Is It Real?

Entry (anonymous)

21st July 2017
The Artificial Goddess

You'll never believe I was there, but I was, and I'll tell you everything I know. It all started when I was late boarding a flight to Las Vegas some years ago. My seat was occupied by a man, around forty. I asked if he’d move, as I’d reserved it. “Take mine in first class,” he replied. I thought that a little presumptuous and much against my heart’s desire I said I'd rather have my designated spot. Then he took out his wallet.

“Take some for your inconvenience and give the rest to charity,” he said quietly.
“Okay,” I said. “No problem.” I swear it wasn't the money, nice though it was to have something extra for Vegas. No. It was the look in his eyes. I didn't know what he'd got himself into, but you feel for a guy like that.

And, I'd never flown first class before. I got bumped up to business once and that was nice, I thought the flight attendant had the hots for me. But going from economy to first is like going from being a farm animal to a cutey-wutey little pet that someone wants to tickle behind the ears. I felt my existence was a cause for celebration.

So I sat there with my champagne and a new found sense of well-being, looking around discreetly to see who it was our friend was so at pains to avoid. My guess was he'd told his wife he'd gone fishing on Lake Michigan and one of her girlfriends was on the plane.

In the cabin opposite a large Asian man wearing a pink polo shirt was filming himself. “Mr Issarangkool, your box tickets for tomorrow's showgirl performance at the Sphinx Hotel,” a flight attendant said. Mr Issarangkool giggled. Neither he nor anybody else fit the description I imagined, so I settled down and enjoyed the luxury.

On disembarking someone behind me said, “We're going this way.” I didn't quite comprehend, but followed him through a side-door down to the concourse where a vehicle waited. On board I saw my frown reflected in the window. Instead of going to the terminal we were heading in the opposite direction. I'm one of those real stupid people who thinks maybe he’s not on the wrong bus when it takes him somewhere unfamiliar. Maybe my hotel laid on a shuttle flight, I didn't know.

When I got off the bus two burly men in shades were waiting. They looked like feds to me, ex-military or something, and one asked for my passport. I handed it over complete with a picture of my wife in an indelicate pose that I’d stashed inside for safe keeping. One of those swingers party scenarios. The guy handed it over, cool as anything, then took a cursory look at my passport and said, “You have a nice day Mr Finch.”

And that was it. I boarded a business jet that flew North West towards the Spring Mountains. A woman calling herself Tristine said she was our flight detail. She wore baseball cap and shades and chewed gum. Another man in shades came round with a tray that we had to throw our passports into. Things were getting pretty shady. I didn’t add mine to the pile. I was lucky everybody leant forward eagerly, like they got bonus points for getting their passport into the tray first, so I wasn’t noticed. The man checked the documents and returned them.

Maybe because there were so many checkpoints nobody took their duties seriously, I don't know. I got through them all that day.

We landed on a runway in the middle of the desert. I had no idea where I was and there was no airport sign. We sped across the baking earth in three Humvees to a rundown shack with a neon sign with a palm tree on it and the outline of a girl lounging on a beach. All there was in any direction for miles was scrubland and a mountain vista that might have been five or fifty miles away. There were no roads.

“Is that it? A brothel,” I asked.
Mr Issangkool giggled.
“No ordinary brothel. Extra sexy.”

Inside turnstiles scanned visitors’ passports. I slipped in behind my Asian friend before the barrier closed.

The exterior had been deceptive, the reception was spacious and tastelessly lavish, with plenty of eye candy. It seemed like I was hanging out with the super-rich. Playboys and billionaires from all over. All men.

We were soon ushered into a room that was dark and strangely fragrant. Inside, coloured lights danced around an object, as if it were some magic sword or potent charm in an archetypal fantasy story. Then I realised it was our host turning off his phablet. I turned and followed the others, who drew towards the outline of something in the dark. It smelt divine. Fabric conditioner and sex.

“What is it?” someone asked.
Our Egyptian tour-guide spoke. “Gentlemen. This is the world’s first artificially created goddess. Though you cannot see her very clearly be assured you're in the presence of a giant with no head. We call her Jennifer. The body is physical, like us. We are not exactly sure where the head is. It disappeared, but seems to exist in another dimension.”
“Where was she made?”
“She was created in a secret laboratory. Her body is six times larger than ours, her emotional intelligence estimated to be one and a half times. Now, before your evening of self-indulgence begins you may each ask Jennifer one question about sexual morality and she will tell you what you want to hear. After she has answered all your questions she will add a disclaimer.”

As our eyes adjusted we saw a naked female giant whose neck apparently tapered into nothing below the high ceiling. She might have been size 18 to scale, she sat serenely like a smiling Bhuddha.

A sheik stepped forward. “I am from Saudia Arabia. Is homosexuality an abomination?”

The giant goddess –of what, I can't say– bowed her head slightly.


Her voice was quiet and soft yet determined and perfectly audible. I couldn't say from whence it came.

“ ...indeed it is. Homosexuality symbolises the rejection of family and life itself and the divine union of man and woman. It takes from the sacred and whole act of procreation the kernel of animal lust and throws away all that is good that can balance it. In traditional societies parents have always depended on the son to support them in old age –financed by the wife’s dowry– and continue their genetic line and the honour of their family. Without honour, a family falls into disrepute and cannot prosper in society. It’s wrong for one person to be selfish enough to bring a whole family down. Such a person is like the runt of the litter and should be cast out. And if you don’t understand that old-school truth, let me just tell you another. The male penis is designed to ejaculate sperm into a woman’s vagina. Simples.”

“Thank you. That is what I have always known to be true,” the Sheik replied solemnly and stepped back.

Next was Mr Eagles.

“I’m from Wisconsin. I’d also like to know about gay people. I’m a married churchgoer but I’ve been cruising downtown for a few years now. Is being gay okay?”
“Well why else did God give men prostate orgasms? Seriously– gay, straight, bisexual, it’s all fine. You can mix it up as well.”
“Mix it up?”
“You can be mostly gay with a hint of straight, if you like. Maybe sometimes you like to jerk off to straight porn. It’s simply what you are. What matters is what’s inside the heart.”
“Oh okay, so what about-”
“Mr Eagles, just one question.”
“Right, right. Nicely put, Jennifer. Thank you.”

“Mark here. Sex trafficking and coercion, violence, disease and desperation due to drug addiction –and basically any occupational hazards aside– is prostitution inherently wrong?”
“Mark, how would you feel if your daughter turned tricks?”
“If her customers were as gentle and considerate as me I wouldn’t mind. And even if they weren’t, if I had a streetwise but dirt poor daughter trying to fight her way out of poverty I’d think twice about standing in her way.”
“Well then, you have your answer. Prostitution is okay, ‘IF’.”
“Can I suck your breasts?” Issarangkool chipped in, and giggled.
“That’s not what I wanna hear.”
“Mr Issarangkool, please,” the tour-guide interjected.
“I wanna ask another.”
“No, you’ve used your question up.”

Then it was me. The only thing I could think to ask was about the age of consent, as I’d recently read with consternation that it was as low as twelve in Mexico.

“There’s no easy answer. It depends on the mores, conditions and development of a particular society in a particular age. In your state the age is sixteen, and that seems a reasonable line to draw. Remember, when a law is broken always at the heart of any situation are a collection of circumstances and intents. A law requires obedience, but can be harshly or too leniently enforced. And the law itself is more stringent in some cultures than others.”

Surprisingly, that’s what I’d wanted to hear. I’d never been able to articulate them, but those were my very thoughts.

Then Jennifer’s heart –unapparent before– shone through her skin in shifting shades of red, the darkest areas glowing like glittering vermilion sun spots.

“I should also inform our Saudi Arabian guest a homosexual preference is technically the parents’ fault, as sexuality is passed through the genes. Father to daughter, mother to son. Therefore I advise you apologise, on your knees, to your son for inflicting his mother’s on him, as you chose her. Make financial reparations, also. A parent blaming their child for being gay is like a parent blaming their child for their skin colour. It is an act of cowardice and dereliction of personal responsibility. You should now have the courage of your convictions, which happen to be that gayness is a supreme evil, and throw yourself off a building–for your part in it. But only as you ‘know’ your convictions are sound.”

“Mr Eagles, you might want to check with your wife to see how she feels about your extra-marital activity. Honesty is generally a good thing. But if you think she would be fine with it as long as she doesn’t 'officially' know, just make sure you stay safe. Your wife shares your bodily fluids.”

“Mark, double-check your stance when you have a daughter.”

“Mr Issarangkool, personally I’d like you to touch me, but I know you love to be denied.”
“No, no, no!” Mr Issarangkool screamed. And giggled.

“So, about the age of consent. You are a truth seeker seeking to understand all taboos so no stone is left unturned. But is there an ultimate truth, can it be told in words and would a giant with no head be able to tell you it? I like that cheesy song lyric you wrote when you were seventeen. ‘What is real isn’t known, but if it is it’s being alone.’ Hey, I’m just telling you what you want to hear. So if you think I may not have the answers go with that. Listen to your heart.”

“Thanks. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone else confirm what you believe,” I replied.

“Gentlemen, next on our itinerary is the world’s longest gang-bang,” the tour-guide said. “Leave your pants at the door, please.”

We queued outside a room with a red light and the sounds of people fucking. I glimpsed some of them wearing sunglasses. Maybe what happened next is for the best, because things were getting shady again.
I was next in line, but then the fed I saw earlier ran up to me, ashen-faced as anything, and asked to see my passport. Then he grabbed me by the arm and marched me away.
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