Title: THE TALK
Arielle Zabek - September 11, 2011 03:38 AM (GMT)
Arielle flew straight to the park. She was stressed. She didn't want to keep thinking, and for some reason, that made her think of meat and blood and hunting, and how badly she wanted to. And of course, the park was full of delicious fat creatures just waiting to feed her.
It was wrong. She knew it was wrong because she wasn't supposed to, but she had almost never been this confused and upset in her life. Usually someone just told her yes or no and that was what happened. This was different. This was subjective and strange and she didn't have a guide. And right now, the only thing that seemed like it might help was hunting. Maybe just this once, she could. Just because she needed it. She didn't have much here, and she needed something. Something familiar and, of course not comforting because it was wrong, but something that would help. That's all.
So she landed in the park and walked silently, broom in hand, searching for signs of life.
Beatrix Potter - September 11, 2011 03:51 AM (GMT)
Beatrix was eating something neat and not sloppy and even quiet. If it had occurred to her, she would have congratulated herself for her extraordinary consideration of her friends' and neighbors' habit of sleeping at night undisturbed by the sounds of bone splintering.
This was tastier sometimes anyway. It was a long string of raw sausages that someone had given her earlier and which she had hung in the branches of one of her trees in the park to keep it away from dogs. Crows might still get at it, but crows were pretty so Beatrix didn't mind them as much.
Now, though. Now was the time of chewing through natural intestine casing to get at the soft ground up everything-bits inside. So this is what Beatrix, sitting cross-legged in the grass, had set about doing.
Arielle Zabek - September 11, 2011 03:58 AM (GMT)
Arielle froze. There was a sound she had been unaware of. A soft sound. A creature sound. Was it edible? She crouched, moving forward as quietly as she could, until she could see the source of the noise, but.
It was a person. She was here to not be around people. Loud irritating people who asked all the wrong questions and didn't understand.
Arielle meant to simply give a frustrated sigh, but she was already thinking of hunting, already crouched and sneaking along, and already angry at herself and everyone else. Instead of sighing, she let out a long, low growl, the kind a lion might make if you tried to get between it and its dinner.
Beatrix Potter - September 11, 2011 04:02 AM (GMT)
Reflexively Beatrix leaned over her food and bared her teeth. This was just like when that stupid dog wanted her ribs and the only reason she didn't just THROW it was that its human was there and Sable would be sad at her and Beatrix sort of wanted to have sex with its human even though SHE HADN'T EVEN GOTTEN TO because he was so stupid.
That had been so stupid.
Nobody was taking her sausage.
"Mine," she said, for emphasis. Who knew what understood peopletalk? Maybe whatever wanted her sausage did know peopletalk and would therefore get over this little miscommunication where it thought it was going to have a claim on her food.
Where had it come from? Maybe it would go away.
Arielle Zabek - September 11, 2011 04:08 AM (GMT)
Hidden in the darkness, Arielle bared her own teeth, then found herself smiling. How odd. A person who did the same things she did. And who was eating what might very well be... Raw sausages?
Well. Maybe it was worth finding out. Maybe it was worth the risk.
"Ah... I'm sorry. I did not mean to, I... Today... Is not good."
She didn't move. It was nice, not being seen. If this person didn't mind her growling, then maybe she would be worth knowing. Otherwise Arielle could just hide, then fade away into the dark, and it would be like she was never there. No consequences. She liked the darkness.
Beatrix Potter - September 11, 2011 04:11 AM (GMT)
Ha! It DID talk peopletalk.
Beatrix was wise in the ways of the natural beasties and which ways they communicated. She was quite famous for that sort of thing, and she couldn't disagree with the reputation. She was a big deal in the local ecology for a good reason.
She straightened and shrugged, pulling another sausage link up. Then it occurred to her that that signal might not mean anything to whatever it was which had addressed her, and she added, "That's okay. I'm just hungry and sometimes dogs try to fight me for my food."
Some dogs were so stupid. Didn't they know who she was?
Arielle Zabek - September 11, 2011 06:53 PM (GMT)
...She had to fight dogs for her food? This was oddly familiar. And yet, not so much, since, up until the recent past, Arielle had little chance of actually winning a fight against a dog. Instead, she could just turn into a person and scare them away. She took a few steps forward, getting close enough that Beatrix could probably see her.
"You... are green. Why is that?"
Beatrix Potter - September 11, 2011 07:22 PM (GMT)
The nymph looked over to find an actual human person. That was unexpected. Oh well! A human was fine, too.
"Photosynthesis," Beatrix answered.
Was this not the most obvious thing ever? Somebody needed to tell this human who she was.
"I'm Beatrix Potter," she added, by way of explanation. She was so helpful.
Arielle Zabek - September 11, 2011 07:24 PM (GMT)
"...Oh." Well then.
"It is nice to meet you. I am Arielle Zabek." She walked forward slowly, holding out her hand. This person seemed nice, and if she was, then Arielle should be polite. It was the right thing to do.
Beatrix Potter - September 11, 2011 07:28 PM (GMT)
"Hi Arielle Zabek!" Beatrix said, wiping her hand on the grass and offering her hand in return.
This was so much better than the growling. Really, why hadn't Arielle Zabek just said hello before? Jeez.
"I think you have very pretty eyes," Beatrix declared. "There are butterflies that color. I get lots of butterflies around in the spring. Have you seen them?"
Arielle Zabek - September 11, 2011 07:30 PM (GMT)
She shook the green girl's hand, then sat in the grass next to her, smiling shyly.
"Thank you. I have not seen them, but I have not been here long. I could see them next spring, perhaps."
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:13 PM (GMT)
The dryad nodded decisively. "You will."
It was so. Arielle could tell because Beatrix had said so, and Beatrix was very wise and had a lot of influence in her little corner of their biome.
"So what have you done today?" she asked, it being her usual question. "Most people are inside at night unless they're making trouble or meeting someone to have sex."
Since she expected Arielle to answer in great detail as was her obligation to someone as noble and famous as Beatrix, she took a bite out of the sausage link at the end of her string. Oh meat. Meat, you were so good.
If only she had some coneflowers to go with it. Some texture might have been nice, and coneflowers were so delightfully prickly.
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 06:18 PM (GMT)
Arielle blushed bright pink.
"Really?" Did people do that? It was so... Inappropriate!
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:21 PM (GMT)
"Wnng yshh," Beatrix replied, her mouth full of food. Thankfully her jaws were pretty horrifyingly powerful for a girl her size, and she had it all chewed and swallowed quickly.
"People do that sometimes, and I think it's sort of sweet. Though if they're meeting me it's kind of the way it has to be. See, I can't go inside places, so if they have to come where I am, and where I am is outside."
With a snap of natural casing Beatrix ripped the end off of this current sausage so that she could finish it and start the next.
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 06:25 PM (GMT)
Arielle frowned. She must have missed something.
"...What do you mean?"
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:27 PM (GMT)
Beatrix swallowed, and paused before starting in on the next link of pig intestine filled with raw ground spare parts. "What do I mean about what?"
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 06:29 PM (GMT)
"About... what they do?" How should Arielle know what about what? She didn't know what this green woman was talking about. She made no sense.
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:32 PM (GMT)
The number of people she talked to who did not, in fact, have any idea who or what she was might have done terrible damage to her notion that she was a local celebrity whose comings and goings were common knowledge.
That is... it might have if she ever remembered.
"Well, Arielle Zabek, they do lots of things. Sometimes they come out and they sneak around doing whatever it is that they're not supposed to be doing. Sometimes they're just meeting a friend so that they can have sex, since as you know I'm sure, humans are really private about those things for some reason. Or sometimes they're meeting me! In which case they have to come outside because I live where there are trees and they don't grow well inside buildings. Everybody knows that."
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 06:36 PM (GMT)
"Oh... um." Well, then. There were a lot of questions that Arielle could ask. But right now. Was it okay to ask? She didn't know. Of course, this person seemed to have no sense of propriety, so maybe that was okay.
Wait a second.
"...How did you know? I mean. That they..."
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:39 PM (GMT)
Beatrix did not understand the subtleties of other people's reticence to talk about Dirty Things. She had few such impulses, so had never learned how to speak the language that came with them.
"That they what?"
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 06:41 PM (GMT)
"That they..." -she had to just say it because clearly she was not good enough at English to make her point without saying it so she should just spit it out- "had sex."
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:45 PM (GMT)
"Oh!" Beatrix exclaimed. "Oh well you can hear them, silly. They settle in somewhere and all the little animals run away because they don't like humans generally. And then there's the noise they make on the grass and in the shrubs or flowers or against the tree, and then there's just plain the noises they make. Some of them are pretty loud, which I sort of like. I don't go bother them, but it's nice to know that they are having fun, even if they do scare the animals away. But really the animals don't have any room to talk because you should hear the cats go at it."
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 06:49 PM (GMT)
Arielle turned bright red.
She didn't even want to think about the implications of that statement.
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 06:52 PM (GMT)
By now the dryad had gotten used to the fact that this woman was not very much of a conversationalist, but she also wasn't interested in taking Beatrix's sausages, which meant that she could sit and 'um' all she liked while Beatrix had dinner.
Air-temperature uncooked sausage was good. The fats were all solid and in little pieces that got into everything. What a clever idea, grinding up meat. Made it good for a quick snack, though it obviously couldn't replace the feeling of cracking open a ribcage by hand.
With these happy thoughts, Beatrix just kept eating.
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:00 PM (GMT)
This Beatrix Potter was a very strange woman. But maybe. Maybe she could help? She seemed to know what she was talking about, and... she was okay with it.
"Um. May I ask? You... seem to know many things... and..." Arielle blushed again.
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:02 PM (GMT)
"I do," she agreed. Beatrix paused in her quest to chew through her meal to lick the tips of her fingers because they tasted like sausage and that was neat. "I get that a lot."
(No she didn't.)
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:04 PM (GMT)
Well, that was good, right? Arielle's voice dropped, and she spoke very softly, keeping her eyes fixed on Beatrix so she could tell if she said something wrong.
"Would you tell me... about... sex?"
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:09 PM (GMT)
Oh, poor humans.
The look Beatrix gave Arielle said very plainly Oh you poor human.
"You know, it really isn't fair to you that you have to wait for so long to reach physical maturity and then you get there and you haven't been taught anything. What were all those years for if you don't even know how to reproduce?" She sighed. "But I know lots of things. I'll tell you because we're friends and you can call me Beatrix, all right? The short part at the beginning of the name is for friends."
Beatrix Potter knew this, because Maddy had told her. Madison was the only person Beatrix had met who was way way smarter than she was.
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:11 PM (GMT)
Definitely weird. But she was nice, and they were friends, and that was what counted, right?
"Yes. Thank you, Beatrix." Wait. Reproduce? Who said anything about reproducing? The color began to drain from Arielle's previously pink face.
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:15 PM (GMT)
"Of course! So what do you know so far? About sex?"
It was important to know just how far behind Arielle Zabek was. She was taking on a very important responsibility tonight, and one which was not strictly her job. It was humans' job to ensure that their species survived. However, Beatrix had a mostly symbiotic relationship with them, so it was in her interest that they do. They were her chief pollinators, after all!
Still, they really needed to work harder at this whole evolutionary thing.
"I'll fill in the rest."
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:16 PM (GMT)
Being put on the spot was a very good distraction. She turned pink again.
"Um... I, ah... Not... Not very much. Almost nothing..."
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:27 PM (GMT)
This whole species owed Beatrix big-time. Did they know that? Good gracious.
"Okay, well. So in a species with sexual reproduction, like yours, there are two sexes. There are males and females. You're a female, like I'm a female. There are also males. You can tell them with your species because they tend to be taller and bigger around the shoulders and they have different sex organs. Theirs are on the outside, not like ours. What they have is called a penis, and it's on the outside like ours is inside. What we have is called a vagina."
Universal! Like a penis! But... reversible.
"But you know more about those. Now, the reason these are different is sort of a big deal. Males have an outside organ and females have an inside one because they fit together. The male organ fits inside the female one, which is really fantastic. I mean, plants just have pollen that they sort of spray out and hope that it finds its own way to a female, which TRUST ME is not as fun. But anyway."
Beatrix set her sausage aside so that it wasn't sitting coiled on her leg looking like her intestines had spilled out. They WERE intestines, yes, but they weren't HER intestines. She pointed down near where her navel would be if she had one which she didn't because those were for people with umbilical cords. "Inside here, you have eggs, which are a special kind of cell that you only use to make new humans. The male has to get his penis up in the vagina to get his special cells to yours. He has sperm, and they're little and swim around until they find what they're looking for. Very handy. Now!"
The dryad put out both of her hands to forestall comment. "Your chances of actually making this work every time you try are kind of low, but that's okay, because that's why it is so important that sex is so much fun. I like to do it even when I don't need to make duplicates of myself, which says something because I am a VERY BUSY WOMAN, okay?"
(No, she wasn't.)
"Questions so far?"
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:31 PM (GMT)
Arielle listened quietly, turned more and more red until she finally let her hair cover as much of her face as she could without completely hiding from Beatrix because that would just be rude. She had asked, after all.
"Questions so far?"
She shook her head.
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:36 PM (GMT)
Beatrix hadn't expected there to be any questions. She was very good at explaining things and very shortly Arielle Zabek would know everything important and she'd have lots of wonderful sex and her species would survive and they would owe it all to Beatrix Potter.
"So there are two more things. The easiest is what happens when the males special cells--they're called his gametes--and your special cell meet up. They fuse together and they make a new human. That's not really how I do it, but it's how you do it, so that's what you need to know. After that, you have about three seasons' worth of time when that new human is growing from seed inside you and you have to be very careful with it."
"After those seasons of waiting, it'll be ready to come out and that will be a big scary mess, but at the end of it you have a baby, which is a young human. That baby will either be male or female--" This wasn't true 100% of the time, but these nuances were somewhat lost on a woman who'd come from trees. "--and someday that baby will be old enough to have sex and then have a baby of its own, and that's where humans come from."
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:40 PM (GMT)
"Oh." A very pale Arielle stared blankly at Beatrix. That was not good news. But she had asked, and she should be polite. Beatrix had been very obliging. "Thank you."
What if she was pregnant?
"Um. So... You said... The woman does not... always have a child?"
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:42 PM (GMT)
"No, your way isn't actually all that efficient." You poor human.
"See, you don't always have an egg ready and out where it needs to be, which means that sometimes you'll have sex and the man's gametes will search and search and not find anything, and you have to try again."
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:44 PM (GMT)
"Oh... That is good. Thank you."
She didn't know whether to be relieved or more upset than she already was.
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 07:47 PM (GMT)
"Uh huh!" she answered brightly. "Of course. Um. What else... Oh. So do you know what an orgasm is?"
Arielle Zabek - September 12, 2011 07:53 PM (GMT)
Organism? No? That's not what she said. Unless she had a weird accent.
"Um. No, I do not."
Beatrix Potter - September 12, 2011 08:19 PM (GMT)
"Oh my goodness," Beatrix said. "Okay, well. Sexual intercourse, if you are doing it right, feels really good! It's one of the big reasons why I even make myself these human bodies. It's great! If you're doing it right, it feels better and better up until a certain point where it hits its peak and is REALLY GREAT. That bit there is called your orgasm. Having one is sort of the point. After that it sort of drops off, but you can always try for another one."
"They're much easier to get from males, but I think females are fine, too. We just have parts that are a little more complicated, so you have more options and have to pick the right ones."
Something occurred to Beatrix. She could be helpful!
"Do you want me to show you how? I can if that would help you understand."