Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
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For this chapter I had to look up and incorporate a very old God. This one is real and she has been given many names. This is only one of her many. She was a fertility God and apparently she was good enough to be adopted by many cultures, hence her many names. Eventually Astarte was adopted by the Greeks and her name was changed to Aphrodite. With the name change came also an extreme makeover.
It is not unusual for fertility Gods to have a robust appearance. It is after all their ability to reproduce that is what makes them attractive. Large breasts, large hips and usually stretched out belly's are all synonymous with a fertility Goddess. Aphrodite was an exception to the rule. She conformed to the Greek ideal. She still had the ample hips but, in general her body was pre-pregnancy in appearance. In fact, even though Aphrodite had a child, Cupid, she is never portrayed as ever being pregnant. Also, Cupid is never portrayed as growing up. He is the perpetual babe. The two are seldom depicted together and never in a mother and son type of warm relationship.
This is also not unusual for the Gods, any Gods. Familial ties are seldom portrayed as warm. With the resounding exception of India and he Hindi Gods. The blue ones. But, we have discussed them before. They most likely, were actual beings that mankind could see and touch. Hence, the depictions of them and their relationships is probably more accurate than those depicted by the Greeks.
Anyway, I chose Astarte because she was a traditional fertility Goddess and that is what Michael was seeking. Mankind has strayed very far from what we consider acceptable forms of religion. They have adopted a type of Roman style acceptance of religion. With the exception that there was no Caesar to worship and the Gods in their Pantheon were disposable, as you will see as the book progresses.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
 Nearly a year later; Michael entered a circular Temple. He had not eaten a decent meal in days. Coffee and treats from a snack cart had been his only sustenance. He had now slept and he had just received yet anotherround of bad news. He had finally broken down and come here to pray as a last resort.
These Temples had been invented sometime in the late twenty-fourth century. They were designed to end a religious war, which was the truth. At the time the powers that were told the world that the Temples were invented to save space and hence money and still allow for places of worship. In truth the governments didn’t give a damn about religion unless it also included money. Most of the money had gone out of religion when the government had taken over the drug trade. That single move had bankrupt two thirds of the world’s religions and gave way for the rebirth of many of the ancient religions.
To conserve space and save money the governments convinced the world religions that they would get along much better if their deities were all housed in the same building. This idea gave birth to the circular Temples. Each deity was given a space on the edge of a large circle. Partitions were placed between them and their priests or priestesses or caretakers whatever they were called would decorate their area for them. The entire room would rotate on a single axis and worshippers would enter from the center.
This gave everyone equal access to the Gods and Goddesses and no religion was elevated or slighted. Most people found that this was anequitable way to worship. Throughout the centuries the old ways of individual churches and places of worship were forgotten and when they were taught ashistory those ways were thought of as silly and counter productive to worship.
Michael seldom came to Temple. He had little use for Gods. So at this odd appearance in the Temple Michael found that he was far outside of his element. He stopped on the stationary ring that surrounded the stairs and wondered for the first time which God he should reach out to for guidanceand help. While he stood and wondered the Gods turned slowly in their personal shrines. They offered no suggestions when they passed him.
First to face him was a near naked God who sat in a strange cross legged position and had long earrings dangling down his chin; his name was Buddy or something like that. No, this was not the God that he needed. The room turned. The next God to face Michael or for Michael to face… he wasn’t sure which one was more accurate or correct, was a combination of animal and man. He had a goat’s head and a man’s body and probably a goat’s reproductive organs because, what was portrayed seemed very unnatural in Michael’s mind. This might be the right God but he wasn’t sure. He would keep this one in mind but continue looking.
Next in line was a female Goddess. She was a huntress and hence was lithe and strong like the beasts that she hunted. She was most certainly not the Goddess that he needed.
The room continued to turn and turn and turn and he saw Gods and Goddesses representing all factions of Human, Sinarri and Dwarven life.There were Gods of war, Gods of insight, Gods of science, Gods of love and hate and even a dead God who was still displayed attached to the wooden cross that he had been murdered upon. But none of these suited his needs. A few times he thought that perhaps this was the one, especially when the lady clothed in blue came around. She seemed to be a woman of fertility and bounty but, she held her impaled heart upon her breast and he decided that she would ask too much for her favor.
The Goddess that he finally decided upon was one that was fully naked, that aspect alone appealed to his warped appetites. She was obviously from a time in Earth’s history when sculpture detail was not an exact science. Her image had been beyond ancient when the Earth was young but, it was unmistakable. She was a true Goddess of fertility. She required only a man’s seed or a woman’s egg for payment.
Michael left the standing circle and quickly strode down the golden carpeted path that led to his chosen Goddess. He was halfway down the deceptively long path when he noticed someone kneeling on the cushion beforethe Goddess called Astarte. He recognized the woman as Rosaleen before he reached her; the flaming red hair gave her away. The recognition filled him with joy and longing. It was a sign from the Goddess herself! He was certain of it. She was presenting him with the sacrifice that she required all he neededto do was make the sacrifice as she requested and his dreams would come true.
He gently knelt beside Rosaleen and looked up at Astarte with anticipation. She seemed to be smiling down upon him. Her body was naked except for a thin chain around her waist, the ends of the chain dangled tantalizingly close to her triangle of hair. Her right knee was up slightly and tipped towards the other leg in a provocative pose, it almost screamed to him pry me apart… his loins began to throb.
Astarte’s hands toyed with a stand of wavy hair that lay across her ample bosom. Her breast, though large stood up and her nipples were hard. Michael wanted to touch them, he wanted to feel his manhood cradled between them. His eyes were drawn to hers. They were shadowed by her bangs but they followed you wherever you might be and they looked right through you.
“She’s beautiful isn’t she?” Rosaleen’s voice was thick with emotion and it startled Michael out of his reverence. She had been crying. 
He shook his head and looked over at her. Astarte’s face overlay Rosaleen’s in his eyes. She beckoned to him but he wasn’t sure what to do. “Unbelievably” He said breathily.
“I heard that your wife was pregnant. Do you come to ask for Astarte’s blessing or her favor?”
The words barely penetrated his mind but when they did he was confused. What was the difference between her blessing and her favor? He wasn’t much for the Gods. He only came to them when things were desperate. The last three implants had failed and he had become desperate. Science had failed him as far as he was concerned so now he turned to faith. Did you have to have faith to turn to it or could you just develop it afterwards? He had no idea and right now it didn’t matter. Astarte seemed to have made the decision of faith for him. She apparently had faith in him or she wouldn’t be showing him the way.
“Are you alright Michael?” He had taken too long to answer…he was taking too long. The visage of Astarte was fading from Rosaleen’s face.
“I’m fine. I’m overcome with the presence of the Goddess.” Did I sound pious, religious or sincere enough?
Rosaleen / Astarte smiled at him. He had said the right thing. “Of course, I understand / Look upon me and weep.” They said.
“You cry when you behold her beauty.” It was not a question…entirely.
A long moment passed while Rosaleen / Astarte studied the pillows below her knees. They were thick and wide. She / They seemed to bethinking. “I lost my child / give me another.”
Michael’s heart raced and his manhood grew. “Do you ask for her blessing or her favor?”
Again Rosaleen / Astarte seemed to think hard on their answer. “A bit of both I suppose. I ask her blessing on my frail body and her favor in granting me another child / and I grant her a child with you. Worship me!”
Her heard Astarte’s voice loud and clear even though Rosaleen’s mouth had ceased to move. She gave the answer and the admonition that Michael had been praying for when he had knelt at her feet. “Yes my dear lady, may she answer both of your requests.” They turned their beautiful faceup towards his and smiled. “But you must give her what she wants in return.”Rosaleen did not understand but Astarte glowed with anticipation.
“I’m not sure what it is you mean.” Rosaleen stuttered.“Take us now!” Astarte screamed.
Michael did not hesitate. His Goddess had commanded him. He grabbed Rosaleen by the shoulders and forced a kiss upon her lips. She thrashed her head away from him and then struck his mouth and nose with her forehead. His nose snapped and his lip split, blood spurt out of both splattering both of them. The pain was exquisite!
Rosaleen was squirming and began to scream, he hit her hard on the side of her head. It was a lucky shot; he had hit her in the temple and knocked her unconscious. He looked down at Rosaleen’s face and saw onlyAstarte. In his mind she ripped off her own clothing and pulled him down upon her and begged him to take her over and over again. Each time that Rosaleen would stir he would silence her with another blow or more… whatever it took to see the unobstructed visage of his Goddess.
He took small naps in between to conserve his energy. He wanted to worship Astarte and she wanted him in ways that Lena never had. She wanted his strength and his dominance. She liked the pain that he caused and the marks that he made on her body were like badges of pride. She even liked it when Rosaleen was half awake and he would force himself into her mouth, she liked the woman to be gagged half to death so Astarte could grant her strength. That had given him the idea to choke her while he took her to increase her pleasure. Lena had never let him help her like that.
Many hours later he was exhausted and could not continue worshipping without some real sleep. His heart was willing but his body wasweak. He asked the Goddess if he could take her avatar with him as a token of her good will, and he in turn would worship her through her avatar his everywaking hour until she had conceived. Astarte heard his request and granted him her blessing.
With the help of Jack, Astarte’s avatar was transported to Michael’s private home. His wife was once again in the hospital recovering from another miscarriage so he had no fear of being caught with the Goddess. His wife would not approve of his choice, she paid homage to the dead God and she had told him that he was a very jealous God.
Astarte’s avatar was bound to the bed and gagged so that the part of her that was Rosaleen could not interfere with his worship. He had Frank set up an intravenous feeding line and got a nurse to monitor the avatar. Having a Goddess occupy your body would probably be a strain and he didn’t want Rosaleen to suffer for the gift that the Goddess was giving her. It had been made clear to him early on by her protests that Rosaleen didn’t want the great blessing that she was being given so, he would help her with her lack of faith. Eventually she would help him worship the Goddess and enjoy it… he would see to it that she did. She would see how blessed she was before he was done with her.
Frank checked on her every day and Astarte had confided in Michael that she wanted Frank to use her avatar as well but Frank had declined saying that he was not worthy. He was probably right. He worshiped the God of science. Who knew how much he could contaminate the avatar if he were to use her? Astarte had agreed with Michael’s logic and stopped requesting Frank’s seed.
Days later Michael had to grudgingly admit that since Frank had started caring for the avatar that Rosaleen had been more compliant. After a week she could be awakened for short periods of time and that was goodbecause she was beginning to stink. Her smell had disgusted him a couple of times but Astarte had insisted on his worship so he had lit some strong smelling candles and worshipped her for hours. Still he had been pleased when Rosaleen had begged him to allow her to cleanse herself for the glory of Astarte. Now she cleansed herself and fed herself every day. Still she did not participate in worship but, at least she did not fight him anymore. It had only taken twelve days.
He may never get her to accept her role as Astarte’s avatar but, he would keep trying. Even if she never came around he would still give hera child. He was not stupid he knew that a woman’s cycle was roughly every thirty days and he was determined that she would be pregnant when her cycle came. Then Astarte would leave her and she would be just Rosaleen again. Once upon a time…a very long time ago it seemed he had wanted Rosaleen but now after having a Goddess… well she seemed so inadequate.
Please forgive the run together words. My cut and paste is not working correctly and the editor is not underlining the wrong words.
Live well and be good to each other.

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