Talisman Ch. 8: IvorybyQuint©
This story contains strong racial language and situations. There are also elements of NC, BDSM, incest, and romance in here. If any of these bother you, do not read this story. Do not send me flames regarding any of the above themes; you received due warning.
A special thank-you to all my editors, you guardian angels.
Her fingers slipped over the smooth, cool bone circle, pausing at each hole, each indentation, the tracing of the strange Indian God. The carving was heavy and soothing in her hand. Eyes focused on the idle but obsessive movement. Ivory, she thought. Like me. Ivory, like m-
"What the fuck you doing here, nigger?"
Her face snapped up long enough to see the speaker, with the school and the afternoon sun in the background; as soon as the sight registered, she averted her face again. Her breathing quickened in anticipation. No answer.
Rafe rolled his eyes. "I asked you a question, bitch. You gonna answer? Or you too stupid? Hey nigger, hey bitch, I'm talking to you!"
A flash of satisfying humiliation seared her. She reveled in it, craved more of it. This man knew her for what she was; she knew her for what she was. Dirty nigger bitch. The words comforted even as they pierced. Still no answer. Her fingers moved faster on the ancient carving, drawing the pain away from herself, making it tangible. She wished she were rubbing her cunt like this, right now. With a slightly twisted inner smile, she noticed she was rubbing the carving of Shiva, who apparently represented Destruction. Bet this white boy goes way back with Destruction.
Laughter at her continued silence echoed as Rafe exchanged a smirk with his gang. He turned to face her again; behind his back, his friends showed that their enjoyment of this game was tinged with more than a little nervousness. Why was she letting him talk to her like this? Was she setting them up now to call her brothers on them later for harassment?
Rafe understood their concerns, but didn't give a shit. This bitch needed to be put in her place. The fact that she was one of the only Negroes still willing to accept her role as inferior was odd but sweet. He had to force smiles for the preachers and the politicians, but damned if he was going to let her go without tasting his disgust. She was still standing there, head bowed submissively but body strangely straight, as if she were totally unconscious of it. Rafe leered at her, an easy task, considering that his eyes were at a level with her breasts. He loathed her, this primitive, stupid Amazon with a body he'd kill to drive his dick into. His eyes burned with lust and hatred at her jutting breasts, her downcast eyes, the knowledge that he could do whatever he wanted with her body. In a sudden rush of heat, want was all he felt, an inferno of boiling desire centered in his balls. The more he stared at her, the more he wanted to hurt her.
Suddenly, the feeling was gone. His smirk disappearing with his erection, Rafe jerked his head and stalked off towards the school. The gang trailed behind in silent confusion. One boy looked over his shoulder, with an unshakeable thought that this silent girl was the cause of their sudden exit. He shrugged uncomfortably and strode off with the rest.
She was barely aware of their absence, just as she had barely noticed their presence. Rafe's words, however, reverberated in her mind as she made her way to her house. Every step only served to build the desire glowing fresh from the encounter. Home came all-too-quickly.
She let the front door slam behind her. Immediately her mother called from the living room. "Ivory, remember we're going over to the Willis's tonight; don't fall asleep and wake up with your hair needing hours of fixing!"
Ivory sighed, calling, "Mom, Ric-my head got shaved last month, remember? There's not enough hair to be fixed!" The only non-Black-Powered girl in the whole state, and I'm the one with the fro. Irony isn't a strong enough word sometimes.
Before she could take another step, her stepfather Rick stopped her. "Don't you be taking that tone with your mother, you hear?"
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir." She brushed past him, into the haven of her bedroom.
The exchanges forgotten instantly, Ivory locked the door behind herself and collapsed on the bed. Letting her eyes get used to the dark, she unzipped her pants. One hand snuck down past her waist, past the crotch of the jeans, and underneath her panties. The other hand reached blindly above her head to her pillow and beneath, retrieving a picture of a tall white man, smiling for the photo--or the photographer. Her mother had cried when she'd lost it; she didn't know that Ivory had seen the tears, nor that she was the cause for them.
Eyes fixed avidly on the picture, Ivory began stroking her already-slick outer lips. Such a slut. Fingers danced lightly, paused to tug and tease, and continued their slow descent. Her eyes focused on his fair skin; her fingers abandoned teasing and vibrated quickly over her clit. She hissed in pleasure. Now she added Rafe to her thoughts: his taunting, male whiteness, his obvious loathing of her. Nigger bitch. Breath came in sharp gasps. Dirty black whore, you know it's true. Worthless nigger cunt. Her fingers moved faster, driving the pain deep, deep down within where it turned into pleasure. Ivory bit her lip to keep from moaning, eyes locked on the white man's face. The ecstasy was building hard and she had no wish to prolong it. She pictured the disgust on Rafe's face when he looked at her; the disgust, and the desire. He'd fuck a nigger like me and he'd hate me too. Fuck...hate...ahhh God...
Unable to keep the moans back any longer, she succumbed to her orgasm. Her body convulsed, clamping her fingers within the folds of her cunt, my black cunt, cresting an immense wave of pleasure over and over again. Finally, her arched back relaxed and her breathing slowed.
Her eyes never left the picture.
That evening, clothes adjusted and shorn cap of curls concealed as always by a bright scarf, Ivory joined her family and their neighbors for the barbeque. Her thoughts moved restlessly through the preliminary greetings and small talk, and as soon as courtesy permitted she moved to a secluded area. Southern climate saturated the air with mosquito-laden humidity, and Ivory's long-sleeved blouse, despite the airy fabric, was stifling. A ray of sun pierced the collecting cloud of insects and glared off something into her eyes. Looking down, she saw that the chain of her necklace caught the light at just the precise angle necessary to blind her. Ivory pulled the pendant up with the intention of tucking it into her shirt, but paused to reflect on the odd carving. In her world history class, they'd covered Hinduism mere weeks before she found the charm, so she knew all about the God Shiva and his consort/other half Shakti. Destruction and Nurturing. Talk about a love-hate relationship. Holding the chain out from her body, she let the talisman spin. A swirl of destruction was all she caught from one side of the disc, then a glimpse of motherly healing on the other side, then Shiva's dance of destruction again. It ended on Shakti. Amused, she began to tuck it into her shirt.
"You, uh, saving this seat?"
Ivory jumped with an undignified squawk and tilted her head up into the sun to see her assailer. Recognizing both the futility of her action and the speaker's voice, she lowered her head again. "Hey, Gene. Go ahead."
Gene sank to the ground beneath the tree, self-consciously pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He opened his mouth to speak again, but closed it without a sound. Small talk was impossible, under some mysterious pressure he couldn't identify but chalked up to late-adolescent nerves. Finally, he resorted to their common ground. "So, how you think you did on that Geometry/Trig quiz?"
Still moving to slide the pendant down her shirt, Ivory started to answer but caught sight of her hand, silhouetted and dark in the fading sunlight. Suddenly ashamed and afraid, she dropped her hands, clenching them behind her back, and answered Gene with a curt, "I did okay."
Her terse, icy response made Gene blink. The awkwardness returned. After a minute he was fully prepared to make a feeble excuse and return to his family, but a dying beam of sun caught the gold of Ivory's pendant and for some inexplicable reason he felt the urge to remain next to this taciturn girl. A sudden surge of courage, which he had given up as lost long ago, prompted him to speak. "I hear you were thinking about entering that essay contest in Mrs. Stanley's history class."
He'd heard no such thing, but the sudden flash of surprise and delight on Ivory's face confirmed the wild guess. It also took his breath away. Encouraged, he continued. "You should, you know. I mean, you remember that last paper you wrote, on Alexander the Great? She read it to our class. I couldn't have written anything like that. Did you learn all that from her?"
Ivory shook her head eagerly. "No, I always read the list of recommended books at the end of each chapter. They give more perspective to a history book written by a biased company."
"What do you mean, biased?"
"Probably not what you're thinking, exactly. It's just that there are certain factual requirements we have to have in our books, and that leaves a lot unsaid. Plus, think about it. The majority of publishers are white, fairly well-off men. You think they gonna put the same emphasis on the tens of centuries Africa was only peopled by tribes as they are the couple of centuries Africa was 'civilized' by the Europeans? We miss so much of the story."
To hide his consternation at not having realized the truth of what she said before, not to mention his growing infatuation with her passion, Gene picked up the conversation as soon as she'd finished speaking. "I guess I haven't ever really thought about that. I like history, but I just don't really see much of a need for it." Seeing immediate dissent breaking across her face, he hastened to add, "I mean, in my particular field. I guess if you want to go into politics or something, it's cool to know where you came from and all."
"What do you want to do?"
He was shy suddenly, not expecting her to show any interest in him. "I'm, um, gonna be a doctor."
"And you don't think history is important?" She was actually teasing him!
Gene blurted, "No, it isn't that! It's just...I live every day, and every day there is a chance to make a difference. To fix the broken. I got nothing but respect for those that went before and everything, but I need to focus on my life and how I can use it for now and the future. That's all."
Her smile was warm and understanding, and he wondered how he could have ever thought her distant. Grinning a little foolishly in response, he asked, "So what is it about history that you like so much?"
It's not my life, that's what. Out loud, Ivory said, "I love the people. I love reading about what made them great. Sometimes I pretend I were a Roman soldier, fighting at Hadrian's Wall, or a lady in Elizabethan England, or-but you're laughing at me now."
Shaking his head, Gene explained his smile. "When you said that, about what made people great-I just thought of a couple years ago. Me and my dad marched in a protest. I knew what was going on, of course, and I kept having the thought, 'I'm making a difference today. What I am doing matters.' Even though we were two people out of hundreds, and this was one protest out of so many more, I knew that I was greater because of it. You don't gotta be a soldier to win battles. You just gotta live."
"Huh." Ivory sat, staring in fascination at him. He's a good man.
On another of those inexplicably courageous impulses, Gene asked, "You want to go out for a burger tomorrow night?"
"Sure," she replied almost instinctively, every fiber of her being in screaming conflict. What the fuck you thinking? I just wanna have fun, he's a nice guy, yeah he is but you're a worthless slut! You wanna make him as fucked up as you? You wanna ruin his life too?
He picked up on her distraction, and tried to break her out of it. "So, you like thinking about times you wish you lived in. What about in your own life? Any times you'd like to go back and relive?"
It was the wrong thing to ask, he knew belatedly. Her face closed, losing the fire and life that she'd displayed minutes before. What he did not, could not know were her thoughts.
Swing. "Dirty fucking whore! I ever catch you-" Swing. A black man raising his left hand above his head; a black woman beneath, sobbing. Swing. Please no please no please don't hurt her don't don't don't hurt her hurt me my fault me not her please no. Swing. The blow landed.
"Ivory?" She opened her eyes to see Gene's alarmed ones. "You okay? You scared me!"
She stood unsteadily, dropping her eyes and hugging her arms to her waist. "Yeah, uh, I gotta go. Catch you later." Stumbling past him and her family, ignoring the questions, she managed to get home and into her bedroom before she started shaking. You knew this would happen. It happened before. Fucked it all up then; fuckin' it up now. Somehow she blanked her mind of the accusations, of the memories. Surrender smothered her in small chokes until finally she was calm.
Her family returned soon afterwards, and the first thing her stepfather did was storm into Ivory's room. "What the fuck you think you doing, running off like that? You got no respect, you stupid bitch, that's your problem. Look at me, goddamn you! You think you can do whatever you feel like? Selfish slut. Gonna end up like your worthless bitch of a mother." He paused, more to catch his breath than gauge her reaction, but he couldn't help but notice that her eyes, focused on him as they were, were totally empty. As if he weren't there. Rick shook his head in disgust. "Just stupid, that's what you are."
After he left, Ivory lay in bed, her mind screaming in silence. Eventually a restless sleep took her; her dreams, like the rest of her life, were in black and white.
* * * * *
"Ivory, go grab my bag, would you?"
"Yes ma'am," she replied, going to the back of the house. She pushed open the swinging door of her mom's bedroom, searched until she found the small leather pocketbook, and brought it out. Her mother snatched it from her, adjusting her hat in front of the hall mirror.
Rick was lounging on the living room sofa, one foot bouncing impatiently. He stood when Ivory entered the room. "What the hell you wearing? Who bought you that shirt?"
"Mama did, sir."
He strode over, circling her slowly. "Figures. And where you think you're going wearing that?"
"Going for a burger with Gene, sir."
His laughter was contemptuous. "Jes' what I expected...gonna end up a whore jes' like your mama." He paused for a moment, shaking his head in disgust. "I shoulda burned all your clothes when I shaved your head. You think you're so goddamn good-looking. Vanity gets you pregnant, girl. You get a bun in the oven, you jes' walk out that door and don't come back, hear me? I shouldn't be paying for your worthless life, and I sure as hell won't pay for your nigger baby's!"
"Good." He lost interest at her passivity and went back to his couch, only to feel at his pockets and swear. "Hand me that wallet there behind you."
Ivory brought it to him, handing it down to him and remembering a second too late that he was left-handed. He reached out and grabbed the wallet angrily, hating to be reminded of his difference. "Get the fuck out of here. I can't stand to see your ugly face."
"Yes, sir." She turned to go, the familiar pain almost soothing, but her mother caught her with a hand to her arm.
"We'll be back from dinner in a couple hours and I don't want you still out when we come back, okay?" Without waiting for a response, her mother nodded to Rick and the two left, almost running into Gene on their front porch. They exchanged curt greetings and left him standing there.
Turning from their abrupt departure, Gene gave her a sheepish grin. "Hey, Ivory. I like your shirt."
For some reason, that intensified her suppressed pain from the past few minutes and Ivory had to force a mask of cool composure to keep from breaking down. "Thanks. I'm ready to go, if you are."
He shyly took her arm as she walked down the front steps, savoring the softness of her arm for the moments he was brave enough to maintain his hold. The short walk down Main Street was almost silent.
Unable to stand it, Gene ventured, "I was afraid you'd change your mind."
"I'm here, ain't I?" Ivory replied quietly.
Stepping away from her for a moment, Gene stared, bemused. The sky was bleak and unwelcoming this evening; drizzle hung expectantly in the air. Ivory, in her orange and gold blouse, was a flame against the ashen sky. She was too enrapt in her own thoughts to be aware of his scrutiny or his bewilderment. Finally he shook his head, adjusted his glasses, and continued to walk in silence.
Ivory genuinely had no idea why she was here, why she hadn't made a poor excuse after the barbeque, except that in class today Gene had made eye contact with her and smiled. Flustered, she'd smiled back. The image of a tall white man flashed across her mind-it was the only other instance she could think of where a man had smiled so warmly and intimately. The longing that instantly coursed through her at the thought of him was decisive: she would keep her word to Gene. It was just a burger.
At this time on a Saturday night, the burger place was full of their classmates, excited about their imminent graduation. Gene shouldered his way to a pair of stools, apologizing to everyone he bumped, and made sure that Ivory was seated comfortably before excusing himself and retreating to the bathroom. Ivory was a contrast of cool unconcern in the middle of the room. She sat, idly toying with her carved pendant; her thoughts were not of this room or these people; theirs were not of her. With one exception.
Rafe sat in a corner of the room, his eyes smoldering as he stared at her. Lust beyond even his late-teen norm pulsed deep in his balls. He loved the way she kept her eyes down, like the slave she should have been. He loved her shame. He hated her with a passion equal only to his desire.
Gene's return was heralded by a shout and a burst of laughter. Seconds later, he slid into his seat, face even darker than usual with embarrassment and dripping with the remains of a soda. He peeked up at Ivory and grinned that slightly foolish but strangely endearing smile he'd given her before. "Kind of lost my balance there."
She reached forward and patted his face with a napkin, unable to restrain her answering grin. "Yeah, happens to me too sometimes."
"Curse of being over six feet, I guess." He blushed even more under her attention but allowed her to finish drying his cheeks. Looking down, he saw that one of the two drinks he had brought back was mostly still there and slid it across the table to her with a straw. At least, he reflected, this should start us off with a light mood.
It did. Conversation came easily and laughter often. For once both could relax and be young and normal. As Gene became more comfortable, he boldly reached out and caught one of her hands in his, holding it gently. Ivory dropped her eyes, a small smile playing about her lips. Her other hand slipped up to the pendant around her neck absentmindedly.