The Reinvention of Velvet, Softly
by Susannah Indigo
The Spiral Snowcase
Once there was a grownup little girl named Velvet who lived in a beautiful mountain town, a town full of skiers and hot springs and reggae music and very deep snow. The snow was so deep that Velvet had to carve a steep spiral staircase out of snow just to get up and out of her doorway and be able to leave her house.
Still, Velvet wore skirts. She wore big black furry boots, baby blue cowl-neck warm fuzzy sweaters, black earmuffs, little black mitts and long black skirts. People laughed at her and told her she should wear pants, or jeans, or a snowsuit, and they told her she would freeze and catch cold and be sorry. Velvet would just shrug and turn away, for she couldn't tell them that her Daddy only allowed her to wear skirts and even though he had been gone for a very long time, she could still feel the heat of his hands reaching under her skirt and it was enough to keep her warm.
Every day when Velvet woke up under the big blue and white star quilt, she was sure her Daddy was there next to her, and that he would roll over and press his full weight into her, and begin to whisper into her ear exactly what he wanted her to do that day. She would lie very still with her arms stretched above her head on the pillow, and feel his big hand wrap around her wrists and hold her there while he kissed her hard, breathing into her, giving her life and energy, creating her anew each day according to his desires. He would bite her lip and if she cried out he would bite harder and pause until she said, thank you for loving me, Daddy.
Today, he would sometimes say, you will just lie here on the bed for me with your legs spread wide and wait for me to use you any way that I like. Other days he would dress her in her royal blue satin slip, take her to the oak table in the corner by the fireplace, tie her ankles to the chair and tell her exactly what to write. Write me a story, Velvet, he'd say, about a young Eskimo girl and her Daddy and all their words for snow, and about what happens when they move to a tropical island where they are the only people there, so that nobody can ever know what he does to her. Make it long and sexy and cruel. And you know that it has to make me hard when you read it to me tonight. Or else.
His words filled the room and then they stopped. Velvet opened her eyes suddenly and could see that her Daddy wasn't there at all. She tried to talk to herself in his voice. She touched herself and she was just as wet as if it was his hand touching her. She stroked herself and paused long enough to slap her pussy the way he used to. And when she began to feel too crazy for the room she got up and put on her skirt and sweater and mitts and boots and went out to look for Daddy.
One Monday morning as she left, the last Monday morning, she locked her door tight and climbed up the spiral snowcase in her skirt. She began her daily walk up and down the streets, stopping to look in every shop window as though her Daddy might be just sitting there next to a pile of ski sweaters, waiting for her. Where have you been, Velvet? he would say to her in that voice, and she would say I'm sorry it took so long for me to find you, and he would punish her by making her lift her skirt and bend over in the window where everyone could see her. He would kiss her and then spank her bare bottom, pausing to touch her and make her come, and cry, at the same time.
She walked through all twenty streets in the little mountain town, lifting her skirt slightly to step over piles of ice, but she didn't find him again. She was cold under her skirt but thought that maybe she just had to go deeper into the snow to find the man she was looking for. There were a lot of men in Velvet's world, but they were all too nice and they never told her what to do.
She stood by the hill on Lincoln and Highway 40 and pulled the little 3 x 5 cards out of her skirt pocket and looked at them to try and figure out what to do next. On the Fourth of July, when the sun was high and threatening to melt the spiral snowcase, she had started to write things down to tell herself what to do when she forgot how to live.
Ride the gondola one card said, and Velvet had ridden the gondola up and down the mountain a hundred times looking at all the skiers and listening to reggae music blaring from the slopeside bar until finally the lift operator felt so sorry for her he took her home to his ski hut and undressed her carefully and fucked her gently all night long. In the morning she put her arms above her head and waited for him to tell her what to do, but he made her coffee and breakfast in bed and kissed her softly and told her he loved her and she knew she would never see him again.
Make snow angels another card said, and Velvet closed her eyes and remembered how she made snow angels all over the yard of the courthouse in November in the hope that her Daddy would come by and see them and know she was looking for him. That night she slept outside tucked into the wing of one of the angels and dreamed that all the men of the town came by and lifted her skirt one by one, touching her and trying her out, kind of like Cinderella's glass slipper. But none of them fit just right, and in the morning she was still alone.
All I ever wanted was a dark and smart and sexy man to take control of me and own me. Does this make me crazy? Is this too much to ask? There must be hundreds of men in this world who would like to do this and I'm just not looking hard enough or being a good enough little girl. My Daddy knew how to do this and when I knelt in front of the fire we both knew that we were born for him to own me. We would look into the fire and it was like a vision . . .
Velvet opened her eyes and realized: maybe my Daddy never existed. She thought maybe she had invented him, made him up from scratch like a good story, imagined his hands and his words and his cock and his force. And if he was imaginary, so was she, because then no one had ever breathed life into her, and maybe the spiral snowcase was really only made out of cement after all.
She looked out through the falling snow and saw that the tall poles called snowmarkers that showed the snowplow where the road was were completely covered by the many feet of falling snow.
If there is no road there is no town. There are no paths, there are no maps. Everything I know in this world does not exist. There is no man here who knows how to touch a little girl right. I am invisible, just like the snowmarkers, buried under forces that just are.
Velvet lifted her skirt and stepped into the biggest snow drift at the bottom of the hill. She began to climb up through the blinding snow, inventing as fast as she could, entire new worlds full of strong men and tropical islands and happy little girls, keeping her hand frozen tight on the 3 x 5 cards in her pocket all the way.
The Island of Daddies
Velvet traveled for a very long time -- across mountains, over bridges and through dark tunnels. She pretended she was a pioneer woman from the olden-days, the kind she read about in libraries whenever she stopped in cities to get warm. She couldn't tell exactly if pioneer women had sex, or Daddies, or even any fun, but they were tough and they just kept going and at least they all wore long skirts like Velvet did.
She found a bright green light at the end of one tunnel after a long journey in November and began to climb up the big silver staircase with the sign that pointed to The Island of Daddies. She knew she was probably hallucinating because there was no such place on any map in any library, but then her hometown in the mountains didn't exist on maps either, and she knew she had lived there, at least during the nights.
My Daddy would like this island, she thought as she came to the top of the stairs and saw all the redwood trees. There aren't many islands with these kinds of trees on them. This is a place where he could pretend I was his little Eskimo girl and do all the sexy things he wanted to me under these trees. Velvet lifted her skirt to her waist and wrapped her arms around the big trunk of one tree and pretended she was tied there, pretended she couldn't move away but could still move her legs and her hips, pretended there was a circle of men watching her, and that her Daddy told her to close her eyes while he whipped her bottom.
After she came, she opened her eyes and saw that there was a circle of men watching her make love to the tree. One man, the tall dark-haired man with the green-blue eyes and the glasses who looked a lot like her Daddy but wasnít, came to her and took her backpack off her back and made her sit down. A very nice backpack -- but itís so heavy, he said. What do you carry?
Velvet sat with her skirt spread around her. She considered this circle of men and wondered if they knew her Daddy. I carry ideas, she finally answered. Ideas. Thoughts. Directions. Words. And stories, she added, turning to the large man with the twinkle in his eye, because we have to tell ourselves stories in order to live.
True, he agreed, and he pulled her baby blue sweater up and over her long black hair and laid it on top of her backpack....
(...the trip continues, on CD only)