Chizine has re-published my story, “Bacchus Anesti,” as part of their fundraising campaign. This was the second story of mine ever published — the first was some 10 years before when “Pen and Ink” miraculously slithered into an early issue of Unspeakable Oath. After that, I simply never wrote or submitted another story for many years. Due to length constraints, I was asked to cut down “Bacchus Anesti” from almost 5600 words to just 5000 words. I did it, but at the expense of the more explicit sex scenes. It sucked. Still, people really liked the story, it received some critical acclaim off the bat, and Brett and I were happy.
This story is based on my real experiences in 1998 training to be a “maenad” in a movie trailer we shot for a film based on The Bacchae. I was in the trailer, but not the film itself, which was never released. Rumor had it that there was some impropriety on the part of one of the producers toward the half-dressed actresses and that lawsuits were threatened. At that point, said producer allegedly decided to hold back the film perpetually unless the women backed down, which they didn’t seem to do. It’s just rumor, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Honestly, despite all the talent, blood and tears that went into it, the film ultimately made Plan 9 from Outer Space look like a Royal Shakespeare Company production*. So, it’s just as well.
Back to the story: steamy girl-on-girl action aside, the scenes with the actresses training together are completely accurate. A brilliant movement coach from Harvard taught us how to operate as a “hive.” It did get mighty hot with Mr. Pentheus (woo!) and I wound up initiating some of the more racy improvisational scenes. (What? You’re not shocked?) I had some really interesting (and by interesting, I mean depressing) encounters with the girls in the trailer. Most of them had no idea who Euripedes was. It’s no surprise the glory of having hot lesbian sex after a meal of raw lion meat kind of went right past them. The older English woman in the story was real and an absolute pistol. One of the ridiculously sexist sword trainers told her the best part of having sex with older women was that they were always grateful. She replied, “You’re the one who should be grateful, you arsehole.”
And, yes, there was the sort of romantic and sexual insanity that could only happen on a Hollywood production. We shall speak no more of that.
I did fall down a flight of concrete stairs and rip up my knee flesh while retrieving a tent I was borrowing from a friend. I wound up not going into the mountains, which was probably just as well. If you read the story, you’ll see why…
Bacchus has risen.