Season 2, Episode 10
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
I made my way through the shattered and suspended corridors of an architecture much like, but not quite identical to, the royal palace. Some of the light seemed to come from the unfamiliar constellations above, and some from the strange intermittent bluish glow that flared and faded all about me, now here, now there.
I felt a detached sort of serenity, as if I were observing myself from the outside. As a result, I felt only vague curiosity when some of the pervasive grey mist passed through the hallway in front of me and left the stones it touched draped in orange silk. I remembered that fabric from my childhood: in my sixth year, I had wanted a dress made of that silk, but had been told it was too expensive.
I rounded a corner and came across the curved mirror in the horrid leering frame that I had had nightmares about shortly before the death of my mother. I had entered the Order at that point, as a ward, but they had wasted no time beginning my training. That had been two years before my first moontime.
I noticed the terror I should feel at coming across that nightmare vision, but I did not feel it.
Perched atop a hanging outcrop of wall was a short, blunt, and pearlescent horn. In the first dream about sex I’d ever had, that was what the man’s cock had been: a faintly shimmery horn, and a detachable one at that. I’d known better, and afterwards I’d felt embarrassed—not about sex, but about getting the anatomy wrong.
A faint odor of incense passed by me, and then there was another thing out of dreams: a single leg of an impossibly large spider from a dream I’d forgotten, not long before I came to Thrycae. In that dream, I’d been pinned under that leg which was almost as big around as I, while I heard, rather than saw the spider continuing to spin somewhere above me in the blackness. Now, it took up a third of the passage and stretched off to vanish in a cloud of mist. It seemed strange, walking right past it, but strange was all it seemed.
There was a patch of leaves in a corner, covered in fresh blood, and then, as I climbed and clung to a long spiral stairwell, there was a fruit tree growing out of the wall, bearing apricots and plums, and all manner of stonefruit, each one with a single bite taken out.
There were other things as well, but they all passed out of my mind because, as I stopped to peer into a room with the skull of a monstrous bird in it, I smelled incense again. The smoke of some aromatic wood I couldn’t identify, and amber.
My pulse quickened and the walls seemed to draw in. No, they were actually closing up, the fragmented and floating chunks and shards of stone pulling together. I ran, possessed by a panic that sliced though the detached calm I’d felt. My limbs didn’t move quite right, they still felt numb and distant.
I tripped and fell, jerking my foot out of the way as a sundered flagstone snapped back together. The odor in my nostrils grew stronger and I caught a hint of the sour, rotting smell under the amber. Back on my feet, I sprinted down a long hallway as the stones moved under my feet. Windows with thick glass panes were piecing themselves together along an outside wall, but woodsmoke and putrescence hissed through the closing gaps in their frames. I retched, but did not stop. I shot up a short flight of stairs and into an interior corridor, and the clinging stink grew faint again.
There were now only faint lines where the gaps in stonework and carpentry had been, and those lines glowed with that same pale blue light that had accompanied me from the beginning. I felt a sense of intense urgency as I looked at those narrowing gaps, and I sprinted down the hallway and around the corner only to be balked by a passage full of broken pottery and burning rope.
I skidded to a stop just shy of this sharp, bright hazard. My feet were bare. I crossed carefully, stepping in-between the piled shards. Artisanal vases, common flatware, crude pitchers, and vessels with an aura of great and dry mummified age were shattered and comingled, their raw and glazed surfaces radiant in the almost painfully bright light cast by the burning coils and lengths of cord, rope, yarn, and twine piled on the floor and dangling from the walls and ceiling. They burnt slowly and smokelessly.
Halfway down the hall I smelt it again, amber and woodsmoke infiltrating my nostrils, displacing the odor of burning fiber. No time. Lifting an arm to guard my face, I leapt forward. Ropes whipped past me, fire licked my flank, ceramics cracked under my heels. The scent of rot was stronger than the incense now.
Even as I passed out of the fire, the miasma thickened about me and the light dimmed. I felt nauseous and faint. There, in front of me, was a door, with a faint blue line bisecting it, narrowing toward nothing. I dove headfirst toward the door, but rather than bash my head on it, I somehow plunged into that tiny line. For a split second, all I saw was that blue light, but then I tumbled onto the flagstones on the other side of the door.
I felt, or rather saw or heard the last of the blue fissures seal shut. In that moment, there was a great roar or rumble, somewhere between an earthquake and a cry of rage, but then the darkness and the stink were both gone. The powder-blue glow was not quite gone; tiny pools of it clung to my fingertips.
I stood and found myself in a solid bedchamber, larger than my own, and richly decorated with ornate rugs and wall hangings. It was with oneiric logic that I knew that I would see Kaye in the great four-poster bed in the middle of the room. There he was, sitting up, barechested, his hair mussed, and his pretty, full-lipped mouth slightly open in an expression of awe.
My gaze lingered on his broad shoulders and the movement of his chest as he slowly exhaled. His eyes glittered in the near darkness, and I became aware of my own nakedness. It was the most natural thing in the world that I should be naked. I wanted him to see me, after all.
It was with the same sense of naturalness that I traced a line down my arm with a glowing fingertip. The light formed a trail on my skin and tingled deliciously. I repeated this action on the other arm, shooting a glance at Kaye, and I smiled to see that his gaze was riveted on me.
I knew what to do next without knowing how I knew, and I drew my fingers down my sides, making them glow and shivering at the sensation. I continued, tracing patterns on my broad hips, over the tops of my thighs and back up the sides. I turned so Kaye could see my hands meet in the small of my back before they trailed down to draw curving arcane symbols on each cheek.
Strange words, words of power, spilled from my mouth as I turned around again. I swayed as I drew small spirals low on my belly, one on each side. These were echoed in the curving lines I then drew slowly circling around my breasts, then over their pendulous weight, finally tracing around my areolae as my nipples hardened at the sensation.
I looked at Kaye, and he licked his lips as I locked my eyes on his. I held his gaze as I stepped toward the bed. I began drawing the most complex pattern yet, something beautiful and portentous, part ancient sigil, part spontaneous line, on my belly. At the foot of the bed, I reached out and pulled the bedclothes free with one swift motion that cast them away, revealing Kaye’s equally naked lower body, and his erection, straining up from between his legs like it was trying to reach the ceiling.
Glowing with strange light, aching with overflowing desire, and feeling completely open and free, I stepped one foot up onto the bed, my stance wide. Kaye gasped and stared as I drew one more line on my body, down and around my vulva, a radiant loop connecting it to the complex design on my belly.
Hoisting myself up fully onto the bed, I made my way to Kaye on my hands and knees. Coming up alongside him, I touched his feet and made the glowing lines arc up over his slender legs to his hips.
“Aaaah,” Kay gasped at my touch and the tingling of the bluish light upon his skin. He lay back as my hands rose over his chest.
“Mmmh,” he moaned as my fingertips touched his nipples, more light flaring there as I pressed on.
I caressed his arms and, as our fingers intertwined, he pulled me toward him. I was more than happy to lower myself onto him, my chest half upon his, and our mouths lined up for a kiss.
That kiss subsumed the whole of the world into it. There was no world, no bed, not even Kaye and I, just this meeting of lips and tongues, just us, just this. As we broke the clinch and then kissed again, my hands found the sides of Kaye’s face, making his cheeks glow with more than just the hot flush that already warmed them, and then I ran my hands up the sides of his neck to his ears as we came up for air.
He looked, if possible, more beautiful than ever with my touches still glowing upon him, bathed in the azure glow of my lingering caresses. Looking at him, I felt more aware of the lines upon my own skin as they tingled and tickled with increasing intensity. Reaching down, I placed the final touch upon Kaye, running a fingertip over each of his balls before corkscrewing them both up the rigid and quivering length of his cock.
I’d been waiting forever for this, and a giddy feeling rose up my spine as I straddled him. I spread my labia, painting them with blue light, and then plunged down upon him. I took Kaye into my body in one quick, smooth stroke. Even as aroused as I was, and even after all the touching and kissing, it was still such a raw physical sensation that it was a bit of a shock.
In that moment, as Kaye pressed into and filled me, my mind cleared. That long-desired pleasure and the hint of discomfort my haste produced made one thing immediately and absolutely clear: I might have been dreaming before, but I was not dreaming now. This was absolutely real.
© 2012 Copyright Tof Eklund
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