This is an excerpt of a story called Guilded which concerns the members of five (or so) very different guilds, each with their own curious abilities and inclinations. The story was sidelined some time ago, but this remains one of my favorite parts — it’s been reconfigured to be entirely standalone. I hope you like it.
The shirt clung to my back and the hoe slipped under my sweat-handed grip again and again. If I felt irritation I could at least be sure that my face didn’t show it. There is something to be said about controlling one’s features; serenity can sometimes be as a mask that reflects both unto the world and unto oneself. At least that’s what Brother Oliphos had claimed in his most recent sermon and it seemed wise enough to repeat.
With these thoughts casually floating through my mind I brought the hoe down and noted with simple pleasure the way the muscles in my shoulders tightened and eased as I worked. A year ago this work would have choked those same muscles in tension. I would have gone to bed that night in pain, barely able to lift a spoon much less continue the next day. No, I was the same boy I had been when I arrived among the Scions, but theirs is a long road and it was clear that I had not walked it as long as the others when I caught sight of Brother Neland. He was gesturing toward me from the far end of the field.
I set the hoe down and returned my brother’s enthusiastic wave. He made his way closer and I sighed quietly as much out of deference as of jealousy. If hard work had started forming me into the image of our god then surely Brother Neland had been cast perfectly from the mold. Broad-shouldered and easy smiling, brown eyed and finely built down to his honey blond hair and strong jaw, I was sure that Brother Neland was the avatar of god.
“Alim…” He said, panting a little. The jog across the field wouldn’t normally have worried him, but the sun was at its zenith and the heat could make one head’s swim just from standing still. His voice, my name, his heavy breathing – I began involuntarily stiffening despite efforts to control myself.
If he noticed my hardening or the ensuing blush flooding my cheeks he politely elided them.
“Brother Neland. Do you need water? My canteen is still half-full, would you -”
Neland brushed my concern aside as he caught his breath.
“No need, Alim,” a voice half-silk half-stone. I suppressed a shudder, “but I’ve come to get you for lunch. Afterward you’re to purify yourself at the devotional.”
We scions believe that the will of our god is to have his sons tender worship to his divine image which is ultimately reflected in the self. The perfect love of god is self love, Onan teaches, and we give our highest service to him in the devotional chamber. The mere thought of the devotional sent warm prickles up my lower back.
“Thank you, Brother Neland. With all this work I might have forgotten. I feel a bit embarrassed that you had to come out here and remind me though.” I said.
Whatever Neland heard in my voice or saw in my face it compelled him to reach out and place his hand on my shoulder. His grip was firm, not gentle but kind somehow. His touch steadied me. I wanted…but what I wanted I could not articulate.
Neland smiled. “You are welcome, Alim. We all forget sometimes.”
So it was that I left my work in the fields to return to the manor. It was a modestly built three-story building of wood and stone where all the brothers of our branch of the order called home. Coming the back way from the fields we entered through the kitchen to the chiding of the day’s cook, Brother Ditmas. As egalitarian as our order claimed to be, somehow Brother Ditmas seemed to always end up doing the cooking and very little of the hard work in the fields which yielded our crops. I had grumbled about this in the past, but I confess that as usual I had few complaints once the meal was served. After a quick prayer, twelve of the twenty-four brothers sat down in the dining hall to a lunch of rabbit braised in (admittedly cheap home-brewed) wine, potatoes mashed with garlic and a green salad enlivened by a mineral oil. I ate well, enjoying the flavors and textures as independently from each other as possible. Onan teaches that to enjoy oneself means developing a palette for complex pleasures.
After lunch I made my way to the devotional.
I have since been to other devotionals in other cities and our modest set-up is considered provincial at best, but it has the basic elements: a small room where one disrobes and hooks to hang one’s garments and door. The door leads to a second room which contains an indentation in the center that is a few feet deep and a crank on the wall that is connected to a well outside the manor. As I pulled on the crank, water began to flow from a spout emerging from the wall and after a few moments the sort of tub built into the ground was full. I climbed into the cold water quickly, already used to the shock of cold water on warm skin. Still I do not tend to languish in the cold so I quickly washed the sweat and dirt from my skin and climbed out of the water as soon as I could.
In our devotional there are no towels as you might find in other more well accommodated and modern facilities. Instead there are worn bits and pieces of clothes that our brothers have discarded, we use those to dry ourselves as we emerge from the cleansing water – water which gradually filters through a clever set of pipes into buckets which we then use to water herbs grown inside and for the few animals we raise.
Once dry I carefully folded the cotton shirt I used to dry myself and walked naked into the devotional proper. It is difficult for me to describe the devotional. I’m sure it would be difficult for any brother. It is a circular room with smooth wooden floors and several large braziers full of hot coals to keep the room warm. This is an accurate description of the room and it is at once no more than that and so much more.
There are other places to serve Onan, other ways to embrace his presence, but the devotional is the first place that one learns of his grace and begins to understand one’s role. As I have done hundreds of times before and since, I moved to the center of the room and fell to my knees.
“Father Onan. I am your son and I am your image. Move through me. Accept my worship only if it pleases you.”
I do not know if it is this way for everyone, but for me it always begins in silence. To serve our god directly is an honor and a challenge. In the beginning the worshipper is stripped of his senses and then is sequentially gifted with them at Onan’s leisure. It began in silence then Onan gave me the gift of hearing and I could hear my breathing.
“Thank you.” I whispered, surprised at the low, quivering tones of my own voice.
I sat there crouched on my knees, sitting on my heels and listening to my breath — slow and patient, the only sound in the room aside from the crackling of coals on the fire. Then I began to smell the smoke coming off the coals and the smell of my own body, scrubbed clean but hinting of a masculine scent unmasked by soap. I thanked Onan for this gift as well.
Then suddenly there was the feeling of my heels pressing against my naked ass, of the tension of my thighs as I crouched, of the wet strands of black hair clinging to my neck, of my arms lying slack to my sides, of my knees against the warm smooth wood, of my soft lips pressed gently together and the humid breath passing through them as I unintentionally exhaled. I thanked Onan for his indulgence. AsI did, I felt myself harden abruptly.
The erection was almost painful, bobbing up and down, begging to me minister to it. But it is sacrilege within the devotional walls to do so without permission. In that space, it is no longer your phallus, but the phallus of a god and we must beg for the privilege, for the gift.
“You who know my heart and mind, I beg you, Onan, that I might bring you pleasure.” I whispered, desperation cutting a depth into my voice.
I became vaguely aware of the sensation of being enclosed, cradled in a warmth that is beyond description. Not a moment later I felt my fingers wrapping around the base of my cock.
“Ah.” It was surprise and relief and gratitude and prayer and desire in one syllable.
“Ah.” Again as my hand began to gently stroke.
It is as if being touched by a stranger while being vaguely aware that the stranger is oneself. Or at least, that the stranger is using your hands to accomplish their goal. And the pleasure, I wonder how to describe it?
There is great pleasure in giving service to Onan in private. It is encouraged by our brotherhood to worship Onan outside of the devotional and to do so when the impulse asserts itself. That morning in the field I had become caught by a deep stirring that would not let me go until I unlaced my breeches and gave service. I spat into my hand and rubbed at my member, pleased with the thickness of it and the way the head of it reflected the sunlight. When I spilled my seed it was with a relief that was preceded by a great swell of pleasure and longing, I shouted as I came. But the true pleasure of Onan is different.
As I crouched and my hand stroked my rod it was as if every sensitive spot, every secret technique, everything that had ever made me moan was being employed all at once. These hands were purposed with something ancient, something that knew the depths of my mind – that could please me as I could not please myself. Yet I did not near my limit. I would have if I had been pleasuring myself in bed or in front of the other brothers. But I did not feel myself drawing closer, instead it felt as if my body was awakening. I could already feel my heels pressing into my fleshy cheeks, but the presence of Onan made that feeling keener and the pleasure it brought was almost too large to focus on. My nipples suddenly felt painfully swollen and as soon as the thought occurred to me there was my free hand there to manipulate them by turns gentle and rough.
I could not say how long it went on, nor how many moans escaped me, nor how aroused I became – it would not matter anyway, I suspect these things are beyond mortal reckoning. I can say that my hand groped the length of my shaft and my thumb slid over the head over and over. My nipples yielded to my fingers and they twisted cruelly at times so that my moans became gasps and pleads.
“Onan…” I said as if to a lover. Then I heard in response from my own lips in a voice too deep to be my own, “Alim.”
Onan gave me sight to watch the final jerk of my pulsing cock. The sound that bubbled up out of me was a howl and groan. The feeling was like thunder, instant and full of terrible authority then pleasure, relief. Bliss. Rope after rope of heavy white seed burst out of me, I had never arrived so hard, I trembled but did not stop shooting. Sixteen shots of hot white. I don’t know how I had a mind to count. Sixteen powerful shots before finally my shoulders slumped and the cumming stopped. My orgasm receded and semen still dribbled out of my still hard member unto the ground beneath my legs. Fully in control of my body again I reached down to allow the last of it to collect in my palm. Raising the messy hand to my face I inhaled deeply and began to lick my palm clean, savoring the taste and opening the last of the senses Onan had given me. The taste was indescribable.
“Thank you.” My voice was shaky, but for the first time I did not wonder if my god heard me.