The Huntress and The Horned One

“What brings you to my forests?” The Huntress asked. She was wearing fur lined leather boots and breeches. A fur lined leather jerkin covered her breasts while she carried a bow that could not miss. Her skin was bronze and her eyes blue and not quite round. Her braid which flowed from her head to her waist was as thick as her wrist and as black as the raven and wolf that accompanied her. Her body was shapely, but in the toned and muscular way of a woman who provided for herself.

“All creatures are mine, and their realms are open to me.” The Horned One said with a suggestive smile. He had a beard and hair of black. His eyes were black as well, that is to say iris, pupil and sclera were all black- and menacing. His skin was bronze and his arms, chest and abdomen were well toned. But things went awry below the navel. He walked on the hind legs of a black goat. And his permanently erect phallus was too large to belong to a goat or a man. And then there were the horns, if you had somehow missed them before seeing what was below his waist. Two, also black and shiny, curved like a ram’s and protruding from the top of his otherwise human head.

“The animals of the fields are yours and that is where you belong.” The Huntress said tersely. “The beasts and the forests are mine.”

They were standing opposite each other across a small creek in a forest inhabited by deer and thick with oaks. The Horned One crossed the stream and sat on a large rock next to her and settled himself for a stay.

“Animals are animals,” The Horned One said with a shrug. “Birds and bears, hunters and hunted all obey my call. Even humans.”

“You are not welcome here, Great Horny One.” The Huntress rebuked him.

The Horned One frowned and lifted a set pipes to his lips. I suspect that The Huntress feared those pipes more than The Horned One feared her bow, and with good reason.

“Why have you come here? Are there not animals and fields that need you to make them fertile?” The Huntress asked. It came out in a rush, she needed The Horned One to forget about those pipes.

“Oh, the fields and beasts and even a few farmers wives have been blessed by me this season. I have turned my focus to other goals.” He said with his smile, repulsive and seductive at the same time.

“The beasts of the forest need no help from you.”

“Oh, My Dear, it is you who needs my help.”

“I need nothing from you,” The Huntress said with a scoff.

“Oh, but I have come to enlighten you. To teach you the joys of the flesh,” The Horned One said with his sardonic smile.

“I have no need for that.”

“Do you not?”

“I have taken an oath of chastity.”

“Yes, I know. And why? Why would you deny yourself this pleasure?”

“We are gods, we create pleasure with our will. And we are immortal. We need not to have children to worship us and to prove our existence to posterity. Coitus only distracts us from our true purposes.” My Lady, The Huntress answered wisely.

“You will not join me in coitus?”

“Absolutely not,” The Huntress said with disgust.

“Because of your oath?”

“Because you are a goat-fucker.”

The Horned Ones smile did not disappear as much as it shifted. Gone was the smile of sensuous invitation, and in its place a smile without mirth. A mask. A lesser being would say The Horned One was offended, but gods do not get offended. They get wrathful.

“Have it that way then,” The Horned One said as he began to play the pipes.

How long did he play? An hour? A millenia? It is impossible to say since gods have no sense of time. But what I can say is that his song, his spell worked. The Huntress was virtually his thrall when the song was finished.

“And now, My Dear, to teach you how to play the pipe.” The Horned One said with an openly malignant smile and tone into the glazed over eyes of The Huntress.

——-

I was there when it happened.

I saw all of it.

I could have ripped The Horned One’s throat out.

I should have ripped The Horned One’s throat out.

But I am bound to My Lady, The Huntress. And I can not act without her command. You and I can assume from here unto eternity that she would have wanted me to. But the simple fact is that she did not command it.

The simple fact is that she could not command it.

The Great Horned One had his way with her and my fangs could do nothing to stop him

And when he finished he left her in that glade, on that rock, beside that stream.

When she came out of her trance she began to cry. I still consider this to be the strangest thing I have ever seen in all of my time. A goddess crying? The Lady of The Hunt, The Lady of The Forest, The Maiden of Childbearing and Birthing, crying?

The Huntress knew she was pregnant as soon as she was able to form coherent thoughts again. Of course she knew she was pregnant, she is the goddess of pregnancy. She sent Raven and I out to hunt for her while she nested in that place. I can not say how long it was that she nested there. How long is the gestation for a goddess? A week? An era? As I have already said, time has little meaning to us.

She birthed her and named her after the place of her conception and birth. You would call the child Rhea Silvius if your historians had recorded her name correctly.

Our Lady told us not to tell any of the others. And it was Raven who disobeyed. She has always been defiant. It was The Warrior she told, and it was he who visited us in that glade. “Give her to me, sister. I will raise her in my temple,” was what The Warrior said to her.

“No,” The Huntress replied.

“Would you have the world know that you were violated?” The Warrior said, he was not accustomed to being refused.

“There is no shame in it, and if there is it is The Horny Goats- not mine.” The Huntress replied.

“No, not shame,” The Warrior concurred, “but you swore an oath. It makes you look weak before man and gods alike.”

“Weak? Me? You forget yourself brother!” The Huntress said, reflexively touching her bow.

The Warrior took a step back, but he answered with confidence. “You know I am correct. You know this is best for her, for you, for everyone. You can visit her. She will even know who you are, but no one else can.”

“Why your temple? Why not mine?” The Huntress asked.

“On Delos?” The Warrior said, “they will know her as soon as you bring her. My temple will believe I found her.”

The Huntress gave him a flat look, “I’ll think on it, brother. But if you truly love me then help me.”

“That is what I’m trying to do, Dear Sister,” The Warrior replied.

“You offer help that is not wanted or needed,” The Huntress replied, “I want you to help me kill The Horny Goat.”

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The Wolves of Winter

The Wolves of Winter- Tyrell Johnson

Rating: 3 Moons and a Gibbous

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Adult, light sci-fi/spec elements

I honestly picked it up hoping for werewolves when I read the title, but when I read the blurb I decided to give it a go since I also like PA fiction.

Set in a post-Apocalyptic Yukon, the book strikes an odd (and perfect) balance between dark grit and bright hope.

It starts by talking about the struggles to survive in a frigid, remote camp. And at first you think the book might just be about simply surviving and it has the vibe of an adult oriented ‘Hatchet’ early in the book.

But then things get weird.

I don’t want to ruin the book by giving spoilers, but the book quickly becomes more than what you think. There are things in play that you and the protagonist are unaware of.

That said, the one thing I did not like about the book is that Tyrell foreshadowed a bit excessively. It makes the big reveal towards the end more of a a ‘well, no shit’ moment. The ending is also a little weak, the book itself builds great momentum up to the climax of the plot only to have a very lackluster resolution.

I would recommend this book to: Outdoor Enthusiasts, Off Griders / Homesteaders and PA Fiction fans

Author Twitter: @tjohnso14

The Queen

“You stole The Light?” She asked in a tone of disbelief and pleasure. Her voice was a mixture of a growl and a hiss, and not entirely of either. It was a thousand different things and none of them all the same.

“I stole The Light,” Her young acolyte responded. his voice still held the taint of his humanity.

She laughed, you know it was a laugh because I am telling you it was so. But if you had been there you would not have called the sound that came from Her a laugh.

“How?” She growl-hissed.

“I told them I was a nephilim,” he answered.

“And they believed you?” She inquired, Her voice growled incredulously.

“They opened the gates for me and didn’t question me further,” he answered.

“We can do much with this relic,” She hissed with pleasure, “control the planes of mortals, torment their souls with nigh impunity, and sustain Ourselves indefinitely.”

“Does it please You, my Queen?” he asked.

“It pleases Me greatly,” She hissed in an almost sensuous manner as she patted his head in an uncharacteristically caring manner. “you have done well, lucifer.”

Snow

It was beautiful.

Peaceful.

And strange.

Strange that a normally busy city street would be deserted over such a frivolous thing as snow.

As I stood there, alone, on the street it set my mind to pondering why it is that we fear such a beautiful thing.

But what if these lights weren’t on?

What if we had no electricity?

No gas conveniently pumped into our homes?

We would be fucked, to put it bluntly. We have no trees to burn in the city. Well, there is that big park in the center of the city, but I’m sure the mayor would have his mounted police patrolling it.

Like a king with his loyal cavaliers, ready to kill a poacher in the forest.

Of course the poacher would just be a person, hungry and cold, trying to survive.

But when you make the laws, the rules, the edicts, you have warmth and food and care less than little about the suffering of the peasants.

The cold kills.

We remember this from our past. And that is why we seek shelter from such a beautiful thing as snow.

But how do we remember? The doctors and scientists say humans don’t have genetic memory. So how do we remember?

Past lives? Some people believe that, and I won’t say they are wrong. I don’t know and I accept that. (Even though I want to know all of the mysteries.)

I start to see lights go out in the windows, people going to bed, surely.

But the questions of ‘what if’ start to plague my mind again.

‘Maybe it is time I sell the condo and move back to the mountains’, I think as I return to my warm, and totally dependent on a service grid, home.

The Angel

“It vexes me,” he said touching the statue. His voice sounded strange. Vex? Who even uses that word?

“It vexes you?” I asked.

“Hell yes! Don’t it you?” he asked jerking his hand back as if he had touched a hot stove.

“No, it creeps me the fuck out!” I answered.

We were standing in a cemetery. An old cemetery, next to an old church. The sign said it was Baptist, but neither Steve or I could tell the difference between a Baptist and a Catholic if our eternity depended on it.

We always found cemeteries when we went on road trips. We both loved them for our own reasons. In fact, the first time Steve and I had sex we were in a cemetery. Weird, I know. But that is a story for another day.

Steve loved the history in cemeteries; the older the better. He would look at the names and the dates and imagine what their lives were like.

And I always found them magickal. Imbued with their own energy that made me feel energized, and more often than not, at peace. Even when they shouldn’t.

But this one was different.

Made so by the gods-forsaken angel we were looking at.

“What’s wrong with it?” Steve asked.

“I dunno’, but it ain’t good.” I answered.

The energy was off. I don’t really know how to explain it other than that.

If you just glanced at The Angel it looked like a statue that had been erected in memoriam by a family for a passed loved one, in this case a Robert Jones.

But if you looked at it, like REALLY looked at it, you got an uh-oh feeling in the pit of your stomach. It was the same feeling you get when you look at clown paintings by John Wayne Gacy. ‘It makes your soul crinkle’, my sister would say.

And let’s not even go into what would happen if you looked with your Third Eye.

“I’m done here, let’s find another cemetery,” Steve said.

“I agree, the energy of this place makes me want to hurl,” I concurred.

We started walking back to the car. Steve was in front, and suddenly he stopped at the edge of the should-be sacred ground. He turned to me, trying to look scary.

“You should not have disturbed me.” Steve said in a voice that sounded like old dry leather being rubbed with a whet stone.

“Knock it off, Steve, let’s get out of here,” I say it with a laugh. I’m trying to act casual, like this is all just a bad joke.

But the truth is he is scaring me.

“Get out of here? As in leave? Oh, you cannot do that, My Dears.” Steve- no, not Steve said.

The sun began to set beneath the tree line as Steve grabbed my wrist and turned me around to lead me, ungently, back into the graveyard.