- 1 - Delivered into Temptation
I was a rather happy girl and I had never known violence, disease or risk. However, for the first time in my life, anxiety causes my hand to clench – on a single, perfectly wax sealed letter.
My second week on the job of late-night mail courier was rather uneventful until my latest package had a problematic final destination.
This letter was addressed to the infamous Lavent Ashwing.
I stare at the perfect print and wince as the spontaneous crack and boom of the late-night fireworks over Ora city every half-year celebration, rain down a glimmering fog that disappears within seconds. The explosions left sparkles on everyone’s roof tops, the tip of your nose, shimmering in your hair and soaking into your skin.
The conspiracy was that the sparks were loaded with Atrinite, a chemical from another dimension, which shimmered a red hue, sometimes, signifying a powerful mark on a female. The mark was extremely rare but each time a female was affected, they tended to disappear… precisely where was not established.
But E.W’s in general were a pretty good guess.
Ora was a city of neutral species upon a planet of interspecies breeding. The laws were placid and the lives were mediocre. The houses weren’t lavish but rather similar to each neighbour. The tedious boredom of such living was enhanced by the E.W establishments.
Exotic Wanderlusts; places of unrestricted taboo.
Tabooo was a known catalyst for wars in centuries past and the one law to fix that was E.W. settlements. Private property designed for one thing. Places of sin, violence and lust. Some say they were perfect replicas of heaven or hell, depending on how you viewed the establishments.
The twist was nobody really knew what went on in E.W’s other than their rank in the universe.
Lavent Ashwing was the number one E.W. in our galaxy and it was located in Ora city.
Whoever chose to leave the E.W. – although their memories were wiped –their smiles were brightest.
That was the one rule and law that crossed over between an E.W. and a galaxy law system.
You could enter an E.W. and choose to never leave or you could leave once and never return.
So, this delivery was rather emotional.
Once I entered the premises it would be my final delivery, my final entry and final exit out of the number one E.W in the entire galaxy.
That is why I am nervous – I was about to see a world that I would instantly forget once I was escorted out.
I glance at the high moon – 3am.
I couldn’t stand on the street outside the courier office all night, contemplating my options. It was time for me to deliver this package and then return home to my warm and safe bed.
I turn and I power walk down paved paths, barely glancing at the night life while I traverse deeper into Ora’s mid suburbia, to the centre of a private area, huge and cut off from everything around it by a few hundred feet all around the perimeter.
The very looming and distorted vision of the ‘E. Horizon’ – the hazy territory was a fence and a mark between private property and the city.
Behind the E. Horizon was the Lavent Ashwing.
It’s a mix of eon black and deep greens, distorting everything behind it.
Ah yes, the final problem was that this place was for female entries only.
This place, as I had heard, was the very end of females.
99.7% didn’t leave once they entered.
It was also the very E.W. connected through gossip, whom kidnapped any of the girls that were marked by the Atrinite.
The rain of the fireworks has already glittered down onto my skin and like every other half-year celebration… my skin glimmers a red hue. So far, I hadn’t been abducted, probably because I hid in my house for at least 24 hrs each year, waiting for the hue to rub off.
I didn’t want to think the letter was a coincidence with the fireworks, but everything was adding up to the gossip – and now all I had to do was cross this E. Horizon.
Other than gossip, there was nothing to worry about.
I hold the letter firmly, I push my long and single braid behind my shoulders, I pat out my baby blue courier uniform, with a pleated skirt to my knees and a button up front with a high collar. I decide I’m presentable enough.
“Enjoy it while you can, Ivy,” I whisper to myself as I stroll forward down the main path, walking over the last few hundred feet – where I don’t hesitate as I walk through the E. Horizon, entering the E.W.
The moment my foot hits the ‘wall’ – time slows.
I feel sucked in and pulled forward, my guts turned and my head spinning as I end up falling awfully fast and forward, feeling heavy like a brick right before my knees touch down… breaking my suddenly light fall onto smooth paving.
I drop the letter and I get slightly grazed by the rounded paving. I grasp the letter before it flies away with the wind, even though there is no wind to speak of.
I scramble back to my feet before I’m laughed at for falling so awkwardly.
When my eyes adjust to the strange smoky purple twilight, as if I’m… indeed… in another dimension, since time had changed. When my eyes adjust, the path in front of me is a straight run to a couple of steps and a straight walk way encased with green foliage. Behind that is an absolute monster of a palace, that seems never ending with white walls and yellow glowing lanterns lighting the windows.
And other than that… absolute silence.
“…where the heck is everyone…?” I murmur under my breath as I take a step forward.
My guess was everyone was inside?
But weren’t their guards?
A butler to welcome new comers?
I breathe in the sweet air and I make my way further forward. I guess I’d just deliver the letter to the first person I saw that looked important… whoever that may be.
As I make my way up the steps, the long walk down the ramp, surrounded by the majestic garden, is… is lovely. Every now and then you see a perfect little alcove, a mini rotunda to walk in, sit and smell the roses if you wished.
I’m tempted by each one but I resist.
Until the very end.
Once the walk way is nearing the end and I see the looming wall of the palace, I know walking inside would only speed up my return from this beautiful moment.
I wanted to savour it, even when I forgot it.
I turn to the this alcove to the right and it looks over black and blue roses. I slip onto a stone bench seat, smiling and closing my eyes as I breathe deeply.
This moment was it – it would signify as much time as I’d get in the infamous E.W before I found a person to deliver the letter… before I left forever.
Lavent Ashwing was a magnificent palace with a seemingly quiet and perfect lifestyle. No wander people didn’t want to leave!
I lean over the thick stone balcony and lean a blue rose closer to my nose. I breathe it in and sigh, delighted. What perfection.
How could anything ever be so perfect?
I curl my legs under me on my little bench and I lean on the side of the alcove railing, drooping my eyes… I’d just stay a little while longer.
Just a little bit... around this beautiful scent and these vibrant colours.
So, I do exactly that…
…and I fall asleep in the process.