The Church of Bliss accepts all and makes them one.
Anonymity is Bliss.
Obedience is Bliss.
Pain is Bliss.
Pleasure is Bliss.
We are Bliss.
Elise had barely recovered from her first divine exposure to pure, unfiltered holy water – an experience which had left her stranded in an abyss of rubber-tinged ecstasy, decoupled from her psyche at a fundamental level as the tenets of the Church of Bliss crashed through her mind and cemented themselves as core aspects of her future – before she was pulled to her feet by a pair of fellow Sisters, and prepared for her next steps. The tube linking Elise’s mask to the supply of holy water was disconnected, and she couldn’t help but let out a faint moan of loss as the cold air of the cathedral filled her lungs, displacing the Bliss that had once infused her senses. Her senses slowly swam back into focus, and she regained her balance, standing under her own power instead of relying on her Sisters to hold her up. She glanced down at herself, struck by the differences in what she could see through the lenses of her new equipment, everything somehow tinted to be darker, except the highlights of the gleaming latex encasing her Sisters. It only served to make the contrast with her own, dull, as-yet unpolished rubber all the more stark.
The Sister who had just minutes ago sealed Elise’s face away behind a gas mask identical to her own, lenses tinted to ensure that no identifying features could be identified by an observer, now stepped around the new addition to the ranks of the Church and spoke to the assembled congregation, speaking in the faintly feminine, yet distinctly mechanical voice common to all of the Sisters, produced by the voicebox integrated into their ubiquitous masks. “Sisters, with Bliss as our witness, we welcome Sister Elise into our fold. You may return to your duties; she will join you following her Baptism. May Bliss go with you all.” An audible rustle of creaking rubber went through the room at the mention of Baptism – a subject that had always been met with evasion whenever Elise had asked after it during her Initiation trials. She had assumed it would be revealed to her in due time, trusting her betters; it seemed that time was upon her.
A dozen pairs of heels all clicked in time as the other Sisters filtered back to their regular duties throughout the convent, whether menial tasks like overseeing the maintenance slaves, instructing other Initiates, or tending to the Oracles dwelling in their chambers deep beneath the surface of the building, completely immersed in Bliss, all day, every day, and setting out the path for the Church to follow into the future. Soon, the only ones left in the cavernous chamber were its original inhabitants; Elise herself, and the three Sisters who had administered her Communion. The Sister in front of her spoke; “Come, Sister Elise. The attendants are waiting for us.” Without a further word, the Sisters set off at a march, dragging the newly inducted member of the Church with them, although their touch was far less rough than it could have been.
They strode around the altar, aiming for the base of the towering stained glass relief which dominated the space. Elise had spent many hours staring up at it while meditating in the hall, pondering her fate as a member of the Church, imagining the trials she would be put through, and the tasks she would be assigned to. The enormous glass panel depicted the Mother of Bliss, the founder of the Church and the one who had first laid out the tenets to which every Sister adhered, Her form carved from the light streaming in by a perfectly reflective layer of latex attached to the inside surface of the glass. The effect was striking to all who laid eyes upon it – a heavenly figure of pure rubber, surrounded by a glowing halo of light in all shades and colours. It was often reverently attended to by Sisters tasked with polishing every inch of the Mother’s form to a mirror shine, ensuring that Her perfection was never blemished or sullied by worldly imperfection. A shiver of anticipation went through Elisa as she looked up at this holy display, knowing that as a Sister, soon it would be her task to work her way down the enormous relief with nothing more than a small cloth and a bottle of polish, labouring day after day until the task was complete.
Obedience is Bliss.
The words pulsed through her mind as she clicked one of her boots down, her knee trembling as a burst of Bliss flooded her body. Her Sisters were there to keep her upright as she regained her footing, the touch of their rubber-coated hands on her shoulders somehow comforting as the Sister walking ahead of them turned to face her. Elise couldn’t explain the sensation; she had memorised the mantras of the Church, but they had never simply spoken in her mind unprompted before, and never with as severe a physical reaction. The look from the first Sister was somehow sympathetic, despite the blacked-out lenses separating the gaze of the two women. “Do not fear it, Sister, it is simply the voice of Bliss speaking through you. It will only grow stronger and more… enjoyable as you progress within the Church. Embrace it, as Bliss embraces you.” With that, she turned around, and again set off in her march. Elise had no choice but to stride along, turning the revelations over in her mind.
This wasn’t the first time she had been led down the twisting, labyrinthine corridors and tunnels beneath the cathedral, but this was different. She could feel the anticipation building within her, feel a tug pulling her along, like a faint strand buried in her chest, directing her where she needed to be. Her footsteps slowly settled into perfect rhythm with the other Sisters, the hands on her shoulders slowly easing off, the differences between the four Sisters smoothing out, one unit marching towar- Turn Right.
The cadre smoothly turned as one into a side corridor, not a single missed step between, and resumed their path as if nothing had occurred, but underneath Erika’s matte latex skin her heart was pounding, her body pulsing with Bliss. Nothing had told her to make that turn, but in the moment it was like something had taken hold of her mind and moved her body in the exact right way. Was this what true Bliss was? Giving herself up to these impulses and urges completely, letting herself be directed, a tool to be used with no input of her own?
Obedience is Bliss.
The pulse flooded her again, but her movements remained smooth, in sync, automatic – she wasn’t controlling them, so her mind being overwhelmed with Bliss made no difference. The pieces began to click together in her mind, matched to the click of four pairs of heels, all pacing in time. This was what the Sisters felt all of the time. They could endure the exposure to holy water because they had given up control of their own bodies so completely to the Bliss that their minds were mere afterthoughts. Their personalities were mere afterthoughts. Their identities were mere afterthoughts.
Anonymity is Bliss.
Suddenly, the group stopped, suddenly halting outside of a large, reinforced door. The first Sister turned around, cast a look at the other two rubber figures flanking the newly anointed member of the Church, and spoke: “Sister Elise, you must enter the Baptismal font alone. All you have to do is walk to the other side, where we await you. Take care to not lose yourself. Good luck.” With that, the three Sisters simply began to walk away, but Elise could feel that tug pulling her towards the door, drawing her in, directing her. Somehow, she knew that even if she attempted to follow after the others, she would find her legs taking her in another direction, her hands already cracking the seal on the door as–
The door swung open before her, her own hand pulling the handle. She hadn’t even noticed herself opening it. Inside, there was only a pitch-black void, completely devoid of light.
She stepped forward. She didn’t know if she had made the decision or not. It didn’t matter. The door closed behind her.
Blackness. Void. Nothingness. She begins to walk.
Her heels click on the floor, but the sound is swallowed up, lost to the abyss.
It feels like she just started, but she has been walking for hours. Or is it the other way around?
Contact. Something brushes her thigh. A hand. Or just an illusion.
Another touch. Another. Another. Hands slowly dragging along her body as she walks, faint touches, palm prints on rubber. The touches are electric, every second of the contact enough to fill her with Bliss, until her own movement carries her onwards.
She presses her hand against herself, feels the slickness, feels the oil. The hands are spreading pure shine on her body.
So much shine.
Her pace falters as a hand presses itself to her chest, squeezes in just the right spot, before sliding off, leaving a trail of faintly tingling shine on her body.
Her left knee trembles as another palm squeezes her thigh in the perfect spot.
She knows why she was warned. It would be so easy to sink to her knees, embrace the sensation, remove her mask, remove her self, sink into the touch.
She can’t see, but she knows what she is surrounded by now. What the void is made of.
People. Just like her. Just like what she could become. Those utterly lost to the rubber. Creatures, writhing, sliding, grinding, completely coated in slick, smooth shine, glistening in the unlight, minds just as polished and blank as their latex skin.
She could become one. But then she would stop being her. She would stop being.
She stumbles, staggers to the left, finds herself pressed against a writhing wall of rubber bodies, all of them reaching out to embrace her, drag her in deeper, spread the shine, make the rubber go far more than skin deep, make her forget anything but eternal Rubber Bliss.
She feels the hands stroking her body, head to toe, every inch of her rubber touched and stroked to a mirror-shine, all except a single point, a single spot burning with desperate need between her legs.
She wants it.
She needs it.
But… She can’t. She has to pull herself away, pull herself back, keep walking onwards, join her other Sisters…
But it would hurt so much to go unfulfilled. It would be agony to stop the hands before they reached that last dull spot. Hurt hurt hurt hurt hurt hurthurthurthurthurthurt
Pain is Bliss.
Sister Elise pulled herself free of the hands grasping at her body with a strained, agonised groan, setting herself back on her feet, steadying herself. She was stranded in the endless void of writhing rubber bodies, and she had lost her direction – if she started walking without knowing where to go, she was liable to stride straight into the pile of anonymous latex creatures, and she didn’t think she’d be able to resist them twice. She closed her eyes, not that it made a difference in the perfect darkness, and inhaled, searching inside herself, hunting for that faint tug of Bliss.
She let her legs take a step, then another, another, striding ahead, following only that ephemeral sensation within her own psyche, putting her trust in Bliss. The hands reached out, dragging along her body, but now she was moving without thinking, and the pleasure surging through her mind did nothing to interrupt her pace. She drifted in the haze, floating aimlessly and yet walking with purpose.
Suddenly, her hand found the handle of the exit, pulled it open, stepped through the door.
She blinked back tears as she strained to adjust to the light, unable to see anything other than a hazy blur for a few moments, before everything crawled back into focus, revealing a single figure standing before her. Beneath her mask, her eyes went wide as she gazed at the Mother Superior standing before her, her imposing mask radiating benevolence, recognisable only by the elaborate script on her habit. She was given no time to adjust to the presence of the convent’s leader, as the Superior’s lilting, robotic voice said: “Sister Elise, well done. I see by your suit,” the masked figure gave a faint nod to the still-dull patch between her legs, ”that you managed to resist the urges, and find Bliss within yourself. Many do not succeed in that task. In doing so, you have learned the most important lesson; you may be anonymous, amongst our ranks, and Anonymity is Bliss, but do not mistake anonymity for a loss of identity. You are still you, you are us, and We are Bliss. I will now complete your Baptism.”
The Mother Superior stepped forward, lifting a small, immaculately folded black cloth from a table by her side. Her ink-black gloves reached around to take hold of Elise’s neck, holding her firm and steady as the cloth, already soaked with polish, pressed between her legs.
Her shine was complete.