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Invisible Lines (Novella)

Tedia - Goddess of Boredom

by Arthur Chappell © 2010


erotic fictionIn an obscure Scottish valley, the train spotters were out in the pouring rain, waiting for a long delayed electric locomotive to pass by so they could jot down its number for their collections. One among their numbers, the eldest, was talking of the Golden Age Of Steam, and how thrilling it had been to see the trains then. The younger  anoraks nodded their heads in approval. They'd heard the stories many times before, and knew them off by heart. They were comforted by the familiarity of it all. The cosmic clichs were all in their right place. Tedia watched them in approval. All was well with the World.

One hundred and thirty leagues away, a soap opera producer was revealing to the cast that yet another leading character had a long lost sister who was to be introduced as a new character. The formulaic by the numbers plot was in good order. Thousands would tune in for that, over their TV dinners. Soap was the new opium of the masses. Tedia looked on approvingly.

There was a hurricane in the Philippines. Too exciting. Tedia's services were not required or welcome there. This was Poseidon's territory. Tedia looked away to the other side of Olympus. She felt sorry for the fisherman, Suun, who had been contented to fish the tranquil waters with rod and worms, and read old comic books. Suddenly, his life was more dynamic, but it was also fleeting, for a tree uprooted by the storm, fell on him, bringing a slow and agonizing and lonely death. Boring had been safe. Exciting all too often meant dangerous. Tedia would miss him. He had been one of her favourites, a sweet apathetic but inoffensive man who was no harm to anyone but the few fish he ever caught.

Her mournful lament was occupying her mind too much. One of the train-spotters had looked out from the end of the track and spotted a passing pretty girl.  His mind engaged in the process that would make him leave his Mum's soon after his thirtieth birthday and find himself true love.

That drew him under the radar of Aphrodite. She was angry at first, and yet she liked Tedia. She went to talk to her distant cousin.

"You are letting your mind wander. I've just taken care of one of your strays."

Tedia looked into the situation and ran a mental future scan. The spotter would soon find married life stifling, and notice the railways lines near his new home with nostalgia and longing. He would start to go out at every opportunity to take down locomotive numbers, and his wife would take in a lover in his absence.  Tedia and Aphrodite's duties would find the right channels in which to operate. The eventual messy divorce would lead the wretched heart-broken hobbyist home to his Mum again, all adventure, love, and excitement forsaken for simple, dull values. Order was restored.

Aphrodite and Tedia agreed that the plan was a good one, and they hugged. Aphrodite sensed a sorrow in the lesser Goddess.  "Don't be so down. Zeus is throwing a lightning party tonight. Why don't you come along and watch the fireworks?"

Tedia sighed. "Such extravagance is not for me. You know that." She wore corduroy trousers, a grubby headscarf, a tweed coat and heavy-duty horn rimmed glasses. Aphrodite was wearing a transparent gossamer toga, and had two naked slaves, one male, one female, silently following her round with fresh grapes, virtually ignored by Aphrodite and too magnetically and tragically drawn by her beauty to notice one other.

Aphrodite laughed, and sympathized. "Just because you have to make life boring for the mortals doesn't mean you have to be bored and boring yourself. Quit counting paper clips and let your hair down once in a while."

Tedia knew the number of paper clips in China was 1,987,63190,6753. Of these, 876,123 were missing from their owners, having in some cases, fallen behind filing cabinets, or become trapped in shag-pile carpets. Most would be used in clipping memos together reminding staff of company safety regulations and why they should wash their cups after taking a drink during their tea breaks.

"I can't turn my back on my work.  Left to their own devises, people often find interesting things to do. I turned my back on Martin Luther when he was quietly reading his Bible for months on end because nothing ever seemed to change there, and he suddenly started the Protestant Reformation.  I should have been paying more attention to what was going on inside his head. Many of my charges are so tedious it is sometimes difficult even for me to stay focused.  I can't afford to let them get too bored or they start to rebel and make up their own entertainments. My quiet American woodland yokels tend to start thinking of their own ways to liven up their existence and start claiming they saw UFO's, just to get their names in the press, and now Reality TV is making people think they can be famous for nothing. Boring is becoming the new chic. Have you seen the new 'Apathy rules' tee shirts? They thing tedium is fashionable down there now. Boring equals fascinating. I'm getting confused."

Aphrodite grinned. "Boredom as culture and pop-art is a good thing. Zeus likes the fact that you are causing that happen. The people getting all the fame and attention get to feel interesting, in a superficial way, but they make the lives of their fans so boring it's worthwhile. Sometimes you have to have something interesting happen so people bore one another to tears talking about it for years to come. Look at the England football victory of 1966. How many people are reminiscing on that to their friends and sons now, forty-four years on? You made that happen. You do a great job."

Tedia smiled sheepishly. "I'm surprised you would say that. You get to orchestrate orgies, the rise of Internet pornography and the revival of burlesque. The sex I organize never gets past the missionary position. I'm the one who makes partners rather watch TV, or have headaches. Sometimes, I have fantasies in which I'm you, and I get to make everyone take their clothes off and the whole world has a massive gang-bang."

Aphrodite sighed. "It's not that easy, Tedia. Believe me. Keeping everyone hot and rolling is hard work. If my subjects get too carried away the population booms and people get STD's. It takes Ares and his wars to cull the excesses, unless you just quietly make people give in to apathy and feel like they'd rather sit at home doing the knitting. You help to curb the excesses from my activity and I appreciate it. For every BDSM club I have, you have a brass rubbings Society, and sometimes, when the fucking gets too frenzied, I wish I could chill out and relax. Maybe one night, you and I should swap places, and do each other's jobs, just for a change. What do you think?"

Tedia felt her stomach tighten. "It's too much. I'm not sure if I could handle that much pleasure."

Aphrodite shrugged. "Don't worry about it. If you get stuck, shout me, and we'll swap back. Let's do it now."

Tedia seemed uncertain. A glance towards London changed her mind. A group of science fiction fans were drinking real ale and talking about Babylon Five even though it went off air in 1998.   Two bars away, a lap-dancing rave was in full swing, and one of the punters was getting it on with the cloakroom attendant girl in the corner while everyone watched the stage antics. Tedia suddenly wanted to take charge of them rather than the sad beardy geeks, but for now they were Aphrodite's toys. .

Aphrodite suggested Tedia undress and watched as the Goddess transformed herself before her eyes. The hair came down in golden silk locks; the glasses came off revealing the deepest emerald eyes of any woman, mortal or divine. The tweeds came off, and the truth and true tragedy of Tedia emerged - within boredom's apparel lies untapped raw potential, the beauty, excitement, sense of adventure, and glamour and dreams suppressed - the things that might have been. For everyone wishing they had joined the police, there was a real cop out on the beat, and had the dreamer not been distracted by chartered accountancy, the inner cop would have been out there crime fighting, and having an exciting existence too.

Tedia started her strip discreetly, shyly, coyishly. The more of her inner potential emerged, the bolder, brash and carefree she became. The heat of her inhibitions spread out as a wave of energy.

Aphrodite sensed trouble. The senior gods disliked role swapping and changes. Hercules and Atlas had a habit of swapping duties, with disastrous results, mostly arising from Atlas's reluctance to take the troubles of the World back on his own shoulders once Hercules had taken them on.  It was never approved of.  Hercules, the lummox, seemed to keep wanting to give the giant another chance though. He was far too forgiving.

Aphrodite moved quickly. She took up the clothes discarded by Tedia and began to put them on.  As her glistening pussy disappeared into grey granny knickers, a chill came over her, with a hint of frigidity. Her sexual fantasies were flickering out of her mind. A couple in Washington suddenly felt that they were ruining their lives with their handcuffs and riding crop. They got dressed and went downstairs to drink Horlicks and read the Financial papers instead.  A burlesque club in Helsinki found none of its punters arriving, due to a rerun of the Who Shot JR? episode of Dallas.

Aphrodite bunched up her hair and wrapped it in an old greasy scarf. She put the glasses on, with their big lenses, and slight hint of rose-tinting.

The slaves watched the metamorphosis and hugged one another in distress. Instinctively, they slid away from the old mistress and over to the side of the new. They offered her grapes. Tedia said thank you, took one from each, and bit into them. Suddenly, the slaves noticed one another's presence, and beauty.

"I'm Alicarus," said the man. "And you are?"

"Heliosa," whispered the girl, smiling softly, offering her friend a grape, which he took. She in turn offered one of his.  The girl licked her lips, but not at the thought of the fruit. She'd seen his magnificent cock, erect in her honour now, rather than for Aphrodite. .

Tedia glanced down on the World. The one girl among the Science fiction fans felt wet between the thighs, and mischievous. She slipped off a shoe and began playing footsie with the man opposite her, who almost choked on his beer, but soon warmed to the experience, losing interest in the conversation on the nuances of Vorlon technology going on around him. The others didn't notice when the girl rose to leave unusually early. Her new boyfriend offered to walk her to the bus stop. Neither returned that night or ever again.

The train-spotters started getting strange notions about actually catching trains and going places on them, instead of watching them pass by taking other people to places and having things to do.

In a tax office in Beijing a fastidious cleaning girl noticed a paper clip stuck to the deep pile carpet matting. It defied her efforts to suck it up with the vacuum cleaner. She bent down to pick it free by hand, causing her short blue satin maid's skirt to rise. Her austere, time is money employer saw her flesh-pink panties and for an instant imagined she was wearing none, but it was just a cruel teasing trick of the light. He watched her and drooled a little, wishing the fantasy was the reality.  As she stood up, skirt falling back into place, she smiled and showed him that the paper clip had been successfully salvaged, and she put onto his desk. As she turned to go, he plucked up some courage he never knew he had and asked her out to dinner. She accepted.  He was married, yes, and so was she, but what the Hell. Things had been so dull lately.  She felt a tingling in her heart, and wondered what to wear that night.  A notion hit her out of the blue - something she had never thought of doing before - wear a skirt shorter than that she had on now, but without any panties.  Yes, she'd do it.

Alicarus offered Heliosa another grape, by balancing it on his tongue, inviting her to take it with her teeth, but as her mouth closed in on it, he moved it back luring her to his own lips, and they kissed, softly, them with great intensity. Within moments they were on the floor, writhing passionately, covered in Olympian soil.

In the Philippines, a community was drawn together in helping to clean up after the devastation caused by the hurricane,  and many new relationships were formed. The media made the lonely fisherman an iconic figure in the tragedy. The photo of his grieving widow would win awards and help encourage the World to support to relief charity serving the region.  In Weston-super-Mare however, people watched the news of the hurricane on Satellite TV. Went oh, lordy-lordy, how awful, and then retuned their TV's for a new game show and gave the news story no second thought.

The game show was followed by the National lottery results - one of Tedia's main regular duties. Her charges would buy tickets and daydream about winning. They would watch the results and pine about how close their numbers were to the winning ones, and talk the talk about one day quitting their dull jobs, and moving to the Bahamas.  Tonight, with Aphrodite barely in control, one couple that hadn't even bought a ticket watched and faked the excitement of having seen their numbers come up. They danced and hugged, and cried on one another's shoulders, before running upstairs to fill the bath with cheap fake-champagne and get in - making love amidst the bubbles, as rich in one another as the few real winners would be in cash.

At a Belfast lap-dancing club, the manager suddenly got religion. He became a born again Christian and instantly disgusted by the sex and unholy shenanigans he'd been promoting. The club, he decided, would now become a simple austere Irish theme bar. He would break the good news to his staff soon. Aphrodite smiled at the thought of exploiting the Christian myth, but sad to find the bar that had brought so much sex to her charges was suddenly doomed. The potential within the tedium exploding from her was drowning. She wasn't comfortable about it, and shed a tear for her cousin, who had lived this despair from the dawn of creation until these few hours of freedom.

Tedia was dancing, and her mind exploded with ideas, from parades to orgies. Some convent nuns ran naked into a field and sparked the first outburst of mass hysteria streaking in the history of Rome. The Pope could see them from the balcony of the Vatican, and though he never would admit it, the sight fuelled his nightly masturbation fantasies for the remainder of his life.

More women went topless in sunbathing that day than ever, while the number of people taking up line dancing and flower arranging classes also peaked. There were statisticians who covered such data, thanks to the goddesses. .

Inevitably, the changes were becoming extravagant and excessive. Tedia's lovers started avalanches by yelling in orgasm on Alpine ski-slopes. Two particularly daring gay men who had only just discovered they were even homosexual, fell into a volcano in one another's arms in New Zealand. Many men of weak hearts had strokes while being stroked by mistresses they had never met before that night.

Tedia had little time for giving foreplay and so her lovers were all in love at first sight situations. They would barely meet before rushing off to find a room or, when poor, a tree to fuck behind.  Hotel bookings soared, and many people emptied bank accounts to be able to pay their bills, plunging into debts from which many never recovered. Prostitutes suddenly found themselves unable to keep up with demand. Many a musician found a new jazzy score to run with that night. Condom machines emptied out everywhere.

In other areas, the switch off from adventure was sudden and shocking. Lovers in mid copulation suddenly wondered why they were doing such things, and pulled out to rush off and get dressed, leaving startled partners in despair with their hopes dashed. In Aphrodite's regions, the prostitutes got cold and poor overnight, people came to the most notorious singles bars asking about the chance to play dominoes and moan about the awful weather for the time of year.

It was Bacchus who first noticed the scale of changes with some distress. The bars he knew to which lovers came to meet up were closing, while others that were traditionally discreet establishments were opening up in new ways. Lovers often needed drink to help shed inhibitions, and now many were simply springing into sex without the warming effects of alcohol on their hearts. Heavy drinkers were turning teetotal.

Tedia was conducting a global revolution. The sex on Earth was fast, frantic and often painful. Most people were seeing lovers in the cold hard light of sobriety. The grape was in danger of shrivelling on the vine, the bars in danger of closure in many towns. In others, the drinking was wild and wanton. Many unused to booze were making themselves ill. The dullards were getting lively, and a society of Live Action Role Players were seen in Bristol, dancing a conga in the street, naked and pissed. Bacchus was alarmed and notified Zeus.

Sharpening and charging the lightning rods for his party, the Father God looked down on the Mortals, seeing people in Belgium playing helicopter top trumps in a former brothel, while in Manchester, England, a pompous self-important and obscure erotica author called Arthur Chappell was actually out for once, getting fucked and enjoying it. Things had gone too far. Zeus knew that he had to put a stop to it all.

Knowing which goddesses were responsible for such duties, he quickly found them, though the clothes swap fooled him momentarily. They had virtually become each other. The slaves were actually making love on the ground near the goddesses, with their grapes crushed between their writhing bodies. .

Zeus roared. "Tedia! What is the meaning of this?"

He could have sworn that it was Aphrodite who turned her head first. Tedia caught more of his attention though. Her glowing nudity was breath-taking. She gasped, and covered her vagina with her hands in modesty.  Interesting suddenly meant scary, and liable to consequences, punishments, effects. Her pleasures had their price. She was at the limits of the fun she had enjoyed. She suddenly wanted to hide away in her frumpy clothes and live her life in quietude once more.

Aphrodite too felt shamed and silly.  This was not she. Many of the fun people she led in the merry whirligig of hedonism had changed overnight, and gone soft. Could anyone really want to make a scale model of the Taj Mahal from match-sticks when there was hardcore pornography in the World?  Her clothes felt restrictive and oppressive. She started to remove them, and as she did so, she learned to smile and laugh again. The very sunshine round her seemed to brighten.  On Earth, the dominoes went away and the dominatrixes returned.

Alicarus, and Heliosa stopped their love making as Aphrodite exposed her cunt once more. Alicarus's semen spilled down his thigh to the soil. The slaves never noticed one another again, as they pined after the Goddess Of Love, offering fresh grapes handed to them by Zeus and Bacchus. Aphrodite would never see or touch a single grape. Whether they remembered their brief coupling will never be known.

Bacchus felt guilty about being a grassing bastard, and drowned his despair in drink. As he quaffed, so did the people he watched, and the lovers shed their inhibitions in the right times and places once again.

Re-clothing  herself, Tedia felt her freedoms and hopes and dreams compressing, re-inhibiting. Her beauty obscured, she re-bobbed her hair and the air went dull around her. On Earth, people talking candidly about sex and desire to swing, changed the subject to why they liked old George Formby movies. Students felt the urge to stay in on Fridays and actually write their essays. A man who had just suggested to his girlfriend that they dress in each other's clothes, suddenly felt stupid and guilty about the whole idea. As she was one of Aphrodite's natural charges, she would soon indulge the fantasy with another man, while her abandoned lover would start collecting beer mats.

As punishment, Zeus barred the ladies from attendance at his lightning bolt throwing party. Somehow, neither woman cared anyway.

Tedia remembered her day of interesting things to do  with affection and fear. In her thinking, there were suppressed dreams of breaking free again.

Aphrodite still has a little niggling voice telling her to get dressed and have an early night for a change. Her loyal, adoring, slaves were trembling at the thought of having to be ignored by Tedia again, instead of ignored by the true Goddess Of Love.

Not every change was reversed once the Goddesses took back their natural forms. By mutual consent, the ladies of Olympus allowed some situations to run their redirected courses. The Chinese paper-clip girl continued her commando love life with her boss, and they had many wonderful nights and days in one another's beds. Their marital partners never found out about them. By a remarkable 'coincidence', both had discovered macram.

© 2010 Arthur Chappell. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

Bio: Arthur Chappell, the author, found that his rare night of passion was just that, a rare and beautiful experience, and it inspired much of his writing, which for the most part, remains dull and unexciting, but for those who read closely, there are occasional flickers of excitement and adventure among the more tedious passages. Readers paying deep attention to the work may spot them, and take their inspiration as their own, Aphrodite and Tedia willing.

Authors live for feedback!
If you enjoyed this story, please send comments to
Arthur Chappell


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