trigger-warning

by Cherie Ann Turpin Creative Commons License
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trigger-warning:  50 years of rape culture/slut-shaming/misogyny/misogynoir that cannot fit into a tweet for the Washington Post
I can tell you what happened to me at Clark College when my first sexual contact with a man was being raped twice by a Morehouse athlete who thought he was scoring a new girlfriend

I can tell you about being plied with alcohol, then raped and threatened by a male roommate–then slut-shamed for it

I can tell you about the time a man giving me a ride to MARTA in Atl forced a kiss on me

I can tell you about being slut-shamed by a female relative who told my family I was a whore

I can tell you about the time five men followed me in Atl from bus to MARTA to bus with clear intent to gang-rape me–I rode that bus to the end of line and my flashpass kept me on that bus and they ended up stranded when I rode back to my stop

I can tell you about being sexually harassed–twice–by adjunct professors when I was an undergrad at UDC

I can tell you about being catcalled by a bunch of “bros” driving past me as I walked to meet new classmates at a pub in Burlington VT

I can tell you about being stalked and slut-shamed by the same person in grad school

I can tell you about being followed home by a man in a van in the middle of winter on a back road when I was at UConn

I can tell you about having my nipple bitten without consent by a man at a club while dancing–he did permanent damage and he smiled before I hit him back

I can tell you about being approached and catcalled by a man while walking in my corporate suit to a campus interview for a professor position at UDC

I can tell you about being stalked by some unknown man during my first year as a professor who thought it was okay to send flowers to my office and my classroom

I can tell you about being followed and secretly photographed by a fellow grad student in Saas-Fee for the purpose of slut/size/race shaming me by sharing his “art” with the other grad students on a dvd

I can tell you about being followed by a lurking man when I walked home from campus–and waited for me to walk towards my apartment, till he saw me with security

I can tell you that despite the scars from these cuts and gouges

my self-worth
my sexuality
my humanity
my womanhood
my spirit
my jouissance
my grace

shines
persists
heals

Prevails.

October 10, 2016

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Oya – Rise of the Orisa – African Superhero Movie – from AFROPUNK

Oya – Rise of the Orisa – African Superhero Movie – AFROPUNK.

This is why I love AfroPunk!

”Hank” #17 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Hank” #17

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
nightlight

 

 

 

“There’s a ghost in your bedroom.”

“I know.”

“Well, if you know, what have you done about it?”

“Done?”

“You have a spirit in your house.  Have you done something to get rid of it?”

“Should I?”

“Are you serious?  I could hear things moving on your bookshelves last night.”

“Did you get enough sleep last night?  Did anyone bother you while you slept?”

“No.  Well, no.  It just felt….it felt like someone was watching me sleep.  It felt creepy.”

“Creepy how?”

“I don’t know, you don’t seem to be too worried about it.”

“Why should I be worried?”

“Who is it?”

“Hank.”

“Who’s Hank?”

“He used to live here back in the 60s and 70s.  He died in this very apartment sometime ago.  He started showing up about six months ago after I had the apartment renovated.”

“You’ve seen him?”

“Yeah.  He comes around to listen to my jazz music, watch t.v.  He watches the apartment while I’m on travel.”

“Why is he watching me sleep?”

“Maybe you need watching.  Have noticed that your back and neck pain are gone?”

“How’d you know about that?”

“He told me after he chased off that bad spirit following you around.  Hank’s good for that too.”

“Does he hang out in your bedroom when you bring your boyfriend here?”

“Hank’s a bit of a voyeur.  And by the way, your vibrator was a bit loud last night.”

The Deep End #14 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

The Deep End #14
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
#30Days

pool
I occasionally did tarot readings for Tony and gave him advice on rituals, as he was a solitary practitioner, albeit on the sly because of his family, a large clan of Baptists and Pentacostalists with a smattering of Methodists.  His father was the head pastor of a Baptist church in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He was also nervous about his Christian fundamentalist boss finding out about his spiritual practices, for fear of losing or compromising his clearance as a defense contractor for NSA.  He came to me two years ago with a dilemma about a woman who seemed inaccessible, yet intriguing.

Tony met her at an Apple conference in San Francisco three years ago, a voluptuous woman with long, thick twists and rich, copper-brown skin who was almost as tall as him.   He imagined her full thighs matched against his slim frame as she walked towards him wearing a dark green dress and sensible heels.  When she smiled her face radiated warmth and a willingness to trust.  They exchanged phone numbers and email addresses over coffee and sandwiches before she departed to meet colleagues for a networking event.  After he returned to Baltimore, he only got as far as the one phone call to her that did not lead to a follow-up. She actually did call him back, but he was “unavailable,” or unwilling to return her phone calls. She did what most people would do–she moved on.

Meanwhile, he began seeing a woman from his office, almost as a consolation prize for what he described to me once as “another humiliating rejection from a sister.” The relationship with his second choice did not last, no surprise to me or anyone else who knew him. He saw the first woman again in Vegas at another conference, only to discover that she was involved with and engaged to an attorney.  Her smile, according to Tony, was just as warm, but less trusting of him.

He decided to try to get her interested in calling him again by using love magic. He spent hundreds of dollars on Come to Me incense, Love oils, red and pink candles, not to mention the readings he received from me. I started charging him a minimal fee because of the energy he was draining from me. No results.  He began to consult with a spirit worker less inclined to maintain ethical boundaries.

He appeared at my door one night, haggard and somewhat jittery.  I sat him down and listened to him confess to stalking her.  He began spying on her social media profiles and her email. She had been talking about him, wondering whatever happened to him, and the unreliability of men who couldn’t deal with women who actually say yes to them. Her fiance had mysteriously broken up with her and eloped with someone who seemed to appear almost out of the sky as “the love of his life.”

I looked at Tony, expecting him to say that he finally talked to her, that he had stopped using magic to make his decisions for him.  He stuttered as he explained his latest surveillance trick to discover more information before making the phone call to her.  In other words, he squandered yet another open door.  It was just as well.  This was a poorly gained opportunity that had all the signs of an impending disaster of his own making.  In his current state of mind, he could be downright dangerous to her.  Come to think of it, he could be dangerous to me.  I needed to find a way to amp him down from the ledge.  He was my spiritual child, and I sensed him looking for a way out of his self-made trap.

I wondered why it had not occurred to him that he was probably in danger of losing his clearance due to his gross misuse of surveillance tools, as well as being arrested for stalking.  After making him some green tea, I pulled out my Crowley deck and did a three card pull:  the ten of Wands, the Devil, and the Hanged Man.  My task was getting Tony to understand what just happened, and how he needed to fix what he damaged within himself through his obsession.

I looked into his dark eyes now glazed with tears. For the first time in months I saw genuine sorrow and guilt wrapped up in rage.  I heard myself say, “You’ve tortured yourself for over a year because of your own pride and your own fear of rejection. You didn’t need magic to fall in love, you never did. But this is not love.  Your fear made you turn your soul inside out just to control her.”

This was not quite me coming out my mouth.  Uh-oh.  She was nudging me to stand aside so She could come through and speak.  I felt the tipsy feeling flow through my mouth as Spirit began to speak through me.  My voice deepened and I saw myself rise up as Spirit rode me to speak to Tony.  He could not hear me tell him the complete truth of what he had done, and what he had to do to make it right.  He had to hear it from She:

Perhaps you could be a couple.  Perhaps not.  You cannot not make her do anything.  No candle or spell will make her love you.  You have to start over at the beginning from honesty and truth, or nothing at all.  

Starting over from scratch is not an easy choice to make.  He had to deal with the reality that she could say no, and he had to accept that risk as a part of accepting her as a free, sentient being with her own voice and desires.

Then I heard/felt She say to him in a loud booming voice:  You’ve got to learn how to swim in the deep part, at the deep end.  You’ve got to get your head wet, boy. 

I fell back on the couch, and I looked up at him.  His face was frozen in shock.  I slowly sat up and reached over to his lower jaw, and gently pushed his mouth shut.  This was his first time seeing Spirit ride me.  He silently pulled on his suit jacket and walked out the front door of my house.  I wrapped up my Tarot cards and watched him stumble on my driveway into his Mercedes SUV.

A natural fool coming to his senses almost too late.  Almost, but not quite.

He stopped talking to me for several months.  It was just as well.  It was not my business or task to intervene, at least not that point. Spirit warned me to avoid him for a time. Last I heard he’d started seeing a therapist for his obsessive personality issues, and was looking into making a career switch.  His manager discovered his off-the-clock surveillance activities, and would have fired him had his unit not been reorganized as a result of a seemingly unrelated upheaval in structure due to the Eric Snowden incident.  Tony escaped a disastrous descent into legal purgatory by virtue of a sudden shift in the dimension all of us happen to share.

If he wanted to be with her or anyone else, he would have to journey beyond the comforts of fear and obsession, beyond his narcissism, and beyond his own fear of the unknown.  That may take more than one plunge into the deep end.

Half-Way to Revelation [part 1] by Cherie Ann Turpin Story #24 (30 Stories in 30 Days)

Half-Way to Revelation [part 1]

by Cherie Ann Turpin

Story #24

(30 Stories in 30 Days)
Pachamama+%281%29
Ella wore a white dress and tan Birkenstocks sandals on the tourist bus going to La Mitad del Mundo from Hilton Hotel in downtown Quito.  One of her colleagues traveling with her from University of Hartford, an older professor from the Spanish department with smooth black skin and a halo-like afro, sat in the aisle seat next to Ella.  She split one of the rolls she carried from the continental breakfast spread in the dining room with Ella, who nodded in silent thanks while taking a puff from her asthma inhaler.   She bit into the crispy bread, and quickly swallowed a mouthful of bottled water as she glanced out of the window from her seat.

After 48 hours, she still struggled to adjust to the elevated city’s altitude.  At nearly 10,000 feet, tourists who came to Quito were advised to rest for 24 hours and drink water to prevent altitude sickness.  For Ella, who was an asthmatic, it took her nearly two days to adjust after a somewhat unnerving and bizarre landing at Mariscal Sucre, Quito’s treacherous airport.  Physically and visually, Quito was one of Ella’s oddest academic conference travel experiences.  She noted the signs of poverty on the outskirts of the city as the tour bus sped from downtown Quito, from the cooking fires in front of storefronts to the squatters gathered near shabby concrete building frames in open, barren fields.

Tourist trinket huts and restaurants lined the edge of Equatorial Monument, otherwise known as La Mitad del Mundo.  Ella wandered from the main group and took the main path leading to the imposing andesite-covered tower.  She paused at the grayish-brown steps to look up, only to stumble backwards, feeling dizzy and momentarily blinded by sunlight that had broken through thick, gray clouds.  Attempting a discreet recovery, she grabbed the rails to balance herself and found herself face-to-face with a small brown woman with knee-length black hair who gently grabbed her elbow and helped her to stable her balance.

“Muchas Gracias, Senora,” rasped Ella, who quickly recovered from her spell and smiled.

“De nada,” The woman continued to respond in English with a returned smile. “You should be more careful looking up at the sun like that, Senora Ella.  We live close to the sun here.”

Ella blinked rapidly, and looked into the warm, friendly face of the petite woman who had helped her.  She looked strangely familiar.  Was she part of the conference group?  Ella did not remember her.  The woman’s skin seemed to glow with a golden undertone.  A name seemed to float through her ears with the mild wind that swirled around the two women: Pachamama.  The woman nodded, and held out her hand to Ella, who was mesmerized momentarily by the Goddess in front of her.

“I have many names, my daughter,” spoke Pachamama, whose voice seemed to echo throughout the summit.  “We are part of you, and you are part of us.  Your journey here is a turning point for the trajectory of this lifetime for you.  When you return to your English land, you will carry a part of me with you.  I am Mother to all of you who feed my children.  Come, walk with me, daughter.  We have much to discuss.”

Pachamama raised her hand, casting sunlight around the two women, and they disappeared through the bright light.

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In the Cards – Story #7 (30 stories in 30 days)

In the Cards – Story #7 (30 stories in 30 days)

by Cherie Ann Turpin

The tarot deck sat in the left corner of Cassie’s lingerie drawer for seven months untouched.  It was a used Crowley deck found at a tag sale in one of the many bins spread out on a now-defunct movie drive-in.  She bought the bright-colored cards and after staring at them for 20 minutes on her kitchen table, started shuffling them and laying out a Celtic Cross pattern on the polished wood.  The afternoon sun was still shining through the kitchen window, and brought ultraviolet rays into the room.  Two Trump cards, The Chariot and The Sun, seemed to become animated upon contact with sunshine.

Suddenly, Cassie’s cell phone began to vibrate, and she scooped it out of her purse and began talking to her mother.  Chatting about shopping, she walked into her bedroom and forgot about the Celtic layout.  As the sun retreated to the west, the small apartment grew still in the darkness.  Cassie was still talking to her mother two hours later.  She flipped on the lamp next to her bed and used her feet to throw off her flip-flops before reclining on the bed next to her laptop to play Solitaire while gossiping about a former neighbor’s new wife.

Twenty minutes later Cassie finally hung up the cell phone after her mother received a call from her sister asking about the family recipe for Japanese fruitcake.  As if prompted by the mention of cake, Cassie walked into the kitchen to grab a snack and turned on the overhead lights.  The tarot cards were still on the table, waiting for her hands to touch them again.  Instead of seeing the initial ten cards in the Celtic Cross layout, Cassie saw fifteen cards in the Thoth layout, a pattern of which she’d never tried or seen used.  When she touched The Sun card it was warm, almost hot to her fingers.

The previous owner apparently preferred the Thoth layout.renneschateau04_06

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Queen of Heaven: story #5 (30 stories in 30 days)

Queen of  gray-angel-wings-heartHeaven

By Cherie Ann Turpin

James was showering for our night out with his ex-lover Eve at a Dungeon in downtown San Francisco, while I put the last touch to my red dreadlocks. As I stood in front of the mirror admiring my plaid miniskirt, Eve knocked on our hotel room door. I opened the door and greeted Eve, a petite blonde woman in a short leather skirt and skimpy but tasteful black top. Her large blue eyes sparkled as I reached over to briefly hug her and offer her a seat.

James called out from the bathroom that he’d be out soon–and he did exactly that, completely nude. He was happy, very happy, from his shiny, wicked grin to his rapidly turgid member. Eve and I laughed and shared a caress of his happy cock before he quickly dressed for our night out–after all, we weren’t going to just end our night in the room. We loaded up in Eve’s Ford SUV, and took off into the night on Freeway 101 towards downtown.

Eve parked in what seemed to be a very dark and lonely parking lot, and briefly spoke a tiny spell rendering her vehicle invisible to thieves and nosy police.  As we sauntered towards the dungeon it occurred to me that even on a night after the Pride parade, the three of us looked somewhat odd as companions.  Or perhaps my East coast anxieties were creeping up on me.  Still, it must have been odd to see the three of us: Eve, who was conventionally attractive; me, a dark-skinned, dreadlocks, voluptuous woman in a plaid miniskirt and 5-inch heeled platform boots; James, a tall, thin, middle-aged man with long red hair, pale skin and dressed in all black with a leather hat.

The front door of the club was locked, but the lights were on upstairs, so Eve rang the bell and watched a bald man dressed in a black leather kilt and Doc Martins–and bare-chested–descend the steep staircase to the door. His small wings bloomed out behind him like a living fur stole.  I could see traces of eyeliner around his grayish green eyes.  He opened the door and said, “sorry, this is a private party tonight. This is for Queen of Heaven members only.” His voice had a strangely low but musical lilt to it, as if he was accustomed to singing his words instead of speaking it.

Eve, James, and I groaned in disappointment as the Angel-man shrugged his shoulders.  We began to turn away to walk towards downtown San Francisco. Angel-man cleared his throat first, and piped up, “but, hey, you guys look like fun. Come on up, it’s just 20 dollars per person, just join Queen of Heaven tonight.” As Eve, James and I followed him we saw translucent blue and yellow swirls surround him, as if he had a sort of trans-dimensional entourage protecting him.  It made an impression on me, anyway.

We walked up to the sign-in table, where two women sat with piles of pamphlets, condoms, and lube.  The one on the left was a full-figured woman about 40, and the other one was a tall, slim woman about 35.  Both women were wearing see-through halter-tops and were as far I as could tell fully human.  I noticed that some of the participants were either half or fully Angel.  We were in for a treat.  I wondered if some of the party-goers were magical like us.  The night looked promising.

The larger woman explained the house rules for the party: “all sexual contact must follow the rules of safe sex, so oral, anal, and vaginal contact must be covered by latex and gloves. Women may be dressed or naked, but the men must be completely nude. That’s because we want the men to be as vulnerable as the women.”

“Can I wear my hat and shoes?” asked James, quickly turning pink, then red, though smiling. He was wearing a leather hat he’d just purchased at one of the booths set up for the Pride Parade.

“Oh sure, go right ahead,” she replied, and took the 60 dollars quickly produced from his wallet. I disrobed completely, seeing that most of the partygoers were naked and in various physical shapes, while Eve only removed her top to reveal her dainty bra and trim belly. Meanwhile, as I placed our clothes in the paper bag provided for us, I noticed James’ penis becoming quickly “happy” again. The women at the table applauded, and we three adventurers walked into the play-space.

The dungeon was a converted townhouse space with a playroom on the upper floor, kitchen and lounge area–and bathrooms, while towards the back, a set of winding stairs led to the lower dungeon area, complete with cages, partitioned play spaces, and a special room with a bed and restraints. Slings, St. Christopher Cross stands, and whipping poles were scattered throughout the dungeon, as well as play tables, day-beds, and chairs. Eve wandered off, while and I watched several couples play. This was truly a mixed crowd, sexually and magically, unlike our experiences back East at Leather Heart and Lustprinzip conferences.

Clearly, not everyone there was into BDSM, but everyone was grooving on consensual erotic contact and laughter filled the room–as well as squeals from those who were being spanked or fucked. We watched a tall burly man with gray hair, small horns and a long beard methodically spank a dark-haired man with pointy ears who lay on his stomach, grunting as the larger man provided him with a sound, loud spanking on his ass cheeks, which grew bright red with each blow.

After a while, the man stood up, and rubbed his behind, his stomach oddly round in contrast to his thin limbs, but seemingly matching his now dark red ass. He thanked the bearded man and soon ascended the stairs.  I watched two model-handsome Angel-men, one blond, one black-haired, roll around on the carpeted floor with a slender brunette, who kept laughing as they kissed, and toyed with sheets of plastic wrap.

James and I played on three different pieces of equipment that night: a St. Christopher’s Cross, where he flogged my thighs and tits with his black leather flogger; he strapped me onto a sling in the play-space upstairs, securing my wrists and ankles with leather restraints and rope first, then flogging my inner thighs, mons, and buttocks, before donning gloves (safe sex, remember?) to deeply probe my insides and bring me; the coup de grace was when he finally took me from behind in one of the nooks, both of us extremely taken with the sex that seemed to permeate the air, as well as the spiritual lifting of the earlier invocation of the Goddess by those who organized this party as a celebration of Her rituals.

Eve had rejoined us, and we were talking in the space where James and I had earlier made love, noticing a young man with dark, curly hair and ice-blue eyes watching us intently.   He had watched James and I as we played, and was quite aroused.   Unlike the Angel-men, his wings were translucent with changing colorsFaery.

“May I rub your back, my lady?” he inquired with a strange formality.  I nodded, and sat down in a small chair.  He stood behind me, gently squeezing my back, then kneeled next to me and began licking my ear. James watched, amused, but relaxed–he knew my limits would only let this one go only so far. The man licked my breasts–and then I said, “thank you, that’s enough.” The Faery-man seemed taken aback at my abrupt dismissal of his attentions, but quickly stopped.  He then melted away, and I felt a brief regret at my rejection of his further attentions.  On the other hand, I knew that later on that night James and I would spoon together and sleep soundly after such sights and sounds of ecstasy.

Eve, James, and I deeply kissed each other, and ascended the stairs to dress and depart. We three walked into the night like we were drunk–and we were–with joy.  We were empowered with this unique experience of seeing us all rendered undone by passion. I was Queen of Heaven, and I ruled my Court with pleasure that night.

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