It began as part of my standard bit.

“Look at those tits!” Walter said. Walter Woodman, age seven going on seventy-five. Green hair. Freckled complexion. Always wears the same yellow-and-red plaid sports jacket with the same pair of light khaki pants and brown loafers. Height: 3’ 6”.

Walter is my ventriloquist dummy. We were in the middle of my act, doing a monthly gig at the bar lounge of a hotel near the beach. I had spotted her using my peripheral vision, which becomes acutely perceptive for those who do my line of work. At least, for those who do it well. She is older than me, but gorgeous: one of those women that puts out a high-beam erotic vibe, like some radiant version of the Spanish fly. I could see the men (and some women) around her fidgeting from sexual agitation.

“Don’t be rude, Walter!” I said in my own voice, playing the straight man as usual.

“Get your mind out of the gutter, I was talkin’ about your tits!” Walter growled in his old-man guttural.

“Oh…um…thanks, I guess?” I replied, following the script.

“Thank me?” Walter asked. “Why don’t you try doing a push-up every month or so? You’re softer than my grandma, and she was made from an old tablecloth!”

This got a big laugh from the crowd, though the woman I had marked only smiled, amused.

“No, but seriously,” I made Walter rejoin, lowering his voice to a conspiratorial stage whisper, “check out the tits on the blond over there! And the legs! Va-va-va-voom!”

“Hey! That’s not polite,” I said.

“What do you know about polite?” was Walter’s programmed reply. “You’ve got your hand up my ass!”

I went on that way for a few minutes, letting Walter say all of the things I would say about a woman if my libido were freed from all social restraints. You have probably seen a stage-comic or ventriloquist do this before and wondered, “Is he using this as a way to flirt with that woman?” I am here to tell you that the answer to that question is almost always, “yes.” It is an opportunity that is too good to miss. All of the attention from the crowd creates an adrenaline rush of heightened feeling,  and though on the surface your target may register embarrassment, the ironic context of the comic routine makes what in other circumstances might feel like disrespect or harassment land like intense flattery. It rarely fails.

I thus couldn’t help feeling a bit cocky when a knock came at my dressing room door after the early show, and it was her. I figured that she had fallen for the patter like many other women on whom I had run that bit. I was wrong.

“You are talented,” she said once she was standing in my dressing room. It was the first time I had heard her speak, and with just three words she sent delicious shivers down my spine. Her face and form were even sexier when seen straight-on and in good light. She was wearing a tight-fitting black evening dress that accentuated the curves of her spectacular body, and the dim lighting of the performance space had not prepared me for the eldritch power of her witchy green eyes.

“Thank you,” I replied, my cocky bravado evaporating under the intense assault of her raw sex appeal. “And you are…?”

“You may call me Goddess Marquesa,” she answered with an indulgent smile. “Do you write your own material?”

“I do.”

“It’s a bit stale,” she noted, though not harshly.

“Well,” I sighed, unable to help feeling a bit crestfallen, “originality is hard to muster in a field as old and as crowded as mine.”

“True,” she allowed. “I suppose I could make use of your writing skills. Maybe a change in genre would give you some new ideas.”

“Change of genre?” I parroted. “Are you some kind of editor or literary agent?”

“No,” she said. “Like you I make my living with my voice. I’m an erotic hypnotist.”  Removing a card from her clutch bag she handed it to me. On it was printed an address and her moniker, over the corporate title “Emerald Eyes Enterprises, LLC.”

“How much does this gig pay?” I asked.

“Oh…there is no pay,” she explained matter-of-factly. “I have a web page devoted to erotic stories. My pets write them about me and in tribute to me, and I post them to attract others. You might be a promising addition to my stable.”

“Your pets?” I asked, incredulous.

“Men and women whom I have hypnotized to become my sex slaves and pleasure puppets,” she declared.

“Why would I want that?” I asked.

“I don’t imagine you would want it, per se,” she replied, “but you won’t have much choice. You’ll hold on to that card for a while and resist coming to see me, but soon you’ll be on your knees begging to join my menagerie.”

This brought me up short. No one had ever spoken to me like this before, and the lack of context left me unable to respond. After about a minute in which I just gaped at her, I lamely asked, “How do you know that?”

“Every word you had that dummy speak was from the heart,” she said, as if she had read my mind. “You found me sexy before I walked in here, and now that we have spent a few minutes together the feeling has sunk in even more. Your pupils are dilated. Your breathing is shallow.” She reached out a shapely hand and ran her index finger along my jawline, sending lightning through my whole nervous system. Holding up the finger for me to see its tip, she continued, “You’ve broken into a light sweat.” I looked and saw a droplet on the offered fingertip. “Your body chemistry has got you half hooked on the idea of surrendering to me. Your imagination will get you the rest of the way there. When you finally give in, I’ll be ready to collect you.”

“Um….I…uh….” I stammered, wanting to reply but failing to summon words.

“What is your name?” she asked, rescuing me from my verbal sinkhole.

“Ricky Flamingo,” I said, giving her my stage name. My birth certificate reads “Richard Finkelman.”

Pointing to her business card, still clutched in my hand, she quipped, “Well…Ricky, don’t lose that number.” With those words she was gone.

Everything happened as she said it would. For a few days I shrugged the whole thing off. I mean, of course I masturbated to her. I would be surprised if many men that meet her do not. But I had no intention of using the card to contact her.

I didn’t lose that card, though. I taped it to the front of the refrigerator, and without realizing that I was doing it got into the habit of touching it every few hours, as if to make sure that it was still there. Within a couple of days I was fantasizing about her constantly, running the conversation in my dressing room over and over in my mind. Wondering what it would be like to see her again. To hear that voice.

Five days after meeting her I was in her condo, on my knees. Given how things played out in the long run I never really had a chance, but as her velvet tones began to put me under for the first time I remember being surprised. I distinctly remember the words, “I can’t believe this is happening” passing through my mind just before it melted into trance.

The next few months were a blur of yearning, torment and ecstasy. She toyed with me as if she were a cat with a mouse trapped between her paws, and I loved ever excruciating minute of it. And as I loved what she did to me, and how she made me feel, I began to love her. Moderately, at first, but then intensely, passionately, deeply, madly. She made me call her Goddess, and so she became. I grew to worship her like some ancient pagan prostrate before the power of the lightning or the hurricane.

She wanted me to write, and so I wrote. Short stories, plays, poems. I summoned all of the long-neglected skills and acquired knowledge of my college English degree. I wrote vivid fantasies that embodied my helpless adoration of her. Stories in which she enslaved and devoured men, in which the world lay as conquered as my heart was, pinned under her exquisite foot.

She became pleased with me, and that was what got me into trouble. She had long ago snuffed out any of the cocky egotism I had exhibited in our first encounter, but her expressions of pleasure brought some of those demons back. Without even realizing it, I began to make presumptions. To feel entitled.

It was a trap, and I finally fell into it one day as I watched her reading my latest offering. I had gotten into the habit of bringing over hard copies of what I wrote for her to review, and she would sometimes let me stand by as she did so. This one was a short story about her enslaving a televangelist, and as she finished it I could see from her smiles and soft giggles that she liked it.

“Very good,” she said, “send this over digitally right away, and I’ll have my web slave post it to Hypno-Erotica.”

“Well…” I replied, hesitant but determined, “I was hoping I might have a reward.”

“Oh?” she remarked, arching one eyebrow in a way that should have warned me to be careful. “And what kind of reward do you feel you deserve?”

I was too lust-crazed to hear the warning in her tone. She was stretched out on a couch in her parlor wearing a short-cut silk robe that left her delectable legs bare. I fell to my knees and a trickle of drool escaped the corner of my mouth as I imagined what I hoped for.

“Please let me kiss your thigh,” I begged. Actually, I yearned to run my hands and mouth over every inch of her legs and feet, but I thought being allowed to kiss her thigh might be enough to prevent my going insane.

She thought about this for a few moments, studying me coolly with her dazzling green eyes. Finally she came to a decision, “No,” she said. “You are impertinent. I give you permission to go home and masturbate while thinking about my thighs. Now go do as I told you.”

I lingered, my head hanging dejectedly.

“Did you hear what I said?” she asked.

“Yes, Goddess, but…”

“But?!?!” Her shock at hearing this word from my mouth was palpable.

I should have known I was courting disaster, but I pressed on. “You seem so pleased by the story. Would it be so wrong to show me some appreciation? That is all I am begging for.”

Cool silence again. After a full minute, she said, “How much appreciation do you show Walter Woodman?”

“I’m sorry?” I asked, confused.

“How much appreciation do you show Walter Woodman? When you have had a particularly good show, do you reward him?”

“But that’s different,” I protested, “I control Walter. Rewarding him is like rewarding myself.”

More silence. After what felt like another minute, Goddess Marquesa spoke:

“Oh, I see…Well I tell you what….I’ll think about it. Meanwhile, send me a digital copy of this new story.” With this she rose and walked into her bedroom, closing the door firmly behind her.

I went home to change for that night’s gig, thinking the storm had passed. I didn’t realize how wrong I was until I was already on stage in the middle of my act.

“Look at those tits!” came the line at the usual point in the show. The owner of said tits looked shocked, and the audience mood turned subtly sour. I could not understand what was going on at first, until I realized that the line had come out in my voice, not Walter’s. I had spoken it at full volume with lips moving, looking directly at the woman I had marked for the gag.

“Whose tits?” Walter asked, spinning his head around to look at the increasingly offended audience member. “Hers? Give me a fucking break!”

“What?” I asked, becoming more confused by the moment.

“I said give me a fucking break!” repeated Walter. “You call those tits? Those are nothing next to Goddess Marquesa’s breasts!”

“What are you talking about?” I protested, glancing sidelong at the audience to see if they were aware how wrong this act had gone.

“Are you going to pretend you don’t know who Goddess Marquesa is? You worship her!” Walter yelled. Turning his head to look at the woman in the audience, he said, “That bitch is an ugly hag next to Goddess Marquesa!”

The woman got up to leave, and she wasn’t alone. Hisses and boos broke out around the room.

“Walter!” I shouted, despite how weird it felt to argue with a cloth-and-wood dummy, “Stop it! What are you doing?”

“You know how I always complain about having your hand up my ass?” Walter asked.

“Yeah, so?” I replied.

“Well…” Walter began, and froze my blood to ice. Though Walter’s mouth was moving, it wasn’t his voice that he spoke in, but Goddess Marquesa’s: “You have to ask yourself, who has Her hand up your ass, Ricky?”

The audience gasped as I threw Walter to the floor and sprang from my chair. I had run from the bar and out the front door of the restaurant before I realized what I was doing. A car almost hit me as I bolted across the street and onto the beach. My legs kept pumping until I flung myself headlong into the surf.

I don’t know what drove me into the sea. A suicide wish? Maybe, but I don’t think so. In any case, the cold water both snapped me out of it and calmed me down. Pulling myself out of the soup, I shambled, dripping, back to my apartment.

That is where I have been ever since, at my computer, getting what happened down in words. She will want to have this story right away. She wrote it, after all. Come to think of it, She wrote all of the other stories I “gave” Her. Reading this, you might think, “Knowing that She has that kind of power over you must terrify you,” and you’d be right. The funny thing is…the terror makes me love Her even more….




The End