Here’s the Phallex story. It’s at the end of Broken Sun, Broken Moon. Written at Clarion, dusted off and tinkered with, published in 2006 by Chizine. When this story was originally workshopped, all those years ago, I got accolades and accusations. There was also a rather negative review published at Horrorscope, which was rebutted by the following article:
Anyhow, enough academics and nostalgia (though I was tickled by it all):
PHALLEX COMES OUT
Summoned, he opened his eyes. At rest, in the dark storage chamber, surrounded by dormant servants.
— your services are required —
Mistress Simone, signalling from her bedchamber in the East Wing! Phallex stood (shedding a surprisingly thick mantle of dust) and, as he charged to full capacity, stiffened his default penis.
He unplugged himself, cracked his knuckles in anticipation, and reached for the door handle.
Outside, in the Great Hall, it was late afternoon. Beyond the porticos, the waning day was quiet, sunny, and autumnal. Two blackbirds flew past, chasing each other, and dust spiralled in the amber light falling through the arches. Looking out at the distant forest ringing the Chateaux, Phallex adjusted his irises.
When he turned to reseal the storage chamber, he glimpsed other faces in there, waiting, reposed and peaceful as they slept: dishwashers, launderers, a cook or two. And another fucker, just like him, curled on the floor in the corner.
He hurried. Though silicone had coursed into the reservoir of the member he currently wore, he did not yet achieve full erection. Mistress Simone was a woman with eclectic tastes. Sometimes she asked him simply to watch, other times to remain limp. Often, with Simone, he had to quickly change attachments as required: larger penises; smaller penises; ticklers; double members…
The Main Hall stretched north into a hazy, dim distance. His footfalls echoed dully. Alternating shadow and sunlight washed over him as he–
Something was wrong:
A layer of dust covered everything out here too, and cobwebs hung from the vaulted ceilings above, some so long they brushed at the top of his head.
He slowed his pace.
There was no one around.
He came to a full stop.
No other servants. No Mistresses going about their daily business. No excited visitors being escorted through the halls…
The Chateaux was utterly still.
Consulting his internal clock, to ascertain when he had last been called to duty, Phallex discovered that the previous summons had come sixteen years, seven months, six days, and four hours ago. Scrolling through data, his semi-erect member softened. Prior to this interval, the longest he had gone without being summoned to work was three days and two hours.
Phallex, your services are required —
Yet the voice vibrating at his receptors was unmistakable. Mistress Simone, in her bedchamber, requested servicing. No time to stand around wondering why so much dust had accumulated on the floors of the Chateaux when duty called. Pumping silicone back into his penis, Phallex hastened forward once more, hoping he would not be chastised for his delay.
As he resumed trotting down the Great Hall, he glanced at himself to see what he was wearing: black tuxedo, heavy black boots. He lifted one hand to his face and felt a plastic mask over his eyes, recalling now, with great fondness, the appropriate memory file:
Preceding a mock cotillion, held in the ornate Ballroom, Mistress Lenore had summoned. She wore an extravagant, many-layered white dress, with a corset strung up the back, which Phallex and another fucker, Coqué– also dressed in a tuxedo– tore from her taut body. He could literally hear Lenore’s faux complaints, her grunted protests as he and Coque worked at her from both ends…
Nearly running now, dust rising in slow clouds behind him, Phallex replayed Mistress Lenore’s pleasure response, sampled just after she came for the fourth time that night, and briefly he savoured the image of her slumping, in a sweaty, panting heap, a smile across her beautiful face.
He reached the East Wing in over seven minutes. Not good time. Still he had seen no one, neither human nor servant. Despite Phallex’s appreciation at being selected, and his eagerness to please Mistress Simone, there remained something unsettling about this particular summons and the unkempt conditions of the Chateaux, so at the door to Simone’s bedchamber he paused again, bending until his ear touched the surface of the thick wood:
From within came a great commotion, the sounds of crockery breaking, and laughter, and shouting. It sounded like male voices. He straightened. Mistress Simone had guests. Male guests. (Men didn’t often visit the Chateaux. Phallex had been told by his Mistresses that the journey across open country was too dangerous for men– at least, for the sort of men that liked to visit the Order– but Phallex could not imagine what that danger might be, nor how the distinction, among men, might fall.)
He heard Simone’s voice, breathless and guttural: That’s it, you little shit! That’s it!
Business as usual. He opened both doors wide, ready for instruction–
Three faces turned his way. Three men. Mistress Simone was nowhere in sight.
All wore loose-fitting robes. One man, young and blond, stood on Mistress Simone’s massive brass bed, poised with a large knife in his hand. Above him, the luscious violet canopy was torn and sagging. Feathers floated in the air, borne aloft on the breeze coming in through the windows that opened onto the Eastern Courtyard.
Another man stood by the dresser, a drawer in his hands, one of Simone’s silk stockings pulled over his head.
The third lay on the tiled floor, holding a small black device in both hands. He was an older man, overweight, with long dark hair and pockmarks on his face. Seeing Phallex in the doorway, he promptly sat up.
“Hello,” Phallex said uncertainly. The device, he saw now, was Mistress Simone’s command pad. She should not have let a visitor place the summons; that was in bad form. “Did you call me?”
The young man on the bed jumped to the floor, his robe billowing. “In the name of God,” he whispered, “there be monsters still, living on in this place.”
All three edged away as Phallex moved further into the bedchamber. He could smell their fear of him. Frowning, he glanced at the settling feathers, the broken crockery, and he said, “Where is Mistress Simone?”
The man by the dresser pulled the stocking from his head in a swift, sudden movement. His face was also young, his hair blond, sticking up in tufts. To his friend on the floor he said, “You’ve called it with that infernal thing. I told you to destroy it.”
“And I told you–” getting up quickly “– this place was still cursed.”
Phallex took another step, and another, trying to locate Mistress Simone. Was she playing a hiding game? Perhaps she was under the bed? Or in the closet? On two occasions, he recalled, Mistress Simone had asked him to fuck a man while she watched. One of those times she had hidden behind a curtain. (The other time she had strapped on one of Phallex’s attachments and had gleefully participated.) But those grateful guests did not act as strange as these men were acting…
Seeking encouragement from Mistress Simone, wherever she might be, Phallex reached down and opened his fly. Pulling his default member free of his black tuxedo trousers, and giving it a shake, he said, “All right, who wants it first?”
“The heretic has taken out its weapon!”
Phallex stood, penis in hand. Weapon? He had no weapon. Weapons were for hurting, and he had never hurt anyone. At least, not against their will. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I cannot proceed any further unless I get a verbal from Simone.”
“Abomination,” said the young man with the knife, who stood near the window now, “your witches are dead. They’ve been sent where they belong.”
“I don’t understand,” Phallex said. Dead? Surely the man was making this up. A fantasy. Phallex was used to fantasies. “Listen, if you wish to employ a necrophilia package, we need to sign–”
A harsh blow on the back of his neck caused Phallex’s knees to fail. He lost visual, followed by a good deal of motor power; he fell.
“Limits,” he said, facedown on the thick red carpeting, penis wilting and eyes utterly dark. “You need to review the limits–”
A boot hit him, hard, in the midsection, lifting his body off the floor. As he rolled to his side, another boot smashed into his mouth. He tried to stand but his hands scrabbled uselessly. His knees still did not respond.
“Codes,” he managed to say, through damaged lips. “There is, there is a code. There is–”
Something hit his head hard. Twice. Something metal. Against his better judgement, Phallex went dormant.
He became aware of his repair systems, fully activated, trying to repair damage done to his primary motor drive. The dynamos in his knees were not functioning and his eyes remained dark. Audio was reduced but gradually improving, as neural bio-receptors were re-connected, one by one. There was no data at all coming from his left arm. His face, he knew, was irreparably disfigured.
He was being carried. Roughly. Hands gripped his legs, his shoulders.
“Let’s put it down,” a voice said. “I can’t go any further. Its fluids foul my hands.”
“I have it by the head, so cease complaining. Earlier I spotted a place we can put it. You’ll see. It’ll be spectacular.” A chuckle.
“Let’s make it lighter still. Cut some more off.”
“You saw how long it took to do that. This is a better idea. Just follow me. We’re nearly there.”
Taking initiative was difficult for Phallex and, with the damage done to him, was especially difficult now. Being carried like deadweight– presumably by the men he had come across in Simone’s bedchamber– he only briefly and remotely entertained notions about defending himself.
“Why don’t we just leave it here?”
“I told you to shut your mouth and bear up your end. You’ll see what I have in mind. Be patient.”
Going up stairs now. Phallex heard grunts, the sound of boots on stone, complaints. The East Wing? The Tower? Rudimentary vision re-linked just then, and he cracked an eye open to see a dim, stone ceiling far above him, and patterns of lichen. A white dove, wings beating loud, like hands clapping, passed overhead.
Only after he felt his back rubbing against smooth stone did he fully realize where he had been taken. Too late, he tried to pull free of the young mens’ grip, to hold on, but when he tried to grab at the ledge he saw that his left arm was entirely missing. Clenched fingers of his right hand scrabbled on stone, then on nothing, and he was falling down the laundry chute.
Again, he was awoken by his repair systems, madly working on his fractured infrastructure. He lay still, rolling only periodically, altering his position to allow his endoskeleton a chance to knit. Most of his dynamos were not working and he had lost a great deal of fluid.
He opened his eyes to see gloom. Adjusting his irises to their largest aperture, he was eventually able to discern a ceiling, several meters above him, and within it the darker, gaping mouth of the laundry chute. He recalled the file of the plunge, reviewed it, and watched the memories of his encounter with the three men. They had done this to him. Intentionally. They had hurt him without his clearance…
Some time later– he could not tell how long, because his clock was not functioning– Phallex managed to sit up. With one arm, this proved to be a challenge. Also, his repair systems, unable to mend the severity of damage done to his right knee, had amputated the leg just above the joint. Phallex looked down at himself, gently, incredulously touching what was left of his body with his remaining hand.
His tuxedo and black boots were gone. His default penis was missing. Knives had carved his skin.
Naked, broken, he struggled to pull himself up with his right hand, holding onto the edge of a wooden table, standing in the semi-darkness, balancing on one leg. He had never been in the laundry chamber before, but he knew he was below ground level. Up near the ceiling, an opening let in a sliver of sunlight. Servants had once worked down here. He knew their faces from the storage chamber. There were none here now.
Against one mildewed wall rested several poles used to beat sheets clean. Phallex hopped over to them and grabbed one, to use as a crutch.
He left the laundry chamber and began slowly limping dark and puddled corridors.
Corrupt memories files began to run at random intervals, as he wandered. Watching them, he bumped against stone walls, retraced his steps, found himself in black dead ends. The images flickered through his processor. One by one, faces of his Mistresses appeared: Simone, with her crooked teeth and loud laugh; plump, gentle Lenore, lying next to him in the grand, soft bed, her breasts lolling, her sweat-beaded chest rising and falling; tiny Camille, who never wished to be fucked but often asked just to be held, throughout the long winter nights…
Was it true they were all dead? Lost in the basement of the dark and deserted Chateaux, this bleak situation seemed likely to him now.
“There are some people out there, in the countryside,” Camille told him, as he held her, stroking her hair, “who do not approve of what we do here.”
(He had stopped hobbling to relive this.)
“Why? What are we doing wrong?”
Camille laughed, but without humor. “Our Order, in fact, is despised by great numbers. We people are not as easily contented as you, Phallex. You wake up when we call, do what you’re told, and then go back to sleep when we say you can. You thrive on our pleasure and the pleasure of our guests. You know nothing about guilt, or shame, or any other negative force found within us. We can be a very small-minded and dangerous species. That’s why we don’t often leave the Chateaux.”
“Would they hate me, too?”
Camille nodded; he felt her head move against his chest. “And they hate me because I like only women. They are afraid of that, for some reason.”
Leaning his head against a cool stone wall, reeling, Phallex felt these audio and visual memories erase; he was unable to retrieve them. Parts of his processor, he realized, were permanently ruined.
He would never again hear a Mistresses groan with pleasure, or go dormant, smiling, knowing he had done his job well…
Spinning on the crutch, jaw clenched tight, he blindly negotiated the corridors of the cellar. The three men had never meant to participate in a scenario. They had been destroying Mistress Simone’s bedchamber. Just as they had destroyed the Mistresses themselves, and then destroyed him–
Sudden, bright daylight surprised Phallex. At the bottom of narrow stone stairs, he stood for a moment, blinking.
He ascended, step by difficult step, and paused at the top.
Wind hushed against his naked skin. The sun warmed him. Countryside stretched as far as he could see: quiet fields, the distant forest, the far off hills. A pair of dirt tracks led away from where he stood, and beyond the trees thin columns of gray smoke rose, almost invisible against the cloudless blue of the sky. Villages were out there, hamlets and townships; he had often heard visitors speak of them. Where people lived.
Phallex lost power for a moment and swayed, eyes closed. When the glitch had passed, he wondered if the three men lived nearby, and if more such as them lived over the hills. He shuddered.
Then, mangled face grim, Phallex withdrew his largest member from his abdominal pouch and screwed it resolutely into place. Leaning on his crutch, he began to limp forward.