As promised, the first chapter of Speak Easy is now available! This first chapter is available to the PUBLIC.
- The first 3 chapters will be available for ALL patrons.
- The first 5 chapters will be available for SILVER and GOLD TIER patrons.
- The full thing will be available to GOLD TIER patrons.
- This is only draft 2 of this story. All parts are subject to change prior to publication.
- This story is rated age 16+ for language and sexual situations.
Now without further ado...enjoy Chapter One...
Father died soon before my nineteenth birthday on a day when the misty hands of Death’s Grip flooded the stilted legs beneath my home. The legends go that if someone dies on day when Death’s Grip is at its strongest, then they won’t suffer. Father went in his sleep, a smile on his face, embracing his new death as an old friend. I knew at that moment, after we put his body to rest in the Old Cypress Tree, that I could no longer stay in Stilette, the home I’d known my whole life. I never thought I would leave, but there was nothing for me there.
I decided to pack up my things once Death’s Grip ended, which is nothing more but a thick fog that cakes the swamp for days upon days, and hopped on a caravan passing through towards Rosada.
I loved Stilette. Growing up, I played in the swamp, telling stories to my dolls made of moss and grass, while throwing mud balls at the neighborhood children. My mother worked on building the infamous stilts that kept the city afloat, while my father taught local children how to read, write, and weave tales from their imagination.
Stories go that Rosada is different though. Whenever travelers came through from the nation in the north, they bore no tales upon their lips, often keeping their heads down as a local theatre troop produced a play telling the tales of the local swamp monsters. As I grew older, I learned more about Rosada though: it sits beneath the unyielding reign of the Order of the Effluvium. They believe that the mist, like Death’s Grip, controls all life. Some say that the Order believes our mist is so thick here because we keep on telling stories and keep practicing waves of magic.
I never understood why my sister left for a nation bound by such hatred.
But there I was, hopping on a caravan to travel there. I didn’t have any other choice. My mother had died years ago in an unfortunate construction accident. My father had been my confidante, my best friend; without him, I was alone in Stilette. Times had changed. There were no more construction jobs and all my childhood friends had moved on for the same reason as my sister: there was no future in Stilette. The city was stagnant, a place people came to exist, not to grow.
My father planted in me a desire to grow. He wanted more for both Elodie and me than a life surrounded by swamp gas. Every day, growing up, he told us: “Elodie, Nanette, there’s a bird on our windowsill. See it?” Sometimes, there wouldn’t be a bird, but we would agree, nonetheless. “I want you to fly away like that beautiful bird someday and see the world and bless it with your kindness and beauty.”
He had always been the romantic type. Elodie, being the oldest one, flew away the moment she turned eighteen. Me, two years her junior, stayed with my father. Not that I wanted to leave. He started declining after my mother’s unprecedented death, whispering that he saw her in Death’s Grip, watching and waiting, whispering stories like no other.
So even after I turned eighteen, I stayed.
In his dying days, he confused me with my mother at times, while at others he begged I take flight like Elodie.
After he died, I wrote to Elodie saying I would join her in Rosada. She had been trying to get me to come live with her for ages. As punctual as ever, she had already acquired the proper papers, and within three weeks I received all the necessary documentation. She had initially left Rosada to become an advocate of law, but she never finished her degree, getting whisked away by the glamours of the big city. But, she still had a mind for it, and while she acted to get me set up in haste, I procrastinated leaving. I took my sweet time getting my father’s affairs in order, and rather than hoping on one of those expensive steam locomotives as Elodie insisted, I joined a caravan traveling on horseback and wagons through the swamp towards Rosada.
Joining the caravan was like entering a new world. If I hadn’t promised Elodie I would stay with her, I might have continued traveling. The caravan consisted of an odd bunch who took in refugees and orphans, intending to help them see the world. They sang songs and told stories around their fires each night, promising one thing: give those without fortune a chance.
If I had discovered them when I was young, I might have joined them without question.
By joining this caravan though, it allowed me to shake off the ties holding me to my father. I will forever love my father, and Stilette, but I was committed to him, never willing to venture out beyond the stilts of the city. I was naïve, pious, kind, and pure.
Traveling changed that. Soon, my vocabulary expanded. I learned how to say the most obnoxious words in both Rosadian and my native tongue, Volfi.
They tasted funny on my tongue, but overtime I accepted them as words just like any other, with poignant meanings that could flavor a system.
That was not all I learned though. With the caravan, I cut myself loose from a corset of self-imposed regulations.
One night, about two weeks into the journey, after we crossed border into Rosada, I sat by the fire with a striking woman with black hair and discolored eyes named Gisela and a balding stout man named Yeshua. I’d been spending time with the two of them. They traveled regularly with the caravan, helping children find homes, while growing familiar with the landscape. Both claimed to have magic, although when Gisela told me she could “see heat”, I struggled to believe her. That was no where near as special as the dove catchers in Stilette, or their resident traveler who could turn his middle finger invisible.
“Fucking stupid. Seeing heat.” I grumbled and crossed my arms.
Gisela balked, “Your face scrunches up whenever you cuss! Dear, you’re so innocent! It’s adorable!”
I couldn’t stop myself from flushing.
I can’t deny that both Gisela and Yeshua are undeniably attractive. Their smiles are flawless, eyes sparkling like jewels; they were almost like two gods carved perfectly for one and other. Gisela looked like a golden toned goddess, and Yeshua like a bronze statue. I couldn’t help but stare whenever they spoke or laugh. Each virtuous chime of laugher and voice left my heart pattering.
And they were perceptive enough to notice.
I’d been staring at them our entire voyage. Though I hoped I hadn’t been too obvious, I suppose that was not the case. That night, beneath the moonlit sky, Gisela and Yeshua showed how perceptive they’d been.
As I kept practicing that confounded word “fuck”, they each took a seat beside me. Gisela pushed back a strand of my hair, while Yeshua took my hand, tracing the veins of my palm.
“You are beautiful, Nanette, you know that, right?” Gisela whispered as she pushed my hair back. My entire body stiffened. I felt this longing before; the warmth, the desire. Back when I was just piquing into womanhood, Elodie told me it was natural. She told me to guide myself through that warmth, touch where my desires tingled, and let my body sink into it.
As I suppose most teenagers do, I experimented, but not enough to go out and kiss others. I was a good girl. What if I fell too deep into my desires? What if I didn’t want to stop?
But now, with Gisela and Yeshua’s as my guide, I explored the depths of my sacred core.
“You’re so young and innocent,” Gisela continued, “You really haven’t experienced the world yet, have you?”
“I want to understand it though…” I murmured and another spike of warmth escalated through my body. Yeshua’s fingers had dripped down my hand and onto my thigh.
Gisela’s lips were close to my ear now, brushing the edge of my skin, “Do you want us to help you learn?”
“I do…” I whispered. We had longed discussed my life in Stilette. They had helped me explore curse words. They had acted as older siblings, as mentors; who else could I trust more to teach me?
Yeshua’s fingers worked up my thigh, mere touches away from an area I deemed sacred. He was a man of few words, but his touches meant volumes. I yearned for this.
“I want this.” I stared at Gisela. She was stunning in the moonlight. I don’t think I have ever met a woman as beautiful as her.
“Of course, my dear,” Gisela unlaced my corset. Then, the pair lowered me onto the ground, removing my clothing.
And that night, the two of them taught me things about my body I never even fathomed.
I would never say that such a sensuous affair as my time with Gisela and Yeshua turned me into a woman. No. Not at all. I was a woman long before I cut myself loose of any tethers. It did solidify the last bit of confidence and determination that I had developed since my father passed. It put a tight knot on everything. I was independent now. Free. I did not have to do something because it would make my father happy. This was all for me. So, if I wanted to go have sex, curse at the top of my lungs, or try on that uninhibited outfit hanging in a shop window, I could. My rules were not obligatory. I was my own person.
By the end of my journey, I abandoned the corset, letting my dress flow and my ribs breathe. While I hold no cloud over anyone who wants to wear a corset, it just isn’t something for me. I wanted a chance to breathe.
But as we traveled through Rosada to the Capitol, I noticed a change not just in myself, but in the atmosphere. People didn’t gossip in the streets, and everyone kept their eyes to the ground. While Stilette’s streets exhibited friendly people with wide smiles and a friendly hello, the people of Rosada did no such thing. They knew me as a foreigner not just by my accent, but by my mannerisms. I would greet the shop keepers as we passed through towns, but no one would smile back.
If Stilette was a color, it would have been green. But Rosada was gray.
On the final night, the Capitol climbed over the horizon, a mere shadow marked by its four Towers that overlooked the landscape. The sun cast a glistening orange across its bricks. In the back of a wagon, staring out at the city, Gisela, Yeshua, and I made love for the last time. I cried. My heart was broken: we spent so many hours together, touching, kissing, and uniting. But they had no desire to come with me to Rosada, and I had made a promise to my sister.
This was their life, after all. I was probably just one of their many lovers. It didn’t matter though. They taught me the world.
The next morning, after a night of little sleep and many kisses, they walked me past the Southeastern Tower. The Guards stared down from their lookout tower.
At the marble archway to the city center, Gisela turned to me and said, “Nanette, my dear?”
“Yes?” I stared into her discolored eyes: one green, one blue. I would miss the way she looked at me, dripping with love and adoration.
“Listen to me closely.” She took my cheek. “You are not set by any one destiny. The people in your life, they are mere threads in your design, but alone they do not shape it. I see you, Nanette, and I know you will do great things. Own it.”
I shrunk, wracking my brain around what she said. “I do not wish to navigate this alone.”
“We know.” Yeshua placed a hand on the small of my back, his smile highlighting the dimples on his cheeks.
“Our time with you has ended though, dearest Nanette. I hope to see you write your own destiny soon enough.” Gisella squeezed my hands.
I restrained tears, choking, “I love both of you so much.”
Gisella and Yeshua both replied by kissing me. Then, after turning back once to wave, they walked back towards the commotion, and left me alone in the heart of the Capitol Rosada.