The Duchess

“The moon is shining hard and cold against the marbled floor of the living room. Few guests tonight, the two waitresses are sitting at the bar, talking to the bartender. Next to them, Alice is sipping lazily from a champagne glass.
She turns around in her stool and notices a woman. She is wearing a silk white dress, her hand holding onto a champagne glass, her black eyes, the eyes of a rebel, contemptuously glancing around at the other guests. Her slim body, her black hair covering her naked shoulders, she is more than perfection itself, she is more than…
She notices Alice looking at her and she gently nods her head and smiles. For the briefest of moments.
Alice walks closer. Somehow. Without her realizing. She has to.
Some women are nice to stare at. Nice to hold their hand, go on long, long walks with them. They taste real nice when you kiss them.
But not this woman. Oh, no.
Kisses dream of lips like hers.
Alice walks closer.
God, this woman! Even the way she sips from her glass knocks men the fuck out.
She is sex. The way you’d imagine sex to look like. Alice is pretty sure she is wearing a perfume made from the tears of all the men who had her and lost her. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the sound of hearts breaking.
It’s inevitable.
Even if they tried to avoid one another, it wouldn’t work. Somehow, the Universe seems willing to collapse in on itself just to make them meet.
Which is kind of odd, considering…
She’s never felt like this before. Her soul aches to touch her.
Watching her from afar…
Closer…” – from closer


Elena has imagined herself into existence (did she?) and there’s not much to write about her. She’s a femme fatale, a dream girl that inhabits the dreams men rarely talk about. 


“Imagine this monumental staircase. Countless stairs. Impossible to see where they lead to.
That’s how life is. At least according to Alice Paterson, daughter of John.
She’s not sure how many stairs she’s climbed so far, but she knows the Duchess is all the way at the top of the staircase, contemptuously glancing down at everyone else.
The Duchess, wearing black panties, a towel wrapped around her head, a cigarette burning lazily between her fingers, is leaning against the railing of the balcony on the third floor of the mansion. “Alice, darling, what are doing standing there? Come inside.”
Someone once took it upon themselves to painstakingly explain Alice all about the four fundamental forces of the Universe. Gravity, electromagnetism, and two kinds of nuclear.
That’s all Alice remembers. Now she knows why it was all so boring to her: it was a lie. And lies, especially the ones people hoped would somehow turn out to be true, bored her to death.
There is but one fundamental force in this Universe.
All you have to do is stare at the Duchess for more than a few moments. Leaning against the balcony railing, she isn’t doing anything spectacular. In fact, it’s as if she isn’t doing a thing at all.
And yet, without her there would be nothing to hold the Universe into place…” – from closer


“The Duchess is standing naked in front of a mirror. She is combing her hair. Alice can’t take her eyes off her.
Elena is not a real duchess.
“Man’s greatest invention is his ability to become whatever he makes up his mind to be,” the Duchess says to her. Or maybe to the mirror. A strange kind of incantation. She says, “I had this grand idea of who I wanted to be. Who I had to be in order to be happy.” She says, “You can be anything you want as long as you give up on everything else.”
She says beauty doesn’t mean a thing. “Passion, that is worth having.”
She says most people are lukewarm; neither hot, neither cold. “It’s almost as if they’re nothing at all.” The kind of people whose names you forget the very moment you’ve made their acquaintance. They’re not worth remembering. They lack passion.
Alice smiles to herself.
“Most men want to lose control,” the Duchess says. It’s a man’s biggest fantasy. It’s not about whips and chains and positions. It’s about power. About control. Or the lack of it. About becoming and unbecoming. About being alive and feeling alive.
She wanted to become passion.
She decided to become passion.
Lucien once told Alice that Elena is the kind of beautiful that makes you forget what you were about to say.
Elena. The Duchess.
“If only they knew she’s so much more than what meets the eye.” He smiled his wicked smile. “If they could hear her moans, that would be music to their ears.”
Elena. The Duchess.
One day she decided to become passion.
“She’s quite the instrument to play,” Lucien told her. “So finely tuned, and if you touch her right, she makes glorious sounds – raw, intense, absolutely delicious noises of pleasure.”
“There’s nothing quite like extracting pleasure from another person. There’s no greater feeling of power than this,” the Duchess says.
Elena. The Duchess.
One day she decided to be passion and thus became passion.” – from closer

closer: a novel (E-book)

Amazon US $3.99 | Amazon UK £3.03



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