Exerpt: People of the Rock

Lucy is just your normal Canadian lesbian receptionist who finds herself in a fantastic future in a familiar place, 500 years from now. And the future is perfect. Having survived global warming, peak oil and a series of other disasters that cut it off from the rest of the world, future Vancouver is an eco-paradise – complete with a gorgeous amazonian historian. 

However, back in the present, Lucy’s crotchety, closety ex girlfriend is missing, presumed dead. Her gay best friend is about to be arrested for her ex’s murder, and the ancestors of people she now loves will never be born. Will Lucy stay and love in paradise or lose everything to save them all? 

And what is up with all the goats?

Lucy, Unknown location

The sunlight is effing bright. Mnnnhhh… With my arm raised to shield my eyes, I can see a little better, but my eyes are still dazzled. Rolling my head left and right hurts at the back of my head. It really hurts.

I squint up and shift over on the hard, irregular surface till I have some shade on my face. That’s better. I am able to open my eyes more fully. The leaves overhead are a soft light green shawl filtering the light. Pretty.  

I’m on the edge of a small clearing.  It’s nice out today.

My head is swimming, but other than my head, my body feels good. Really good.

Solid and dense and soft and heavy. I’m all body.

A soft current of air runs along my skin, flowing down my arms and belly, a caress.

Sun warmth on my nipples.

My chest rises in a deep breath, and it feels like I’m breathing in twice as deep as normal. The muscles in my chest are pinging loose, opening my heart to the sky. The breeze is ruffling the slightly lifted hair on my arms, gently rustling the tiny forest and I feel it in each skin-root. 

The air is moist and clean, like I’m near a waterfall. My lungs open in a deep breath followed by a sigh, and my shoulders soften into the hard surface below me. It feels so good to be naked, in the sun….

Whoah! What? Bare skin? It’s November! My head gingerly raises to confirm. Yep. Naked. I know I should care, but I just don’t.  I’m warm, but not too warm, here on the sun-warmed rock. I look around. No-one here, nothing but trees and grass, rocks and sun. Where the hell am I? The last I remember – I was walking on the shore after seeing Michael, in my office shoes, and… oh… slipping and falling. Damn, I must have hit my head hard!

I twist slightly and press against the rock with my arms, sitting up slowish, but still faster than my head is comfortable with. It’s a large clearing, edged by a dense ring of trees. A few feet away there is a pile of folded wheat-coloured fabric. Is someone here? I do a hasty look around, but there’s no one I can see nearby. My body still feels really wonderful, except my head. I feel a sore place under my fingers behind my left ear. The sun feels great on naked skin. I move my head a bit to test it out, and it swims a little.  Maybe whoever left those clothes wouldn’t mind me putting them on if they fit?  I can’t lay around naked forever, and maybe after I can find my real clothes.  Did I take my clothes off while I was stunned from hitting my head? How embarrassing! 

I plant my bare feet on the warm soil, and stand up, stretching a little. The breeze comes by for another visit. Mmm… I stand for a long moment, feeling it ruffle the now-raised hairs on my body. Rolling my neck down, and twisting to the side, I feel the tingle of good stretch as my bare arms and hands roam the free air. I stand with my legs solid and feet wide, and the skin of my inner thighs almost sighs in relaxed pleasure

It is so good to be naked and alone on a nice day. If this is a dream, I’m liking it.

Walking over, I pick up a corner of the little pile of fabric, shaking loose the neatly folded soft tunic. Underneath are thick socks that look like the hand knit ones aunt Sophie made me once, piled on top of soft leather boots that look like they might actually fit. 

I gather it all up and go back to sit my bare butt on the warm stone again, which greet each other as old friends.  Seeing no reason not to, I put on the socks and boots. They are only slightly too large, and the thick socks help with that. Not too bad.  I put my hands on my hips, wonder woman style, naked and booted in the sunshine. I look like one of the nudists at Wreck Beach who scramble up over the rocks in boots and nothing else. I shimmy, which makes my butt shake. I am woman see me jiggle! 

Stomping and jiggling around the clearing in ‘my’ new boots, I see a well-worn path stopping just shy of the other side of the big rock I came to on. Someone could come by at any moment. I abandon my inner nudist and go pick up the tunic.

My hands find the head and arm holes on the tunic and I am just working it over my head and arms when I hear a purposeful shake of branches nearby, like the is forest clearing its throat to get my attention.

I pull my head hurriedly through and as it emerges from the tunic I see someone striding intently toward me, businesslike, as if I am just the person she’d come to see. Damn, I hope this isn’t her stuff!  I hastily pull the tunic down over my torso and step back, prepared to face the intruder. The woman does not look familiar. At least it’s a woman. I stand down a little.

“Good. You are. Come this way.” the new arrival says in an oddly accented voice by way of greeting. She looked at me and nods in apparent satisfaction as if coming upon a woman dressing herself in a clearing is part of her everyday duties.

The woman has long golden brown hair collected in a thick braid with the end peeking out from below her shoulder. She practically glows in the sunlight. Is she really glowing? Or is it just the light? Oh my god I’m staring. I look down. When I look up, she’s smiling at me, genuinely. Maybe she’s trying to meet my eyes. I just… can’t.  

She’s excessively healthy looking, beautiful in a solid and simple way, like a classical statue of a  goddess. She’s not wearing makeup, and has on a similar tunic to the one I ‘borrowed’. It looks way better on her I’m sure. It’s all belted and drapey, graceful like a damned goddess statue. She looks like the virgin huntress, Diana, claiming the wild forest with her nymphs and hounds. 

I tug down my tunic, which at least covers me to the knees, trying to level out the crooked hem. Is the tunic crooked or is that me? I look down. I have no bra, I’m all saggy and head-lighty.  I look back at my goddess companion. She looks perfect.

The back of my head twinges, reminding me that it still effing hurts. I rub it a little.  “Does your head hurt?” the woman asked solicitously.

What is her accent?  It sounds a bit like Cantonese. I sit down. I’m disoriented from hitting my head. This will all make sense in a minute.

I’m still sitting on the rock and looking up at the woman. She’s still really gorgeous. And tall. And gorgeous. And my body, still unusually awake and alive, is now very happy to see her, tingly, and pointed at her like a puppy at a treat. What the hell am I doing? Get a grip, Lucy! I take a deep breath and smile.

She has really broad shoulders. Paula, my chiropractor, would love her for her perfect posture alone. She looks almost too perfect to be real. Paula is always giving me exercises to do for the muscles in my upper back, to help them better cope with my largish bust and improve my posture. This woman had clearly been more diligent with her exercises than me. 

Maybe she is a yoga instructor

It’s more than just good posture. Goddess-girl goes all the way down. 

Grandma Jenny would say that to describe someone who was unusually solid and rooted. My recently naked body is still feeling very awake and alive, standing at attention, facing her, hungry.

Oh Gods, I’m staring again.  The woman turns her eyes to meet mine again and I just can’t meet them. I look down quickly to escape.  

“It’s funny that people always come through naked, isn’t it?” The woman continues, as if I were still as naked physically as I feel. “You’d think materializing you with your clothes on would be better than bringing you through naked, in case the weather was terrible? Although come to think of it, it never is…” She smiles again. I shake my head, which does not clear it much, and stand up.

“What are you talking about?” I say, probably a bit rudely. “Who-“

“Who am I?” The woman’s smile reveals some very straight teeth. She then puffs some breath through her lips and pushes back a wisp of her hair from her forehead. This is fascinating. It must be the bump on the headhave you not seen a gorgeous woman before? Easy girl. She’s definitely straight. “I’m Marija. This is going to be confusing for a while. I am not sure what I can explain to you…” her voice trails off. She takes a deep breath and blows it out, pursing her lips, finally capturing my eyes with shockingly bright blue ones “You are safe here,” she says finally, and shrugs, like she understands how insufficient that is to the situation.

The thing was, I do feel safe, which is crazy, as this woman might even be the reason I’m here, nowhere near the beach where I fell. 

There was a noise before I slipped. Did I slip or was I pushed? I am Gods know where in the woods. I should feel unsafe. 

I check in. 

Nope. I can’t seem to. 

I ought to feel very unsafe. 

Panic!  I order myself. 

Nope. 

For a minute I feel anxiety flow through me, and then it seems to pass down into the rock, into my feet, into the ground. I take another deep breath, forming my own lips into a smile. “I’m Lucy.” Breathe.

Marija looks relieved and then, abruptly, turns and walks away, seeming to expect me to follow after her. She begins back at a good clip down the path across the clearing towards the forest. If she’d asked me to join her, I would have refused, asked questions, insisted she explain, but instead I  stand watching Marija’s back move rapidly away. 

There is no one to resist. 

I look around, but can’t see any reason to stay where I am. I look around for my purse, which still isn’t here, anywhere, and scramble up to follow.

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