Named after Valentina Tereshkova, Russian Cosmonaut (1963) and for years the only female in outer space. She didn’t have to do much (none of the early astronauts did) but she was 24 years old and gorgeous. Her face was the first broadcast of someone in orbit.
I like portraying naked females in cold conditions, because the nudity is “out of place”. But I’m careful to be realistic about it. No, I’m not going to write about naked females climbing Everest, or exploring the South Pole. There is a limit, mentioned here.
Professor Tereshkova, the Body Awareness teacher, walked by in her parka and leggings and furry boots, waving to the students with her little crooked smile, then walked on toward the faculty building with her slight but recognizable limp.
This reminded everyone. “That was brutal this morning,” Corey said. The other guys agreed.
“Ooohh!” Lisa said with a theatrical shudder, thinking back. Body Movement Class, a.k.a. “Eroticize” class, the required morning class for BSC females, under Tereshkova’s direction, 30 minutes starting at 8 a.m., during which the girls practiced aerobics, then the various “presenting” positions. Of course it was all out in the open; at the main campus, it was in the middle of the big sunny quad next to the palm trees so that the girls were on full public display and anyone could stop and look. Here at Alturas, on really cold mornings the good professor held it inside, in the gym. Wherever it was, the guys were naturally attracted to it and could not help from looking, no matter how long they’d been at Blanke Schande, no matter how much you told yourself you’d gotten used to the sight.
This morning had been overcast, well below freezing -- 20 degrees Fahrenheit according to the thermometer outside one of the dorms -- and windy. And the professor brought the girls outside! The girls tried to protest but in seconds found themselves doing stiff jumping jacks on the icy platform, trying not to slip with their bare feet. The aerobics were not so bad, the vigorous muscles heating up despite the bitingly freezing ocean of air in which they were immersed. But then to hold still for the presenting positions! Around the platform, guys stood in their heavy coats, clouds of breath in front of them, not being able to resist watching with a mixture of lust and horror and pity and amusement as the fully-clothed professor walked around, checking out the hands spreading buttocks apart as the icy wind bit into each exposed anus, curled its way between each pair of pulled-apart vaginal lips, while the girls squealed in protest . . .
It was good natured squealing. The girls knew they were in capable hands. They envied Elena Tereshkova in her warm furs and boots but she had earned it. It was an open secret -- she was a survivor of Blanksk Shchandiy Oblast.
“It was a Soviet experiment,” was the way Lisa had learned it last year, from Terry, a senior about to graduate. The six nude females were munching on pine berries as they sat cross-legged around a fire out on the ridge that warm night, on their “camping trip”, a special modular course during which they lived out in the wild for five days, taking nothing with them but their own nude bodies, sleeping on the soft pine needles under the stars, eating the wild plants they had learned about, drinking and bathing in the cold pure water of the streams. “The Soviets loved experiments, even as the Soviet Union was collapsing. Sometime around 1977 they heard about Blanke Schande, how it produced exceptionally strong and capable women. They were having problems attracting women into the professions -- too many of them were getting traditional again and staying housewives -- so the Soviet Ministry of Education decided to imitate BSC.
“Of course, being the Soviet Union, they made it compulsory. Compulsory social engineering, that’s what they were all about. They set up a special ‘Oblast’, or administrative district, somewhere east of Moscow, and required all female college students to be naked at all times. But Russian women tend to be really Puritanical and traditional, so immediately they all dropped out. So then the minister or whoever it was in charge, decreed that all women from the age of 18 to 30 had to be naked, except if they were going to college, in which case they could put clothes on when they graduated. That got the women back into class.”
“Boy, that was nuts,” Lisa had observed.
“I’ll say. Maybe they were desperate. Like I said, the whole system was collapsing. Well anyway those Russian winters are cold. Alturas is nothing. Imagine going out when it’s 40 below!”
“You’d be dead,” another girl said.
“Not if you run like hell from building to building,” Terry said. “And then one day the inevitable happened. Some girls were staying out in a kind of forest bunkhouse they had and a fire broke out. They called the fire truck but it broke down on the way -- a typical broken-down Soviet truck -- and the building just collapsed in flames, forcing the girls outside with nothing but some thin blankets to put around them. By the time help finally arrived they had been stuck outside for almost an hour. Elena was one of them. They put her into immersion therapy and it was touch and go. Finally after two weeks she could get up out of bed. Others got frozen worse. Their parents went ballistic and the whole project was quietly shut down soon after.”
A horrible story but true. It was hard to look at Ms. Tereshkova’s crooked smile, the slight limp, without an almost overwhelming feeling of respect, for what she had been through and then, after that, deciding on studying cryokinesthetics and leading the girls through erotocize class, even on bitter cold windy mornings.
When Lisa told Corey this story he had been floored. A baseball player in high school, who did a lot of reading on the history of baseball, he immediately thought of a homely analogy. “Like Herb Score,” he said.
“Herb Score. He was a great pitcher in the 50’s, I think, and one day a wicked line drive hit him right in the eye, almost killed him.” Lisa cringed. “And he came back. That’s the amazing thing -- to get up there and pitch again after being almost killed, hit in the eye like that. As soon as he got better he came back, the next year I think, he got back up on the mound and pitched again. He wasn’t the pitcher he was, but he came back, like Tereshkova did . . .”
“Uh, right,” Lisa said. She supposed the analogy was kind of apt.
“She knows where the edge is,” Corey said.
“Ever read Hunter S. Thompson’s book on the Hell’s Angels?”
“Um, no.” Corey was full of obscure references this night.
“He writes about motorbiking up the Coastal Highway, back before it got all built up, when there was no traffic or lights, taking the curves as fast as possible, getting close to ‘the edge’. . . ‘There’s no way to tell where it is because the only ones who know where it is are the ones who have gone over.’ That’s her.”
“Oh -- hey --” Corey had succeeded in putting a comforting thought in Lisa’s head: the girls were in no danger fron the cold at Alturas: Tereshkova knows how far one can go, where the “edge” is. Some time later Wendy told Lisa and Corey about Tereshkova using the phrase, “the limit”. It was a bitter cold night and Wendy had been walking down that long roundabout forest path to the back of the dorm with her and with Olga Vashetkovskaya, that junior from Siberia who Tereshkova naturally hung out a lot with. It was so cold and such a long walk that even Wendy was getting worried. Looking down at the four white bare feet next to Tereshkova’s boots, she had said, “Shouldn’t we be running? I’ve been shivering for five minutes.” The professor said, “Don’t you girls worry. You’re nowhere near the limit. Just get under a hot shower when you get in.”
This morning, watching his girlfriend up on the platform, spreading her flushed feet and legs apart for the icy wind, Corey had remembered this story and knew that his girlfriend was perfectly safe, and in fact getting stronger for the effort.