One day (I suppose it must have been after I’d spent about two months on the island) I was down along the shoreline collecting driftwood. On these occasions I always kept my eye open for anything else that might be of any use and this day I had a real find. Washed up against some rocks a few yards off the beach was a large plastic garbage bin. An old discarded garbage bin might not seem anything to get excited about but it was as good as treasure from King Solomon’s mines as far as I was concerned. There were literally dozens of uses we could put such a large receptacle to. My mistress was busy elsewhere on the island so I determined to recover that bin myself. I felt a thrill of pleasure at the delight she would show in my find.
I placed my driftwood carefully on a rock and set about formulating some sort of plan to drag that bin ashore. It wasn’t easy for it was in an awkward place and there was some quite deep water separating me from the rocks it was jammed against. I had to wade in to a point where I was obliged to swim the last three or four yards to the rocks. As I’ve said before I was not a great swimmer, although I was improving under her example, but it was no great distance and the sea was flat calm. The major difficulty I had was in easing my way around the rock to the bin and then trying to shift it for it was mostly full of water and damned difficult to budge. After much labour and after scr****g my leg on the rocks I managed to empty the water out of it and, using it as a flotation aid, I pushed off the rocks and kicked out for the beach.
I struggled ashore with it and then sat down on the beach to turn it over and gloat over my prize. To my delight there seemed to be no holes in it whatsoever. It was a real gem of a find. It was easily the largest container we possessed. I couldn’t wait to show it to her.
It was while I was sat there feeling so pleased with my discovery that something caught my eye. I lifted my head to look and there, a mile or two offshore, a ship was passing. What I did next takes a little explanation and a good deal of understanding. I did nothing! I just sat there and watched that ship pass by and slowly fade into the distance almost as if it was an irrelevancy; something that belonged to another life I had somehow left behind. I didn’t jump up and wave my arms or in any way attempt to attract the attention of that ship. My whole purpose at that moment was to drag that bin inland and present it to my mistress. I just sat and watched it sail away and through that action I demonstrated clearly how much I had changed.
I don’t know quite when or by what stages I had come to this metamorphosis but I was a very different person now than the one who had futilely gesticulated at any passing ship in the early days of my confinement on the island. I suppose in the back of my mind there still remained some vestige of a consideration that I ought some day to think about being rescued: to think about returning to my own world and my own people but somehow such thoughts had become subsumed under the day to day realities of life with her on our island. The other world that ship represented seemed unreal now. My life was here and now on this island and, if I stopped to think about it, that was enough. In an odd way, and a way I would never have believed in my first days on the island, I was content.... more than that....I was happy.
It might seem an incredible thing to claim. On the face of it I was imprisoned on a barren island by a creature who punished me at her whim or ruthlessly used my body for her sexual gratification. I was naked and so poor that an old discarded garbage bin seemed like treasure and living from day to day in a constant struggle for survival. By any sober analysis I should have been thoroughly miserable. Yet as I sat there on that beach I could honestly look within myself and realise that I had never been more contented and in harmony with the world in all my life.
I discussed this with a lady years later who is one of the very few people in which I’ve confided the true story of that summer. She suggested that I was showing evidence of the Stockholm Syndrome. This is apparently a paradoxical psychological condition where the victims of hostage situations grow to have empathy with and even affection to the point of defending the very people who are keeping them hostage. It seems the syndrome is named for a famous case where some bank employees were held hostage for a week by robbers at a bank in Stockholm, Sweden and came to be so close to their captors that they even defended them after they were released.
I am not convinced by this argument. My happiness went a lot deeper than merely some sort of misguided empathy with the person holding me captive. I genuinely felt a close affinity with nature; a kind of bonding with the world about me such as I had never experienced before. Somehow it took being naked and having nothing but my own wits to survive upon to really show me the things that were important in life.
Furthermore I was sharing that with a remarkable person. Close to her, I felt on the cusp of some deeper mystery; something of enormous importance to the whole meaning of human existence. I was in a privileged position, perhaps uniquely privileged, to observe at close quarters something completely outside of general human knowledge. There have been thousands of books written I suppose and endless hours of speculation about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets and what it might mean to us as human beings. The human species feels lonely. If there are other intelligent species out there then we may not be alone in the cosmos. Well what if we are not alone even on this planet? What if there is another intelligent species on earth with which we could truly communicate with. Then we are not alone. I know we are not. I spent six months on an Aegean island proving that to my own satisfaction.
I lifted that garbage bin and went in search of my mistress as that ship vanished over the horizon. She was working at her shrine. I have to tell you about this shrine for it was one of the most mysterious and yet revealing things about her. I actually don’t even know if it was a shrine but it always felt that way to me and that’s how I always referred to it in my mind. It was a sort of small natural amphitheatre in the cliff on the side of the knoll. It looked like a small and old abandoned quarry to be honest and it may well have been the source of the material originally used to build the old villa at some time in the past. To her it had another significance however.
When not involving herself in the day to day business of keeping us both alive or spending her time abusing me for her pleasure she spent a lot of time working in that little quarry. Most of her labour there was completely incomprehensible to me though. She’d gouged out little niches and shelves along the rock walls and these she adorned with all sorts of decorations and oddities. Many of these just seemed purely decorative; odd coloured stones and seashells for example. She even placed odd bits of coloured plastic or metal, bits of broken crockery, old wiring... anything that took her fancy as pretty or colourful. One shelf held a collection of sea urchin shells, another, pieces of skeletons and dried plants and yet another pieces of broken tiling she foraged from the villa until she had all the walls of the quarry festooned with her treasures.
They weren’t just randomly s**ttered about either. I’ve seen her agonising for hours over exactly where to place some particularly catching object; trying it in one place after another until she was happy with its placement. Once she was satisfied that was where it stayed as well. She was very protective of that little spot. If I ever dared to move any of her adornments from its spot then I could expect a good spanking. She didn’t even like me to touch them or go into the quarry when she was not there. I had to wait until she was out at sea fishing or something before I could go there and examine it at my leisure.
Most telling of all were the things she made to go in that place. She spent a lot of time carving things out of old pieces of wood or bone. These were often baffling for frequently they seemed to represent nothing identifiable... mere abstract shapes. They must have meant something to her however for she devoted many hours of meticulous care to their carving. As I say I had to wait until she was away fishing before I could examine these carvings of hers closely. To begin with I thought them just to be shapes that pleased her but one day I had an epiphany.
There was one largish display of pieces of carved wood and stones arranged together on a flat surface consisting of one large piece of intricately carved wood surrounded by smaller pieces of carving and pebbles. This display frankly baffled me and especially so because I knew of the care and attention she’d devoted to its arrangement. Yet it just seemed to be a placement of objects in some sort of pattern that appealed to her. I spent some time looking at this on this day and couldn’t make head or tail out of it. Finally I abandoned the effort and walked up to the top of the knoll.
I used to do this every day for the knoll was the highest point on the island and from there you had a three hundred and sixty degree panoramic view over the whole island and the surrounding sea. I did this in the beginning to keep a look out for shipping but as the days on the island passed, and I came more and more to accept my situation, this became a lesser motivation. By now I used the high elevation for instance to scour the sea for flocks of birds that might indicate schools of fish we might exploit. Also I used it to spot her. If she was late returning from fishing I’d be up there every half an hour or so sometimes worrying about her. You could often sight her out on the surface and she would frequently haul herself out on one of the rocks or tiny islets around the main island to groom herself or perform some other task. I was starting to get to know her favourite rocks especially the ones she sang from although that’s a subject I’ll return to.
Anyway on this occasion there was no sign of her but, as I scanned around, a blinding recognition flooded into my brain. The island and the surrounding rocks were laid out in a pattern exactly corresponding to the arrangement of objects laid out in the quarry. Excitedly I dashed back to the quarry to re-examine the arrangement. Now its significance was glaringly obvious. She had placed together a three dimensional representation of the island and surrounding features. It was a map! It was annotated too for many of the objects were marked with the curious interwoven patterns that I was coming to believe was her written language. She had even carved the large piece of wood to somewhat look like the island. You could recognise the knoll, the various bays and beaches and even the hollow with the villa and the olive grove.
I sat back on my haunches stunned by this unmistakeable evidence of her intelligence. This went way beyond the primitive carvings I had imagined. To carve or draw a likeness of something showed intelligence enough but it was familiar to our own prehistoric ancestors who painted pictures of a****ls, and so on, on cave walls. This showed a much more sophisticated relationship to her environment however. Again cartography is an ancient art among our species. I think they’ve identified crude maps dating back to some 25,000 years ago. I doubt if any of those maps showed such refinement and understanding as hers did though.
For one thing it was a three dimensional map and its spatial three dimensions did not end at the surface of the sea. Clearly shown on the arrangement were several submarine rock features around the island. I knew this to be the case for some of these rocks were easily visible beneath the surface in the clear water around the island. When I thought about it I supposed it would be obvious that she would extend her cartographical record of the island below the surface of the sea. She lived in a three dimensional world above and below water level after all. When we make a map of a coastal area we normally use sea level as the boundary point and merely depict those features protruding above that. To her the boundary line was the sea bed or whatever depth of water precluded her from diving so deep. It was only late in our own history that we began to produce topographical maps of any description let alone those depicting submarine features.
It was yet another indication of both this woman’s close affinity to us and at the same time the divisions that separated her from us. It was all too easy, as I hope I’ve made clear, to dismiss this woman as a naked primitive savage but then she’d show capabilities of such high intelligence that she could not only perceive the world about her in terms that seem foreign to most of us but also construct accurate topographical records of her perceptions for posterity.
Sat in that quarry with my mind reeling, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Suddenly that place was not at all what I had imagined it to be. I have called it a shrine, and perhaps it was for it was a place of reverence and deep contemplation for her, but I began to see a far greater significance to it. Now all of a sudden it occurred to me that this was a place where she kept accounts. Many of the more baffling carvings or arrangements could be depictions of geographical features, some of them hidden beneath the sea’s surface. The etchings on them; those enigmatic, infuriatingly elusive markings could be annotations and descriptions. All the assorted objects gathered there could be an inventory; a collection depicting the rock types, marine life and anything else around the island all catalogued and cross referenced to its exact location.
Good God there was even a shelf on which she’d accumulated dried plants from the island. It might be a comprehensive survey of every type of plant on the island. The shells, crab skeletons and other remnants of sea life might be a catalogue of the marine life in the sea around us. If you understood the system in that quarry you’d be able to pick up a cockle shell from a shelf and instantly be able to identify, from its placement and accompanying description, exactly where it had come from and thus possess the knowledge to locate the beds of that particular species in the sea around. And I’d just thought they were pretty shellfish she liked the look of! The place was a journal... more than that... an archive; a record of her observations on and around that island.
And just how deep did that record go? Along one side of the quarry were a number of flat rock faces. She spent many hours meticulously carving her enigmatic messages into the surface of those rocks until it came that they were covered in those odd whorls and curved geometric patterns. If only I could have understood them! They might have been a written record of her time on the island... a very insight into her own thoughts and considerations. This woman was recording a history; a history of an intelligent species that was not our own. How might that have changed the world as we know it? What might we have learned from her?
There was one object in that quarry that held immense personal significance for her. I used to often spend time with her as she worked in her shrine and they were times of relaxation and quiet contemplation. I was always careful not to disturb the objects in the quarry but she liked to have me around as she worked at her carving or etching the rocks. I enjoyed watching her for she seemed at peace and contented in that place. Her hair would lie flat although it would sometimes quiver into life if something she was doing excited her. She’d squat there over her task, her ears twitching beguilingly and hum softly to herself or perhaps mumble to herself in her strange tongue. I think she derived great comfort from my presence for she liked to have me close and she’d frequently reach out to touch me or lean over and lick me.
One thing she never did however was mate with me in the quarry. This in itself was extraordinary because I doubt if there was a single other place anywhere on that island where she hadn’t had her way with me! Her sexual appetite was so voracious and could manifest itself at any time that there wasn’t a lot of ground we didn’t cover. But that quarry was by and large the exception. I think this is what gave me the feeling that it was a place she revered and not to be sullied by her base desires. Of course while she was working there she would often put her chores aside and take a break by dragging me out of the quarry to ravish me somewhere but the quarry itself appeared to be sacrosanct.
This changed however on the day that she dedicated her most prized possession to the shrine within the quarry. It was a piece of amber. I know that amber is found washed up along shorelines so it shouldn’t surprise me that she had a piece in her possession although I’d always understood that most amber is to be found along the shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once again a surprise however to find that she valued such semi-precious materials much as we do. Certainly she seemed fond of that piece of amber for she kept it in one of her little caches of treasures and she would often pull it out and finger it lovingly. I thought it was merely because she thought it pretty, which she undoubtedly did, but I didn’t realise that she had plans for that piece of amber and, as she turned it over in her hands, she was equally turning over its possibilities in her mind.
After much cogitation she finally came to some sort of decision and she took the piece to the quarry and began very carefully to carve it. It was a sizeable piece of amber perhaps five or six inches long and maybe two to three inches wide and she took infinite patience with it. She used a variety of tools fashioned from metal which she doubtless accumulated in her foraging, including small files and an abrasive stone. In case you’re not familiar with it, carving amber is a tricky and time consuming activity. It can be fragile and the trick is to remove only small amounts of material at a time. Also it is sensitive to heat so too much friction can cause it heat scars on it. The oddest thing about though is a tendency for static electricity to build up in it which can cause it to fracture or chip when being carved or polished. Thus the way to handle it is slowly and with frequent pauses to allow it to cool down or lose its charge.
So she took enormous care over it and it was obvious that this carving was one of her most important projects and one which she was determined not to mess up. For a long time then it was difficult to know exactly what it was she was trying to carve from that piece of amber. When it did become apparent it took my breath away. Slowly, under her careful ministrations, the piece of amber began to take on the form of a figurine; a small statuette of a female form. She had carved the likeness of a woman and, when it was completed to her satisfaction and fully polished, it was a remarkably adept piece of craftsmanship; a beautiful tiny statue of a woman. It was the first thing I’d seen her make that was a recognisable image of a living thing. One thing was interesting about it. It showed a woman not a hermaphrodite. It was a depiction of my species not hers.
Delighted with it she shooed me away from the quarry and spent an afternoon with it on her own in the quarry singing. This was unusual for she mostly swam out to the outlying rocks around the island to sing. I’ve mentioned her singing before and it’s worth elaborating on it at this juncture. Singing was another of her leisure activities you might say. Although she often hummed to herself while working a proper singing session was a rather formal and ritualised process. She had certain rocks jutting out of the sea which were her singing perches and she used these exclusively. She would most often adorn herself with her best ornamentation in the form of necklaces and bangles before singing and place ornaments in her hair or paint her body. It was something she generally dressed up for and I could always tell when she was setting off for one of her perches to deliver her songs.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating that I have never heard the like of her singing in all my days. There was an eerily evocative, almost hypnotic quality to those far carrying harmonies and melodies of hers and an underlying sense of some hidden depth to those incomprehensible ululating arias. It was something almost magical and completely compelling. I’d sit on the beach and listen to her for hours with my spine tingling. It could be hours too for sometimes she could spend half a day or night singing from her rock. Whenever we had a full moon she would spend most of the night singing and I would huddle on the beach shivering and believe that I had never heard anything so strange or so beautiful in my life.
I don’t know why she sang. It seems trite just to speculate that she did it simply because it gave her pleasure. There seemed far more significance in it than that or she would not have made such a formalised ritual out of it. I think there was definitely something territorial about it in that she sang to declare her ownership over her little realm in the same way a cock robin ritually takes to the same perches each day in his finery to claim possession of his little patch of garden or woodland with his song. I think that’s only part of the story however. Certainly it was something important to her and it was a task she never neglected. There might have been some sort of religious motivation behind it although in truth I have no idea if she even had conceptions of religion that we might recognise.
But on the occasion that she finished that amber carving she broke with her usual formalities and sang from her quarry, shrine, whatever it was. I suppose she sang for two or three hours while I busied myself sorting out some tangles in our fishing lines. This was such a frustrating and niggling little job that I barely registered that she had stopped singing. Suddenly she appeared silently behind me. I jumped up from my task in surprise for normally she called out before coming looking for me. She held out her hand and obediently I placed my own in it. In rather solemn silence she led me back to the quarry.
It’s difficult to describe what happened next for a lot of it I didn’t understand. She spoke at length pausing often to touch me and lick me and I’m afraid I couldn’t make any sense out of it whatsoever. She also spent some time bathing me with water she had fetched up in that garbage bin I mentioned earlier. She then dressed me in assorted ornaments she had made; necklaces, bangles and a string of seashells about my waist. All this was conducted in the greatest seriousness and I held my peace, somehow recognising the solemnity of the proceedings.
She seemed to go through a series of ritualised dances and postures and the little amber carving featured heavily in this for she carried it about often licking it reverently and smelling it. Finally she gave the little statuette a last lick and laid it carefully down on a sort of bed of soft dried grasses on a rock ledge, knelt down before it and sang some brief phrases. She then paused and looked at me curiously. I noticed that her penis was fully erect. “Somehow, don’t ask me how, I knew what was expected of me. I came and knelt down facing the little carving with my back to her and bent forward, parting my legs, to present myself for her. She took me with what can only be described as gentleness by her standards and uttered a curious and strangely moving song as she did so. She ejaculated deep inside me but as she withdrew her copious flood of semen gushed from my vagina.
With deep reverence she scooped it up in her hands and smeared it both over me and the statuette. Felling that I ought to contribute something, I took some on my own fingers and followed her lead by wiping it on her body and the carving in equal measure. The whole thing may sound ridiculous but at the time it felt very serious and deeply significant. The characteristic ambergris scent of her semen was heavy in the air. I’ve come to realise since that the choice of her material for the carving had another significance for her. Amber has a similar scent to ambergris, especially when burned and that may be the reason for the connection between the names amber and ambergris (which latter simply means grey amber). It was her sexual scent and, since I was pretty much covered in it twenty four hours a day, it was the scent she associated with me. Her little statue not only had a visual reference to me but also an olfactory one as well!
These formalities completed she sat on the ground and hugged me close for at least an hour crooning softly. Finally she licked me and took me by the hand and led me to the seashore. She supported me as she swam out to her favourite rock and helped me to climb up on it. Once we were perched on top she proceeded to sing for the next hour holding my hand all the time. I guess she was just registering me as her possession publicly! When she was done she carried me back to shore and we went about our business once more. But there’d been a subtle shift in our relationship. As I say I don’t understand all about what happened during that ceremony but I have always since considered it to be my first marriage.
Life on the island was not without its problems. One problem that came to be critical was that of my diet. She might well have been able to live on a diet of fish and seafood but it was not a healthy balanced diet for me. I was losing weight. If any of you girls out there are looking for a good slimming diet I can recommend and exclusive diet of fish! It wasn’t good though. I was by no means hungry but I was starting to look a little wasted and unhealthy. She seemed to realise this and she would often poke my body thoughtfully and seem concerned. Eventually she decided to do something about it and in a way that demonstrated not only her technical prowess but also a familiarity with my own kind that I had not suspected of her.
It was one day around I suppose the end of July although I was getting pretty vague about the calendar by this time. She’d spent a good deal of time fishing and brought so many fish ashore you’d have thought we were expecting guests! In fact she was just making sure that I had enough to eat for a couple of days because after some preparations she then vanished for over two days.
It was the longest she had ever been away up until then and I can remember how desperately lonely I felt. I was frightened that she’d just abandoned me and I spent the time pacing around the island and up onto the knoll to look out for her, feeling absolutely miserable. I even swam out to her favourite rock and spent an hour calling out for her at the top of my voice. I huddled in my bed in the ruined villa each night crying piteously and feeling more desolate than I had ever felt in my life.
She returned on the third day. I dashed down to the beach to greet her in unfettered joy. I didn’t exactly run in circles around her, barking and wagging my tail but you get the picture. She looked tired as well she might... she’d had a hard couple of days. She was pleased to see me however and not too tired to attend to immediate domestic chores either for she was no sooner ashore than she was making up for lost time and giving me the most comprehensive boning she had yet subjected me to. I didn’t mind. I was pleased to see her too! It was pretty characteristic of her. Any time that she spent a protracted absence from the island her first priority upon returning would be to give me what the Brits would call a damn good shagging! I suppose there are worse ways to be greeted upon one’s master or mistress’s return. Even the lady that suggested I suffered from Stockholm syndrome sounded kind of envious when I described this aspect of my captivity. She’d been married for thirty years and I guess she kind of counted her blessings if she got laid more than about six times a year!
Anyway, having disposed of immediate requirements, my newly returned mistress began to haul her loot ashore. It took quite some time because she had stashed it on an offshore islet a few hundred yards off the beach. It was the first intimation that I ever had that she possessed a boat. I guess if I’d thought it through properly it was logical that she would have been able to construct a boat. I think that she was such a phenomenal swimmer it just never occurred to me that she might need a boat of any description even if she possessed the necessary technical know-how to construct one.. Well to propel herself through the water she didn’t need a boat of course but that isn’t to say that one was very useful. There’s only so much you can carry on your person however formidable a swimmer you are and she was so at home in the sea that the advantages of using something floating to transport heavier cargo would have been immediately apparent to her. Although I keep pointing this out, she was intelligent, she spent her life in the sea and she didn’t think that human ships and fishing boats were magic a****ls! Of course she had a boat!
It was a long time before she trusted me enough to let me see the little canoe she had hidden away on that offshore islet however. Perhaps she thought I might try to escape in it although I think the thought of setting out on a major sea crossing in that flimsy looking little craft would have scared the shit out of me. It was alright for her but I wasn’t amphibious enough to take to the water if my boat decided to flounder beneath me.
If it was a revelation that she almost certainly had a boat then, as I watched her bring ashore the goods she had carried in it, there was an even bigger shock. She hadn’t picked up her cargo from the open sea. Everything she hauled ashore had obviously come from some neighbouring island and, what is more, an inhabited neighbouring island. Doubtless some of the stuff she brought in had been foraged but even that was problematical. For instance she hauled a basket of oranges ashore. It was mid-summer. You grow sweet oranges through the winter and harvest them in spring so it was unlikely she just picked them off a tree. She had other vegetables and fruits outside of their growing season as well and, even more puzzling, a large ham and a string of those dried pork sausages the Greeks call loukaniko, which she obviously didn’t find growing on trees. The heaviest object however was one which she ferried ashore from the islet on a plank of wood. It was a large sealed plastic sack of flour!
Now of course it was eminently possible that she’d sneaked ashore somewhere and stolen these goods. There must have been some sort of clandestine character to her foraging. I mean stark naked, amphibious hermaphrodites tend to raise eyebrows in shopping lines at the supermarket! Certainly she was stealthy enough and I pretty much already suspected her of relieving other inhabitants of the islands of their goods when opportunity arose. But nevertheless this seemed to stretch criminal resourcefulness to a whole new level. I mean where do you steal a sack of flour from? Can you imagine how eerie it would be; the thought of some strange naked half-woman emerging from the sea by night to rummage about in your pantries and walk off with your sausages? You had the feeling the islanders would be locking their doors by night and offering up prayers to their local saints. I suppose they ought to be thankful that she wasn’t carrying off their daughters and grateful she had her work cut out looking after the one captive maiden she already had!
I wasn’t convinced though. Romantic as the thought of my mistress pirating the local islands undoubtedly was, I had the sneaking feeling that it wasn’t the whole story. I suspected immediately, and later would suspect it even more, that she had contacts with people; people with whom she traded. That brought up the disturbing thought that there were people in these islands who knew of her and her kind. It suggested that there were deep secrets among the Greek islanders; things that were not spoken about; perhaps contacts with these semi-mythical sea creatures that might go back many centuries in history and have spawned the innumerable stories of sea sirens, mermaids and other sea people of myths and legend of which the Aegean Sea is particularly rich in. She had the wherewithal to trade with the locals too. She was probably the best pearl diver in the entire Aegean basin.
But how did they communicate with her? Were there even people here that could understand some of her tongue? And then again would they not question why she wanted food stuff for a human person? Were there in fact people that knew or at least suspected that she had some person held captive somewhere? Was this another thing that was not talked about? Perhaps this kind of thing had happened before. There was something sinister going on here.
You don’t know how much you miss bread until you don’t have it. It’s such a fundamental basic of life that you tend to take for granted. I once heard a biologist propound the theory that the dominant life form on the planet by biomass was in fact wheat! We just happen to parasite on it. Bread at its most basic is just flour and water with whatever else you care to chuck in it. It’s more tedious hard labour than anything else but I had time on my hands and kneading dough made from that sack of flour kept me occupied while my mistress concerned herself with more important matters. I flavoured it with salt. If you’re wondering where I obtained salt from then you’re not thinking. We were surrounded by an ocean saturated in the stuff! I baked flat cakes of unleavened bread on hot stones in the fire and it was just heavenly. I even found that if you left a dough mix for some time it would leaven itself naturally with the natural yeasts in the flour. Of course we didn’t have butter but by this time I was learning to make fish and seafood soups. Mopping it up with fresh bread seemed just luxurious.
It was good for me too. I’d been lacking carbohydrates and the other foods she brought back supplemented my nutritional requirements admirably. I wasn’t exactly deficient in vitamin C. Fish isn’t a very good source of this vitamin but it turns out that raw oysters are. In fact oysters are as good a source of vitamin C as lime juice. So I wasn’t in imminent danger of scurvy because we often ate oysters but the citrus fruits were a welcome addition to my diet in any case. I began to put back on the pounds I had lost and started to look healthier.
As a result of this she made more frequent trips presumably to inhabited islands to obtain more food for me. One time she even came back with a dead lamb which I’m pretty sure she poached. We grilled it over the fire and it was the best feast I had on the island. Possibly irate shepherds have been wondering where their livestock has been disappearing to for millennia in the Greek islands and I know for a fact that she raided poultry as well.
There was one supplement to my diet that caught me completely by surprise however. One afternoon, following one of our regular couplings, she took a hold of me and pulled me to her breast. She held my face to her breast and pushed her nipple at my mouth. I thought that she just wanted me to suck on her nipple because she enjoyed it, so I complied. To my astonishment she was lactating! For several minutes she nursed me at her breast purring softly as I took her milk. I found it sweet and creamy and oddly I found it an entirely pleasant experience to nurse at her breast like a baby. I felt warm, comforted and somehow absurdly happy. I think I even fell asl**p in her arms. Perhaps it was only a psychological bonding between us but after that she often nursed me and if, of course, she couldn’t provide milk enough for an adult woman it was nevertheless a most agreeable intimacy.
Naturally I wondered how she could possibly be lactating for I’d always understood that lactation only occurs with the stimulation of pregnancy and c***d bearing. Since then I’ve done my research into the matter and it turns out that lactation is not at all confined to mothers. It is seen frequently in primitive cultures for example where women assume roles of surrogate mothers to c***dren not their own. It is known from a number of other primate species as well and there seems to be some evolutionary survival advantages in populations with high maternal mortality. Even in modern women lactation can be induced by d**gs or psychological stimulation in women that are not mothers. In fact I even learned that there is a whole field of eroticism around breast feeding adults and that continual stimulation of the breasts and nipples can induce lactation. There is even a name for a relationship between an adult couple in which one nurses the other or, in the case of lesbian relationships, mutual nursing. It’s called an adult nursing relationship or ANR and is surprisingly common, especially among lesbians where it is a familiar expression of intimacy and tenderness.
For all that I thought that I knew everything about sex I was still pretty naive about some things in those days I suppose. That was one thing I learned from her and something I taught to another important person in my life that I’ll tell you about later. I will say however that I came to love those tender moments suckling at her breast. I never felt more close to her than at those moments when she literally gave me the very substance of her body to nourish me and comfort me with. I think she loved it too for she’d purr softly and croon little murmurs that must have been endearments. It was at those times when I most felt that, in spite of the great biological divide between us, I loved this woman.
Perhaps that is why, as that summer drifted along, that I abandoned the life I had once had and surrendered myself entirely to my existence with her on our tiny little island. There was a timelessness about the days as they melted one into the other; a seemingly endless sequence of enchanted days, bathing in the warmth of the Mediterranean sunshine surrounded by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. My life before the island seemed unreal and mired in petty considerations that had no meaning here. It felt as if this was all life had ever been and would ever be again. But of course time does not stand still and as the days grew shorter the arrow of time was reaching out to pull me back to the world I had thought I had left behind for good.
Summer stretches long into the fall in the Aegean and if the nights were drawing cooler and the days shorter there was little indication that winter loomed as yet. It was well into October before I had any hint that my strange idyll on the island was coming to an end. I was down at the beach washing some root vegetables and herbs she’d brought back from her last trip when the world started to fall apart. I was singing happily to myself. She brought some squid ashore that morning and I was planning to make a calamari stew. She was eating more and more food that I cooked by now and I knew that she had a liking for the soups and stews I made. She was away at sea and I hoped to have it ready for when she returned. It would be a treat for her. I’d chosen to make my preparations on the beach where she most often came ashore so as to be there to greet her. She’d want me straight away after her labours and I’d save her the effort of coming looking for me. She could take me there on the beach and hopefully I’d have food ready for her as soon as she slaked her desire.
Then, very distantly, I heard her singing. I was puzzled for the song was coming from a long way away and she normally only sang from the rocks close to the island. There was something else too. The song had a different feel to it unlike her usual timbre. Curiously I laid aside my preparations and stalked up to the top of the knoll to see what she was doing. I could see no sign of her but the song fetched very faintly over the breeze from somewhere over to the west. I shaded my eyes against the glare and scanned the horizon but not a glimpse of her could I see. Then the song stopped abruptly and, with a shrug, I returned to my chores on the beach.
I had just stepped back onto the beach when she emerged from the sea expelling water from her gills. I froze at the sight of her, my spine tingling, for, in that moment, I knew that she could not have been the one singing so far away and now be here. That meant that it must have been somebody else; somebody else like her for no person of my kind ever sang like that. She was not alone. Somewhere out to the west was another of her species.
I think that she must have been underwater and failed to hear the song for she seemed no different from any other time returning from the sea. She had a sack full of shellfish in her hand, an erection in her groin and the familiar look in her face. I was trembling as I presented myself for her; not because I was frightened of her taking me but because of the implications of that distant song. She filled my womb with her semen and I licked the last drops from her penis as she liked me to do and then returned to my stew as she opened the shellfish. But I was distracted and my ears were alert in case that song should come again. But it didn’t and by the time we had eaten, mated a couple more times and settled down into our bed in the ruined villa I was beginning to wonder if I had dreamt it after all.
I hadn’t. The next morning I awoke to the sound of her singing. I walked down to the beach to bathe myself and squatted there to listen to her. She was sat on her favourite rock but her singing was different. She’d pause for long periods and during these periods I heard, somewhere far distant, an answering refrain. I shivered in fear as I listened to that unearthly exchange across the water and wondered what they were saying to each other and what it would mean for me. This went on for most of the morning and I huddled there miserably, instinctively knowing that somehow things would never be the same again.
When she swam back to the island she was agitated and paced up and down on the beach talking to herself nervously. How I wished at that moment that I could ask her what was happening or could understand what she was saying. For once she seemed too distracted to even mate with me and I simply sat and watched her fearfully as she seemed to struggle with her thoughts, pausing often to walk to the water’s edge to stare intently out to sea. Finally she seemed to come to some decision. She strode up to me and grasped me tightly; just stood there and held me, for perhaps ten minutes or so, without a sound. Then, just as abruptly, she licked me once, relinquished her hold on me and waded out into the sea and vanished. It was the last I saw of her for the rest of the day.
That day seemed interminable. I thought she had gone for good this time. I thought another of her kind had called her away and she had gone. I felt so miserable that I could only pace around the island looking hopefully out to sea for her and crying. I had food enough but I couldn’t bring myself to eat. I went and sat atop the knoll staring out to sea until the sun went down and the cool evening air drove me to my bed in the old villa where I pulled the old sacking around me and cried myself to sl**p.
She returned in the middle of the night. I heard her step outside the villa and her scent preceded her as she squirmed into bed alongside me. I grasped hold of her crying in relief. She seemed puzzled by that for she licked at the wetness on my cheeks muttering oddly. I don’t think she possessed tear ducts. I held on to her and wouldn’t let her go for the rest of the night.
But things had changed. The next day she began to assemble her possessions and seemed to go through an inventory of them. She seemed oddly sad and listless however and stopped frequently as if lost in her own thoughts. I tried presenting myself and tempting her with my body but for once her libido seemed at a low ebb and she’s just pat me and give me a squeeze before returning to her work distractedly. By the end of the day I had come to the inescapable conclusion that she was making her preparations to leave.
Over the next few days her imminent departure became obvious. I didn’t know what had passed between her and the other of her kind she had sung to but I guessed she must have swum out to meet whoever it was and that had decided her that she must leave. Perhaps it was a call to mate, perhaps it was time for her to migrate south for the winter. I just don’t know. For all I know it might have been a call from her f****y or tribe. Whatever it was, it seemed imperative that she must depart although she looked anything but happy about it.
For the first time I saw her boat for she brought it from its hiding place on the big rock and grounded it on the beach where she began to laden it with her possessions. It was a remarkable craft; a long slim canoe fitted with an outrigger for stability similar to the sort I have seen since in the Polynesian islands of the Pacific and which I rather suspects come from the same technological culture. It looked well made and lovingly crafted but it seemed an awfully flimsy sort of craft to undertake any long sea voyage in. Then again the Polynesians managed to undertake quite remarkable sea crossings in boats of no greater advancement and they didn’t the supreme advantage that she had of not having to worry about drowning!
As she began to fill it up however the canoe looked awfully small; too small in fact for two people. I was already beginning to wonder what was to become of me and what she intended to do with me when the time came for her to leave. I suppose I was kind of hoping that she was going to take me with her; that we’d take her little canoe and sail off to new adventures over the horizon. It would be sad to leave the island however. It had become my home; possibly the only real one I had had since I left my parents home in Iowa. Perhaps we were just sailing south for the winter. Maybe we’d return to our island in the spring and just carry on from where we’d left off. I didn’t know but I watched her preparations with dread for the future.
She partially dismantled her shrine in the quarry, removing those objects of greatest value to her such as her carvings and other artefacts. The little amber figurine however she left until the last minute. She worked on other projects as well which she would not let me see and shooed me away if I tried to see what she was doing. Her preparations became more and more advanced and although she would break off to go fishing occasionally she was generally too engaged to spend much time with me or to do more than snatch a quick bite to eat. This doesn’t mean that she neglected me. In fact during this period she probably showed me more real affection than at any other time during our relationship. It didn’t comfort me for she’d hold me tightly and rock back and forth, crooning softly. I could feel her sadness. She was preparing to let me go.
At last the day came when her preparations seemed to be complete. She didn’t leave straight away however. Instead she hung around the island for three days wistfully as if she could not bear to leave. She kept me at her side for the whole three days, stroking me and licking me sadly. Occasionally she took me but her heart wasn’t in it and it seemed to leave her more disconsolate than ever. I was sad too. I knew she was trying to find a way to say goodbye.
At the end of the third day she surprised me again. Abandoning her boat and her possessions she dived into the sea and disappeared for two days. I knew she would return this time for she had not prepared so elaborately for her going as to leave all she owned behind. In spite of this I felt a great well of melancholy inside me, like a stone in my heart, for I knew instinctively that when she next returned it would be for the last time.
It was in the morning when she returned to the island and I was waiting for her on the beach. She took me then for the last time but it gave her no great joy. In the aftermath of that mating she took hold of me and held me and gave vent to a soft crooning moan that seemed to go on forever. It was her way of crying. I think her heart was breaking. She held me like that for at least two hours. I remember the tears running down my own face.
At length she rose and made a gesture for to me stay where I was. I obeyed and she walked sadly inland. I waited miserably but she soon returned and she had things for me. One was something I had even forgotten about. It was the sari I’d been wearing the day I fell overboard from the ship and she’d swum me to the island. She held it out to me and gestured that I should wrap it about myself. In puzzlement I did as I was told but it felt incredibly odd after all this time to cover my nakedness.
The next thing she gave me was valuable for it was a string of beautiful pearls that she’d drilled and threaded onto some old fishing line. She insisted upon tying this about me neck. There was some purpose in this gift I think for she touched it with her fingers and made a gesture imitating eating. I think she wanted to give me something of intrinsic value among my own people so that I could barter for food when she was not there to care for me. She was still looking after me you see.
The final thing she gave me was the little amber figure she had so lovingly carved. She licked it once and then pushed it into my hands. I couldn’t stop crying. I have that little figure still. It is my dearest possession. I tell people that it is a piece of native art work I picked up on my travels. Very few know its true significance to me.
Curiously I had one thing to give her. It was a little gold ring that I’d worn all summer long; the only one of my possessions other than my sari that I had left after my debacle on the ship. It was only nine carat gold, quite plain and not very expensive but it was all I had to leave her to remember me by. It wouldn’t fit on her fingers and she never wore rings anyway but she hung it solemnly on a cord around her neck and licked it tenderly.
After this exchange of gifts she held me long, licking at my face and sniffing at me as if to carry every last memory of my smell away with her. Then I became aware of an odd sound. It was a throbbing growling note. It seemed so strange and unnatural that I didn’t recognise it. She knew what it was however for she licked me a last time and let go of me. Then slowly and sadly she waded out into the sea and vanished beneath the surface.
I stood there perplexed looking at the point where she had disappeared as the throbbing noise became louder. I shook my head and tried to make sense of what was happening. The sound rose in volume and then, to my astonishment, a small dilapidated looking fishing boat rounded the headland, the noise of its rickety engine defiling the tranquillity of the island. I didn’t know how she had done it but I recognised immediately what she had done. She’d summoned somebody to rescue me.
In charge of this vessel was an old grizzled Greek fisherman and he eased the boat into the shore, pulling up against some rocks from where he beckoned me. My eyes blurred with tears I waded out to the rocks and he assisted me aboard. He nodded to me gruffly and said something in Greek I didn’t understand before turning his boat around and pointing us back out to sea.
I stood in the stern of the boat gripping the rail in anguish as I watched the island grow smaller behind us. Then I saw her, sat atop her rock watching us leave. As I felt a wave of loss well up inside me she began to sing. The old fisherman busied himself with his wheel and gave no indication that he even heard her. I did hear her however and that last haunting melody will stay with me until the end of my days. There was such a melancholy in that voice that carried over the waves to me that I can close my eyes now and hear it still and it will still bring the tears that fell down my face then. Then it stopped and I lowered my eyes unable to bear the heartbreak any longer. When I raised my head again the rock was empty. She was gone. I never saw her again.
The fourth and final part of this story will follow shortly. Any comments will be greatly valued.