Andromeda Chained Naked to Her Rock

Part of the Pendragon cycle, Andromeda Chained Naked to Her Rock is a dialogue between Ben Palestrina, 17, and Meredith Cherry, 31, his former babysitter.  They are at Grim Lake in Armitage, Ohio, on a summer night in 1967.  Meredith suggest that they go swimming, saying that she has seen him naked lots of times.  She says she saw a painting in one of her father’s books earlier in the day, a painting of Andromeda chained naked to a rock in the fog, remembering making love in the ferns on a hillside.  When Ben asks her how she can know what a mythological girl in a painting was thinking, Meredith says that in addition to being insane she is also telepathic.  She says that she is Andromeda, waiting as a sacrifice to a sea monster that she pictures as the Creature from the Black Lagoon and reminds Ben that he asked her to marry him when he was five years old and that she said she would if he still wanted to when he was eighteen.  Ben is leaving for college the next day and she thanks him for visiting her in the hospital, saying that she would have died without him.  He says she is beautiful and that he will always love her.  She asks him if he is a virgin and then if he wants to make love with her.  It will be her going away present to him.  He says she is incredibly attractive but he doesn’t want to take advantage of her.  She says he either desires her or he doesn’t, and when he says he does want her, she tells him to give her “this,” then go away and not look back.  They kiss, “a long and tender kiss,” then look at each other as the light fades and goes out.

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