Maslenitsa (Russian: Мaсленица, Ukrainian: Масниця, Belarusian: Масьленіца; also known as Butter Week
Crepe week) is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, that is, the eighth week before Eastern Orthodox Pascha (Easter).
According to archeological evidence from 2nd century A.D. Maslenitsa may be the oldest surviving Slavic holiday. Maslenitsa has its origins in the pagan tradition. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a sun-festival, personified by the ancient god Volos,and a celebration of the imminent end of the winter. In the Christian tradition, Maslenitsa is the last week before the onset of Great Lent. The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is bliny - thin pancakes or crepes.
In some regions, each day of Maslenitsa had its traditional activity. Monday may be the welcoming of “Lady Maslenitsa”. The community builds the Maslenitsa effigy out of straw (из соломы), decorated with pieces of rags, and fixed to a pole formerly known as Kostroma. It is paraded around and the first pancakes may be made and offered to the poor. On Tuesday, young men might search for a fiancée to marry after lent. On Wednesday sons-in-law may visit their mother-in-law who has prepared pancakes and invited other guests for a party. Thursday may be devoted to outdoor activities. People may take off work and spend the day sledding, ice skating, snowball fights and with sleigh rides. On Friday sons-in-law may invite their mothers-in-law for dinner. Saturday may be a gathering of a young wife with her sisters-in-law to work on a good relationship.
Sakura knows he’s a ghost because there is nothing in her that rises up in fright at the sight of a pale boy with beautiful lips and lashes as dark as soot standing in the doorway to her grandmother’s kitchen. The flutter beneath her breastbone is lazy and then gone before she can exhale. Between her hands she holds the warm sides of her ceramic mug, where a sea of white foam swirls between coffee waves.
“Don’t judge me, I know it’s terrible, but it was a long day,” she says.
He doesn’t respond and she wonders if he can. “My name is Sakura. How did you die?”
He turns his head and the long red scar sits like a ruby choker around his neck. He’s so pale with hair and eyes so dark Sakura can’t help but think him romantically beautiful, even in death. His clothing is…odd; all black. A high collar of black to his long sleeve sweater, black slacks to complement his black shoes, black eyes to see a black world, the only thing not black about is the white of his skin. He is as pale as a ghost and that thought makes her almost smile.
“Have you lived here long?” Sakura asks, lifting her coffee for a sip. It’s bitter in her mouth before the sugar redeems the cup. “I don’t plan on staying here long.”
He doesn’t respond and she wonders if his inability to speak has something to do with his death or maybe his means of death. Could split throats really do a person any good? Did that matter to ghosts? Still, he hasn’t moved or looked away from her since appearing in the doorway, so she thinks that’s a good sign. She drinks her coffee to pass the time and it warms her all the way down.
The phone rings, and it’s a split second thing that distracts her eye for just a second. She looks behind her to the old spiral cord phone on the end table that shakes a bit with the sound at every ring. When she looks back the doorway is empty. Sighing, Sakura stands and moves to answer the phone, but when she picks up the receiver from its cradle the sound goes dead and there is no dial tone.
The phone had never been plugged in.
When she saw him again he was sitting on the end of her bed watching her sleep. She sat up from her covers and wiped the stains on her face. Another nightmare. But he’s watching her like he knows.
“Has no one ever warned you not to interrupt a girl’s beauty sleep?”
“You don’t need it.”
She blinks in surprise, suddenly more awake. She hadn’t expected to hear him speak, and judging from the look on his face, neither had he. His eyes were beautifully wide before he glanced downward. She shifted under the covers and drew closer.
“So you do speak. Why were you so quiet all this time? I’ve been here weeks and I can feel you close by, even if I haven’t caught sight of you since that first time.”
From behind her something falls of the side table but Sakura doesn’t look away. She keeps her eyes on him, refusing to do so much as blink. He winces under her stare, as if her eyes were fists.
“Don’t look at me,” he whispers, bringing up his hands in front of his face.
Sakura wants to comfort him, he sounds too much like a child, but she also wants to respect him, so she lowers her face. She knows he isn’t gone, but she also knows he won’t be there in front of her when she looks up, so she keeps her head down.
“Thank you for waking me up. I’m sorry if I worried you. Sometimes I say or do things in my sleep, but don’t let it bother you, I’m fine.”
There’s a brush of cold on her cheek, where it once was wet, and she lifts her face. She is alone again, but that doesn’t frighten her in the least, so she goes back to sleep.
It’s nearly a week later before she can get him to keep from disappearing on her. He shows up often enough since he caught her in the middle of her nightmare that one night, but he had a bad habit of running away if she tried to look at him too long.
His weakness was books.
There weren’t many books he could pick up and manipulate, but Sakura brought plenty of her own with her that were filled with different types of pictures he just loved to watch from over her shoulder. Abstract to modern to anime and watercolors, all of it was worth it for him to stick around. Sakura went out of her way to buy and rent books she thought he might like. When she left for the day she left the computer on reruns of Bob Ross.
“This one looks like you,” he says one day, staring at a sunset that’s all warm and vibrant, stretching across two glossy pages in her library book.
“I’ve been told I look more like the tree.” Sakura doesn’t look behind her, and pretends she doesn’t watch him when he talks, but he’s hard to look away from. “The colors are close, though.”
The boy just hums from behind her and Sakura feels the chill from when he touches her. She turns the page.
“I look like black ink, the kind that bleeds across white paper. I have no color.”
“I think I have a book with those sorts of prints,” Sakura breaths, laying the landform book down and reaching into her stack of rented library books. She finds one and turns to the page she remembered from her initial lip through. There’s a painting in the middle of the book of a Chinese lion. . Everything else is white in the painting, but the lion was made up of thick brush strokes all in black.
“Me?” He asks, but doesn’t stretch his head over her shoulder. Sakura brings the book to him and he goes still.
“Still, I think you’re prettier than any old picture. Ah, but look, the red stamp in the corner is the only color, just like your scar. You’re Snow White I think.”
The blank look on his face makes her think he’s never seen Snow White.
“Why are you still here?” he asks her.
“Why haven’t you passed on?” Sakura counters.
“I asked you first.”
She doesn’t answer and he doesn’t ask again.
A month later she invites a pair of friends over and it’s the first time her ghost boy stays out in the open where she can see him. Karin and Juugo can’t see him of course, just Sakura. He watches from the corners where he knows he won’t be walked through, eyes unusually narrowed and shoulders hiked in agitation.
Why Juugo and Karin leave that night, so does her ghost boy, and none of her picture books can drag him out.
She wakes up and makes it to the bathroom before the cramps make her vomit. She hasn’t had a cycle so painful in months, so this one threw her for a loop. Moaning, she bends over the rim again and empties herself, eyes wet with salt and tears. Something cold touches the red of her neck and she’s thankful for it.
When she looks back he is there, trying to hold her hair, but it just falls through his fingers. He’s never been able to hold anything. Sometimes he’s made books fall or phones ring, but Sakura’s never seen him pick anything up or hold anything of hers. When he reaches out for her his hand goes through her and there is a chill, nothing more.
He pulls back, lip curled, fist close to his chest. It seems as if he will phase back into the wall, out of sight, but she whines and vomits again, nearly choking when her throat goes empty. All she can make are sounds of pain but he does’t try to leave again.
An hour later she curls up on the ceramic tiles and lets her head rest where her cheeks can be cooled. She feels every breath as it strains against her ribs. He pets her neck again and she makes a sound of contentment, so he does it again.
“You shouldn’t be alone.” She doesn’t know why he says it, but she looks up at his face and it’s enough to make her forget to feel the pain inside of her.
He’s quiet for a long time, and she almost falls asleep on the floor between the toilet and the tub, knowing she’ll regret it in the morning. But she hears it when he speaks.
“I wish I could touch you.”
When she wakes up again, she’s back in bed and the sun is far up.
“I want to know your name. You’ve never told it to me.” She’s leaning over the arm of her recliner, eyes half lidded as she flirts with the idea of a nap. It’s the summer nearly, and she wants to stretch out like a cat and sleep like one.
He’s been staring at a Jackson Pollock for seven minutes straight. “It’s not important,” he says.
“I call you ghost boy in my head.”
He doesn’t say anything. It’s been nine minutes since he looked at anything other than that painting. His eyes roam over the lines and curves, searching for the end to it. “I call you the living girl in my head,” he says after another minute.
“That’s silly, I’m Sakura. I told you my name; Sakura.”
“Everyone has names. You’re the living girl to me. I don’t think anyone else matters.”
She wishes she could kiss him almost as much as she wishes she knew his name. “If I let you, is there a way you could touch me?”
He looks up from the painting, finally. His eyes are wide. The whole of her reflection is caught in the black of his eyes and it’s daunting. “A way?”
“Yeah,” she says. “I want to…touch. Is there a way?”
He frowns, but then he sits up and scoots closer to her, till he is directly in front of her chair, looking up at her. Hesitantly, he reaches for her and his hand passes through the strands of her hair that fall in front of her face. He pulls back but doesn’t move away.
“I want to touch you,” Sakura says.
His eyes go back to hers and then he swallows. “My name is Sai and my best friend killed me to save the world.” He reaches for her face and she feels cold where his fingers brush her cheek. She moved into his hand and he holds the side of her face. Turning, she kisses his palm and heat, honest human heat, blooms underneath her lips.
When she looks up he is a little less pale. “Hello Sai. It’s nice to meet you.”
My plans for the rest of Holy Week (can't fucking wait)
Greetings fellow sinners!
Holy Week, the time where Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is also the best time of the year to tell him to fuck off.
To celebrate the fuckers resurrection from the dead, I will be performing various acts of blasphemy.
Firstly, I will be celebrating Good Friday, the day The Son of the Whore died, by performing my rendition of the black mass. (Still live with parents so I can’t use candles…….)
I will also be masturbating and giving myself anal stimulation. (Lots of edging)
Second, I will be shaving my bush
Third, I will be cumming in church! I go to a Catholic Church and am an altar server. This means that I will go into the sacristy during mass on Easter. Back there I will bring myself close to orgasm. Then I’ll come back out and (through the folds in the robe I wear) discreetly rub myself to orgasm.
If anyone has any recommendations for anything else I can do PLEASE TELL ME! I want to have a really sinful Holy Week.