Humble Serenity: Danielle’s Tale
by Dave Potter
Author’s Note: This vignette is inspired by Fantasy Towers’ ‘Humble Serenity’. However, it must be noted that some of the veiling details connected with the Humble Serenity community I have changed. Furthermore, I hope this piece to provide inspiration for further tales about Humble Serenity.
Danielle remembered the day that it had all started. They had driven to this place in their car. It was beautiful, log cabins set in rich parkland. Still she was worried. Her father, who had not seemed the same since he had come into contact with these people, had said that she would need to veil. She didn’t know much about veiling except that women in the Middle East did it so that no one but their husbands could see what they looked like. She couldn’t see why she would have to do such a thing – after all, she wasn’t from the Middle East and didn’t have a husband – but her father stayed firm.
Upon arrival she and her mother had been separated from her father and directed by a woman dressed in veils into another room. Once there they’d been ordered to strip themselves naked and their clothes were taken away. She never saw them again.
They were then shown the veils that the Humble Serenity women wear. They were dove grey and had three layers. The first showed the eyes which could be seen through a small slit which had a thread going up the middle to keep the veils from slipping. Such attire was only suitable for within the family home or in a female-only environment. Then the next layer was thrown over. It covered the entire face. Through it the world grew slightly hazy but the eyes could still be seen. This was used when working or with children. Finally another layer was put on. The world became quite dark then and nothing of her features could be seen. This was usual outdoor attire and obligatory when in the company of males other than one’s father and husband. Danielle hated these veils. They were hot and heavy, but her mother warned her that they were not to be taken off. In the years that followed they were only taken off once and for that she was punished.
—-She remembered the day in which she had decided to leave Humble Serenity. She had come of age and was no longer her father’s ward. She hated the community and was desperate to get away. She announced it to her father who agreed, (for he could not disagree), but warned her that if she did leave, she would be cut off from her family entirely. Nonetheless, her mind was strong, and so she cast off her veils and walked out.
That however, turned out to be the easy part. She had walked out without a penny to her name and the community was hundreds of miles from where she had lived previously. She hitch-hiked for a while but one trucker scared her when he started to get leery and strange as it sounds, at that moment she longed for her veils.
Eventually she got home, but things were no better. Half her friends had left and the ones that remained had quite forgotten her. She met one or two but the old bonds were gone. And besides, she had nowhere to stay. She slept rough for a night and then went to the police. They directed her to a charity who took her in and gave her a bed in a hostel full of drug addicts and winos. Undeterred, she slept there for the night and then went hunting for a job. It was at this pint though, that the whole cruelty of Humble Serenity hit her. Denied of a proper education for the most important years of her life, she was effectively unemployable as she had not a qualification to her name. She tried and she tried, but no one would employ her and each night the crackheads and smack addicts got her down. After a month she swallowed her pride and tried the only route left to her, that of the prodigal daughter. She returned to Humble Serenity.
—-She remembered her return to the community. How they welcomed her with forgiveness befitting a religious people. How they judged her in a way that did not. She was re-accepted and allowed into the bosom of her family again, but it came at a price. From then on the veil that she wore was one of black, not grey, to signify that she was tainted with sin. Only by marrying and having children could she remove that mark of shame. And besides, at eighteen she was more than ripe for marriage by Humble Serenity standards. And so it was that her father started to pressure her, but to be fair, Danielle needed no pressure. She was a defeated girl these days. She told him that she would be happy to marry whoever wanted her. There were two men that were eligible, David who was her father’s age and who had recently lost his wife and Simon, the long-haired look-alike of her friend Bobby from her past life. She accepted his offer with grateful thanks.
—-She remembered her wedding day. She was woken early and dressed in a multitude of white veils. By the time that she was fully covered, she couldn’t see a thing. Her father remarked that she looked like Lot’s wife after she had turned to look back. Hank then reminded her that in Humble Serenity, there was no turning back.
She was then guided to the temple where Hank married her to Simon. She was only required to say two words in the whole ceremony, “I do”. Then, still fully-veiled, she was guided to the meeting hall where a feast was laid on for all the community. She sat in the women’s corner and when her mother pushed a plate in front of her, she ate from it. Then, at nine o’clock, she was taken by her husband and guided to her new life.
As soon as they were in the house he sat her down and told her that he needed to speak to her. What he had to say astonished her. He started by retelling the story of Adam and Eve before going on to mention the many temptresses in the Bible. He concluded with his own words. He said that as the Bible had clearly shown, women, whilst necessary for procreation, often serve to tempt men into evil ways He carried on to say that he had married her because that was the Humble Serenity way, and because new members were needed for the community. However, he understood that any interaction between them aside from the procreation could be morally dangerous and so it was that he ordered her never to show her face or body to him, nor speak to him so that no immoral links may be established. To this end he ordered her to wear a gag at all times and a full-face zentai suit under her veils. Then he led her to the bedroom. She lay on the bed and removed her veils and put on the zentai and gag. A sheet was placed over her. The sheet was white and thick and contained a single hole. It was through this hole that Simon thrust his member and then into her. Aside from that, not an inch of each other’s flesh touched or was seen. To this day it has remained the same.