The Thrill of the Chaste Mother Superior flung the door open to witness a cloister-full of new recruits frolicking gaily in the nude. Some lay on the grass putting flowers in their hair, the hot sun reflecting off their pale white bosoms. Others danced in circles, chanting schoolgirl rhymes, teasing and giggling. Their ripened bodies were all that gave away their years, for their actions were those of an innocent yesteryear. They were a group possessed by some childhood spirit, a benevolent sprite that had whisked away all their inhibitions. But, with those inhibitions, so too had gone the interest in all matters sexual. In collapsing the barriers of humility the means for fornication was provided, but the desire withdrawn. And so their ecstasy was indicative of a huge release of sexual tension, without the pre- requisite of sex itself. They bathed in immaculate post-coital bliss. Mother Superior spazzed out. Incorrectly interpreting the sight before her as an utter collapse of decency and descent into sexual depravity, she collapsed to the ground and gasped for breath. One of the nymphet nuns skipped up to her to help. Gently caressing her hair until she came to, and realizing hitherto unseen beauty in the face of her instructor. Smiling softly into her eyes she bent closer and oh what was the fucking point. Diccon‟s erotic writing was going down the pan. Increasingly short on ideas, and bored with his stories he jerked the pages from his typewriter and then went next door to jerk himself off. The interference of his own sexual tension in his writing was a constant irritant. He was at best when hormonally drained; then he could approach his task methodically and without undue emotion. Recently he was finding himself more and more distracted. He was becoming under the thumb of his testosterone and it was choking his „art‟. Why now? What was the cause of this new frustration? It was a growing concern, an acute awareness of the truth, the very truth he hoped to escape from in his writing, the simple truth that at 27, Diccon was still a virgin. When he finished next door he lay back on his bed and went through the usual post-masturbatory pangs of guilt and denial. Once again he decided this was to be his last… for at least a week. He pulled himself up and sat on the edge of the mattress and gazed lazily into his multicoloured wallpaper. As his eyes lost focus in the swirling patterns, a 3D rendering of his mother appeared there before him. Magic-eye Mum was back. Her voice was even clearer; “When are you going to get a job Diccon, a real job? When are you going to get a wife Diccon? Where are my grandchildren…?”. What had once been light-hearted and off-hand had become earnest and aggravated. Shuddering he turned away and the image dissolved. He fumbled for his notepad. Finding it in his back pocket he flipped it open and scribbled down on his to-do list: No. 458 Change wallpaper. Plain colour essential. He put the notebook back in his pocket, got up, sat back down and got it out again. No. 459 See Analyst. It was long overdue. Diccon always thought that analysts were overpaid and under- qualified. They hardly knew you, although they pretended to know everything. There was no real incentive for them to cure you as that would only mean you stopped paying them. Their own families were always disasters. When Diccon thought back to the most screwed up kids he once knew, their parents were invariably analysts. It was a blinding truth. This self-righteous brotherhood of Freud would screw up their own houses and then attend to those of others, charging by the hour. However, the more adamant he became that he was not going to get hooked on shrinks, the more he became aware of his need. All this changed when he chanced upon an excellent analyst. A qualified expert that was always willing to listen and, though her suggestions were scarce, they were always truly valued. They hadn‟t met in over a week, and Diccon was looking forward to a good long chat. He threw open the curtains, made the bed, and quickly tidied the room. The sessions took place in the bedroom and he wanted the place to be decent. Tidy room, tidy mind and all that, as his analyst would say. He then lay back on his bed-cum-analyst‟s couch and waited for the session to begin. “Good afternoon, and how have we been this week?”, the analyst began, or so Diccon might have imagined, as teddy bears can‟t really talk. Those quick to judge might at this point question Diccon‟s sanity, but though he was many things, he certainly wasn‟t mad. It was to him a very elegant solution. The bear was a trusted friend that had known him since childhood, and one with which he had shared countless experiences. Formative experiences, just perhaps, well, not formative enough. The bear would never interrupt him, never lecture him, never patronize him, or just chew his pencil and stare at him. The bear didn‟t have a room full of degree certificates and diplomas, didn‟t have a bell that went off after an hour, or a secretary that gave you a knowing stare as you walked in the office, the first sign that the „confidential‟ service was not all that it seemed. “I think the closest I got was with that Indian actress.” Pause. The bear stared at him reproachfully. He thought back to the night when he met her in a bar and took her back to his place. How he hunted all over his place, frantically looking for a condom. How he‟d used them all up masturbating – not because he was afraid of catching a contagious disease from his hand but because taking the thing off afterwards made it feel more like the real thing. How she‟d giggled and kissed him goodnight and said not to worry, as she could see him tomorrow. He was so excited he could hardly sleep, counting the hours until the following evening. He purchased a industrial supply from Boots that would last him years. Having said that, looking back, none would have lasted him years. Then in the bar that night he was chatting. She was laughing. Some old friends appear, say hello. He introduces the new friend to the old. What does she do? Acting. Wow. What sort of films? Diccon seized the chance to make a joke “Oh, you know, the usual stuff. Mostly x- rated.” The others laughed, but expression on her face gave away the truth in an instant. Suddenly the laughing stopped. They all knew now. And she ran out the door. Diccon stared back at the bear. “Fine, she was a porn star. I didn‟t know it then.” It was just one in a long list of near misses. He thought back and remembered the intense frustration. How much it hurt to remember all this. He shot a look back at the bear. “What do you mean there‟s more to life than sex!” he screamed. “What does a bear know about sex? You‟re the only things people take to bed and don‟t screw! You take love, but you give nothing back. What the hell would you know?” He continued to stare, watching it. Sitting there in its cute velvet waistcoat, not speaking. He stared at the light brown fur, completely flat on its left side because he always, always, lay to the right of it in bed when he was a child. He stared at the black bakelite eyes, little beads that had studied him as a boy. Had he changed in the eyes of the bear? He swore he could see a tear forming. He blinked, it was his own. Every boy wants to become a man before his time. At least, they think they do. Lurking deep in every boy‟s subconscious lie the tethers that hold him back from his one-way transgression into manhood. Diccon‟s were still there, weakened over time but still stubbornly clinging onto his immaturity. He needed to sever those links decisively and break free. The bear knew all this, and now Diccon new too. He leapt up and grabbed the bear by his ear, not looking at it now. He was sure of himself now, no hesitation, and no notepads. Straight to the kitchen he pulled out the blender, the cable trailed behind flying around the floor. He slammed the blender down and pulled up the cord. It was just big enough, and the bear small enough. He shoved it plug into the socket. It slid in with ease. It had never done that before. He was shaking a little, but not smiling. He was excited, and a little bit scared. He hated to do this, but knew it had to be done. He began stuffing the bear into the plastic jug. Head first, so that it would be a quick death. The result would be unrecognizable – less trauma. Just a pile of fur and it would be over. He slammed on the lid, really shaking now. How many people had wanted to do this to their shrink he wondered? His hand wavered over the switch, itching to hit it, itching to dispel his choking immaturity. “Ah fuck it.” Diccon opened the lid and tossed the bear out of the window. He didn‟t watch it fall, but instead imagined it landing safely. Landing perhaps in a baby carriage. Would it earn the child‟s love and their trust. Would the child take it to bed every night? Would it take hold of their subconscious and end up screwing up another life? Who knows? One thing was certain. The bear was gone from Diccon‟s life, and he was going out to get laid. If he felt like it.