Erotic Historical Fiction
Price of Slavery and Pleasures of Privilege
(or Joseph’s Sexuality Awakened)
A Short Story
Awakened, I listened to the noises around me and was satisfied that I was safe. It has not always been that way. Not more than a year ago I was often woken up be a Chaldean merchant’s leather whip to gather up the droppings of the donkeys and camels from the tent that was their stable and put these outside so the sun could dry them. Dried dung is what we used for fuel.
Before becoming part of that caravan, I spent nearly a month in a hyena pit, never knowing whether the shadow at the pit’s rim will throw me food or lower a jug of water, or, perhaps will lunge to devour me. But here, in the rich household of an Egyptian priest and nobleman, the sounds just prior to sunrise come from the kitchen area: sounds of grain grinding under heavy stones, onions being chopped with sharp flint, dried reeds crackling in a fresh fire.
Pulling the linen covering aside, I rose and walked through the side door, across the courtyard, out the back gate to the excrement mound. Finding a dry spot, I squatted and nearly lost my balance as I remembered chasing tiny whirlwinds as a child, trying to drop a perfect turd in the middle of the spiraling wind. The morning breeze had created many of these that now sucked small clouds of dust into the air and my muscles involuntarily tensed, ready to jump into one of these small whirling clouds. Of course, no one ever succeeded, no one ever saw his turd turn into gold. That fact did not deter any of the children from trying to this day!
My excrement was soft and surprisingly long. I ate too many radishes yesterday and my bowels have become filled with foul air. So I made my way to the clay amphora, drew some water and washed my genitals and backside, then my face and hands.
When I returned to my bedchamber, I put on a loincloth of fine linen and wrapped myself with my striped Syrian woolen cloak against the morning chill. It was the only item my brothers left me after throwing me into the hyena pit. A caravan stopped and everyone settled down for the night near a well where my brothers set up their tents. They ate their dinner together and my brothers made veiled inquiries whether anyone was willing to buy a slave. “Only Egyptians buy slaves,” someone said finally, and we are on our way home laden with food. No one needs a slave where we come from.” Then my brothers offered to buy a sheet of sackcloth from the back of a donkey or a camel to keep a man warm on a cold night, but no one was willing to part with theirs and let their animal arrive home bruised and bleeding from their load. A Syrian merchant, however, had a multicolored cloth he was unable to sell in Egypt. He did not wish to take it back home, so he saw an opportunity.
At first he offered the cloth to my brothers for a piece of gold. The desert night was so silent that I heard every whispered word, even though the hyena pit was a fair distance from the well. Since none of my brothers answered him, he said, seeing that he could not get full price for it in Egypt as the cloth deserved, he would be willing to take a piece of silver. I had to smile, in spite of my teeth chattering from the cold night air, because I knew my brothers never in their lives had seen a piece of silver. My father might have, because I knew he had secret hiding places, but he never talked about the value of things.
My brothers’ silence was long and I thought the Syrian merchant would begin to snore, but eventually he spoke again: “To tell you the truth, it would be embarrassing to return a cloth to its weaver. For the sake of your health on a cold night, take it for the price of sackcloth!” Now each of my ten brothers spoke at once, nine of them urging the eldest to conclude the bargain, while the eldest was cursing under his breath trying to find the copper ingot he had been saving for years.
I waited all night for the cloth but my brothers kept it. Several argued that it was too fine for me. As the night wore on, it occurred to one of them that if they returned home to my father without me, but with a fine Syrian cloth in their possession, how would they explain the loss of the one and the gain of the other? Even Reuben came to his sense by morning and convinced the others that they would get a higher price from me if I were covered in such a rich cloth: perhaps a gold ingot for me, a silver for the cloth.
My brothers took the sheep out to a different pasture every day with one of them remaining by the well, guarding the tent, the rich striped cloth and me. It was a month before one of the merchants from a caravan bought me for the price my brothers set for me. Every time a caravan approached from the east, my brothers would fling the cloak into the hyena pit. When the caravan left without me, they took it back. On the third week I kept it, in spite of the fact that they withheld food and water from me for three days and nights. I told them that I was prepared to die, and a dead slave does not bring much value. They continued to feed me.
Now, in Egypt, the multicolored striped cloth still keeps the night’s chill and the day’s scorching sun off my skin. It has also become my symbol of authority within the household of the King’s Treasurer. Whenever I have business in the city of Men Nefer, the City that Persists in Beauty, the colorful striped cloak identifies me to everyone as Potiphar’s major domo, the overseer of all his household servants. It is as if this fine Syrian cloth raised me, step by step, from the pit of death into slavery, from slavery into menial servitude, from menial servitude into a dignified position of power. I cannot help thinking that its influence will continue my advancement – but where?
I dabbed some jasmine scent on the back of my neck and in my armpits. The shiny brass mirror on my table helped guide my hand in applying the cooling kohl onto my eyelids. I was ready to perform my many duties, to begin making the rounds of the household. No sooner I stepped over the threshold, my Mistress, my Lord’s wife, blocked my way. She lifted my cloak with one had and with the other she anointed my genitals with lotus scented olive oil. “I was watching you, Osif Per-El,” she said, “and noticed that your toiletry preparations were incomplete. Among your other body parts, you must also keep your genitals from becoming foul smelling. You are no longer in the hills of Syria where the genitals are hidden like costly gems and left unwashed like buried treasure, brought out once a year for assessing their true value!”
My heart was in my throat and I was speechless. I still had not become used to the Egyptians living mostly naked, fondling each other openly in social gatherings and treating their genitals as they treat their mouth or eyes. Although I was handy with almost everything around the house, and have become highly valued by both my Lady and my Lord, I still felt uncomfortable with their nudity and open sexuality. They, in turn, laughed at me whenever my Lady entered and I involuntarily lowered my eyes to avoid seeing her visible black pubic triangle. “But how would anyone know that she is ready and willing to conceive a child otherwise?” my Lord asked me time and again.
They were a childless household and often opened their lush garden to other courtiers and their wives, providing music, dance, a feast and a chance to watch the stars move. My mistress picked a robust man on each of these occasions and coupled with him, but still, month after month, her blood flowed on the new moons. It was near the full moon when I found myself with her hands on my genitals. I felt embarrassed to tell her that I had cleansed myself at the hill of excrement, which was probably more than she did. Her voice interrupted my awkward thoughts: “I see that you need a demonstration, Osif. I suppose words do not take the place of experience.” She sat down on the bench next to my door. With her eyes fixed on mine, she commanded me: “Get on your knees, my good major domo and bury your nose between my thighs. Then tell me, in your true opinion, of which flower blossom does it remind you?”
Before I could answer, she had pulled me towards her by having grabbed my Syrian cloak. I sank to my knees in blind obedience and she opened her thighs. She folded her long white, sheer robe out of the way and she pushed my face into her moist, black pubic mound. That dark forest of lotus-oiled hair blinded me. She slid down upon her spine slightly so that her vagina rose to meet my stare. Her hands now moved to open those wrinkled lips and these met mine. The lotus essence covered my inner eyes, canceling my judgment. My phallus transferred its vigor into my tongue. My tongue found my Mistress’ male organ and, for a while, the two protrusions dueled. Like my phallus, her protrusion grew as she became aroused. She commanded me to suck her phallus, so I formed my lips into a vagina and sucked with such gusto that she soon slid off the bench and rolled on the floor mat, helpless in her rhythmic pleasure.
As soon as we broke contact, I came to my senses. My father did not teach me to succumb to female charms. Just the opposite! Our customs used one group of females for procreation another for pleasure. I felt afraid because this was my Mistress and I had no sexual rights over her. To make things worse, Potiphar had entered the house to find his wife writhing on the floor just outside my bedchamber, her pubic hairs still clinging to my lips, stuck between my teeth. The latter became obvious when I blurted out “My Lord!” But he held up his hand to silence me, bent down to raise his wife and with a stern face told her that such things were far better done in a bed. With that he opened his arms and herded us into my bedchamber, lowered the reed mat to block the view and left.
In the next six months my Mistress paid me a visit several mornings in a row just before the full moon. She also joined me at night, after my duties were fulfilled and I retired to the rooftop to watch the moon rise. Her monthly blood kept on flowing and she soon tired of me and found a charming captain of the chariots who gladly entertained her. I found the noises they made exciting and invited a young kitchen maid up to the rooftop with me. We played a game where I would ask her to guess what our Mistress was doing. Then I dared her to do it with me. She said that my coat of many colors had magic in it and asked me to spread it on the mat where I sat. “Let’s pretend,” she said, “that when we enjoy one another on it, it takes us flying over Men Nefer and it will not stop as long as either of us has pleasure!” Before long I heard rumors throughout the city of people craning their necks to catch sight of a flying carpet.
Then Pharaoh had a disturbing dream.
October 28, 2002, 2024 words
ă 2002 by Daniel M. Kolos