“Empathy flows in both directions …

“Empathy flows in both directions. At one point, afraid he might die in a coming conflict, the prince begs leave of his betrothed to lose his virginity to a courtesan, and she writes back in anguish telling him she wishes she had given herself to him before he left, even if he had rejected her as a whore, “For I may ever after fear comparisons and hate to know that what is mine, alone, and meant to be unique between us, is but trampled ground and weakly treaded by a wife’s regard. I long to give what brims up in my heart. And fear to learn what you may ask could crush that flowering with needs beyond my scope. I have no ambition to do service as a courtesan; and if I had to learn to hold your heart, love’s joy would be sacrificed to duty’s call. And yet I know not how to answer for I understand you are a man and the dangers that you face are dire. The friend that loves you says, ‘of course!’ The woman who would share your life grows cold. I don’t know how she may respond no more than you can say what knowledge of a courtesan may do to you. The world is complex, love, and men and women different in how they respond. What can I do but trust you with my simple heart? Decide, and things will fall out as they must. But I can no more promise it will make no difference to us than you can.”

This re-cap of a Demoran tale from the Okal Rel Universe got snipped from the MS for Part 10: Unholy Science. Editor Richard Janzen said “sorry”, it was nice on its own. But I agreed with him. It bogged down the flow of the story for a wife — seeking wisdom from literature — to take so long a detour in thought. Jennifer Lott, acting as copy editor to help me get this finished, suggested a book of story synopses from Demoran canon, for Reality Skimming Press.


About Lynda Williams

Educational technologist, teacher of applied tech, publisher at Reality Skimming Press, author of the Okal Rel SF series.
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