“Hey! Hey you! Wake up already! What are you thinking?”
I’m thinking of hitting the snooze alarm but it’s too much effort to raise my head and look around. Maybe if I keep my eyes closed it will go away.
“Show some signs of life there, Caranthir. I want you to remember all the creepy sex we had before you swore that oath and moved to the other side of the world.”
Oh, so it was Irmo, and his voice was coming from inside my head. I hate when he does that.
“I don’t want to remember,” I say grumpily. “Go away!” I feign a snore hoping he will think I’ve gone to sleep. It works and the voice shuts up. Then I do fall asleep only I open my eyes and I’m in Lórien and he’s standing there with his arms crossed, a hurt look on his face.
“If I didn’t know better I’d think you were trying to avoid me,” he says.
“That’s hard to do when I can’t close my eyes without seeing you. What do you want from me anyway?”
“Why did you swear that oath? Why did you leave me?”
“Why not? It’s not like you and I had an agreement or anything. If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.”
“So you’re upset that I didn’t make it official? I have a wife you know.”
“And how’s that working out for you?”
“Don’t bust my balls about this, Caranthir. I’m giving you one last chance here before we toss you into the Void.”
“You’re a real prince, Irmo. Look, why is it so important that I remember our many aberrant trysts? It was all a long time ago and I’m a different person now.”
“Is that so? Then I guess you won’t mind if I...”
I’m kneeling naked in a grassy glade in a harness that stretches my nipples and balls. There are weights hanging from my ears stretching my lobes down to my shoulders, my eyelids are propped open with toothpicks. It all hurts like a motherfucker, which means I have an erection that could crack walnuts. That darned Irmo always knew the way to my heart.
We never speak in the glade but that’s usually because I have a ball gag in my mouth. Now is no exception. “arth arr oo aing thoo ewf?” I sigh and spit out the gag. I’ve learned a degree of control over my dreams after all these years. “So what are you trying to prove? You didn’t try to stop me or anything.”
“I couldn’t. We are not allowed to interfere with your freedom of choice.”
“So you can threaten us, refuse to protect us by keeping your evil siblings locked up, pronounce dooms on us, give us horrible nightmares and show us portents of destinies we can’t change but you’re not allowed to interfere with our ‘freedom of choice’? Has Eru been watching Star Trek reruns again?”
Mist starts to swirl around me and I’m back in that room I was in when all this began. Arches receding into infinity, a vault of starless darkness over my head, lying on a platform with a bdsm hangover making my head throb. I’m having that M.C. Escher nightmare again. Irmo sure knows how to end a conversation.
“Fine,” I say out loud, “just give me a cup of strong coffee and I’ll lie awake here enjoying your artsy screen saver until you’re ready to send me to the Void.”
A cup appears in my hand and I lift it to my lips and take a sip, spitting it out in the next instant. Chamomile tea. Irmo can be such a smartass.
The mists swirl and disappear and now Irmo and I are riding through the gardens of Lórien on white unicorns with silver horns, rainbows trailing behind us.
“You’re killing me here.”
“There are many forms of pain,” he says with a smile. “I thought I’d treat you to some mental anguish this time.”
He reaches out to me with his soft, womanly hands and touches my head, then gloms my face, then puts his finger against my lips and I go “burba burba burba” as he moves the finger up and down. It is a little game we used to play and I laugh in spite of myself.
“I don’t know why they call you Caranthir the Goth,” Irmo says. “You’re a lot of fun.”
“I have my moments. Now why are we here again?”
“It’s another memory I’m dredging up. Do you remember our first time?”
“Oh yes, we were in this hedge maze here.”
We are surrounded by a hedge maze decorated here and there with topiary animals. There’s a cow, a lemur, an alligator gar. Irmo sucks at landscaping.
A table appears under an awning. Now we are wearing striped blazers, straw hats, and no pants. Penguins appear dressed as waiters and bring us lemonade.
As we sip our beverages he eyes me speculatively. “I shall now call you Caranthir the Dark, but how dark are you really? How far are you willing to go? I want to enact your darkest sexual dreams in this place, to show you how sex and pain are interrelated. You see, each of these two primal feelings can augment each other and bring you to unexpected heights of ecstasy. In other words, when you feel pain it can register in your bran as a sexual feeling or, conversely, you can be at the height of sexual ecstasy and when pain is introduced into the equation you will begin to associate the two until...”
He droned on an on in this vein for a good half hour. And I thought my father was loquacious! I was starting to nod off when he shook me awake.
“Have you ever lain with a man before?”
“No, Maedhros and I always did it standing up.”
“Good enough. Bend over.”
He slammed into me and the pain was so sweet I panted with lust and could no longer speak coherently. “To me harder give it you must!” I cried.
“With pleasure,” he wheezed, and proceeded to do just that.
Afterward I was exhausted, so exhausted I couldn’t finish my lemonade. “I love you,” I said as I lay in his arms.
“And I you,” he said in reply.
It wasn't until later that I realized what a pathetic reply that was. He never said the words, dammit! I know from long years of living under an oath it doesn't count if you don't say the words.
After that we got together in the hedge maze many times. He made my erection explode again and again, raining my essence on him as he shouted “Bam!” He laughed and rubbed my essence over himself, and over the penguins, and he used it as liniment for his unicorns and as the secret ingredient in his ranch dressing. I was a lot younger then.
When I crossed the sea to Middle-earth things were never as weird as they were with Irmo, but I managed to teach what I’d learned to a whole new generation of Elves eager to experience the twinned peaks of pain and ecstasy. I began to write down my experiences and draw illustrations and publish books. I hear some of the most legendary Elves kept them in their sock drawers. One was said to have been found in Glorfindel's effects when he died.
“So, are we done here?” I ask, coming out of my reverie within my dream. I feel like I'm in a bad DiCaprio movie.
“I was going to have you relive this whole memory about how you got your piercings,” Irmo says.
“Let’s just skip to the end, shall we?”
“There are semi-precious stones involved,” he coaxes.
“Big deal, I’ve held a Silmaril.”
“Oh, very well.”
Now I’m standing on a platform. Not the same platform I was lying on just now but one where I’m in a circle with my brothers. We all pull our swords and start jerking... No, that was the sleepover with Fingon and Turgon. Irmo wants me to remember when we swore the oath.
Okay, I’m raising my sword, speaking the now famous words. I look to Irmo and give him a coquettish smile. He shakes his head and facepalms.
I’m back in the near oblivion of the arches again, blubbering like a baby. Tears and snot are smeared over my face. “Was I nothing to you but a broken or old or discarded or unloved toy thrown into a pile of guts and horseshit?” I weep.
“No, you were much more than that to me,” Irmo says soothingly. “You were like a bunny with the fur rubbed off that miraculously became real once you were thrown away. It was only by giving you up that I could allow you to become who you were meant to be.”
“A brooding, jewel-obsessed, kinslaying cutter with a penchant for flagellation and rape?” I whimper.
“None other,” Irmo says. “Now, off to the Void with you.”
“Will we see each other again?”
“Yes, we’ll have a last kiss at the end of all things, then you’ll be thrown back in the Void and I’ll disappear into oblivion.”
“Eru again?” I ask.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“But only love and hate can exist in nothingness,” I cry as I spiral into that darkness from which no light can escape.
“No, only nothingness can exist in nothingness, you twit!” he shouts after me.
The doors to the Vault of Night slam shut on the all-consuming darkness that mirrors the darkness in my soul. Then I hear a voice next to me.
“So, care for a game of cribbage?” Morgoth asks. “Fair warning though, I cheat.”
A bdsm parody.
Any resemblence to persons living or tossed into the Void is purely coincidental.
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