Sacrifices to Ecstasy - Excerpt, Content Labels, Reviews & Discussion
The high priest cleared his throat. “Welcome. You are the thirty-first pair that I have personally ushered into this very tower. There have been twenty-nine babies born out of Schoondack Brood parish during that time, nine months after the Beatitude Solstice. Of which you, Boci, were one.” He smiled with pride upon Boci, who grinned in response, bouncing on his heels. “Over the next five days we must prepare you with sacred oil and scripture. You may now remove your clothing.”
Seria’s hands shook as she removed her layered kirtles, linen shirt and finally, breathing shallow with fear, her undergarments. It felt aberrant to do so in front of men. Her husband had never actually asked her to remove her clothes. He’d preferred to rip them off her as she’d screamed. She had learned that if she was to save woven cloth (and hours of backbreaking labor upon the house loom) then she should be naked under the bedclothes to await his stinking, sweating arrival.
Boci, too, gulped as his undergarments pooled around his ankles. He kicked the garments away decisively. He had worked so hard for this privilege; he should be jubilant with fortune. Indeed, he was. He had been recognized as pure, as faithful, as worthy. He’d showed everyone in Schoondack Brood. But now... his bare skin prickled, sensitive to the summer breeze that puffed through the open windows. Boci had been fooled into his own violation, screaming as the priest’s hands bruised him. He’d been held down as the bloody pike rammed through his being. The violation had not taken place in a bright, sacred space such as this. But still, Boci shivered.
Aldrich knew it, too. His eye missed nothing as he regarded pair with a sigh. “This Solstice will be special, for purity is not just about virginity but the reclaiming of lost potential. We may translate the word of God but often do not fully understand its meaning. I shall make a point of this when I write my sermon, so that the congregation may contemplate the sacredness of what we do here.”