The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
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Sacred Texts
LEGEND TO ILLUSTRATIONS
  CONTAINS X-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS R-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS G-RATED IMAGES
COMMENTARY
  ~000 Introduction
I - THE YOUNG SCHOOLBOY
  ~001 Arrival at Caelian Hill
  ~002 Life at the Paedagogium
  ~003 Monsters and Heroes
  ~004 The Private Baths
  ~005 The Soaps of Cyprias
  ~006 The Treachery of Gryllus
  ~007 Assurances and Endurances
  ~008 The Demise of Trenus
  ~009 The Surprise Inspection
II - THE COURT PAGE
  ~010 Little Donkey
  ~011 Whispering Hope
  ~012 Epigrams for Antinous
  ~013 Books from Maltinus
  ~014 Little Signals
  ~015 Promotion
  ~016 Juvenalis IX
  ~017 A Frothy Idea
  ~018 Evening on the Riverbank
  ~019 Across the Leagues
  ~020 Unprecedented Access
  ~021 Winged Mercury
  ~022 Dinner Guest
  ~023 Causes of Nausea
  ~024 New Pupil
  ~025 Wax, Soap, and Wool
  ~026 Four Daughters
  ~027 Vitalis Atones
  ~028 Futures and Histories...
  ~029 The Triumph of Desire
  ~030 An Image of Antinous
  ~031 The Ride From Rome
  ~032 The Villa at Tibur
  ~033 The Ride To Rome
  ~034 Praeconina
  ~035 Foolish Carisius
  ~036 The Christian Texts
  ~037 Married Pleasures
  ~038 In Tibur, Alone
  ~039 The End of Corinthus
  ~040 Turning Tables
  ~041 A History & Fantasy...
  ~042 A Sad Collection
  ~043 Rafts in a Raging Sea
  ~044 Rome, Home and History
  ~045 A Caravan of Monologue
  ~046 On Favorinus
  ~047 The Flesh of a Metaphor
  ~048 Disquieting Thoughts
  ~049 Purple Reign
  ~050 The Heart of Numidia
  ~051 Stables of the Palatine
  ~052 Hadrian's Deprivation
  ~053 Transcripts and Categories
  ~054 In the Wake of a Paradox
III - THE IMPERIAL FAVOURITE
  ~055 Father of the Country
  ~056 The First Night with Hadrian
  ~057 A Place in the World
  ~058 Hard Resolution
  ~059 Announcements...
  ~060 Keeping Company
  ~061 The Stallions' Ride
  ~062 The Tour Begins
  ~063 On the Isthmus
  ~064 On Grief
  ~065 The Eleusian Mysteries
  ~066 A Playful Wager
  ~067 The Delights of Athens
  ~068 On Receiving
  ~069 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~070 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~071 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~072 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~073 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~074 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~075 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~076 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~077 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~078 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
IV - THE SEARCHING SOUL
  ~082 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~086 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~087 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~089 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~090 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~091 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~092 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~093 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~094 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~095 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~096 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~099 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
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Phallic Amulets

The Eleusian Mysteries

O my Lysicles!

Nothing of what I most recently was remains. The Antinous who wrote to you a fortnight ago – he whose sorry lament for Vitalis rendered him for a trying time completely inconsolable – now stands upon the earth feeling utterly indomitable. For I, with the deepest terror and the utmost awe, have looked directly into the searing face of Demeter; I have felt her breath upon the back of my throat as she kissed me; I have tasted the infinite tears of her soul.

How is that to be explained? It was the Mysteries, my beloved. The Mysteries of Eleusis, into whose folds I have recently been welcomed. I’ll not write of its philosophies or rituals, for they are secrets known only to initiates – and Socrates (ha ha). Far more astonishing are the sensations I experienced, beneath the lunar light, on that final night in which the gods appeared to me. I must recount them to you as fast as I can for fear of forgetting them or seeing them fade in intensity the longer I wait to set them here.

It was very soon after the raising up of the pomegranate seeds that I felt something churning within my stomach. It was not a nausea, for I was hardly in danger of being sick. It was more akin to a pregnancy. For I had the uncanny feeling of the goddess, Persephone, growing from deep inside of me toward the surface of my skin. I could feel the power of her young woman’s body swelling slowly within me, pushing steadily outward as though pining to touch the night air. As her presence filled my flesh, I discovered that I could quite consciously will myself to release a pure and liquid pleasure into my veins. The only substance I can think of which could even come close to creating such an effect within me is ambrosia. The pleasure lasted only about ten beats of my heart before fading. But I had merely to command the experience to repeat itself, and instantly the euphoria of the goddess flooded obediently through my sinews once again. Her gestation within me was complete when I felt that my skin had now become hers. We were two persons sharing a single body, and I marvelled at the experience of her sex upon mine. I sensed her breasts above my heart; my young manhood was enveloped in her warm womanhood to achieve a perfect unity of form.

If that was not extraordinary enough, I soon after felt a new presence blooming inside: the body of Hades himself. It slowly emerged from my core, pressing ever outward. I imagined my body needing to stretch in order to contain the might of this fearsome Olympian. But I was not afraid of bursting, my friend. On the contrary, I felt the flesh of Antinous inflating to match the magnitude of the burgeoning Hades. I felt his awesome might; his pitilessness; his hurt; his aching love; his agony; and his eternal victory over the souls of the departed. Yet still the euphoric, nourishing, pearly-white ambrosia swirled through me at will. It was terrifying and incredible.

And then Persephone reasserted herself, and the sensations became feminine, creative, cooing and fragrant. It was as though the two gods were consummating their treacherous marriage deep within my pulsing core, and, by the union of the two, I found myself greatly and gloriously pleasured from the inside out. The feeling steadily intensified, building at last into a mighty climax that shuddered through me – yet without the exchange of mortal fluid. All I could feel were waves of immortal power and succulence.

In the aftermath of that particular glory, my consciousness was restored to the weeping and wintry earth. Suddenly, the awesome might of Demeter was before me. She gasped at my appearance, horrified by the brutality with which my flesh had been commandeered by the newlywed gods. She rushed to hold me as like an anxious mother. She grabbed my face and kissed me – blissful and sorrowful, angry at my disappearance yet overjoyed to find me restored. Was I her daughter? Her son? Her husband? I cannot tell: her love for me was the love of a mother, yet incestuous and carnal. Her hungry lips found my own; hot breath blew down my throat, searing it deep into my gullet.

The next thing I recall was the face of Hadrian, gazing down at me amid a circle of people. He was smiling and there were messy tears streaming from his joyous eyes. “You’ve been writhing here upon the stone for many minutes,” he said.

I could not speak. My throat was completely dry and raw. Hadrian proffered a cup of water, which I gratefully gulped down. At last I found my voice: “The gods have revealed themselves to me,” I gasped.

“And you to them,” replied Hadrian simply. At this, there was a wave of rejoicing amid the onlookers. They hoisted me to my feet and the celebrations intensified as more and more of the initiates were revived from their private ecstasies.

In the hours since the conclusion of the Mysteries, I have been a different person. My body is heavier and my mind is lighter – but both in good ways. My flesh feels more a part of the earth than it ever has; I am rooted, grounded – despite the vastness of our travels. My brain is no longer encumbranced by worry and fear, anxiety and skittishness. It is calmed to a point where I have absolutely no compulsion to fret about those many things beyond my control. I have discovered in myself a monumental peace – and it is a lasting peace. It has not faded as time carries me further afield toward my destiny. Rather, it is a peace that remains now as firmly planted into the loamy soil of my soul as it was in those first few moments of my awakening in the arms of my lover on the floor of the telesterion.

My euphoria was (and remains to this moment) quite palpable. It has settled like a warm concrete into my flesh: fortifying and unassailable. Yet still my limbs remain supple: they rejoice in a profound and perfect youthfulness – shameless in the fullest acknowledgement of their effortless prime. I beg you, Lysicles: do not read into what I am about to write anything but a profound love for the world and its men. There is no hubris in what I am become; there is no self-satisfaction. The truth is, quite simply, that I feel myself transformed into a god. I strut upon the earth as though powered by an Olympian heart. It is an awareness both terrifying and majestic.

Lest you think me become an isolated megalomaniac, know that Hadrian, too, is visibly elevated. He marches across the smiling face of Athens with a magnificent, godlike stride that elicits from onlookers the tremble of utter supplication to his power.

Such, then, is the woefully under-stated summary of my astonishing experience in the bosom of Eleusis; a relentless span of days over which I still find myself marvelling that such a flimsy, mortal casing as skin and bones was able to endure.

Yet I did indeed survive, and have emerged from it as like a new Antinous: invigorated, invested, and inviolable.

The city of Athens awaits. It seems to be in a perpetual state of twittering celebration at the knowledge that its most beloved benefactor, Hadrian, is suddenly present among its venerable and ancient marbles. There will be much to tell in the coming days. But for now, I must rest again, for the exhaustion continuously assails my body as like a persistent beggar who, despite of being repeatedly sent away with a silver in hand, has the audacity to return, expecting ever greater reward.

Such, I suppose, is the glory of being most richly alive, and I will hardly complain. Let me thus embrace the beggar instead, thank him for his flattering attentions, and invite him into my bed to provide, in exchange for the coins of fleeting consciousness, a strange and otherworldly weave of pleasures. A.

 
Optimythic
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