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Quiescent No More -#atozchallenge

April 20, 2016


Quiescent No More

We gathered in the marbled hall. We knew our way of life was threatened. A moral majority had swept throughout the Universe and our kind had once again become the silent minority. Our occupation spoken in mere whispers. Our reign was coming to an end.

“Ladies, please. You must calm down,” Lalsa begged.

Fresca, one of the older courtesans, stood up and shouted her frustration. “It’s not fair, m’lady! They want to trap us, enslave us!”

“I won’t even pretend that this is a new issue, Fresca. I’ve seen the decline in training houses for a while now. I just never thought we would have to close all of them.”

“What would you have us do, m’lady? Go back to being wives or worse?” another courtesan asked.

How could she ask that of us? We’d been courtesans for millennium in the Athena belt. We’d been bred for our beauty and prowess. Trained by the best women anywhere in the Universe. And as such, we were all free women. Able to come and go as we saw fit. Heralded by statesmen, monarchs, presidents, and species of all kinds. The thought of becoming wives or slaves made us all shudder in fear.

“No, of course not. I would never ask any of you to give up your freedom.”

“Then what do you propose we do? We cannot fight when even males are against us,” Fresca pointed out.

We’d all grown up with tales of the Dark Times. The times before our kind when males took what they wanted without respect or honor. We’d given women back their dignity. We’d set standards, laws and payments for our services. Females, unlike us, still regarded us as whores, but never since we’d become established had the males turned against us. Until now.

“That is why I have gathered you all here,” Lalsa stated as she stared out at the women she’d come to love as her own daughters. “I propose that we take what we have and just leave. Leave them all to their miserable, frustrated lives. Let them see what a world without our kind is like.”

“But where shall we go?” the youngest courtesan asked.

“There is a planet named Lysda. It is protected by a gaseous atmosphere, thought to be uninhabitable, but it is all a rouse. We would be welcomed there, but we wouldn’t be able to practice our talents. Well, at least not all of them.”

“Then how will we make a living for ourselves?” Fresca demanded.

A radiant blond figure came out of the shadows. She glided toward Lalsa and clasped hands with her. “Ladies, this is Amelle. She is Queen Mother of Lysda.”

We were transfixed by her beauty. Never had we seen one so elegant. Would she be our Queen Mother too?

“Ladies, Lalsa and I have struck a bargain. You may come to our protected planet to live out your long lives under one condition. Never again will you whore yourselves out to males, of any species. Instead, you will provide us with all you have learned during your time with statesmen and other elite males. Lalsa has assured me that these males speak freely in your presence. Your information will ensure our continued safety.”

We learned then that Lysda was inhabited by only women. The downtrodden, like ourselves. The shamed and the censored. The cast-offs from societies who thought they knew a better lifestyle for all. We made our pact with Amelle and left the Athena belt. We’d found our way again without giving up our freedom. We were no longer quiescent. When they begged for our kind to return, we stood up to them, “Let your women become your whores. We are princesses now.”

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

(621 words)

The Prompt via Mandy WallaceWhen the last courtesan training house is threatened with obsolescence, the downtrodden women of the Athena belt unite to preserve the last vestige of female independence.

Each day for the A to Z Challenge I will be writing a 500-1000 word Science Fiction story. I hope you will enjoy them.

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