|Lavina, Canto 4: The Fall of the House of Borheya (Part 1 of 2)|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  25 Sep 2007
After two months,
during which, almost every night, he went
to his dead brother’s house to use the harem-girls,
Cesinare grew tired of his wife’s complaints,
and not only those about his inattention.
And so, grown used to the joyous compliance
of his girls in their silk uniforms,
Cesinare followed his brother’s lead
and had her confined to the harem
while her death was announced to the world.
She was forty and the daughter of a local noble family
whose baron father had served Borheya.
Her name was Juhei, and she was queen.
The kingdom mourned its queen
no more than two months after it mourned the prince.
And just ten months before that,
King Borheya himself, a tragedy unparalleled –
itself not a month after the imported Isabel’s own demise,
brought to the realm and wed not one month before.
It had been a bad fourteen months.
Like Isabel before her, Juhei was forced
to clean after the other girls
and was beaten by eunuchs with regularity.
And, like Isabel before her, Juhei was no less shocked
to discover the harem – much less
her dead brother-in-law’s wife there,
though she’d been dead to the world for all of a year.
So too did Juhei find difficulty adapting to humble harem life –
even more so as the rules for her escalated in difficulty
much as they had for Isabel before.
One might think that Isabel and Juhei
would have become friends, but – while they did share stories –
Isabel no longer cared not for the queen’s lofty attitudes.
When Lavina asked her lover why, Isabel had said:
“Perhaps I would have liked her, before I was thrown in here.
But that was another me, an Isabel
I don’t even like anymore,
an Isabel I disown.”
Juhei the Queen found even more trouble adjusting
than had Isabel, and she was beaten
more frequently. Because Cesinare had not the foresight
to have other women beaten with his queen,
as Guyesp had ordered for his Isabel,
Juhei took longer to break,
though the other women took well
to having their own slave again.
But, after four and a half months,
the harem had finally and truly broken her.
Cesinare fucked other women in front of her
and had her perform the most humiliating acts
until he was satisfied that her spirit had surrendered.
And then, knowing that she
was too old to please him, Cesinare
had Juhei killed. He ordered her held down,
right there in the harem garden, while all watched,
her mouth muffled, and he impaled her
through her cunt with a sword.
He told her not a word as he slid the sword inside,
inch by precious inch.
Thus was the garden of the harem’s courtyard
first stained with blood.
The other girls who watched thought it awful, but knew
they could do nothing –
that they belonged to him
and continued to breathe
at his whim.
During these months, Isabel was fast becoming
one of Cesinare’s favorites.
Cesinare found, during his use of her,
that he particularly enjoyed the incestuous nature of it.
It should not have surprised:
he was loathe to surrender his eldest daughter,
already twenty, to marriage – saying
“Juheimi is not yet ripe” – because he harbored
for her a lust hidden even to himself.
As Cesinare discovered how worked his lust for Isabel,
so he uncovered his true feelings for his daughter.
And so, six months into his time as owner of the harem,
he cast Juheimi into it. “After all,” he said to himself,
“I am the king. Should I be denied my will,
though my brother Guyesp was not his?
Should I not have whom I want in my harem
merely because my wife was too old?
That I do good in the world, for my people,
should I not permit myself this one indulgence?”
Like the other royals before her,
Juheimi discovered the harem by being thrown into it
and found there her uncle’s wife
and tales of her own mother’s brutal execution.
That hardened her, but her will, too, Cesinare broke
in time, much as he’d broken her mother’s.
Yet again the kingdom mourned, this time
at tales of the death of the king’s daughter.
But Cesinare’s only son, Juhenor,
shortly discovered that a servant-girl was buried
in lieu of his elder sister, Juheimi,
Cesinare had his own son killed by his guards
and, arriving after, at last cried over the corpse.
The kingdom mourned its king’s only heir
just days after it mourned it’s king’s eldest child,
and this time Cesinare mourned with his people.
“I have become a monster,” he said to himself.
“Truly those women have bewitched me.
This is all my brother’s doing –
no man, in my place, could have resisted
that harem, such a beautiful sight!
It has corrupted me, and I cannot escape.
Oh, if I had only I had not inquired about the rumors
and let Guyesp keep his secret –
or if only he had concealed it when I asked!
And now my hands are stained not only
with brother’s blood and wife’s blood but,
what is worse, the blood of my only son and heir!”
The good king thought of suicide,
and called not for girls from his harem
for several nights.
He thought of freeing his daughter,
but word of his deeds would spread
and the kingdom would be left no inheritor,
neither his brother nor himself
having any heirs left.
But, for all his lamenting,
nothing could stay his lust for long.
When Cesinare finally broke
and decided to enjoy the perquisites of his position,
he summoned at once Juhenor,
hating himself for doing so,
then found himself enjoying her resistance
even before she was broken.
He so enjoyed his own daughter
as a compliant member of his harem
that he had his last child,
the thirteen-year-old Cesinia,
tossed into the harem too.
Cesinia and Juheimi pleased the king
above all other women –
sometimes at once.
Isabel had no sooner fallen out of fashion,
replaced by the king’s own daughters,
that she discovered that she was pregnant.
She hid it as best she could,
trying to savor each moment with her beloved Lavina,
but eventually her waist blossomed
and she was taken away to the nursery.
Lavina had cried terribly then,
refusing to leave her bed except to eat with the others,
and a deep sadness animated her gestures.
She had no proof, nor did any of them,
that the women said to be taken to the nursery
were not slaughtered like Juhei, the Queen,
had been put to the sword in that green garden.
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