The Circle Ch. 01byhandwriter©
I sighed, took off my hat and wafted it in front of my face in a vain attempt to cool down. The station master shrugged and gave his usual smile; either I could sit around for six hours whilst the problem down the line was fixed, or make the 15 minute walk back home. It was only going to get hotter, so I set off back, shouldering my rucksack and easing it past a couple that had decided to spend the time having sex just by the doorway on the station verandah. This country takes some getting used to, I thought, as she looked up at me, moaning and wrapping her legs tighter around his waist.
We had been in the small, landlocked, Kingdom for almost a year and everything about it is different from home, their whole way of life and relationship with each other, and with nature. The most obvious thing, of course, is the almost total absence of foreigners and the scarcity of technology. The few trains, running on a single narrow-gauge line that twists and branches through the mountain valleys and across the plain, are the only tangible sign of major infrastructure, apart from the distant hydroelectric station that powered them and whose spare capacity, exported to neighbouring power-hungry countries, has generated the income to pay for the railway and for our own presence.
My husband and I are engineers, specialising in practical, sustainable and as local and environmentally friendly systems as we can make them. He specialises in agriculture, bio-fuels and civil projects such as sanitation, whilst I concentrate on cooking, lighting, solar power, evaporative cooling for produce and simple machines to make life easier or to make pots and clothes and such like.
If you have, by now, formed an impression that this is a country with poor, starving, and miserable inhabitants then you are letting your western prejudices give you a false image; it is a far nicer place to live than you perhaps imagine. There is, on the whole, plenty of food to go round, the country has an ample supply of water, it is warm -- hot -- and the small towns and villages are clean and tidy, and the populace is remarkably healthy and stable in number due to excellent government initiatives and deliberate isolation from both tourists and other neighbouring countries. There is no religion, which is a blessing in itself. Nobody has much money, but then there is little need for it.
I had never heard of the Kingdom when we were first approached by the King's representative and I looked for it on the map in vain; it is so small that it doesn't appear. They had heard of our work and wanted to offer us a contract, initially for 1 year but extendible for 5 years by mutual agreement, and with the possibility of permanent residency after that if we wanted it. At the time it seemed unlikely that we would stay there permanently, but we were excited by the challenges and although they were not offering much money, that wasn't our main motivation and we were assured we would be able to live there at almost no cost to ourselves.
When you live in a country like this, time takes on a different meaning so I strolled back towards home contentedly, thinking about where I would start when I did eventually get to my destination. I dodged under the shade of trees wherever I could, finally edging across our garden towards the open back door of the house. I had left my husband doing some research earlier that morning and whilst I was in the distant east for a month or so -- there being no way of telling exactly how long - he was going to do some work setting up a prototype digester that had recently been sent to him. Distant is a relative term, as when the average speed of the train is low, 300km is a very long journey.
He was nowhere to be seen however, but as I approached the door I heard his voice. I couldn't quite make out what he said, but then I heard him grunt, with an answering female squeal that stopped me in my tracks as I recognised the unmistakeable voice of my neighbour and, I thought, friend. I took off my rucksack, and lowered it slowly to the floor, listening to the sound of them together in rising anger. I was about to rush in and confront them when something made me stop, bend down and unlace my boots, and pad quietly inside, across the warm stone floor of the kitchen, to a spot where I stood and oriented myself to the sounds. They were in the main living room and I knew I could look into this through an air vent with almost no chance of being seen.
She was kneeling on the sofa, her hands flat against the wall and he -- my husband -- was standing almost with his back to me, thrusting his hips into her as she moaned and gasped and encouraged him. His hands were on her hips, pulling her towards himself as he writhed against her; I could just see one of her breasts wobbling up and down in time with their movements, until she cupped it in her hand, squeezing her nipple in her fingers and urged him to do it, "harder, harder".
He didn't need telling twice and picked up the pace until she was crying out every time he hit bottom; they went on and on, sometimes changing position, and I stood rooted to the spot, mesmerised, eventually realising that I was urging her on.
I couldn't watch any more and I turned and walked quietly out, picked up my boots and rucksack and walked back to the station, my cheeks red and an empty longing in my wet pussy for my husband in me instead of her, tears streaming slowly down my face. If I had stormed in then, shouting and demanding to know why, perhaps things may have turned out differently, but I doubt if they would have been better.
I fumbled my way through the station and sat in the hot carriage, dejected.
My friend, who worked in the Development Ministry, arrived in a flurry of activity and installed herself opposite me in our small private compartment. She sat opposite, looked out of the window and then at me, seeing my streaked face.
"What's the matter?"
I explained briefly what I had just seen.
She assumed a schoolteacher expression, shaking her head and tutting. I looked up, puzzled.
"You Europeans, you have curious attitudes. They were only having sex, for goodness sake, it's not as if she was stealing your children.
This just set me off again, the mention of children pricking me like a knife, "but.... what if she gets pregnant?" I said petulantly.
"Tell me, does she have any marks on her breasts, like these?"
Like nearly all women in the land, she went bare-chested, and she lifted up her left breast and slowly traced out the two ornate circular patterns that enclosed her areola, looking me in the eye with her head cocked on one side.
"Yes, although it's not the same pattern, and only on her right breast." My lip quivered and I was about to flood in tears again, but a stern look, that softened into pity, stopped me just in time.
"Tell me what they were doing."
"I told you already, they were, well, they were having sex." I forced the words through set lips.
"Well I know that. Tell me exactly what they did, in the kind of detail you use for work. Go on, trust me, it will be good for you."
I started, hesitantly, "well she was kneeling at first, and he was doing it to her, then she turned over and....."
"No, not like that! Wait a minute, I have an idea."
With that she got up and left the carriage; I heard her speaking to someone, a woman, then to a man, until she moved off further away and I sat with my head in my hands. Only five or ten minutes passed before she was back, followed into the carriage by a man; she peeled off his kilt in one swift movement to leave him naked and sporting a bulging erection, which she bent down and kissed as she removed her own remaining garment.
I didn't know what to say, or where to look. She drew my eyes back to her naked form.
"Now, she was kneeling like this, yes?"
"No, she had her hands on the wall, not the seat."
"Right. Like this then?"
"Her legs were wider apart."
She moved and arched her back slightly, pressing against the end wall of the carriage.
"Yes, like that, just like that."
The man was behind her in a flash, I could see him holding his cock in one hand and reaching in with the other to open her lips, then he waited with the tip just nuzzling her and I saw her move back incrementally, taking the head in, sighing and lifting her head. The sigh wasn't right, I had to correct her: "She gasped more than sighed, and he was sliding his full length in, then out to the tip."
I couldn't believe I had just said that, but a curious detachment had come over me. The pair of them mimicked my description and I kept talking, saying, "go faster," or, "a bit harder;" describing how he had slowed to short strokes and how they had changed positions. My friend made me get down on the floor and watch how his shaft stretched her body open, made me describe how his cock glistened with her juices; in a breathless voice asked me what they had done next.
But we had got to the point where I had left, I didn't know. So I started to make it up and I could feel myself getting into it, becoming aroused, until I was describing what I would like to have done to me if I had been in the position she was. She was back on her knees, on the floor; supporting herself on one hand, her head turned towards me with lust showing on her face as she worked the fingers of her other hand between her legs. The more she seemed to be enjoying it, the more inspired I became and the more erotic I found my own description of my imagined events. Ultimately I told him my husband had taken hold of her hips and finished it it; then his strokes became more urgent, his teeth clenched, and I knew their coupling had passed out of my control.
I felt like I was about to come myself, then I realised that my hand had found its way into my moist folds and I pulled it away, embarrassed, but in a fluid movement she exchanged my hand for hers, pushing my soaked knickers aside and circling the spot with her fingers, even as her hand jerked this way and that whilst her body was buffeted by his powerful final thrusts into her.
The orgasm hit me as he started to come, and my contractions were still fluttering in my belly when he pulled away, collapsing back against the door, breathing heavily and sweating freely in the heat. She sat back against the seat, legs wide open and facing towards me, her eyes closed and head thrown back as her finger now worked against her own prominent clitoris; then she was coming too and I could see the white globs of semen oozing from her lips as she shook with the pleasure that overwhelmed her.
After a while he got up, kissed her, and left the two of us together. I didn't know what to say and sat on the chair with my eyes closed, hearing her breathing and mine slowly quieting. My mouth felt dry and I muttered that I needed a drink.
"Me too. Wait here." And with that she upped and walked into the station, semen running down her legs for anyone to see, and returned with two bottles of a local beer. I unscrewed the top, took a long draught, looked at her quizzically, and lounged back against my seat. Somehow the experience of the last hour had changed my perspective on events at home, no doubt as she had intended.
"I can't believe we just did that, you with your hand on me, and what I told him to do to you..."
"Was it bad?"
"No! As soon as you touched me it felt, well, fantastic and I couldn't have stopped you just then, any more than I can stop drinking this now." I took another pull. "But what about you, I find it hard to understand how you could just do it with him. You don't even know him, do you? What if you get pregnant?"
"Well it's bound to happen soon anyway, since I stopped breast feeding, and I'll be at the circle meetings every night this month, whilst we are away."
"The circle meetings?"
She traced the design around her nipple again. "You said that your neighbour had a pattern like this on her right breast. That means she's from the outer circle, so she must be pregnant." She saw the wild look in my eyes and quickly forestalled my rising emotion, raising her hands, "no, no, not by him, she wouldn't be so foolish, to risk her position, no, it's inconceivable."
Some time later, the train pulled out of the station, thudding across points and moaning on the tight curves, and with her quiet voice she started to tell me more about their ways, about their attitudes to sex and about what it meant to be a member of the circle or an outsider, as she called them. Although I had obviously picked up on some of this in my daily life, nobody had explained it to me in the way that she did then, with the afterglow of sex still on her naked body. I now knew that she belonged to the highest echelon, the inner circle, denoted by the two circular tattoos, one around the areola of each breast, She had another that circled round her trimmed pubic hair, passing through her clitoris, which she showed me without the slightest inhibition, calling it by a word I hadn't heard before and didn't understand, which she said couldn't really be translated into English.
She looked at me, evaluating my reaction, told me some more and answered my questions, although some things, she said, were circle secrets.
"You're bright," she shrugged, "and pretty good looking for a white person."
"And I am sure the men in the inner circle would find you very desirable."
"I bet," I said.
"I'll sponsor you for the inner circle."
At first I was shocked, taken aback, but I knew, from what she had been telling me, that this would be a special honour for a foreigner. If I was accepted for membership I would be able to stay in their country as an integrated member of their society. But could I accept the terms of membership as I knew them now, in outline? I thought of the events of the day, at home and on the train, of the man in the carriage and how I had wanted to swap places with my friend. I knew suddenly that I would do it, and that everything would change.
The next chapter: Initiation. Public or private comments on this chapter welcome.