This story could be seen as a companion piece to Being,
although there’s no direct connection between the two stories.
Sometimes it will take me months or even years to finish a story, but this little vignette was
conceived and written in the space of a summer afternoon. I’m quite pleased at how well it turned out.
In the courtyard of the Great Hall of the People stands a modest pedestal bearing the naked stone figure of a smiling young man, tall, slender and well-favoured.
The statue is well-liked and respected by the people, who see it as a symbol of their country’s peace and prosperity. There are even some who say that if anything were to happen to the statue their country would fall, and so the Government takes care to ensure that it is preserved and protected for future generations, just as it has been for generations since.
As twilight falls and the last visitors of the day are being escorted from the courtyard, a man walks into it bearing a stepladder, mop and bucket. The man is perhaps in his late thirties; he has what might be called a nondescript appearance. Passing him in the street none would give him a second glance, and if asked to describe him they would be hard-pressed to think of any distinguishing feature borne by him.
The man fills his bucket from a pump at the corner of the courtyard, and then walks over to the statue. Lightly damping his mop in the bucket, he carefully cleanses the day’s grime from the statue, using the stepladder to reach its upper torso and head. Once he is done he squeezes out the mop and uses it to dry the statue off.
By the time he is done the courtyard is deserted. Looking around carefully the man makes sure there are no casual visitors left to see what he is doing. Then he unscrews the top of the mop handle, revealing a small glowing crystal set within.
Kneeling, the man touches the crystal to an indentation in the statue’s pedestal. The pedestal shimmers and turns from white to black. What appeared to be decorative bosses on the sides of the pedestal are revealed to be knobs and switches.
In a well-practiced series of movements the man sets the knobs and switches to new positions, and then waits.
The statue shimmers in the same way that the pedestal did, slowly turning from white marble to pale flesh. The young man is alive and breathing, albeit shallowly. His eyes, no longer featureless stone but green with flecks of gold, dart back and forth as if he is desperate to move, but his body remains as inert as stone.
The man with the bucket climbs his stepladder and begins to stroke the naked man intimately. The former statue casts pleading glances at him, but he pays them no heed.
Shortly the naked man becomes aroused in spite of himself by the other man’s caresses. Descending from his ladder the other man takes the former statue’s erection into his mouth and slowly sways back and forth, kneading the impressive thickness with his lips and agile tongue while stroking his firm thighs and buttocks.
All too soon the naked man feels a familiar rush of ecstasy and then his erection pulses, sending wave after wave of semen into the other man’s mouth. The man half-laughs and half-chokes, swallows what he can and then withdraws, kneading the naked man’s erection with his fingers until his ejaculation is completed.
The man washes off the nude man’s shrinking penis, then goes to the pump and washes his mouth out, feeling the nude man’s eyes upon him all the way there and back.
Returning to the pedestal, the man steps upon his ladder and gives the nude man one last hug. A single tear falls from the nude man’s eye; the other man gently dries it and kisses him upon the lips.
Stepping down from the pedestal, the man once more crouches at its base and studies the settings of the knobs. Like all of his many predecessors, the current Keeper of the Statue understands the workings of the pedestal (a most remarkable device, and quite unique) in minute detail.
In particular, he understands that if he merely turns a certain knob to the left, the naked man will be restored fully to life and freed from his immobile bondage, to live out the rest of his normal lifespan for better or worse.
The Keeper is also acutely aware that if ever the man on the pedestal were to be freed, then the man who freed him would be forced to take his place upon it.
Looking up at the motionless figure he sighs... then turns the knob to the right.
The figure on the pedestal begins once more to take on the appearance and texture of stone. The crouching man returns all of the controls to their original positions, then removes the crystal and returns it to its hiding place in the handle of his mop.
Picking up his mop, bucket and stepladder the man walks slowly out of the courtyard. The naked man’s body has now fully resumed its stony appearance, but the Keeper can still feel the statue staring at him until he is completely out of sight.
All is peaceful in the courtyard. The statue stands as it has stood since time immemorial, showing no sign that it has ever been anything but lifeless stone.
The same is true of the pedestal, whose sole adornment is a date, some five centuries in the past, and a single word:
16:34 on 2007-06-10 by James
Comments from SiS Message Board:
Freyr, Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:03 am