It all started because of a bad review. An influential local blogger had panned my gallery exhibition the day after it opened. “Ivan Griel’s paintings lack depth and vibrancy,” the post began, and went downhill from there. It was the first time anyone had said or written anything so negative about my work, and it flummoxed me.

I was completely out of sorts on the second night of the showing. The review had kept me up all night, stewing, and continued to run through my mind as patrons moved from piece to piece, clutching flutes of champagne and glasses of dry Cabernet. I was in a fog of outrage and wounded pride. Otherwise I might have responded differently when she first approached.

“You have a striking eye for composition,” said a woman from behind me. I was so preoccupied that I didn’t notice until later how richly textured her voice was. I didn’t turn to face her, determined to sulk.

“Not according to the most popular art critic in these parts of Florida,” I whined. “According to him I haven’t got the stuff to be a painter.”

“He’s an idiot,” she said. “This work shows amazing potential.”

“Potential?!” I bridled, turning to face her for the first time, and encountering a curvaceous blonde with eldritch green eyes. “My art doesn’t yet meet your standards?”

“Don’t be so defensive,” she soothed. “Perhaps you just need the right inspiration. If you ask nicely I might let you paint Me.” This last sentence was delivered with a sexily flirtatious smile.

If I had not been in such a snit I would have reciprocated her flirtation, or at least thanked her for her encouragement. Instead I requited her compliment with snark and passive aggression. “Portraits are for kids and tourists,” I declared coldly. “Even if I did them, why would you inspire me, especially?”

Her fetching smile instantly became a mask of stern contempt. Stepping forward so that our faces were inches apart, she said in a voice just above a whisper, “I could forgive you disrespecting Me, but I am appalled at how badly you disrespect your own gift. An artist who can’t acknowledge when his work has been truly seen is a traitor to his craft.”

“What do you know about it?” I spat, sounding as childish as I felt. “Who are you to lecture me?”

She answered this with a few moments of silence, her face bearing the same expression of scorn. Finally a faint smile lit her features, and she said, “You might be salvageable yet, pet. I will come back in a few days to teach you a thing or two.” With this she turned and walked away, exiting the gallery.

She appeared in my studio a few days later while I was working on my next show.

“How did you find this address?” I asked in irritation.

She laughed. “The manager of your gallery provided Me with the information I demanded,” she replied. “I can be very persuasive.”

“This is a private workspace,” I whined. “You are trespassing. Get out.”

She laughed again. “I am the Goddess Marquesa de Sade,” she declared. “No one tells me what to do. Least of all you.”

“This is crazy,” I sputtered. “No, you are crazy. I am calling the police…”

“That is the second time you’ve insulted Me,” she observed. “But because I have a soft spot for temperamental artists, if you beg Me desperately enough I will accept you as My slave.”

I walked over to the telephone on the wall next to my washing sink and reached for the handset. She moved so swiftly and silently that I didn’t hear her approach, but as my hand settled on the device hers covered mine, sending an electric sensation through my arm.

“You don’t want to do that,” she said, and as the words entered my ears I could feel them become true.

I turned to face her and she stepped into my personal space, enveloping me with her scent and her warm aura. Her free hand stroked my cheek, pulling my face down for my mouth to receive her kiss. The feeling and the taste of her was overwhelming. My cock became spontaneously erect. I could feel every cell in my body vibrating with excitement and need.

“Look into My eyes,” she commanded as she pulled away from our kiss, and I obeyed. Her brilliant green orbs seemed to devour me in their depths. “You feel yourself becoming very relaxed… very sleepy…”

I experienced a moment of fugue, a state best described as feeling the way the strange crescendo on Sgt. Pepper’s sounds. My next clear memory was of hanging naked on my own easel in the middle of the studio, splayed like the figure in Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man.” She stood before the easel, holding my brush and an empty palette.

“What’s happening?” I asked.

“Like you I am an Artist,” she explained, “but I don’t work in paint. My medium is desire, and you are My canvass.”

“Please,” I begged. “Don’t hurt me. I’m sorry I was rude…”

“Shhh, pet,” She soothed. “It’s too late for all of that. Besides, I’m not here to punish. That will come later. I am here to enslave. I am going to make you over in My image. But first I need some colors…”

She reached out and encircled my rigid cock with her delicate fingers. As she stroked softly I felt a pleasure build in my entire body like nothing I had every experienced before. As the ecstasy rose I moaned uncontrollably, until finally I exploded in delirious release.

It was the greatest orgasm of my life, made more spectacular by the fact that it did not peak and subside, but persisted through several minutes as Goddess Marquesa filled her palette with my ejaculate. I had become a spigot of pigment. While I screamed in pleasure the Goddess drew bright beads of colored, viscous fluid from my cock. With her first stroke she produced a vivid cerulean blue. Turning the palette, she next drew forth a bright vermilion, then a mellow gold, and so on, until her palette was full and all my muscles had become gelatinous from cathartic bliss.

I didn’t think I could ever feel greater pleasure, but as the Goddess dipped her brush and began applying color to my right nipple, the ecstasy began to build again. My whole body had become exquisitely sensitive, and I quivered and moaned in response to her touch as she worked her brush across my frame. After a dozen or so strokes I climaxed again, a full-body orgasm that seemed centered in my brain rather than my cock and that persisted as long as the Goddess continued to put brush to flesh. My mind was emptied of all thoughts and sensations but two: a wave of sheer, ecstatic delight and an overwhelming, pulsating adoration for the Woman in whose thrall I was being held. My whole awareness was filled with Goddess Marquesa: her beauty, her power, her irresistible allure, her pure magnificence. I knew that I would be capable of doing little else but worship her from then on.

The work seemed to go on for hours. Finally, Goddess Marquesa lifted her brush and stepped back from the easel, surveying what she had done.

“Hmmm….,” she mused. “Not bad. But not great either. Perhaps I should scrap it.”

“No please,” I pleaded. “Keep me. Let me be yours, I beg you.”

She snapped her fingers, and I was kneeling naked at her feet.

“Convince Me,” she commanded.

For the next hour I begged like a whipped dog. I pleaded with her to forgive me, I swore to serve her in any way she demanded, as long as I could be her slave. I covered her feet with kisses and tears. Eventually she took pity on me.

“Your first task is to produce a portrait for My website,” she ordered. “Something that will give visitors a sense of My power. Get to work.”

I threw myself into the project with a passion that I had never brought to my art before. More than a labor of love, it was a labor of adoration. Obsession. The rest of the world disappeared. I fell out of contact with my patrons, my agent, the manager of the gallery in which my exhibition had been held. I focused completely on serving Goddess.

After three weeks the painting was ready. I could not breathe as she strode in front of the easel, surveying the work from different angles. The portrait showed her seated on a throne, her gorgeous breasts, exquisite legs, and breathtaking face rendered in loving detail. I had spent days on her eyes. They glowed from the painting with mesmerizing force. Around her throne were figures of tiny men, prostrate in worship of her beauty.

“This is wonderful,” she exclaimed. “The best painting you have ever done.”

“Thank you, Goddess!” I beamed.

“But it is not exactly what I need,” she declared. “Trash it and start again.”

“Wh…wh…what?!” I stuttered, dumbfounded.

“You heard Me,” she replied. For a moment she stood silently, giving me the same stern look that I recognized from the night we met. “What do you have to say?” she asked. Her tone conveyed that the question was rhetorical.

I knelt at her feet and made a supplicating gesture with my hands. “I’m sorry I failed you, Goddess,” I cried.

She nodded, partially satisfied. “And?” she asked expectantly.

“And thank you for letting me serve you!” I gushed.

She nodded again. “And?”

For a moment I was nonplussed. Then realization struck. Grabbing a yardstick from my supplies and handing it to her, I begged, “Please punish me, Goddess!’

The pain was excruciating, but the feelings of adoration for her as each blow fell were equally intense. After she beat me with my yardstick I whited over the canvass and went back to work. In four weeks the new painting was done, a composition showing her standing astride the earth, hands on her hips, smiling triumphantly.

“Magnificent,” she said. “Even better than the first. But still not what I need. Perhaps if you put yourself into the portrait, it will help convey the meaning I am looking for.”

She beat me twice as long as after my first effort, and let me kiss her feet in gratitude for her discipline. My next painting showed us both floating in space; she dressed only in black lingerie, me in a space suit. She wore a strap-on dildo with which she was penetrating me from behind. Through my helmet one could see a look of mixed ecstasy and terror on my face.

“Exquisite! But still not quite right.”

The work and the beatings continued. I had never been so happy. No creative act had ever given me such fulfillment as painting the Goddess, and no critic’s pleasure had ever gratified me as much as her chastisement. I expected that I would spend the rest of my life in pursuit of the Goddess’s ideal, and that thought filled me with tender joy. I could think of no better purpose than to live in tribute to Her.

“This might be it,” she declared one day after I had been at work for just over two years. “But where are you in this portrait?”

The painting was done on a large scale, taking up half of a wall. It was a kind of “mash-up.” I had based the portrait of Goddess on one of my favorite photos, showing here talking on the phone in a sexy black top with a plunging neckline. That image, slightly modified, had been painted into the backdrop and general composition of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Goddess Marquesa of course projected much more irresistible sexual allure than the woman in the original, but I had given her the same enigmatic smile portrayed in Da Vinci’s masterpiece.

“If you look closely you can see me here,” I explained, pointing to her hand holding the receiver of the phone. What looked like a ring around her middle finger was actually my naked form, minutely detailed. I had worked painstakingly to convey the look of surrender and sublime worship on my face.

“This is it,” she said. “This is what My website needs.”

I fell to my knees. “Please, no,” I begged. “Let me begin again, Goddess. I don’t want to stop painting You.”

She laughed. “Silly pet,” she chided. “You’ll never be able to stop painting Me. But you’ve done enough penance. It’s time for you to go public again.”

She was right, of course. It has been ten years, and in that time I have never been able to paint anything but portraits of Her. My first gallery show after fulfilling her command was titled “Visions of Goddess.” The critics were unanimously agreed that it was my best work yet. Even the asshole who had panned my earlier show declared that, “Griel’s muse has brought him to levels of sublime power that few artists ever achieve. She is a kind of mystic storm of creative energy…” He was so captivated that he sought out Goddess Marquesa online, and like me has joined her stable of slaves.

Even before that happened, I had long stopped feeling anything but gratitude to him. If he had not written that obnoxious review, I might not have transgressed against the Goddess that night, and then perhaps She would not have decided to take possession of me. That would have been the only real tragedy of my life. Goddess Marquesa has made me realize my potential as an artist and granted me success, but I would relinquish all those gifts if it was the only way to remain Her slave.

Everyone has a different interpretation of the smile that Goddess projects in the portrait she finally accepted for Her website. I don’t claim to know for sure what she is thinking in that moment. I may be the painter of the portrait, but She is its true Creator. The smile conveys that She knows a secret, and only She knows for sure what that is. If forced to guess, I would venture that it is this: since artists live in service of Beauty, no artist can have a higher purpose than slavery to Her.


The End