Seven am, the pink sun recently risen against a steel grey sky. Boston in the depths of winter. A time when it seems like the cold will never end. When it seems like the sun will never warm the freezing air, or soften the frigid soil. New England, where the bodies and hearts of the Puritans froze hard.
As usual she rode the subway train. Not one of the new ones, not like the ones they have in San Francisco, the city of winter warmth. The old trains brought from New York City decades ago; the old trains that rattle and bounce their way through tunnels dug just beneath the road, just below the surface of the city, under the skin of human life, where the rats and the bums retreat to find shelter. The morning train rumbled in the darkness.
Without seeing, she looked through the window at the pipes and wires revealed in pools of light thrown from the carriage, dusty pipes and wires that supply heat and energy to the offices, shops and homes. Unseen, covered with dirt, they carry a touch of warmth, and a glimmer of light to the city of lost souls in the cold grey morning. She sat mumbling her daily schedule like a sort of mantra, “Nine o’clock meeting, one o’clock lunch, afternoon committee.” One of a multitude, dressed neatly in a business suit, her legs crossed at the ankle, neatly, reading the financial page.
The subway car shook and rattled, and for a moment her attention was distracted from the newspaper. She saw a young mother absorbed, gazing into the eyes of the small infant held to her heart. A young mother lost in a private – oh, so private – contentment. In that moment, a fatal moment of distraction, a ghost stirred in her breast. A ghost? No, not a ghost – a daemonic power. In the space of distraction it grasped at her heart, tearing it from her control. The train rattled and screeched loud, loud, louder it screamed. Turning the final curve – It happened.
A pressure in her belly, a strange expansion, a movement in her body. Her hips, until now comfortably hugged by a city suit, started to grow wide. Her breasts, small and firm, started to swell. Her body was changing right there on the train, in front of everyone, it wasn’t right. The suit became tighter. She would suffocate. It would crush her. She felt feint, her skirt started to split, her blouse burst open, an unseen force tore away her garments and in a moment she stood naked – on the train, in front of everyone.
Blood full in her belly growing fuller, buttocks large and round. Breasts full and heavy, aching. She lifted a heavy breast with both hands, it was so very heavy. She touched her hips, her belly, her thighs. She touched between her legs and felt her own thick smooth blood. Never before had she felt such a power, energy rising from the depths of her being, from the depths of nature. Rising upwards it filled her.
She was in a strange place, in a jungle clearing; a heavy heat, dense humidity, moisture dripping from the vegetation, rich with life; a throbbing hum of insects, the crazy cry of jungle birds. Vegetation oozing life, pulsating life beating to the rhythm of a jungle drum.
The air was perfumed by a sweet smoke, a rich perfume, the vapours of offerings made to her. Her feet were sunk into the moist earth. She was filled with sweet rich life flowing from the earth into her body. Life flowed from the earth into her body, and radiated out from her. Her mind was consumed by an awareness of her body, her warmth, her blood, sweet and deep. The odour of life filled the air. Her belly swollen with the ache of life. The ache to give, the ache to create. To destroy herself to give new life.
The Dark Goddess, worshiped in the jungle grove, worshiped by rich earth, worshiped by life and death. She knew it in her body. Felt it’s pressure. Knew the terror of the primordial touch. Knew that she was the Goddess. For a terrible moment she touched the horror of life and knew its awful power.
The train lurched and clanked as it came into the station. Back, she came. Back, into the reeking city subway. Back into her thin, shallow body, flat like the page of a fashion magazine, dull like columns on the stock market page. The Fire of her blood washed from her body.
Smartly she rose to her heels, smoothed the black skirt, hardly daring to touch her belly, pulled the black jacket tightly around to keep her breasts under control. Must not loose control – very, very dangerous – must get to the office.
Missoula, Montana 1991