#10 Althea

| November 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is the 3rd character in a story I’m tossing around about an oppressively matriarchal culture.  Because unlike many feminists would like to believe, men aren’t the only ones capable of despotism, oppression, delusions of grandeur, and warmongering.


Coming from a House of such renown and stature as House Bear, Althea knew that it was hard to get an honest assessment of her person.  But she prided herself in being a realist, a trait which her grandmother Tante Nameh put a lot of emphasis on.  And so, realistically she could say that she was beautiful, but that beauty didn’t amount to much outside of brood mares.  She could say that she was passionate, but many in her family used that as more of a criticism than a compliment.

What she would not say out loud was that she believed herself to be shrewd and a good judge of character, even though she was still, by all standards, quite young for an adult.  Like her grandmother she could cut to the quick of a matter, disregarding details which were unimportant and merely served as distractions.  People’s machinations did not slow her down, she had the skill of assessing not only what was being said, but the reasons why the speaker would say them and the things they would prefer not to mention.

She had been sitting in chambers at what council meetings she could for years, and had found that her reactions and decisions mirrored closely that of the women whom she most looked up to.  Tante Nameh had even been willing to take her in confidence, noticing (as little ever escaped her notice) the diligence with which Althea attended all affairs of state, paying attention to every detail so as not to miss those little cues that people so often betrayed themselves with.

This was the main reason why she would not disclose quite how aware she was of the world around her.  Best to leave others underestimating her, judging her a careless prankster, they gave so much more away to her than they ever did in her grandmother’s presence, and this information had proved useful for her Tante more than once.  And in this, she knew that one of her shortcomings was most likely arrogance, even though she always behaved in a demure and humble manner.

She had another fault.  One she knew and did her best to hide.  And most likely failed at keeping from her Tante, who had eyes in every corner of the world the Mother Sun shone upon.  She was weak with boys and men.  This was a critical flaw, she knew it, but she was powerless to it.  She would have liked to pretend that it was due to some deeper observations on her part, but she had long suspected that it had far more to do with the heat between her legs.

She craved their attention in an unseemly way.  She yearned for the day she might be a Chief, with a fistful of strong bucks answering to her, bowing down to her.  She fantasized of moments where her wisdom earned their honest respect and her canny support earned their undying loyalty.  She could picture herself asking a pit boss what his thoughts on the matter might be, could picture the hush that would fall in the room as she made show of carefully listening to what the man would have to say.  Wether or not he would have useful things to add was nowhere near as important as the affection it would engender in those who served her.

Embarrassing as those thoughts might have been, they paled in comparison to her other flights of fancy.  She would find herself wondering, at the most inappropriate moments, what it would feel like to be touched by this man’s calloused hands, or what it would feel like to run her hand down that other man’s well-muscled arm.  She would catch herself almost panting at the thought of their heat and weight pressing in upon her as they lost control and she let them.

Which was the stupidest thing to do, she knew, but her mind would go there anyway, disregarding all the warnings she had heard her entire life about how dangerous a man became when he was allowed to unleash his passion on a woman.  She wanted it.  That was the sum of it.  She craved a strong and dangerous man to call her own the same way some of her sisters craved drink or smoke.  Her fatal flaw.  And one which she suspected Tante Nameh was more aware of than she let on.  She could feel the woman breathing down her back, she could almost feel the swish of a whip in the woman’s hands, and Althea hoped that whatever Tante had in mind would finally break this spirit horse which ran wild within her.


Category: 2011, Drama, Fantasy

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