally to outbrim the first flow. After this, the bed could afford no further comfort. Selene got up.> "We need to freshen up a bit."She took two bathrobes from the wardrobe, pulled one on, jerked Hudson up by the shoulders and draped the other one around him. "Come on." The bathroom curtains had not been drawn. Water now gurgled into the> capacious bath from both burnished antique brass caps. They held each other, half-draped, until it filled up. Hudson had almost begged Selene not to> cover herself, but saw that, as a last delight, that extra robing and> unrobing would complete the idyll - cap the euphoria. Selene thrust the robe> from his shoulders; it sank down his arms to collapse on the floor. "You may assist me," said Selene, holding her arms apart. Hudson's hands ran down her back as he pushed off the robe. Once more they matched each other in nakedness. The bath (designed for a bridal suite after all) was ample for them both, to soap each other over, put legs to hips, massage, and laugh> amidst the bubbles. What an element! With seawater they had started; with> bath water they ended.

* * * *

Their breakfast conversation started with trivialities, then Selene honed in> on to more serious matters. She had sounded out Hudson's character. Although> he had a high level of intelligence and maturity, he was underneath, rather malleable. He was in a state of transition, reminding Selene in some strange, indefinable way, of the first love lecturer, and that young boy. Although he had let nothing on, Selene sensed that his career was in the balance. Whether from this point on he would mature or merely regress, would probably be determined by the sort of stimulation he received, and the dependencies available to him. She was convinced that they had given each other all they could in the course of this encounter. If they tried to prolong the relationship, things would surely deteriorate. Hudson could become awfully clinging; some submerged, unwanted aspects of his character would surface. He wanted and needed to control those aspects; and would be better equipped to do so on his own. So the movie must be frozen at its zenith. "Hudson, I think you and I must have a proper talk, before things get . . .> you know, hopelessly involved and entangled. The thing is, you're awfully nice, and I wouldn't want to hurt you . . ." Hudson remained quite calm; Selene was put off a little by his nod and his smile. "You surprise me a bit; you don't seem hurt or upset." "I'm not. I feel fine. You're not hurting me. I've got a grip on reality, though it's great to escape from it once in a while." Selene's face lightened with relief. "That's great! You were magnificent, body and soul, superb. You did the hell of a lot for me. Now I feel revived, rejuvenated. "All reciprocated, rest assured." Her smile broadened to its extremity. "You're so cute. Most men are really difficult when it comes to being reasonable. You really are a mature man. You know, I don't think I'm as free as you are; I'm certainly not as free as I would like to be." Hudson nodded. He did feel a twinge of disappointment, but sustained his equanimity. "I think I may well do the same; I've got to head for the States." Selene had a parallel twinge: Hudson's cool had both relieved her and slightly unnerved her. She had proved her capabilities to herself. Remarkable how much could be achieved in the course of a brief encounter if one really devoted time, energy and attention to the finer points of preparation. Funny to have done it in quite this way though, since most fantasies tacitly assume that things can be extended. Nice to be selective with experience. On the whole, however, being on one's own was great - distraction-free, serving one's own purposes.
* * * *

Without more ado, they packed their bags, checked out from he hotel, and took a taxi to the airport. There was a last kiss, a last wave, and some near tears as Hudson headed to Passageway Ten. His flight was leaving first. Off he went - that refined sensuality, that shyness covering exquisite fathoms of passion. Selene wondered just what was passing through his mind for those few seconds. What had happened? A touch of aggression and initiative on her part aroused him, liberation and masculinity fulfilled, anticipation and realisation melting into each other lent some extra poignancy by a touch of mystery. Had she just abandoned an ideal, or an illusion untarnished by reality? Just how shallow or deep had it been? His experience was obvious; so, she was sure, was her own acumen. Did it really matter? 'Magnificent Lust'; she had once read that term in a feminist book. There's no real reason why a temporally brief experience cannot be profound. There's infinity in a second, after all; time scales are relative. She wondered how fatuous or perceptive his remarks really had been. Could she really be that powerful? And there were so many fatal accidents reported these days.


1 comment:

Lindsay Townsend said...

Wow, David! Amazing work and amazing, stunning covers!