Sex, no matter how good or passionate, always has to come to and end sometime. Our session lasted for about half an hour, foreplay included, before I came. After that I was too sensitive to continue, so we were content in holding each other close, me still inside her, as slowly the world returned to normal.
Concerns, worries and fears, banished for a while, also returned. We separated at last as she wiped her sweaty hair away from her face while I avoided looking at her, feeling self-conscious once again.
“Feeling shy after blowing your load inside me?” She asked, blunt as always. Maria was hugging her knees close to her chest while lying back on the couch, peeking at me with interest.
“I… No, no. Well, maybe. A little,” I muttered, looking back at her. She was smiling. “This is my first time doing this.”
“You weren’t a virgin, were you?”
“No! No I’m not. I have… I had someone. Before,” I replied, frowning as I remembered my girlfriend again. More bad memories, staining the moment with darkness. She seemed to notice my discomfort, and to her credit she did not prod me any further.
“No regrets?” She asked instead, her tone carefully neutral.
“No, absolutely not,” I replied, looking her straight in the eye. She said nothing, but a smile spread across her face as she looked back at me.
“It was great for me too,‘ she said. We both enjoyed the silence for a moment, unsure what to say next.
“I’m sorry,” I spoke at last, breaking the quiet. She blinked, looking at me in confusion.
“What for?” She asked.
“What I did, well… I’m sorry for the things I said. And for how I treated you,” I spoke, haltingly, dancing around the subject. “Saying that you were not human and, well. It was insensitive. I’m sorry about that.”
“Well, you were correct. In a way, at least,” she said, looking away with a small shrug. “Sure, we’re different you and I. But that doesn’t mean we can’t share the same feelings and enjoy the same things, or… Share the same pain. We might not be fully human, but we’re still people, you get me? We still breathe, and eat, and love, and...”
Her vagina chose that particular moment to emit a particularly loud queef, silencing us both for an embarrassingly long and awkward minute, as we avoided each other’s eyes.
“And we queef... Thanks for illustrating my point for me, vagina!” Quipped Maria. A chuckle escaped from my lips when she said that, and we both shared a hearty laugh at the ridiculous comedic timing of it. All embarrassment was gone, and we were talking again.
“I’m sorry, once again,” I said, smiling. “I’ve had some bad experiences before and I guess they soured me towards… Non-humans? Aliens?”
“Oh? What happened?” Asked Maria. “Was it the King in Yellow?”
“You could say that,” I mumbled, thinking of Suzy and the Mi-go. On second thought, the least I explained about THAT the better. I was enjoying too much the relaxed pillow talk between me and Maria to sour it with my experiences.
“Anyways,” I interjected, approaching her curiously. “Why is it you’ve stayed in that fetal position after we made love? Is it some kind of Yoga or…?”
“I’ve heard that doing this after sex makes it easier to get pregnant,” she replied casually, still squeezing her knees against her chest while lying back on the couch.
I confess my reaction to that was less than graceful. First I coughed awkwardly then looked at her, wide eyed, and muttered a hesitant, “sorry? Did you say pregnant?”
She scoffed at my reaction. “Get on with the program, dude. Didn’t I tell you my god was all about having babies? And hey, if we don’t succeed I’m up for trying it again.” She topped her comment with a wink, smiling so wide her crooked teeth showed. But my mind was still running through the hundred of implications of having a child with this woman I barely knew, at the behest of a horny alien fish-god.
“This is not exactly a good time for me to have children,” I said weakly, slumping down on the couch next to her. “The economy is not very good.”
She laughed again. “We do things differently here. You see… Children are a treasure, and we’re all willing to help each other raise them if we can help it. The whole community chips in. Don’t worry about child support.”
“Oh? Deadbeat dads welcome? That’s novel. Although... I guess that won’t be an issue one year from now.” The words escaped my lips before I thought twice about what I said, and cursed myself for bringing it up. The mood on the room dampened visibly, as Maria hugged her legs even closer and looked away.
“Well, think of it like this,” she said. “Maybe, nine months from now, I will have a reminder of this wonderful night. A beautiful boy or girl, carrying a bit of you into the new world.”
I rubbed the back of my neck, unsure what to think or say. “That’s… I… That’s a nice way to view things. But if that did happen, could you call the child really mine? I mean… They won’t even remember my face when they grow older, right?”
“We can solve that! Hang on!” And she jumped out of the couch, still stark naked, and searched around the table until she found what she wanted, a smartphone which the fiddled with before approaching me, pressing her bare body against mine and getting her face as close to mine as possible.
“Selfie time! Do a cool face!”
“Right after sex?” I protested weakly, but she hugged me tighter and pulled a crazy grin while pointing the phone camera at us. Still surprised by what she was doing, my expression was the usual result of surprise photos: I looked stoned. The resulting photo showed little but our faces and bare shoulders, she with a giant grin as if she was having the time of her life, me staring confusedly at the camera.
“Please don’t tell me you’re keeping that for posterity,” I said, making a face. She pouted in response.
“I can delete it if you want, but seriously. I’d like something to remember you by,” she said. “Can you imagine me showing this to a kid one day and saying ‘this is your papa’?”
I stared at the image as if it was an oncoming train about to hit me. “And also tell them about how we met? At a Spring Break party, barely knowing each other’s names. Jeez.” I raised my hand to my face , realizing how bad it all sounded. “It’s gonna sound so trashy.”
“I think I’ll save the full story for when they’re older,” she said with a smirk, shutting off her phone. “Definitely giving them the PG version before. And...” At this she hesitated, her face growing more serious. “I don’t really see this as trashy, you know. Do you see it that way?”
“Oh,” I rubbed the back of my neck self-consciously. “Well, it just looks that way. You know, guy and gal meet for a one-night stand at a party. Later… Surprise! A kid. That’s… Not exactly the most romantic story. A good way to traumatize your kid though. Toughen them up.”
She smiled sadly and shook her head. “But I do see it as a romantic story. Two very different souls, from different worlds, meeting and finding comfort in each other in a world that’s on the brink of change. Two tiny flames, clinging together for warmth before a terrible storm hits. I wouldn’t be ashamed at all of telling this to any of my children.”
“Even the queef part?” I asked, raised a skeptical eyebrow.
“Especially the queef part!” She replied, grinning wider as her brows went up. “My vagina showed such great comedic timing! How could I NOT tell that part?”
I let out a wheezing laugh, torn between embarrassment and humor. “Oh, man… I’m getting second-hand embarrassment for my child I don’t even know if I’ll have or not,” I said, getting a chuckle from her.
“But really,” she said, her face growing serious again. She approached me and put her hands on my hips while looking into my eyes with emotion I could not quite pinpoint. Wistfulness? Melancholy?
“I will remember you, Cody. Even if I don’t have your child, I’ll still carry your story. And I will pass it on to my children, when the time is right.”
My cheeks reddened, flustered at her sudden seriousness. “Umm. Thanks, but... I mean, aren’t you treating this one-night stand a little too seriously? It’s ok if you forget me, you know… Won’t hold it against you. It’s fine.”
She shook her head. “We, the Children of Dagon, take remembrance very seriously, especially among family,” she said, unfazed at my pessimism. “It’s not just about having lots of sex, you know. It’s about remembering where you came from, and those than came before you.”
“Oh,” I said, a little surprised. Had I been reducing her cult/religion as just ‘lots of sex?’ Did I give that impression?
“Oh yeah! Talking about remembrance, there’s a second celebration that happens after the party, late at night on the old docks nearby. It’s a traditional event where we remember and honor past generations. Only the Children of Dagon and their families are invited, but if you want I can bring you in as my mate!” She smiled, excited at the possibility. “Won’t you join? It’s me and my two kids, along with our Enlightened family! Come on, it will be fun!”
“Oh, well… Maybe,” I said, before her words caught up with my brain and clicked. I paused for a moment, digesting this information. “Your two kids?”
She smiled, proud. “Oh yeah, I’m a mother of two boys. Ha ha!” When she noticed me looking around the living room again, she amended. “I sent them away with a friend and kinda hid their photos. Open that other bedroom other there and you’ll see all their toys.”
She shrugged, looking a bit shy all of a sudden. “Some guys get turned off when they find out I’m a mother. And I really wanted to score tonight, so I kinda kept it a secret… Yeah.” She seemed embarrassed as she mentioned it, not even looking at me as she spoke while absentmindedly rubbing her shoulder.
“So that’s what you were being self-conscious about?” I scoffed, amused by how embarrassed she looked about her age. “Not that you’re half human, or that you will soon live the rest of your life underwater worshipping Dagon, it’s… That you’re a mother?”
“You’d be surprised,” she said, her cheeks reddening as she fiddled with her hair, shooting me an awkward glance. “A bunch of guys find out I’m a mother of two and freak out. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old?” She grumbled.
I looked at her up and down. “Could have fooled me, you don’t look a day over twenty five.”
She grinned back at my obvious flattery. “I’m thirty two, actually. Although the Enlightenment is not doing me any favors.” She ran her fingers awkwardly on her teeth, crooked and sharp, and the grin faded into a wistful expression.
“By Enlightenment you mean...” I left the sentence hanging in the air, and she finished it.
“Turning into a fish-creature,” she said it matter-of-factly. “Won’t be able to spend as much time around my kids then. Everyone changes at different time and in different ways. Guess I’m just an early bloomer. In more ways than one,” she punctuated her innuendo with a cheeky grin that did not quite hide the wistful expression in her eyes. I looked away, uncomfortable.
“That’s rough, Mary.” I said. Of all the things to say to your date when she is turning into a fish-creature, ‘that’s rough’ has got to be one of the dumbest, least helpful phrases possible. But she still chuckled and accepted my commiseration with good humor.
“It’s not all bad! Things are still fun while living underwater, I get to be with the rest of my family for all eternity worshipping Dagon and I’ll still see my children now and then on special days, like the event tonight!”
“Wait, tonight? The thing you want to bring me and your children to?” I asked, my brain jolted out of gear by this new train of thought.
“Yeah!” She smiled excitedly. “My parents are coming so you get to meet them too! Wouldn’t that be great?”
Jaded as my brain was, the word ‘meet my parents’ still managed to send shivers down my spine, when spoken by a girl I just had sex with. “What, tonight? That’s going a little fast, isn’t it? You mean going to their house or...”
She let out an amused snort. “They’re both living underwater now. My father changed when I was a teenager, and my mother about… Two, three years ago?” She frowned in concentration before shaking her head and smiling at me. “Anyways, they’re coming for the remembrance ceremony tonight at the pier. I can introduce you to them!”
“As what? They guy you just met and had sex with a few hours ago?” I coughed nervously, feeling even more self-conscious than ever before. Images of an angry father-in-law looming over me were not improved by imagining him looking like the creature from the black lagoon. Family meetings did not get more awkward than this.
“As my mate, silly,” she scoffed, giving my shoulder a half-hearted slap. “Mates that are not from our bloodline are VERY well-prized, so you’re gonna make me look good!” She approached and hooked on arm around me, smiling widely and revealing her crooked teeth in all their glory. “I caught myself a good one tonight!”
“You’re not even gonna hide the fact we just met tonight?” I insisted, a tiny note of panic creeping into my voice.
Maria glanced at me, choosing her words carefully before she spoke. “The Children of Dagon have a saying, it goes… ‘May your love be everlasting, until it ends.‘ It means that, even if people fall in love, and out of love, anc change and die all the time, that love can still be a precious and powerful thing, long after the people who shared that love are separated. I mean, look at us?” She pointed at her own chest. “Dagon shared with our ancestors a night of passion, and the result was us! Our faith, our culture, our very blood, we owe all that to Dagon, in the few nights and days he shared with us. He gave us meaning, and enlightened our people. We owe everything to his love, however short-lived. So don’t sweat about us having a one-night stand, dude. No Child of Dagon worth his blood wouldn’t look down on our relationship just because we met and fucked tonight.”
She was very passionate right now, in a way I hadn’t seen her before, cheeks flushed with emotion (or was that the sex?) as she gesticulated animatedly and emphasised her words. But there was something in her speech that bothered me, as I remembered what Suzy had told me on that basement, how she described Dagon and his followers…
“What if it’s all a lie?” I asked her, quietly but without wavering.
“Sorry, what is a lie?” She asked?
“What if your god didn’t really love you and your people. What if Dagon was just like the alien version of a horny frat teenager sticking his dick in the first thing he saw? What if all of his children you keep talking about are nothing but an accident, from a drunken one-night stand that even your own god would not remember? What if there is no ‘everlasting love’?”
“What makes you think you know so much about Dagon all of a sudden?” She asked, a touch defensively.
“They don’t care about us,” I told her, and something about the way I said it made her grow somber. “These eldritch gods and alien things and… All that. They may seem powerful or wise to you but… They don’t care about us. They might not even be aware of us, or if they do, then we are nothing for them but food. Or entertainment. Or a hole to fuck. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re valuable to them, because you’re not. None of us are. They don’t care. At all.”
She looked at me for a moment, uncertain on how to respond. “Is that what you guys actually believe, when you follow the yellow sign?” She asked, with a mixture of horror and pity in her eyes.
“It’s the way I see things,” I muttered, rubbing my hands through my hair. I was rambling. “I’ve seen some shit, you know? I’ve seen a lot of stuff. And there’s no grand meaning or wisdom in what I saw. All of it was bullshit. Bullshit and randomness in a world that doesn’t care.”
She studied me in silence before shrugging, then snuggling closer to me.
“You know,” she said, after a pause. “Even if it is true, and we were all nothing but an accident… I’m still happy it happened. I mean… If Dagon had never fathered my ancestors, I wouldn’t be here to meet you, right?”
“True, I guess,” I conceded.
She hugged tighter. “So there we go. Don’t stress and worry so much about stuff you can’t even understand, Cody. Just be glad for the happiness you can find.”
She was warm, smelling faintly of sweat and sex, and when she planted a kiss on my neck her lips were soft and gentle, bringing a small shiver down my spine.
“That… Might be a smart way to view things,” I confessed, kissing her back.
“See? See? Dagon is so much better than that smelly King in Yellow,” she said, letting a chuckle escape her lips.
“How rude,” said a voice behind the couch, the mockery in its tone so strong it you could feel it, without even looking at the speaker. “I do NOT smell, thank you very much.”