Extract from my forthcoming novel “Gaia”
“Rivulets connected, dripping slowly across the supple curve of her back. She felt a tug at the apex of buttock and thigh and a nagging taughtness ensued. His eyes followed over every cell. Stillness. Motionless. But inside, waves of energy expand, growing, flowing, unleashed.
But his eyes still raged and bored their way deep into her flesh, like a tunneling worm through dank, moist soil. This was her sanctuary though; surely his validation was worthless here? Wasn’t this one place, one moment, where he couldn’t penetrate?
I am strong. I am unbreakable. I am self-assured. Nothing and no one can control me.
She twisted one leg gracefully towards her chin in a sweeping arc and held there; shaking, biting down on plump lower lip but poised for what was to come. Snapping eyes shut, he appeared again, the force of the blows a mere brush against her skin; a wisp of broken web across the face, on a fading summer evening.
Then blackness. She felt herself slipping. Diving headfirst into a thick lagoon of unending depth.
What are you doing? What are you even saying?
Further and further into the abyss. Lower and lower into the dark recesses of the mind.
I am nothing. I am worthless. I deserve only pain and suffering. Nothing and no one can save me.
She shuddered, feeling each strike with increasing intensity but refused to cave, refused to unbalance.
Only in the darkest moments will the greatest light be revealed.
She pressed delicate palms to floor and drove with speed and elegance and all her power, feet kicking towards those callous eyes, jamming into that bristled jaw she had enjoyed the harshness of for so long……too long. There it held; a glistening, smooth, arrow-like limb, awaiting its next target.
Snaking a deliberate path to earth, the leg joined its twin, tensed and muscular, in harmony with mind once more.
I love you, she forced
I love you, she stammered
I love you, she wished
I love you, she believed
I love you, she knew
I am Camilla and I love you unconditionally, she said, gazing into the glassy lake.
Pelvis thrust towards the stars, back arched, limbs curved in geometric precision, the lone sculpturist carved the empty field with a vision of her new self; bending not to his will but to a different, solitary pathway. She returned to breath; rhythmic, slow, patient – like the pendant of a grandfather clock, never faulting, always unnered.
Camilla felt a pinch – nothing more than tired muscles brushed by a brisk evening breeze. Welcome pain. Transient. Clouds fade to black as pain fades to glory; the glory only this ancient art-form could wrench from her.
Stillness grows within as it mirrors without; palms to sky, back to ground, soul to a place far beyond the physical.
Never again, she whispered.