The Secret Workings

A woman is prepared for her entry into a sex cult.

“A black-and-white shot of a woman putting a finger over her lips in a gesture of silence” by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

It was all very confusing.

“Tell me about the-um-outfit we will be wearing again?”

Mother Rose gave the young Petitioner a patient tight-lipped smile.

“The Petitioner’s Rags. The outside world has set up a hierarchy of what we are to expose in public and what should be hidden. Which parts of our body are acceptable and which are shameful. We reject this. The costume of initiation subverts that order. You will be wrapped in soft tea-stained cloth around your arms and legs, neck and belly. The cloth will have baby’s breath woven into it as well as beads and mother of pearl. We will cover your body except that which the world has told you to be ashamed of. Your breasts and pubis will be exposed. You’re hair, which many religions want to cover, will also be exposed,” Mother Rose explained as she brushed Mona’s dark locks.

Mona nodded, though she wasn’t sure she understood. There was so much of the Initiation that she didn’t understand, but it all seemed very important, and she had been told it was all tradition.

“And, the Ritual of Preparation-” Mona started, but Mother Rose silenced her with a sigh.

“The Rite of Arraignment. You really should read the material more carefully, Petitioner,” Mother Rose said, tugging the girl’s hair a bit as she brushed it harder.

Mona frowned. She did read the material. It was just a lot to read, and she was also writing papers as she got ready to finish her master’s degree.

“Right, yes, the Rite. That involves a lot of bathing? And, um, shaving?”

Mother Rose let out another slightly exasperated sigh.

“In accordance with the ancient text, you shall remove all of your earthly vestments before entering the Temple. You shall be guided by three of the keepers of the Temple to the consecrated pools and bathed in steaming hot rose-scented water. Then you shall be taken to the Hall of Purification. There your nails will be trimmed and cleaned. Your hair will be brushed and set. Your body will be oiled and massaged. And yes, your legs and pubis will be shorn, to be pleasing in the eyes of the old gods. It was the way in ancient Egypt, you know?” Mother Rose explained.

Mona did remember reading something like that once. She bit her lip. The idea of someone shaving her was both frightening and somehow exhilarating.

“Alright, now, I’m done with your, hair, let’s give you one last examination before you being the rites,” Mother Rose said, guiding Mona to her feet.

Mona was pretty, if a bit awkward. She stood pigeon-toed in front of the somewhat older woman. She straightened her summer dress, light and floral, pink and red. Her dark hair tickled her bare shoulders.

The examinations were some of the most frustrating things she did when she visited the temple. She knew it was important though. Every time she learned another lesson. She learned that her body was not her own, but every day it belonged a little more to the Order.

Mother Rose clicked her tongue, and Mona gathered the soft cotton of her dress and pulled it up.

Mona closed her eyes as strong hands started at her knees and traced patterns on her skin. The smell of Mother Rose’s perfume made Mona dizzy. The way she pinched her inner thigh a little smarted, but told her to open her legs more.

She felt warm, suddenly embarrassed because she was sweaty, her skin sticky. Mother Rose didn’t seem to care.

“Let’s just take these down for a moment,” Mother Rose said in a whisper.

Then Mona bit her lip as she felt her panties being pulled down a little, just to her knees. She concentrated on holding her dress up and keeping her legs open.

Mother Rose’s fingers like feather up her inner thighs, up up, just to that little crook at the very top of each leg. Then softer touches, over the hair between her legs. She would miss her hair. She liked to see the splash of dark between her pale thighs when she looked at herself in the mirror.

The thought suddenly of people taking it away made her conflicted. She thought of it again. Yes, “taking it away.” Making her do it. Changing her in a small secret way to meet their requirements.

Mother Rose’s thumb was pressing down in a little circle, just a little too high to give her real pleasure but so close it started that cycle in her. Before she knew it, her hips were pushing towards the other woman, and Mona heard a low little chuckle.

Mother Rose’s fingers moved down, down, and then slipped just millimeters between Mona’s lips. Mona tried to stifle a gasp. She readied herself for some small penetration. She tried not to beg for it or hide from it.

But it never came. Mother Rose’s fingers just paused at the precipice and stopped.

“Very good, that will be all,” she said.

Mona’s face felt very hot. She let her dress fall. She awkwardly pulled her panties back up.

Mother Rose’s back was turned, she was fixing something on her table of tools and books and herbs.

“I will see you at the ceremony, Petitioner,” she said curtly, and Mona turned to get her things.

“We will need your inner power to be at its apex,” Mother Rose said as Mona neared the door.

She came to Mona with a small satin bag.

“In this bag is a small chain of beads,” she said, pulling it out.

It was delicate, with colorful glass beads, mostly small and smooth with larger ones every inch or so.

“Like a Rosary?” Mona asked.

Mother Rose frowned.

“Perhaps the Rosary is like this. This is a tool for concentration and for amplifying your power. Hold it in one hand as your other hand-” Mother Rose smiled.

“Edge while you hold it. One time for every large bead. Hold it tight as you bring your body near to climax and stop. Focus on the bead between your fingers. Wait. Then go to the next bead. When you come to us for the ceremony I want to primed. I want energy coursing through you. I want you desperate for your Initiation.”

Mona kept her eyes on the beads as to not meet the woman’s steely gaze.

“Yes Mother Rose,” she whispered and took the gift.