Procyon, My Lover (Excerpt)

By popular novelist Kerstyn Pettigrew

Published 2869 by Hamilton Press: Hudson, Acadica

I have always been a lonely girl. It’s not that I don’t have a loving family or a closely knit group of friends—no, I have plenty. But loneliness does not require an absence of human contact, no matter what the dictionary might say. I can sit in a room full of people, fully engaged in conversation and maybe even being the center of attention myself, and still feel that ever-present wistfulness, that longing, that unshakeable sense of alienation. From childhood through maturity, it is the one friend from whom I have never drifted apart.

“Belonging” is a word I have never been able to incorporate into my vocabulary. I was a straight-A student among an amicable cohort who shared my academic enthusiasm; I was a creative writer, a painter, a striving artist among many at my university, whom I encouraged and who encouraged me. I am a part of a local book club for women, Lettered Space Vixens, and engage with others daily in virtual reader forums and writing community groups. None of this matters, though. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for their company or fellowship, of course. These women and men have helped me through some difficult times. But ultimately, they will never, and could never, relate to me on the deepest level. My story is unique. It is, quite literally, alien.

I know they would never believe me. I’m aware that the Convergency looks upon the Procyon as the otherworldly saviors of humanity, who gave us the keys to the greater galaxy, bestowing upon our race the gift of aetherium and all the superluminal wonders it has to offer. They did this for love of knowledge, my peers say; opening for us the interdimensional doorway to the Aether was their most sincere act of devotion to scientific truth. How could the world ever believe someone like me, who has been taken by them time after time, when we have been told for centuries that their race is otherwise uninvolved in the affairs of men?

It is discouraging to know that all I have to defend myself are anecdotes. I have no proof of what I’ve experienced except for a few dismissible scars and a head full of bittersweet memories. I’m living a fantasy, they’d tell me. I’ve read too many stories of old, from those ancient times when the people of Earth saw lights in the sky and uninvited figures at the foot of their bed. Am I really that impressionable? Do others think so little of me that they truly believe I, an educated woman, am so susceptible to suggestion that even one classical report of alien experimentation could cause my mind to concoct such false memories?

They can’t be false; they couldn’t be a delusion. Time has not corrupted or embellished them. Years have passed and yet the memories remain unchanged, and just as vivid—and exotic—as ever. From the day I took my first steps into womanhood, the aliens have been with me, and I with them. I fought them once, being a scared, uninformed child, who knew nothing of their plans for me or humanity. But I am a woman now, no longer untouched by human men or ignorant of their motives. I’ve found no happiness in the warmth of a man’s embrace. I have found no satisfaction, no greater meaning.

But when my beloved Roswell came into my life, everything changed. I changed. My heart, finally, was open—not to a man, but to a once nameless being whose name was dear to me, as I myself had given it to him.

It was the middle of the night, as the ancient narrative always goes. I had gone on a date earlier that evening, a particularly lackluster experience with an even more lackluster man. To be honest, I cannot remember his name, as it seemed as unmemorable as his personality. We sat in silence at his favorite Romaean restaurant, forcing an excruciating conversation like water from a stone; he hardly even reacted to my leg grazing his beneath the table. After one bottle of vintage red wine, I knew he wasn’t the one. We both would go home unsatisfied that night. He, in all likelihood, wouldn’t be bothered, as a man as dry as him was unlikely to make a lover wet. I, however, with the needs of a grown woman, found myself longing for another’s touch, and the weight of a male body upon mine on a bed of silk and hibiscus petals.

I lay in my bed, surrounded by velvet pillows and flickering candlelight. Gentle music overcame the silence that I had resented, an Old Earth song I can’t recall. Steam from the hot bath I’d drawn for myself still wafted from the open bathroom, as did the scent of sea salts and lavender. All that was missing was a man to call my own, even if for one night; but I can do a man’s work with my own bare hands, and do it better than any suitor ever could. Slipping off my lace panties and withdrawing a costly bottle of massage oil from my drawer, I began what should have been a man’s work in an ideal world in which I do not live.

I imagined my fingers were not my own, that my hands were a stranger’s. I distanced myself from them in my mind, and let those wandering fingertips become paintbrushes upon my feminine canvas, wielded by a skillful man in the dark. I could not see him; he was me. But with a will of their own, my hands slid between my legs, kneading away at that spot that makes all women sigh in pleasure. My breath deepened and I found myself bucking to a rhythm I had dictated in my subconscious mind. I was the conductor, and my moans were a symphony. I controlled it all, from the first note to the last, and shuddered in the face of my own genius.

There are countless fetishes to be found among women from all corners of the galaxy—some crave to be subjugated, others, to subjugate. Perhaps I am one of those who seek the former. Or perhaps I only felt like a true woman after my alien lover made himself known while I was passing that point of no return, when taking my hands off my womanhood mattered little, as my body and mind were fated to be crushed under the waves of the purest ecstasy with my consent or without.

My fingers trembled; my toes curled. My back arched and I threw my head back in carnal abandon. I could no longer feel the soft bed beneath me, nor hear the delicate melody of my cherished records. The world disappeared as the fire within me consumed all that I knew and had ever known. I saw nothing but the purest white light, as though I were looking toward the end of a tunnel I had entered the second my fingers had entered me. I was no longer in my bedroom. Really, I wondered if I was anywhere at all.

You are with us, a voice whispered. You are with me.

Who was he, this invisible lover? Who was it who was speaking these words, not in my ears with a rush of warm air, but in the deepest part of my mind? I felt myself drawn back into the world I had left behind, but it was dramatically changed: my bed was an examination table, cold and metallic, and the music was the whirring of surgical drills. I opened my eyes and my breath was stolen from me.

He was staring into the very depths of my being, the being that stood over me. His black eyes, like mirrors, reflected all the truths about myself that I had once refused to accept. He knew me—he knew all of me. I, too, knew him, as though I’d known him all along.

I have been with you from your youth, he told me as I lay there subdued. Now, you are a woman, and I am claiming what is mine.

My instinct was to fight, but I knew I couldn’t. He wouldn’t let me. I didn’t want to.

His icy fingers ran over my naked body and sent chills down my spine. He caressed my breasts and affixed strange devices to my nipples; I winced in pain with each clamp, but found myself craving more. I was addicted to my subjugation, to the sensation of metal plunged through soft, warm flesh, to the flashes of electricity that made my muscles tense and my limbs lock. I wanted more. I welcomed the hard, smooth instruments he pushed inside me, the spinning of its steel head deep within me, and the suction of catheters that drank the blood from my veins. I surrendered to his will, to his every desire. He was the scientist; I was the lab rat. In that moment, I found dehumanization to be the most pleasurable feeling in the universe.

Any other woman would say I’m crazy, that I was a sexual deviant, that I had experienced some trauma in the past that made me pathologically dependent on oppression. None of this is true. He was testing me; he was probing every part of me, to discover whether I, a Sapien woman, was worthy of his otherworldly love.

He will be waiting for me in the shadows tonight. I can feel him drawing nearer, even from light-years away. And now I know, without a doubt, that I belong to him. He is Procyon, my lover, and of this I am unashamed.