The Pirate Flower
The Flower Boat
All seemed calm amidst the cool eerie ambience of night a full moon illuminated the grey mist as it rested over the glistening pearl river.
The many boats moored at the port slowly swaying to the burbling song of the water gently caressing the river bank, the flower boats hummed with music, laughter and conversation.
An opulently decorated vessel resembles a huge gondola, the entrance adorned with magnificent oriental ivory carvings; carpeted cabins were the backdrop to abstract shadows created by pierced fretwork panels back-lit by expertly painted lanterns hanging on masts at the front of the vessel.
The upper deck not quite covering the space of the lower deck, formed a terrace festooned with fine china vases filled with flowers trailing through the staircase into the vestibule. Brightly coloured streamers at the stern danced in the Canton breeze.
Ghost-white Smoke emanated from the rear chamber, Pinqua puffed opium during times of leisure in this floating house of pleasure. He wasn't as powerful as some of the other merchants like Howqua but was relatively rich and held a respectable standing as a member of the Ho-kong (Hong merchants guild).
He was entertaining his esteemed guests- Henry James a British trader from the dominant east India company, Afonso a Portuguese merchant, Gen a lower courtier in emperor Qings government and Fang one of Pinquas chief clerks. Fang doubled up as an interpreter to the foreigners as Chinese is proscribed from any foreigner to speak.
'bring the girls' Pinqua ordered as he shooed the maid simultaneously waving the opium smoke away from his face.
Suddenly the boat was filled with the sound of shuffling feet trampling down the stairs from the terrace. The girls, five in total entered the room Pinquas guests hastily shifted in the elaborately carved ebony furniture courted by a pitch black marble table
'Ah, flower girls!' Afonso eagerly uttered in a thick Portuguese accent.
The chamber was filled with the sweet intoxicating sent of perfume a cacophony of orgasmic olfactory notes mixing with the established earthy potpourri odour of opium only enhancing the mysterious glow of the women draped in the finest silk embroidered attire.
Pinqua pointed at one of the girls.
'Sing for us'.
Flower girls were well versed in the arts, singing, music, story telling and writing akin to the famous courtesans of shanghai, she filled the room with the most mellifluous vocal tones, which the foreigners found enchanting and novel, two of the girls settled with Juan and Henry, Gen lost in a haze of one of the girls, Fang was mesmerised by the other, her face symmetrical, high cheek boned an ornate feature of its ovular shape, a brilliant rouge on her shapely lips her body enveloped in a lavishly embroidered pure silk piano shawl the exquisite design of birds and flowers meandered and contorted around her sensual figure. Her raven black hair reflected a dark blue sheen off the dim chamber lights, skin smooth and blemish-less like the porcelain vases that lined the famous china street and her feet were not bound unlike the the high class mandarin ladies who's bounded peds altered their gait in the most awkward and hypnotising way.
Fang was captivated by her dark gaze.
'Of course there is a sadness and coldness there, but I also see remarkable strength'.
'After all, these girls are really slaves who are heavily taxed by the merchant boat owners some lucky enough to be married off to a wealthy man.'
'But there's something more I can't quite make out'.
'come sit with me'.
Ying Yue sauntered towards him and delicately sat beside him.
'June is here, a new trading season is upon us as the southern monsoon winds usher western ships into the southern sea. I suspect you'll be busier than usual' said Fang.
'Things change every trading season; a girl must adapt' Ying Yue answered assertively.
'The china trade has grown, more ships come each season emperor Qing has become very wealthy through heavily taxing every process of the system'.
'He's not the only one that has become very wealthy from this system' Fang intimated.
Ying raised a rhy smile.
'The flaws in the canton system have increasingly been exploited over the years and there are strong signs now that the emperor is losing his hold on foreign trade' Ying responded while adjusting her hair.
Ying Yue was born in the floating city of canton home to the Tanka people or the boat people as they were colloquially known. They rarely went on land they were much at home on the water plying their trade as fishermen.
At ten years old Yings mother unfortunately died from a freak accident on the water , she and her siblings were to be adopted but Ying ran away in to the wiry veiny streets behind the 13 factories. She lived on the streets for a few days scavenging food from shops and restaurants.
One day through a chance encounter she was taken under the wing of a shanghai courtesan who took residence in the walled city of canton, growing up she saw her aunts sensual sensibilities and character in motion.
Prostitution in early 19th century china was not just about sex, as these women possessed cultivated skills such as poetry,calligraphy, music and of course the art of seduction.
Growing up, Ying Yue witnessed her aunts lovers and admirers trying to impress her with lavish gifts and jewellery as they were enamoured by her skills she would demonstrate at the many parties and gatherings she held. Performing shows singing and playing the subtle and harmonious qin (chin) which seemed to match her personality.
At the age of 21 her courtesan aunt was accidentally killed as she tried to stop a jealous lover and a young admirer fighting for her affection it was a particularity violent event, vicious and primitive, unfortunately as she got between them caught an almighty blow to her head and was no more.
This greatly effected Ying as it brought back memories of her mother, she loved her aunt deeply,and to avoid getting married off she fled back to the floating city.
Contrary to popular belief many flower girls were not forced into prostitution, it was more an economic decision to sell their bodies all be it, a reluctant one. And in Yings case, given her aunts influence, made an averse but natural transition to flower girl at one of the floating brothels on the pearl river.
She was back home!
The flower boats (Haufaung boats) were frequented by a cross section of people boatmen, high standing figures in government, foreign traders, sailors, captains, Hong merchants and pirates. And due to the eclectic mix of the many types of men that would flock to these floating brothels Ying Yue gained experience and many an insight through exploiting the carnal desires of her clients who were intrinsic to the intricacies and inner workings of the the trade system.
This was her third season working as a prostitute and was getting weary of this work as she was basically a slave to the system and knew once she lost her neotenous allure she would be tossed aside like the old dirty putrid cloths strewn along the Canton city gutter.
But she was going to get out of this god dam it, there was no doubt in her mind.
Her business savvy was gaining momentum as she had made various connections through the china black market making extra money by facilitating small underground opium trades. Unknown to Fang, Ying Yue had an engagement the next day through her connections with some Chinese merchants and was to mediate a trade deal between a British lower level merchant and a Canton restaurant owner who wanted the drug for a party the following night. And willing to pay a handsome price in silver for a few pounds of opium.
The emperor banned the sale of opium much to the disgust of the western traders especially the British who used opium to trade for silver to purchase Chinese tea which was becoming increasingly popular in western culture while equally opium consumption increased in china, Hong merchants loved the refined raw opium "chandu" which they enjoyed to puff on through artfully designed pipes.
Of course Fang was aware of the subterranean opiate trade, but had no idea of the enterprising mind of this mysterious flower girl directly in front of him.
Through their exchange eye contact was not broken once, only intensifying Fangs already engorged loins. Fang softly brushed her right cheek with his fingers.
'you really are beautiful', lets go to the bedchamber.'
Ying Yue projected a faint smile, they rose together mirroring each others movements Ying smoothly took Fangs hand.
They crept to the cadence of the sweet subtle singing voice that was still gently reverberating around the chamber spoiled by a bellowing.
'Fang you going to be naughty!' Pinqua laughed, everyone else joined him in giggles.
With that, Fang and Yin Yue awkwardly slid through the chamber door.
They entered the small dimly lit bed chamber the bed covered by a shiny deep purple silk sheet under a cornucopia of cushions splashed with intricate designs. As Fang slowly closed the room door facing Ying and still holding her hand playfully pulled Yings hand in order to throw her on the bed but to Fangs surprise she countered him.
Fang found himself on his back engulfed by the deep purple of the silk bed linen.
He watched her in shock and aroused delight.
Ying fleetingly glanced at him while smugly gliding toward the wash basin in the corner.
She learned Chinese boxing (Wing Chung) from a master who was an admirer of her aunt and would attend her extravagant parties. He took a liking to the young Ying Yue and saw her potential and as a gift showed her the ancient art of Chinese pugilism.
'We must wash'.
'Of course' Fang said.
Fang was relatively young around 38 years old even though he had a respectable societal standing was unmarried which was not uncommon; and with plenty of flower boats on the river he knew his carnal thirst could be quenched whenever needed.
Not an ugly man; although slightly pudgy, sporting the cue a hairstyle that was mandatory for every man in china to wear as a symbol of submission to the Qing government, the front of his scalp and sides of his head totally shaved, the remaining segment of hair long and neatly twisted into a snake-like braid swung like a pendulum between his shoulder blades.
Fang was fixated as he watched her undress, he may as well have been embalmed; he was so still
'Well, what are you a statue!' Ying Yue sarcastically retorted.
'You need to clean yourself'.
As if being snapped out of a trance, Fang quickly shifted off the bed, awkwardly de-robed and joined her.
Ying blankly stared at him then rolled her eyes.
He picked up a small clean cloth dipped it in a little bowl of water then mixed it with agar-agar oil which was good to protect against infection and soars.
As the couple stood silently opposite each other Fang staring deeply into Yings slim dark eyes, they caressed and washed their genitals slowly arousing their erogenous zones anticipating the inevitable coitus that was about to take place.
Ying Yue whispered 'you ready'.
Fang nodded while fitting a yin chia, a kind of prophylactic
Ying took Fangs hand and placed him back on the bed that tried to swallow him earlier.
Ying edged between his legs and pressed her pert breasts into his face her erect nipples soothing the ridge of his brow.
Fang slid his hands around her waist then on to her toned behind massaging her cheeks as Ying ran her fingers through the tuft of his hair he steadily lifted yings body both breathing heavily, his face snuggled in her blossoming bosom gently placing her on her back then smoothly slid his rigid stone inside her yoni.
'Ahh!' Ying gasped distorting her doll like face
Fang pressed his bare body against hers as his thrust become longer and more stroke like.
Their bodies intertwined in a erotic rhythmic embrace.
'mmmm' Fang hummed.
The crescendo of orgasm already becoming a distant memory he dismounted her.
He didn't last that long but it was royally rigorous.
'Yes, I needed that Fang gushed breathlessly.
Fang being a chief clerk had a busy day ahead as the foreign merchants will be wanting good deals which he found stressful as there was many parties involved trying to make a tidy profit and he knew he couldn't please all of the people all of the time.
So this encounter was a relaxant before the frenzied business trades he would soon to be in the melee of.
Fang lay next to her shifting his body to his side to stare at her once again.
Yings body gleamed in pearly beads of perspiration her breasts jolting powered by her pumping heart.
Fang watched her slowly revert back to normal breathing pace.
With a deep breath followed by long exhale Ying rose up and went back to the basin to wash herself, dried off and put on her clothes.
Fang swivelled round and sat up with his back to her, to his left on the bedside table was a beautifully crafted jade opium pipe with a small wooden box half filled with tobacco-opiate mix next to it.
Ying's visitors would often puff on a pipe post sex and empty their hearts to her recklessly gifting her with great insight of the trade system.
Fang looked at the pipe briefly staring at it, the glowing green pipe cooing him for a kiss.
'nah!' thought Fang.
'I want to be alert for tomorrow'.
'I hope to see you again once trading season is over'.
stern faced, Ying remained silent.
I want to take her for my wife.
Fang thought, as he leapt up to wash himself.
As they both sorted themselves out Fang placed some silver on the bed kissed her on the cheek and left.
Ying dropped back on the bed, reluctant to re-join Pinqua and his foreign guests as thoughts of plotting and scheming ways to get out of her circumstance streamed back into her mind.