“My Year With The Gods – On The Beach”
Published by Holden Braithwaite at Shakespir
All rights are reserved and no part may be adapted, copied, transmitted or characters used without the express written permission of the copyright owner. This ebook may not be re-sold
or given away to other people. This work is fiction.
Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is purely coincidental.
The Malabar Coast, Southern India – 534 CE
Dense tropical forests surrounded extensive idyllic coastal lakes backing on to sandy beaches where fishermen cast their nets or set off in small boats to try their luck in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf.
From all except one small pristine beach which was surrounded by jungle on all sides. With bamboo huts which nobody lived in. Because nobody ever went near the beach. It was in the jungle domain of a ferocious tiger. A legendary tiger. A tiger from which there was no escape.
Generations of locals knew to trespass there was to invite a fate worse than death.
Strangers and malefactors were not so lucky.
When the tiger saw the horse arrive in the moonlit jungle clearing it remained very still hidden in the verdant foliage. It had never seen an animal like this before. Huge. At least 17-hands high. Majestic. With a silvery blonde flowing mane.
There was a strange faint blue light around it. As if it was from somewhere else. As if it were . . not of this earth.
The tiger watched the two laughing children who climbed off its back onto a fallen tree trunk run through the palm grove down to the beach huts.
They did not have a blue glow around them.
The tiger remained absolutely still.
Other people it saw on the beach had the glow. Like the giant of a man who wore the leather tunic and costume of a Roman charioteer.
And a serenely beautiful woman beside him, dressed as a Grecian goddess.
The tiger knew nothing of Roman charioteers or Grecian goddesses. Except they had a faint blue glow around them like the horse.
But it knew they too were not of this earth.
There was a large fire burning, and flares beside the huts.
The tiger saw maybe fifteen African and Arab men and women. And two tall blonde women. Twins sisters the likes of which he had never seen before.
Everybody except the charioteer had short-cropped hair and wore simple white cotton shirts and trousers.
There was laughter, music and dancing.
They were having something the tiger had also never seen before – a beach party.
Further along the beach somebody else was watching from under the palm fronds.
The tiger knew this.
It was one of the young outcast women from the small community which lived hidden away in the jungle, protected as local legend had it, by the tiger. Legend had it right.
Later the tiger crept up to the very edge of the jungle cover on the edge of the beach and watched as people drifted away from the fires to their huts.
It watched. And waited.
The night wore on.
All appeared normal. But the tiger knew otherwise.
There were strange noises from the huts.
The young woman watched also. Her pulse raced.
The tiger looked across at the old African man’s hut.
Then in the twilight before dawn he saw one of the tall blondes come out onto the porch, slow and easy, wearing only an open white shirt. She was smoking a joint. There was a faint blue glow around her.
She looked slowly around the beach to the jungle.
Her eyes met his. Although he knew he was totally camouflaged in the deep shadows.
She took one last drag then flicked it out onto the sand.
Came slowly down the steps and walked towards him.
She stopped a short distance from the edge of the jungle cover – and looked at him. And waited.
Drawn by forces he could not explain he got up. And slowly emerged from the foliage.
She turned and slowly walked away.
She had a beautiful ass and long, long tanned legs the color of honey.
He ambled after her.
It was starting to be one of those days. A very special day like no other.
The other blonde came out of the hut onto the porch, running her hand tiredly through her short hair. Blissfully sated. Her loose white cotton trousers hung low on her hips.
She went and sat on the bottom step as her twin sister came by with the tiger trailing behind her.
The one on the step said something quietly in Old Norse and both laughed.
She held her hand out as the tiger approached.
Her skin was also the color of honey.
He liked honey.
He went over.
She caressed his forehead and scratched behind his ears.
Nobody had ever done that before.
Now he wasn’t sure if he preferred honey more than having behind his ears scratched.
Taking what he could get he sat down in the sand in front on her. She caressed his head, watching her sister as she walked slowly down to the surf.
The tiger licked her foot and ankle.
It didn’t taste of honey. But it made her gasp with delight, and scratch harder. Which was just a good.
She got up, spoke a few quiet words to him in the musical language of the north he understood nothing of, then idled after her sister to the surf.
The big cat got up and followed.
Slow. And easy.
If there was one thing he understood about the mysterious visitors on his beach, even though strange sounds came from their huts in the heat of the night, they took things slow and easy.
He liked that.
She dropped her cotton trousers on the sand beside her sister’s shirt and they walked into the water together holding hands. The giant of a man with flowing golden curls and cyan blue eyes appeared beside the Grecian goddess in the waves where they had been surfing with dolphins. They too were naked. .
They all embraced as the surf swept around them in the shallows. And laughed with not a care in the world. Life was good. They knew how to hang out and take it easy.
The tiger waded out. For it too was a god in the jungle. And knew now the huts were under new management of people he felt very comfortable with, many more strange things would be happening on the beach.
Tall, cool blondes who smoked sweet-smelling weed, and looked like they were always ‘somewhere else’, and understood just how he liked to be scratched behind his ears was a very encouraging start to a beautiful relationship, even if they didn’t taste of honey.
He was so distracted he forgot all about the young outcast woman who was also watching from obscurity in the jungle.
She crept away as dawn broke, leaving the tiger as waded into the surf, where one of the blonde women washed him down. Then threw her leg over him and rode him in the waves.
All this had been foretold in an old outcast woman’s dream.
But the young woman whose heart beat so frantically understood nothing of who these mysterious visitors were. Why or how they had come there.
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“Mistress Talia,” Rabbi Ezra called, stepping forward as they crossed the crowded room. He was on the wrong side of thirty five and enjoyed his wife’s cooking far too much.
“Rabbi Ezra,” Talia said, seizing his hand. “Thank you so much for coming at such short notice.”
“What else can I do, mistress? I ask you. When a madman, who is not even Jewish, comes banging on my door in the night, threatening to kill himself right there and then, demanding to get married immediately in front of notaries.”
Talia pressed gold coins into his hand.
“Buy your wife a nice dress.”
“A dress!” he cried, choking on the words. “Mistress, if I even suggest she buy a dress, she’ll throw me out of the house, just like she did this morning when I wake up to find the whole town has gone mad. All the women have cut off their hair, and are wearing white seamen’s clothes and going to the palace.”
He leant closer to her. There was garlic on his breath.
“There must be something in the water. When she returned from the palace she looked at me with lust in her eyes like I never saw since the first year we were married.”
Talia laughed and touched his arm conspiratorially.
“She’s experienced the Epectesy of St. Gregory.”
Rabbi Ezra stared at her as if Abraham had just walked into the room.
“Then it’s true?” he said. “Aristophanes’ fool spoke to you in Greek?”
“Yes. But we were in the hands of the gods. We were somewhere else. . . And only women understood what he said. . . . And I remember none of it now.”
The rabbi touched her hand.
“It’s better you remember nothing. Trust me. It’s better this way,” he said reassuringly, but the pain on his face told of his torment.
“If I warned him once, I warned him fifty times. “Aristophanes, my friend,” I said when we would drink tea together and argue about the Torah. And I’m ashamed to say, Mistress Talia,” he said, breathing in earnestly. “That the old Greek knew more about the Talmud, the Torah and the Holy Scriptures than I ever will. And the idiot boy can recite them all from memory. He could step into my shoes this very minute and I would be out of a job, but still left with a wife and children who expect food on the table.”
“Yes, yes, Rabbi Ezra, I understand all that. But what did you warn your old friend about?”
“I tell the Greek as he’s nearing death’s door, the idiot boy is touched by God, you know this, my friend. But there’s a limit to what even his young genius mind can handle.”
The rabbi looked at her glumly.
“He didn’t listen to me. And here’s the result.”
“What? Short hair and naked breasts.”
“No, mistress. Even the stained whites I can live with,” he said, with dread in his voice. “The idiot boy has revealed the true Epectesy of St. Gregory of Nyssa.”
“Is there a false one?”
“No, my gracious hostess. There’s one anybody can read if they care to look for it. Which even Jewish scholars have studied. And the one only Aristophanes had. The original, full and unabridged version of the epectesy, mistress. The Singleness of Being. Of the soul moving into the oneness of God. As Gregory dictated to his personal scribe all those years ago. A revelation which transcends all faiths. ”
“The key to the eternal cerebral orgasm,” Talia said quietly.
“Correct. But at the time publishing it would be so inflammatory and dangerous to the continued functioning of ‘normal’ society, the scribe persuaded his master to only release a heavily edited version, lest they both be burned alive by the ruler of Cappadocia.”
“No. And as my friend told me with almost his dying breath, the original was hidden away by the scribe, and passed down from father to son, scholars all, until it ended up here with Aristophanes. Who being without issue, could only leave it in the care of an idiot gypsy boy who remembers everything except his own name.”
The rabbi waved at her open shirt.
“The result of that is in my face,” he said. “And the town’s full of women who won’t take ‘No’ for an answer.”
The Malabar Coast, Southern India - 534 CE Dense tropical forests surrounded extensive idyllic coastal lakes backing on to sandy beaches where fishermen cast their nets or set off in small boats to try their luck in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf. From all except one small pristine beach which was surrounded by jungle on all sides. With bamboo huts which nobody lived in. Because nobody ever went near the beach. It was in the jungle domain of a ferocious tiger. A legendary tiger. A tiger from which there was no escape. Generations of locals knew to trespass there was to invite a fate worse than death. Strangers and malefactors were not so lucky. One day when mysterious visitors arrived from afar everything changed. For they were not of this earth.