Title: THE WILLING
Author: Lindsay Lees
In less than a year, fifteen-year-old Gypsy Capone will be considered a woman in Ovoidia, a “utopian” city-state where every woman can be approached for immediate sex by any man, where curving architecture adds weird whimsy, sporks are the only cutlery, and true intimacy between the genders is a sign of suspect subversion. After all, if a woman just plays along, she’ll also do her job and have children, with the reward of a fine home in the “Communities,” where she and the other “Mamas” live together in harmony with everything they need. Right?
The irony: Diam and Isis, the two leaders of Ovoidia, are themselves females. Fun, yes! And just below the surface, perversely sinister. They personally execute these precise sacrifices by women to establish their “happy,” absurdly totalitarian utopia, and are backed up by their chosen army of male “crusaders,” enforcing a crime-free, fully controlled society.
Men are relegated to work in the “City” where they may “enjoy”—right there on the street if they wish—any woman they want and are welcome to satisfy their sexual and emotional needs at establishments called Gaje Clubs where only the most “gifted” among women are chosen to work.
Not surprisingly, in Ovoidia women have evolved until they feel nothing of sexual pleasure. But in Gypsy’s deepest heart, she realizes her own dark secret: she is the exception. Next she discovers to her horror that her secret, if known, could result in the ultimate punishment—genital mutilation.
To save her body and even her soul, Gypsy chooses a dangerous path—to single-handedly confront this scary and absurd world. She has the support of her allegiant sister Sadie and Miles Devine, a rogue, secretly gay crusader, and also “Doctor,” a morally questionable physician to help her. But none of them fathom the levels of paradox, incongruity, and twisted evil they will soon face, and the ride becomes something even Gypsy could have never imaged.
“The Willing is stunning in its brutality as well as its sensitivity! Absolute must read. We all have a piece of Gypsy in us. We must consider our potential future as women now with eyes wide open.”–Amazon Reviewer
“The Willing is an unusually deep commentary on a malignant dysfunction in our society, dressed in fishnet utopian stockings. While the premise and its sensual details push the boundaries of belief, a community that is ostensibly focused on the greater good but is governed by fear and hypocrisy fits perfectly in the dystopian genre. Gypsy’s character is flawed and immature in many ways, but her shield-like honesty is refreshing among a sea of conformists. A rather feminist piece filled with satire on the state of equality, The Willing is weighty and serious in its message, and sad in its reflection of how women are treated in our modern world. For a change from the norm, Lindsay Lees provides a gripping story that will have you thinking deeply about the importance of the relationships in your life.”–Jennifer Jackson from IndiesToday.com
a basement meeting room of the Head Gaje’s oval-spiral Headquarters, an arched
doorway slid open. Doctor Gino’s tired, wrinkled eyes also bolted open; he had
only been resting them. He’d practically been dragged from his bed, after all.
Ovoidia’s Chief Crusader, Rigby Katz, entered the hermetical, bleach-white room
holding his round helmet, nestled under his thick, toned arm. Eyes bright and
vigilant—a caffeine glow—he must have only just finished his shift, Doctor thought.
He had been a Crusader for over thirty years but had the good fortune of not
appearing his age. Rigby scanned the room like a robot from Robocop or Terminator, one of the Pre-Ultimate Revolution movies. After
completing a thorough assessment, he surveyed the white leather office chair where
Doctor sat with his liver-spotted hands folded on the round table.
“Oh good. I’m not the first
to arrive.” Crusader Katz clomped in wearing heavy black boots, clean as
the day they were made. “Gives me anxiety waiting around, wondering if I’m
at the right place. Easy to get lost down here.”
A round clock above the arched
doorway swept past the seconds. It was almost three A.M. Doctor hadn’t expected
the tribunal meeting to take place so late.
“Do you know why we’re
having the meeting now?” Doctor asked, casually.
Rigby regarded Doctor with
amusement, rather like the way a mama looks at her child when she asks where
babies come from. “Yes, the Head Gajes had an inauguration party to
Doctor yawned. So much for not
having time to get a coffee.
Crusader Katz removed a piece of
spearmint gum and his cell phone from his utility belt. He owned the newest
model, a razor-thin silver flip-phone with a peek window on the front. When he
flipped it open, the interior buttons reflected electric blue on his milky
eyes. Doctor didn’t know why cell phones required upgrades. So long as they
served their primary function who cared what they looked like?
Crusader Katz snapped the phone
shut and shoved it back in his belt. “No service.” He sighed.
“We’re too far down,”
Doctor said, pleased with himself.
The steady hum of an air purifier
oscillated from a corner. A few stray bubbles burped in a standing water
cooler. Doctor eased a ballpoint pen from his lab coat and hovered it over the
table, pinching the cap to make sure it was firmly secured. He was forever
spilling ink or coffee on the ubiquitous white leather.
“I forgot my notepad,” Doctor
said, surprised at his error. While most communications in Ovoidia were transcribed
digitally, Doctor preferred to handwrite his notes for archival purposes.
He experienced nostalgia for the
tactile fluidity the pen afforded the fingers. “Do you happen to have an extra
pad or a piece of paper?” he asked Crusader Katz.
Just then, the meeting room door
opened to the heady scent of a dozen steamed bouquets, as though the Head Gajes
had bathed in the buckets of wilting flowers being sold on the streets in the
mid-day heat. Diam, the eldest of the Head Gajes strolled, chin up, into the room.
Her stilettos tapped like hail on glass as she walked across the marble floor.
She wore a black satin skirt flared above her knee. Her skin shone, glossy and
supple. Isis, the younger Head Gaje, teetered in behind her, gripping a round
red lollipop on a white stick.